Now that we are all moved into our house and getting it to feel more like our home, Jay has begun to work on various projects. First there were my bookshelves (which I LOVE) and then he started to work on my Kavalier. He has also started to work on another project for a guy in our R/C club.
This is the Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter (image pulled from the Museum of Flight’s website), otherwise known as the “Huey”. Some people might think that helicopters are like tadpoles, they all look alike. Believe me, I know what you mean! Until I met Jay the only reason why I could pick out the F4U Corsair was because of the unique wings.
Anyway, this helicopter might look familiar to you because whenever you see old footage of the Vietnam War where our troops are being dropped into battle or the wounded are being pulled out of the jungle, the helicopter used was the Huey.
The gentleman from our club used to be a pilot in Vietnam and he flew this helicopter a lot. When he saw what was possible to do in the R/C world he asked Jay if it would be possible to get a scale replica of the Huey. Jay did a lot of research and finally found a kit that he felt would work for this guy. I have to admit that it looks pretty neat in person, and it’s going to look really neat when Jay gets it all put together and adds the details to it.
Here it is sitting on the work bench. This heli isn’t meant to do acrobatic stunts or do a lot of flip-flopping stuff. It will be flown scale, which will really look neat.
This is actually a two part helicopter. Let me explain what I mean… You buy the Chaos helicopter, and then you buy the fiberglass Huey kit that you build the Chaos into. The paint job on the original fiberglass body is gorgeous (even if a bit scary with the skull staring you in the face).
All of the mechanics end up in the doghouse of the helicopter. You can somewhat see the motor that Jay has chosen to use, a gorgeous Scorpion motor from Innov8tive Designs based out of California. If you’ve ever listened to the podcast All Things That Fly then you’ll know that Lucian on that show owns Innov8tive Designs and answers a lot of questions about power systems. The Scorpion motor comes beautifully packaged, too! It almost makes you feel bad that you’re going to be hiding the motor away underneath the fiberglass body.
In order to explain the next really nice thing about this kit I have to go into a little more explanation about regular helicopters. If you already know this then please skip this picture. I’m going to assume that a lot of you who follow my blog know very little about this stuff (and I’m still learning). This is one of Jay’s other helicopters that he used to fly. I want you to notice that all of the mechanics are straight down below the rotorhead of the helicopter. The spindle that the blades spin on runs straight down into the rest of the mechanics. Okay? Does that make sense?
This kit comes with a special frame for you to use so that the mechanics of the helicopter are actually offset back towards the tail of the helicopter. Normally, where you see that rounded part in the front of the doghouse (the ‘hat’ on the top of the helicopter’s body) the mechanics would come straight down from that. Which means that you would see everything that makes the blades turn when you looked in through the doors. With the mechanics being offset you have an empty cargo area where you would transport troops, medics, or supplies. This helps to make it look even more scale and real-to-life. I think that it’s a really neat detail!
I had to laugh, though, at the pilots that the company tossed in with the kit. You can’t tell very well from this picture, but the pilots aren’t the same scale as the helicopter. When you place the pilots in the seats it looks like preteen kids dressed in military clothes pretending to fly. It’s actually quite hilarious. We’ll have to find some correctly scaled pilots for this.
So, that’s the Huey that Jay is working on. There are some details that I’ve been able to help him with because he knew what he wanted, but not how to get there. I really can’t wait to see this fly. I’m not usually into helicopters, but this one is going to look great once it gets up in the air. I’ll keep you posted!
That looks great! Is he going to put the logo of the guy’s unit on the side? I’m always fascinated by people researching the logos of various historic units so they can replicate them on models or restorations. Either way, I like it! We have a Huey at ESAM, and it is by far one of the favorites during Open Cockpit days!