Super airwolf building must see(lots of pics!) - RC Groups
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Jan 12, 2010, 04:42 PM
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Build Log

Super airwolf building must see(lots of pics!)

Hey everyone,

This is my threat of my super airwolf building project. Last 6 months I worked on it and its finally finished.
This was the idea and it came out pretty good:

So I have put together the whole process with the pictures and videos
So dont be surprised that the build is written in 1 day

I have bought an airwolf fuselage for my trex 500 ESP.
The original version of the fuselage i dont like so much. So I am making an special equiped airwolf.

I painted the fuselage in a deeper black color but not to shiny.
The black-white edges I must finish to make a nicer seperation(You always have a little paint dust)

The airintakes on the sides are open on the original fuselage so you can see all what build inside the bird. I dont like this so I decided to close this up with metal speakercovermaterial.

GUNS: the guns are made of plastic, so I painted them with metal paint for a more metallic look on it.

The original rocket launcer is made of plastic and very poor paintjob.
So I decides to make my own rocket launcer. With aluminium pipe, paint, metal wiring and alu profiles Its works great

RETRACTS: The retracts are made of wood so easy to brake. They also dont have suspension.
So I ordered these special retracts (see below).

WINDOWS: the windows are transparant so you can look inside to see the batterypack. Not good!
So I covered the windows with special printed blue foil. Also the side windows are covered with transparant plastic with blue foil.

The landing lights are installed and only work when the retracts are down.
I still dont have the retracts so I cannot mount this part with the special switch.
Last edited by Jim T. Graham; Jan 12, 2010 at 09:08 PM.
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Jan 12, 2010, 04:48 PM
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Inside the body I install 2 ducted fans with
excaust pipe that give the airwolf more ahead trust

The real aiwolf have window wipers so mine too.

The antennes on the body I still have to make those.

Ive received the ducted fans for the extra thrust.
The plan is to mount these in the left and right 'wing' of the airwolf.(next to the landing gear). With a flexible pipe (with inside a small slit to make a strong air-pressure) that lead to the rear of the wings to the excaust pipes. These pipes will also be custom made aluminium pipes. An 20 Amps speedcontroller ill be mounted with also a extra 2 cell lipo battery for the power and also for power of the landinglights

I finished the ducted fan units in the fuselage. A lot of work to make them fit into the body. Here some pictures.
As you can see I must glue the fans onto the body. But that I do later because Now Iam working on the aluminium pressure pipes that will be mounted on the fansunits..

Last week I ve been working on the finishing of the lighting system.
Landinglights, nav lights, strobelights and bakenlights

And...2 green lasermodules will be mounted on the airwolf. these work on 5 volts so perfect.
Next week I have these lasers in the mailbox (i hope).
For now a shot in the dark of the airwolf and the pictures of the lasermodules Ive ordered

Today ive made an detailed cockpit and printed on transparent special foil(backlit paper) for in the airwolf.
The idea is to make the seats and 'dashboard' from 1 piece balsawood. Its light and perfectly workable.
The print Ive made will be placed on the wooden shape. Its must be perfect fitt.
In the balsawood there I place 2 led lights with plexiglass. With a knife I scratch the global shapes of the different items to lighten up the different cockpit board items. (Or I use an other lamptype)

Here are two photo's. without light and the effect with light.(not the exact way but you ll get the picture)

Today ive made the whole cockpit allmost complete with seats, centercontrolboard, main dashboard with the lighting inside. All made off balsawood and plexiglas parts. I created a blue lighteffect with two LED lightstrips. One behind the main board, other under the centerboard.I still need to adjust the cockpit a little to make a perfect fit into the fuse. Also the several details as cyclic stick and different items I have to make. But the main thing is complete now.

Here some pictures

I had to make the cockpit a little shorter otherwise the batterypack dont fit in the fuse.
But the cockpit is mounted now into the fuse.
Here are two photo's of it.
first one is without the frontcover of the fuse. other is the view inside the fuse from top throught the mainhead space
I adjust the image brightness a bit otherwise is the fuse is hard to see in the dark
Jan 12, 2010, 04:54 PM
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last 2 weeks Ive welded all the wiring together. total 3 speedcontrollers
2 UBECS (5 V and 6 V),
2 mainswitches mounted on the fuse (main lights + cockpit, and landing lights,
1 landinggear switch to activate the landing lights,
1 receiver controlled relais switch (to controll the lasers with the transmitter),
1 extra 1300 Mah battery.
So it was a precise job to have it all work

The wires off the lasers are installed but I have to wait for the lasers(this week in the mailbox).
I have to change the foil on the frontwindow into a bit lighter one, so the cockpit lighting is now in full view.

Tomorrow the 2 new ducted fan systems will be installed.

Total lighting view for now on the this picture

ive finished the ducted fans.
2 separate speedcontrollers to control the motors.
The shape of the pipes is now smouth so the airflow is better then the earlier pipes.
Speed is max 36,000 RPM on 2s lipo so its enough to get a great sound and thrust

ive worked on installation of the complete wiring into the fuse so it will be finished up nice (no lose wiring and to prevent accidents with rotating parts(its a lot of wiring.
I tested the whole system, including the helifunctions.
The mainframe is prepared now for installation in the fuse.
As you can see on the picture, Ive mounted the
ESC and the UBEC onto the frame.
Also the retractservo is mounted on the frame.

Also ive made the new excaustpipes
I still have to goldpaint these, but thats later on

Next pictures is the overview of the total airwolf includes the mainframe and blades.
One of the total view and one for the nice frontshot:

This is how it set up:
Heli functions are normal powered by the main 3000 Mah battery,

An extra battery (2 s, 7,4 V,1300 Mah) is to power the lightsystem(+ cockpit), fans and lasers.

There are two switches mounted on the fuselage to (1)switch the lightingsystem includes cockpit lighting (I had 9 channels so Ive worked it out this way.
The second switch is to preswitch the landinglights that is operated by the landinggear rod-switch. When the heli is on the ground with retracts down the landinglights are on.
I prevent this with that switch (because its stupid to turn the lights on at daylight).
The whole lighsystem is powered by the 1300 Mah but with a UBEC 6 Volt.

The lasers will be operated by transmitter (CH 7). With a remoted controlled relais switch I can turn on and off these laser . Between the ESC and the battery(1300 MAh), there is a 4,8 V UBEC. Because the lasers are operated with 5 V) By the way....still not in the mailbox

Each of the two ducted fans have there own speedcontroller. These two complete fan systems are wired through a split cable on the receiver (CH 8, operated by pot).

Channel 9 is to operate the retractservo (this is powered by the main battery.

To be continued.....

Here we go again.......
Last days ive been busy with mounting, drilling to make the mainframe a perfect fit, and the main thing is to get the mainframe exactly centered in the fuse so the weight is perfectly balanced.

Thats gonne be next but first my progress:

Ive made the switch on the retractsservo to activate the landinglights. An extra servo arm mounted on the retractservo arm to press the switch when the landingear is going down. It works perfect
Jan 12, 2010, 05:00 PM
Registered User


the mainframe is ready for final installation,
But...not yet..... patience.

Its gonna be more crazy with this airwolf.....
Today ive decided to make an extra little thing on the fan system.
When a real turbine engine is running you can see the flames of the fuel injection in the pipe.(afterburner effect)

So.....why not I thought.....

Ive connected 2 red led lights on the channel that feed the fans.
With a small extra speedcontroller (minisize) Ive created the illusion that there are real fuelinjection flames in the pipes.

At lowest stick when the fans are off the 'flames' are also off
The more power I give to the fans the more 'flames' (red light) you ll see.

I disconnected the fans controllers for this little job because I still have to weld the wiring
So on the pictures below the fans are not running.
When the job is complete the fans will be running..with sound....and....'flames'

Today Ive tested the ducted fans with the red glowing light in the pipes. Nice detail is that the lights actuly flicker a bit on mid speed of the fans (more 'flames' like. It works great.
The video is a bit dark(made with my mobile phone), but you can see the flames clearly
here the video:

Not spectaculair pictures this time but it is also a part of the hole build so here we go
Today ive made a few details and mounting the tail light.

Because I had to adjust the retractcompartments a bit bigger the edges are not so nice to see.
So around the retractcompartments Ive made a rubber strip that goes around the egdes. Now its finished up nice.

The wiring for the lasermodules I covered up with a special tube. It had a metallic look an its fits perfectly with the laserguns

Third item ive made is the wiring of the taillight on top of the fin.
Its not nice to lead the wire near the fin.
So I drilled a hole on top, pushed the wire through and lead it out on the side (where ist gonna be mounted on the tail).
That way I nicely can cover up the whole wire. The only thing you will see is the light on top.
With the 500 size ist a bit difficult to push the wire through but it worked.

Ive ordered other servo's for the cyclic(s9650). They are stronger and can handle the extra amps that is caused by the extra weight. An seperate UBEC is placed.

For now ive made the mainframe complete with all the wiring.
Because there is now an extra speedcontroller(for the fanlights) and also the extra UBEC
I had to adjust it.
All the wiring is now in place.
With ti wraps everything fits well and is ready to connect with the wiring in the airwolf.

I dont have the servo's yet so its take a little longer for mounting the complete mainframe into the fuse.
Its really a tight fit with the ducted fans inside but it fits.

The ducted fans are locked now in the airwolf. I used special glue to mount it.Its stays a little flexible so it can handle vibrations in flight.
Also other components that are vibrate sensitive are mounted with a flexible glue.
Ill hope I have the new servo' s next week so that I can make the final step to finish up the airwolf and can focus on the first flight.
Is gonna be a sweaty flight, believe me.......
Here the photo's of the adjusted mainframe and ducted fans:
Jan 12, 2010, 05:06 PM
Registered User


Today the Ive centered the mainframe into the fuse.
I had to make a little adjustments on the rear landig gear rods. They were still the original ones but they are made of carbon fibre and Its flexible, and with the weight of the heli the retracts started to going down! So Ive removed these and replaced them for metal ones. works a lot better.
And Ive adjust the wiring a little.
The holes in the bottem are made so the mainframe can be mounted now in the fuse.
But I still waiting for the new servos so I can not make the final mounting.
But here are the pictures of the progress now.

The space between the mainframe /ESC/ main gear and the ducted fan unit is 1 cm but it fits perfectly.

Ive made the final mounted of the custom made rocketlaunchers under the fuse.
2 screws and a little glue worked great.
here the picture:

Ive finish up the nosetubes.
One is a little longer then the other.
They are made of a thin carbon pipe with a aluminium sleeve.
The longer tube is to connect the antenna of the camera.
Only a coverpiece at the connection on the nose has to be added to it, But thats at the final process.

Also ive bought a 6 Amp BEC for the power of the receiver, with LEDS for the status of the battery(very important!)

Also ive worked on the wiring to isolate them so there are as little as possible visible wiring. The only thing you see are wires to connect the battery on it with a 4 way splitwire. 1 wire for the landing lights ans 1 wire for the ducted fans.1 wire for the mainlights and cockpit and 1 wire to connect the wiring in the mainframe (Fanlightcontroller and laserwire

And a still working on the baseplate for the cockpit to make a perfect that I easily can remove it from the fuse when for example i have to disconnect the mainframe for any reason

Ive added labels on every wire that is out there so that I cannot make a mistake with the connections

I retaped the bird for a new paintjob

I have mounted the ubec for the receiver. The best place was on the rear end of the mainframe below the receiver but that way I cannot check easaly the powerrate of the battery.
So I mounted it on the front under the mainbattery pack. With the mainbatterypack on it I still can see the light for the status of the 2 cel battery

I had a problem with the balancing of the mainframe in the fuse because the weight of the nose area is way to much. I use 1 mainlipo pack and 1 2 s lipo pack for receiver and the extras.
So when I install the 2 packs on the front of the wolf the weightbalance is not good.
So I came up with this sollution.

On the rear end under the receiver there is a space for the 2s lipo pack.
Problem with this is that I never can charge or remove the lipo when the mainframe is mounted in the fuse.
So I sawed a space in the fuse for insert the lipo through this hole.
With a extra entrancedoor with a small magnet to close it up the problem is solved.

Finally I made the cockpit a perfect fit into the fuse. I had to adjust its a little more then the last time because of the retractrods.Its just wasnt good enough With a hinge the cockpit can be 'opened' for a better access when I must remove disconnect the wiring.
It also closes up the wheelcabinet so if you watch the wolf from under, you can not see the wiring or batterij anymore.\
Only I have to paint the black wood a black color but thats later on.
Also the cyclic and footpaddle I have to add. but Iam not sure if I do that because of the vibrations.
Last edited by Poolcrack; Jan 12, 2010 at 05:18 PM.
Jan 12, 2010, 05:14 PM
Registered User


The mainframe is now finally mounted in the fuse.
The wiring is in place. the tail is mounted. Only the tailfin I must do.
Also the adjustments of the nosetubes will be done soon.

The lasers I still dont have. Its 'free shipping' so It can take up to 2 months .
But the wiring of the lasers is installed so I only need to mount the modules on it.

The landing gear is installed and mounted,
The pictures below what its look like with everything in the fuse.
Also a few clips ive added with a testrun for the whole system include landing gear, ducted fan and mainfunctions.(No not flying yet because I have to program the radio ones more to get the right settings.

so heres are the pictures and movies:

Tail mounted(without the cover)

All the wiring in place:

Batteryplate down without battery:

With the cockpit and battery:

Total views:

Ive mounted the tailfin
The only 2 things I must do on the wolf is mount the lasermodules(when I have those
and the tailbladeprotector on the tail. that part I will do this week.

Airwolf trex 500 test (1 min 42 sec)

Airwolf system test (0 min 46 sec)

So here are the pics of the tailfin and the total view for now.

Landinggear test. Not perfect, because the rod is touches a wire (not surprised with all those wiring ). So I have to adjust that a little:
Airwolf landing gear test (0 min 17 sec)

That was the building.
The video of the maiden will be shortly on Youtube
Jan 12, 2010, 08:03 PM
Bush Pilots Bounce Higher
Spidious's Avatar
1st off register your location !
Welcome !


You make me sick ! After seeing your fantastic build and all that you managed to do with a 500 sized copter blew me away !


Boy are we waiting to see this thing fly ! ! !
Jan 13, 2010, 01:43 PM
Still AWD, Subaru
i cant wait to see this airborne!
Jan 13, 2010, 02:08 PM
Registered User
That is truly a work of love poolcrack. Amazing modeling skills and attention to detail. A beautiful model indeed. Could you post the flying weight of this bird?
Jan 13, 2010, 02:08 PM
Registered User


thnx guys,
But the item that gives the finishing touch, I still have to mount and that are the green laserguns.
It still dont have these.
Also the tailbade protector, detailstickers and another few things I have to do on the wolf. But when the maiden is on youtube, I definitely let you guys know.

O yeah, flying weight is 3000 grams(6,6 LB)

Jan 13, 2010, 07:27 PM
Bush Pilots Bounce Higher
Spidious's Avatar
I was wondering when somebody else would post how amazing this copter is..
Jan 14, 2010, 12:06 AM
Hoverup's Avatar
Insanely nice. Amazing work. Great job of systems integration. Thanks for sharing Poolcrack
Jan 14, 2010, 09:24 AM
mad heli scientist
Gadget01's Avatar
Amazing! I can't believe you installed ducted fans in there- especially in a 500. The red LED lighting effect to match the throttle setting is brilliant. I wonder how they will actually work out in flight. It looks fantastic!

I have a 50 size Fun-key Airwolf fuselage waiting for me to get started on- my thread on it is buried deep since I have made no progress on it. The stock retracts work, but they don't look scale and have no suspension. I'm interested in where you obtained the landing gear.

Thank you for posting this excellent model. I look forward to seeing the progress.
Jan 14, 2010, 04:01 PM
Registered User


The retracts are from:

They are great but a lot of adjustments were needed to fit properly.

And the ducted fan system...
well I figured, I have the space, so why not!

The LED glowing I discover by accident.
I had an othher speedcontroller (E-sky 6V) that I not used anymoe.
I knew that normal LED lighting in houses and offices for example, cant be dimmed.
They flikker when you try to dim it
So I figured. yeah, I can give the illusion of afterburner / fuel ignition effect with the use of normal LEDs

Thanx for the compliment. maybe a idea for iother rc pilotes to give there model an extra "kick"
Last edited by Poolcrack; Jan 15, 2010 at 07:24 AM.
Jan 18, 2010, 12:04 PM
Registered User


Originally Posted by Spidious
I was wondering when somebody else would post how amazing this copter is..
It looks very nice and detailed, congrats, i have a question:
I know in the TV show "airwolf" they have a special time when they go faster with the two turbines in the side, and your fans match it perfectly.

They also looks good, but in real life helicopters go forward with the elevator otherwise any additional horizontal force will interfere the main rotor blade force.
It works only in some models where the main rotor blade are not powered and work in autorotation giving vertical altitude to the model using the power of a horizontal engine propeller, or jet fun.
So my question is, where did you connect those two fans, to the throttle or to the elevator? Because if is in the throttle how do you keep you heli still in fly or you back forward? or they are just for beauty? because they look very good!!

In my airwolf 50 gas engine, in fly, i exploded the engine a year ago for the heat, i leave in Miami and inside the canopy there is not ventilation and i don't like to make holes in the model for ventilate the engine, so i changed the engine with a new one and invented a conduct made of flexible tube with a ducted fan 30 amp esc, that takes air from the front landing mechs compartment and blow it in front of the engine and seams then, my airwolf fly like a Swiss watch, and is connected to the throttle.

here my models

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