Author Posts

Home-brewed Quads

Nov 25, 2013 No Comments

 I’ll admit that multi-rotors haven’t really been my thing. I’m not heavily into aerial photography, and helicopters are just more interesting to me. I do get a kick out of the remarkable work some of the AP wizards have produced, particularly Gary Graf’s amazing flight videos (see Gary’s YouTube channel, FPVFlightSchool, for some examples of [...]

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Preventive Maintenance

Nov 14, 2013 1 Comment

Electric helicopters are far cleaner and smoother running than their nitro-powered brethren, meaning that they tend to require less maintenance. This, however, can be both a blessing and a curse. I’ll confess to being a bit haphazard with preventative maintenance on my helis, with an inclination to think, “It flew fine last time As my [...]

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Parallel Charging the Safe and Easy Way

Sep 19, 2013 3 Comments

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 [...]

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Torque-Tube Tail Upgrade

Sep 01, 2013 1 Comment

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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Electric Power & Performance Advice

Aug 20, 2013 No Comments

For power-hungry 3D applications and heavier scale machines, is it better to generate the required watts with more amps or with higher volts? Let’s look at some real-world examples and see what’s going on behind the curtain. JOULE’S LAW The crux of the problem for high-current power systems is that power losses increase with the [...]

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A Swiss Masterpiece

Aug 08, 2013 5 Comments

While the IRCHA Jamboree is best known for incredible 3D flying, there are also some outstanding scale models to be seen in the dedicated scale area.  This year there were some big and impressive scale models on display, but my personal favorite was a truly amazing Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King that was the handiwork of [...]

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Big Scale Made Easy!

May 14, 2013 2 Comments

Large-scale helis (“large” in this context meaning anything bigger than 450 or 500 size) have a reputation for being expensive, complicated, and nerve-wracking to fly. The goal of this project was to have a scale heli that would be affordable, simple and fun. To fulfill these objectives, I looked for a scale body that would [...]

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Museum Scale H-34

May 01, 2013 3 Comments

Darrell Sprayberry of Dalton, GA has earned a reputation as one of the finest scale helicopter modelers in the world, and at this year’s Toledo Weak Signals Expo he placed first in the Helicopter class with his fantastic scratch-built H-34 Choctaw. Also known as the Sikorsky S-58, the H-34 is an iconic design–perhaps the best [...]

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