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ESM F7F Tigercat Build

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Old 04-24-2017, 02:05 AM
  #1  
ftjets
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Default ESM F7F Tigercat Build

I have chimed in on a thread or two over the years but decided to start my own build thread for this project. I have found one build thread that started several years ago but this is supposed to be the newest version of the ESM Tigercat so i thought i would give it a fresh look. I ordered mine from VQ Warbirds who as far as i can see are the only importers of this kit now. Please correct me if i am wrong. At first glance, it appears to be nicely constructed as far as representing the full scale version. I do not intend to enter scale events with it but i am sure it will be easily recognizable to anyone who knows what a Tigercat looks like. I will certainly do some kit bashing along the way. I will post some starting pics soon along with observations i have made so far. I did research this kit before ordering and as with all things R/C discovered good and bad. First, Tomas at VQ Warbirds has responded to all of my pesky questions and concerns, before and after i ordered the kit. I have been quite satisfied with his prompt attention and advise. When i inquired about landing gear choices he strongly suggested the Sierra gear system. While much more expensive than the ESM electric gear, after researching the subject i am confident that it was indeed the right choice. I won't comment on the ESM gear because i have never used them but i appreciate Tomas's attempt to send me in the right direction. I hope to start my journey in the coming days. Stay Tuned!

Model ESM F7F Tigercat with composite fuse and built up wings and control surfaces
Power (2) Eflite Power 160 motors
(2) Castle Creations Phoenix Edge 120HV controllers
LG Sierra Air retract system with Sierra custom aluminum wheels w/brakes

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Old 04-24-2017, 04:01 AM
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Here are all the goodies.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:57 PM
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Good choice on the sierra gear/brakes & wheels, ,For my second one I ordered the esm electric ,which I returned and ordered the sierra .First one is electric powered e flight 110, with castle 120 amp controllers bela 18x10 props hope to have it airborne this weekend. Used two different schemes since you can old see one side at a time
Number two I removed the covering as the sun really plays hell with getting air blisters ,so I covered it with flight skins plan on using radial gas engines V 3 ' this one will be in Korean scheme WF on tail and FLAT paint

Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:04 AM
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Looks nice Joe. You have me a little concerned about the covering though. I intend to re-paint in the familiar dark navy gloss color. I just think it looks cool. I wonder if i shouldn't consider a re-cover before going through all that trouble. My SUV will will hold the wing in one piece so i will bond it all together. That way i can smooth out the seams and dress it up a bit. My first mod will be to replace the wing tubes. They are a bit on the heavy side at .65 lbs each. I get my tubes from onlinemetals.com. They offer small cut pieces of several metals in just about every configuration. A 1.125" DIA 6061-T6 aluminum tube with .035" wall at two feet long weighs .28 lbs. Overall between the two tubes i will save 3/4 of a pound if i calculated that correctly. I have a habit of over-engineering and being on the heavy side of things so anytime i can save weight i will. Just waiting for my landing gear and i will have the whole package. I ordered MAS 16X10X3 props but after reading some threads figure that will need to change. I have a heavy workload at the moment but hope to start gluing and screwing soon. Thanks for the info. And Semper Fi to you as well.

John
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:18 AM
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John
I used pneumatic pistons for main gear doors and small servos on the nose gear doors, On #2 I plan on using servos on all doors,BTW I use the wind to close the large door on nose door . Your right on the wing tubes they are heavy(UG) & keeping the wing Center section with nacelles & fuselage is what I did and it rolls into my avalanche, so I only have the flaps & aileron connections on both outer wing panels,No air lines .
On #1 I put the batteries in the nacelle 2 X 4 lipos ,yes its might be a pain removing the props and nacelles to replace the batteries ,but the a/c need as much weight forward to achive the CG without adding lead.
Semper Fi
joe
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:07 PM
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Joe,
After measuring the cargo area in my Chevy Traverse i discovered that i could potentially haul the entire plane minus the wingtips in one piece. I may amend my decision to make the wing one piece and just mount the tubes permanent in the wing tips and as you did, mount the center section and nacelles permanent . That way i only have a couple of aileron/flap servo wires to connect at the field and a couple of through bolts to secure the wingtips. Forums are a wonderful thing.
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:25 AM
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John
After removing the covering ,I will say that all the wood joints appear to be solidly glues,not like other covered planes I've had in the past ,Covered all areas with Flite Skins
Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:31 AM
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I thought about sitting my wings out in the sun for awhile to see if they bubble as yours did. I hate covering but will if necessary. Hopefully i will only need to re-paint. I assembled the wing with standard clear packing tape to see just how big it was. My employee in the pic is about 5'3". That's a big wing. The tape pulled the paint off in a couple of places. Guess i'll have to re-paint now.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:23 PM
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Testers Deep Sea Blue is a perfect match for the paint
Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the info but i am really set on re-painting in the shiny dark navy color similar to the F4U-Corsair color. I just think it's a cool looking color for a WWII warbird. I will try to match the color in the pic below as best i can. I'm trying to figure out what paint to use. I think auto paint would be the best option but don't know how it will react with the existing paint. I intend to try painting the nacelle covers for testing purposes. They won't be used anyway since i intend to use the gear doors . I ordered the new wing tubes today so hopefully i can get started on something constructive shortly. Still waiting for my retracts though.

Semper Fi
John
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Old 04-30-2017, 06:46 PM
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John
Few shots of the batteries /controller located in the nacelles
how i use springs for the small nose gear doors
With the Sierra gear i had to move then to another location because of the thickness of tires,and strut
BTW my wing tube measures 30 mm a little larger than 1 1/8 "

Did you do a sun test ?
Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:54 AM
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It will be awhile before i decide where/how to mount batteries and controllers but you offer one idea there. I will keep it in mind. My wing tubes measure 1.178" dia. My replacements measure 1.125. That creates a gap of about .053". If i move forward with keeping the center section and nacelles permanently fixed that shouldn't be an issue. I would only need to apply a coating of about .0265" which my buddy can probably achieve with powder coating and only on the part that will insert into the CC and nacelles. The tubes will be permanently glued in place on the wing tips and my thoughts for now are to bolt the tubes through the nacelles when assembled. When i receive the new tubes i will test fit and see just how loose they are. I have a feeling that won't be too much of an issue though. Lots of thinking and tinkering to do. I am still waiting on my landing gear and don't want to make any major decisions until i have everything on hand so i can begin to sort everything out. I will try to sun test the wings today if i can.

Semper Fi
John
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:19 PM
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That pesky rain and some wind prevented the sun test for the wings yesterday but hopefully i can get it in today. BTW, that is a CO2 laser cutter/engraver on the left in the picture of the assembled wing. I intend to use it often during the build. It comes in real handy at times. The pic is the nose gear in my CARF Spark. I designed and built a consolidated mount that includes the steering servo. I intend to do the same with this model. Just one of the neat things you can do with a laser. Someone in another thread crafted an insert installed into the wing tube to accept the attaching bolts. I thought that was a great idea. I intend to laser cut a similar device. If any of you have an idea for this project let me know. I love tinkering and creating things with the laser.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:26 AM
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Finally sun tested the wings. Mine bubbled up too Joe. It didn't take the hot Florida sun long to do the nasty. I may see if it is just an adhesion issue and try to iron them down. If not i guess i'll be re-covering.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:08 AM
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I know that I could iron it down again,but it would reappear in another area or even come up in the same area . IMO , It's TOO nice a kit to have a issue like this . so I flight skinned the wing / stab & control surfaces used .010 on wing & stab and .007 on control surfaces . Just finished the hinging of the retract doors . I'll post photos later

Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:02 PM
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Received the landing gear and cockpit kit yesterday. I have never used the flite skins but i think i will follow your lead on that Joe and re-skin the wings and control surfaces. It doesn't look too difficult to work with but will add a few more hours to the build. Also, the extra clearance in the new wing tubes i ordered was simply too much so there goes the 3/4 pound savings. I have been busy with work stuff but i hope to get rolling soon.
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Old 05-13-2017, 05:57 PM
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John
As far as Flightskins go I'm far from a expert ,but with a little time & CLAMPS ,weights etc you to can become a expert . I used 2 sheets of the .010 and one sheet of the .007 for control surfaces . You might be able to use less but I tend to add a inch all around , If you haven't used Gorila GLUE your in for a treat (kidding) you don't have to use much (really a small bead) , Wing tips can be a Bit*H but with a little bonds everything fine . ALSO I would NOT use any sand paper under 320 grit as the surface can scratch easily
Used 2 ,2ozs of gorila glue
Sheets of flite skins $150

As far as a replacement for the main spar have to thought of Carbon Fiber ? Thats what I am using a 30mm Cf tube from Gator RC again I had to purchase the outer tube too and they come in 36 " lengths ? another $130 Who said the Hobby was cheap

This week I received the power plants ,Now I gotta brain storm where to install everything I need .Photos tomorrow

Semper Fi
Joe
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:37 PM
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Power plants in there new homes, BTW I am going with a Dirty Faded Black scheme ,next week start to assemble.... Cant up -load pictures

Semper Fi
Joe

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Old 05-17-2017, 06:42 AM
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I got pounded with rush orders at work so i have been mia on the project this week. I will try to order the skins in the next couple of days. I have resigned to the fact that i may just have to use the heavy wing tubes but i have plenty of time to address that issue in the future. I haven't even had time to leak test the retracts. I will try to get to that today if possible. I am spring cleaning my workshop at home to make room for this project. It is presently in my business warehouse where i don't have much time to mess with it. I hope to change that shortly and make some new progress reports.

Semper Fi
John
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:38 PM
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nose gear door photos .... Unable to upload I'll contact you by pMs
Semper Fi
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:49 PM
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I got sidetracked with a large business project. Also, i just got my CARF Spark back from a fresh paint job so i am multi-tasking at the moment. I hope to get going again next week and get something constructive done.

Semper Fi.
John
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:07 PM
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Joe, what radial gas engines did you get?
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:49 AM
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Finally finished re-constructing my CARF Spark jet and just waiting on fresh batteries to re-maiden it. Now I can get started on the Tigercat. Where are you at on yours Joe? I hope to get the flite skins ordered this week and get started on the wings and stab.
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:49 PM
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Scale crazy Saitio' 19R3 ....
Working on both had to relocate to the A/C Cool ,just got done balancing the electric BOY did I have to add weight to the tail about 3 pounds
Hope to get the maiden done this thursday am early while it still in the low 90's Summers can be a B*tch in Phoenix
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:55 PM
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You don't have to tell me about this heat. Lol. I work steel construction. Been in yuma the past 3 weeks...and still have about 7 to go. I'm leaning toward a pair of rcgf twin 30's. I'm interested on the power of those saito' s.
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