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Old May 07, 2007, 08:00 AM
Just some bloke
Phil R's Avatar
Up north, UK
Joined Mar 2005
436 Posts
Build Log
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...
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Last edited by Phil R; Jul 21, 2007 at 07:13 PM.
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Old May 07, 2007, 08:41 AM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
17,801 Posts
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.




.
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Old May 07, 2007, 10:05 AM
Just some bloke
Phil R's Avatar
Up north, UK
Joined Mar 2005
436 Posts
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...
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Old May 07, 2007, 01:43 PM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
In Heli Wonderland
Joined Aug 1999
22,801 Posts
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

FB
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Old May 07, 2007, 04:49 PM
Just some bloke
Phil R's Avatar
Up north, UK
Joined Mar 2005
436 Posts
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

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
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Last edited by Phil R; May 07, 2007 at 04:55 PM.
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Old May 07, 2007, 04:54 PM
Just some bloke
Phil R's Avatar
Up north, UK
Joined Mar 2005
436 Posts
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.
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Old May 07, 2007, 05:20 PM
Renewed interest
ozace's Avatar
Melbourne , Australia
Joined Jun 2002
8,950 Posts
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.
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Old May 07, 2007, 05:23 PM
Registered User
Canada
Joined Dec 2004
287 Posts
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
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Old May 07, 2007, 05:57 PM
volts x amps = watts.
Wheelhaus's Avatar
Denver
Joined Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosmic
hmmm this should be interesting ... please proceed

(subscribed)
+1 I'm not into AP but I love custom projects...
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Old May 07, 2007, 08:56 PM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
In Heli Wonderland
Joined Aug 1999
22,801 Posts
Heck, I just got my 3rd mill (2 working though)

Time for a project

FB
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Old May 08, 2007, 12:15 PM
High speed bug smasher
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Bradenton, FL
Joined Jan 2007
475 Posts
Subscribed...this sounds like a fascinating project and one that's way beyond my (current) skill level. Will follow with interest!
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Old May 08, 2007, 02:34 PM
Just some bloke
Phil R's Avatar
Up north, UK
Joined Mar 2005
436 Posts
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...
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Last edited by Phil R; May 08, 2007 at 02:49 PM.
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Old May 08, 2007, 04:44 PM
Renewed interest
ozace's Avatar
Melbourne , Australia
Joined Jun 2002
8,950 Posts
i know all about tooling costs i am looking for a rotary table for mine right now.

Nice start on the head block , cant wait to see more
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Old May 08, 2007, 07:11 PM
---------Speed!!---------
Illinois
Joined Jul 2003
6,134 Posts
Very nice! It is amazing what you can do with the right tools and some patience.

Matt
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Old May 08, 2007, 08:50 PM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
In Heli Wonderland
Joined Aug 1999
22,801 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozace
i know all about tooling costs 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 )

FB
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