Mini Vapor and Tiger Moth


Ares Tiger Moth ready to fly RC model plane

Ares Tiger Moth ready to fly RC model plane

I recently purchased two ready to fly models, Horizon Hobby’s Mini Vapor and the Ares Tiger Moth. Both are interesting models and come from quite differing design perspectives. I look forward to the test flights when our indoor flying venue opens on Sept 16th.

My first impressions are positive. Both models are well made and very light weight. The Mini Vapor uses a lot of carbon rod technology and plastic film covering to achieve its weight goals. The Mini-Vapor uses a 30 milliamp lipo battery. This is one of the smallest batteries I have seen to date. As a general rule, you can get a good idea how serious the designer is by the size of the battery.

The Mini Vapor uses a ParkZone “brick” that combines the receiver, two linear servos and electronic speed control into one compact unit. The brick is located aft to ensure the correct center of gravity.

The Mini Vapor uses all-moving control surfaces which is a useful method for positive control with low flight speeds. There is even an airfoil shape via plastic ribs for the wing.

I made a short test hop in our indoor garage. The Mini Vapor handles well and will provide good practice on paying attention to slow flight characteristics. Learning how to handle an aircraft flying at low airspeeds is a skill sometimes not fully learned by the RC flying community.

Slow flight involves the use of pitch to control airspeed and throttle to gain or lose altitude. Becoming comfortable with slow flight, which is the flight regime for any takeoff or landing, makes you a better pilot. I’ll provide more information on the Mini-Vapor after I complete a few additional test flights.

The Tiger Moth is a great combination value with a 2.4 GHz transmitter, built in charger and a completely assembled aircraft. The Tiger Moth employs an actuator for rudder control and a liner servo for the elevator. The electric motor throttle is via an electronic speed control.

Mini Vapor RC model plane in flight

Mini Vapor in flight

A lot of thought went into the Tiger Moth ready to fly design. The aircraft is made from foam. The wings, struts, landing gear and lipo battery are all held in place with rare earth magnets. This is an innovative technique that I have not seen before.

The advantage of the magnets is their light weight while retaining the ability to allow a part of the aircraft to safely separate in the event of a bump into a wall or hard landing. Glue does not provide this option, while almost certainly adding more weight than the magnets.

The Tiger Moth’s wing incidence settings are precisely set in place via the length of the cabane struts. The foam wings have a well-defined airfoil shape.

All in all, two carefully designed ultra-light weight radio control models. More to follow!

I also added an updated video of my Electro Aviator RC model plane. The Electro Aviator is my second model aircraft design and was published in Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine.

The Electro Aviator is a good looking sport flyer and is an ideal first plans built aircraft. The construction is straightforward and you will be rewarded with an attractive model aircraft that flies well and stands out on the flight line. Purchase a set of CAD plans here.