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Flybarless Raptor 30 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Mitchell   
Friday, 27 March 2009 13:25
Raptor 30 flybarless

I finally took the plunge to go flybarless on my Raptor 30. My intent was to upgrade to the Raptor 50 first, but curiosity killed the cat (me). I have searched all over the net for a Raptor 30 Flybarless conversion and have not found one, so I decided to be the guy that went flybarless on the 30 before I upgrade to the 50 just to see if there is any performance gain at all. Keep in mind I run an OS 37 with a Hatori tuned pipe on my Raptor. I also run a Carb Smart to control fuel to air mixture electronically and an AR7100R receiver running on a 2S LiPo going straight through to my cyclic servos. I am also running the rev limiter that is built into the AR7100R. There really isn't much more I could do to this helicopter to eek out more performance.

"Why?" you ask. I'm a tinkerer and I'm just curious to see what can or can't be done. I know the 30 can't produce enough horsepower to do anything more than maybe mild 3D. I just wanted to see how far I could push it. Going flybarless is the next step before I pull the OS 37 out and put a 50 in its place. This of course goes along with all the Raptor 50 titan goodies like longer tail boom, different gears, and 600mm blades. And Yes... after the 50 conversion it will remain flybarless. I guess the best way to read this is that I am just doing a test to see how this reacts on the 30.

Flybarless Head
 

 

On to the story of the Flybarless conversion.

I bought a head from HeliDirect that was a full kit for $99 which is made for the Trex 600N or other 10mm mainshaft helis. The head unit is very well built, lightweight and had very tight tolerances. As it stands so far, it seems like a great value. I also purchased a Skookum Robotics Digital flybar for $279, which is a 2 axis gyro as opposed to a 3 axis like the Mikado V-Bar. The fact that the Skookum unit is 2 axis and does not have a tail gyro makes it versatile in case you already own a good gyro, or would prefer to run the tail gyro of your choice.

The install of the head and configuration of the Skookum unit took about an hour and a half total. It was actually a joy to do since the carbon plate that came with the Head appears to be made to hold the Skookum unit as it fit perfectly. As soon as the rain lets up, I'll post flight results from the maiden flight. I'm sure this will require some tuning to get everything set up right. (... to be continued) (3/28/09 updated below... scroll down)

Head InstallPlate install Skookum Mounted

Update 3/27/09...
Joerg and I found a hole in the rain and took some time to maiden the Raptor 30. It spooled up and lifted right up into hover with a tad bit of oscillation. I made gain adjustments to the Bell and Hiller gains which knocked out the oscillations. I will probably be tuning a bit more when I go out on Sunday when the sky is clear and I can do finer adjustments. I can't believe how much more powerful the helicopter feels. It's almost hard to believe there is an OS 37 in there. On hard moves it still bogs like a 37 but overall there feels like a significant power increase.
Observations after some light tuning so far:
  • The helicopter feels lighter in hand and in the air.
  • Collective is more responsive with 10 degrees of pitch and 10 degrees of collective per the Skookum manual.
  • Climbouts are significantly improved.
  • Fuel economy seems better.
  • Steady hover and steady forward flight with a locked in feel.
  • It feels like there is more horsepower from the reduced drag. (maybe comparative to 1/4 hp)
Conclusion: I'm now converted. I want to try flybarless on my electrics now. My MSH Protos is probably up for conversion next.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:29