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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Do I Need an Electric Back-up for AP
05-09-2005 01:30 AM  13 years agoPost 1
windmania

rrApprentice

Boca Raton, FL

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Hello - I am in the process of developing my AP business and currently have the following set-up. A Predator Gasser w/ 26 engine and an air-foil mount. I probably have $11k invested in the business and still need to add a back-up heli. I notice a lot of you use an electric as a back-up. I am considering the Joker 2 which by the time you have finished putting it together you are at $4k.

My question is: do you really need an electric for a back-up or is another gasser sufficient for less money?

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05-09-2005 02:30 AM  13 years agoPost 2
bell-230

rrKey Veteran

sonoma, ca (currently milano italy)

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i would say your gasser should be the backup! if you had a joker 2, i dont think a gasser would ever be used.

but for a cheaper electric alternative that fits the role as more of a back up, theres the logo's, the 24 is abot 2,500 rtf and the 14 is about 1800 rtf

http://www.runryder.com/t161502p1/

theres some info about the logo 14 as my helicam

ian brooke
k2shots.com

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05-09-2005 05:20 AM  13 years agoPost 3
fitenfyr

rrProfessor

Port Orchard, Washington

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Back ups...
Something to consider is that a true "back up" would be an identical setup so that you have no change in working conditions if you need to switch aircraft.
Maintenace is identical, parts stock is the same etc....

Now should you have an electric in your fleet.
Well I certainly enjoy having the option, but I find my electric will do 90% of what I need.

Remember though and electric is a whole new beast and will be completely opposite of what you have...
Batteries, chargers, flight time, maintenance, etc....

For 90% of the still work I have done a gasser would have been just fine.
One shoot on Friday the gasser would have been prefered over my electric as it would have held more stable in the wind due to the increased weight. Too bad it had broke earlier in the day.

A well built gasser will work fine, just noiser.

Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...

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05-09-2005 05:57 AM  13 years agoPost 4
tabbytabb

rrElite Veteran

seattle

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Go with whatever you are more comfortable with. For me that is electric. If I so much as look at a nitro or gas motor it starts to sputter and die!

I will say that using an electric ship is a benefit on more then half of the jobs I do because of reduced noise and stealth.

Jason is right though, it is a whole different beast and you would need to dive in head first and get chargers, power supplies etc. This is no small investment.

I love the lack of vibration an electric provides, makes maintenance very simple and I like that.

either way a backup is key.

Tabb

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05-09-2005 11:21 AM  13 years agoPost 5
Clicky finger

rrNovice

Christchurch, New Zealand

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After a tail-rotor failure recently (well not so recently now - about 6 weeks ago) I was prompted to take steps to get a back up machine on-line. So what did I do? Tried to order another X-Cell Gas Pro (also believing the ideal is to have two identical machines) only to discover they are no longer available. Obsolete. So now I've joined the long list of people waiting for a Spectra-G.

Further to the tail rotor failure, I'd just installed a carbon boom, and the clamp that holds the tail-rotor onto the boom decided to slide. The result was loss of drive to the tail, wild pirouettes, and helicopter that went down behind buildings so far away I never heard the impact. Couldn't even find it for a long while. Running up and down driveways to back sections, peering through hedges and knocking on people's doors is not a fun experience. A downed helicopter isn't new, but not being able to find it, and panicking that I've fallen into somebody's property and done damage is. If you haven't tried it, don't be in a hurry to!

Was greatly relieved to finally discover it up against a fence boardering a vacant piece of land. The ONLY piece of vacant land in the area that I had found. The camera mount was munted, but was extremely lucky there wasn't a mark on the camera. About $600 worth of damage to the heli. Insurance has come to the party.

Miniature Aircraft, I now find, have produced a more secure clamp and suggest it be drilled and screwed to the boom. Guess I now know why...

Cheers
Pete

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05-09-2005 06:08 PM  13 years agoPost 6
fitenfyr

rrProfessor

Port Orchard, Washington

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Look around..
Pete,
Sounds like a "fun" day.
You bring up a big "difference" between electrics and gassers also.
Gassers shake the heck out of everything.
You have to tighten bolts and check gear mesh much more frequently than an electric.

You might want to look at a Bergen instead of the Spectra.
I think they are probably the best gasser for AP, but parts may be more of an issue for you than the MA.

I will get to do a head to head soon between the Spectra and the Bergen.
I am going to be building one for another pilot in the coming weeks.
Should be a fun experience for me and will give me an opportunity to compare the ships for AP.

Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...

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05-09-2005 06:49 PM  13 years agoPost 7
Load Factor

rrApprentice

Colleyville, Texas

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A well built gasser will work fine, just noiser.
Good point Jason.

windmania,

I too am thinking of electric.......again. I'm starting to get quit a few noise complaints. The complaints are very common in the DFW area. I run the Hatori pipe on a 26 and my line to the police is "its not as loud as a leaf blower".....It may be louder in the air...duno?

Tanner

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05-09-2005 06:56 PM  13 years agoPost 8
fitenfyr

rrProfessor

Port Orchard, Washington

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I think the noise is just different.
The blade noise and the engine combine to make an "unnatural" sound to most on the ground.
Most leaf blowers and such are a stop start kind of affair and not the continous noise that the helis make.

It is really cool to catch out of the corner of my eye the peoples expressions when the all of a sudden they look where I am looking and see a helicopter.

Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...

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05-09-2005 07:10 PM  13 years agoPost 9
aambrose

rrElite Veteran

Pana, IL

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windmania,
My 2 cents. I LOVE my gasser! The noise isnt a problem because the muffler quiets things down quite well (on the ground and in the air). As far as vibration goes, I dont experience any that affects the quality of the photos. Mine is VERY smooth and has tons of power.

It's all a matter of preference. Personally, I have enough batteries to manage as it is (downlink transmitter x 2, downlink receiver and monitor, camera mount receiver, 2 transmitters, heli's receiver, 12 volt field battery, and fuel pump). I realize with an electric, the last battery wouldnt be necessary but adding lipo flight packs to the setup would be a headache for me. Besides, it's nice to just pump the fuel in and pull the rope! Oh yeah, what noise it does make has proven to be a good thing for us so far.

When it comes time to purchase a backup, I will probably go with exactly the same thing I have now. Jason had a good point ... an identical setup would be nice so there is no change in working conditions if you need to switch aircraft. And yeah, the noise IS different....I like it though!


Tony

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05-09-2005 07:42 PM  13 years agoPost 10
daggit

rrElite Veteran

Claremont, MN

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I think an identical ship is the way to go.
however.....

If you already feel like you're over your budget and a whole extra ship is too much, one nice alternative to buying complete second heli is to just order the parts most likely to get damaged in an incident.... (main blades, mainshaft, spindle... etc.)

Then order some more spare stuff again later after you've gotten a couple more jobs done. Kinda build a little stockpile of parts to insure you against downtime. Pretty soon you can have most of the spare parts you're ever gonna need.

That is what I have done since the nearest hobby shop with parts I need is 65 miles away and they never have all I need anyway.

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05-10-2005 01:38 AM  13 years agoPost 11
windmania

rrApprentice

Boca Raton, FL

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Thanks for all the feeback.

It seems the way to go would be to purchase an identical heli for the time being. When there is a positive cash flow that would be the time to invest in the other half of the business, ie. electric.

Again - thanks for the feedback...

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