Increasing the Raptor 50 V.2’s 3D Performance
The Raptor line of helicopters has come a long way, originally they had the raptor 30,50 and 60 V.1 machines, these have now been replaced by the raptor 30, 50, 60 and 90 V.2 series. Out of the box these machines fly exceptionally well, but if you leave it stock you are missing out on a lot of performance. We have gone over how to get the best performance out of your 39 sized machine, now moving up to a bigger more powerful 50 sized ship we have a lot of options! The engine has the power to pull a lot of pitch meaning you can accomplish maneuvers faster, easier and with no bogging. Throughout this article I’ll take you through a R50 (Raptor.50) 3D setup step by step.
I found that the R50 right out of the box flew well, but not good enough for me. With the bigger heavier blades the cyclic was toned down a fair bit. The longer boom with the 85mm 30 size tail blades made the tail weaker then normal. After flying it for a good amount of time I noticed that the softer damping did not suit the R50 well at all. All in all the stock format is fine for a sport flier, you can accomplish rolls, flips, loops, consecutive stall and falls and other maneuvers that do not require a lot of tail power and are not hard on the machine.
First lets fix the problem of our slow cyclic rate. For 3D a slow cyclic rate won’t do the model any good. If you are doing low to the ground maneuvers you want to get around them quick and make them tight most of the time. Coming out of death spirals and tail slides close to the ground requires a quick cyclic rate to get the machine out of the previous attitude right now and not in a few seconds. The best paddle set for the R50 in my opinion is the white Miniature Aircraft 20g 3D paddles. They give a quick crisp response but don’t have a bad tendency to pitch up or down in FFF (fast forward flight). You can do large fast maneuvers along with the tight in ones.
What you should look for in a paddles are: They should be light weight, this way if you find them to be too light and responsive you can add flybar weights to compensate thus taming them down.. They should have a fair amount of surface area. In flight they should not have any bad habits such as pitching up or down in FFF, the finished product should give you the feel that you are looking for even though you will most likely have to add some exponential to your cyclic controls. This is because the roll/flip rate will be so fast. You will probably have to spend ½ tank of fuel during setup to get it how you want it.
Moving on, we have the tail rotor to look at. Why is the tail so weak? The main reason is because the tail blades supplied in the kits are simply too small. Any 50 sized ship should be treated with a set of 93-95mm tail blades (depending on the helicopter, the raptor can not handle 95mm tail rotor blades as they may come in contact with the mains in flight if pushed hard). The longer tail rotor makes up for loss of tail rpm we have when switching to the 50, we were used to running the 30 up around 1900-2000 rotor rpm. The 50 must be dropped down to about 1800-1850 rpm. Since the engine is bigger it will not withstand the higher rpm like the 30 will. We must also remember the 50 is swinging bigger heavier blades that will be a tad bit harder on the head at such an extreme rpm. My 50 is run at 1800 rpm so in turn the tail rotor is spinning slower. I found that the longer tail blades vastly improved the tail performance. What I look for in a set of tail blades is: They should have a fairly wide chord for more bite, if possible no fancy curves or funny shapes at the tips, it’s just a waste of airfoil. They should be fairly stiff, I’m not saying go out and buy a set of carbons, personally I don’t use carbons since they are so fragile, if you get a good plastic set they will perform identical to carbons. I have had great luck with the KSJ 93mm tail blades, they are rigid enough and long enough for the R50, although they do lack a little in the chordwise department.
The stock damper rubbers that come with the 50 are a little soft, when doing maneuvers the model has a tendency to wobble a little bit as the machine is following the disk after you give the input rather then moving right away. I added a set of 30/50 V.1 rubbers to my V.2 head. When you slide the rubbers on the thicker spindle they expand outwards pushing harder on the head block, the rubbers are now under a load which makes them very stiff. This removed of all wobbles, it made the machine feel and fly more crisp, the R50 now exits hi-velocity maneuvers with ease and is noticeably smoother. This is defiantly something that the R50 needs done to it if you are flying extreme 3D!
There are some other small up-grades that you can do to gain a little extra performance out of the 50. A set of cut out 3D tail fins will add some performance to your model. It is recommenced that you run a header tank for 3D, it will make your engine run a lot more constant.
A nice light fiber glass canopy will knock a lot of weight off your Raptor, the stock “Bleach- Bottle” canopy weights a lot. You will notice a big difference in power if you fly without the plastic canopy on should you care to do a pre-purchase test. A governor will greatly improve how the engine runs, 50 sized engines are very hard to keep from over speeding and the governor is the perfect no hassle tool to solve this problem.
I feel that all the above changes are necessary if you are serious about 3D and want to have a lot of fun. The raptor will fly much better with a set of 3D paddles, longer tail blades, some new damping and a few extra up-grades. After you have configured your raptor in this manner it will feel like a whole new helicopter. Good luck with you Raptor 50 and 3D setup!