Originally Posted by Steve_
Let's go people... Where are YOUR mods?
These are the mods I made starting at the front of the helicopter;
1. Canopy made out of a lightweight piece of plastic from a file folder.
2. Extended battery tray to move the battery 3/4" forward from the stock
location to move the cog forward for improved forward movement
3. 900mah Li-Po battery from Ebay with higher C rating than stock.
4. Inner aluminum main frame drilled out, outer frame made out of plastic
and drilled out, lower frame drilled out.
5. On-off switch and wiring removed.
6. Landing gear struts thinned and skids replaced with lightweight plastic ones
from a broken set from my 6 channel. (1/8" wooden dowels or plastic
skewers also work).
7. Heat radiating fins put on main and tail motors. Can't really call them heat
sinks as I made them with as little mass (hence weight) as possible. They
work really well though.
8. Hollow tube drilled out with a 7/64" drill except in the area of the screw hole
for the brass collar. (This is the area that always bends in a bad crash.)
9. Brass collar and screw replaced with an aluminum one lock-tighted in
10. Main rotors drilled with eight 1/2" holes covered with tape.
11. Flybar weights made from .22 caliber bullet heads. They weigh 17 gr.
vs the stock 58 grs. I also bent the flybar upwards approximately 1/4" to
provide additional boom/canopy clearance although with the reduced weight
I haven't experienced any boom strikes and only light brushing canopy
strikes with abrupt and severe cyclic movements. (All epa's are set at 120%)
12. The tail boom is made from a carbon shaft.
13. I made a vertical stabilizer out of plastic and mounted the tail motor 1 3/4"
higher than stock to eliminate it's tendency to tilt right and use up banking
swashplate adjustment. Moving it up also gets it into cleaner air away
from the rotor-wash.
14. I drilled out the tail-motor holder to increase cooling (we all know that plastic
is a great insulator; just what we don't need). I also cut away the plastic
gear guard just to help increase air-flow.
15. I removed the tail led and associated wiring. I don't fly at night and it was
an additional 22 grs of weight.
16. I also did away with the steel ornamental bars and horizontal stabilizer.
They did nothing but add more unnecessary weight.
While I put alot of time into this it was a labor of love and I really enjoyed seeing what kind of performance I could get out of it with the stock motors. However, if time was money (I'm retired) it would be more cost effective just to buy a higher performance helicopter.
Alot of the weight reducing measures seem insignificant, but the cumulative reduction was pretty great. The only concession I made to weight was the addition of the low voltage alarm. Nothing like going into a vertical dive and finding you don't have enough juice left to pull out before noseplanting it and watching the parts scatter! Never happened again after installing the alarm.
The speed, agility and wind resistance is significantly improved. The trade-off is that it is much less stable. With the reduced flybar weight it reacts to stick movements NOW and it will no longer hover hands-off but requires constant input more like a 6 channel.
In the future I'll try to get some video of it flying.
Please read: I've found that my #2 mod, listed above, is not good. I've since changed the battery location from 3/4" forward of it's stock location to 7/16" behind it. The heli still has a forward weight bias and hovers much better, with no perceptible loss of forward speed.