Model Helicopters
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Colin's Heli Page

Introduction

I started flying helicopters a year ago after 12 years of fixed-wing flying. This has involved everything from fun-fly to aerobatics to fast-deltas, and, most recently, turbines in the form of an Avonds F15 powered by an AMT Pegasus generating 28 lbs of thrust, and a Kangaroo powered by an AMT Mercury.

When I first started, 12 years ago, I bought an MFA 500 helicopter and got as far as basic tail-in hovering. Unfortunately, that machine wasn't very sturdy, and it basically shook itself to pieces within about a month. I was very discouraged by this, and basically gave up on helicopters, and started building my first fixed-wing trainer.

Looking back, the problem was that I bought probably the cheapest helicopter on the market, and, as the adage goes, "you get what you pay for".

Second Time Around

I use RealFlight with add-on packs 1 & 2 to practice my aerobatic and jet man oeuvres, and when RealFlight Deluxe came out with helicopters I had to buy it! This re-kindled my interest in helis and I decided to try again. This time I decided to take the opposite approach and buy a very good 60-sized helicopter (yes, I knew that the repair bills would be higher - see later!).

So, after reading reviews and adverts in Model Helicopter World, I bought a Millenium 60 with an OS 61WC. Whilst assembling that I took a two hour taster lesson from a professional instructor, and got on reasonably well, so I was raring to go with my own machine. Based on his advice, I ordered and fitted some heavier Hirobo paddles to make the Millenium more suitable as a trainer.

For some 6-8 weeks after that the weather has been terrible, with lots of rain and strong winds, and I have been getting very frustrated at not being able to fit in any more lessons, or to practice on my own machine. I have managed to fit in three sessions on the Millenium, and have made quite good progress on hovering, but on the last one, on what in retrospect was far too windy a day, I had my first crash. This looked worse than it was, but the repair bill came to about 70, and although it was fixed within 3 days the weather just got worse and no more flying has been possible.

Indoor Flying

At that point I decided that the only way to progress was to fly indoors, away from the elements, and at any time of the day.

First, I ordered a Hoverfly, but after a two week wait was told by Revolution Models that there had been a fire at the factory, and that they expected no deliveries for at least two months. They suggested the Ikarus Piccolo as an alternative, and offered a very good deal, so I placed an order and waited.

It arrived one afternoon, and was built, set-up, and made its first hops that same evening. First impressions were of an incredible piece of design, that was MUCH more difficult to control than the Millenium, and suffered from 5 minute battery duration, although I have now increased this to 8-9 minutes using an 8-cell NiMH pack that I made today. For more details - go to the Piccolo page

I sold the Piccolo to another beginner at my club, and bought an LMH-100 and a Concept EP to replace it. I also now have a Hornet which is quite incredible.

I also have a Raptor and two Millenium 60's.

Futaba 9Z*P Pitch curve calculation spreadsheet

I wanted a way of easily calculating the point settings to be input to the Futaba 9Z*P's 13 point pitch curve. This spreadsheet is for Microsoft Excel 2000 and lets you input the 100% low and high pitch curve values in degrees, and then shows you the percentage figures to input on the PCV screen for a linear pitch curve.

 

 

This page was last updated on September 06, 2006

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What's New (reverse order)

LiPoly Cells
MS CP Hornet and Lokam LiPoly Cells.

CP Hornet
CP Hornet and C/F Fin.

TwinJet
Multiplex TwinJet.

Metal Raptor
Full Metal Raptor (well nearly!).

HH Hornet
Addition of a heading-hold gyro to the Hornet.

Hornet
Photos of my new Hornet micro-heli.

Raptor Swashplate
Raptor metal swashplate and longer mast

Making Progress 
Now onto loops, rolls and flips. Nice to see both the Raptor and Millenium doing aerobatics.

 

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Revised: September 06, 2006