Monkee Shines – modified Thunder Tiger ‘Rare Bear’ F8F Bearcat (Retired)

Monkee Shines is a 1/12th scale Grumman F8F Bearcat, specifically, the Thunder Tiger ‘Rare Bear’ ARF.

I had a number of problems with the kit, the first of which was that Tower Hobbies sent me an email brochure advertising the plane with a brushless motor. The actual kit contained a brushed motor. Tower offered to take the plane back but I’d already started building so I kept it.

Next up was the foam. The plane I got is made of the softest foam I’ve ever seen. The vertical stabilizer literally would not stand up straight under its own power, but drooped over like a feather on a duck’s ass.

The foam is generally so soft that I left fingerprints in it when I worked to assemble it.

I epoxied a thin sheet of plywood between the two halves of the vertical stabilizer to give it some rigidity.

For the rest of the plane, I decided to try something new: “painting” the plane with colored packing tape. The tape actually adds noticeable rigidity to the airframe, and provides some protection as well. I like the shiny surface that results; the plane looks good on the ground and great in the air.

The plane offers no access to the battery compartment other than unbolting the wing, something I hate to do at the field. The interior is also completely sealed, with no ventilation at all. I cut some vents behind the cowling in the hopes of improving the situation inside.

A nose-in snapped the propeller shaft and, rather than fix it, I decided to take this opportunity to upgrade the plane to a brushless setup. Currently, Monkee Shines is running:

Power is provided by the same 1300mAh 3 cell batteries I use in my Radian glider and GWS Tiger Moth.

The new setup is actually a little heavier, once I’ve made a new motor mount. Its all-up weight (AUW) is now 550 grams, up from 528 grams before. Hopefully, the new motor will more than make up for that.

Stunt Monkey at the controls of his new plane.

Stunt Monkey and Hippy Horse are Whimzy Pets.

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2 Responses to Monkee Shines – modified Thunder Tiger ‘Rare Bear’ F8F Bearcat (Retired)

  1. Pingback: Ella – Hippy Horse’s personal GWS Tiger Moth 400 | Basement R/C

  2. Pingback: (Yet Another) crash of the F8F Bearcat “Monkee Shines” | Basement R/C

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