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project was started quite some time ago, but still continue
with plenty of modifications being made as it progresses.
The fuselage is that well known
HeliArtists's fibreglass AirWolf, but without the retracts,
for as you can see from the image this has floats fitted for
its lake and sea duties.
It was decided to use the least
powerful mechanics I had around, so it is a Belt CP V1 that
is being used.
I started off using the stock plastic framed Belt CP to get
all of the mechanics positioning correct, but have recently
converted this to the full Carbon Fibre frame to reduce the overall
One of the first things to note if you intend to build an
AirWolf is that it is pretty tight to get most mechanics into the
fuselage. It certainly was with my Belt CP mechanics.
The other helicopters that have the servos mounted inboard of the
frame sides would probably be a much better choice.
The other difficulty was getting the boom to come out of
the back nice and centrally so that there is room to connect the
tail assembly. You may find that you need to trim the back end
of the fuselage a little to get it to the right length, and then
adjust the mounting points for the frame.
Rather than build my own mounts for the floats, I have so
far used the standard skids as mounting points, although I may well
build something lighter for these in the future.
I also went overboard and wired my own navigation lights
into the fuselage, which was quite a task, especially the two blue
strobes I have mounted on the top of the dual fins at the back. You
can also see that I have added a refuelling probe on the right of
the nose, together with various other radio antennae dotted around
All relevant vents are covered internally with small
extruded aluminium coverings that look very realistic.
The floats themselves are made from expanded polystyrene
that was filed/ground to shape and then covered with SolarFilm after
a singe wrapping of Duct Tape for strength. You might also notice
that each float has a coil of "rope" on them, to allow
other vessels to more alongside, plus posts to use the ropes on.
One point that has become clear over the period is that the
stock Esky motor is just not powerful to lift all this additional
weight, so my SeaWolf now sports an Align 430XL motor with Castle
Creations 45A ESC, and a 3000Mah 25C lipo to provide the necessary
I use those well loved Align 335mm blades as well to gain
additional lifting power.
||This is the
AirWolf in the early build stages, just after the final
colour coat had been applied, but before lacquering had been
done, and it had no glazing at this point.
You can also just see
in this image the yellow and black "NO WALK"
marker strips on the top of each wing stub
You can also see that I have repainted it totally in
overall blue which is a nice dark pearl blue in daylight.
Why you may ask did I choose to have it as a SeaWolf ?
Well, having spent 9 years in Florida, USA, I saw many such
helis (not AirWolf's admittedly) that were floats based as obviously
Florida has huge amounts of open water with both the sea, the inland
lakes and of course the mangrove swamps (and yes, they are full of
Alligators), so a floats based model seemed a natural choice.
My story is that it is for use in anti smuggling duties around the Caribbean and off the south coast of Florida and
around Miami, so it absolutely HAD to have floats to operate
successfully in that environment. It will also sure make those
smugglers jump when they find that overhead their powerboats,
weapons at the ready pointing at the waterline of their
So here comes the build, which took over three months in
total due to my commitments with the heli-hospital and other stuff.
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION...