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-   -   Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/kit-building-121/8053858-sig-kougar-top-flite-contender.html)

ekir 10-16-2008 08:42 AM

Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I am thinking about building a nostalgic, aerobatic airplane. Plan to use an OS 55AX 2 stroke Engine.

Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender. Thoughts on either aircraft.

G17Staggerwing 10-16-2008 08:55 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
The contender is my FAVORITE! I have six kits in my attic. They are fantastic flyers and I love the way they look. Most of mine are the original red box but I have several newer versions also. I would recommend flying it with at least a 60+ 2stroke, I fly mine with a 90 4 stroke. which ever you choose have FUN!!!

ekir 10-16-2008 03:34 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender

What is the difference between the older and newer Contender's?

squeakalong 10-16-2008 08:00 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I'd put a vote in for the Sig Kougar. Have built four and my 5th kit is waiting in the wings to be built this Winter. I'll be putting the O.S. 55AX on the nose. This plane GROOVES!! ...then again...the TF Contender IS cool...heck I'd probably build 'em BOTH :D

Soft landings.

G17Staggerwing 10-16-2008 10:25 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
the newer version has a biult up tail an a couple of other newer building modifications. The older version was just a slab stab and rudder. I personally do not plan on building the old ones as they are collectors items. So my next one will be one of the new ones. I do however plan on taking the plans and blowing them up about 150% to about a 10' wing span version. Now that should be something awsome! OH TO DREAM!!!!

HeliTB 10-17-2008 06:49 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I vote for the Sig Kougar, since I've built one. It builds easy and I fly mine with an OS 46 AX and most guys at my field call my plane a screamer, because she be movin and groovin. I was thinking of building another but with retracts. I would then go with a OS 55 AX since it will be heavier.

I also prefer the look of the Kougar. Here's the link to the Sig Kougar Build thread. My finished plane pic is on post #343. There are some progress pics during the build on earlier pages. I took my time building. It took me 8 months. I started in October and finished in May for our club contest. That was my whole intent for building. It will build alot faster. I did when first place for best in progress.


NM2K 10-17-2008 07:21 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
It is funny to me that you would pick two of the older kits that suffer aerobatically from the same "problem".

Both of these models have rudders that are too small for good aerobatic flying. Additionally, both of these models have the center of effort (most aerodynamically effective point) of their rudders way too far above the centerline of the wing. While a right yaw command causes the model to yaw to the right, it also causes the model to roll to the left, because the center of effort is too far above the wing's centerline.

The Contender has an extremely thick airfoil that is very difficult to stall. Stalling is an absolute necessity for a model to fly aerobatics. No stall, no spin and no snaprolls are possible. For this reason, I would choose the Sig Kougar.

However, if you are interested in flying this model in club fun flies where low and slow maneuvering is the norm, the impossible to snap or spin Contender's thick airfoil ends up being an asset. Which flight characteristics are most important to you?

The old Kougar Mark II model's foam core wings were cut with washout in the wingtips. Be sure to build this wing so that the leading edge of the wing tip is pointed downward when the wing is not inverted, or you will have a model that snaprolls on more than just the gentlest amount of applied up elevator. A friend of mine did this wrong and it was a real bear to fly until he fixed the problem (new wing kit).

Good luck and tell us of your decision.

Ed Cregger

squeakalong 10-17-2008 07:54 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I think he said Kougar.

NM2K 10-17-2008 09:13 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
In post number 3, he asked questions about the Contender. I don't see any other post by Ekir after that. Do you?

The Contender (60 size) is a neat model to fly. You can learn a lot from that model as it does not fly conventionally (no snaps or spins, just a spiral dive). You can do some really neat high angle of attack flying with the Contender that would stall and crash the Kougar.

On the other hand, the Kougar goes like the dickens with a strong engine, such as your OS .55AX with a small diameter, high pitched prop.

Others to consider are a Dirty Birdy 40 or 60 with your OS .55AX. The .40 would really go fast and with very good vertical performance. The .60 might fly like the original versions with the older .60 size engines and no tuned pipe.

If you're in a hurry, the modern Tower Kaos ARF would be an excellent choice for your engine.

We are fortunate in that there are lots of choices available today.

Ed Cregger

sledge_78 10-17-2008 09:58 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender

I have built and flown the Contender. I used an OS .50sx. I would say that this airplane flys extremely well. The thick airfoil makes the airplane slow down just great for landings. I really believe one could land this plane blindfolded. I'm not a pattern flyer so I can't comment on how it performs some of the more intense manuvers but for me it seems to do everything well. I also installed the optional flap, you really don't need it at all. There is a member comment above regarding the rudder. I can tell you that there is some limitations in regards to rudder effectiveness. My use of rudder is little so I can't say how the Contender would perform where rudder plays a key role in the manuver. The Contender is durable and can take punishment without destroying itself. There are some changes you would be wise to consider regarding the construction of the Contender. Firdt, I would use blind nuts to mount the Nose wheel bracket. The wood screws provided have a short life span after a few hard landings. Also, I would strongly recommend using metal clevis's to attach to the elevator. Three Contenders suffered the fate of a broken clevis on the elevator. Two were destroyed the third (mine) didn't get off the ground on take off and was saved without damage. Good luck with your selection and let us know what you selected. By the way th Kouger is a great looking airplane. At least the photo's on the box look great but I'm told the decals don't come with the Kit.


squeakalong 10-18-2008 08:11 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
Ed is exactly right when he noted the Dirty Birdy .40 or .60 (originally a Joe Bridi design). This would be an excellent aerobatic aircraft and is not hard to fly. Certainly one to consider...and...as much as I like the Kougar I'd go the "Birdy" route if aerobatics are the prime objective. (Now you can build all three :D;):D

Soft landings.

ekir 10-18-2008 08:25 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I appreciate all the input on the Contender and Sig Kougar. I should have stated that I was just looking for a good flying, not often seen aircraft. I have a great flying Senior Pattern Aircraft, "Daddy Rabbit". I also have two electric 30-D Aircraft that are great flying as well. I was just looking for something fun to build that I could use an OS 55AX that I already have on hand.


Ed K.

s3nfo 10-18-2008 11:10 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender

aerowoof 10-18-2008 05:28 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I believe the newer kits have an option for a gull wing that is supposed to eliminate the roll coupling of the rudder.I am planning on building it this way to be different than other contenders

JWQ500RC 10-18-2008 06:12 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender

TexasAirBoss 10-19-2008 10:13 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
1 Attachment(s)
Hands down....

LSP972 10-22-2008 03:37 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I've built both. The adverse rudder coupling on the Contender is easy to fix, by making the wing tips sort of a reverse Hoerner (upswept) configuration. This is covered in detail in the Gold Edition (most recent production) kit manual.

The Kougar is BY FAR the easier to build; the Contender was somewhat of a PITA, especially if you do the nose like it is supposed to be done. Both fly beautifully. However, I think the Contender, with the wing tip mod, is a more versatile model; particularly if you incorporate the ventral flap. You can drag it along on the prop, making like a carrier pilot... or swoop and zoom. The Kougar is just an honest "aileron trainer". It is very responsive, but not as agile at low speeds, IMO. The Contender is a bit larger, and has a LOT more wing area.

A .55 would be WAY overkill for the Kougar, but just right for the Contender. My Kougar has an OS .40 SF and is a rocket when you gap it open. My Contender had a 70 Surpass four stroke, and was a really delightful model. I killed it when the battery came loose and jammed the elevator pushrod...:(


If you enjoy building, get the Contender. If not, the Kougar

LSP972 10-22-2008 03:39 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of my Kougar. It doesn't get flown these days, since #1 grandson moved away. I built it for him.

The pics I have of my Contender were pre-digital camera days, and I have no scanner...

squeakalong 10-22-2008 06:00 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
Nice Kougar, Steve! If you think the O.S. .55AX is overkill on the Kougar ask me about the O.S. .61FSR I put on a Kougar in the early '80's......YEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAW!!!!!! Well, maybe it was a bit ...just a bit, mind you, more than enough....:D:D:D

Soft landings.

WMB 10-22-2008 07:37 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I vote Kougar as well. I think the 55 would be a great match. I have a Kobra and it is at its best running full throttle, gets a little mushy at lower speeds. Lands nice and slow, even the bad ones look good. I am converting it to a taildragger in the quest for less drag and weight. On the other hand, I have an under powered 4*40 that I am having a blast with.
Have fun!

iflyg450 10-22-2008 07:45 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
Built and flown the contender and kouger (and kobra,king kobra) The big flap on the Contender makes for some very fun flying I would say the contender is a good first low wing. The Kouger will fly much faster and way more agile. One thing I have noticed about the kobra, kouger and king kobra is the amazing way they land. No matter how hot and high you come in the plane just won't bounce back into the air, Not sure others out their have noticed that or not. To me the second the wheel touch the ground is like a magnet. I haven't flow any other planes that makes your landing look that good no matter how crappy the approach. To sum it up GO FOR THE KOUGER, Plus as far as I know its made in the US. You'll love it, then build the kobra best flying plane on a .25

jrbmoto 10-22-2008 10:07 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
1 Attachment(s)
Heres my Contender, I covered it to look like the one my dad built back in the 70's
I say go with the Kougar

squeakalong 10-23-2008 09:11 AM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
VERY sharp Contender there!! A great nostalgic look. Bravo!! And this from a Kougar guy.....:eek::D

jrbmoto 10-23-2008 10:11 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
Thanks for the compliment! The Contender is a fun plane to fly, not as fast or as smooth as the Kougar. I didnt like dealing with the rudder coupling issue. It looks awsome hanging from the rafters in my garage!;)


mike 71 01-19-2009 11:27 PM

RE: Sig Kougar or Top Flite Contender
I have the kougar and the contender kits and after reading all the feedback here, I'm sure I'll have fun with both of them. I was wondering if anyone has a kit,plans,or instructions for the old contender 40. I saw pictures of this model in an old rcm magazine and would really like to build one. Thanks for any help with this. Mike.

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