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Trying to convert a vintage heli to electric

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Trying to convert a vintage heli to electric

Old 06-08-2024, 04:50 AM
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Default Trying to convert a vintage heli to electric

My first heli back in the mid 80's was an American Helicopters Super Mantis. It weighed about 7lb flight ready and flew on a .40 class sport engine, regular 4ch system and a gyro was optional. It was about the only way an 80's teen could approach the heli market. They didn't fly well and were a very early design for sure but I really like this machine. I have built up a stockpile of kits and good condition built ones and think it is time to put one in the air. With today's stabilization gadgets you can fly a brick so I would like to convert one I just bought so I can have a nice flying example. The model was not under powered with a sport .40 glow, extra power on tap would be nice but I have no intention of doing more than docile sport flying. I would also like to skip the belt drive system for the tail rotor which was the machine's weak spot and just go to a direct drive tail rotor/motor. I just don't know where to start with selecting main rotor motor and pinion and the t/r motor prop, with the right ESCs, and equally lost on pack selection. What I can do is create and share a 3D STL model to adapt the motors to the air frame and mount batteries. I would guess other owners might actually want to fly one.

SPECS site: https://www.vrhc.co.uk/index.php/en/mantis
Old 06-08-2024, 11:21 AM
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Cool project, I had a Revolution. When I got a Concept 30 I said I went from a helicopter owner, to a helicopter pilot.
Old 06-09-2024, 05:21 AM
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This is the subject. I got it with two minty K&B 40s and some vintage radio gear for right around 200. The heli has no damage or corrosion, it looks like the engine was started enough to spin the rotor up and it probably was an ornament after that. I tore it down last night and other than some gritty open race bearings and a few semi stripped screws I have a table with a minty fresh dissected Super Mantis. I feel like I have enough spares and untouched originals on hand that I want to risk actually flying one. And contributing as well, now that I can just print any of those plastic/wood parts, even the canopy itself there isn't much you can't replace if damage happens. My original one never did more than spastic bunny hops, but this is one of those inspiring designs full of contradictions that you just want to work. I can't say I have ever really flown one but it has been a personal favorite since I saw the box at the LHS containing a helicopter I could afford without a gyro and I could reuse my trainer .40 and 4ch system, all from the teenage income of hooking up illegal cable for your friends, which was ok because it was the 80s.

I really want to make this thing fly with as much stability and reliability as possible and I know it is certainly possible with the current state of things, maybe not off the shelf, but I am willing to put some effort into this. And much like BarracudaHockey there, when I got my LMH110 I went from owner to pilot and the LMH has remained a favorite but Ive always wanted to make the design work the way I had hoped it would.






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