RC Helicopter History - 1977

January 77

Jan 77 advert from UK importer Arrow Models of an unknown make of helicopter introduced late 1976 and named Angel.

February 77

Nürnburg report with only helicopter item being the Schlüter Bell_222 with revised collective pitch head and tricycle undercarriage.

March 77

Kavan Alouette 2 - Building and flying review by Jack Barnard from RCM&E

April 77

Kavan Alouette 2 - Flying review by Tony Bray including modifications from Radio Modeller.

New plan available for the Morley Bell 47G 2c and also for the UK's Dave Nieman and his new helicopter centre.

May 77

Schlüter Super Heli-Baby  -  Magazine review by Tony Bray concerning the collective pitch head from Radio Modeller.

June 77

General advert showing engine and helicopter prices.  Advert from Avicraft showing a number of fuselages, especially a Lynx however, no other info available.  Ripmax article showing a selection of electric motors and relative power to glow engines; not quite there yet but indicating what was to come in only a few years.  Finally Dave Nieman advert, of note is that he also supplied the 'Angel' helicopter and another rare machine, the Kalt Fairchild FH1100; shame there was no picture to identify this elusive model.

July 77

Article from the UK SMAE (later BMFA) about the need for proper backing during flying site legal wrangles; this was to be brought home as many flying sites were lost due to poor legal representation.  Advert for the helicopter book from John Drake which included full construction drawings for his home build helicopter, good book especially for understanding the theory but unfortunately when looked at in hindsight was brought out a couple of years too late for his model to be produced in any numbers.

Report on summers UK SMAE Nationals which was poorly attended compared to other events in the year with many of the 'big' names not attending; the UK nationals were to suffer in this manner for many years because of 'political' reasons.  The governing body was made up of aeroplane flyers who had a great deal of bias against the 'upstart' newcomer, the opinion was that helicopters were just a minor part of the general aeroplane activity and they could not see that it would, and was, becoming a whole new section for flying in itself.  So it was pushed into a small area with the focus and priority given to fixed wing flyers; little wonder that those with better foresight were looking elsewhere.

August 77

General info on UK model shops.

September 77

Schlüter adverts indicating the Bell_222 kit and Hughes 500D body for the Heli-Baby was then available in the UK, note that the Bell appears in 222ut form with a fixed skid landing gear.

November 77

Schlüter advert and Bell 22 wheel set available and a training cabin for use prior to fitting the scale body; interesting note about a 'dual head' mode for beginner and expert; suspect it was an ability to alter mixing ratios between the Hiller input (Flybar) and the Bell input thereby change the response.

December 77

First edition of the Kavan news brought out; the copy was free and only required postage to be paid.  Details of a home build from Switzerland and comments that the head looked Schlüter based but to me appears more Graupner based.  Designed to have the blades pivot about a single bolt and therefore have lead-lag facility; commented as novel but in a few years would become the 'norm'.

Hughes 500D from Runway SW fitted with Morley mechanics and 60 size engine.

Introduced in 1977

Hirobo introduced five models during this year as noted below however, no details held on their actual release dates.

Schlüter Bell_222 (HB)  #  Hirobo JetRanger(40) - Enstrom_Shark 280-C - Lama SA-315   # Sagami UH-1H Iroquois 

Hirobo Iroquois UH-1B (40 & 60) - Falcon


Overview 77

A year for manufacturers to develop their machines mechanics but also a good year for Hirobo who introduced a large range of scale models plus their 'trainer' called the Falcon which was to be the first of a prolific range of sports and aerobatic machines.