Author Posts

Torque-Tube Tail Upgrade

Jun 06, 2014 1 Comment by

For several years, Align’s T-Rex 450 series has dominated the small helicopter market. Rather than resting on a proven design with excellent quality and fit, Align has gradually upgraded the heli to keep up with (or ahead of) their competitors, imitators, and outright copiers. With the release of the T-Rex 450 Pro, Align raised the [...]

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Charging Multiple Packs

May 18, 2014 4 Comments by

Lithium-polymer cells have revolutionized electric flight, but as any e-flier knows, LiPo charging and maintenance can be time consuming. For optimum service life, LiPos should be stored around 3.8 volts per cell, which creates a bottleneck for spur-of-the-moment flying, and recharging batteries at the field can be a chore when you’d rather be in the [...]

Helicopters, How-tos, Uncategorized Read more

Blade 600X: a 12-cell competition beauty raises the bar

May 13, 2014 No Comments by

Over the last couple of years, Blade RC, long a major presence in mini and micro helicopters, has released a series of larger helis ranging up to 550 class. With the Blade 600X they have raised the ante with a competition-grade 12-cell flybarless 600, and I couldn’t wait to build one. The Blade 600X Pro [...]

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Light up the night! Easy add-on

Apr 23, 2014 No Comments by

RC’ers love novelty — anything to make flying a little different. Float flying, aerotow, aerial video; all these add variety, but one of my favorites is night flying. There’s something absolutely magical about flying in the dark. My efforts with night flying go back nearly 20 years, starting with spotlights, then Cyalume light sticks and [...]

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How to: Make Bubble Windows

Apr 17, 2014 1 Comment by

Many full-scale airplanes and helicopters feature bubble windows to allow the crew greater visibility. Replicating these windows can be tricky for scale modelers, as it’s inconvenient to make a vacuum-forming plug for each uniquely shaped window frame. In full-scale aircraft manufacturing, these bubble windows are almost always free-blown from sheet plastic clamped in a frame. [...]

Helicopters, How-tos, Scale Read more

Choosing Heli Servos: Analog vs. Digital

Mar 28, 2014 No Comments by

  (Opener) Flybarless helis like this large Robinson R22 are rapidly taking over, but these impressive machines impose heavier demands on the servos. Let’s address a question that seems to cause a good deal of confusion (or at least misunderstanding) among helicopter fliers—whether digital servos are really better than analog, and whether they’re worth the [...]

Jim Ryan Read more

Are two rotor heads better than one?

Feb 20, 2014 3 Comments

Ask anyone to draw a picture of a helicopter, and in nearly every case they’ll sketch the classic “conventional” configuration with a single main rotor and an anti-torque tail rotor at the end of a long tail boom. This layout hasn’t changed appreciably since Igor Sikorsky clamped down his Homburg hat and lifted his original [...]

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Sneak Peek: Blade 600

Feb 05, 2014 No Comments

Over the last couple of years Blade RC, long a major presence in mini and micro helicopters, has released a series of larger helis ranging up to 550 class. With the Blade 600X they have raised the ante with a competition-grade 12-cell flybarless 600, and I couldn’t wait to build one. The Blade 600X Pro [...]

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