The build of a 500 size HeliArtist Augusta 109 
using Flasher 500 (Trex clone) mechanics

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A client of mine for whom I built a Flasher 500 (Trex 500 clone) a little before Xmas 2010 has now decided that he wants it to be a scale helicopter, and to that end has purchased a HeliArtist Augusta 109 fibreglass fuselage and sent that, plus the original helicopter to me to have it all built.

The owner is, I know, a fastidious person, who likes everything to be just right, so I will have to take great care of this fuselage during the building process, especially as it is very light, and quite flimsy in some areas.

Ok, here we can see the quite pretty 
HeliArtist Augusta 109
fuselage as it comes, straight out of the box.  
It is not as large as you might think for a 500 size, so I suspect it is going to be quite a squeeze at times to get everything in there...

It is a very nice dark "electric" blue metallic colour, very similar to the colour I used to use on my racing cars (many many years ago....)

Here are some more views of it "straight out of the box".

As you can see from the pictures above of the inside of the fuselage, 
HeliArtist have not exactly gone to town with adding much of the required woodwork !

If you look carefully at the left hand picture of the nose wheel  mounting woodwork, you might just be able to see that in fact, the slot for the retracts control mechanism is not even cut straight, and I have had to file it away on the right hand side to get it squared up correctly.

  
Here are the "standard " retracts provided by HeliArtist. They are certainly a lot better than those they provide with their Airwolf and presumably other 450 size helicopters, as they do have "proper" retracts control mechanism boxes, but I have to say that the quality of those mechanisms is not what you would, and should expect.  I had to strip all 3 of them and sand and file them to get free reasonably movement.  It looks to as though they are a bit of an afterthought, as even the brass mount inside the plastic leg holder is threaded, but the legs they provide are not threaded !  It all had to be carefully files down to get them to go together half reasonably.
        

However, after doing all that, here is the end result....

In fact, I also had to carefully open up the wheel well cut outs as well, 
as the bottom of the main wheels fouled the fuselage as they closed inwards.

I would guess that these will work reasonably well, but I think most people will agree with me that they do not exactly  add much to the overall appearance of the helicopter when down.

No matter however, as just after I had fitted the stock retracts, I received a little jiffy bag from SportsMoto, so it  was no real surprise to find that the owner had purchased some decent CNC retracts as per my previous advice.

Now those are what I CALL RETRACTS.... Well done SportsMoto !

They even provide the necessary additional woodwork so that the bar for the main wheels is correctly supported at both ends.  So I have now got to rip the original system out, and work out the best way to fit these far more elegant retracts.

The overall size of this fuselage is going to be 30inches long, around 12 inches wide and about 10 inches high. 

Naturally enough, the radio gear is to be Spektrum, this time a DX7 with AR7000 RX.
    

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