Bill Dimpfl's Scale Tiger Moth
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[Photographs and text courtesy of Bill Archibald of the Lazy Loopers]

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The 1997 Lazy Looper Scale meet was graced with this graceful beauty by Bill Dimpfl of the Charles River Radio Control Club. Not in recent memory has a model drawn such (well deserved) attention from the usually blasť Loopers. The rail rats were over this like powder on a donut for a good hour as soon as Bill set it down.

The detail of the cockpits is the first and most blatant sign of excellent detailing. After the spectators absorbed the 1/6 scale gauges,pilots, levers, and compasses, Bill picked up the model and with a nudge of his hand demonstrated that all needles moved and the compasses accurately designated north.

But, the detail is not confined to the cockpits. Bill has accurately handcrafted insanely detailed wires, shackles, latches, and other fittings to complete a true 1/6.2 representation of the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth. The full scale version lives in Santa Paula, California and is owned by Dave Watson, who Bill points out was very helpful in supplying information.

This model is powered by an OS Surpass .48, weighs 7 lbs, and is controlled by a Futaba T6XA radio (Bill states, "Channel 5 operates the slots and Channel 6 operates the on board ignition threshold which is mixed with the throttle channel.")

Bill also states that this is a Pilot kit and all the fine scale details were manufactured from scratch. The scale flying wires were made from bladed bicycle spokes which were spliced to make the correct lengths. Stained glass techniques were used to make the glass windshields. The various shackles and latches were made from brass wire and sheet and silver braise.

The first contest this was entered, New England Scale, it was awarded third in Sportsman level. At the '97 Lazy Loopers Scale Meet it not only won first in the Early Era category but it was an extremely close second for "Spectators Choice - Best of Show". Many feel if the winds were lighter, a more stable flight would have earned enough votes to win. Bill has promised he will do some wind tunnel practicing to even his chances next time <grin>.

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