by Thunder Tiger
5/10 -- Bought a Raptor 30
I just picked up a Raptor for two reasons. First, I wanted an inexpensive heli with which
to learn inverted flight. Second, I wanted to see just what all the fuss was about
regarding this new ship. My first impressions are good. There is very little about this
ship that they could have improved upon. I have the 49 ball bearing version with the
Thunder Tiger engine. All ball links are smooth and free, yet there is no slop in any of
Some of the likes are:
- beefy, tall landing gear lots of ground clearance for the tail rotor
- inexpensive replacement parts
- full 3D capability
- designed for easy repairs
- nice servo arrangement
- lots of bearings
- most people dont like the canopy design
- Id have preferred a good wire drive for the tail rotor instead of the belt
Ill be configuring my Raptor as follows: Arcamax HH gyro, JR 10 channel ZPCM
receiver, 1100 mah 4-cell flight pack, HS 545 servos all around except for an HS 525 on
the tail, 20% fuel, JR 10SXII transmitter.
6/1 -- Havin' a BLAST!
This Raptor was the best investment yet toward learning inverted flight. It's still
scary, but practicing inverted with this heli puts the mind at ease somewhat and allows
met to focus more
intently on what I'm doing, rather than wonder when it will crash. The little Raptor just
keeps on ticking too.
The only problem with it to date is a split in the top of the fuel tank. I roughed
it up with sandpaper and applied hot glue to the 'wound'. So far, so good. Two
of the guys at our field have had pitch slider problems with the plastic shroud coming
loose from the brass sleeve. A drop of CA should fix it. Probably a good idea
to do this from the start.
The engine is running GREAT on 20% Excalibur fuel. It's developing a lot of power,
idles well and has a nice transition. I'm running a governor on my X-Cell, but see
no need for it on this ship. I'm running very simple throttle curves and head speed
is quite consistent.
Autorotations are a lot of fun. Of course it won't hang like a 60 class ship, but it
gives you plenty of time for the final flair. It tracks down predictably and
I'm not yet what you'd call a 3D pilot, but loops, rolls, inverted, flips, etc. are all
easily handled by the Raptor, and actually make you look better than you are...
6/2 -- New Canopy
Here's a photo of an HHI canopy that adapts very
easily to the Raptor. It comes with an excellent whit gel coat. This one was
painted with Krylon, then sprayed with automotive clear coated.
6/5 -- First Raptor Crash
Check THIS out. There I was, practicing inverted hovering and
forward flight all morning, when I thought I'd do a regular loop - just like I've done
hundreds of times. Coming down the backside, I got crossed up on the cyclic (from
all the inverted flying) and dorked it. Tail boom, boom supports, pitch slider,
clutch lining, tail blades, flybar spindle, main blades - all about $100. No big
deal, but sure makes you think about it next time!
6/12 -- Good as New Again
Got it all back together and it runs as sweet as ever. Back to the
Just ran across this well-written post from Ted Wilds
that you should read! Thanks, Ted!!
6/20 -- Making Progress
For the first time today, I hovered inverted at waist height!!!
This little Raptor is helping me advance much quicker than I ever would with my X-Cell Graphite!
7/20 -- Fuel Tubing Problem
Right at the top of a loop today, the engine quit - just like that!
The Raptor turned into a lawn dart and plunged to it's death. Standard crash
parts. Know what caused it? The fuel line going to the muffler broke right at
the muffler nipple.
By the way, you can make permanent repairs of the frames with fiberglass cloth and CA.
It won't, however, work on the landing gear or tail fins.
7/23 -- Lost Tail Control
At around the fourth flight of the day, I took off and the little Raptor started
pirouetting wildly. I hit the auto switch, but it was too late. She did the
funcky chicken all over the ground. Standard crash parts. Turns out that there
is a roll pin that locks the tail pulley on the shaft. The pin was broken in four
pieces allowing the pulley to spin on the shaft.
Other than that, I'm really having fun with this machine. Inverted hovering is
now about 5".
8/1 -- Buried the Heli
Well, that's the end of this Raptor. I forgot to flip
the @#$%* idle-up switch before flipping it on it's back and holding inverted in NORMAL
mode! Too late to figure out what was wrong. Damage was $318 if I was going to
fix it. It even broke the engine block where the muffler attaches. You can
read about the same experience with my X-Cell on 3/6. Not
sure if I'll buy another one or just scale down for a bit.
8/3 -- It Won't Die!!!!
So, I finished licking my wounds and took a second look at the trashed Raptor.
Turns out that the engine, even though cracked at the muffler attach point, is still
ok. I was thinking that the muffler bolt threaded into the cracked hole.
Instead, it just passes through the engine case and threads into the muffler. What
all that means is that I can salvage it and stick the thing back together. Total
purchased parts is $94 since I already had a new frame, blades and a few miscellaneous
parts. That leaves me fiberglassing the servo tray, elevator arm. No problem
- been there. It'll be back in the air early next week.
8/8 -- They Were Right!
A lot of guys on the H-List warned about the fuel tank pick-up line
splitting and coming off. I ignored that and kept flying. Today, the engine
quit without warning (don't you just HATE that?), and down she came. When it's calm
out, it has the glide path of a concrete block! Bent spindle and pride.
Searching for fuel tubing...
8/28 -- Sold My Raptor
Yep. I was a great machine for learning inverted, but I really
want to put more time and effort into my X-Cell - and probably get a back-up X-Cell just
in case, well, you know.... :)
I sold the Raptor for 1/2 price to a local newbie.