Ares Tiger Moth 75

 

Full scale Tiger Moth in flight

Full scale Tiger Moth in flight

The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is an open cockpit British biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland in the 1930s. The Tiger Moth was flown by the Royal Air Force as a primary flight trainer through the early 1950s when it was replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk.


The British produced over 7,000 Tiger Moths. The Tiger Moth today remains a popular civil recreational aircraft in use around the world. The aircraft is of particular interest to pilots wanting to sharpen their skills flying a tail dragger aircraft.

The Ares Tiger Moth

Ares has created a remarkable micro-sized ready to fly radio control variant of the classic Tiger Moth. The docile handling characteristics of this trainer make for an ideal RC model airplane candidate.

Rear view of the Ares Tiger Moth 75

Rear view of the Ares Tiger Moth 75

The Ares Tiger Moth 75 comes fully assembled and ready for flight. All you need to do is install the supplied AA batteries into the transmitter, charge the 50 mAh lipo flight battery via the built-in transmitter charger and go fly. It is as easy as that.

The Tiger Moth is a small model. It has an 11.4 inch wingspan, a length of 10.8 inches and weighs an astonishing half an ounce, or 14 grams. This one of the lightest RC models I have flown. The pioneering ParkZone Cessna 210 came in at 18 grams which was unheard of with a ready to fly three channel RC plane at the time.

Tiger Moth wing airfoil detail

Tiger Moth wing airfoil detail

The Tiger Moth 75 is constructed with lightweight shaped foam. The aircraft is carefully designed from every aspect. The wings employ a complex cambered airfoil shape and are held at the exact incidence angle with the fuselage cabane struts.

Magnetic connection scheme

Aircraft components are held in place with tiny rare earth magnets. The lower wing, four wing struts, landing gear and lipo battery all click and are held precisely into place via the magnets. This is a great design feature in the event of a crash or midair. The wings and landing gear can safely pop off undamaged and be quickly reinstalled

The Tiger Moth 75 uses three channels of control for elevator, rudder and throttle. There are no ailerons. The large rudder has more than enough authority to maneuver the aircraft as tightly as desired.

The aircraft designers elected to use a single proportional linear servo for the elevator and a magnetic actuator for the rudder. This unique approach was employed to minimize weight. The rudder’s actuator is a bit new to some modelers but works fine. Without a servo the rudder is free to flop back and forth before the aircraft is powered up. Once the lipo battery is plugged in the rudder’s actuator responds to transmitter inputs for smooth turns.

Tiger Moth 75 and 2.4 GHz transmitter

Tiger Moth 75 and 2.4 GHz transmitter – note 50 mAh lipo battery plugged into the transmitter’s built in charger

There is no access to the radio control electronics buried inside the fuselage. All of the components are carefully installed and I do not see any need to open up the fuselage to view either the electronics or the electric motor.

It may seem a bit odd to not preflight these flight control devices. But with the Tiger Moth’s minimal interior space considerations this is the best approach. There really is no need for inspection or adjustments.

Purchase the Tiger Moth

Tiger Moth 75 in flight

Tiger Moth 75 in flight

I purchased the Tiger Moth directly from Ares. Do a Google search for “Buy Ares Tiger Moth 75.” I elected to go with the full package that included the 2.4 GHz transmitter with build in lipo battery charger. The total price was around $90 which is remarkable value in my book.

The one item that caught me by surprise was the low charge state of the supplied AA batteries. I installed the four batteries into the transmitter and charged the 50 mAh lipo battery. Once I turned on the transmitter a loud and constant beeping sound occurred.


The comprehensive Instruction Manual read that the beeps indicated the transmitter battery power levels were too low for safe flight. I replaced the supplied batteries with fresh ones and the problem was fixed.

The aircraft’s 50 mAh lipo battery has two magnetic attachment points. You can use the battery placement to adjust the aircraft’s center of gravity. After my first test flight the Tiger Moth seemed slightly tail heavy. I moved the battery to the forward attachment point and the airplane handled a lot better.

I recommend that your first flights with the Ares Tiger Moth take place in a larger flying area such as a gym. Until you are familiar with the handling characteristics of the aircraft do not attempt first flights in a living room.

I was extremely impressed with the ease of flight with this remarkable micro-sized RC model airplane. The Tiger Moth took off and demonstrated that it had plenty of power. The elevator and rudder provided full control authority. There were no issues with a prompt liftoff and the first turn out of traffic.

Detail of the Tiger Moth's rudder actuator

Detail of the Tiger Moth’s rudder actuator

The plane was slightly out of trim. I circled back to land and added some up elevator and left rudder trim. After that the model just about flew hands off.

The Tiger Moth is an enjoyable model to fly. I will also say, without hesitation, that the Moth is an honest airplane. I quickly felt at ease flying this remarkable aircraft. There were no hints of the aircraft improperly responding to the control inputs. Touch and go landings were smooth and predictable. The Moth looks great in the air with its realistic appearance, has plenty of power for scale like maneuvers and is simply a pleasure to fly.

I would not describe the Tiger Moth 75 as a trainer aircraft. As discussed earlier the plane is a straightforward flyer with no bad habits. But the model is small and flies fairly quickly. There is not a lot of time to react if you make a wrong control input.

Once you are comfortable with flying a faster sport indoor model plane go ahead and give the Ares Tiger Moth a try. I look forward to many more flights with this remarkable ready to fly micro RC model airplane.

Author: Gordon McKay