RC Helicopter History - 1975
The Morley 2C (2C) Bell 47Gwas further modified for 1975 to have a 'flapping' rotor head.
First UK Advert for the Dub-Ro Shark; though a number of Dub-Ro machines had already been bought by UK modellers!!!
Another good show with a number of new machines presented for the first time. Marketed by Graupner the HB manufactured Bell 47G showed a completely new direction in that the majority of the components were made from plastic and it was assembled like a big 'Airfix' kit. Kalt had their latest models (brought out in 1974) the Hughes 500 for flatbed mechanics and also their 'Flying Box' trainer fuselage; the idea being you learnt with the basic 'box' machine then transferred the mechanics into the Hughes shell when you progressed. Schlüter's Heli-Baby finally introduced a year later than Dieter had hoped but this delay had allowed him to ensure an adequate production capability, which was to be needed as it proved to be very popular. Also 433Mhz radio and the hope that the UK would be able to get this higher level frequency as the CB radio problem was slowly but surely getting worse.
As can be seen from the article there was an increasing impetus to improve the reactions of RC helicopters, no longer was it necessary to have ultra stable learning machines and many more pilots were beginning to push the boundaries in a search for aerobatic capability.
In addition to the models shown at Nürnburg, Irvine engines displayed the new model from Kavan, the Alouette II; production delays resulted in a year from first showing in 1974 to actual availability. Good scale fidelity though U/C was to prove a bit 'flimsy' for use as a learner.
With RC helicopters becoming more popular the interest in autogyro's also showed a marked upturn with the Bob Brown designed DB Autogyro being the first UK full kit.
The latest advert showed a marked change in direction for Schlüter with the standard fitment now the 'Expert' collective head and not the basic fixed pitch head. This change was brought about by the introduction of the Heli-Baby which provided a more suitable model for training and it was therefore considered that 'Tyro' pilots would now go for this model as their first helicopter. The more expensive scale models would only be purchased by experienced pilots in the future and they would expect collective pitch control as 'standard'.
No info for this month.
Second year at RAF Odiham and an even better turnout (reputed to have been the largest gather of helicopters worldwide at that time) with still a handful of own designs showing that experimenting had not yet stopped. Check out the names in the positions and the usual suspects with a certain Len Mount making an appearance. Note that Geoff came last with the '40' powered Lark... not perhaps too unexpected as without a gyro it was reported to be somewhat of a 'beast' in hovering and slow manoeuvres.
AMA Nationals - no details held.
No info on this month.
Second Graupner event and held in Switzerland with two UK entries for Nigel Brackley with a Lark (the semi-scale model??) and William Patterson with a DS-22; the competition eventually being won by Mike Bosch from Germany with a Kavan JetRanger. Of interest is the reference to the Swiss made Alouette II produced in small quantities by Paul Mueller since 1973.
The first German helicopter championships was also held at Braunfels with the results being: 1st - Michael Bosch with a Kavan JetRanger / 2nd - Dieter Schlüter with Schlüter Gazelle / 3rd - Heinz Elsässer with Schlüter Gazelle. No pictures or other info currently held.
Autogyro update - More general info on models and developments.
Introduced in 1975
The Graupner Bell introduced an interesting construction method of all plastic components though the use of plastic was not to become 'common' for many more years. A change in direction was also occurring; the introduction of the 'Pod and Boom' format; noted in 1974 with the Lark and continuing this year with the Heli-Baby. The Lark layout of a single plate basic fuselage was to be the basis of other manufacturers basic 'training' machines however, the Heli-Baby's twin plate fuselage was to become the 'norm for the majority of helicopters excepting 'scale' applications.