Build log of the building of a Hughes 500 helicopter
using Align Trex 500 Sport mechanics
Page 1


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         The real thing in all it's glory

The Hughes 500 fuselage as purchased, but with mesh fitted to 
port rear window and my Trex 500 mechanics in place

I have been looking around for a genuine Trex 500 for quite some time, and finally, I found the deal I just could not refuse.  I did a deal for a Trex 500 Sport in complete flying order, together with a Trex 450 Sport, a KDS 450 (Trex 450 clone) and a Gaui 200 plus some other odds and sods.

At the price being asked for the whole lot I just had to go for the deal, and then hope I could sell on the other helicopters on after going right through them to ensure they were fully setup correctly and test flown to make up the cost of the Trex 500.

Almost immediately after doing this deal, I saw an advert for a Hughes 500 fuselage for Trex 500 mechanics that was fully painted and ready for the Trex 500 mechanics to be dropped into it.

The fuselage is a strong three piece construction of good solid fibreglass comprising the main fuselage section, the removable nose and the removable vertical tail with horizontal cross piece already fitted. The way the nose fits on is very robust, using 2 latch style wooden "hooks" on each side of the rear of the nose section, and a spring wire bar that locks the bottom front solidly to the rest.  The tail bolts on easily using the two standard locking bolts that hold the tail assembly on to the boom.

When I first put the mechanics into the fuselage, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was possible to refit the tail assembly without having to strain the mechanics backwards due to the simple way  the fitting was designed.  Basically there is a plywood plate that is drilled in all four corners that mates to already fitted captive metric nuts. Then inside those there are four holes predrilled that match the original skid mounting positions exactly.  So all I had to do was to remove the tail boom supports, the horizontal fin and the tail assembly and then bolt the provided plywood former to the bottom of the helicopter.

Once  you slide it all back in, you can push it back as far as needed to refit the tail assembly and finally pull it forward to fit the four metric bolts that hold it all together.  The front bolts are very easy to access, but the rear ones are another thing altogether as you simply cannot get a metric driver of any form down at them at a sensible angle.  I have to admit that after checking its solidity without those two bolts in, I decided to leave them out altogether.

The reason it is so solid is because the fuselage kit also supplied to small spacers that are designed to pack out the original horizontal stabilizer support when it is positioned at a 90 degree angle to it's normal position and moved back toward the tail. You secure this with 2 longish screws passing through the spacer washers, and this holds the rear of the boom very well indeed.  A great idea that other fuselage kits such as HeliArtist could learn from IMHO.

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