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Aug 14, 2016, 04:48 PM
Today is a good day to fly
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Moving away from the FP and into CP. My 450X will be the mechanics, along with upgraded cyclic servos, motor and ESC. I'm doing a Cal Fire scheme even though this isn't the same model UH-1.
8/27/16. Got the rivet making "tools" from Jim, thanks my friend! I'll practice with the TH-57 project. So it seems I now have three scale projects and a pair of sail boats for the winter. Cool! Now if I can just finish the house to my wife's satisfaction, I can get to work. Oh, forgot I have 2 new bodies for the cars that need paint, trim and so on. Good thing the shop is heated.
9/8/2016. Got a few minutes this morning while charging up the 230's batteries and checked the tail drive belt against a new tail shaft and it's a perfect fit. The included tail tubes are a good fit inside the 450's tail boom so the spare will be cut up into adapters. Good news for sure so the minor issues with the tail are now resolved. I'm looking forward to starting on this.
Made up my mind to keep it simple and build this as a fun fly scale. It's really too small for extravagant detail and while the purest would notice the main is turning the wrong way and the tail is on the wrong side, why re-invent the wheel? I'll do panel lines and rivets, try to do the wipers and other cabin exterior details.
Parts ordered today include a full Lynx tail box along with other CNC bits.
9/18/2016. Parts started trickling in yesterday, nice Al pieces from Blade to replace the plastic bits at the rotor head and an Al tail belt gear. Expected tomorrow are the complete Lynx tail box, slider, control arm and rotor grips, all in natural Al finish to complement the main head.
9/19/2016. All of the Lynx parts for the tail box and rudder control arrived. Very pleased with the look and quality of these parts. Think if I can find one, a Lynx swash plate will be ordered. Also need to order the lighting kit.
9/24/2016. We're off to the Jimmy Doolittle air museum this morning to get some pictures of their UH-1, and enjoy a pancake breakfast along with the other war birds on display.
Had a great time at the museum, and Paul (curator) was helpful and well informed. We had a private tour as we arrived after the pancake breakfast. I was able to get as many pictures as I wanted and allowed access to most every nook and cranny of their UH-1. The only fly in the ointment, it's an H model .
About a year ago, a scale modelers club was formed here, and I'd wanted to attend the monthly meeting, yet never made it. Conversation turned to the air models on display when my wife offered my services. Paul replied, I should attend the meetings, hosted at the museum. He pointed out his own personal experiences and growth as a modeler by joining and attending the meetings. He also told me that skills such as air brushing are often taught on a one on one basis, something I've wanted to learn for a very long time. Also among the group is an individual that's won awards on a national level for his weathered military models, another skill I'd like to improve. Can you guess where I'll be the first Wednesday next month? Also considering volunteering at the museum.
9/26/2016. So after several hours searching for some quality images for the build, and even though we got many good shots at the museum, I bought a Monogram/Revell 1/24 scale UH-1C. It's a good match to what I have and should provide valuable detail information. I was amazed at how many little details I'd never noticed with my experiences with them during my active duty.
12/19/2016. So I finally got around to programming my DX8 for the 450. Took the path of least resistance and used the SD card. Easy Peasy. I did check the setup, happy to say it's by the book. Bound the TX/RX, again no problems. My darling wife bought the Attitude/Gov. firmware upgrade for me, my Christmas gift. (I think she was relieved I didn't want another helicopter!) Once the payment clears I'll finish the upgrade and install in the 450.
4/12/2017. Decided on the Cal Fire paint, ordered graphics from Callie Graphics today. Great gal to work with, fast response and very reasonable prices.
I'm installing the Lynx rotor head and various other bits but have decided to use the stock Align plastic tail gear box, for weight savings mostly. The Lynx tail box will end up on the 500 E. Lots to do. For starters the head needs dialed in, the AR7210BX needs to be setup, then change the motor and ESC.
Work starts today getting the new head and AR setup.
4/15/2017. Rolled the dice on a listing for T Rex 450 parts in the classifieds. After searching for the stock tail group I got frustrated. I couldn't find all the pieces. It may come to be that all I really need is the housing, but without parts in hand... Bought a bunch of parts that are reputed to include three complete tail units and parts to build another. To tell the truth, I'm skeptical of the quality. Seems every used heli I've bought that had "spare parts" came with a bunch of old, broken worn out garbage. I'll know soon enough, either it's all good or with my parts and the T Rex stuff I can make it work. I have a way to adapt the Blade parts but feel it would add too much weight aft so this seems the better way to go. The belt width and tooth spacing are identical and I'd bet the lengths are the same. or the same belt would work in either heli.
Looking forward to my graphics and parts, both packages should arrive early next week. In the mean time I hope to get some stick time in. We have a nice day today with...wait for it.....more rain in the forecast. On the bright side, can't remember a May where the hills were still green, haven't had to turn on the sprinkler system and the lawn is nice and lush.
4/16/2017. Been kicking the idea around, get another 450X, keep it pod and boom for practice or not. Looking in the hanger, there are two 300's, an X and CF X. Not going to get another 450 with these two already in hand. Going to get the 300 X tuned and ready for this season. I had stripped out the servos for something else so it needs that and since I now have two AR7200BX's I can replace the Turnegy clone. On hand are some plastic geared E flight servos, need gear sets but will do the job. I figure I can get lots of gears for the price of some good servos, have them on hand and repairing them is easy.
4/18/2017. The graphics and Trex parts came yesterday. First the graphics, very nice everything fits in it's place and looks perfect. I highly recommend Callie Graphics, fast friendly and quality stuff. Now onto the lot of parts. Why do people throw their broken, worn out stuff in the same box and call it spares? To be fair, there is some N.I.P. stuff, nothing that does me any good. The tail box that I bought this lot for? Got one complete, needs bearings and about half the parts for another, bearings in worse condition. The silver lining, it fits the kit tail boom so it's all good. On the way is a telemetry unit and cables, should be plug and play.
4/21/2017. Bought the paint, it's sunny and warm so no excuse now. Lots of wet sanding to do, nice to have a deep sink with hot and cold water outside. As I'm writing this it dawns on me, didn't get any primer. Guess I was so focused on choosing the right shade of red that I got tunnel vision. No biggie as the store is a nice walk away. As it turns out the graphics are for the most part, stickers. With a little heat they are easily removed. The star and bar, along with the yellow tail band are paint. A clear coat was applied which left an outline of the graphics. This was sanded down and the star /bar sanded off. I decided to leave the yellow band and just feather the edge. Making preparations for primer. One word of caution, the wood backing for the screws on the vertical tail fin aren't all that well cemented on and can easily pop off. I had one do just that, but found it and will re-cement once I'm happy with prep.
4/23/2017. Primer today, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Even got to fly, first time in months.
Shot two light coats of primer, so far happy with the coverage of the old graphics. Will wet sand and do two more coats. Need to start laying out for the navigation lights, see if I can get the detail kit from RCA before I get ahead of myself.
7/18/2017. Been awhile since an update. Drew on panel lines/rivet guides and started the riveting process. Time consuming to say the least, but well worth the effort. Now with the rivets on, I think some scale details like the fin and cable cutters must be done. Rivets should be done in another 15 or so hours of work. About 10 hours at the time of these photos.
7/24/2017. Rivets are finished, about 30 hours total to lay out and execute. Did the first color coat yesterday even though the temperature was 102. Keeping a wet edge was fun. Today is much nicer, abet windy but a second coat went on and painted the horizontal fins, two coats red.
7/26/2017. I decided not to use the 450X for mechanics. Even with a workable resolution to the differences in the tail booms, there's too much possibility for failure at that point. A friend in FL has donated a clone T Rex frame and other pieces for the build, Thanks Ivan! Three coats of white and out of paint, will need another can as the LG and other bits still need painted. Clear coated the fins and WS frame. I'm letting the base coat on the fuselage cure for at least a week to circumvent any change of the masking tape damaging the finish. Considering cutting a floor for the mechanics install, rather than bolting it to the model.
8/3/2017, The indecision continued with what to use for mechanics. There is no way to use the 450X w/o some serious surgery to the cabin top at the air intake. The motor sticks up too far. The stock motor may squeeze in there, but not the one I'm using so it's plan B. Which also means the nice, flat floor I just made will not be of any use either.
8/4/2017. Turns out the motor I was using to mock up the mechanics was not the one for the build, it is an 1/8" taller than the right one, so with that the 450X will indeed fit. Back to plan A as it were. Huge relief, the budget for this is near it's limit. The floor that was so carefully cut and fit is not going to work, it wouldn't have worked with either the Align or Blade. Some new pictures showing the latest color paint. Today the frame will get the motor, servos and ESC will be started, an inventory of parts so any needed can be ordered. I'm using a spare frame and building it up rather than the brand new 450X.
8/7/2017. May have a clone air frame, complete at a reasonable price so if it pans out that's how I'll go. Did some painting, the flange for the two halves got a coat of white and the interior got matte black. Doing some accessory wiring, the nav lights and telemetry goodies. Also managed to build one complete tail box from the collection of parts. Took apart the idler pulley, cleaned up the casting flash, greased the bearing and it's better, but I do have the flange bearings and metal tail pulley to convert if necessary. Should have some masking tape today, will try to get the red finished, graphics on and such.
8/11/2017. Gave up on using the 450X for mechanics and have a brand new Tarot 450 sport on the way, along with a FBL conversion. Spent hours searching/pricing/comparing what it would take to scrounge all of the missing parts for the frame on hand, the one that fits the included boom and came to the conclusion I would be time and money ahead to get a new kit. So that is it, no more waffling. All of the electronics like servos, motor, ESC and receiver will work just fine. Kit may be here tomorrow, most likely Monday.
8/14/2017. My package is out for delivery. A good day for it, cold and overcast. All of the electronics are sitting on the bench ready for installation. Added to the photo gallery a progress shot and one of the frame used in mock-up.
9/23/2017. Update. It's been frustrating, finding a solution for the FBL mount, but I have a new plan. I have some left over 1/8" aircraft plywood to use for this idea, but searched for days trying to find it. All the while thinking "it's right under my nose". Sure enough, it was hiding in plain sight. So with that found I can get back to work and hopefully we'll be ready to maiden the basic mechanics soon.
11/3/2017. Set backs and other issues have prevented any work for a couple of months now. Good news, we're back on this one now. Looking at the servo install, not happy with the angle of the control links, so first is to see if reversing the ball links to the other side of the arm will work, clear and give better geometry. Once that is done, the Spirit Pro will get mounted to the side frame, not messing around with a custom mount that may or may not work out. I've got a couple days to work on this then it's back to work on the den. Christmas was the first deadline, it's now been bumped up to Thanksgiving. No worries, the flooring is already purchased, walls/ceiling painted, baseboard made, stained and varnished. Monday it's off to the lumberyard for some plywood and start the floor.
12/24/2017. With the "honey do's" whittled down and being too cold out to work on outside stuff, I have had the chance to work on the UH-1 mechanics. Yesterday I worked on the Spirit Pro, learned how to get the laptop and it to talk to each other, mounted some electronics and controls, got the servos centered and the swash level. Now to finish the rudder linkage and get the main blades at 0 pitch mid-stick. Nice to be able to work on this now. No photos until the new camera gets here.
Rudder linkage is done and works rather well, nice and smooth thru out the travel. Made a few tweaks to the head and 0 at mid stick is nearly perfect on both blades.
Last edited by farquward; Dec 25, 2017 at 12:28 PM.
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