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500 Size AH-64A Apache build

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  • 500 Size AH-64A Apache build

    Over the past couple of months I've started working on another scale Heli to join my AH-6 Little Bird, a 500 size AH-64A Apache Gunship. This is all based off of the old (discontinued) RC Aerodyne scale fuselage kit. This includes a custom main gear to fit inside the narrow fuselage, and frames that lower the tail boom to the scale location. I am also using the RC Aerodyne raised tail kit, that allows me to use a torque tube drive setup. In addition, I will be using the scale 4 blade head and offset tail rotor kits from CNC helicopter. I am also planning on a fully detailed cockpit.

    One of the first mods to the airframe was to move the tail rotor fairing to the correct side. The kit included the tail rotor on the left side, while it is located on the right in the full scale version. To do this, I cut out the fairing with a Drexel cutoff wheel, and glued in a styrene backing. The gaps were filled with bondo and sanded to blend the surface. The fairing was then painstakingly reconstructed from styrene on the correct side.
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    The next thing was to add in a few missing panel lines. Thin panel line tape was applied to all of these missing lines:
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    These were then painted over with thick auto body primer, and then the tape was removed to leave the panel lines. In addition, various handles were added across the airframe by bending thin steel rods. Here is the current configuration with test fitting the mechanics in the fuselage.
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    Next up will be more airframe detailing including more handles/antennas/sensors, and a start on the cockpit detail.

  • #2
    Wow! That's some really nice work there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Prowler! I made a bit more progress this weekend on the Apache. I got the landing gear attached and added on more airframe details, as well as started the cockpit detail. I also added some more of the various handles around the helicopter, and the antennas and fences behind the rotor mast.
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      Quick test fit of the weapons wings.
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      Some of the cockpit detail so far. The seats, pilot, and instrument panels were all 3D printed and painted with autobody primer to smooth out the surfaces.
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      Next I'm hoping to make the flare dispensers, start on the rivet detail, and move forward with the cockpit and window installation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Another update on the Apache. I've been busy adding rivets. LOTs of rivets..

        Comment


        • #5
          Cool. It's great to see a scale heli. Lot of heli guys at our club flying 3D and they all look identical.
          Currently flying: Twin 80mm A-10, 80mm F5, 80mm A6, 70mm Yak-130, 70mm F-16v2,90mm Stinger 90, 70mmRC Lander F9F, Flightline F7F TigerCat, Phoenix 46 size Tucano, Flyzone L-39
          Out of Service: 80mm Mig-21,64mm F-35, 64mm F/A-18
          I Want: 80mm A-4, twin 80mm F4J Phantom

          Comment


          • #6
            Which T-33 is that? We have a real one on display at our field.
            TiredIron Aviation
            Tired Iron Military Vehicles

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TiredIronGRB View Post
              Which T-33 is that? We have a real one on display at our field.
              Its the 90mm RCLander version. As far as I know, its the only foam one out there at a decent size.

              Originally posted by dahawk View Post
              Cool. It's great to see a scale heli. Lot of heli guys at our club flying 3D and they all look identical.
              Thanks Hawk, it always surprises me that scale helis aren't more popular. The 3D stuff may be cheaper in theory, but you break a lot less stuff flying scale than slamming them around the sky in every physics-defying direction. Don't get me wrong, those guys have crazy skills, but the full scale pilot in me just looks at it and says "ok.. NO".

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree. Need a barf bag just watching these guys. When they prang them, it's an expensive fix . Just a new set of blades for a 600 class is ~ $150.00. Eek !
                Currently flying: Twin 80mm A-10, 80mm F5, 80mm A6, 70mm Yak-130, 70mm F-16v2,90mm Stinger 90, 70mmRC Lander F9F, Flightline F7F TigerCat, Phoenix 46 size Tucano, Flyzone L-39
                Out of Service: 80mm Mig-21,64mm F-35, 64mm F/A-18
                I Want: 80mm A-4, twin 80mm F4J Phantom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Completely agree, hawk. I know if I ever tried that kind of flying, I'd price myself out of the hobby in under a week . Tonight I have been adding more rivets.. almost ready to start painting. Next I have to add the flare canister, a few more smal, surface details, and attach the weapons. I am also trying to figure out how I will provide some cooling to the electronics. I am thinking that I might use some small computer fans behind the engine intakes to blow air into the mechanics.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Delta, that's some outstanding work! Lots of great details you're adding. What are the dimensions on the fuselage?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prowler901 View Post
                      Delta, that's some outstanding work! Lots of great details you're adding. What are the dimensions on the fuselage?
                      Thanks Prowler! The fuselage is about 41" long from nose to tail. I didn't get much more done today, but I did add the wire cutters on the skids and painted the panel. Hopefully I'll manage to get a bit more work done tomorrow so I can start on the gun and TADS. Right now I am debating whether to make those servo-controlled as well..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Today I worked on the setup for the mechanics. The main objective was to substitute the stock align shaft to move the rotorhead lower similar to the real Apache. I did not however, realize how much of a pain this would be. The rotorhead that I bought for this project was a custom scale Apache from CNCHelicopter, which I now would not recommend.. The first issue was that the ball links on the head took a lot of force to move, not free to move as they should. So, I decided to change out all the linkages to Align hardware. While removing one of the ball links, the screw snapped clean off, inside the threaded hole. Trying to remove this lead to the discovery of more issues, including cracked parts, and poor tolerances. So, I elected to use the Align four blade head instead. I had to cut down the tip on the DFC mainshaft to get it to fit, and shrink all of the pitch links, but I finally have something that looks a bit more reasonable. Here are a few photos of the new head and lower positioning, couldn't resist a test fit with the blades attached..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nice! Too bad about the custom parts. She does look good with the rotor on.

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                          • #14
                            Added a few more details. Flare dispenser, antennas, and wire cutters for the most part. Also started hollowing out a few parts on the nose to make rooms for a movable TADS unit. Getting close to painting!

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                            • #15
                              After a long night of rewiring and getting the swivels to work properly, the TADS can finally tilt up and down successfully! Now I have to get it installed in the nose, and set up the servo for panning.

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                              • #16
                                Great skills and amazing patience bud. That's gonna be a killer goosebumps generator. Delta the Heli Wizard rocks!

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                                • #17
                                  Awesome work, Delta! She's gonna look amazing.

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                                  • #18
                                    Thanks guys! Just got the TADS finished and working. Time to get the gun set up now!


                                    One thing that is also coming up soon is the H-stab install. The manual recommends letting the stab sit naturally on a hinge at the LE. On the full scale, incidence changes with airspeed. What would you guys recommend, especially anyone who has an Apache or Blackhawk. Leave it free floating, fix it in one position, or actuate it as a surface (perhaps couple with fore/aft cyclic like Huey Stabs)? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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                                    • #19
                                      Alright, Delta. For your next challenge you need to fit a miniature camera in the TADS and set it up on a head tracker for FPV.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Prowler901 View Post
                                        Alright, Delta. For your next challenge you need to fit a miniature camera in the TADS and set it up on a head tracker for FPV.
                                        You joke, but that was originally my plan! It was even going to be setup on a separate receiver so that you could take another person for a ride in the gunner's seat. I was going to use one of the micro cameras from an inductrix or similar, and attempt to hook it up to a custom OSD to get the Apache-type HUD. Unfortunately, the servo and hinge mechanism took up too much room inside the pods to make it practical. Would have been a lot of fun though.

                                        I did get to detailing and gluing the engine nacelles on last night. Slowly making more progress..

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