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Ivan Pettigrew's Mosquito 480 build.

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Robin Etherton10/03/2017 11:36:19
260 forum posts
41 photos

Due to the inclement fly weather lately my winter build of a Gentle Lady finished earlier than expected so thoughts turned to a further bulld.

Having found the build blogs of others so helpful I thought I would give it a go.

I haven't built a scale model for some considerable time but from a recent blog was drawn towards a Mosquito, but which one?

Eventuallly settled on the titled one form Ivan Pettigrew ( or more affectionally known as low-tech Ivan).

A very helpful man who not only supplied the plan at a very reasonable cost but included lots of extra build info by email.

Thought I would start with the most tedious part the retracts and get them over with.

Made a lot simpler and cheaper by incorporating electric retracts from Hobbyking, recommended by Ivan.

Here they are below. Tested out fine, nice and slow and positive.


An absolute pig to bend the wire but once that is done it all goes together easily.

Next job the wings.

lightning 75910/03/2017 11:44:26
148 forum posts
10 photos

will watch with interest couple of Ivan's project's I wondered about , one day might get round to it


Robin Etherton10/03/2017 19:53:46
260 forum posts
41 photos

Started to cut out photocopies of the wing ribs to,use as templates this evening. Becoming evident that this is not a beginners build. There is quite a lot of detail missing from the aileron construction and a fair amount of interpolation needed on the wing construction. Makes for an interesting build.

The plan shows a single aileron servo operating the ailerons through a couple of bell cranks.

As suggested by Ivan himself I will be replacing these by a mini servo in each wing. Much simpler and lighter.

Not lighter but more suited to our grass patch I will be sheeting the whole wing rather than just cap strips.

Percy Verance10/03/2017 20:31:20
7918 forum posts
152 photos

I'll also be watching with interest Robin, but not because it's a warbird, but because it's an Ivans Plans design. For some time now I've pondered over one of Ivan's designs, and he certainly has a good choice of subjects from which to choose. There are also a few links to various builds on his site. Ivan has a reputation of designing lightweight models that fly extremely well, and he does touch on the fact that since most of the designs were first built and flown, electric flight technology has moved on quite a way with both brushless motors and lipo battery packs. Many of Ivan's designs first flew with quite large sub C packs, so one may assume there will be a weight saving there over the original.

Take your time Robin, and good luck with the build! 

Edited By Percy Verance on 10/03/2017 20:33:05

Robin Etherton10/03/2017 21:32:05
260 forum posts
41 photos

Yes Percy. Some good points there which I will be taking advantage of to beef up a few things here and there.

One of the sets of info Ivan provides with the plan is updated power trains, batteries etc.

The lack of wood in the design puts me in mind of a control line stunt model called Nimrod by Jim Mannel. When you study that plan you begin to understand why it was so light.

Trevor10/03/2017 21:55:32
349 forum posts
51 photos

Nice to hear of another Ivan build. You do realise Robin that you are now a member of BIMBO!

Edited By Trevor on 10/03/2017 21:58:09

Robin Etherton10/03/2017 22:10:41
260 forum posts
41 photos

I am honoured.

Trevor11/03/2017 08:29:11
349 forum posts
51 photos

Robin, there will be a BIMBO fly-in in Leicestershire over the weekend of 28th-30th July this year. It's a relaxed, informal affair for modellers interested in Ivan's designs and design approach. If you are interested, contact me by PM, or e-mail from my website and I'll arrange for you to be sent more details.



Robin Etherton17/03/2017 15:49:30
260 forum posts
41 photos

Trevor, thank you. Will put this on the back burner for now.

On with the build.

The wing incorporates a build up trailing edge and an "I" beam full span main spar. Quite unusual in my experience but gives a stiff core to the wing.

You may remember I will be placing the aileron servos in the wing so holes have been bored in the inner ribs to allow for the extra wiring.

Looked on line for a suitable dremel attachment for this job but ended up making a small cutter out of half an eyelet I had left over from a groundsheet job. Works very well and produces a nice clean cut.

Latest progress shown below.



Have ordered a couple of emax ES 08 MA II servos for the ailerons.

An enjoyable build so far.

Robin Etherton06/05/2017 10:39:18
260 forum posts
41 photos

The wing is now taking shape and it's beginning to look more like a model.


Robin Etherton06/05/2017 10:42:29
260 forum posts
41 photos

Ailerons are cut from the main body of the wing and then built up from there. A new one on me but it seems to work.



Robin Etherton06/05/2017 11:00:59
260 forum posts
41 photos

Now starting to add the motor fairings. They are starting to build up nicely, but the retracting wheels took a bit of fiddling to get lined up properly. Remembering that I will probably need to remove them at some time after finishing the model I attacked the side supports of the retract units with a dremel to sand out a semi-circular access.


Not very neat, but it will be hiiden by the motor cowling.

Beginning to shape up.



Now choking on the balsa dust so will probably start on the other nacel.

So far a very interesting build and although it's only a starter scale model I am liking it very much.

Should keep me busy for a few months.

Looking at two Turnigy park 450 's for the power units turning 9 x 6 inch props. If anyone has any better ideas/ experience please feel free to comment.

Ivan put the esc's in the motor pods but wary of the problems this is reported to cause I will probably extend the motor to battery wires. Again any experience/advice welcomed if it stops me messing things up.

Chris Walby06/05/2017 11:57:52
907 forum posts
220 photos

Hi, Great job and watching with interest.

Parkzone put the ESC's in the wing radiator cowl (between motor and fuselage) the benefit is cooling, and short ESC leads depending on where the lipo needs to go.

BH mossie's have the ESC's in the motor cowl which makes location/cooling a little more problematical + battery to ESC leads are long (its generally preferred to extend motor leads not the battery/ESC leads, but that's another debate!

Putting the ESC's in the fuselage will give you cooling issues and not gain much!

PS Both BH & Parkzone have their lipos very far forward in the fuselage so it might be worth keeping an eye on the CofG or you might have to add lead.

Robin Etherton06/05/2017 13:59:10
260 forum posts
41 photos

Thanks for the heads up on cooling Chris.

Jury's still out on which way to go though.

Fortunately can delay decision until later.

In my opinion lead is the devil's food and should be avoided at all costs. I would rather poke my eyes out with pins than add lead to a model.


Robin Etherton06/05/2017 14:15:17
260 forum posts
41 photos


All this electricary confuses me.

What I meant to say was indeed to extend motor to esc leads in my original post.

So I will have esc's, receiver and battery in fuselage with just the motors in the pods.

Hope this makes sense.


Trevor06/05/2017 14:43:31
349 forum posts
51 photos

I've seen all configurations work successfully so don't fret too much Robin! My preference is always to put the ESCs and battery in the fuselage and run the motor wires out to the nacelles. As long as you leave enough headroom in the ESCs' current rating (e.g. If the motors pull about 20a each at full throttle go for 30a ESCs), cooling shouldn't be an issue - there is enough air inside the fuselage so as long as it can convect around the ESCs you aren't going to heat it all up in a 10minute flight. Don't though swathe the ESCs in sticky tape, Velcro or foam padding, as I have seen done!

Keep up the good work!


Chris Walby06/05/2017 14:50:48
907 forum posts
220 photos


Sorry to confuse you, but I would go the other way!

Battery in fuselage (positioned as far forward + build it light at the tail end!)

ESC's in wings or behind motors/in wheel wells, go for a slightly larger ESC (max current) and you should be okay.

There is a long running debate about which leads should be extended or not, but according to a professional contact who makes ESC's, motors etc, they designed the issue out years ago! So don't worry + both of my mossies PZ & BH have extended battery to ESC leads and not had any issues.

I think you will find a lack of room in the fuselage once the battery and RX are in there + trying to keep the ESC cool as well

Robin Etherton06/05/2017 15:32:11
260 forum posts
41 photos

Thanks guys all information gratefully received.

To be quite honest I would prefer to put the esc's next to the motors but was scared off by the doom mongers when i googled it. I will definitely go for the larger esc whichever way I go.

Parts for the second nacelle being cut out right now.

Robin Etherton23/09/2017 15:45:19
260 forum posts
41 photos

Been a while since I have done any work on the Mosquito. Got a bit distracted by a 3d printer. Wonderful bit of kit but of limited actual use, a real boys toy.

Anyway back on the job now and the wing is progressing quite well. Both motor nacelles have been sheeted and I am starting on the wing. Have decided to completely sheet the wing for strength and durability. Will just do the top to start with so I can get all the wiring sorted.

Haven't bought the motors yet so when the top is completed will move on to the fuselage or tailplane.


Robin Etherton08/11/2017 20:27:14
260 forum posts
41 photos

67078228-f8cc-4570-9093-cb88ce276436.jpegGoing quite slowly, as still distracted by 3d printing a complete model but made a start on the fuselage tonight.

A simple build so far.

Looks plenty of room for the electronics.

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