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Old 11-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Century 50 Size Airwolf/Swift Build Thread

Hi all,

I've always wanted a large Airwolf, and over Thanksgiving I caved in and bought the Century/Funkey 50 size painted fuselage. I'm going to use Century Swift 16 mechanics which will require some fabrication to fit, and will try to keep a build log here.

To start I'm going to stretch the Swift to 600mm blades and go flybarless using a V-Bar. Once that's flying well I'll begin the scale project. Since I'm waiting for the delivery, I began today by tearing down the existing model.

Stay tuned, it should be fun.

Daniel
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looking forward to your build. I've just completed a scale project using a Centrury 50 size Airwolf fuselage myself. Had a lot of fun with it and it flys great. Good luck with yours.

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Old 11-29-2010, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Donnie. What mechanics did you use?
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Full metal Esmart.

https://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=255430

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Old 11-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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dswitkin

Looking forward to following this thread, A couple of years ago, there was a thread (I think on RCG??)from a fellow who did a conversion of their 30 nitro mechanics version to electric which came out very well.

I took the easy way out for my scale Swift and popped it into the specially made Augusta A109A fuselage they sell that included the retracts. I really enjoy flying it as it sounds more like a turbine then do any of my nitro powered scalers and there is no smoke trail to spoil the scale illusion.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Yup, I considered the Augusta because of the Swift-specific version, but I'm really committed to an Airwolf project.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Tail details

One piece of advice I got on another thread was that the stock Swift 16 tail assembly couldn't be used for a scale project. Although I don't have the fuselage yet I think I can explain why (see photos).

Basically, the tail case is assembled, then slipped *inside* the boom, instead of around it. Then the front end of the boom is completed, so that the belt is installed and under tension while the boom is still outside the helicopter.

The problem is that the tail shaft will stick out too far to go through the Airwolf tail. Since the belt is under tension you can't pull the tail case out in order to install it after mounting the mechanics. The solution is to buy the CNC metal tail upgrade:

http://www.heli-world.com/detail.aspx?ID=8722

which should attach around the boom. I will confirm this when the fuselage arrives.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Flybarless head

I decided to buy the Century CNC flybarless head:

http://www.heli-world.com/detail.aspx?ID=9567

which is designed for 10mm main shafts. It's kinda overkill but should just drop in.

A cheaper option might be to modify the flybar head. I noticed that the geometry is pretty good - the balls on the blade grips are directly opposite each other, centered on the shaft. They just need to be pushed further out which is easy.

I'm not sure whether the plastic head and blade grips are strong enough to handle 600mm blades - certainly not for 3D flying, but perhaps for scale at 1800 rpm let's say. I am doing the third bearing block upgrade just to be on the safe side, which for some reason requires its own main shaft. I'll try to figure out why when it arrives.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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dswitkin, use Swift NX tail case, it mounts outside the boom similar to Align and others.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, if the metal tail case doesn't work out I'll use the NX tail case as a backup solution.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Zero cost flybarless head

For fun I decided to tear down the stock Swift 16 flybar head and see if I could convert it to flybarless without adding any extra parts. It almost worked.

As mentioned before, and seen on RCG, the plastic grips work great. I used the medium length balls from the seesaw and the metal spacers from the mixer arms on the grips. It's hard to tell whether this is enough without doing a full setup. I suspect the longer balls on the swashplate would give better geometry, but I bet this would fly.

Then I tried to see if the washout could be used as a swash driver. It nearly works, since the antirotation pins in the head block keep it from turning, except at the very bottom of the range. I tried installing some extra balls which did retain the washout, but didn't allow enough travel.

At this point I got stuck. Longer antirotation pins could work, and so could another shaft collar to prevent the washout from descending too far. Both could prevent setting up enough positive collective though. Otherwise the washout needs to be locked onto the main shaft like a normal swash driver, but I don't see an easy way to do that.

Please chime in if you have a solution. In the mean time I'm going to wait for the CNC head to arrive and see if I like it. If not, a new swash driver (and maybe a metal head block) should be sufficient to use the stock parts.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think there was someone on another forum that just drilled and tapped the side of the washout for an M3 or 4 grub screw and used that to secure it at the proper setting, as in an FBL configuration the washout hub does not have to slid up and down, it will only have to keep the inner start turning with the mainshaft.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Right, that makes sense. I actually played with the setup and I can get it work if I limit the negative collective to 5 degrees or so, which would be fine for scale. But the new CNC head, swash, and follower just arrived, so I doubt I'll use the plastic ones now. Pictures to follow.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default It's here!

I got home to find a very large box waiting for me.

In fact, everything was double boxed and very well packed. All of the smaller parts were wrapped and stuffed inside the fuselage. The paint looks great, although only the jet exhausts are weathered - the main engine exhausts on top are pure gold. The fuselage kit came with rubber wheels but not retracts. I haven't looked to see if there's hardware for fixed gear included or not.

The CNC flybarless head came assembled and looks good. It included the top button even though the product page said it was sold separately. Overall I think I have everything needed to stretch the Swift to 600mm and go FBL except main blades. Time to get to work.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswitkin View Post
I got home to find a very large box waiting for me.

In fact, everything was double boxed and very well packed. All of the smaller parts were wrapped and stuffed inside the fuselage. The paint looks great, although only the jet exhausts are weathered - the main engine exhausts on top are pure gold. The fuselage kit came with rubber wheels but not retracts. I haven't looked to see if there's hardware for fixed gear included or not.

The CNC flybarless head came assembled and looks good. It included the top button even though the product page said it was sold separately. Overall I think I have everything needed to stretch the Swift to 600mm and go FBL except main blades. Time to get to work.
SWEEET! I would think you will get the retracts for it??
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks. Yup, I bought the stock Century retracts:

http://www.centuryheli.com/products/...&currentid=708

I'm not crazy about the wire gear though. I may upgrade to these instead:

http://www.smartmodel.com.hk/product...5&third_id=197

although they're not quite the right shape either.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default CNC Flybarless Head

I built the new CNC head last night. Overall the quality is nice, but as usual with Century products there are some small issues.

First the head block has two bolts which clamp around the shaft, which seem pointless. There's no way they are secure enough to avoid using a Jesus bolt through the shaft, so they may as well not be there. The CNC head did not include the Jesus bolt either.

On the swash driver, the bolt which holds it onto the main shaft was too long, and hits the opposite arm when tightened down. I had to grind it down about 1.5 mm. Also there was no threadlock on the bolts which hold the arms on, they were loose enough to remove with my fingers.

The blades grips are attractive but unfortunately don't have a recessed area for the nut, which means that you need pliers in addition to a hex driver to install blades (just like the plastic grips). This always drives me nuts.

Attached are some photos of the stock and CNC heads side-by-side, along with the triple bearing block. I'm still trying to figure out where the collar goes. By the hole in the main shaft it seems the collar has to go between the main gear and the third bearing which is very weird. It means I need to flip the bearing block over because nothing will hold the bearing in. I'm not sure why they didn't drill the hole for the bottom collar at the bottom of the shaft instead.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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My Dad has succeeded in modifying a couple of heads into flybarless heads. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works great! I'll try and post pics some time.
I look forward to any builds relating to Airwolfs.............naturally.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey Daniel -- Got your e-mail pal. Very kewl project your embarking on. I am certainly subscribing.

Mark
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswitkin View Post
........First the head block has two bolts which clamp around the shaft, which seem pointless. There's no way they are secure enough to avoid using a Jesus bolt through the shaft, so they may as well not be there. The CNC head did not include the Jesus bolt either......
You do not understand that feature (now seen on most new head block designs).

You ALWAYS have to use the jesus bolt. The clamping design on the lower end of the head block is simply to keep it solid against that main shaft so that it will not develop play in that area which will eventually result in the head hub rocking around the jesus bolt.
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