Having owned a Piccolo, I was very
interested when I heard of the Hornet micro helicopter.
This promised to be a micro-heli that could be flown
outdoors, unlike the Piccolo.
My experiences so far indicate that,
whilst a lot better than the Piccolo, it still needs a
fairly calm day for outdoor flying. The wind certainly
does affect it in all axes, and I find it quite
challenging to hover and do simple circuits in my back
garden in a moderate wind.
picture of the Hornet on its heli-pad. Futaba 9Z
transmitter shows how small the Hornet is.
Hornet ready for lift-off for its first flight.
view showing the 'aileron' and 'rudder' servos.
After modifications to fit a Futaba GY-240 heading
hold gyro. The gyro is mounted on a thin carbon fibre
plate that is fixed to the top of the 'aileron' servo
with double-sided tape. This mod. adds some 20gm to the
260gm of a basic Hornet, but still gets nearly 6 minutes
of continuous hovering on a standard 700mAH pack. I
found I needed to set the gain at about 50% because of
the amount of flex in the tail pitch assembly.
a 120 degree swashplate from aluminium using a home-made
CNC conversion of a cheap X-Y table mill/drill. The mill
is not up to the best of commercial standards, but more
than adequate for the job in hand.
Using the CNC mill, I made up a carbon
fibre tail fin from a picture I'd seen on the Hornet
The DXF file
for the toolpath generation is here
the g-code file is here
They assume a 2mm cutter for all cuts
After a long break because of real work, I got my
Hornet converted to the official MS collective pitch
setup. I was getting disappointing flight times with a
Hacker / Phoenix10 / 10 tooth setup on 3 Kokam LiPoly
1020mAH cells so thought I'd rig up a discharger to
check out some discharge curves :-
From what I can
tell, the LP1020's are happy at 2Amps but certainly not at
3. Looks like a 2S-2P pack with a higher number of teeth
on the pinion might be a better bet for the slightly
"lardier" hornets like mine (AUW with 3 LP1020's is
E-Tech 1200 LiPoly Cells
Just received some of these new cells and made up a 3S
pack to check them out. MUCH better than the Kokam 1020's
and gave me 19 Minutes of hovering on the symmetrical
blades. Discharge curves show that these are completely
happy at the necessary 3 Amp constant discharge current:-
This page was last updated on
September 06, 2006