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Vario MD Explorer In the workshop at the moment is a Vario MD Explorer. The owner had originally had the idea of fitting a Jetcat PHT2 turbine, and the woodwork had been installed to accommodate the mechanics for this. Then after a change of heart it was decided to shelf the project and after a year of sitting around the model was dusted off and brought to us with the idea of fitting a full electric set-up. The brief was to make the mechanics as invisible as possible and so the decision was taken to modify a set of SAB Goblin mechanics to power the head and to use a ducted fan set-up for the tail. The fan had already been fitted for use with the turbine and so it was just a case of sorting out the existing woodwork and fitting the mechanics to drive the main rotor.
The Goblin mechanics arrived looking like this !
The end results, after a couple of mods to remove the tail drive pulley and to reverse the one way bearing.
Machining up the supports for the mechanics.
Finished mechanics on the new base plate.
Fitted with an OF 5 blade head.
All fitting quite neatly under the engine cover.
Ready for first test flight.
The first test flight was quite interesting as we had no idea how the ducted fan would work on the tail. The rpm was adjusted up to the maximum for the fan rating but the tail was still on the weak side. The outlet on the tail ducting was then enlarged to create more thrust and a second set of test flights were done. Unfortunately the motor that had been supplied with the fan wasn't very happy and after a couple more test flights it expired in a cloud of smoke ! Once removed and bit of homework done it was discovered that the motor was no where near powerful enough to drive the fan at its maximum power consumption. The conclusion was to fit a more powerful Leopard motor which is now well on top of the job.
Some scale detail being added
Rivets added before the final coat of primer.
Fresh from the paint shop, the MD is now undergoing trimming flights whilst we fine tune the CGY750 gyro system
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