An AirWolf project using Interceptor 400 mechanics
& Alien command stabilisation




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This project has just come into my hanger, and I thought I would document it here because it is a little different from most AirWolf builds.

That is because we are going to use the Interceptor 400 mechanics in it, plus we are going to try to "hide" the Alien Command sensor under the belly so that the line of the fuselage is not messed up too much

The first thing we need to be aware of is that the mechanics are somewhat shorter than the fuselage we have chosen, which is the rather nice Align Black & White AirWolf with retractable gear, which is shown on the left & below



As you can see, the fuselage comes with the basic retracts already mounted inside it, leaving you to make up and fit the connecting arms and rods. No retracts servo is provided, so you need to purchase that separately.

Unlike my own HeliArtist SeaWolf, these Airwolf's now seem to come made up of a lot lighter F/G, which is good for the question of overall weight, but they do give the impression of being a little too flimsy in many places.  I suspect we may need to add some damping inside to avoid resonances occurring in the long surfaces

Otherwise, the finish is nice, and although you have to look closely, the Black is actually a metallic/pearl black, which looks great in the sunlight (if we ever get any). The white is just plain white.

This fuselage comes with the weapons for the pods, of course, plus it has a set of missile launchers that are underslung on the belly.

Above are the entire contents of the fittings bags provided by Align. As you can also see, we are left to complete and fit the tail surfaces and of course, the guns and pods.

A nice touch I noticed is that Align also provide a dense foam support for the boom to keep it steady at the back of the fuselage. This is something other kits I have seen do not often supply.

So, before we can start doing any work on the fuselage, we need to protect it from scratches etc as best we can. My usual method on a fuselage of this size is to cover it with sticky painters tape (blue in this case) so that all corners and flat surfaces that may be in contact with the bench are covered.

This tape is paper based, and it comes off nice and easily without leaving any stick traces behind.

The Hitec Retract servo arrived this morning, it's pretty large, as it is the standard 4 screw fitting size of servo. I prefer these as they have the strength to hold the gear in place really well.  It will mean making some small modifications to the servo mounting system.

It will also mean I will need to design and make up a good solid, but light battery support platform that will sit on top of the retract servo, as we want to use the Heliguy RapidCharge 2200Mah 25C lipo in this aircraft.  This will need to be easily removable, as will the retract servo, as you do need to remove them whenever you want to fit/remove the mechanics into/out of the fuselage.

I have now had a moment to test the Hitec retract servo, and it works at quite a realistic speed, which I am very pleased about, as it looks much better than having the wheel flick up and down as happens with so many AirWolfs' you see.  It also meant making an entirely new mounting for the servo, which was fun, as it is a pretty tight fit up front, but it is getting there.

   Click image above to view VIDEO Click image above to view VIDEO
Above are a couple of short video showing the retracts working. The speed is nice, and that servo is really powerful, as shown by the second video, so it should all stand up to the punishment it will doubtless get.

I just need to final adjust the locked up position slightly, and then ensure these nasty plastic arms are CA'd to the carbon shaft so they will not move, as the grub screws in plastic threads provided by Align are worse than useless.  I must say that am surprised that they would ship anything of that poor a design. The rest of the system is nice and robust, but these grub screws in plastic are just never going to hold, even assuming you can tighten them down the first time.

I have trimmed the servo mount down now, and also trimmed an area of the flange inside the helicopter so that the servo horns "just" miss everything, so we are now ready to proceed with at least one of the fiddly items out of the way.

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