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Old 06-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
npomeroy
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Default Bell 222 550 size project

Century/Funkey .30/550 size unpainted Bell 222 fuselage arrived today from Heli-world.
My plan is to power it with a stretched Compass Atom 500, which I already have and previously was in a 500 sized AS350 fuselage. The standard Atom 5.5 stretch is not long enough so I have obtained the boom and tail control rod for Compass Knight Sport, and a 1590 mm belt from polybelt.com.
I was a bit frustrated concerning the instruction manual, which appears as a separate accessory for this model only. I almost ordered it extra but Heliworld said it was included. It isn't, only a one-page sheet about the landing gear. The landing gear is also confusing because the wheels themselves are included along with various hardware, but not the retract units, which are also sold separately. The manual is able to be downloaded as PDF but the resolution is really poor.
I took the picture below (with zoom from long distance to reduce distortion) to compare the profile with the published scale drawings for this helicopter.
This won't go very fast but I'll update as progress is made

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Old 06-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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I just ordered the painted (blue) version of this fuselage for use with a T-Rex 600. It's going to be a four blade Bell 430. How's the overall quality of the fuse? What kind of modifications are going to be necessary to get the helicopter into it?
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Default Bell 222

Are you going to paint it to match your 550 jet ranger?
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Napoleon_Tanerite View Post
I just ordered the painted (blue) version of this fuselage for use with a T-Rex 600. It's going to be a four blade Bell 430. How's the overall quality of the fuse? What kind of modifications are going to be necessary to get the helicopter into it?
Good quality. - mine's unpainted so not easy to compare. My pre-painted jetranger was well finished. You will need to work out all the internal ply supports for the mechanics. Also mine had wheels but no retract units - these need to be bought separately. It is confusing because there is lots of landing gear hardware - but not the wire struts or the black-box-looking units.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mbutler6063 View Post
Are you going to paint it to match your 550 jet ranger?
Nope. It will be a uniform dark colour - probably navy blue with some pinstriping -probably in a gold-bronze colour. The shape of the 222 is so elegant it is best not to break it up with two-tone colour schemes IMHO.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default Paint

I can understand that, it does a presence. Can't wait to see it.
I've been playing with digital camo with different colors trying to come up with something different for the next one.
http://tacticalcamo.com/MARPAT/digi.php
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npomeroy View Post
I took the picture below (with zoom from long distance to reduce distortion) to compare the profile with the published scale drawings for this helicopter.
Do you have published scale drawings? I've been looking. Especially for cross sections.

I've scoured the internet for every 3-view, photo and 222 history I could find. Far as I know, the lip around the front of the dog house only ever existed on early prototype models and never made it to final production. The 3-view that keeps popping up always seems to be the same early prototype model, even though the final production versions were very different.

The early model 222 and the later 222A both had a shorter tail boom and much larger tail fin. The later 222B stretched the tail boom and slimmed down the tail fin. All models had the tail rotor mounted on the left side (fin on the right). You appear to have a prototype version pod with a later model 222B stretched boom.

I don't think I've ever seen a 222 model or kit that wasn't some form of mash up of different 222 types that couldn't have existed in real life.

First photo is a 222A, second photo (D-HTIM) is a 222B (stretched tail and slimmed fin), third photo (G-NOIR) is a 222A (shorter tail, larger fin)

The skirts on the sponsons identify a 222B. I don't know what identifies a 222A from a 222. I think it's mostly style of the jet exhausts.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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I don't have cross sections. Only the drawings from a google image search on 3 view bell 222.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npomeroy View Post
I don't have cross sections. Only the drawings from a google image search on 3 view bell 222.
Dang, I hoped you had more. I've got a great collection of detailed photos of all aspects of the 222, either A or B model. But no single 'plan' drawing that accurately captures either. Every drawing I've got is either the prototype, or some mixed up combination of A/B types. I thought a plastic model kit might give some insight, but the only kits I could get are just as 'inaccurate'. Some day I suppose I'm just going to have to start measuring up photos and drawing my own.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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Well I got an email yesterday saying the painted fuselage is out of stock, so now I'm going to be starting with an unpainted one too. Please keep this thread updated, I'll be refer to it often!
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npomeroy View Post
Nope. It will be a uniform dark colour - probably navy blue with some pinstriping -probably in a gold-bronze colour. The shape of the 222 is so elegant it is best not to break it up with two-tone colour schemes IMHO.
That dark blue and gold stripping sounds nice!

And hey, don't knock two-tones! Remember Airwolf is two-tone and that is one of the sexiest helicopters on the planet!
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:47 AM   #12
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I don't have cross sections. Only the drawings from a google image search on 3 view bell 222.
I've attached a PDF of the 3-views I obtained.
I note that the main rotor blades a very wide. To do these to even close to scale would require getting some wide-chord 600 blades (like spinblades) and chopping them down to 550 or thereabouts. That would also give the square tip. Not sure If I'll do this though!
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:54 AM   #13
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Standard 3D 520 blades may be the closest you will get aside from custom made wood ones. That view shows me that even the 600 Airwolf I have here should have 550 blades on it to replicate the rotor diameter or come a lot closer than it is now. Nice find.

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Old 06-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #14
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Aside from the 4 blade rotor, are there any major external differences between the 222 and 430? Also, I haven't started my project yet, is it worth it to reverse the blade direction, seeing how the real helicopter spins CCW? I've already got a gear I installed the OWB in upside down a while ago (OOPS!). Is it as simple as using this backwards OWB and swapping the poles on the motor, or is it more involved than that?
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #15
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Aside from the 4 blade rotor, are there any major external differences between the 222 and 430?
The 430 doghouse is very different. Pretty much everything above the roof line has been changed in some way. Not having 'clear' drawings of the 222A/B it's hard to say how much the rest of the body profile is changed. The cabin door layout is different, so they may have stretched the pod and I'd be very much surprised if the boom and tail fin wasn't also changed because that seems to be the most significant change between models. IMO, the 430 loses some of the sexiness of the 222.

I have a PDF of the 430 Product Data. It's very detailed, including much better drawings with dimensions (wish I had the same for a 222). Tried uploading it, but it's 8 Meg and I guess the forum won't allow it. You can get it online here 430 product data

It really highlights the angle of the tail fin and the mini fins on the elevator (page 255). It's not clear on many of the 3 view drawings, and hard to see in the pictures, but the mini fins on the elevator are angled to assist anti-rotation in forward flight.

There are bell 222 simulator models which may be the good source of accuracy. Search for gmax bell 222. If you have the right software (which I don't), you can turn the 3d model plans into flat plan. That would be awesome because then you could cross section every part of the helicopter at any scale. Assuming the simulator model is accurate. What I've read in the CAD/design forums indicates that gmax model took every step to be as accurate as possible. Some of the designers may have even had access to official company plans and dimensions.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #16
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@ fightingmosquitoes: Have you tried contacting Bell-Textron directly to find 3-views? I've found emailing companies for that sort of thing tends to disappear into a black home but sometimes a phone call will get somewhere.
The helicopter below is part of a rescue service here and especially if I make a donation I might be able to contact the service hangar and maybe they have 3-views in in the service manuals somewhere. What is the nature of your project? Are you wanting to do a scratch-build? I must admit I am not familiar enough with "real" Bell 222s to worry too much about deviations from reality in the kit. I hadn't noticed the doghouse lip being different from full scale.

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Old 06-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #17
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Hey npomeroy,

Good old ZK-HZQ! I should have suspected from your New Zealand location that it might be known to you. I have an entire directory of photos of this beauty, probably one of the most photographed 222s I've found.

I want to some day scratch build a 222 on an ultra micro scale (Blade MCPX frame). Super scale, right down to the rivets and wipers, not a 'toy' scale. I've experimented with moulding fuselages in this scale and with the proper plan views and cross sections I believe I can create an accurate master to take a mould off of. I'm obsessive about scale detail, to the point that I spend all my time researching when I should just be building. If I had a decent (accurate) set of 3 views with cross sections I'd be sanding away on the plug now. But everything I've found is either the prototype or some franken-version that combines aspects of different 222 variants. So I keep searching. Some day I suppose I will try to contact Bell-Textron directly.

Your project will be a beauty, lip on the dog house or not. I just don't know of a prettier helicopter to model.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fightingmosquitoes View Post
The 430 doghouse is very different. Pretty much everything above the roof line has been changed in some way. Not having 'clear' drawings of the 222A/B it's hard to say how much the rest of the body profile is changed. The cabin door layout is different, so they may have stretched the pod and I'd be very much surprised if the boom and tail fin wasn't also changed because that seems to be the most significant change between models. IMO, the 430 loses some of the sexiness of the 222.

I have a PDF of the 430 Product Data. It's very detailed, including much better drawings with dimensions (wish I had the same for a 222). Tried uploading it, but it's 8 Meg and I guess the forum won't allow it. You can get it online here 430 product data

It really highlights the angle of the tail fin and the mini fins on the elevator (page 255). It's not clear on many of the 3 view drawings, and hard to see in the pictures, but the mini fins on the elevator are angled to assist anti-rotation in forward flight.
.
Oh wow, I hadn't noticed just how different the 430 was from the 222. I might actually go back to a two blade head to get the 222 look out of it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:56 AM   #19
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Default Mechanics size check and various thoughts

Today I dropped in the Atom 500 mechanics. The bottom of the mechanics frame is level with the bottom of the side windows, and there's heaps of room in the front. There's also good access from above for adjusting belt tension.


But some thoughts and observations:
The front doesn't come off, only the top cowling, which can not be removed completely, only swivelled around, while the head is on. I'm contemplating whether to cut the cowl in half so I can remove it completely. But might not be necessary: I need access to the SK720 but that can be a permanent USB cable (although do like to check its attachment security and connections. Also the lipo(s) could be permanently installed. Although even with just swivelling the cowling I think I could insert a lipo (depends a bit how far forward it needs to be for C/G.)

The boom is installed in from the rear, and I'll draw the belt out through it. That's OK but I'm not sure how I'll install the tail control rod. I think it will need to be attached at the servo first, and then its flexibility will allow it to pass backwards through the fuselage boom. Then the metal boom, with control guides attached, will need to be passed forwards, threading the control rod into each guide in turn. (Actually I only figured this out while I was writing this: it's probably not an issue).

The Atom head is designed to accept 520mm blades (with bushing to allow 3mm bolts) so I'm not worried about the stresses there.

I'll want bigger tail blades though and the 600 size ones are thicker at the base. The Atom tail blade grips are plastic and I think with some sanding of the blade base and spreading of the holders it will be OK. I note that Align 500 tail grips are better sized to take the bigger blades but to use them might mean replacing the entire tail mechanism.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:32 AM   #20
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I think your lipos are probably going to need to be as far forward as you can get them. There's going to be a lot of weight hanging off that tail.

The 'hood' (or bonnet for you UK readers) on the 222 opens up. Maybe you can cut this free for access from the front. It's not a big opening, but it might be enough to get at what you need.
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