More Flight Time and Altitude From an Air Hog Helicopter.




Introduction: More Flight Time and Altitude From an Air Hog Helicopter.

About: I am an aerospace engineering assistant in the research and development department.

You will need:
1: Air hog helicopter.
2: Good light
3: A sharp exacto knife.
4: Rotary tool.
5: Torch.

I first held mine up to a bright light to get an idea of where things were situated inside one of these things. The silhouette revealed where the electronics package was and then I got started.

Take your knife and cut away the front portion of the windows. This will reveal the inner works. That little silver square is the battery. STAY AWAY FROM IT! This is a LiPo type that, if punctured, will catch fire!

Step 1: A Look Inside.

REmove the windows fully.

Step 2: Skeletonizing.

Start removing weight. The decal that runs along the tail is not needed for flight, loose it.
Then start in with your rotary tool. I cut away a good part of the back end and a little off the top as well. Any extra plastic decorations that may be attached can go too.

Step 3: Did He Really Say Torch?

Yes, I did. After using the rotary tool you will notice rough edges from the Styrofoam. As well as a big static mess all over the place.
To remove these rough edges and harden the foam, take a tourch lighter and brush it by the rough edges.

Step 4: Paint That Pig.

Now you can use model paint or a marker to color the foam. Viola!



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    17 Discussions

    Removing or damaging the tail fin will stop it from flying properly as it will keep spinning around. super-gluing a 1/2" length of paperclip along the back of the fin, up to the tail boom can fix this, and will improve the strength and manouverability of an un-modified helicopter.

    Removing weight in this manner certainly improves the power-to-weight ratio, but it actually makes the little heli unstable. Micro helis fly better at higher rotor speeds, so if you add a little weight, instead of adding it, you'll get better flight control (at the expense of flight time and altitude of course). I learnt this from messing up with my own heli, whereby I first stripped it to bare bones and then added some extra weight to make it stable.

    that can be very dangerous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am not trying to be rude, but that will be dangerous!

    you should try removing the foam all together and making yourself a canopy from a coke bottle the material might just be lighter and you can create any shape you want with a carved shape and a heat gun to shrink the plastic to the shape.

    5 replies

    Woah woah. A coke bottle's plastic is heavier than foam. You don't even need any kind of canopy. Anyways, I think it looks pretty cool to see my old helicopter flying around with only the core components.

    Balsa is probably the best option for making a canopy if you really want one, but I was just saying that you really don't need one with these helicopters.

    you are right about these looking cool without anything the little battery is neat to play with. airhogs used to make this plane that people took the electronics out and make micro planes from out of balsa and foams etc. if i ever destroy my helicopter i will try taking my apart and making something fun from it.

    My only concern is the structure within. I may have to use bits of old aircraft models to replace what the foam holds in place.

    If there's a way to get to the motors without damaging anything, I would suggest cutting a hole to that too. As motors get hot, and if you expose them to air, they will cool down and they will perform better. I've heard of people even attaching small heatsinks to the motors to help out a little too.

    2 replies

    Hmm... A bit of aluminium foil could act as a sink. I will have to do some computations and see how much the motor wastes as heat energy first to justify it.

    I'm not sure how much energy is actually wasted by the motor being too warm, but I'm sure there's some, as motors are designed with heat limits. But I do know that when a motor is too hot, it's lifetime is shortened, which means eventually it won't run as well. Excessive heat is bad for the lubricant and other parts inside of the motor. And I'm sure that the foam keeps a lot of that heat in instead of out too.

    since helicopters dont work on the same aerodynamics as a plane you mostly dont have to worry about the aerodynamics of these smaller helicopters because they just hover.

    And I thought you were going to increase it's capacity and power as well. Ohh well, still a good idea to improve it's weight which does help.