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de Havilland Aeronatical Technical School T.K. 4 from 1937

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john stones 112/10/2016 22:09:00
9346 forum posts
1428 photos

Looks a lot of fun Timo yes

Danny Fenton12/10/2016 23:10:27
8489 forum posts
3443 photos

Looks fabulous, and sits very well in the air, well done Timo

Timo Starkloff01/11/2016 12:58:01
231 forum posts
545 photos

Autumn is here and time for flying nearly over. So I started working on the last open topics.

Pilots in 1/4 scale are either too expensive or not looking suitable for a plane of the 30s. So I have to try to make a pilot on my own for the first time. The result after an hour of cutting and carving is a bit raw but already looking fine. Now I'll have to refine the figure to make it more similar to Mr. Waight who flew the TK4 in 1937.

The other tasks are finishing the cooling duct to get some air flow for cooling the motor and completing the landing gear bay.







Mike T01/11/2016 18:32:05
323 forum posts
26 photos

Thanks Timo, for sharing your build of an absolutely fascinating (and superb!) model. It has a fair turn of speed - as befits a racer!

In some earlier pics, you showed the retracts, which look to be well engineered - can you tell us the make/model, please?

Timo Starkloff02/11/2016 17:58:44
231 forum posts
545 photos

Hello Mike

The retracts are from a small German company "Kenner Einziehfahrwerke". I used one of the prototypes of the el-030. It is designed for a model weight of up to 3kg.


Important for me was the low height of only 20mm, suitable for a thin racer wing. I have two planes with Giezendanner retracts, but these are too thick. But they work flawlessly so an electrical landing gear was a must. After some internet research I decided not to use a cheap Chinese landing gear. Many seem to have problems with a higher landing speed or have weak steel. From Kenner I already purchased bent wires for a fixed front wheel of another plane and these were of high quality.


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 02/11/2016 17:59:32

Mike T04/11/2016 13:13:45
323 forum posts
26 photos

Thanks again, Timo! yes

Timo Starkloff19/11/2016 19:25:14
231 forum posts
545 photos

I worked further on the cooling channel. I'm not sure how good this will work, it's a the weak point of my design since the last brushless motors (in smaller models) worked fine without any cooling. The motor didn't get too hot on the flights, but I want to get the temperature down a bit in case I make longer high power flights.


Cockpit green for the landing gear bay.


Sprayed the spinner, because the original one was silver too (despite the white line on the fuselage).


Refined the looks of the pilot a bit...


... and applied two layers of balsa filler to get the foam structure closed (thinned with water). Worked well on a sample piece. After that I apply thick white colour as priming.


Timo Starkloff23/11/2016 20:29:11
231 forum posts
545 photos

I added two layers of thick water based white colour (normally used for room painting), which results in a smooth surface. Applying colour is done in short time, but afterwards you always have to wait a complete day.


Flight Global archives proved to be useful again. I already collected some pictures of Robert Waight, but only recognized details when working on the puppet. All pictures show him with a suit and tie (even students had ties and shirts when airbrushing the TK4). But for Kings Cup he had a tie with stripes. Quick try with Google and the words "tie" and "1937" showed coloured results of original advertisments. And a small movie clip of the race explained the meaning of the white ribbon at his arm, it's either Competitor or Competition.

These are minor details, but it's interesting how much information is available on that small plane with such a short existence.



262_flight 1937 - 2571.jpg




When applying the paint, I quickly add dark colour to the grooves and mix it with the basic paint as long as it is wet. The effect is nice because it helps to highlight the structure.





It took some time to get the pilot finished, but I'm really satisfied with the result!


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 23/11/2016 20:30:10

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 23/11/2016 20:30:35

john stones 123/11/2016 21:47:26
9346 forum posts
1428 photos

Excellent Timo, he's a good head of hair on him wink

Timo Starkloff28/12/2016 19:12:46
231 forum posts
545 photos

Getting a bit more personal with an individual pilot

I worked further on landing gear and cockpit.

Wooden discs are glued with normal bath silicon to the wheels (I hope that will stick also in rough landings). The landing gear itself is now covered with thin plywood.
And the cockpit instruments got some details. I had some good pictures of the fresh rebuild red Mew Gull to complement the few details of the original TK4. I found out that the single instrument on the TK4 cockpit was for the motor pressure.







Edited By Timo Starkloff on 28/12/2016 19:14:35

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 28/12/2016 19:15:27

Timo Starkloff22/01/2017 16:35:48
231 forum posts
545 photos

I finally finished the last details of the TK4. I added two more magnets to the accumulator hatch, put the new and final canopy in place with ZAP 560 (which I used for the first time), changed the position of the motor controller so that the heatsink is looking outwards, closed the motor compartment and some other minor things.

A flying test didn't happen because there was too much snow for the small wheels. But the contrast of white snow and red colour provided some good pictures.







Edited By Timo Starkloff on 22/01/2017 16:42:16

Timo Starkloff22/01/2017 16:38:36
231 forum posts
545 photos

More work has to be done now on the drawings to finish the plan.


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 22/01/2017 16:41:08

McG 696923/01/2017 16:43:08
2071 forum posts
884 photos

Congratulations, Timo.

A fantastic result after a great build... yes cocktail



Timo Starkloff09/08/2017 20:38:38
231 forum posts
545 photos

I haven't posted something new since quiet some time. I'm still working on the plan from time to time.

And I have been to a nice rc model meeting in Switzerland, called "Eigenbautreffen Huttwil". Only people with models built after plans or self constructed. I have to post an own thread about that, it was a great weekend.

And since one week we are back from three great weeks of holiday in England (London, Somerset and Devon with Exmoor and Dartmoor, this time). An unforgettable day was the visit of the de Havilland Museum in Hatfield. Very special because we've been there together with two former apprentices and employees of de Havilland and Handley Page, a personal and friendly contact I got through the TK4 project. But more about that also on another day.

In the museum I found a book about the planes of the Technical School. It's amazing that I still find more information about the TK4 and the background of that plane.

And there was a tool box, which was the first wooden project of the apprentices. Would be interesting, when my actual plastic tool box wears out.

Regards, Timo

Flying pictures are from Uwe Puchtinger, FMT









Timo Starkloff16/09/2017 17:23:19
231 forum posts
545 photos

I still need time for cutting the videos. Actually I'm busy with the plan and article. But here are some preview pictures taken inflight by a camera qadrocopter!

I already made glass fibre landing gear doors. If there's time this winter, I will install them. Will look much better in the landing approach.







Colin Leighfield17/09/2017 07:26:54
5403 forum posts
2219 photos

What an amazing project and a wonderful model of a plane that you might expect to be difficult in the air. It says a lot about your piloting skills Timo. This is the kind of project I like. There are so many fascinating planes that sadly aren't well known and this is the way to bring them to people's attention and show what they looked like in the sky.

Nigel Dell17/09/2017 10:52:52
317 forum posts
23 photos


I can never tire of seeing this model, a great project and I am biased as one of my favourite times in aviation history are the between the wars racing designs, I drew the Miles M13 Hobby Hawk years ago at around 1/3 scale IIRC and I may just dig those out again as you have rekindled my interest in doing it after I have finished some I am in the middle of!

The colour scheme was easy, it was either red oxide primer with natural aluminium cowl or crimson overall with 'U2' in cream on the rear fuselage sides.

Thanks for sharing this.

Timo Starkloff26/09/2017 08:12:16
231 forum posts
545 photos

Hello Colin and Nigel

thanks, I agree that writing and publishing is the way to keep memories of interesting planes and their stories alive.

Last weekend at an model airshow I've met someone who started building a TK2, also in 1/4 scale. That would be great to have both racers flying together.

It would be also great to follow a building thread for the Miles Hobby. I only found this plane when searching information for the TK4. The Hobby must have been slower if it participated due to the bigger size and thicker wing. But as a rc model it must fly perfect. Short and deep wings combined with a long fuselage and big tail are always a pleasure to fly.

I'll add more pictures in the future, the story is not closed yet


Timo Starkloff16/10/2017 21:07:14
231 forum posts
545 photos

With the plan nearing completion, I try to improve some remaining habits. When applying power in the air, the nose goes down a bit. Not dangerous, but something to be aware of when you need to go around.

And you have to trim elevator for different speeds. Also not critical, but not nice when you want to make a real low level pass.

After much thinking and discussing with two friends and a few test flights, the solutions are quiet easy. A bit of upwards thrust for the motor and attaching two small trim tabs to the elevator. And it flies like a new plane! Really stable now at all speeds it’s huge fun to fly low, both slow and fast. Now I think that others will manage to build and fly the TK4, too.



Timo Starkloff19/10/2017 21:04:59
231 forum posts
545 photos

Yesterday a colleague brought his Beta Major to our airfield.


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