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500 size UH-1C Huey - 174th AHC

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#21
LOOK!!!!!

PEEEEEEE PUUUUUULLLLLLL.!!!!

Ok I feel better now. got my daily loony tunes quote in. Good to see this moving forward again. Any word on the replacement tail gear set? Did they respond to you finding a serious lack of lubrication in the dead unit?
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#22
Haha, had a good laugh there! The replacement tail gearbox is in the mail (along with some T connectors for the skids), and should be here any day now. They are planning to change their lubrication procedure at the factory as well. I've been working on a replacement set of blades in the mean time, and thought I'd show how I mod my blades to a more accurate profile.

Started with a brand new set of the 500mm Zeal Blades. These were the closest in length and aspect ratio that I could find to fit with a Huey. The forces on blade blade at my headspeed (1750 rpm) are a fraction there of what they are at 3D headspeeds. I will say that I don't officially recommend this, and the blade manufacturer would probably not be happy with me, but it can be safe if done carefully. I've done it previously to other blades without any issues.I also split apart one of the crashed blades to get a better look at the structure. The top 2 Blades are from the accident.



A closer look at the structure. Each blade has a metal rod leading edge spar, and embedded tip weights. These are bonded to both the spar and the carbon skin. Ideally, you wont need to cut through either of these when removing the rounded tips.



Locations for cuts marked out on the blades. You want to get the cut as far out as possible, more blade diameter = more efficiency. Up to 500mm blades fit with no problem clearing the tail rotor.



Blades trimmed with a Dremel cutoff wheel. Starting to look more Huey-like. Go over the cut VERY carefully looking for any lengthwise cracking or delam of the carbon near the cut. If it looks like even a bit of an issue, don't chance it.



After sanding to clean up the cut, I applied 2 plys of fiberglass over the tip and bonded with some thin CA. It forms a very quick and solid bond to the tip surface.



Blade tips glassed, trimmed, and sanded. I then filled the remaining weave with rustoleum high build primer for a smooth finish. This is also a good time to check and adjust blade balance before final paint.



One of the final steps was creating spacers. The head uses 3mm bolts, while the blades have 4mm holes. I found some tubing on McMaster Carr with a 3mm I.D and 4mm O.D. and cut it to the correct lengths. Fits perfectly inside the blade mounting holes.



A few coats of paint, and you have a set of nice, scale-looking Huey blades! I do recommend inspecting them regularly as part of your preflight. A few restrained ground runs won't hurt either. And if you have any sort of tip strike, even in soft dirt, replace the blade. The disadvantage of this mod is that you loose the durability afforded by those solid rounded tips.


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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#23
Nice run thru how you do that. Brave soul messin with the blades though. I was nervous of messing a set up just balancing when I was starting to fly nitro helis around 1999-2000 ish time frame. I love the big birds but that's too much to lug around these days. Specially since I have to rely on chauffeurs to get anywhere. I think that is one of the reason quads are so popular as well. They are far more portable but still require a fair amount of support gear.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#24
Finally got back to working on the Huey. Skids are fixed, and the tail boom damage has been repaired.



Also started another mod to the airframe. From day one, the lack of the sliding door tracks in the rear cabin has bothered me. They are one of the most prominent features on the full scale aircraft. Will also be adding the recessed inspection steps, vents, and fuel port. Now of course, I thought if I was going to add door tracks, they may as well be functional. I mean how hard could it be?


With some styrene and CA, and a lot of patience, I rigged up some sliding tracks using a C channel and an I-beam slider. Still need to make the front guides in the cabin, but so far it is functioning nicely.



 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#25
Just the tracks and the door slid all the way back gives it a huge boost to the 3d look that was missing. Having it functional is just icing on the cake. wonder if you could rig up a simple rope mechanism like they had for the old dial radios that moved the needle across the frequency spectrum to point out channels only have it operate the door.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#27
Thanks guys!
Just the tracks and the door slid all the way back gives it a huge boost to the 3d look that was missing. Having it functional is just icing on the cake. wonder if you could rig up a simple rope mechanism like they had for the old dial radios that moved the needle across the frequency spectrum to point out channels only have it operate the door.
That would be awesome, however I probably won't do anything to close/open them in flight for one reason. I have gunners figures on the way, and the gun barrels will likely be over the door threshold. I would hate to accidentally break something by hitting the switch! In Vietnam, 95% of the time the doors were opened in flight anyways due to heat and providing a firing position for the gunners. They were usually only closed on the ground. The mechanism is definitively doable though. The LX/Banana hobby jackscrew actuators would be perfect for this sort of thing!
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#31
Thanks Mountaindewdude!

What was the final verdict on the doors? they all worked out now? And did your figures arrive yet for the crew?
The left door is finished, still working on the right door. Crew figures have arrived! Did some sanding and priming the remove the print lines, and I’m going to be sending them off to be painted. Found out on the Apache that I’m no good at painting humans, and the Huey deserves a well painted crew! Here’s what they look like at the moment.
 

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Namactual

Well-known member
#32
@F106DeltaDart
Are those figures something you bought from some kind of company, or something you had custom made?

The reason I ask is I have been thinking about doing custom models like this and I was wondering if there really is a market for this sort of thing.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#33
@F106DeltaDart
Are those figures something you bought from some kind of company, or something you had custom made?

The reason I ask is I have been thinking about doing custom models like this and I was wondering if there really is a market for this sort of thing.
Custom made from Real Model Pilots. They run a business doing it, and seem to do quite well, so I'm sure its doable. Normally I can 3D model most things I need, however, making a model of a person in a whole different skillset and generally requires different software from what I'm used to. I don't want to think about trying to model a face, or folds in a uniform in solidworks!
 

Namactual

Well-known member
#34
Thanks brother.
Aye, I would not try to model organic shapes in Solidworks either. You can use splines to create them in sections, but it's still much easier with the proper tool set.

I will have to check them out and see what their going prices are and see if it would be something worth considering.

Thanks again for the information.(y)
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#35
No problem, good luck! There’s always a need for custom parts. I know soon, I’ll need more heli pilot figures. I will need pilots for my upcoming OH-58, H-34, and HO3S builds.

I did a bit more detailing work on the Huey today. Added in all the maintenance steps on the left side, and have the holes cut for adding them and the fuel port on the right.
 

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Namactual

Well-known member
#36
What era was your Kiowa, (another one of my favs(y)), going to be built around? What scale as well?

No promises, but I might get some time in to model a few figures. I already have a base human form, (completely pose-able), from previous projects I just need to do the uniform. I really do make a better artist than engineer so I am not worried about the quality, just time.:)
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#37
The Kiowa will be an OH-58A, Vietnam era scout. It is a 600 size fuselage, so scale is probably around 1/7 or so. Need to take some measurements to be sure. It is being built doors-off, so the pilots will be displayed prominently. If you get to making any models, I’d love to see them! I’ve got reference photos that I can send/post if needed.

More Huey progress. Sliding doors are complete, and finished the maintenance steps and fuel port on the right side. Also got to mounting the MK5 “Thumper” Grenade launcher in place. Glue is currently drying on the forward windows as well. If all goes as planned, Test flight will be tomorrow, and it’s off to the Texas Scale Championships on Saturday!
 

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Namactual

Well-known member
#38
Sound good. (y)
I will see what I can do with your reference photos, but I don't want to hijack your thread here. I will shoot you a PM with an e-mail address. No hurry on that either, I am booked solid until after FFE'18 anyway.

The Huey is looking great man. I can't wait see to the test flight. (y)
You are going to record it right?:)
 
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F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#39
Sound good. (y)
I will see what I can do with your reference photos, but I don't want to hijack your thread here. I will shoot you a PM with an e-mail address. No hurry on that either, I am booked solid until after FFE'18 anyway.

The Huey is looking great man. I can't wait see to the test flight. (y)
You are going to record it right?:)
Looking forward to it! I probably won’t have the Kiowa even half built by then anyways, LOL.

Unfortunately, the test flight didn’t happed today. I worked like crazy today, almost 10 straight hours trying to get it finished up. Finally got it together, and was going to do a quick test hover before gluing on the rocket pods. Started to spool up the motor, and it was immediately clear I had a very large problem. The rotor mast was bent! It was not bent enough to see when turning by hand, but with the blades on, it very obvious, and would have had disasterous consequences. So, time to wait again, shafts are on order but are coming from Germany so it may be a while. Here’s where I am at so far.
 

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F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#40
Well, I finally got in my replacement shaft and went for a test hover last night. Everything went well for a bit, and it flew as good as I remember. And then, in a 3 ft hover, the ESC went into LVC. Lost power, and had a hard landing. No damage other than a broken rear skid tube. Could have been much worse, but still incredibly frustrating.

After pulling the ESC logs, sure enough, the voltage dropped off sharply to LVC under about 25A of load. Battery was a 3 year old Thunder Power 4400 65C 6S pack. Its been a bad week for batteries with me. One of my Admiral Pro 4000s dropped a cell, and another crapped out in hover earlier in the week. Time to make a bulk battery order I guess.
 

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