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HelicopterScale Model RC Helicopters › Enstrom 480B fuse mold project
12-19-2013 08:03 AM  3 years agoPost 1
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca.​USA

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Since nobody makes an Enstrom 480B fuse, I decided to make my own. Enstrom politely refused to release a 3D CAD file of the helicopters profile, and there are no plastic models of this heli to cut up for profile references, so I had to create my own. I spent a lot of time researching this heli and came up with a lot of pics and dimensions of the full size. Then Paul Hazell in the UK found some great references too. Paul then created a CAD model of this heli and converted the data into a file for a laser cut wood kit. AK Models then cut the kit for me. Over the past week I glued the wood kit together to form the skeleton for the mold buck. The spaces between the formers will be filled with rigid polyurethane foam, sanded to shape, then glassed over, filled, primered etc.. This will form the base for my mold buck and a mold will be pulled from this final shape. The heli will be 1/5 scale at 72" from nose to tail box.

The wood kit is designed as a 2 piece center spine (keel) with right and left sides. The sides of the keel have been match drilled and pinned to maintain perfect alignment during the building process. So basically I will have a mirror image right and left sides. The mechs will load from behind the cabin, at the parting point of the cabin/intermediate section. This parting line corresponds to a panel line on the actual full size heli, so it will match and look correct to scale.

The fuse is built in 3 sections. The front cabin, intermediate section and tail section. All 3 sections have also been match drilled and pinned to maintain alignment during the build. The doghouse will be fit after the buck is glassed. This project will be slow going, as I have a hectic work schedule.

Big thanks to Paul Hazell for his help and patience in bringing this fuse to the level of a wood kit. I wouldn't be at this stage of the game without him. I also wanted to thank Jeff (Buster1) for going way beyond the call of duty and providing me with dozens of detailed 480B pics from a heli in his hanger. A big thanks to Darrell Sprayberry (Unique Aircraft)for his advice and help regarding this project.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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12-19-2013 10:17 AM  3 years agoPost 2
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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Wow, looks like a pretty intense project! Well done!

Bill Whittaker

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12-19-2013 10:32 AM  3 years agoPost 3
stunt4fun

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So Cal - usa

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Wow.. Barry you are crazy, but you do amazing work!

Ken

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12-19-2013 11:32 AM  3 years agoPost 4
PaulBowen

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Victoria, Australia.

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Love the Enstrom. Would love one for my GSR260Z!!!

Futaba T18SZ, JR Propo XG14, Hirobo fanatic!

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12-19-2013 12:28 PM  3 years agoPost 5
Ace Dude

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USA

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Great job! That looks awesome!

  

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12-19-2013 01:24 PM  3 years agoPost 6
Copter Doctor

rrProfessor

Enterprise/ft.rucker​,al- home of army​aviation

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glad you finally let the at out of the bag, i was ready to explode keeping it a secret
props to you man, as much as i love this hobby, i cant bring myself to scratch building a heli, too much work, ive built scale planes from scatch drawing up my own plans and it still isnt as much work as scratching a heli. great job so far manand i look forward to progress pics.

drive a rotary, fly a rotorcraft

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12-19-2013 02:23 PM  3 years agoPost 7
garyl

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taxachussetts

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I love it, nice work Barry.

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12-19-2013 03:12 PM  3 years agoPost 8
doorman

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Sherwood, Arkansas

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Scratch Building...

I gotta say that in a time when you can pretty much buy any heli that you want as an ARF, or even as a long kit, this takes the hobby to a totally new level...
Barry, your the man for the job, and I know that you will have a LOT of folks watching this thread... count me in!!!:cool:
Looking great so far!!!! Keep up the outstanding work..
This will truely make it your own!!!

Stan

OH, and you had better stop staring at that weather girl... she is going to hurt your eyes!!!!! (All Good TOO!!!)

AMA 2918-Team JR, Spin Blades, East Coast Scale Helicopter,Castle Creations

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12-19-2013 03:21 PM  3 years agoPost 9
Rckfish

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Little Rock,AR

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Awesome work Barry...I want one...

Too cool.

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12-19-2013 03:27 PM  3 years agoPost 10
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Nice project, Barry. It is starting to look like you are building a fleet of three blade headed helicopters, lol. I kind of like the simplicity of those, too. Looking at the landing gear of the Enstrom, it's amazing how similar of a profile it has to the set of landing gear I just finished up for my 500MD TD. That's going to be a sweet looking heli when finished. Take care.

Don

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12-19-2013 04:45 PM  3 years agoPost 11
R.J.

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SF bay area, CA USA

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Looks great Barry! I think 72" is the perfect size. Keep us posted on your progress.

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12-19-2013 05:47 PM  3 years agoPost 12
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca.​USA

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Thanks for the kind words guys I'm just having fun and trying to take my building to the next level. I have built planes from scratch, but as Stan stated, this is an entirely different animal. This will definitely keep me from getting bored.

I have a couple of challenges in this project, one of them is trying to find a way to put the control rods for the head inside the main shaft, or designing a sleeve to go over the main shaft to conceal the rods. If that can't be reasonably accomplished, then I'll modify the rotor head and keep them very close to the main shaft, to keep the profile low.

The other challenge is making the LG functional. If that proves to be unfeasible, then I can revert back to plan "A" and just silver solder it together for looks.

The last challenge will be vacuum forming the glazing. I'd appreciate any help that can be offered in that department.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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12-19-2013 05:57 PM  3 years agoPost 13
R.J.

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SF bay area, CA USA

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Hi Barry,

I've never seen how they work the control system on the Enstrom at the bottom of the mainshaft. Do you have any photos/diagrams of that? You definitely have to have the control rods up the center of the mainshaft.

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12-19-2013 06:14 PM  3 years agoPost 14
PETER ROB

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Devon UK

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I'd appreciate any help

Barry, I applaud your endevour
I have tried the method you propose, that is foam filling, it seems easy at first but I encountered problems later, besides the endless foam particles which get everywhere even with a hoover running all the time
I found that the end of the plywood formers and the foam filling, sanded down at differing rates, and I was always left with ridges where the formers are, I thought it would be easy to correct once I had cast the prototype mould, (ended up making 3), trying to fill and remove the ridge marks took forever
Some thing I think may help is if you were to saturate the end grain of the formers with epoxy, this would stop furring up when you sand to get your finished shape
There is another method where you do not use the foam, but glue long narrow strips of a material the plank guys use called milli-ply, as it is said it is 1mm thick, this is a very flexible method, easily attached using super glue, you can vary the widths of the strips depending on how sharp the bends, any sharp enges easily sand off,
after coating with, the thin finishing mat, then car body filler,The end result is a skin that will always sand at the same rate
Peter R

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12-19-2013 06:48 PM  3 years agoPost 15
Thumper217

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Slidell, LA - USA

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Wow this really is going to be an interesting build. So many challenges to overcome and opportunities for some unique solutions that I will enjoy watching.

At the risk of showing my ignorance what do you mean by making the landing gear functional? From the photo you posted it looks like a set of struts and skids but there must be more too it than that?

Andrew

Thumper

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12-19-2013 07:26 PM  3 years agoPost 16
AzHyper

rrKey Veteran

Peoria, Az.

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Couldn't the foam shaping be done via hot wire? Seems it would produce a better surface with much less work than sanding.

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12-19-2013 07:33 PM  3 years agoPost 17
Mojave

rrElite Veteran

Palos Verdes, Ca.​USA

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Hi Peter, thanks for the input. This buck will never see flight, it's just the male form the mold will be pulled from. I'm using the same foam that pro surfboard blanks are mfd from. Yes the foam is messy/dusty to work with, but after it is glassed over it's sealed. After glassing, a coat of feather fill primer (sprayable bondo) is used, then lightly sanded and another coat applied. This fills the FG weave. Then black tiger stripe, followed by a light sanding. This will show any imperfections and low spots. The ends of the formers will be sealed with CA to harden them, then black paint applied to the leading edge. This will allow me to monitor my sanding progress. If the black paint is gone, I have sanded too much

Thumper: The LG on the full size is fully articulated. It has shock absorbing struts built into the gear legs. The entire gear squats when the heli is on the tarmac. The inner diagonal struts also move in an arc with the gear.

AzHyper: hot wire shaping can't be used with Polyurethane foam, it produces poison gas as a result of the melting temp.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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12-20-2013 01:38 AM  3 years agoPost 18
Heli143

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Phenix City, AL

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Oh this is going to be good!
Barry you are the man!

Subscribed

Roy Mayoral

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12-22-2013 01:48 PM  3 years agoPost 19
bwellmaker

rrKey Veteran

Long Island

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Nice Project Barry,

I have always wanted to tackle making a plug so I will follow this pretty close for the process.

Good luck Mang,

UIH,

B

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12-22-2013 03:20 PM  3 years agoPost 20
ssmith512

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, IN USA

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One word...

Amazing.

Awesome.

Incredible.

Oh, I guess that is three words. Well a project like that deserves at least three words!

Cant wait to see more progress pics.

Steve

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HelicopterScale Model RC Helicopters › Enstrom 480B fuse mold project
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