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        Build Log The birth of a new heli - it's flown

#1 Phil R May 07, 2007 08:00 AM

The birth of a new heli - it's flown
 
I decided to expand my aerial photography to include a heli as a platform...

I looked at the obvious helis for the job, then made a decision I may start to regret...

I've decided to scratch build my own AP heli.

I may need a little help along the way...

In terms of size, I've decided to go with somewhere between 1200 - 1500mm rotor diameter which allows me to use some parts (that I can't build) from the Swift/T-Rex 600/Logo etc... I'm thinking gears, boom, belt, blades etc.

My experience with helis is quite limited, I've only been flying them for about 5 months, have limited access to hands on experience of different helis. I own an Eco 8 and like the way it flies. I've therefore decided to base the head geometry on this.


Other parts of the Eco 8, I feel are inadequate for the job though...

Some questions...

I'm thinking of using the main gear from the Century swift (cheap, big teeth on the gears). Can anyone give me the diameter and thickness of this?

I can't see myself making a swash plate... any suggestions? I'll be happy with a 120 degree, but it has to alloy and have metric threads for the ball links. Hole in the ball must be 8mm or bigger.

Can anyone give me the length and O/D of the tail-booms for the Swift and T-Rex 600? Any others?

Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome... will update as progress progresses. Now back to the CAD...

#2 RC Man May 07, 2007 08:41 AM

Probably the least expensive way is to start with a very popular helicopter like a Raptor 30/50. You can usually find then on eBay. You can sell the parts you donít need Ė sometimes the parts are worth more than the entire helicopter.

Pick something that there are lots of aftermarket parts available at a reasonable price. ECO8 parts are usually very expensive.


If you use a Raptor E550 upper frame then the stock swashplate will work plus the eCCPM setup will be very easy.




.

#3 Phil R May 07, 2007 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RC Man
Probably the least expensive way is to start with a very popular helicopter like a Raptor 30/50. You can usually find then on eBay. You can sell the parts you don’t need – sometimes the parts are worth more than the entire helicopter.

Thought of doing that... but then thought I'd be selling all but about 4 bits...

Quote:

Originally Posted by RC Man
Pick something that there are lots of aftermarket parts available at a reasonable price. ECO8 parts are usually very expensive.

I don't think I'll be using any Eco 8 parts. The design of the head will be based on the Eco 8, but I'll be making it from scratch.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RC Man
If you use a Raptor E550 upper frame then the stock swashplate will work plus the eCCPM setup will be very easy.

I'll look at that, but I've already got the frame, head, and gear train drawn...

#4 Fred Bronk May 07, 2007 01:43 PM

Hmm, why not just get a Swift kit and stretch it out? Get a Raven boom and a Trex belt and you can swing 600 blades. I would for sure use the 3 bearing upgrade.

This way you are not re-inventing the wheel, just getting it retreaded :D

FB

#5 Phil R May 07, 2007 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Bronk
Hmm, why not just get a Swift kit and stretch it out? Get a Raven boom and a Trex belt and you can swing 600 blades. I would for sure use the 3 bearing upgrade.

This way you are not re-inventing the wheel, just getting it retreaded :D

FB

For a Milling machine and all the tooling, there's MasterCard... (Just over £400 ($800) so far...)

The feeling that you're flying a unique machine... Priceless

#6 Phil R May 07, 2007 04:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Sat at the CAD machine all day... a neccesary evil...

Thought I'd make a start cutting metal tonight. Just to explain what I mean by "scratch built", there's a pic below...

The block of ally is destined to be the head. I've drilled and reamed the block for an 8mm silver steel main shaft and am using this as a datum.

Here I'm clocking up a ground steel shaft that's a good fit in the hole in readiness for the final cut with the end mill.

#7 ozace May 07, 2007 05:20 PM

After just getting a mill and lathe myself i am in awe of such an undertaking. I cant wait to see more as this takes shape.

#8 Kosmic May 07, 2007 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil R
Sat at the CAD machine all day... a neccesary evil...

Thought I'd make a start cutting metal tonight. Just to explain what I mean by "scratch built", there's a pic below...

The block of ally is destined to be the head. I've drilled and reamed the block for an 8mm silver steel main shaft and am using this as a datum.

Here I'm clocking up a ground steel shaft that's a good fit in the hole in readiness for the final cut with the end mill.

hmmm this should be interesting ... please proceed :)

(subscribed)

Kos

#9 Wheelhaus May 07, 2007 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kosmic
hmmm this should be interesting ... please proceed :)

(subscribed)

+1 I'm not into AP but I love custom projects...

#10 Fred Bronk May 07, 2007 08:56 PM

Heck, I just got my 3rd mill :o (2 working though)

Time for a project :D

FB

#11 heli_addict May 08, 2007 12:15 PM

Subscribed...this sounds like a fascinating project and one that's way beyond my (current) skill level. Will follow with interest!

#12 Phil R May 08, 2007 02:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ozace
After just getting a mill and lathe myself i am in awe of such an undertaking. I cant wait to see more as this takes shape.

Believe me, this is a big learning process for me... I've worked metal before, owned a lathe for years, but 'till I bought the mill, I'd never used one.

Lessons learned so far...

A mill is almost useless without a dial test indicator.

Swarf is rather difficult to get out of the carpet.

Wood router bits make quite good end mills for ally - they're dirt cheap. It's a good job because...

Buying the mill is only the start of the big money spend. The list of extras - tooling, clamping stuff, vices, collets, arbours, etc. is a never ending one.

This heli is going to cost me a fortune...

Progress so far...

The head looks like the pic below. There's a lot more metal to be removed now I've had a look at it (I'm not that good at visualizing things on the CAD machine). The bolt is going to nip the head to the shaft to take up any (tiny amount) play - there's a slot to cut of course.

So far, I'm quite pleased with myself...

#13 ozace May 08, 2007 04:44 PM

i know all about tooling costs :o i am looking for a rotary table for mine right now.

Nice start on the head block , cant wait to see more

#14 Heli Mod Man May 08, 2007 07:11 PM

Very nice! It is amazing what you can do with the right tools and some patience. :)

Matt

#15 Fred Bronk May 08, 2007 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ozace
i know all about tooling costs :o i am looking for a rotary table for mine right now.

Nice start on the head block , cant wait to see more

What size you looking for? I have a 6 inch that I don't need anymore. New, but has a little surface rust (fire hoses get water everwhere :o)

FB


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