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4D by Tufflight

2265 Views 19 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  latch66
The 4D by Tufflight is suppose to be a near indestructable 3D bird. The 4th "D" comes from the fact it is reputed to be very "durable'.

The 4D is to allow the beginner 3D pilot to be able to practice their manuvers down low without the fear of destroying the bird in a crash. But, it must also be said that the 4D is NOT a "trainer" for a first time RC pilot. It's for the experienced RC pilot who wants to take that step into 3D flight, but not spend a lot of time in the shop repairing airplanes.

It's also being targeted at 3D pilots who want a durable bird to work out that new manuver down on the deck without a worry.

I have gotten my hands on a "Deluxe" version of the kit and I'd like to share my impressions of the kit, the build, and how it flies.
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This is my first kit from Tufflight.

I've heard of them before. Tufflight makes combat airplanes which have a reputation for being extremely durable. It looks like they have taken their "crash-resistance" knowledge and applied it to the 3D field for the first time.

I have seen some of Tufflight's videos. One video in particular is of one of their combat birds flatspinning into the ground and immediately taking off again. Looked pretty cool to me!!
First Impressions:

I must say, when Tufflight says "Deluxe" they aren't kidding. Apart from building tools, covering, glues, motor, and your radio equipment, you don't need anything else. This is literally only what you will need to add.

Some of the unexpected items the "Deluxe" kit includes are:
1. Aluminum Spinner nut (DuBro style)
2. 8 oz Fuel Tank (Hayes)
3. Pull - Pull Cables (Sullivans?)
4. Control Horns (DuBro)
5. Nyrods (Sullivan?)
6. (2) Master Airscrew 11 x 4 props (Not my personal choice, but good enough for the beginner 3D pilot)(Don't get me wrong, I'll use them!)
7. (2) 3inch foam wheels
8. Clevis' (Sullivan)
9. Fuel Tubing
10. Zip Strips
11. Wheel Collars
12. And of course, all the parts you will need to build the kit.
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First Impressions Continued:

Immediate Likes, Dislikes, and Concerns

1. The wing is EPP Foam. This stuff is tough. It will definitely kick the "durability" rating up.
2. The wing is a "triple taper" design.
3. Tufflight added a "Scale Profile" fus. design which IMO looks better than the old design. Tufflight claims you will lose some Knife-Edge performance with the Scale Profile fus. But you will gain some in the tumbling manuvers.
4. The instructions are great! Some of the best I've seen in RC.
5. The Fuel Tank is centered on the CG.
6. It has a "full-flying" Horizontal and Vertical Stab. That is there is no elevator or rudder. The entire horizontal and vertical stab are the control surface.
7. It looks like Tufflight has addressed the one problem I have always seen with most "durable" airplanes and that is the aluminum C-channel fus. The 4D uses a precut whiffle bat. Yep, that's what it is a whiffle bat. Even says it on the side. There is also a wood dowel insert that goes in it.

The problem with an Al C-channel fus. is that in some manuvers, the horizontal tail is not in the same plane as the wing. As an example, at a single point in a fast aileron roll, the wing may be 90 degrees to the ground, but the tail may be only 80 degrees to the ground. Every airplane I have flown with an Al C-channel fus. has had this problem. From the Durastick, Durabat, to my QHOR. The way around the problem has always been to let the plane fly straight for a second before you do the next manuver. Otherwise really wierd stuff starts to happen.

Flight testing will prove or disprove this one.

1. The servos and battery have to be glued in place. This will make any kind of maintenance a headache.
2. To install the rudder, elevator, and throttle servo per the instructions you will need to remove the mounting tabs.

1. The wing looks a little on the "thin-side" to me. This may just be me and the proof of the bird will be in the air.
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I've got to show yall this!

This is one of the coolest things in the kit.

It's on page 43 of the instructions...........


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The main thing that really strikes you is that this kit will not build like any stick bird.

The Glues alone are very different, and Tufflight is very clear in the instructions about what glues can be used. In some cases there is no glue substitute.

Here are the glues.
1. 3M77
2. Household Goop
3. ProBond (it has another name now, Elmers Ultimate Polyurethane Glue) (I like "ProBond' alot better!)

Of these glues only the "Household Goop" have I not used before.


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A little advice on glues......particularly ProBond.

When it comes to ProBond, buy the smallest bottle you can get. This stuff does not have a shelf life.

Also, it uses water to activate. That's why Tufflight will have you spray down the areas to be glued with a little water. Just make it damp. Not soaked.

Don't forget either......A little goes a LONG way with ProBond. You do not need much of this stuff.

Last but not least. If you've never used ProBond before, don't get ahead of yourself. Glue just one thing and let it dry before you glue anything else with the ProBond. ProBond will expand as it dries and foam up. You will want to wipe away as much of this foam as possible. When ProBond dries it is very hard. These "hunks" of foam once dry can be cut away or sanded away. But its a whole lot easier to remove it while it is drying than to remove it by any other method.


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Nice review latch Ive wandered how these things fly but never really heard that much about them. How do you think the full flying elavater/rudder will hold up if they get bumped good? Seems like that could be a weakness.
Only "impact" testing will tell dhooks.

The full flying stabs are coro cut to size and they use a solid CF rod to be the pivot shaft. The outer shaft is brass tubing.
Shouldnt you have finished that burrito before started this???? :lol:

They are side by side on the building board as we speak!!!

Just a little more Graphics on the Buritto!

My goal is to bring both to Nashville (along with a few others).
Ive been flying my 4D since March. I have beat the shit out of this plane and its just now to the point that im going to have to do some maintenance. When I take it to the field, people are still amazed by how durable it is. Any repair is cheap and can be done right at the field. Packing tape will fix the epp foam wing. Bamboo skewers hold the fuse halves together. And I made a few extra tail feathers. I have the old style 4D and I cant get mine to knife edge very good so Id say try the profile style. Ohh, and nylon 1/4-20 bolts for the breakaway motor mount. Broke those a few times. I for one, am very pleased with the 4D and Joe at Tufflight.
Hey latch how is this baby holding up? Also hows it fly?
dhooks said:
Hey latch how is this baby holding up? Also hows it fly?
If I am not mistaken the 4D that latch has went in at the Nashville pro bro on the asphalt with minimal damage.
That would be totally tuff then.
RJohnson said:
dhooks said:
Hey latch how is this baby holding up? Also hows it fly?
If I am not mistaken the 4D that latch has went in at the Nashville pro bro on the asphalt with minimal damage.
Yes it did. She went in nose first into the asphalt runway at Nashville. I had a radio hit which put her into a full snap.

The 4D is in flying condition now. I flew it for about 2 hours this past weekend. Just working on low hovering and low high-alpha knife-edge fly-bys. I also did some flat spins just for fun.

The only damage inflicted by the crash in Nashville was:
One broken Prop
One stripped throttle servo.
Two broken Nylon 1/4-20 bolts

Yeah, the 4D going in at Nashville was definitely the "acid" test. It hit hard!

I've got more build pictures and info. to post. I'll have the pictures posted soon.
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It scared the shit outa me and BillyHell :shock: . It sounded like it went through the asphalt! I couldn't believe it wasn't a pile :)
Hey, how does this thing KE? I'm thinking about getting one for bangaround wintertime flying.
Mine had some serious coupliing in KE. Had plenty of authority though. Just rolled and bellied. Could have been my building, CG, or anything else. Whos to know?
Mine does need some coupling in KE. It reminds me of the coupling my Knife needed for KE.

But, I've done some serious down on the deck KE flyby's. And I've done some KE Spins as well.

As hard as I've tried, I can't kill this thing. It really is a lot of fun to fly with no "crash worries".

I've been through 9 props already! I've bought the LHS out of MA 11x4's.
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