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Dom Smith F7F-3 Tigercat

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Andy the 100" plan is massive and yes 1 it would cost a fortune to build and 2 I have no space big enough to build it,

I have paid out a fair bit to have it scanned to pdf and then printed should be ready this week.

Chris thanks for the link such a graceful plane. Not short of inspiration been watching videos studying pics for quite some time now

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have searched and search for build lots for Dom Smith,s Tigercat haven't found much but the general rule is the plan outlines are accurate but lacks detail of guidelines ,the build requires plenty of forward planning and study also no standard retracts will fit the leg moves through 120degrees , so I need to build my own somehow . Anyway fuselage formers are marked out and cut the nacelle formers are traded and marked out it helps to have the pdf plans so I can print out sections as needed and keep the plan clean.

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Posted by Eric Robson on 02/09/2020 22:11:17:

Looking forward to this one Martian, a great looking plane, Seen the full size flying at Duxford in the 1990's don't know if it is still about.

the duxford based TFC tigercat went back tot he states a good few years ago cant remember when but probably more than i care to remember , think Stephen grey sold it due to multi engines / his age on pilots license ( i think )


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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has been made ,the problem is every stage has to be processed by careful thought to the following steps there are no guidelines for this plan it is assumed the builder will be able to overcome any difficulties. Anybody want some pictures of progress so far ?

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Hi Martian, hope you are keeping well and of course post as many photos as you can of every stage!

It would be great to see the trials and tribulations as I fully appreciate (as with the Focke Ta 154 build) that a simple decision in the early days (3 piece wings) can come back to provide a hole bunch of challenges later on.

….please post photos ASAP, laugh

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I wonder how much it would cost to get the formers and ribs laser cut? I think I'd be tempted to cheat with the retracts, mounting standard mechanical or preferably electric noseleg units higher up with long legs to get the wheels in the right place when extended. It would mean extending the wheel bays to accommodate the longer legs when retracted but unless you are going full on scale who would notice? Otherwise it's out with the tinsnips wink

Definitely let us know how you get on, I suspect there will be a few areas like the wing mount and wheel wells where you will be finishing the planking then removing unwanted segments.

It's just like the Keilkraft Flying Scale rubber powered models, just bigger laugh

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Yes Chris a clamshell build including the fin

Hi Bob I liked the idea of going au naturel with this build so everything hand cut I,m not in a hurry. I am going to do my best to build as near scale retracts as possible with the help of my daughter's engineering skill he has his own business in fabrication and engineering complete with CNC and Lathe I have an engineering drawing of the Tigercat although it won,t be easy.

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Well the fuselage complete with fin and rudder are built in 2 halves clamshell-like it is alien to me except for as Bob says the early KielKraft builds which I have done a few.

more pics. Having the plans in pdf as well means I can play jigsaws first taping the sheets of paper together then cutting out the formers.


now to pritt stick the paper formers to selected sheet balsa in order to keep weight down I have dev iated from the called for balsa size down to 2.6 mm instead of 3.4mm


ready for the scroll saw and disc sander first sheet


Using graphite carbon paper and tracing tool to mark out the rear top crutch


Fittingly a box of formers including nacelle formers in the Italeri Tigercat box lid


plan pinned down and she starts to rise of the board (I had to make an extra long building board)


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Slowly gluing the formers in place you should be able to make out the tailplane seat in place


I should have mentioned the spines are laid down first they are half sawned to allow bending to shape then smeared with glue also I,m using two types of Gorilla glue PU for ply to balsa and ply to ply and the Gorilla wood glue both of which I have had success with.

Wing seat in place all glue with wing mounting plate cutout ready it had to be done now or it would be impossible later .spacers were used to hold it in place



the red lines are where to wing mounting hatch is cut out later after sheeting.


closer look at the tail end


closer look at part of the wing seat and mounting plate cutout


former 8 has a strip of bals to provide temporary support this and former 9 are fitter after the wing seat is in place otherwise it cannot be slid in place its the mid cockpit former


first five formers are in place 1/8th beech ply


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Thanks Eric yes a lot of formers 28 per side was slow work cutting them. The retract angle is about 120 degrees so no standard retracts will work ,for the 100inch Tigercat built in the States he commissioned a guy to build him a set i dread to think of the cost ,

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The build moves slowly on

lying on the board like a flesh less shark. Spruce spars in place all formers now in place



formers 9A and 15A that form the hatch ends with old gift cards as spacer


There is no provision on the plan for tailplane support so I have outlined the shape which will bond to the outer skin and be cut open when of the board



The same for the main wing



shaped flush with formers



planking has started using soft 2.5mm soft balsa




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not exactly steaming ahead but one half of the fuselage is planked as far as possible this includes half of the fin. it is now a mutant turtle in a half shell. the half has been fitted with a number of support pegs matched in length with a simple jig and lifted of the board following pics of progress.












simple peg jig


Edited By Martian on 12/10/2020 16:21:36

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