Seagull Models DeHavilland Mosquito ARF – Part Two – the Flight Review

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A Brief Recap…

Hello again, fellow RCUniverse members! I’m back with yet another exciting flight review, and this time we’re going to be looking at the Seagull Models DeHavilland Mosquito ARF. This is part two of the review – you can find part one (assembly) by clicking the following link: DeHavilland Mosquito ARF – Pt One.

In going back to get the link for part one, I am realizing that it’s been WAY too long to get this flight review done! It’s been a busy summer in 2018, and we had a wet and windy spring with not much flying time. Ok, so enough with the excuses – I’m going to get into the review now. But, before I do, I’ll give you a little recap of the equipment used to assemble the ‘Mossie’.

Equipment Used

From the ground, I’ll be guiding the Mosquito with my new Hitec Aurora 9X – this is Hitec’s current flagship transmitter, and it’s great! The LCD touch screen makes programming and adjustments quick and easy! This is a change I made since Part One of the review, where I used the Hitec Flash 7 for setting up the Mosquito.

Onboard the Mossie is a Hitec Optima 9 2.4 gHz 9-channel receiver, and it’ll be connected to seven Hitec HS-5485HB Digital Standard Deluxe servos. I also ended up using a pair of Hitec HS-5645MG servos for the retracts because the mechanical retractable gear included with the Mosquito has a non-standard pushrod travel distance that was easier to set up with a normal servo. Using the HS-5645MG servos also meant that, in addition to endpoint adjustment, I could slow down the servo travel speed to make the retracts look more scale when operating.

I am using a pair of Hitec Energy Sport 80 Amp ESCs  and two Electrifly Rimfire .60 Brushless Outrunner Motors. The 12 gauge silicone wire I purchased from Amazon in 3 foot, paired (black and red) sections.

Providing the pull will be a pair of Falcon Beechwood 12×8 Electric Propellers. Falcon has been my ‘go-to’ brand of props for quite some time now, and they are great! A complete line of Falcon Propellers is available from justmodelprops.com.

Unfortunately, I had to make a big choice to balance the Mosquito. Originally, it looked as though I could keep the weight down and use a single 6S 4350 mAh LiPo for power. My thoughts were incorrect, as the plane ended up very tail heavy.To balance the Mossie properly, I could keep the full-depth cockpit and single 6S battery AND add 23.5 oz of lead to the nose, or I could remove the full-depth cockpit and use a pair of 5S 4000 mAh batteries. I chose to add useful weight instead of lead, so power will be provided by a pair of 5S 4000 mAh LiPo battery packs. While the cockpit was a great scale addition, I felt it had to be removed for more battery power and less ‘dead weight’. I was able to add a false floor to the canopy area, and made a bust out of the included pilot figure.

Photo Shoot

The Seagull Models DeHavilland Mosquito ARF looks really great on the runway – Let’s get it in the air to see how she flies!

Flight Report

So here we are – this is the part that you’ve all been waiting to read! It took so long to get here, that I was really hoping that it would go well. Some of it did go well, but we learned some valuable lessons also. But, I’ll get to those lessons in a minute.

After a few minutes of assembly and connecting all the servo wires, I turned on my Hitec Aurora 9X transmitter and connected the two 5S 4000 mAh LiPo batteries to their respective ESCs. The Mosquito was now ready for flight. The two Electrifly Rimfire .60 motors and Falcon 12×8 beechwood props proved to be more than enough power as the throttle was advanced and the Mossie started rolling. The tail came off the ground in approximately 30 feet, and the main gear left the ground in around 100 feet! Taking off was straight forward, and showed no bad habits – but, like all tail draggers, be ready to correct with rudder!

In the air, the Mosquito looks great! After a couple of passes with the gear down, we determined that the CG ‘felt’ pretty good, so the gear was retracted. The Mossie’s gear folds straight to the rear, so we were a little concerned that this might shift the CG too far back, creating an unstable airplane. Our concerns were unconfirmed, as the plane flew very well with the gear up! The trim didn’t change at all with the gear up or down, and no trim adjustments were needed after the initial take off.

Moving on to speed tests, we started with high speed. With the gear pulled up and the left stick pushed all the way forward, the Mosquito really moves! The sound of the two Rimfire .60 motors left a little to be desired compares to the full scale Mosquito’s V-12 engine, but I can get over that. At full speed, she covers a large area in short order! Slowing the Mosquito down is a bit more challenging – flying straight and level, it’s pretty easy, and she even performs well with the flaps and gear down, too. But, before banking even a slight amount, you have to add power and airspeed. If you try to turn the Mossie without enough airspeed, she will stall – even a moderate aileron correction on final approach without ample airspeed can be less than desirable. This was the case with our first landing attempt, but I’ll talk about that in a minute.

As far as aerobatics go, she’ll loop and roll pretty easily – rolling the plane looks good, and there’s plenty of power for large loops! We didn’t attempt any other maneuvers as they didn’t seem to be realistic for a plane like this.

On to landing – the final test. The first landing was a little tough. As I mentioned above, the Mossie got a little too slow on final, and dropped the right wing as an aileron correction was being made. Just before the wingtip hit the ground and spun the Mosquito, power was added to attempt a go-around. Unfortunately, it was too late, and the left landing gear mount broke, along with the left propeller. In addition, the nacelle was slightly damaged.

Repairs were made easily, as shown below, and involved some wood screws, CA, and a small piece of fiberglass cloth and a little acrylic paint. (Because my Mosquito was EP, acrylic paint was sufficient for the repairs – if using gas or glow, fuel proof paint would be needed.)

After repairs were made, the Mosquito was flown again. Unfortunately, we lost the Mossie on this flight. The plane had just completed a flyby with the landing gear and flaps down, when Jim advanced the throttle and put the gear and flaps up. Just as these actions were done, he started a left hand turn to come around for another pass. The turn was started without enough airspeed, and the left wingtip dropped hard into an unrecoverable stall. From about 100 feet in the air, the Mosquito fell to the ground nose-first. The resulting crash was a total loss of the airframe and batteries, but all of the other equipment was unscathed. This is why some of my photos look the way they do – they are actually not photos, but individual screen shots from the video footage I took. As you can guess, this is NOT a favorable position for me, but I’m doing the best I can…

Check out the video to see the Segull Models DeHavilland Mosquito in action.

Summary

Despite the troubles we had with the Mosquito, I really liked it. After a lengthy discussion with my video pilot, we came to the conclusion that the concerns were not with the aircraft. Like every other airplane on the market, the Mossie has a stall speed. We didn’t respect that speed, and we learned our lesson. IF we had paid closer attention to the airspeed, this review would have read like so many others I have written – concluding with a happy ending. I will say this – fly the Mosquito as it is intended to be flown, and you’re likely to really enjoy this warbird. I would definitely rank this plane as one for high intermediate to experienced level pilots – this one is not for beginners. It’s a great looking airplane, and treated with respect, it’ll fly well! From my shop to yours, that’s all for now – Happy Landings! -GB

Contact Information

Seagull Models –   www.seagullmodels.com

SkyShark Hobbies (New US Distributor for Seagull Models) –   www.skysharkrc.com

Hitec –   www.hitecrcd.com

Falcon Propellers –   www.justmodelprops.com

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6 Comments

  1. All points above are dead on and I would like to add that this plane could really benifit from Vortex generators.
    I added them to my red box Bearcat based on reading the history on the flying tendency’s and its history with snapping. The VGS made the plane fly like a trainer !!
    I will be adding them to my Phoniex Lysander and have suggested the same to others who have and reported back with great results.
    There was a thread on another site and some of the more knowledgeable members feel they would not be effective based on aeronautical science but basic real world field results are really over the top !
    You can get them on the Horizon website or simply google online for Vortex Generators

  2. RobMason

    As someone who owns a Mossie – Flight characteristics can be very tame IF you do the following. Mosquitos have a highly tapered wing, even though the taper is forward (better stall characteristics) the tip is pretty narrow and could lead to tip stalling. Obvoiusly…

    What to do…

    Check the washout in the wing before Maiden Flight. If as with most Chinese ARFs – they do not design any into the plane – reflex the ailerons up @ 1/16″ (2mm) or so.

    Add in @ 8-10% down elevator with flaps – Mossies like to balloon badly as seen in the video. Approach was pitching up and down – pilot was probably having to give down elevator to counteract.

    Do not have more than 30 degrees flaps for landing – they are large and effective, they will stop the plane in mid air and set up a high sink rate (as in the video) – if you yank back to flare, look at video.

    Adjust high sink rate and approach path with Throttle, not Elevator. Sinking too fast, add about 1/4 throttle, it will flatten out nicely. Yank on the elevator, you are already too slow as seen by the high sink rate – pull back, tip stall…

    If I had to analyze the final crash off the top of my head – about 1/3 to 1/2 throttle was added since it wanted to balloon nose up (generally badly) with power, flaps and retracts were retracted which decreased lift and moved CG back making the elevator more sensitive. Throttle was Not advanced to full at this time, was probably left at 1/3 to 1/2. When the turn was started, no airspeed, no throttle and sensitive elevator – tip stall.

    Warbirds need to be flown deliberately. Higher wing loading and complex mechanics add to the difficulty of flying successfully when you are not used to them. Twin Warbirds are even more complex. Have a plan for flight and contingencies (a go around is an contingency). You need to know how it will react. There is less of a margin for screw ups.

    They are quite rewarding and easy to fly when set up properly and flown in a proper manner. This looks like a case of neither having been done.

  3. radfordc

    Two flights and two times the plane fell out of the sky….and it’s not the planes fault? Are you guys really that poor pilots?

    Sounds like another “don’t offend the advertisers” review.

    • kram

      IF wing loading & washout and incidence were OK, this plane was tail heavy. Approach and landing speeds were not slow enough to justify tip stall

      Thanks for posting honest video

    • radfordc

      Apologies to Seagull….it wasn’t an airplane problem at all, just pilot error. Most the the slow, nose high turns in the video were a stall/spin just waiting to happen.

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