One-Design Helicopter, anyone?

HobbyCAD

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It's lately been very quite on the helicopter forums. Is there anyone out there still tinkering with some one-design helicopters? Bryan, Dennis, Barney, Cam, John, Rick, Don ....
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
Oscar's electric tail rotors. Thankful for that. Wish they would post more too.
 

Barney Bahle

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Well Francois, at some point I realized I just didn't have the skill to turn my Mini 500 kit into a 2 seat machine. I ended up selling everything I accumulated to a guy in California. He seemed very enthusiastic and was a forum lurker but I don't know what ever came of it.

My next project was an old, 80's VW powered Bensen that had never flown. I got a heck of a deal when after the guy finally got it running, it ran out of gas and squeaked to an abrupt halt. Not quite seized but not quite turning over either. After completely rebuilding it (the engine and the gyro) and seeing it take flight I started taking lessons. Realized then that I really enjoyed helicopters more so up on the auction block it went. There is a video of David doing the first successful test flight at Wrens Fly-in that pops up here once in a while and still puts a smile on my face.

Then there was the Scorpoin Too. I found it hidden in a garage in Arizona for at least a decade if not two. Stripped it down to the frame and rebuilt it. I had posted a link to my you-tube video of it in a hover. If you know Rotorways you know Homer, he was the test pilot of that one. But alas, no one in their right mind will train in a cable head Rotorway these days. So that one had to go. The day it left I did some calculations and when I added up the cost of 2 Scorpions, 3 Mini 500's, and the lowly Bensen, vs. the income from sales of same, I actually came out a little ahead. Not too bad considering the first Mini 500 was destroyed in a hangar collapse. After the calculation my first call was to Homer.

Homer had an old Exec 90 that was in my price range on his site that I had been eyeing. When I called it was sold but for a few dollars more he had a guy desperately wanting to sell a 162F that he hadn't yet had a chance to list. A couple phone calls and a quick trip to Oklahoma and I am the proud owner of a half priced Rotorway 162F that no one else knew was on the market.

So I finally have an airworthy 2 place machine and CFI's willing to clime in it. I started lessons last fall and was signed off to hover solo. I didn't know there was such a thing but apparently there is. Then end of February the motorcycle season here ramped up and I was busy all summer. It just now started slowing down so I'll have a little play time. Flight instruction is just one more good reason to head down to sunny Florida.

Now a Rotorway does require a bit of constant maintenance and you could say it is always a project, but I recently came across a project Mosquito that I just couldn't resist. Was a flyer with 150 hours but hasn't run in 6 years, partially disassembled for wiring that wasn't finished??? Some other issues but dirt cheap. Can't have too many projects.

Long post but that's what I've been up to. Here's a link to my youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv6V3-vUtAtgwASWXdutOjQ ) if you'er interested. Nothing fancy, just to share with friends and family. Has the Scorpion, the 162F, and Dads steam engine. Thinking back, Dad and I are both wannabe builders that ended up being resurrectors of derelict machines.
 
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HobbyCAD

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Hi Barney,

Great to hear you are still in the tinkering game. I'm still very much indebted to you for hauling my parts half around the US.

Great video's on your page. That steam engine looks a hoot. Many moons ago I tried the same with a Scorpion 133, the pipes were glowing red trying to get it to hover. Sounds about the same with the 162, that's revving it up to max to get it going. Well' at least they are flyers, that's a lot more than I can say.

I dream of one day being able to attend such a helicopter gathering. You know of anything small other that Helicycles, Mosquitos or Rotorway's flying on a regular basis. 5 to 10 years ago there were so many projects out there, many projects changing hands and being resurrected. Seems to me now that even their second lease in life did not work out. A sad event when Luciano passed away in the UK, he was very dedicated.

A couple of months ago I started dusting off my Skeeter Jr project, I'm making good inroads in completing it. The engine is running well, but setting up the transmission is like a mountain of a task ahead of me. Once that is done, I'll be able to really make inroads in getting it all wrapped up. Currently it's like a large drag brake on my project, starting the gearbox internals alignment and setup.

Anyway, great to hear from you, keep in touch.

Cheers, F.

Well Francois, at some point I realized I just didn't have the skill to turn my Mini 500 kit into a 2 seat machine. I ended up selling everything I accumulated to a guy in California. He seemed very enthusiastic and was a forum lurker but I don't know what ever came of it.

My next project was an old, 80's VW powered Bensen that had never flown. I got a heck of a deal when after the guy finally got it running, it ran out of gas and squeaked to an abrupt halt. Not quite seized but not quite turning over either. After completely rebuilding it (the engine and the gyro) and seeing it take flight I started taking lessons. Realized then that I really enjoyed helicopters more so up on the auction block it went. There is a video of David doing the first successful test flight at Wrens Fly-in that pops up here once in a while and still puts a smile on my face.

Then there was the Scorpoin Too. I found it hidden in a garage in Arizona for at least a decade if not two. Stripped it down to the frame and rebuilt it. I had posted a link to my you-tube video of it in a hover. If you know Rotorways you know Homer, he was the test pilot of that one. But alas, no one in their right mind will train in a cable head Rotorway these days. So that one had to go. The day it left I did some calculations and when I added up the cost of 2 Scorpions, 3 Mini 500's, and the lowly Bensen, vs. the income from sales of same, I actually came out a little ahead. Not too bad considering the first Mini 500 was destroyed in a hangar collapse. After the calculation my first call was to Homer.

Homer had an old Exec 90 that was in my price range on his site that I had been eyeing. When I called it was sold but for a few dollars more he had a guy desperately wanting to sell a 162F that he hadn't yet had a chance to list. A couple phone calls and a quick trip to Oklahoma and I am the proud owner of a half priced Rotorway 162F that no one else knew was on the market.

So I finally have an airworthy 2 place machine and CFI's willing to clime in it. I started lessons last fall and was signed off to hover solo. I didn't know there was such a thing but apparently there is. Then end of February the motorcycle season here ramped up and I was busy all summer. It just now started slowing down so I'll have a little play time. Flight instruction is just one more good reason to head down to sunny Florida.

Now a Rotorway does require a bit of constant maintenance and you could say it is always a project, but I recently came across a project Mosquito that I just couldn't resist. Was a flyer with 150 hours but hasn't run in 6 years, partially disassembled for wiring that wasn't finished??? Some other issues but dirt cheap. Can't have too many projects.

Long post but that's what I've been up to. Here's a link to my youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv6V3-vUtAtgwASWXdutOjQ ) if you'er interested. Nothing fancy, just to share with friends and family. Has the Scorpion, the 162F, and Dads steam engine. Thinking back, Dad and I are both wannabe builders that ended up being resurrectors of derelict machines.
 

bryancobb

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Bryan here...
Update, I'm done! I had a great job that kept my helicopter habit nourished but my inability to avoid posting my opinions of the modern world on social media, I have been "cancelled" by a stranger in Oklahoma. He was able to get me fired with a few mouse clicks.

Now I'm 60, broke, and can't get a job in this booming job-market. I sold every toy I had. Some guy from Tacoma drove all the way to Georgia to pick up my helicopter and went straight back to Washington with it, without so much as a nap.

Now I'm a broken man who has finished the race with blisters all over my feet.
 

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
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Messages
488
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
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Rotorway 162F
Had the pleasure of meeting Luciano a few years ago at Bensen Days. He was quite the character and will be missed.

Bensen days, Wrens, Bob's Rotorway Gathering, the Mosquito Factory Fly-In, Homer's last Bean Patch Meet, and most recently a Mosquito gathering here in Tennessee are the events I've been able to attend over my 13 year and counting helicopter adventure. By far the majority have been Rotorway's, closely followed by Mosquito's. At these meets I've also seen 2 Safari's but never witnessed one in flight, and I did see a flying Cicare (probably spelled that wrong) at Wrens the last time I was there. I hear he's been back there but I haven't had the chance to return.

If you ever plan to visit the Ol' US of A let me know and I'll help you find an experimental helicopter meet.

I've seen Bryan's Mini at his house, and John's Mini/MH1 and a Helicycle at his house. But of all the other one-of-a-kind or built from parts machines we used to see and read about here, I've never seen one out in the wild. I've also been in contact with a guy in Cincinnati that is a Denalli dealer but again, never saw one in person.

Keep posting on the Skeeter project, I know I'm not the only one watching it. I don't generally post much but if I have a helpful comment I'll throw it out there. Many years ago, while under the MH1 spell, I made some regrettable comments about your friend Dennis. I learned from that and try to keep my comments based on mechanics these days.
 

HobbyCAD

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Bryan here...
Update, I'm done!

Bryan, I'm sorry to hear about your current hardship. Unfortunately you learned the hard way, social media has become a tool of destruction. There is no longer a thing called loyalty. I always said there is no letter "I" in "Team, but then realised there are the letters "M" and "E", so instead of us all being a team, it's become all about me, at any cost, no-one cares a hoot what happens to others. I'm 60 myself, I suspect that if I were to lose my job, I'd go the same way. Keep your chin up, tomorrow can always bring a better day.

You at least still have your house and family with you?

Cheers, F.
 

btd1982

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I've been following you guys and learning from your comments and projects, there's some really knowledgeable and clever people on this forum. I'm still trying to get my coaxial off the ground, it's getting close but not quite there. Building aluminium 2stroke expansion chambers at the moment to help the engine perform. My YouTube channel https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCw0XEA7X57uSpHNpUYQtw2g

Love scorpions, mosquitos and the mini 500 helicopters.
Ben
 

Martin W.

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Winnipeg
.

Like All_In said .... about the only thing new and innovative seems to be Oskar's electric powered mosquito .

Even some of the established kit sellers have faded away .... as far as I know the Helicycle kits are no longer available

So what does that leave ..... Mosquito ... Safari (Baby Bell) ...... Cicare .... that's about it as far as I know.

.
 

Barney Bahle

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Messages
488
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
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Rotorway 162F
Helicycle is alive and well, look up Helicycle Ventures. As is Rotorway, now Rotor X.

Interesting project you have Ben. I like the belt set-up for the counter rotating blades, never seen that one before. Keep us posted.

Sorry to hear things have gone south Bryan. I seem to recall this happened to you a while back and you ended up with a better job than the one you lost. Never know what's around the corner.
 

btd1982

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Thanks Barney. The belt system I thought was an original idea but I think the Russian micron coaxial uses a similar drive. I also thought in the beginning that using an outboard engine was original but soon found out it had been done many times😀
Liked your scorpion hovering video 👍

Francois, when you said you weren't looking forward to setting up the transmission I thought is it like setting up a vehicle differential, with backlash, bearing preload and gear contact adjustment, but I read some of the information on your skeeter thread and realised it's no so straight forward. I usually find though the jobs we fear are going to be difficult turn out to be not so bad in the end.
 

HobbyCAD

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Francois, when you said you weren't looking forward to setting up the transmission I thought is it like setting up a vehicle differential, with backlash, bearing preload and gear contact adjustment, but I read some of the information on your skeeter thread and realised it's no so straight forward. I usually find though the jobs we fear are going to be difficult turn out to be not so bad in the end.
My issue is not one of fear, but one of spare hands. No other enthusiasts close by, so doing it alone becomes difficult and cumbersome. This is why I'm not looking forward to it, for it will be a labour intensive task to do alone.

COVID has also turned many, my family included, into partial recluses. Where we used to entertain every weekend, the outdoor entertainment area is now covered in cobwebs. Although life is slowly returning to some resemblance of the previous normality, it is going to take time to break out of that reclusive behaviour state. We've just gotten too used to being separated from others.

But I'm at the point where to make any progress, I now need to do it, if I like it or not.

Cheers, F.
 

DavePA11

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Bryan here...
Update, I'm done! I had a great job that kept my helicopter habit nourished but my inability to avoid posting my opinions of the modern world on social media, I have been "cancelled" by a stranger in Oklahoma. He was able to get me fired with a few mouse clicks.

Now I'm 60, broke, and can't get a job in this booming job-market. I sold every toy I had. Some guy from Tacoma drove all the way to Georgia to pick up my helicopter and went straight back to Washington with it, without so much as a nap.

Now I'm a broken man who has finished the race with blisters all over my feet.
Hey Bryan, sorry to hear about the job. Would relocating help with the job effort? Never good to post anything in social media these days, I deleted all accounts, and only talk about hobbies…Things turn around, but harder as we get older.
 

bryancobb

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Hey Dave, thanks for the kind words. I'm really not in as bad of shape as I made it sound. The circumstances surrounding it keeps me depressed though. My roots are deep in North GA and aerospace jobs are plentiful here. It's obvious that being 60 makes hiring managers look elsewhere even though 60 is not old. Almost 100 interviews and none got much traction. I haven't had a security clearance since leaving the military in 87 and it's expensive for a company to get one done for new hires. Companies had rather hire an enthusiastic, hyper tech-savvy 20 something with minimum experience. My home and vehicles are paid for and the VA handles my medical care.
 

fara

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Hey Dave, thanks for the kind words. I'm really not in as bad of shape as I made it sound. The circumstances surrounding it keeps me depressed though. My roots are deep in North GA and aerospace jobs are plentiful here. It's obvious that being 60 makes hiring managers look elsewhere even though 60 is not old. Almost 100 interviews and none got much traction. I haven't had a security clearance since leaving the military in 87 and it's expensive for a company to get one done for new hires. Companies had rather hire an enthusiastic, hyper tech-savvy 20 something with minimum experience. My home and vehicles are paid for and the VA handles my medical care.

consider yourself a bit lucky. Social media is made to bring your unchecked opinionated self out. Specially about politics. So many people fall for its trap. You will write stuff you will never say to someone’s face. You will dig in deeper to justify your opinion even it’s not making sense in an argument that is logical. That is exactly what they know and urge you to participate in.
let me tell you your opinion does not matter to the general public. No one cares if you love Trump or hate Biden. It doesn’t make one bit of difference what you think to the general public. Only actions can bring about change not discussions with strangers spiraling downwards. Participate in the process by actions not discussions on social media. It will always bring out the most illogical and worst in us. It’s made to do that. Hard lesson to learn. I have to also try and follow this sane advice. The attraction to start a heated argument about politics and get uncivil is baked so deep in these platforms. Have to resist it.
 

bryancobb

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consider yourself a bit lucky. Social media is made to bring your unchecked opinionated self out. Specially about politics. So many people fall for its trap. You will write stuff you will never say to someone’s face. You will dig in deeper to justify your opinion even it’s not making sense in an argument that is logical. That is exactly what they know and urge you to participate in.
let me tell you your opinion does not matter to the general public. No one cares if you love Trump or hate Biden. It doesn’t make one bit of difference what you think to the general public. Only actions can bring about change not discussions with strangers spiraling downwards. Participate in the process by actions not discussions on social media. It will always bring out the most illogical and worst in us. It’s made to do that. Hard lesson to learn. I have to also try and follow this sane advice. The attraction to start a heated argument about politics and get uncivil is baked so deep in these platforms. Have to resist it.
Using written tests as a tool to evaluate people for promotion in the military has been used for many years. Tests are and have always been used in many aspects of life, all over the world. I just opined that the USAF's elimination of the fair WAPS promotion tests and replacing it with a secretive, subjective "choosing-board" that is conducted behind closed doors with no transparency, is unfair and allows an opportunity for less-deserving airmen to cut in line in front of those who have invested the good judgement and sweat-equity of staying out of trouble, working hard, and studying for the tests. Two days...FIRED without warning.
 

fara

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Using written tests as a tool to evaluate people for promotion in the military has been used for many years. Tests are and have always been used in many aspects of life, all over the world. I just opined that the USAF's elimination of the fair WAPS promotion tests and replacing it with a secretive, subjective "choosing-board" that is conducted behind closed doors with no transparency, is unfair and allows an opportunity for less-deserving airmen to cut in line in front of those who have invested the good judgement and sweat-equity of staying out of trouble, working hard, and studying for the tests. Two days...FIRED without warning.

Yup. That happens. I have learned that unless it affects me directly, keep my trap shut. Hell I have learned not to go on FB and make any political opinions I may have, known in a serious way. Our country is so pathetically tribal and divided that half the people are bound to get offended and decide not to do business with you. Civility and sense of fair play and agreeing to disagree on political views while remaining friends or even having the grace to see the good in others intentions is all mostly gone thanks to social media. We all are getting used to just listening to our own echo chambers. What growth could possibly ever come from that. Just closed minds, closing even further
 

HobbyCAD

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Bryan, with you online again, do you have quick access in checking what the M-500 pinion shaft set and main shaft set bearing preload value needs to be? I recall it's some ft/lb value that I need to set up a 1ft arm and measure the rotation preload with a pull-scale.

Did you do yours with the assembly heated up to operating temp, or with it at room temperature? With the oil running at 200F, what would you say the transmission casing ends up, did yours fully equalize to 200F as well. This may be a challenge working with it at such temp, each cooling down to room temp, disassembly, shimming to match, reassembly, reheating, remeasuring..., may take a couple of hours each time.

Cheers, Francois.
 

bryancobb

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Francois, I never saw any data except on the factory process-sheet checklist for the transmission assembly operation at Revolution. I'm pretty sure that sheet was in use when ball bearings was used on the pinion and I have never seen any tapered-roller preload data. Now, I did form an educated opinion based on a video that B.J. Schram did, showing how he set the preload on the Helicycle's pinion. I remember that the loads he quoted being very similar to the M-500. Flight weight and input torque were very close. The input torque he had on the Helicycle was approximately 60 ft. pounds max. if I remember right. He demonstrates in the video how they set the preload. Let me see if I can find the video.
 
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