ChopperAddict's Hints & Tips


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INFORMATION - How to Fit a CopterX head & Tail to an Interceptor 400 helicopter

As is the case with many of the helicopters that beginners start off with, after a time we like to improve them if we are able to do so.

One of the first things that most helicopter pilots think of is to upgrade the complete rotor head and tail to a higher quality, typically these are made from CNC (Aluminium Alloy).  Typical examples of this are fitting a Trex450 or CopterX style head & tail to a Belt CP or to the Interceptor 400

It has been well documented elsewhere how to do this for the Belt CP, but not for the Interceptor 400, so this Tip focuses on changing the Interceptor 400 to a genuine CopterX head and tail

Here is the head of the finished Interceptor, which is one of my own helicopters 
that is also fitted with the Flymentor Hover Stabilisation System.

The first thing to do of course is to remove the original head assembly.  

The CopterX head that I bought came to me fully assembled, with all connecting rods fitted and it was even on a new mainshaft, so the obvious way for me was to simply remove the 2mm bolt that you will find below the main gear and autorotation gear, then disconnect the 3 connecting rods between the swash plate and the servos at the swash plate end, and finally pull the original mainshaft up and out of the aircraft complete.

Before you lay it to one side you will still need the locking collar off the old mainshaft below the swash plate, and possibly also the original Interceptor swash plate as well, so you may as well take them off the original head assembly as well.

You may well be asking at this juncture, why would I want the original swash plate ?

Well, the CopterX (& Trex450) rotor heads use the normal 120 degree CCPM style swash plate, but the Interceptor is not a CCPM helicopter, and therefore uses a 90 degree swash plate.

As you can see from the diagrams above, the left one shows the Interceptor 90 degree swash plate layout, and the right shows the CCPM 120 degree layout.  The angles are those between the anti rotation pin and the other two ball connectors on the outside of the swash plate.  The balls on the inner swash plate ring are (almost) always at 90 degrees to each other.

So we have to use a 90 degree swash plate, and usually this is most easily done by using that single part from our original head.

You can purchase CNC swash plates by themselves as well.  This one (from Microheli) shows a 90 degree swash plate with 4 balls around the outside, which is perfect for an Interceptor 400 as it uses 2 opposite balls for the elevator control arm, but with this one you would still need to find an extended ball connector to fit into the anti rotation bracket
Another example of a 90 degree swash plate, this time from Heli-Fever in the USA ($19.98 at the time or writing this)    
Once you have got the swash plate that you are going to use, replace the CopterX swash with the new 90 degree one or the original one and connect the control rods to it as normal.

As we are using a 90 degree swash you do not have to mess around changing the position of the anti rotation bracket, as you normally have to do when fitting these heads to CCPM helicopters, so we can continue to use the original position behind the main shaft.

So all that is left to do now is to refit the mainshaft into the helicopter, remembering to make sure the small thrust washer on top of the main gear is still there.  Fit the 2mm bolt to hold the main gear onto the shaft, adjust the locking collar above the top main bearing to pull the main shaft up as far as it will go, and reconnect the rods from the servos back to the swash plate.

Finally, you will need to do a full mechanical setup of the head again to ensure everything is perpendicular, reset the pitch and take it out to test fly it.

Fitting a CopterX tail to an Interceptor 400    

This is a pretty straightforward task overall.  However, you do have a choice to take.

Most of the tail assemblies we buy come ready assembled with the toothed belt already fitted into the tail assembly. This belt is longer than the belt used by the Interceptor 400.  The most obvious thing to do is to dismantle the tail assembly, remove the CopterX belt and then rebuild it again using the Interceptors belt.

However, for a small additional amount, you could also buy a CopterX or Trex450 boom, which is of course slightly longer, and then fit the new tail assembly to that and then fit that boom onto the Interceptor 400.  A benefit of doing this is that because of the extra length, tail control is also improved further.

    Here is the tail of my own Interceptor 400, showing the CopterX tails assembly fitted using a Trex450 boom


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