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HelicopterAntiques or Out of Business › 40th Anniversary Heli-Baby
11-22-2015 06:48 PM  24 months agoPost 1
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Hello:

About a year ago, I was talking with Chuck Birt of Peak Aircraft at the Fall Classis Fly-in in Riverview, Fla. about the first helicopter I owned. I lamented that I had missed the two batches of reproductions that Gerd of Minicopter had produced around the time I got back into helicopters and RC in general. I owned a first generation Heli-Baby that was fixed pitch with no gyro. I had no clue what I was doing yet managed a good solid hover for one tank and another that had me flying around the field before I tipped over upon landing. I was the first one in the club with a helicopter and there was no one around that could have helped me, sigh.

Fast forward 36 years at that event and Chuck informed me that Gerd is going forward with a complete production model Heli-Baby that has fully modernized head and tail mechanisms but still has the original style gear train for the main rotor. The tail drive has been thankfully upgraded to a timing belt since the original round belt I had slipped like a banana peel on a wet tiled floor. I saw this helicopter at IRCHA and unboxed it with great excitement. It had been promised to another pilot so I had to look at it with longing eyes but was there to see it maidened on the Saturday evening just before the fireworks.

This fall, I had planned to vacation in Florida for a month and had hoped that the production kits would be available while I was there. The idea was to pick up the kit, assemble it, and then fly it at the various events I attended. The kit was delayed while other refinements were done, including a revised swash driver in place of the DFC style unit and the production of a much more powerful motor. I do believe that all the testing is done and the kit is near production release but it may be late December to early January before I see it. Not a problem as the building season is fast upon us up here.

While at a scale event, I got a text from Chuck to see if I would be interested in the prototype. I didn't waste a second and said yes, so a week later, I picked it up from the owner and went madly about installing the electronics from an ill-fated helicopter. I had a rocky start as I had missed putting the screws in the servos so upon doing a loop, the stress popped the arm off and I pancaked it in, bending the gear, boom, breaking the blades, and shattering the canopy. Three hours later, it was back in the air and new parts were ordered. It has since seen any damaged parts replaced and some simple graphics added. The instrument panel had come off during testing in Germany so I made a new one once I got it home. I had some real fun with it, going as far as making a set of keys just on a lark.

The helicopter does have about the same amount of power as the original so it is great for flying around, doing the odd very large loop or roll, but it is not strong enough for much else. I think the new motor will address that and smaller loops should be part of the routine. Hope you enjoyed this fun I had. Take care.

Don

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11-23-2015 03:44 AM  24 months agoPost 2
flyin dan

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Beloit Wi.

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Very cool! I got into planes around 1980, helis around 1991, and the older models just seem to float my boat! No they cant fly wild hair 3D, but who cares. I'd rather have a 454 Chevelle over a new Twin Turbo Ricer any day! Even if it doesn't handle as well!
Nice pics!

AMA # 943111

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11-23-2015 04:44 AM  24 months agoPost 3
rcpilotmike

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GroveCity, Ohio, USA

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flyin dan I love your way of thinking

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11-23-2015 05:05 AM  24 months agoPost 4
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Thanks. Like others in the past, I will post pictures of the new build as soon as I have it in my mitts. Take care.

Don

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11-23-2015 08:58 AM  24 months agoPost 5
vintfheli46

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CA

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I have 2 originlas, one in pristine condition, but would love to get this one. Who do we contact to buy? Gerd? what is his website? Thanks

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11-23-2015 01:55 PM  24 months agoPost 6
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Hi:

You can go to Peak Aircraft's website and put one on order. They are expected to ship in a month or so. The motor is also available once the helicopter ships. I waited 37 years to finally fly this helicopter and it was worth the wait. More the merrier. Have fun.

Don

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11-23-2015 03:53 PM  24 months agoPost 7
vintfheli46

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CA

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Cool. Thanks

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11-25-2015 04:40 AM  24 months agoPost 8
slickporsche

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American/Philippines

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Heli-Baby

I do not want to hurt any feelings here, but the original Heli-Baby, was a crude piece of crap. After learning on a Graupner 212, and Kavan jetranger, I owned 3 Heli-Baby's, 2 fixed pitch, and one with collective. The smooth tail belt, and cheap knurled knobs that turned the belt was the downfall of the original Heli-Baby. I still have the darn things.

This new reproduction Heli-Baby is a stellar improvement, and should be a fun heli to own and fly. From the pics I see here, the parts are made to a higher standard, than the original, and of much better materials. I hope he uses modern plastics for the plastic parts, such as poly carbonate, as the original had some really poor quality plastic.

Hopefully this new reproduction will be successful. Schluters designs were good, but the parts were crudely made of poor materials for a helicopter.

Oh yes, I owned and flew nearly everyone that Schluter offered. Hey, I was heli crazy, and still the same affliction. I had the most enjoyment from the SX-81,Champion, and Superior.

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11-25-2015 05:21 AM  24 months agoPost 9
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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I don't argue about the original being crude by today's standards, it was, but this helicopter is a far cry from it. There is very little plastic in this helicopter, most of which is in the nylon gear and the other main part that is some type of machined plastic is the anti-rotation guide. I would say the canopy and seat are still the same but they don't affect the quality of flight. Gerd has done a fantastic job of bringing back the look of the original with the feel of a very modern helicopter model.

This version is a prototype and as such, has components that are not going to there on the final version, yet it still flies fantastic. It does have a very high mounted head with a low center of gravity so this does not fly like most modern pod and boom helicopters. In fact, it flies much more like a fully laden scale Bell 47. The original was the last aircraft I flew, correction, tried to fly, and there was that hole left because of not being able to have mastered it.

When I was bitten by the RC bug again in 2008, it was by a cheap toy at a Brookstone store in Buffalo, NY. I wouldn't have this helicopter had I not walked into that store and watched the sales girls flying that toy. I guess it was meant to be. Take care.

Don

PS: slickporsche, if you want something different and like the vintage looks, it is well worth considering for a new project.

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11-26-2015 02:54 AM  24 months agoPost 10
slickporsche

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American/Philippines

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Keygrigger

It needs to have a nitro engine for me to be interested in a purchase. Electric does not cut it for me. Too much messing with unreliable batteries and ESC's.

I like tinkering and tuning fuel powered engines of all kinds.I also like the satisfaction a perfect running and idling engine, that responds nicely to throttle input.

I have been toying with the idea of a modern rotor head, taildrive, and Tail box for my existing collective pitch Heli-Baby. Actually it would only take modern tail drive to make it fly decent. The old nitro engine that is still in it runs great, so no need to change that.

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11-27-2015 05:16 AM  24 months agoPost 11
RAK402

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Alhambra, CA

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I have hundreds of flights on the original HeliBaby, both with the original head and the Schluter "S" head (I was a Field Rep. for Heli Center West, then GMP back in the late 1970's early 1980's).

It was, for it's time, a very good, extremely reliable machine.

Not competitive by today's standards for sure, but far from crap (and I flew a Graupner 212 a few times myself-liked that one too, still have my Kavan Jet Ranger).

I have been watching the videos of the latest version and it looks great! Keeps the general appearance of the original but uses current technology.

Team KBDD/Compass Team Manger/Experience RC/Team JR Americas/WR Field Rep

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11-30-2015 01:18 AM  24 months agoPost 12
Heliacious

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Newnan, GA

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very very cool thanks for posting i was not aware of the repro $695 is a bit high but i might go for it

will spare parts be made available?

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12-01-2015 02:04 AM  24 months agoPost 13
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Spare parts will be available and now the Heli-Baby is posted on the Minicopter website. I can hear the difference between the one in the new video and mine. The power is up quite a bit and should have no trouble with lifting my Bambi bucket and floats. The blade size is now 500mm vs. 470mm. I have not translated the page as it is only posted in German for the time being. It is going to be another wait with anticipation of a very fun helicopter in the end. Take care.

Don

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12-01-2015 03:38 AM  24 months agoPost 14
Heliacious

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Newnan, GA

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If you can get Google Chrome it will translate it for you. Not a great translation but good enough to get the intent.

Thanks for the heads up on the website addition, I was just at their site yesterday and was wondering why they didn't have anything up about it.

The power does look like it's quite a bit more. It sounds like a high powered modern Heli for sure.

Do you know if the parts are interchangeable with anything else? I would hate to spend $700 and then have the production halt and the parts vaporize, then end up with an expensive shelf queen.

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12-01-2015 03:58 AM  24 months agoPost 15
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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A lot of the head and tail components are directly from the Diabolo 550. When I replaced the boom, I cut down one from the 550 as I am not worried about modifying something to get a helicopter back up in the air when new parts are not available yet. I don't see parts being a big problem as those not directly from the 550 have been produced for the electric conversion for a few years now. In the parts list, you will see the "E" frame upper and lower parts. The landing gear is a main departure from the original but from first hand experience, it is a very robust design and can be easily put back in shape. I am looking forward to building the kit when it arrives as I have never built one from the box. Take care.

Don

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12-14-2015 05:44 PM  23 months agoPost 16
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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When you are into mostly scale helicopters, you tend to amass things in quantities just in case. In my case, it is light controllers. In the past few years, I have bought three and won three of various kinds. I have two projects that will use the three that I won and that leaves me with two that are unused from the ones I bought.

I decided that a pod and boom helicopter is not the best place to use a full lighting package as hiding the wires and placing the lights is an unnecessary challenge as it is not scale. However, I loved the way the warning/landing light system worked on my CH-139 Jet Ranger so I worked out that I could place them as part of the instrument column I made. I can turn the system off, run with the warning light (right side) and add the landing light (left side) to make it even more visible. I might go ahead and put a modified full size navigation light setup on the floor of the cockpit, just as found in some full sized Jet Rangers. At least the wires would be fully hidden for this system.

A few weeks ago, I asked if the floats could be ordered in and in due time, they arrived. They are meant to be bolted to the original aluminium chassis but I have worked out how to attach them to the new one. I will be using them on the production version, not this one. I heard that the time is getting close to where the kits will be shipped to the US. I am not sure when but as soon as I get some word, I'll drop in a post. Take care.

Don

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12-31-2015 01:15 AM  23 months agoPost 17
myjane

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new zealand

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Are these available don to the public as a kit

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01-01-2016 08:47 PM  23 months agoPost 18
Keygrigger

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Mississauga, Ont.​Canada

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Yes, they are. There are two versions, one with the canopy glued together and ready for final trimming (it might only need a little bit if any at all) and the landing gear assembled with the second version where you do the cutting out of the canopy and the assembly of the landing gear. These landing gear are not your usual struts and tube found on pod and boom helicopter kits. If you have a local Minicopter dealer, they can order it for you or if not, directly from Minicopter.de. It's a blast to fly and I am eagerly awaiting the kit which should arrive this month. Take care.

Don

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