Building a Century Swift NX Real Deal N4022E Jet Ranger - RC Groups
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Nov 21, 2014, 08:49 PM
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Build Log

Building a Century Swift NX Real Deal N4022E Jet Ranger

I just realized I've acquired enough bits-n-pieces of helicopter parts and electronics over the last 2 years to actually build up another 550 size Swift NX, for that beautiful scale Jet Ranger fuselage. Only missing a single tail push-rod ball link and Mligosh is kindly sending me a few of his spares - what a guy!

Phase 1 will be building up the pod and boom air frame and getting that all dialed in. This will be a lower RPM heli (1500 range). Phase 2 will be installing it all in the Jet Ranger fuselage. I'll be running on 5S 4000mah packs, with 550mm SpinBlades asymmetrical main blades.

That's the plan anyway.

Let phase 1 begin !
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 02, 2017 at 08:12 PM.
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Nov 22, 2014, 10:25 PM
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The Rotor Head (1 of 2)

Got started on the rotor head. Took everything apart, cleaned parts, greased up the thrust bearings and began the re-assembly. Blue thread lock on the blade grip bolts (metal-to-metal). CA on metal-to-plastic.

Next the swash, washout and push-rods ...
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 23, 2014 at 07:53 AM.
Nov 23, 2014, 04:48 PM
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The Rotor Head (2 of 2)

I made much less progress today than I would have liked because I spent most of it sorting through 43 cracked Century ball links. I'm LESS than not impressed to say the least. Each heli uses about 24 of these links, and I have 3 NX helis worth of links, from 3 different sources, and 43 of them are cracked. That's 59.7% fallout !
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 26, 2014 at 08:56 PM.
Nov 25, 2014, 03:39 PM
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Main Frame Preparation

Broke down the main frame into all of it's sub-parts. Things are in very good shape. I'll be adding small washers here and there to help where screw head damage has occurred.

The main gears look fine, but they'll be replaced with new ones.

The plastic motor mount will be replaced with the metal version. I already obtained the required hex head cap screws that are not included (?) with the metal mount.

I may try the plastic break-away canopy mounts too as they look like they'll make installing and removing the canopy a bit easier due to their tapered shape.

Everything else will be inspected very closely ...
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 29, 2014 at 09:08 AM.
Nov 29, 2014, 08:23 PM
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Elevator Servo & Motor

Worked on the elevator servo assembly, the A-Arm and push rods today.

Also got the motor, pinion and gear lash set using the metal motor mount instead of the plastic one.

I have exactly 7 of those steel balls which I will need for the 3 cyclic and 1 tail servo arms.

And the LemonRx 6Ch receiver showed up today - great 1 week shipping for $3.99 !
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM.
Dec 01, 2014, 10:00 PM
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Tail Boom & Bits

Got the tail boom prepped today. I'm going with the TRex600 tail grips (with thrust bearings) right from the start.

I removed the 16-style CF push-rod and hardware and installed the NX's wire push-rod, guides and boom support mount.

The belt is is good shape. I had to straighten the boom slightly as it was bent by the previous owner.

One small problem with my decision to use the TRex600 grips - I don't have two more steel balls (with the 1/16" threads) as required by the TRex grips. I have 7, I need 9. But, I have a bunch of the other balls (with 3/32" threads). I could have enlarged the holes in the grips, but that would have resulted in rather thin walls on fast spinning parts - ummm, No! Instead I decided to rob 2 of the steel balls from the roll servo's push-pull mechanisms. I'll put one of the 3/32" balls on each of the roll servo's arms - just need to enlarge the holes a bit. Some CA all around and all should be good to go
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Dec 01, 2014 at 10:21 PM.
Dec 01, 2014, 10:11 PM
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Motor Mount & Pinion - Change of Plans!

I discovered that I can use the 8T pinion if I use the stock plastic motor mount INSTEAD of the metal one. As it turns out using the plastic mount allows the builder to use washers with the cap screws - not possible using the metal mount. I went with the thinnest washer I could find under the main gear, and a larger, thicker washer for the screw that doesn't grab the mount completely all by itself.

The plastic mount is thicker than the metal one, so longer cap screws were needed, and an additional flattened (by me) lock washer was added to raise the pinion up as required (now around 3mm).

This will help get those RPMS down even lower. I should be able to hit 1500 RPM with 70% throttle, approximately
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Dec 01, 2014 at 10:19 PM.
Dec 03, 2014, 09:50 PM
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Starting to Take Shape

- Re-adjust tail drive gear mesh ... Done.
- Install two roll servos ... Done.
- Adjust rotor head and cyclic pushrods ...
- Install tail servo ...
- Mount tail gyro ...
- Mount receiver and satellite ...
- Mount ESC ....
- Wire everything up ... except tail servo.
- Program tail gyro ... Attach tail servo to gyro.
- Adjust tail linkage pushrod ...
- Program ESC ...
- Program transmitter ...
- Install blades ...
- Maiden flight & measurements ...
- Adjustments ...
- More flights & measurements ...
- More adjustments ...

Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Dec 14, 2014 at 04:17 PM.
Dec 06, 2014, 01:48 PM
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Roll Servo Fun

Busted the heads off of two CNM2.3X12ST servo screws today - one on each roll servo Unfortunately there isn't enough shaft left to grab with my thin nosed vice grips, so they'll be staying in there for now. Each roll servo is now secured with three larger and longer screws with 3 washers (each screw) to help with the extra length. It would have been better if the screws closest to the servo's shafts would have busted, but the distant ones did instead. Bummer.

I used the heavy duty 3D ball links for the 4 push-pull push-rods and the 2 swash push-rods. Unfortunately, two more cracked links were the result - and these were the special 3D links. I guess this is unavoidable when using Century ball links these days. Be sure to order extras - you WILL need them.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Dec 06, 2014 at 05:05 PM.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:16 AM
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Things have slowed considerably on this build. I'm out of the hobby for a while.

I'll dabble here and there when and if I can ... just in case anyone has been following this build.

Thanks for reading,


Please post any questions or comments - I'd love to read them.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Feb 15, 2016 at 06:47 PM.
Jan 11, 2015, 05:20 PM
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I am following your build, John. I just picked up a Hawk Pro cheap, that I will be converting to electric. I plan on using the same fuse you have, painted as a Navy trainer.

Jan 11, 2015, 08:06 PM
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Hi Marty - very nice to meet you. Thanks for writing

Good luck on your Hawk Pro conversion - feel free to post a link to your build progress if you like - I'll definitely check it out.

I bet your Navy trainer will look great. Mine is pre-painted, which is good since my available hobby time is much less these days.

Jan 11, 2015, 08:20 PM
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Hi John,

It might be a while before it gets to that stage, but here is what it will look like....
Jan 11, 2015, 08:39 PM
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Looks very sharp Marty - I think the additional white areas look great and will help with visibility when flying low below the treeline. I have some concerns with all of the black areas on mine ...
Jan 12, 2015, 01:40 AM
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At least you have the red and white accents. It should be OK. The contrasting black nose will show which way the heli is pointed!

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