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HomeScaleAircraftScale HeliScale Helicopter Main Discussion Docs  Airwolf Turbine - My Build
03-26-2015 01:29 AM  3 years agoPost 1
ssmith512

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Indianapolis, IN USA

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WARNING!!! This is a Geek Master Level 5 post!!!

A few months ago, Archangel contacted me. Naturally I was very surprised to hear from after all this time. It seems The Firm wants and needs another Airwolf. What?!?!? OK then. Fortunately I still have all of Dr. Moffet's bluprints/notes/design and construction specifications from when I worked with him on the first Airwolf. The following is my journey to build Airwolf.....

So here it is.

I know what you are thinkng, "Is that a giant helicopter in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" Well I am thinking, "What the HELL have I got myself into!" DAMN this thing is BIG!! LOL!

I have to warn you, this is not going to be an AMA 518 type build, but will certainly be "scale" and we are gonna have some fun with it nonetheless. This is my first big build, my first Vario, my first "from scratch" build and my first turbine. Should be easy! LOL!

Specs for my Airwolf:

Vario Turbine Airwolf fuse
Vario Turbine Mechanics
Vario tail rotor system
Jakadofsky Pro 5000 Turbine
Futaba CGY750
Futaba BLS371SV for Cyclic
Futaba BLS471SV for Rudder
Futaba S9470SV for retract servos
Futaba SBUS for control
Powerbox BaseLog for flight system power regulation
Still undecided on swash plate, rotor head and blades (blades will be aluminum)

Major build challenges will be designing and building a reliable/easy removable tail boom assembly so I can transport the thing to and from the flying field and store it in the house. Redesign and fabricate a new vertical stabilizer (it is not the correct profile for a Bell 222). And redesign and fabricate new horizontal stab end plates (again not the correct profile for a Bell 222).

I welcome all suggestions, advice, hints, tricks and tips you all can pass my way to help make this a successfull endeavor.

So with that, let's get this party started!

First step is fuselage prep. Master plan is to wash the fuse, inside and out, with Dawn dishwashing detergent. Air dry, then use one of these 3M scuffing pads to knock off the sheen on the gel coat.

Then a wipe down with Acetone to degrease. Hope that is correct. Then I can start on details.

I am looking for suggestions on a primer to use, both for spot primer during the build to highlight certain areas that are modified and for final primer before base coat. I used Rustoleum rattle can primer on my Cobra, but being that this fuse needs a fuel proof finish system, which I think means using an "automotive type" paint and clear coat, I am uncertain if I need to use a certain kind of primer that will be compatible with the kind of paint system I will ultimately have to use (I know NOTHING about paint/paint types/paint nomenclature, etc.)

Till next update.............

Steve

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03-26-2015 03:07 AM  3 years agoPost 2
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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Very cool heli!! I'm looking forward to your build. Wash the fuse, then wipe it down with acetone (changing the rag frequently), then follow that with an IPA wipe. Then sand the gelcoat. If you sand the gelcoat first, you embed any residual mold release in the suface. This will keep the primer from getting any fish eyes.
Barry

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

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03-26-2015 03:22 AM  3 years agoPost 3
xcellgasman101

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WOODWARD, OKLA....

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Awesome,, Cant wait for your build!! XGM/VGM

John Crotts
www.soonerhelicamproductions.com

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03-26-2015 04:05 AM  3 years agoPost 4
Calil

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Brazil

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OMG this will gonna be the best vario arround for sure! With M-blades aluminum blades probably? will sound so real!

Will be watching here everyday hopping for more thanks for sharing!

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03-26-2015 06:30 AM  3 years agoPost 5
rcheli808

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Mililani,Hi-USA

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Congrats Steve, enjoy the journey...

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03-26-2015 10:19 AM  3 years agoPost 6
Mike0251

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Hills of the Blue Ridge VA

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Subscribed! Looking forward to the build.

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03-26-2015 11:22 AM  3 years agoPost 7
Paradiddle

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Raleigh ,North Carolina

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You might need a Pilots License to fly that bird. LOL

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03-26-2015 02:06 PM  3 years agoPost 8
ssmith512

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Indianapolis, IN USA

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Thanks for the prep tips Barry!!

Really gonna enjoy this build for sure.....

OK. Wasn’t going to mention anything about this, as it is really inconsequential, BUT I HAVE to give credit where credit is due.

My Wolf showed up well packaged and on time, however, there were some issues. Quite a few major parts were missing from the kit (I’m talking big molded stuff for the fuse – not a few washers or bolts here and there) and the entire doghouse was for the Bell 430 Turbine, so it was all wrong. I called up Joe at East Coast Vario and gave him the run down. Her was super nice, gave me the time of day I needed and was very engaged in my situation. I told him that what I had found was just from a cursory review, I hadn’t actually broken down every small part bag and counted every nut and bolt and washer (and quick frankly am not at all concerned with a nut or bolt or washer missing). He said don’t sweat it, and to call him at anytime with any issue. He had me email him a list of what was missing or wrong. I did that yesterday around noonish. That afternoon, I had already received an email back from Joe indicating that he had contacted Vario in Germany. This morning at 8am (less than 24 hours after I had initiated contact with Joe) I had an email from Vario in Germany with a FedEx tracking number shipped directly to my house for my needed parts. WHAT!?!?! THAT right there is THE definition of service. Let’s face it, in today’s internet, texting, phone world, we just are never 100% certain what we are getting, especially after the sale – we’ve all been there at some point in time. We get the product and the service stops immediately after that. NOT IN THIS CASE!!!!

A SUPER SPECIAL thanks to Joe at East Coast Vario for making me feel like I am his one and only customer, and MAJOR KUDOS to Vario in Germany for IMMEDIATELY taking care of my needs. I honestly was fully expecting this process to take a few weeks to get sorted out. I am pleasantly surprised and off the roof ecstatic. Having that kind of support from the “local” retailer, the overseas manufacturer, and the comradery of the scale community just makes being involved in a project like this that much more enjoyable and worry free (especially for a new guy like me).

THANKS JOE AND THANKS VARIO GERMANY!!!!
Rumkugeln, Apfelstrudel and Jagermeister for everyone!! I’m buyin!

Steve

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03-26-2015 07:19 PM  3 years agoPost 9
Heli143

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Phenix City, Alabama

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this does not surprise me at all!!

Besides being a great painter and an expert with RC helis, he is one good guy!
He has always provided great customer service to all whether you're buying a big scaler or some small parts.

As for Vario I think they have really stepped up their customer service and I think the new owner has shown a super interest in what the modelers think and want in order to provide the best quality products and superb customer service.

Have fun with your build and quite a few of us are going to be watching your wolf come together and enjoying your work.

Roy Mayoral

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03-26-2015 08:01 PM  3 years agoPost 10
ICUR1-2

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Ottawa, Ontario

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Considering the costs involved I would expect nothing less. Glad to hear you're getting the customer service you deserve

I will try Vario someday
I look forward to your build info

PS keep in mind after you're done building that model it has to fit out the door

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03-26-2015 08:16 PM  3 years agoPost 11
modtron

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Oxford. UK

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Ok, so I know I'll get flamed for this, but WHY are you praising Vario for their quick speed for them to send you the MISSING parts.
When you consider the costs of their products and also the fact that they contain a so called Check list that's worthless, surely you should be asking - Why were they missing in the first place ?
This is not a fair refection on Joe as it's like a daily event in Europe !

Justly my 2 cents, rant over.

modtron
Oxford UK

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03-26-2015 08:58 PM  3 years agoPost 12
xcellgasman101

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WOODWARD, OKLA....

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Why were they missing in the first place ?
That was my first thought too. but after taking a few minutes to think about it,,, I can see where he might be the 1 in a 1000 that got a kit with big missing parts, shiet Happens, Hopefully he's not the 1000 of 1000? I love my Vario's and my Mizzar fuse is awesome, not a big scale fuse, but a big nice fuse,, Good luck with this build, I would love to own a Big Scale Heli,, Congrats!! XGM/VGM

John Crotts
www.soonerhelicamproductions.com

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03-26-2015 10:30 PM  3 years agoPost 13
ssmith512

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, IN USA

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Ok, so I know I'll get flamed for this, but WHY are you praising Vario for their quick speed for them to send you the MISSING parts.
When you consider the costs of their products and also the fact that they contain a so called Check list that's worthless, surely you should be asking - Why were they missing in the first place ?
All very valid points for sure. Should there have been missing parts? Of course not. Should Vario drop everything the minute they got my list of missing parts and ship them to me? You bet. And that is exactly what they did. They deserve credit for doing the right thing. Too often in todays world, just as my original post stated, things go sour after the sale. Solutions to problems are dragged out. People try to blame this or that or give unreasonable excuses to pass blame or relieve themselves of responsibility.

East Coast and Vario didnt ask a bunch questions, didnt require me to send pics or do this or do that and drag this thing out for days with emails and pointless conversations. They did the right thing. Plain and simple. They deserve, in my opinion, to be praised for that. Customer service is a hit and miss thing. They hit it out of the park with me. That should speak volumes to future potential customers that do research, see this thread and can take from my post that any problems will be handled quickly and correctly.

I'm the customer, I'm happy, over joyed in fact, and THAT is all that matters. And I simply wanted to share that my expectations were greatly exceeded.

Steve

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03-26-2015 10:33 PM  3 years agoPost 14
ssmith512

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, IN USA

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PS keep in mind after you're done building that model it has to fit out the door
Not only that but has to fit in my little truck!! That's why I am designing and fabricating a custom removable tail boom. Should solve that problem quite nicely.

Steve

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03-27-2015 12:52 AM  3 years agoPost 15
ICUR1-2

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Ottawa, Ontario

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just get a trailer, I would hate to learn the tail dissembled itself during flight

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03-27-2015 02:55 AM  3 years agoPost 16
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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Joe's customer service is second to none and Kirsten at Vario is a good businesswoman and an awesome person to hang out with. But in the real world mistakes happen. My pops used to say, "the judgment of a good man lies not in how many mistakes he makes, but rather how he recovers from those mistakes"...
Barry

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

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03-27-2015 02:37 PM  3 years agoPost 17
hrc37

rrApprentice

Derry, PA

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Customer Service
I do have to agree with what "modtron" ask and you do have to wonder how things like this happen and in most cases, you'll never know.

But in the big picture, to me, mistakes that vendors and dealers make really don't matter to me...but it all comes down to how things are handled and made right at the end of the day. And from the sounds of it, Vario and East Coast handled it in the best way possible not only to make the customer happy, but to keep a great reputation. With today's "global economy" and the internet, this is more important then ever because we are no longer force to just buy from "the guy down the street". And because of this, it too amazes me on how many incidents of very poor customer service you still hear and read about...which I myself just had an issue with Esprit Models and because of their very poor customer service, they've lost me as a customer for life over a $5.25 shipping charge.

I do know Joe of East Coast and Kirsten of Vario and they just didn't do things right because it's good for business and their reputation, but they did things right just because it's the "right" thing to do and these are the types of people I want to deal with and buy from....I just wish there were more people out there like them.

Mark

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03-27-2015 06:28 PM  3 years agoPost 18
ssmith512

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, IN USA

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Let's get this build thread back on track!

I will be taking a bath with my new fuse tomorrow (wife aint too happy about that!), pics will follow (I promise the pics will be rated PG ). And if I have enough time after building the wife a new bookcase, will try my hand at making my own carbon fiber laminated plywood. Will be using the carbon fiber/ply sandwich panels for structural bulkheads for the removable tail boom assembly.

Steve

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03-27-2015 06:48 PM  3 years agoPost 19
hrc37

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Derry, PA

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Removable tail boom
Hey Steve,

Something to think about....years ago I built a 500E fuse that had a removable tail boom....well not really. The fuse came that way in two pieces. So I built two plywood bulk heads (one for each part of the boom) and installed blind nuts on one end and of course I had 3 drilled holes on the other bulk head that matched up with the blind nuts. I then made a long handled screw driver that was used to bolt and unbolt the tail boom. It worked out pretty well but it really wasn't something I needed to take apart that often because the fuse was nowhere near the size of yours. And because of that, you may want to build an inner tail boom tube that in permanently attached at one end (main body) and then have the tail boom slide over it and be secured with fasteners of your choice. Because of the size you're dealing with, you're going to have a lot of weight and torque to deal with.

Mark

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03-27-2015 07:54 PM  3 years agoPost 20
Calil

rrApprentice

Brazil

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HELI PORN!!! PICTURES! HELI PORN PLEASE!

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HomeScaleAircraftScale HeliScale Helicopter Main Discussion Docs  Airwolf Turbine - My Build
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