Tiger Moth Pedal Plane

Now that I have completed Allister's P-51 pedal plane, it seems a second pedal plane  is on order for William.  This time I will be building a Tiger Moth - a beautiful bi-plane used as a primary trainer used in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  I will finish it with the registration (#4080) of the Tiger Moth my Uncle Murray completed his first solo in on the way to getting his wings and becoming a decorated Bomber Command pilot in World War 2. The photo below is of a lovely Tiger Moth at a museum in Ontario.


January 5th 2007

The plans have been ordered from Aviation Products Inc  of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



August 27th 2007

With the dog-days of summer now here, I decided to pull out the plans I ordered back in January and start to get moving on building the Tiger Moth. Two weekends ago, I cut out out the plans and this past weekend started tracing cutting out the plywood pieces. The garage is a major mess but I was able to get enough room to work. I set up the picnic table again as a work bench and am away to the races.  Last evening I cut out the top and bottom wings and the rudder.   Allister's P51 is visible in the lower corner of the first photo.






September 16th 2007

Lots of progress the last 10 days since arriving back from Winnipeg.  All wooden parts are now cut out.  The fuselage sides have had the dado's cut and I have bent them appropriately using the iron and wet rags.   Assembly has now started with the fuselage and nose 'doubles' glued on and the many sections of 1/2 inch dowel added.  I also purchased a new sander for this project. I borrowed the neighbors for the P51 construction but decided that with a couple gift certificates from Home Depot that I should get my own for this project.  I also ordered the 'metal kit' and the various parts arrived this week as well. 






September 23rd 2007

This weekend I glued the top wings together using two plywood plates and some dowels. I didn't have a table saw to cut the correct angles as suggested so had to improvise with the sander. I also formed the fuel tank from a 3/4 piece of pine using the sander and some old fashioned hand sanding to get the final contour. I am now on the bottom wing and need to steam and bend the saw cuts you can see in the photo to create the dihedral for the lower wing. Although there are many similarities in construction with the P51, I am not coming across many new steps that need to be done for the Tiger.



September 28th 2007

All the preliminary work related to bending the lower wing and preparing the fuselage for assembly was completed and this morning the fuselage was glued together. 



October 6th, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.  Now that I am between contracts I have had a little more time to work on the Tiger the last 10 days.  I finished the fuselage construction including cutting out the door as well as adding the tail wheel support and the lower cowl.  The lower wing has been completed and attached to the fuselage for the first time for fitting.  Added the landing struts and the strut covers - where I made my first big mistake  - and had to redo both strut covers unfortunately.  The nose has been formed and attached to the fuselage and I have started the filling process (lots of plastic wood) to ensure a smooth transition from fuselage to nose.   I am now venturing onto the sheet metal work. I purchased these pieces pre-fabricated for the P51 but could not get them for the Tiger Moth. I am making final measurements with the patterns and will be ready to cut the aluminum next.  




October 8th, 2007

Thanksgiving weekend was a rainy affair and provided some good opportunity to get working on the aluminum fabrication.  The forward pieces are now complete.   Similar to the P51, the addition of the aluminum starts to bring the plane to life as it starts to resemble the real McCoy.  Holding he upper wing over the fuselage and lower wing and you can now start to see the emergence of a Tiger Moth. The garage is also starting to get cooler and so I am hoping to get as much done before the real cold weather sets in in November/December. 



November 23rd, 2007

A lot has happened since the last update.  I have had the opportunity to spend extra time on the Tiger as I have been between contracts.  We also spent 10 days in Hawaii in November so that balanced out some earlier progress that I had made in October.  It is now cold at night and the garage is not a fun place to be working. The painting is happening close to the minimum temperatures they recommend..   

Since the last photos, the entire plane has been assembled to ensure all the pieces fit together properly. All the struts were attached and both wings were fitted together.  Then the wings and metal components were removed, the struts removed, and the control stick and rear wheel were assembled. The metal pieces then went back on, the door was installed and the plane was finally ready for finishing.. I am in the process of putting the undercoat on many pieces and am also testing out one 'yellow' colour which will be the primary colour for this Tiger Moth to represent those used in the Commonwealth Air Traning Plan during World War II.. 

Temporary dowels are attached to the upper and lower wings to act as handles while painting and to provide support while they dry.


November 28th 2007

The serious painting has begun.  After several coats of sanding sealer the grey undercoat was sprayed onto all pieces.  With the primer completed I have started the final painting - a nice deep yellow the closely matches the colour of the RCAF Tiger Moths during World War 2.






November 30th 2007

Painting continues.  The upper and lower wings have now been completed, the interior of the fuselage has been sprayed a flat black,  the nose and landing gear struts a nice glossy black, and I am now onto the yellow (called Marigold) on the fuselage. 



December 2nd 2007

All major painting is now completed.  Final assembly has started followed by touch up painting and decals. 






December 4th 2007

Well, after about 3 1/2 months worth of work, I finally finished the Tiger Moth this evening.  In the end, it did go much faster than the P-51 Mustang that I built last fall. I tracked my time carefully and it took approximately 60 hours to build the Tiger Moth.  I was also much better organized and did not lose a month of time while I waited for the metal 'kit' parts that I purchased.  In some ways, the Tiger Moth was easier than the Mustang as there was no moving propeller assembly which was one of the more complicated items on the Mustang. On the other hand, with the Tiger Moth I fabricated my own sheet metal parts this time and being a bi-plane there was more complexity with regard to building the wooden struts.  Anyways, all that remains is for William to receive it on Christmas.  Final photos will be posted just after Christmas.