VQ BF-108 TAIFUN 63″ .60 EP/GP Review
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Review by Gunnar Hovmark, Staff Contributor
O.S. FS-95V four stroke glow engine
APC 14x8 Sport propeller
Spektrum DX6i transmitter
Spektrum AR610 receiver
Scrap pieces of Sullivan Gold-N-Rod pushrods
Zink tire balancing weights
Scrap pieces of 5 mm birch plywood
Futaba S3003 servos
Hitec HS-75BB retract servo
6 Volt 2000 mAh NiMH receiver battery
Power switch with Futaba charger connector
- Looks great
- Smooth and steady flyer
- The printed covering adds scale appearance
- Strange routing of the tail pushrod tubes
- Ugly plastic fairings for the tail
- I still haven't figured out how to make the landing gear doors stay in place
I got this model by chance. A friend of mine had started assembling it several years ago, but was distracted by other things that he thought were more important, like having small children. Finally he decided to sell the model cheap, and I grabbed the opportunity. All this means that this plane is about eight years old. When I look at the on-line manual for the models that are made now it looks like nothing has changed, but apparently a battery hatch has been added, so electric conversion should be a lot easier now than on my model.
I'm a great fan of electric models, but this time I decided to go for a glow engine, mainly because the electric conversion kit for the eight years old model looked like it was thrown in at the last minute without much thought. Also, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with a modern four stroke glow engine.
The VQ Models Messerschmitt Taifun is an ARF, so most of the work is already done when you open the box. What's left is to attach the stabilizer and its struts to the fuselage, glue the hinges and control surfaces in place, add the pilot and canopy and install the radio, tank and engine. And the most tricky part, to get the landing gear doors in the proper position and make them stay there. I still haven't succeeded, so you're on your own there.
The manual recommends that you put the engine sideways, i.e. with the top of the engine going through the side of the cowl, but I decided that it would look much better with the engine inverted. It turned out that the cowl and firewall are almost ideally shaped for an inverted O.S. FS-95V if you put the engine about 2 mm further foward than the manual says. I had to Dremel a hole in the side of the cowl for the muffler, but I think that looks OK.
The model comes with metal pushrods for the tail, but the tubes for the pushrods bend so much near the tail that the metal pushrods can hardly move in them. Fortunately I had enough scrap pieces of Sullivan Gold-N-Rods so I could cut the metal rods shorter and then add Gold-N-Rods for the last part near the tail. I also use a Gold-N-Rod for the throttle.
There are some plastic fairings for the stabilizer struts and the tail pushrods, but I decided that everything looks much better without them.
Getting CG in the position recommended in the manual required 284 grams of ballast in the nose. I glued zink tire balancing weights to a couple of 5 mm birch plywood pieces and screwed those to the motor mount as far forward as possible. I balanced my Messerschmitt with the tank completely dry. That may have made it just a tiny bit nose heavy, but I dont mind that. Better nose heavy than tail heavy.
According to my bathroom scale the Messerschmitt weighs 4.0 kg without fuel.
A plane of this size and weight needs a proper takeoff run and a smooth rotation and climbout. Don't force the takeoff. I've done that and had to make repairs afterwards. (When will I learn?) Once you're airborne you will find that this is a smooth and steady flyer, and quite fast, and it looks great in the air. Mine flies perfectly with all trims neutral, and I can't notice any trim change when I extend the flaps. As you will see in my video it floats quite far in the landing. The retracts look a little weak, but so far they have held up nicely. The landing gear doors on the other hand have fallen off at every other landing. Still working on that. I've made a few loops and rolls and that works fine. Not any more aerobatics so far.
The sound of the O.S. engine suits this model perfectly.
A beautiful model that looks very ”scale” both on the ground and in the air. Not for beginners, but if you have some experience and want a scale model this is a good choice.
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