RC Helicopter History - 1976

January 76

Dave Nieman Beginners Part 1 - Dave Nieman had become very well known and respected in Helicopter circles being a display pilot for Ripmax and started the first of his articles in RCM&E on beginning in helicopters.  Part one covering availability and selection of a suitable model, building, checking and flight box requirements.

February 76

Morley 2C advert.

Nurnberg show

Introduced the collective pitch Super Heli-Baby.  Rotor head incorporated Hiller only control but also had addition arms located on a sliding sleeve below the head in order to mix in a collective input to the main blades; cosmetically very 'messy' though did work well.

Bell 47G build review - First half of a review but unfortunately 2nd part not available.

Quickening Helicopter responses -  By now quite a number of flyers had progressed past basic levels of flying but could go no further as the performance of their model was the limiting factor.  At this time there were NO high performance machines and in order to progress pilots had to modify their own models.  The three steps required would be to increase collective throw (normally in the negative range) so as to achieve high speed descent's, lighten the control paddles to increase the follow up rate and speed up head response then increase control throws in order to provide more powerful control forces.

Dave Nieman Beginners Part 2 - Continuing with Dave's articles on helicopters for beginners.  Part 2 covering flying field checks and preparations for flying then the adjustments required for those first 'hops' in order to set up the machine.

March 76

Mar 76 and official prototype 40 size MM Lark 'linnet' conversion.

Preview of the new head for the Morley 2C (Bell 47G).

Dave Nieman Beginners Part 3 - Final article on helicopters for beginners.  Part 3 covers initial hovering and moving into circuits; again no concept of moving from hovering into close figure eights before opening up into circuits.  How many people gave up after crashing because of attempting circuits?  I know I never got the hang of it first time around and think perhaps this was a big influence for me to finally 'pack it in'.

April 76

Kavan; still using the original 'Bell' photo for their adverts...

May 76

UK noise law 

Notification of the introduction in the UK of regulations governing noise in general and modellers in particular; more pressure to develop effective silencing which was carried out with initially a drop in power for model engines but then with further R&D was compensated for.  Advert from Galaxy models offering formal 'training' for helicopters and also free lessons if the helicopter is bought from their shop...!!!

RCM&E Straight up column - Following on from the beginners article's by Dave Nieman, this 'regular' (though not yet a monthly feature) column in this UK magazine was started to provide general information for helicopter flyers.  Covered hints and tips for building and flying the Schlüter Heli-Baby including first look at the new collective head introduced earlier in Nürnberg.  Close-up photo's of the fan on the soon to be introduced Hirobo Gazelle and close up of the HB25 engine fitted to the Graupner Bell 47G plus results of a number of UK helicopter competitions.

June 76

JetRanger designed by the UK expert Dave Nieman with plan marketed through RCM&E and designed to take Schlüter flatbed mechanics and early fixed pitch 'teetering' head.


Nova Hughes review  -  Also known as Sagami H250, construction and flying from June 1976 on the latest machine from Japan; very advanced mechanics for such a small helicopter and included a built in heat sink head for the engine as part of the frame mounting.  Unfortunately this high level of technology and design resulted in a very expensive machine which importers seemed reluctant to promote; it would appear that the only non-Japanese sales were by direct purchase from Japan.

Third Odiham competition and held earlier this year June 20th; a line-up that would put many later events to shame though attendance was down on last year due to another British tradition in evidence; the weather and as can be seen from the photo's, it was very wet and windy.  Once again Peter Valentine's 0.49 powered Mayfly was displayed and flown plus an unknown OD model though looks to be very well made but with the frames giving it a distinct 'Dub-Ro' look...

July 76

Adverts and magazine article on balancing rotor blades.

Louis Lavine Tin Lizzie own design based on Schlüter mechanics and published in a USA magazine.

August 76

Schlüter Heli trainer advertised in the UK and an article on the illegal use of 27 Meg frequency; just goes to show that how much governing bodies will NOT defend legal users when it suits.

September 76

Selection of UK Model shops

Interesting note in Radio Modeller concerning the price of postage for the magazine having risen from 8% of the cover charge to over 50% of the cover charge!!!!  Mind you, did this indicate that postal costs had risen disproportionately, or had the magazine been steadily becoming 'cheaper'.......

RCM&E Straight up column - Articles on Odiham Jun 76, review of British Radio Control Helicopter Association (BRCHA) and proposals for future helicopter scene and general flying hints and blade balancing tips.

Kavan Alouette 2 - Part one Build review by Tony Bray from Oct 76 Radio Modeller.

October 76

Interesting note in the Kavan advert that the four channel helicopter control system was their patent...!!!  Additionally, that the Alouette 2 was capable of all the manoeuvres of the full size plus loops and rolls, really and with a fixed pitch head.  However, it was possible but required nerves of steel and the roll would be more of a 'corkscrew' so I think not in the hands of mere 'mortals' however, stretching the truth is the sign of good advertising blurb.

November 76

Morley 2c Magazine review  -  Build and flying review by DF Cardy from Nov 76 Radio Modeller.

December 76

Morley winners advert.

Introduced in 1976

Kalt Baron   American RCH Inc Revolution 40   Angel   Dub-Ro Shark 60     

Hirobo Gazelle   Schlüter Super-Baby   Nieman JetRanger   Sagami Hughes 250

  Louis Lavine Tin Lizzie


Overview 76

Following on from the Lark and Heli-Baby a number of other manufacturers introduced their own 'versions' of the basic training model.  Of note were the first models from more Japanese manufacturer's; Hirobo brought out a full scale model with a working Fenestrom fan, which was a very bold move.  The Baron with shaped pressed steel frames, the Sagami Hughes and the Angel (unknown manufacture) which were both for the small engine size but had advanced engineered construction; unfortunately only one would prove to be successful and finally the first 'clone'.