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HelicopterGasser Model RC HelicoptersOther › Large R/C Helicopters
12-30-2009 12:09 AM  7 years agoPost 1
Carey Shurley

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Orlando, FL - USA

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this was discussed in another hijacked thread but I thought it might make for an interesting discussion.

Its been pointed out that on the fixed wing side of the hobby, 1/4 and 1/3 scale planes are very popular at many if not most flying sites.

Airplanes have steadily gotten larger since the day of the Las Vegas competiton that Mr. Bennett sponsored for years. That was when the big biplanes changed the hobby (at least in my opinion). Remember Bob Godfrey (I have a Godfrey Extra 300) Of course they are big and graceful and powerful and use a ton of electronics. They are quite expensive, easily $5-6K.

Is this the direction of model helicopters? would you want to fly a model with a 10-12 foot rotor span? I don't think the current style of flying would fit something like this. Today crashing often is not that unusual, in fact its part of the learning process. With a large scale helicopter, not only would that be cost prohibitive but it would be damn dangerous!!!

The technology already exists to do something like this, obviously Yamaha has been doing this for years as are the UAV mfgrs now, and the large scale airplane motors make enough power for these things.

They would be expensive but probably not any more complicated.

Would you want one? How would you fly it?

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12-30-2009 01:48 AM  7 years agoPost 2
Wayne Parrish

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Apex,NC,USA

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Carey,I agree on the large scale fixed wing as that is what I have been involved in for over 35 years. My fixed wing are 1/3 up. That all changed when I built my Vario Bell 47 GIII,1/4 scale heli !At 30 lbs and 8 foot fuse and 8 foot diameter rotor,its quite an impressive site. I have been flying it for almost a year now and have never had so much fun with any aircraft I have ever owned !! As far as a 10-12 foot span rc heli,for the masses,I don't think that will be feasable. Number one,everyone today seems to think that unless you are trying to literaly destroy a heli by slamming and jamming ,you don't know how to fly. Most people can't fly 3D as a lot of these fliers can,but even fewer can fly true scale flight. I guess what i'm saying is that I don't think there is the interest to support it. I sure wish we could get the scale movement going at a more fevered,but sane,rate . Wayne

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12-30-2009 01:56 AM  7 years agoPost 3
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

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I pointed out in that thread that Vario has been selling the XLV for a while if you really want a large sport heli. I think they run ~800 RPM for rotor speed. I think the issue with doing aerobatics with anything much larger than the 720mm sticks we have today is the probability of a boom strike goes way up. I've seen videos of guys flipping their condor and look like fun but I think I'd probably want to stick more with fwd cyclic maneuvers than with back.

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12-30-2009 02:20 AM  7 years agoPost 4
helicenter

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Winter Haven Fl.

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scale

Carey, wayne.

First Carey I think you hit the nail on the head with your analogy of the larger gas helicopters.

Wayne, congratulations on the Bell 47, very nice, I have been a Vario fan and dealer for many years.

I am not a 3D pilot and have no interest in doing it, scale is my interest, I promoted the helicopters for Top Gun 10 years ago, Peter Wales was a very dominant force for the cause, however it fell flat with a lack of interest, look at the numbers 800 plus at Ircha with less than 20 with scale.

I guess my point is the larger helicopters will stay on the more conservitive side of the flying activity.

Doug

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12-30-2009 02:38 AM  7 years agoPost 5
Carey Shurley

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Orlando, FL - USA

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my terminology may have been confusing, I'm not implying large reproductions of helicopters, but rather 1/4-1/3 scale sized helicopters.

Back before the TOC, NOBODY flew big airplanes. Then the TOC came along and provided all sorts of bonus points for various airplane configurations. I seem to remember the payout was at least $10K so everybody went for max points which was large airplanes

Now, as was pointed out in the other thread, you see at least 1/4 scale airplanes all over. 1/3 scale is pretty common and now there are even 1/2 scale models.

the XFC is evidence that folks fly big airplanes hard and very aerobatically. The Red Bull BO105 proves that a full size helicopter can be engineered to handle aerobatics so there's no reason to believe a 1/3 scale model couldn't be built to withstand at least some 3D aerobatics.

At some point pilots will run out of things to do with the current sized models. Look at Tim Jones 10HP Trex 700. Theres really not much you can't do with it. I mean how much more power can you possibly make use of?

I'm wondering if anybody thinks that r/c helicopters may follow the path of r/c airplanes and commonly get larger?

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12-30-2009 04:03 AM  7 years agoPost 6
Wayne Parrish

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Apex,NC,USA

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I don't think they will,as bad as I would love to see it happen !

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12-30-2009 04:34 AM  7 years agoPost 7
CNCjunkie

rrVeteran

Kauai (The Garden Isle), Hawaii - USA

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I'm wondering if anybody thinks that r/c helicopters may follow the path of r/c airplanes and commonly get larger?
They already have to some degree. It really wasn't that long ago when the 50 - 60 classed helis ruled the roost and 90's didn't even exist.

Just another crappy day in Paradise....Aloha!

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12-30-2009 04:37 AM  7 years agoPost 8
Excalibur

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Destination: Earth

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Oh yeah. . . I'd fly one in a heartbeat.

Seeing videos of some the 1/4 scale Jet Rangers flying absolutely has maximum "WOW" factor and can send tingles up your spine. To really do it right, however, I think it would be necessary to move away from gas engines and into turbines, which just puts them that much farther out of reach of average modelers.

Problem is, flying something that large and powerful is definitely more risky from a cost and safety standpoint. Still, because they catch so much attention, employing them as ambassadors to RC and helicopters specifically makes it worth the effort to promote them.

I also believe that most fliers nowadays just want to put something together quick and cheap and get out to the field. Less and less people have the time to put into a grand scale project even if they have the funds to support it. This is evidenced by all the ARF aircraft available on-line and in hobby shops everywhere.

I would love to see the proliferation of large scale heli's in the future, but must agree, under the current circumstances, I doubt it will ever happen. In a way though, that makes the few that do fly at events and flying fields that much more of a novelty, which really isn't a bad thing.

Xcal

Camper Fuel: It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

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12-30-2009 12:17 PM  7 years agoPost 9
shawmcky

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Isle of Wight,United Kingdom

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Large scale helicopters

The time and expertise that some of the RR members put into their scale models is mindblowing.The skills that these guys possess has to put them at the very top of the Rc helicopter tree,i would love to own a very large scale turbine or gas powered helicopter,the bigger the better.IMHO its the thinking mans side of the hobby,most can build a pod and boom,but the scale side is a whole new ball game,i dont own a scale but i can very much appreciate the time,patience and skill that is required.Some of the helicopters built by RR members are works of RC helicopter art,no doubt about that and if money was no object,i would have one to-morrow.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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12-30-2009 12:22 PM  7 years agoPost 10
Zman

rrKey Veteran

Florida

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I think what will hold it back is cost. Because there are so many plank pilots there are almost as many companies making these larger planes, engines. props, etc.. Since there are so many, it helps drive the cost down considerably. I dont think there will ever be enough heli pilots involved in these size helis to warrant a bunch more companies to start jumping in the market. Being that just 800mm blades are approaching $400 bucks, I can only imagine what 1200, 1400mm blades would cost. And that is just the blades. So a purchase of this size heli compared to a purchase of a 1/3 scale plank would be considerable more cost and subsequently the same goes for crash repair cost. I have seen both Peter's and Darrell's helis in person and I can only take a wild guess on how much money they got in them and I still would probably be underestimating. With all that said, I would love to see more but just dont see it getting to the cost factor that average joe's can fork out the bucks. But then again, thanks has to be given to the Peter and Darrell for continuing in this realm of the hobby!!

Z

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12-30-2009 12:52 PM  7 years agoPost 11
Notar

rrKey Veteran

Taxachussetts

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Not only is cost a large factor, but, just getting the heli to the field to fly is a problem. I own a minivan and have no kids to haul around, just helis. They are already at 8' long, and the average pickup truck is not going to get that to the field.
Also, with some of the larger helis, with the finished all up weight, you need two guys to move it around. That means you almost need someone to come over to help you load the thing into whatever you plan on taking to the field. I have seen with the airplanes, the wings come off, and sometimes those are even in two parts leaving just the fuse, so they do not seem as bad as the helis.
Joe

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12-30-2009 01:02 PM  7 years agoPost 12
zorba

rrApprentice

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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the problem with large scale rc helis is the sound. I wont spend that kind of money to do a scale and have put in it a gas or a nitro engine.
I have two of them. One is a Vario which I removed the nitro and installed electrics. The other is a scratch built Super Puma and it going to be also electric.
Of course the best is turbine. maybe some day.

Cheers

3-450's,rex500ESP,rex600G,Rex700G,Raptor60G,FreyaCW-EXII, VarioEC155, Logo20, Cessna310,CL-415,

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12-30-2009 01:31 PM  7 years agoPost 13
Carey Shurley

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Orlando, FL - USA

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Not only is cost a large factor, but, just getting the heli to the field to fly is a problem.
yeah I hear that

but again look at the large airplane crowd.
  1. The planes easily cost $5-6K.
  2. a crash is usually a total loss of the airframe
  3. its not unusual to see custom trailers to haul and store them in.
It wasn't that long ago that this was limited to small numbers of pilots but thats less true now. Lots of folks have big planes.

Some of the big jets have a removeable tail for shipping purposes. Its pretty easy to engineer a removeable tail boom which would significantly reduce the storage/travel size of a helicopter.

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12-30-2009 02:12 PM  7 years agoPost 14
rccarguy

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Boston MA

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The planes easily cost $5-6K.
a crash is usually a total loss of the airframe
its not unusual to see custom trailers to haul and store them in.
For those pilots flying at that level there's a very serious commitment to the hobby. A single plane plus custom trailer alone is easily $10K and they usually have more than one plane so call it closer to $20K for 2 - 3 planes, custom trailer, plus spares and incidentals.

Outside of the serious scale pilots, how many are willing or able to make that kind of investment in helicopters as a hobby?

Consider other factors, now that you have all this, you need some place to store and work on it, perhaps an addition to the house or garage, more $$$$$. You're also going to want a pretty big field to fly it at, many of the flying fields here in Massachusetts don't lend themselves to flying large scale, though that may be less of an issue where the population density is lower.

Now look at the demographics of the heli hobby in general. Mostly I see younger pilots whose interest is in 3d flying with light weight high performance nitro machines. They scoff at the idea of a gasser, they will very likely find larger, heavier, helis too boring to contemplate, never mind own and fly. They may well be the future of the heli hobby and the ones that will eventually have the kind of disposable income it would take to build and fly large machines

In the current economic climate, I just don't see it happening, nor do I see it happening on a suffciently large enough scale to be sustainable even in a good economy, at least from the heli side of the equation.

My $.02...

XCell Spectra G
Radikal G20
Some obsolete nitro helis too...

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12-30-2009 03:04 PM  7 years agoPost 15
shawmcky

rrElite Veteran

Isle of Wight,United Kingdom

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Sad but true

All valid points,you would have to be seriously committed maybe be prepared to get a divorce as well.Would still like a very large scale but at this present time for most it will be just a dream.Very nearly bought a huge scale R22 once,prebuilt,much bigger than anything else i have seen,but where would i have hidden it It was a bargain price too,as new and practically unflown.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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12-30-2009 03:19 PM  7 years agoPost 16
rbort

rrProfessor

Franklin, MA - USA

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Large helis

I've flown some pretty large helis, from the Vario XLV with 800 rotor rpms, to a custom home built Jako turbine with a 2.5 meter M-blade disk running at 900 rpms. Probably the next size up from there is the Yamaha heli.

When you get a big heli like this, #1 rotor speed slows down, and #2 it generally becomes a more realistic flying helicopter with more of a utility type work (AP) or scale flying. You're really not going to be tick-tocking one of those babies around. In fact one time with the 2.5m turbine I was coming in backwards with a moderate descent speed, and I slowed down the backward speed too much even though I tried to stop it early at roof top height, I ended up putting in full collective and the turbine hissed as she pulled full collective but didn't stop short of the ground and bounced off unharmed due to settling with power. I needed like 2 more feet of altitude and it would have stopped. Luckily for me I was experienced enough to realize that oncoming condition and I needed to put in full power early, as it was one of those things where you react before you see the result, and I was dead right just a little late. If I waited a second later I probably would have hit the ground much harder.

To make that long story short, you tend to fly those things alot more timidly, and you get alot of oohs and aahs just seeing that big monster in the air swing blades. They do cost alot of money, and ususally their owners are $hitting bricks when I fly, but at least they know its in good hands and trust/want me to be the pilot for them.

But to the contrary of that, while I'm the vice president of my club, the predisent is into giant scale airplanes, and he's got a trailer for them - actually sold the smaller trailer to another fellow and got a bigger trailer now! His planes now are of the 2.5 and 3 meter size, like 42% scale maybe more I forgot, using huge twin cylinder engines with composite airframes that cost very close to 10k per airplane if not more including the electronics and motor. I even know another guy who's got a 50% extra with a twin 375cc gas motor in it. The thing stand almost waist high and you flip the prop standing up in front of it! In the airplane world, bigger is "more impressive" to your friends, and performance is not a priority. That big 50% extra doesn't perform like the smaller size planes, even the 42% does better than it, but most everyone is dying to see it fly.

Folks are right here, with that 2.5m Jako turbine (has room to actually fit 3m blades on it) you do need two people to pick it out of the car and transport it to the runway. I think it weights in at around 40 lbs dry, and carries over a gallon of fuel in two tanks. You could carry it yourself, but its awkward and you can easily hurt your back doing so. In my opinion you're not going to be taking that to the field everyday and logging a 1000 flights with it in 4 years time...its more of a novelty item or you fly it for work purposes.

-=>Raja.

MA 1005 Hanson 280, 4142 flts
Spectra 27 3DMax, 3210 flts
Whiplash V1 Hanson 300, 1440 flts
Whiplash V2 Hanson 300, 207 flts

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12-30-2009 03:36 PM  7 years agoPost 17
Carey Shurley

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Orlando, FL - USA

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In my opinion you're not going to be taking that to the field everyday and logging a 1000 flights with it in 4 years time
you're definitely right there Raja. I guess I'm just wondering if the hobby is going to move larger after folks get tired of watching a kaos or piro-flip maneuver for the 100,000th time. There's still some open ground for demos, flaming helicopters, helicopter demolitions, crazy stuff like that but just like happened with airplanes at some point pilots are going to be looking for the next new thing.

you could turn a pretty good sized model with a DA150

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12-30-2009 03:41 PM  7 years agoPost 18
shawmcky

rrElite Veteran

Isle of Wight,United Kingdom

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What i really want

if being truthfull is my very own full size Jetranger and the funds to keep it in the air.Just a dream but a scale that flies like a real heli would do,but is also just a dream,sadly.

Team- unbiased opinion.K.I.S.S principle upheld here

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12-30-2009 05:03 PM  7 years agoPost 19
Wayne Parrish

rrVeteran

Apex,NC,USA

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Raja is right on the full scale conditions you can get yourself into with these BIG boys. I was lucky enough to have a close friend that instructed in the Bell 47 heli's in the Army .I picked his brain on everything from autos to settling with power on the full scale birds,and it helped tremendously. I built my Bell 47 and test flew it and trained myself on how to fly it before I dissasembled it,painted it,etc.,as I wanted to learn to fly it properly. The first 3 gallons of fuel was flown out in 15-25 mph winds as I needed to know how it would handle it.I practiced full settling with power and learned how to power and move out of the descending column of air to recover,just like a real one. Its a whole different ballgame flying these heavy big birds ,but very rewarding !! I hope that in the future we can see an increase in the building of the big birds . There is just nothing prettier to see than a big Bell 47 doing a slow auto descent to a slide on or full stop landing !! I think I'll go fly some !!

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