Seagull Models DeHavilland Mosquito ARF – Part One

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The de Havilland Mosquito had a few diffferent names – ‘Wooden Wonder’ and ‘Mossie’ are my favorite. Wooden Wonder came from the fact that it was one of the only WWII aircraft constructed almost entirely of wood. It’s crew often affectionately called it Mossie, and after watching a documentary on the Mosquito it became very clear that they truly loved this plane. It carried out numerous roles in WWII – fighter, bomber, and reconnaissance, were its major contributions to the wartime effort. Sporting a pair of 1,480 HP Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 Liquid cooled engines, the Mossie could fly at speeds of up to 366 MPH at up to 29,000 feet, and take off at a weight of 18,649 pounds – Its empty weight was 13,356 pounds. That allowed over 5,200 pounds of fuel, bombs, crew, and ammunition to be loaded! The Mosquito was a unique airplane that really helped the allies in WWII. Seagull Models, known for taking on unique projects, has released a nicely sized model of the Wooden Wonder. Constructed from many of the same materials as its full-scale sister, the model is mainly balsa and light ply. With some really nice scale features, the Seagull Mosquito is bound to please most modelers in terms of size, easy of construction, and scale appearance. Because we are into winter in Minnesota, this review will be split into two parts. Part one will cover the model and its assembly and setup,   part two will be the flight report. So, if you want to take a closer look at this new scale warbird available from Seagull Models, read on!

Specifications

Name:   Seagull Models de Havilland Mosquito ARF

Available in the US at:   SkyShark Hobbies

Price:   $399.95

Wingspan:   80 in   (2032 mm)

Length:   58 in   (1472 mm)

Advertised Flying Weight:   13.7 -14.1 pounds (6.2 -6.4 kg)

Actual Flying Weight with Battery: 14.25 pounds   (6.46 kg)

Wing Area:   957.9 sq in   (61.8 sq dm)

Required Items for Completion

Radio System:   6-Channel (Minimum) Transmitter and Receiver – 7+ is recommended

Servos:   8-10 servos (8 for electric setup)

Engine Size – Gas:  10cc  Glow: .46-.55 (Two required)

Electric Motor: .46-.60 brushless (Two required)

ESC: 70+ Amp (Two required)

Battery: 4-6S 4000-5000 mAh LiPo and LiPo charger

Various shop tool and assembly supplies

Hits

Detachable main wings help make transportation easier

Working drop-hinge flaps add realistic looks and help to slow down landing speed

Working navigation lights

The factory-applied matte Oracover covering trim scheme captures the accurate colors of the original aircraft

High-quality pre-painted fiberglass cowls/engine nacelles

Scale-looking mechanical retractable landing gear included

Full-depth cockpit adds realism with full body pilot figure and  pilot’s seat

Electric conversion kits included

Misses

Minimal room for large battery packs for electric flight

First Look

The Seagull de Havilland Mosquito comes in a rather large box with full-color printed labels on four sides. The labels provide specifications and required items, as well as some nice photos of the airplane. Inside, I found the contents well packed, with all parts bagged and taped to prevent excess shifting during shipping. A layer of cardboard spearates the wings and tail pieces from the fuselage and other parts below.

For such a large model – especially a twin-engined model, the parts count is relatively low. I suspect that the ‘Mossie’ will assemble quickly.

 

A large top hatch should allow for easy access to all the on-board equipment installation and maintenance, and quick flight battery changes for electric powered flight. The instrument cluster decal is mounted a little low, but otherwise looks scale for the aircraft. I like that the canopy is pre-painted to match the matte Oracover, and that Seagull actually took the time to paint it in two colors!

Like its full-scale counterpart, this model is constructed mainly of balsa and light ply. I guess you could say that the model is a ‘Wooden Wonder’ as well! All of the main structure is laser cut and the ARF is assembled at Seagull’s factory in Vietnam.

The depth of the cockpit allow for a nice looking seat and full-bodied pilot figure. The pilot may not be quite scale looking, but Seagull has come a long way toward getting some of thesedetails closer to correct!

The airfoiled tail surfaces have a more scale look because of the pinned hinge design. Seagull is really making an effort to make their ARF aircraft stand out in both fit and finish, and in functionality!

Like the tail, the ailerons and flaps utilize a pinned hinge system. The flap setup is quite nice as well – the two-part flaps (inboard and outboard of the engine nacell area) are pre-connected internally, so only a single flap servo is required per wing half!

The engine/motor mount boxes will be epoxied and bolted to the wing. They also fit the wing nicely, and will become the ‘backbone’ for the engine/motor, retractable landing gear and servo, and fuel tank or ESC. There’s a lot riding on these two ‘boxes’!

Speaking of the retractable landing gear, Seagull has done a good job of recreating the dual strut design of the full-scale Mossie’s gear. These units are made in the Seagull factory, and are made of mainly aluminum with a few steel parts. They are sprung to absorb the shock of rough landings. The sprung tailwheel assembly is ready to install, and has become a regular item on a lot of the seagull aircraft. A pre-painted, vacuum molded plastic cover will conceal the tailwheel mount.

There’s an LED light pre-installed in each of the wing tips, and a third light will be installed in the fiberglass nose during assembly. These lights are powered by a pair of AA batteries, so DO NOT connect them to a 12 Volt power source!

There’s loads of great hardware included with the Mosquito – the fiberglass control horns are epoxied into pre-cut slots in the control surfaces. There were a couple of machine screws and locking nuts missing, but Seagull offered to replace them promptly! I had plenty of spare parts on hand, so I declined the offer and used my own.

The spinners included are definitely the correct shape, and look very nice – my only wish is that there was a three-blade option as well. Seagull has included parts for both gas/glow engine operation, as well as electric conversion kits. The electric conversion kits have almost become a standard accessory included with EVERY Seagull ARF! To complete the gas/glow option, you’ll need to provide fuel line for your choice of engine.

Items Used for Completion

For this review, I will be using my Hitec Flash 7 transmitter, a Hitec Optima 9 receiver, and Hitec HS-5485HB digital servos. For the retracts, a pair of Hitec HS-5645MG Hi Torque, Metal Gear, digital servos will be used.

A pair of Hitec Energy Sport 80 Amp ESCs and Electrifly Rimfire .60 brushless motors. I will be making a pair of 12 gauge Battery extension wires, so that the ESCs can be mounted to the motor boxes. I found the wire on Amazon for a decent price – I paid just $14.00 for two three foot packages of red and black wire!  As it turned out, One package would have been enough…

I also used several servo wire extensions as follows:  Two 18″ extensions for the ailerons, Two 12″ extensions for the flaps, Two 12″ extensions for the ESCs, and Two 12″ extensions for the retract servos. I also used Three Y-Harnesses – one each for the flaps, ailerons, and ESCs – the retract servos were each placed on a separate channel to allow for optimal programming.

Assembly

Assembly began with installing the aileron and flap control horns. After roughening up the bottom portion, I epoxied them into pre-cut slots in the ailerons and flaps using Z-Poxy 30 minute epoxy.

Just a little heads up – there are different control horns for the different control surfaces. Be careful not to get them mixed up!

The engine/retract mount box was epoxied to the wing – a pair of flat-head machine screws add additional security to keep the mounting boxes attached to the wing. There are right and left boxes associated with the left and right wing halves, and they fit very well!

The aileron and flap servos were attached to their respective hatches, along with the 18″ or 12″ servo extension wire. The hatches were then installed into the opening in the wings. For the aileron and flaps, I like to use the long Hitec servo arms – they are an optional purchase, but are definitely worth it!

The pushrods are pre-assembled, and worked great for the ailerons. Because of how I like to set up my flaps, I needed a shorter pushrod. I went to my spare parts box and found a couple of 2mm pushrods that were only threaded on one end. The clevis and lock nut were spun onto the new pushrods and installed with a snap keeper (also from my spare parts box).

A pair of Hitec HS-5645MG were used for the retracts – the travel of the actuator in the included mechanical retracts is not long enough to use a retract servo. I chose to use high torque, metal gear servos because they have a potentially tough job ahead of them! The servo is first attached to a mount, then that mount is attached to the motor box.

I placed the retract unit, and marked and drilled the mounting screw pilot holes. each of the four holes then had a screw turned into it, and a few drops of thin CA hardened the wood in the screw holes.

The retract was then attached with four screws. After drilling a large enough hole in the servo arm, a machine screw connected the retract pushrod to the arm. These screws and locking nuts were missing from my kit, which Seagull offered to replace at no charge. With the retract servo adjusted properly, I installed the wheel. There’s a wheel collar on each side of the wheel, and a set screw in the bottom of each strut of the gear secured the axle. I ground flat spots into the axle for the wheel collar and gear leg set screws, and applied a drop of blue thread locking compound to each before tightening them.

I attached the electric conversion motor mount box to the fire wall. After taking some measurements, I glued the adjustable mount in place box and added some DuBro servo screws for extra security, Balsa tri stock was later epoxied to the back side of the adjustable mount as well. The Electrifly Rimfire .60 motor was attached to the mount, and the Hitec Energy Sport 80 Amp ESC was secured to the bottom of the mounts.

I made a pair of battery extension wires to reach from each ESC into the fuselage. These extensions were each made to be 18″ in length, and have a Deans-style T Plug on each end. The extension was secured to the ESC battery wires and fed through the wing. A 12″ servo wire extension was secured to the ESC  as well and pushed through the wing. I temporarily attached the wings to the fuselage, and ran the battery and receiver wiring into the fuse. Note – the two ESCs will be Y-harnessed together on the throttle channel of the receiver, so I removed the positive wire from one of the servo wire extensions. Only one power source is needed for the receiver.

The fiberglass nacelle was slid in place over the wing and motor/retract box and secured with seven screws. The nacelle fit the wing pretty well! Each of the seven screw holes were first drilled and hardened with a drop of thin CA prior to installing the screw.

A fine-tipped permanent marker made quick work of adding a ‘screen’ to the air intake on the nacelle. The spinner backplate was reamed out with my prop reaming tool and installed on the Rimfire .60 motor’s prop shaft, followed by the Falcon 12×8 Beechwood electric propeller and spinner.

After marking the center of the hoizontal stabilizer, I epoxied the elevator and rudder control horns into their pre-cut slots.

I weighted down the stab to sit flat in the tail using a battery pack, and traced the sides of the fuselage to remove the covering. A sharp razor blade was used to cut ONLY THE COVERING just inside the lines previously made. When the cutting had been completed, the center section of covering was removed.

I removed as much covering material from the stabilizer mounting area as possible, and attached the stab with 30-minute epoxy.

The fin/rudder assembly was then slipped into place, and I marked the top covering. The covering was then removed, and the fin/rudder assembly was attached with 30-minute epoxy. A few pieces of blue painter’s tape held the assembly in place until the epoxy had cured.

I installed the elevator and rudder servos and elevator pushrods, and temporarily attached the pushrod clevises to the elevator control horns.

Since there are two elevator pushrods, a barrel connector is used to attach them to the short pushrod to the elevator servo arm. All the parts were loosely connected at this point.

I added a drop of blue thread locking compound to each of the three set screws and tightened them – both of the elevator halves and the servo were centered prior to tightening the set screws.

 The rudder pushrod was slid into its guide tube and connected to the rudder control horn, and then connected to the rudder servo arm.

The tailwheel pushrod was attached to the steering tiller, and then the pushrod was slid into its guide tube while the tiller arm was slid into the tailwheel bracket. With the tiller arm in the bracket, the tail wheel shaft was slid into the tiller arm and secured with the machine screw. The tailwheel pushrod was connected to the middle hole on the opposite side of the rudder servo arm.

For installing the LED light in the nose, I decided to go a little different route. The manual shows the wire being slipped into the nose from the outside, with the LED being glued to the nose. I chose to install the LED from the inside and add a drop of CA to keep it in place. To get it into the nose, I taped the wire and LED to a dowel and inserted through the top hatch.

 

I cut the tailwheel cover to shape and installed it – I chose to use screws rather than permanently glue it in place.

There’s just enough room under the cockpit/battery hatch to install the Hitec Optima receiver, so the 3 Y-Harnesses, two servo extensions for the retractable landing gear, and the elevator and rudder servos were connected to the receiver. The Antennas were routed and secured at a 90° angle to one another inside the fuselage. To connect the LED lights to the included battery harness, I installed a servo plug on each of the three LED lighting wires. Two Y-Harnesses were modified and served as the lighting wire connections. A simple ‘switch was made using a binding plug and a servo plug in.

We’re almost done! I secured the hatch with the nylon screw, and installed the mock antenna mast – it simply screws into a blind nut installed in the hatch. The wingtip light covers and canopy were attached using Formula 560 Canopy Glue available from Frank Tiano Enterprises. When the Canopy glue had dried, the tape was removed and the Mosquito was ready to see daylight!

Photo Shoot

 Mosquito Introduction Video

Take a look at the introduction video I put together for the Seagull Models Mosquito ARF.

Summary

I really like the look of the new Seagull Models Mosquito ARF – the Mossie has always had a distinct look about it, and Seagull has done a great job of reproducing the aircraft. Over all, I think the fit and finish was good, leaving very little modification to the modeler. The hardware is good, and definitely usable. I wish there was more room in the fuselage for a larger or second battery pack without modifying the full-depth cockpit – hopefully, I can get a four to six minute flight on the 6S 4,350 mAh pack that currently fits in the allocated battery position.

That’s going to wrap up part one of this review, with part two coming in the spring when we have better flying weather. Until then, especially for all of you northern state modelers, enjoy building/assembling season! Thanks for taking a look – we’ll see ya next time! -GB

Contact Information

Seagull Models –   www.seagullmodels.com

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

Hitec –   www.hitecrcd.com

Electrifly –   www.electrifly.com

Falcon Propellers –   www.justmodelprops.com

ZAP Adhesives –   www.franktiano.com

DuBro –   www.dubro.com

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7 Comments

  1. Hello,
    Thanks a lot, very nice review.
    I’ ve just receive my mosquito.
    The rimfire motor it is not too big ?
    I think to buy roxxy Brushless motor C42-60-06 600kv.
    What do you think ?

    Many thanks.

    Pierre ( from France ).

  2. Geoff

    I liked you review and

    I’m purchasing the Mosquito from Seagull and want to know did you counter-rotate the moters.? I live near Skyshark Hobbies and they have a great store

    How about 3 blades and where to buy spinners

    Bill Walter Naples Florida

    • Hi Bill – I agree that a set of three-blade props and spinners would be really great, but I was having trouble finding an affordable spinner with the correct profile. As far as reversing one prop? Nah, it’s not really necessary.

    • hey Geoff I’m am running 2 master airscrew 3 bladed props 13x8x3. I’m also using tru turn alum. spinners. they work great the cost a bit but a lot better than the stock ones

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