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Old Dec 11, 2014, 10:48 AM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
Joined Sep 2009
2,481 Posts
It's funny that the entire fleet of CH-139's and their predecessor, the OH-58A were all fitted with those full length skid protector/bearpaws, but I am sure that they would have been something that was thought of after some skid damage. Considering that in the entire record of service for that fleet, only one was ever written off. There are three that are still in the original scheme (for public demos, I guess) and I hope to get up close and personal with them next year. I know that the way I fly mine at the clubs I visit, the red paint will be completely worn off in a month. At least I have worked out how I am going to fix them to the skid pipes.

Those are interesting tips on how you create a landing point out of very soft snow. It is interesting to note the large difference in the true snowshoe type skids used in the European Alps compared to what I have seen here which is mostly just the simple bearpaw with no extra wide surfaces further forward.

I am now starting to wonder if the struts became externally mounted on the OH-58 so that they could install a larger capacity fuel tank? I don't know the layout of the Ranger so if you say that the gear is just behind the tank, putting a larger one in might need for the "trough" to be flattened to allow a few extra gallons. From a maintenance standpoint, not having to get up and inside that tight space to remove the gear for field replacement also makes sense. Thanks for the info.

Don
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 11:22 AM
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Cougar429's Avatar
Canada, ON, Windsor
Joined Apr 2008
1,047 Posts
Ours had hardened skids bolted to the bottom of the bearpaws for wear resistance, especially as I usually had a bit of forwards speed on when touching down at the bottom of an auto on asphalt.

All of the bells have the same gear style with the rears fitted into that recess in the belly behind the tank. That tank was a bladder type that fitted below and behind the rear seat. The earlier Rangers had less fuel capacity, even though the bladder was taller than the filler. To give greater range there was an "Extender" you could bolt in place of the standard cap receptacle that protruded out and above the side, with the normal cap then locked on top. That's what is showing in that pic you posted.

There was a site glass on the side to give some idea of how much fuel you were pumping in above the standard amount. If memory serves it added an extra 20 gallons to the standard 76, which equated to approx 45 min range increase.

Later models simply had that stock filler raised up the side of the fuse.

Along with changes to the panel layout, there were other differences, with the A model having boosted anti-torque pedals. The B3 also had a larger tail rotor.
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Last edited by Cougar429; Dec 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM.
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 12:35 PM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
Joined Sep 2009
2,481 Posts
Nice information. I made the extender as found on the one I modelled. If I could only use the paintbrush as steady as needed to apply the numbers, sigh. Take care.

Don
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Old Dec 11, 2014, 03:02 PM
My other addiction!
norcalheli's Avatar
Marysville, Ca., US
Joined Jan 2007
1,748 Posts
It is so cool to get insight on the models we build from those who actually flew them IRL.
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 09:10 AM
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justy g's Avatar
Hong Kong
Joined Jan 2007
775 Posts
I guess it's build season time for you again Don...must be getting cold over there
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 10:38 AM
Love my scale Whirlybirds
Keyrigger's Avatar
Mississauga, Ont., Can.
Joined Sep 2009
2,481 Posts
That it is. We've got 10 to 15cm on the ground (nothing compared to what upper NY State has taken over the past few weeks, though) and I have only been out when the driving was good. There's no need for me to out in the mess unless I absolutely have to. I am looking to insert some aluminium rod inside the skids so I can drill and tap them for either 2 or 3mm flat screws. 4 per skid should do the trick. Take care.

Don
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