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500 size Apache Gunship Build

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
Ohh if yer already bored with this one can I haz it?
Haha, I think it will be quite a while before I'm bored with this one Psy!:D But, it's moved from a benched project into the "Flite Testing" phase. By my calaculation, that leaves an empty spot on the bench the needs to be filled now ;). The only question is whether to work on my H-34 helo next, or T-33, or Corsair :confused:.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
PAVE LOW PAVE LOW PAVE LOW


Love the Army Marines Navy AND Air Force designations on this one. Kinda made me scratch my head but I assume all our forces have at least one in their inventory.
 
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F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
The MH/CH-53 is definitely on my list at some point, definitely an awesome machine! It was never used by the Army, but the Marines, Air Force, and Navy have used variants of them extensively. I would love to do on as either USAF Special Ops:
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Or a Vietnam era Super Jolley Green Giant
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The issue with a CH-53 is that you have to go big to get the true presence of one right, and every step bigger in Helis seems to about double the price tag. I have a 700 size on the bench, and it's taken over a year to slowly purchase the parts and electronics, and I'm still not done. And the CH-53 uses a 6 blade rotorhead, which would have to be custom machined.

However, I do have those 700 size mechanics set aside for one project. I would like to build a Bell 525, which is the helicopter that I work on. This will be a totally scratchbuilt fuselage, so the timeline may run a bit long, but I'll post a thread whenever progress is made.
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F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
Finally got some nice weather yesterday, and brought out the Apache for some flying. Did some gain tuning on the first flight, and afterwords it was flying very solid and locked in. The strange oscillations I was getting it forward flight are gone, and I dialed down sensitivity a bit.

I had a close call on the second flight. It lost tail rotor authority during slow forward flight, and did 2 complete rotations before I could get it back under control. I did the same procedure we do in he full scale for loss of tail rotor control. Dropped collective, and got some forward airspeed and managed to keep it under control to execute a running landing. No damage, but I’ll be taking it apart to inspect it. I suspect some kind of issue with the tail rotor drive system. Time to take it apart and start a very thorough inspection..
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
Finally got to take it apart, and I think I have found the issue. All the gears look fine, but I think the lower end of the short vertical torque tube to tail rotor is slipping. Grabbing each end with a pliers, one end was able to rotate at high torque loads. This explains why the tail only seemed to blow out for a second, and then would catch again. The bad news is, I bent one of the ends doing the check:p. So, now that section of torque tube had to be replaced. This time both ends will be pinned as well to discourage rotation.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
Well, the torque tube change still didn’t fix the problem, so I tried 2 more solutions today. First, I switched to tail blades with a bit more area. They don’t look quite as Scale, but they certainly have a better bite.

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Second, I changed out the tail servo from the MKS DS8910A+ to a BK DS-7005HV servo that has about twice as much torque. I had found several reports of the old servo not being able to keep up with some stock 500s, and with twice the blades, the Apache has a much higher tail loading.

Got through two test flights today in about 10mph gusting wind, and the tail held excellent! Steady with no blowouts like what occurred previously. The Apache can now finally join the everyday flyers, with no need for only perfect days, and I can move on to the next project!
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
DANNNNNNNNNNNG!

That thing looks absolutely amazing! If only it had bottle rockets for AGM Hellfires or something...
Thanks Jason! Haha, that would be awesome if only I wouldn't get kicked out of AMA for it :p. I have thought about an ultra bright LED on the cannon or something. Would be pretty cool if combined with a sound system, maybe something to try in a future build.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
So jelly...

That first pic is really hard to tell with nothing around it at that angle that it is not a real one. Great job on this. Possible we may see this at FFO this year?
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Well that don't do me no good does it hehe. But hey at least it may be worth at least some B roll from the FT crew when it does happen. Who knows maybe even a feature. Not many scale helis I have seen at past FF's. Usually maybe a 3d exhibition at best. still a sweet build no matter how ya look at it.
 

foamtest

Toothpick glider kid
I am surprised that I didn't find this thread last year, it seems to be a great one! I just read through it all today and I have to say it is quite entertaining, even though I have never done anything with helis, other than the cheap aluminum 3 channel ones from the toy store.

Great job!
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
I am surprised that I didn't find this thread last year, it seems to be a great one! I just read through it all today and I have to say it is quite entertaining, even though I have never done anything with helis, other than the cheap aluminum 3 channel ones from the toy store.

Great job!
Thanks FoamTest!

Psy, that would be awesome! The number of scale helis out there right now is unfortunately very few. I've been flying for 5 years across 4 different RC clubs, plenty of RC events, and have never seen another scale heli. I would love to bring it out to OH, but the cost of the trip + vacation days really makes it impractical. Especially with Oshkosh just 2 weeks later.