Promoting the RC Helicopter hobby

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One thing I do enjoy is talking to prospective heli fliers about RC helicopters. I get a kick out of explaining how they work, what they’re like to fly and all the associated information needed.
Ofcourse, the most common questions asked are:
· How fast does it go?
· How hard is it to fly?
· Are you sure it can fly upside down? I didn’t think helicopters could do that?
· Do you crash often?
· How much does it cost?
Generally the answer to that last question often means the end of the session as they suddenly aren’t too interested.
I try to be reasonable in my estimates of the level of investment required to get into the hobby. I often say that NZ$2000 (Currently NZ$1 = US$0.43) is a good start which will get you going with a basic set up. I try not to dwell on how much machines like the Z230 cost to get in the air, much less a Kyosho Caliber!

rc helicopter

Since getting into this hobby in October 2000, our club hasn’t had any new active fliers join up. In a bid to rectify this situation and promote the club and hobby a bit, our club recently held a helicopter open night for the general public to come along and get an insight into what this heli hobby is about.
We had simulators, videos, magazines, handouts, quizzes and 22 machines on display. The simulators proved a big hit with people trying their hand at having a fly.
We advertised the night in the community newspaper the week before, having used to work for the newspaper company I organised a photographer to come out and get some shots of the heli. The reporter rung up and did a phone interview with the resulting article printed the week before our open night.
We had a lot of good support from interested members of the public and the following Sunday we had quite a number of people visit us at the field to see the machines in action.
I think we’ve probably got about two or three people who are serious about getting into it, with the determination to follow it up with some action. If these people materialise into reality, then that will be great. Three learners at a time is a good number for our club.
What I would like to see happen maybe in the summer months is for our club to hold an ‘open day’ where people actually come along to the field and see the machines in action. Looking at the machines up close in a hall is great, but watching a heli as it howls through the sky just doesn’t compare.
I would be interested to hear what other clubs have done to promote the hobby/their membership.

Z230 goes to school
My girlfriend’s five year old daughter came home from school one week and announced that a ‘big red helicopter’ had landed in the school’s yard during the day and had taken one of the kids for a ride.
I thought that while the interest in helicopters was alive, it might be an idea for me to take one of my helis along to her class for ‘show and tell’, knowing that when I was young, that would have been a real highlight.
We organised it with the school, and I took the Z230 along with a video of the Ergo 46 doing some flying around and aerobatics.
While waiting for the class to start it was a real fight to keep the little hands off the Z230 as I sat waiting for the teacher to turn up and instil some order into the chaos surrounding me and my expensive machine.
Finally the teacher turned up and rescued me from the younguns and we got on with the ‘show and tell’. As it was raining and I didn’t know the area (ie radio interference) I didn’t offer to do a flying demonstration. The last thing I wanted was “Rogue helicopter kills children” in the newspaper!
So I described how the helicopter worked and what controls did what. Half way through the talk it occurred to me that five year olds probably didn’t know what ‘collective pitch’ and ‘cyclic controls’ were. However the teacher helped me out and the kids seemed to understand.
They really enjoyed watching the video and seemed to find an Ergo 46 hovering inverted quite hilarious.
We finished off by having the kids have their picture taken with the Z230.

Ergo Z230 Gasser

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Since becoming a heli flier back in October last year, I’d always had a hankering for petrol powered helicopters. Mainly due to the fact that my mentor, Darryll, had one and fussed over it like his first born.

Darryll’s gasser was a JR Z230 and had all the things I liked, it was big, powerful and loud. Plus, being tight with the wallet, the thought of flying for a whole weekend on $3 worth of gas appealed, instead of the $2.50 a flight my little 46 was costing.

Ergo Z230 Gasser

I resolved that when my skills allowed, I would also purchase a gasser. The two finalists were the Xcell Gasser or the JR Z230. Both machines are supported by my local hobby store. The Xcell is slightly lighter and therefore is a bit more aerobatic, whereas the Z230 has a more basic construction making it easy to maintain.
The decision was pretty much made for me when I called into our local hobby store on the way home from the Hamilton round of the F3C competition back in March/April. Hanging from the roof was an already built up Z230 gleaming at me crying out for a good home. In typical salesman fashion, Lew Woods, the store owner, told me of it’s history. Apparently it came from someone down south who only flew it for a couple of hours, then sold it to Lew, who used it one time to carry a camera around for a television documentary on bugs. The idea was that they would strap a camera on it and fly it around the garden like a bee. The footage looked pretty good although if you looked closely you might have noticed that the ‘bee’ seemed to blow the flowers around a lot when it got close to them :).

Anyway, I thought about it for a week and finally relented and got it shipped down to me and spent the next couple of months purchasing the necessary electronics, receiver, servos and gyro etc.

The Z230 ain’t cheap. Infact, if it were to turn tail and wave goodbye, never to be seen again, it’d probably set me back about $5800 to replace. This is broken down into:
· Kit ($3800)
· Receiver ($380)
· Servos (3 x $220 + $100 for throttle)
· Gyro and tail servo ($550)
· Rotor Blades ($220)
· Plus all the sundry items (batteries, etc)
You can then understand my nervousness the first time I took her up. The throttle curves on a gasser are quite different to a nitro. Where my 46 helicopter hovers at about 50% power, the gasser hovers at 28-30%. Once we sorted that out, it was time to take off. I couldn’t believe how smooth it was! A couple of clicks of left aileron saw the heli sit like a rock.
It should be noted that with a full tank of gas, this heli will fly for about 30-40 mins. You get bored flying before the tank runs out.

After a little while of hovering and getting used to the machine, I set it up for some circuits and gradually let it stretch it’s legs. First thought was how quickly the thing covers ground. No sooner have you banked to avoid the aeroplane runway, then you’re out over the golf course!

The Z230 has no unruly flight characteristics, it just thunders down the line that you point it. It’s weight becomes apparent when flaring to a stop. The first time I tried it the heli just kept flying right past me. The next time I tried it I started flaring quite far out like an airliner coming into land and that brought better results.

The wind just doesn’t affect the gasser like it does my little 46. At the last competition I went to I test flew both my 46 and the gasser. I could barely keep the little one in one place, but with the gasser it just sat there, so I used that and got second place as a result.

The Zenoah 23cc engine is very torquey, but at full throttle you can tell it’s on the wrong side of it’s torque curve. Darryll got a Hanson cylinder kit for his engine that on it’s own didn’t seem to make too much of a difference. The engine does seem to run smoother now, and runs a lot richer at the bottom end which I like. We both feel that the stock ‘chainsaw box’ exhaust is probably constraining the power output of the engine. So, Darryll has ordered the Hanson tuned pipe. When it eventually gets here (it’s been a llooooonnnnggg wait so far), it’ll be interesting to see what difference it makes. I’m really hoping it makes the top end of the G23’s power come alive.

Setting the engine up properly is very important with a gas engine. In a similar fashion to methanol motors, if the engine isn’t running smooth it causes the tail to kick slightly. I’ve found that idle needle is very sensitive and requires a bit of experimentation to get it set right. Air temperature can play a big part as well. At the moment, I think my idle needle is still slightly rich as when the engine isn’t under load it tend’s to ‘burp’. However, as the day wears on and the temperature cools, the burping lessens.
Also, the engine needs to be given time to warm up. On the first flight of the day I tend to do a minute or two of small, slow flying around in normal mode to let it warm up before clicking into idle up one. That’s when things start to come alive! You hear the engine bark as it winds up and starts howling like a freight train. A quick stab of the collective and the heli is gone. It’s awesome, and I hope it will get even better when we can extract some more top end grunt out of the engine.

The tail authority on this machine can be intimidating too. I’ve got a GY501 gyro with a 9205 servo on it, and the machine will do blinding pirouette’s. Infact, the last time I was at a fun fly it just about got me in trouble. I decided I was going to open the machine right up into a huge stall turn. Had it screaming across the field and gently pulled up into a climb and the machine just kept going up and up, when it finally stopped, I gave a small jab on the rudder to do a 180 stall turn, however, it turned into 270 one and the machine was pretty much knife edged on it’s side sliding back down for about 2 to 3 seconds before I corrected it. Cause the fuel level was getting low, the fuel intake started sucking air and as I was pulling out of the dive, the engine spluttered and then fired back up as it got fuel again. This is nearly heart attack material as I thought I’d been locked out. I quickly brought the machine back in and packed it away for the weekend… Now I fly aware of the fuel intake issue.

Overall I’m rapt with this heli. It’s great being able to give a couple of pulls on the starter and be in the air, as opposed to groping round with glow plugs and starters etc. It’s my baby, and as such I do all the threatening stuff like aerobatics and inverted flying on my little 46. Both heli’s have their places in my collection.

I had considered selling the big gasser to make way for a firebreathing 60, but after flying it around last week, I think I’ll keep it for a while yet :)

Vigor CS or Robbe Millennium? (Part II)

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My last article (click here) spoke of my research in both the Robbe Millennium and Vigor CS. As I said, I’m after a firebreathing 60 size machine that will do both 3D primarily and also FAI style flying. Whichever one I get is going to have one of the new big engines just starting to come out on the market.

I had considered selling my big Z230 gasser before getting this 60, but after looking at it a lot (it’s a damn beautiful machine no matter how you look at it) and flying it round a lot at the weekend practising FAI maneuvers, I’ve decided not to. The Z230 stays. I’ll just have to get a bigger car to carry the helis around with I suppose…

Anyway, after my last newsletter, one of the JR helicopter retailers here in New Zealand sent me an email saying he was going to ship down a CS kit for me to look at. The kit arrived on Tuesday and my mate Darryll and I spent a lot of time looking at it that night.

There are a LOT of very tasty components in the CS kit. The head looks remarkably similar to the head of my Z230, which is great cause that thing is built like a Kenworth truck anyway.

One thing that was noticably absent from the head of the CS is the slop in the flybar rocker assembly. In the Ergo 46’s I’ve seen (and in the Voyager kit I looked at) there was a bit of side-to-side slop in the rocker. Not in the CS. That thing is nice and solid.

The swashplate of the CS is also a work of art. I have been annoyed that up till now, JR has persisted in putting plastic swashplates on their machines. Even my NZ$3600 Z230 came with a plastic swashplate! When you’re spending that kinda cash on a machine, you’d think you’d get a metal swashplate. The Ergo 46’s have plastic swashplates, and one of the 46’s I know of has worn through it’s one after a couple of months of flying.
The new Voyager has got a half metal, half plastic swashplate. The base of the swashplate is aluminium, but the top half is plastic! I just don’t really understand why they just didn’t make the whole thing aluminium like they have with the CS.
You can set the swash plate up for either 140 or 120 degree CCPM depending on your radio. Currently the JR 10x is the only radio that supports 140 degree CCPM from the factory, but some fliers have found a way of programming their Futaba 9Z’s with extra mixing that allows them to use 140 degree CCPM also.

The carbon frames and boom of the CS are beautiful and just by looking at the pattern of the frames, you just know that the machine is gonna fly. I like the idea of the single piece side frames

The canopy is clear fibreglass which you have to get painted yourself, which isn’t really a big issue. In my mind, if you’re spending this kinda money on a machine, you may as well spend a little extra and get someone to put an awesome paint job on it too! There are tonnes of decals that come with the kit to let you dress it up in your own way.

In typical JR fashion, the instruction manual is extremely easy to read and understand. I would also take the time to download the CS manual from the Horizon Hobby website (if you haven’t purchased your machine from them) as that can often clarify ‘grey’ areas.
The box said that there was a 1.44 inch floppy disk with the settings of Curtis’ radio in the box, but neither the kit that was sent to me, or the other two kits I know of, came with it.

There was a lot of long hard thinking going on while the CS was with me. Each morning I’d walk past the box with it’s pretty colour pictures. I found myself having to justify why I SHOULDN’T buy it, and to be honest, it was hard to come up with good reasons! After all, in MY opinion, the CS is one of THE current helicopters to have on the market at this time.

Aware that my inner voice is easily swayed by carbon fibre, CCPM and pretty pictures, I reviewed the details of the Millennium to keep myself grounded to make an informed decision.

One of the bigger selling points of the CS is the involvement that Curtis Youngblood had in designing it. What I was to find out later on is that one of Europe’s top fliers, Bob Johnston, flies the Millennium. This again renewed my interest, figuring that if the Millie can keep Bob happy, I’m damn sure it will be good enough for me!
Meanwhile, the reps for both JR and Robbe were keen to see how I was progressing with my decision. My mate Darryll had pretty much decided that the Millie was for him and I was more and more convinced that you can’t go wrong with either of the CS or the Millie. It was starting to come down to the money aspect.

I asked the JR rep to price up a couple of key parts for the CS to get an idea of how much the CS would cost to fix if I augered it into the ground. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised at the reasonable pricing. About $50 for a boom, approx $30 for a spindle shaft, approx $70 for the tail drive shaft. These figures were better than I was anticipating.

The Robbe dealer here is retailing Millies for NZ$2200, the JR dealer was selling the first batch of three CS’s for NZ$2500. With close pricing like that, the CS is the hot contender.

However, the next batch of CS’s are going to be up around the NZ$2700 mark. With a gap of around NZ$500 the question then becomes “Is the CS $500 better than the Millie?”. It’s a question that I cannot answer fairly as I have only seen the Vigor up close (and then it was in it’s box – have yet to see one fully built up), and I have not yet seen either fly. All I can go on is the thoughts and opinions of the fliers of both machines.

So, having taken a couple of weeks to mull over the decision, it seems I’m going to become a Robbe pilot… My reasons? Mainly, Darryll is getting one and in general the two of us make a stock pile of parts for our common machines (Ergo 46’s, Z230’s etc) so that we can easily fix the machines, plus having two similar machines in the same area makes troubleshooting that much easier.

Like I’ve said previously, you’ll not go wrong with either the CS or the Millennium. It’s just up to you which one you want to go for.

John Knox, a top flier here in New Zealand purchased one of the batch of three CS’s that was imported. John has been keeping me informed of the progress of building and initial flights of his CS and sent me pics of it ready to go. He’s promised further pics of it in flight after it’s next flights. I’ll try and convince him to write an overview of his heli once he’s put more time in on it.

My next article will discuss the goodies that I’m going to put in the Millie when it arrives.

 

Vigor CS or Robbe Millenium?

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I’m in a bit of a tight spot at the moment, I’ve decided that I’m going to sell my beloved JR Z230 Gasser and get a good 60 size machine.

For the past month or so, I’ve been using my little Ergo 46 to dable in a bit of inverted flight and progress my learning for all the different types of orientations in preparation for getting into 3D. I’m really enjoying this kind of flying, and love the challenge it presents.

However, I’m too scared to do this with the Z230, after all, it’s nearly a NZ$6000 machine. While it flies beautifully, it lacks a bit in the top end power. My mate Darryll who has also got a Z230 has brought a Hanson cylinder and piston kit and is still getting it tuned, but first impressions are that it hasn’t done much for the engine. Darryll is determined that his Z230 will do aerobatics well and before he does that, he wants more power out of the engine, and as such, Bruce Hanson now has an order for one of his tuned pipes (when it arrives, I’ll do a feature on it). I’m watching Darryll’s experiences closely, with a view to maybe replicating it on my Z230.

However, a couple of weekends ago, I was at a fun fly and was watching the 60 size machines fly around and realised that I don’t think the Z230 will probably ever fly like that. Before I go on, I acknowledge that there are people out there who ARE doing 3D with their Z230’s (Hi Charles!), but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do that.

So what do I do? Well a rep at the fun fly I was at was importing three JR Vigor CS’s for sale, two of which were already sold, but the third one was available. I’ve always had a soft spot for Vigors, they look downright beautiful and word is that they fly like they’re on rails. Plus, surely, since Curtis fly’s them, they must make me fly like Curtis too???

I told myself that if I could sell the Z230, then the CS with one of new big engines (YS 80 or OS 90)was for me. That was until I met the new Robbe dealer in New Zealand at one of my club’s helicopter get-togethers. He is very keen to get the Robbe brand out there in the skies of heli fields around the country.

At first, I wasn’t really altogether interested, after all, I had my heart set on a CS (which of course would make me fly like Curtis, won’t it?), but his enthusiasm and competitive prices made me have to consider Robbe as an option, so I began investigation of the Robbe helicopter line of products.

Knowing that Stewart Langenberg (moderator of the ‘The Helipad’ forum at RC Online) was having good success with a YS 80 in his Millenium, I talked to him about it and was pleasantly surprised to find that Stewart had very little in the way of negative things to say about the Millie. It should be noted that Stewart is a rep for Robbe in the US, so I decided to hunt out some other Robbe fliers for their opinions.

Meanwhile, Darryll had also joined in the investigation and had posted on RC Online for opinions on the Millenium and had recieved a whole heap of posts in reply. It was these posts that really stirred my enthusiasm for the Millie.

To get more detailed information, I emailed Ron Lund at r-c.uk because like someone posted, he’s the only guy I know of that owns both the CS and the Millie. I also emailed Ken Kammerer (a keen Millenium flier from RC Online) and asked for his thoughts and experiences with the Millenium. Ken emailed back with a comprehensive novel of an email answering everything I wanted to know and more. It was this, and Ron Lund’s reply that got me seriously considering the Millie.

It was about this time that Rick Conkling, the proud owner of a Vigor CS emailed me a picture of his beautiful Vigor, which once again re-ignited my enthusiasm for the CS. What do you do? Ken Kammerer has a good amount of detailed pictures of the Millie on his website, so I asked if Rick could provide me with some detailed pictures of sections of his Vigor. Rick went to some trouble to cater to my request and within a couple of days, I had no less than 49 detailed pictures of his machine!

As I’ve not seen both machines in the flesh, I am basing my opinions on them from the photo’s provided to me. After studying each model, I’ve come to the conclusion that both machines are equally well engineered.

Control Systems:
Both machines use a form of CCPM. Below are some pictures of the main control systems of each machine.

robbelinkages1
Robbe Millenium Mechanical CCPM
The Millie uses a 45degree offset swashplate actuated by a ‘swinging servo’ mechanism.
Ken Kammerer, had this to say about the Millenium’s implementation of Mechanical CCPM.
“The two front servos rock, the one closest to the start shaft is the collective servo and is fixed. This is really hard to explain in text, but I will try.
The swash plate is turned 45 degrees, so all it’s bell cranks sit outside the frames (very nice- there is nothing sitting between the frames making it hard to get to). You’d think turning the swash would throw off the timing, but it doesn’t because the linkages to the head still connect to the same places. If you think about it for a while, it makes sense that it works. The aileron servo (frontmost servo) is connected through the bell cranks to the right front and left rear points on the swash, and the elevator is connected to the left front and right rear points on the swash. The collective servo rocks the elevator servo, and since it connects to two points 90 degrees apart on the swash, it causes the whole swash to go up and down. This in turn causes the aileron servo to rock, even though the aileron and elevator servos are not linked directly together! For aileron and elevator control, the respective servos tilt the swash plate as required, and the fact that the linkages are in a closed loop provides push-pull control.”

JR Vigor CS CCPM

The CS utilises 140 degree CCPM mixed electronically at the radio. Currently, the other radio to offer 140 degree CCPM is the JR PCM10x. The CS can also be configured with 120 degree CCPM so that non-PCM10x users can fly the CS.You can see from these pictures the superb engineering of the CS’s swashplate assembly and the simplicity of the linkages and bellcranks.
CCPM22Comments I’ve heard about the JR CCPM implementation are that it’s one of the best CCPM implementations there are and that the Vigor CS feels more ‘locked in’ from a control aspect than standard Vigor which as standard mechanical mixing.Ron Lund has a lot of good information on his website that he compiled when building his CS, click here.

Frame Assembly:
The Vigor CS comes straight out of the box with single piece carbon fibre frames, the Millie has stacked aluminium frames. There seems to be a number of schools of thought of the benefits of single piece vs stacked frames, and aluminium vs carbon fibre.

After studying the photos of the way both machines mount their engines, I have to say that the CS looks like it would be easier to work on. The Millie appears to hide it’s engine behind the fan shroud.

CCPM23 Millenium Engine Mountings
As you can see, the Millie’s engine is hidden away in behind the fan shroud. Could make maintenance a little more trickier than the CS.
robbeengine4 JR Vigor CS Engine Mountings
The CS’s engine is out there for all to see with easy visibility and access to most parts.

 

Parts Prices:
One of the most important aspects to me is how much are the common parts such as mainshaft, frames, boom etc. I wasn’t able to secure parts pricing for the Vigor CS, I was able however, to look at the pricing for common parts for the Millie and was pleasantly surprised to find that to replace the whole frameset on the Millie would cost approximately NZ$170, which I thought was quite reasonable.

Looks:
Perhaps, one of the most influential aspects of buying a helicopter is, how does it look?? :) I know that’s a fairly shallow way to look at things, but to me it’s important. I’m not really too keen on owning an ugly duckling. One of the reasons I’m not keen on the new JR Voyager is cause in my opinion, it’s ugly, I mean come on JR! You did such a great job with the Ergo’s (especially the Z230) and the Vigors, what’s up??!!


Robbe Millenium II

While in my opinion, the Millie isn’t as gorgeous as the CS, it’s got it’s attractions as well. Ken has got a great photo on his site of this Millie about to go inverted.

JR Vigor CS

There is no doubting the pulling power of this baby. Awesome design that’s downright good looking. It should be noted that the picture to the left is not the stock canopy design. The stock canopy is plain white, Rick has gone to the trouble of getting his all painted up.

At first I thought the Millenium just wasn’t in the same ball park when it came to looks, but the more I looked at it, I realised it really wasn’t that bad especially with the yellow canopy.

Conclusion:
I still haven’t made up my mind as to which machine to get yet. However, I think the important thing is that I’ve now gone from a staunch JR flier to someone considering other brands. The high JR parts prices that I’ve been paying haven’t helped keep me faithful to the brand, and the fact that the new Robbe dealer is offering very competitive prices (Millenium pricing is about NZ$300 cheaper than the Vigor CS) and pretty acceptable parts prices has meant that the Millenium is looking like an attractive option.

I’ve yet to make a decision on which machine to get as I’m waiting for more information from the Robbe dealer. I’ll let you know how I get on…

 

 

The Squirrel and the TSK (Part I)

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Back in 1985, when I first got hooked by RC heli’s, I wanted one that looked like a real full-sized helicopter. My favourite was the Hughes 500, which was actually being made as a “hang-on” kit, for my first machine, a Schluter Miniboy. It was a bit of a pipe dream, but it costs nothing to dream.

After returning to the hobby several years ago, I’ve kept my eyes open for the different fuselages that are available. While the types of scale or semi-bodies that are for sale has greatly increased, there are only a few that catches my eye.

Finally, the chance to actually purchase one came my way. So, after looking over the different manufacturers, I started looking closely at the Funky line of fuzes. They offer a good range of bodies, over several different sizes. So, then the choices came down to:

1. what mechanics will go in the fuze
2. what body to get

Well for the first, I looked at the several different makes of machines in my helicopter fleet, and I decided pretty quickly on the TSK Mystar 30. I had purchased the kit assembled by a friend of mine, Terry, who did a great job putting it together. As is typical all the TSK’s, the machine is a stable, smooth flyer, which I think is required if you are going to do scale-type flying.

As for the body, I didn’t want anything military, or too ordinary. No Jet Rangers, no 222 or Airwolf. That left a few choices, and among them was the Funky Twinstar, which is a semi-scale body, based on the Eurocopter 355A. It’s a twin engine machine, as opposed to the single engine Squirrel, the Twinstar’s little brother. Since I’ve always been partial to the Squirrel, the Twinstar was for me.

helipro1 One of Wellington’s local helicopters, the Helipro Squirrel is a common sight down on the waterfront helipad.

I contacted Rick’s RC Heli’s in Texas, and asked if they could help me out by ordering me one. A couple of emails later and I got word that it was on its way!!! It arrived 7 days later, and I carefully opened the box, and saw a sweet looking 2-part fibreglass fuselage. Included in the kit was the vertical and horizontal stabs, both needing to be attached to the tail boom, plus the windscreen, and some basic instructions for mounting some mechanics in the fuze. The mould was made for the Hirobo Shuttle, so the assembly instructions are for that machine, but you get the gist.

twinstaronbox2 George’s new toy arrived!

This is what they used to call a “hang-on” fuselage. Basically, the fuse requires no structural support to keep the mechanics in place, since the mechanics are lifted straight from the skids and slid into the mould. I will add some additional “touch points”, to connect the mechanics and fuze together at several points, to minimise vibration. The other type of fuze calls for all sorts of wood formers to be glued in place, to allow the engine, gearbox, mast, etc, to be held in the correct positions. Lotsa work, if you ask me. If I wanted to work with wood and glue, I’d build planes.

So to start with, after many hours spent surfing the Net, I was able to find a couple of good sites that tell how to do this type of installation.. I then spent an hour looking closely at the mechanics sitting next to the fuze, trying to puzzle out what had to happen to make it fit. After a few tests, and a bit of plastic removed from the tail boom transmission case, I was able to smoothly slip the metal tail boom, through the fuze, and into position. Next, I carefully put the front part into position, holding it in place with some tape. I then checked the clearances inside. And other than the muffler being a bit too close, everything seems to have enough room, with no binding against the inside of the body! This is something that you can’t be certain about, unless the fuze has been made for exactly your machine.

mechanicsinfuse3 Profile shot of the fuse on the TSK Mystar 30 mechanics ready for installation.

Well, the next step for me to get with a fixed wing friend, and have him make me a thin plywood plate, that I’ll glue to the underside of the fuselage, when the skids will bolt through to the mechanics. Although it doesn’t call for it, I want to lightly re-enforce this area, so the fibreglass is stiffened a bit in this area. After that is done, We’ll look at mounting the two stabilisers, and then start to think about some surface work.