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Gorhambirds Saves my Cricket!!

turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

I am having a blast restoring this old bird. I remember seeing adds in all the old RC mags about the Cricket but was into airplanes at the time in the early 1980's. I am mostly into helicopters now. Until my recent purchase of the Cricket a few months ago in a second hand store for 50 bucks my oldest heli was an old Miniature Aircraft 1005 gasser made in 1995 according to the the serial number. I am mainly a gasser heli guy these days.
The cricket is a very nicely made heli especially for it's time and just as important [at least to me] it is American made like my Min Air's
I have torn the cricket down and realized through forensic evidence [lol!] the previous owner never had a chance of making this thing fly well at all. He did many things very well but it was obvious this was his first heli. All electronics including TX were there and no gyro. I bought the heli at a second hand store as I said before and the lady described it very well and she had obviously knew something about it,,,,,strange. She then stated the 'previous owner tried to fly it with limited success and put it away in the early 80's. After asking a few more questions she then admitted sadly it was her husband's heli and he had passed away in early 2011. We agreed to a price of 50 bucks and I promised to show it to her the summer of 2012 if I could restore it.
I have never had experiece with such an old bird ,,never mind a nitro fixed pitch heli!! I needed help in a big way ,, so of course I went to Runryder first as I have gotten so much information here in the past for the last 10 years.
In the antique section here I found gorhambirds ,,I asked him questions and he always had the answers to my questions and better yet offers parts that are otherwise unavailable as the company folded over 20 years ago. His long experience with these helicopters was obvious and his parts he offers are a godsend!! I ordered a bunch of parts and the quality of the parts was very impressive and all were packed in the box very well when shipped. I think I really have a very good chance of showing the previous owner's wife her husband's completed heli that he dreamed of long ago. To me this project is fascinating and better yet can be realized because of gorhambirds. For guys with Crickets hanging around ,go for it. Contact him for parts and questions. Many of the parts are available! I plan to fly my Cricket at fun fly's along with my gasser's and my autogyro's this summer.
My GMP Cricket will live thanks to gorhambirds.
Thanks Steve!!

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

01-23-2012 Over year old.
Tripledeucer

Senior Heliman

College Place, WA.

Got any pics?

01-24-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

No not yet but will try to soon. Do you have a Cricket also?

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

01-24-2012 Over year old.
Tripledeucer

Senior Heliman

College Place, WA.

Actually the one I have done is not mine. I built it new from a kit for a friend quite a few years back and he has never come to pick it up. There is one picture of it in my gallery. I have another one which is mine and is not completed yet. It is the Hughes 300 Cricket. I have plans to finish it up soon. There is one picture of it also.

01-24-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

Nice Pics! Very interesting tailboom setup on the Hughes,,never seen anything like it before ,,wow. Very nice helicopters there.
Seems like you have been in this hobby quite awhile yes? I have all the parts I need now ,I think we shall see ,now I just need the time!!

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

01-24-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

Ran into abit of a snag with the Cricket. Hooked up the tail drive wire to the tail and got it nicely centered,,[took me awhile though] ,ran the wire to though the boom and hooked into the intermediate shaft making sure the wire isn't bottomed out and not touching the boom. Spun it by hand and I saw a wobble in the wire going into the intermediate shaft. Upon further inspection even though the shaft ran true the hole for the wire was clearly off center when drilled at the factory! Between the tail wire coupler on the tail gear box being mounted cocked on the shaft and this defective shaft drilled wrong from the factory 30 years ago the former owner [poor guy it was his first heli too] must of had a real handful of a helicopter on his hands! I havent even gotten to the main blades yet.I emailed Gorhambirde about getting a used shaft but he didn't any spares,,But he new of some new ones for sale on Ebay,,WHEW!!!!,so I got a few!! Thanks Steve!!

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

01-28-2012 Over year old.
Tripledeucer

Senior Heliman

College Place, WA.

One thing you will want to look at is the tail drive wire has to come into the front hole at a straight perpendicular angle or your wire will fatigue and break all the time. The fix is a slightly longer hang-down bracket for the tail drive wire at the attach point of the tailboom support wires. The early Crickets had this problem. You can fashion your own bracket from a strip of aluminum if you need one.
Yup, been in the hobby for around 40 years. Its been fun.

01-28-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

Thanks for the tip! 40 years ? Thats a good long time! I guess I am just a noob at 28 years lol!

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

01-28-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

The Cricket takes to the AIR!!

Had her out at the field yesterday. The wind calmed down and it was Cricket time! In test hops at the LHS it flew well but the tail wire let go in the back,,but it flew till then. Thank goodness it was very low when the tail let go!!. I fixed that and took it to the field yesterday. I had my hobby shop owner fly it as he has flown them before.
Got her started and a few tweeks of the high speed needle and she's off!! Still good smoke out the back on 15% fuel[original OS max 28 with heli heat sink] and the engine seemed happy. Tail wire was holding fine [but for how long?} Tail wire looked smooth and not whipping at all . The old 401 gyro seemed perfect with my guessed settings.Needed alittle forward elevator trim. She seemed very smooth as I spent alot of time balancing the main and tail blades ,no distressing wobbles or tail kick,,just solid. The tail blades are Raptor 30 tail blades I cut down and balanced to the same length as the wood tail blades. The main blades I recovered the originals and balanced as I would my Minair gasser blades . Not the way that was instructed in the Cricket manual.
Tracking was abit off but more important was there was only just enough pitch to slow a descent. So I will have to crank in more pitch with my wrenches lol. All the guys at the field were fastinated and loved the Cricket. Every friday there is a mini fun fly with barbecue at the club field so we had a good audience. I am very happy with this Cricket project . Thanks to Gorhambirds parts and experience and to my hobby shop owner whom also has had experience with the Cricket. I know I couldn't have done it without them.
Now I need to find a Huey Cricket to restore,,,,,,

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

06-30-2012 Over year old.
turboomni

Elite Veteran

West of the Equator

Before I took the Cricket to the flying field I returned to the second hand store where I bought it last summer. Her husband owned it and put it away in the 1980's. He passed away in early 2011. I promised her to return with the restored Cricket and I did. She was delighted to see it as when I bought it it was a box of parts with a bent boom[I thought at first lol] She took pictures and we spoke about her husband and the heli. I made sure to see her before the real maiden flight.

Setup is everything, All my heli's can fly far better than I can pilot them

06-30-2012 Over year old.
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Gorhambirds Saves my Cricket!!

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