RunRyder RC
 7  Topic Subscribe
WATCH
 2 pages [ <<    <    ( 1 )     2     NEXT    >> ] 2055 views POST REPLY
HelicopterMain Discussion › Very High Prices for Vacuum Formed Parts
12-08-2004 11:09 AM  13 years agoPost 1
Steamer

rrNovice

Mount Hakepa, Pitt Island

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I can stomach the cost of most helicopter parts but one thing that really annoys me is the unbelievably high prices we all pay for vacuum formed parts - canopies in particular.

I don't know how much you all know about this process but vacuum forming is very simple. You just have (typically) a wooden male or female part in the shape of the thing you want to mould. You then heat up a piece of 'special' plastic and lay it over the mould. Before the plastic can cool down you quickly suck the air away from underneath and the plastic is sucked onto the mould - it all happens in a flash and the results are great!

This process is incredibly cheap and the incremental cost to make something like a 30-sized canopy is typically less than 2 dollars. For something like a micro heli, the cost is more like cents.

Why then do we get charged so much for canopies? I think we're being ripped off.

Incidentally, if you want to have a go at this yourself, a good way to get hold of some cheap plastic to experiment with is to take a coke bottle, cut off the ends (so that you end up with a barrel-shaped thing), cut the barrel so you end up with a rectangular bit of plastic. Make a frame to hold the plastic, stick it in the oven (when your wife's not looking) and when it's 'wobbly' take it out and lay it over the thing you want to mould and then quickly suck the air out from underneath so that it takes up the shape of the mould. Sucking the air out quickly is the difficult part because you have to make some gadget to hold a partial vacuum so that when you're ready, you can open a valve and suck the plastic onto the mould.

Using this technique, I'm sure you could make quite good replacement parts. Proper vacuum-forming plastic is available if you want to get serious and there are companies that make the proper machinery for home users to do all this stuff.

If you're interested in doing this, take a look at this link..

Vacuum Forming Table

and here...

Vacuum Forming Technique

Pip Pip!
Steamer
Founding Member of GIRCHA

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 11:32 AM  13 years agoPost 2
Al Magaloff

rrMaster

12,199 Posts- Enough Time Wasted. See Ya!

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I think it's called " making a living". I don't think we're being ripped off at all. Why not get your vac forming company going, and sell all your products for pennies over cost, just do everyone that wants to buy them a favor. Send me a notice for the equipment auction.

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 11:53 AM  13 years agoPost 3
Steamer

rrNovice

Mount Hakepa, Pitt Island

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Funny you should say that, I looked at getting some 30-sized scale H500 canopies made and was quoted $8 each. The guy said "Sorry it's so much but if you want them cut out as well, we've got to make an extra charge". I'll be happy to sell you one for $200 because I know you'll be happy to pay.

Pip Pip!
Steamer
Founding Member of GIRCHA

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 12:11 PM  13 years agoPost 4
Saint728

rrProfessor

Honolulu, Hawaii

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Why bother, it looks like a waste of time to me. Anyway who would want a plastic canopy, they look like crap. Not only that, the price they charge is a reflection on research and development, mold costs, molding/vaccume machines, rental space for company, labor, marketing, packing material, etc. Your not just paying for the plastic cost, but everything else involved in making parts.

If you can make canopies for cheap then go for it. I know you won't be able to make a high quality ones in mass production and definitly not enough to make a living off of either. Even if you can make and sell two canopies an hour it won't be enough to live off of. You would have to sell 100 canopies a day at $10.00 to make it worth while. Then you would have to minus the cost of the plastic. You would end up with probably $600-700 dollars. But the thing is you couldn't make that many and sell that many a day, so it's not worth it.

Take Care,
Cheers, Patrick

Check the hotties in my Gallery
http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/gallery/9019/?all=photo

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 02:13 PM  13 years agoPost 5
gullie667

rrVeteran

Brooklyn, NY

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

In the case of a canopy, It looks like there are multiple pieces which have to be fussed together. This would raise the cost slightly.

Of course, the real reason we are paying 25+ dollars for a canopy is because we are willing to and the guys that are happily doing so ensure that the price isn't gonna fall.

The actual cost of making a Raptor 90 kit is really insignificant. The thing is that very few people buy them and the set up costs are substantial.

Gullie

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 02:21 PM  13 years agoPost 6
Heli88

rrKey Veteran

Clarkston, MI

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Just what I need...spend hundreds of dollars and a lot of time to make something I can buy for $20.00?

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 02:32 PM  13 years agoPost 7
jb_turner

rrElite Veteran

USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

We are not being "ripped off" if you do not like the price just do not buy it.
Why dont you make those canopies cheap and sell them.

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 02:34 PM  13 years agoPost 8
Steamer

rrNovice

Mount Hakepa, Pitt Island

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Steamer, you must be completely mad if you think that I'm going to waste my time making things. My hobby is flying, not building. That's why I pay a guy to do all my building for me - I just like to fly so your idea of making something to save money is rediculous. The more I pay, the happier I am. In fact, I plan to get someone to fly for me soon so I won't actually have to doing anything at all to enjoy my hobby. I'll be able to sit around in complete luxury while some other poor bloke has to twiddle the sticks. I may even get a video camera installed at the field so I don't have to go there either. I'll be able to sit on my backside and watch it all on TV instead.

Saint 728 is right, no plastic canopies look any good. And gullie667 is quite right that hardly anyone ever buys Raptor 90 kits which is why they have to make the parts so expensive. Poor old Thunder Tiger is what I say - we ought to offer to pay extra so that these poor people don't go out of business.

Steamer, please don't make any more suggestions which might help people to learn new ways of making things. We come to this site to learn how to create arguments not to learn to how to make things.

Pip Pip!
Steamer
Founding Member of GIRCHA

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 05:06 PM  13 years agoPost 9
gigi

rrVeteran

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Good thing I wasn't drinking a Coke!

Or it would've come out my nose and all over my laptop for sure when I read Steamer's post. HAHAHAHAHA!

It galls me as well to pay 8 clams for a piece of plastic which didn't cost $0.15, but the reality of it is that someone makes them, and pays for packaging them, and distributing them, and warehousing them, and selling them, plus tax, Etc. 'Figure at every step of the way, the costs incured are doubled or tripled before passing on to the next guy, and there you have it.

It's worse to pay $5 for 6 tiny screws, I think, but again, if you need it, you either buy it, or you have to spend time scrounging for it. In the end, I accept the corn cob up my rear, and move on with my hobby.

Gigi

My heli spending has gone way down since I got a Honda 919 :-)

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 05:47 PM  13 years agoPost 10
TMoore

rrMaster

Cookeville, TN

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Modern plastic canopies like the Raptor, Sceadu and Freya are blow molded not vac formed. In the old days we all flew vac formed canopies. Machines like Schluters, X-cells and GMP's used vac formed lexan canopies that you had to glue together and paint. I know about this because I was there. I still have video of GMP's vac former.

The windscreens are vac formed and quite honestly are easy to duplicate if you want to. All you need is a cheap vac pump, a frame, sheet lexan, a heating element from a stove and some plaster of paris for the mold.

Great idea, wish I had thought of it. Let me know when you get it all together. I'm sure there are some legacy machines out there that could use canopies.

TM

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 05:57 PM  13 years agoPost 11
Al Magaloff

rrMaster

12,199 Posts- Enough Time Wasted. See Ya!

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Steamer, I'm open to all new ideas, and read your links with interest. I'm opposed to the thought though, that "what I have is priceless, what you have is worthless".

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 06:22 PM  13 years agoPost 12
wsteve

rrApprentice

Pasadena, Texas

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

One thing you have to consider on the price of heli parts is that when a company like TT makes a new heli there many components that go into this. Several molds have to be built. It would not superise me if the cost to tool up for a single helicopter wasn't in the $500,000.00 to 1,000,000.00 range. A single mold for making frames could cost over 100k depending on the conplexity of the parts. True once they are up and running it appears that the parts are expensive. What the companies do is share the cost of all of the parts so that a elevator arm doesn't cost $25.00. The cheaper to manufacture parts a more expensive and the more expensive parts are less expensive. Everything balances out so we can buy heli's at a reasonable price. Take a simple part from your heli to a machine shop and I assure you nothing can be made for what it can be bought.

If God meant man to fly, He'd have given him more money

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 06:42 PM  13 years agoPost 13
NZ_Neil

rrVeteran

Auckland, New Zealand

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I have just repainted and replaced some plastic trim peices on my Cessna 172RG. If you want to complain about costs try owning a real plane.

4 really simple plastic mouldings that cover the Spa joints cost me about USD$1000 they are not flight critical and basically are for decoration.

I guess if we want nice bling we have to pay for it

Neil Harker
New Zealand

PM  EMAIL  HOMEPAGE  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-08-2004 08:14 PM  13 years agoPost 14
YSRRider

rrElite Veteran

usa

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

alexander DUDE! are those Barbie dolls with mustaches painted on?
If you wanted Clark Gable dolls, you should have asked me!

HA HA!

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 03:33 PM  13 years agoPost 15
gigi

rrVeteran

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

You can stay on the ground and it's expensive...

Anybody tried pricing plastic hubcaps for something like a Mitsubishi Montero or a Toyota Land Cruiser lately? You're in for serious sticker shock, let me tell you....

Another example: I recently bought a set of front anr rear brake pads for an XR600R dirt-bike. I rememeber the time when $30 got you both sets. Try $75 now! It's just unreal.

Gigi

My heli spending has gone way down since I got a Honda 919 :-)

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 04:20 PM  13 years agoPost 16
Imperio

rrApprentice

tecumseh okla 7487 ph405-585-2557

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

alloy rims for Eagle Talon

I bought a set for this Eagle Talon 4wdr TSI Turbo 91 model but i got Amercan Racing rims they were $420 mounted and balance thats alot out of my Heli money but the others were rubber coated and the rubber was a falling off and it looked like crap ya would be driving down the road and peices of rubber bout the size of a dime would fly buy the window every now and then. the factory rims were about $550 a piece and they sucked as ya can see

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 05:48 PM  13 years agoPost 17
Al Magaloff

rrMaster

12,199 Posts- Enough Time Wasted. See Ya!

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Imperio, try buying some of those 19" or 20" bling wheels , like the drug dealer Escalades.

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 06:14 PM  13 years agoPost 18
WMac

rrVeteran

Skotlande

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Well fancy that, identical twin pilots

Will


Beep Beep! One Road Travel, with Dominic Byrne!

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 06:33 PM  13 years agoPost 19
copperclad

rrElite Veteran

NY

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

hi
i used to make press molded parts out of PVC , by heating it in the oven when my wife wasent home , until one day a friend said " do you know what the C in PVC stands for ?"
i said " chloride?" ....
a little knowledge can be pretty dangerous sometimes

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
12-09-2004 06:33 PM  13 years agoPost 20
s80mac (RIP)

rrApprentice

San Diego

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

The tooling to make a TT plastic helicopter canopy is very expensive it is in the region of $10000- $15000 but is cost effective because of the high volumes. Cheap vaccume moulding is not suitable because of all the undercuts on the parts. The only way to make vaccume moulded canopy is to have a split down the centre like the old Excel ones. Thats why the low volume manufacturers tend to use fiberglass canopys because the tooling for these is very cheap.

PM  EMAIL  GALLERY  Attn:RR  Quote
WATCH
 2 pages [ <<    <    ( 1 )     2     NEXT    >> ] 2055 views POST REPLY
HelicopterMain Discussion › Very High Prices for Vacuum Formed Parts
 Print TOPIC  Make Suggestion 

 7  Topic Subscribe

Friday, January 19 - 3:38 am - Copyright © 2000-2017 RunRyder   EMAILEnable Cookies

Login Here
 New Subscriptions 
 Buddies Online