Mooney Mite from BB tribute contest - RC Groups
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Nov 19, 2008, 10:52 PM
springer's Avatar
Build Log

Mooney Mite from BB tribute contest

Finally finished the tiled pdf of major panels for the Mite, so here goes with a build guide:

This plane is based on the M-18 Mite, the first plane that Mooney produced back in 1946. It was originally powered by a Crosley engine, but typically either a 65hp Lycoming or Continental. Only 540lb empty weight. Lots of info on the Mite owners site:

As built, it has a 40" span and 13.15oz auw including a BM2410-09 motor and 2s mystery 900mah pack. She is a smooth flier, not quite as forgiving as her ancestor BluBaby, but still can be a relaxing flight. Haven't tried 3s yet, but I expect that would spice it up a bit. Wing is removeable, rubberbanded on, and provides access to the battery bay. I also made the canopy removeable as I hope to make a heat formed pop bottle clear one.

Below you will see the original plane, and a few pics of the model.

Here's a link to the video of the maiden (pre- paint and gear):

and here with gear and paint:
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Nov 20, 2008, 01:08 AM
,ɯǝ ʇoƃ ɐʎ ɟı ,ɯǝ ǝʞoɯs
7up's Avatar

Congrats! Nice design, thanks for the SU file.
Nov 20, 2008, 05:50 AM
“There’s no place like Foam”
gpw's Avatar
It's a BEAUTY!!! Spring!!!!
Nov 20, 2008, 07:48 AM
I'm not flying backwards!
Tony65x55's Avatar
Nice design Mike.

Nov 20, 2008, 09:28 AM
SG Talon... Super Genius.
Definitely your best work Mike!

What is next? A Swift? That would be an easy mod to this.
Nov 20, 2008, 11:03 AM
springer's Avatar
Dennis: funny you say that, one of the guys I have breakfast with on tues has a Swift, unfortunately it's in pieces and unlikely to get flyable any time soon, but I could get an up close look at one (as compared to the Mite which I've only seen in pictures)
Nov 20, 2008, 01:32 PM
Ken's CAD Models
dz1sfb's Avatar
Really a great looking model Mike. Echoing SGTalon's words "your best work yet". Congratulations!

Latest blog entry: Ken's CAD Models new web site
Dec 09, 2008, 05:18 PM
springer's Avatar

build log continued Main landing gear assembly

Finally getting to make dwgs of the main gear parts. First two pictures show the base plate with clips glued to the bottom of wing. Next are jpegs of the parts, and last a sketchup file of them.

The slot in the clips has to be sized to the wire you use plus the thickness of the base plate. I used 5/64th music wire. Test fit the clips in their slots in baseplates, as the 1/16" ply will also affect the slot size. Final filing should be done after it's all glued to the wing, of course. I used a round riffle file to finish the slots, and it created a rounded pocket that the wire snaps into nicely.

after making the wood parts, place the baseplates on the wing, and mark, then cut slots in the wing to receive the clips. I traced around the baseplates and removed the skin of Blucor for improved adhesion of the Gorilla glue. Put the clips in their respective slots (outboard clips face slot forward, center one faces aft) with glue then slip the base plates over clips and glue them down. (I think I actually put the outboard clips in the base plates and then glued them down, Center one pretty much has to go into wing first.)

The wire was an interesting exercise. I started in the center and bent it outwards each direction. The only criteria other than sizing the actual axle portions to the width of your wheels, is that I set angles of the vertical portions so axles are about 1/4" aft of the base leg in the side view. It made the gear trail nicely, and the bend in the vertical legs provides a little bit of shock absorption (not as good as a spring coil obviously) and looks a bit like the real gear. I didn't add the gear cover that would sit on outboard side of each vertical leg, but one could do that for more realism.
Dec 09, 2008, 05:21 PM
springer's Avatar
Here's the sketchup file of the gear, change the extension to .skp
Dec 09, 2008, 05:29 PM
springer's Avatar
Nose gear wasn't specially made, was a tail wheel kit I found on Hobby King, and adapted. I did glue a reinforcement to the nose to take the 4 screws that hold it in. Originally I let it swivel, but it made the plane track very wobbly at slow speeds, so I tightened it up, doesn't steer as well, but tracks and takes off and lands much nicer.
Dec 09, 2008, 05:32 PM
springer's Avatar
I think that's it. I'll try to answer any questions for those interested in building her
Feb 15, 2009, 08:39 AM
Registered User


I love this little airplane! I stumbled on this from a different thread and then searched it out. I've always loved Mooney design and think that your version does great credit to the style of these great little planes.

I'm down for a few weeks from having surgery but as soon as I'm able to build again I'll be putting this on the top of my list!

Thanks so much for publishing these plans. There are so many great airplanes floating around that no one ever sees and this is definitely on of the better I've seen in a long time.

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