RC Helicopter History - 1980

January 80

 MFA Hughes 500D

First look at the new release from MFA the Hughes 500D which was designed in collaboration with Jim Morley and very similar frame construction as the Micro Mold Lark.

February 80

general adverts

Nürnberg 1980

After a 5 year break WIK return with a revised version of their Bolkow Bo105.  Complete new set of mechanics with starting now from below through the cooling fan intake and fitted with a four blade head; note that washout was commented on in the header and suspect this was done in order to stabilise the rotor head.  Kavan introduce their new models, the Lockheed 286L with retracting skid undercarriage and two blade Flybarless rotor head with auto-rotation and the Ranger, a semi-scale 'metal' body trainer.  Dieter Schlüter also had on display his latest model, the Lockheed Cheyenne with retracting undercarriage, system 80 rotor head and facility for starting by 'nose cone' extension shaft through the engine backplate.

Hovering About  -  Helicopter column in RCM&E by Jim Morley.  General comments and problems / solutions for using weighted blades for Flybarless heads.

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller by Jack Barnard.  First edition all for beginners and how a helicopter works, in easy terms.

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller by Jack Barnard from later in the year but located here as it covers the Nürnberg show and additionally mentions the Kavan Ranger trainer model.  

March 80

Kavan advert early 1980 - note they still used the original picture of the JetRanger with bell only stabilisation...!!!

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller by Jack Barnard.  Includes description of the Italian designed and made Chinook plus further beginner information.   

April 80

Hovering About  -  Helicopter column in RCM&E by Jim Morley.  Covered a prototype Morley Chinook, competition results and a mini reader review of the Hirobo Falcon Mk1 and Falcon MkII.

May 80

Big Hirobo Petrol Lama caused quite a stir at Sandown as the model had not even been advertised anywhere in the UK at that time; it was for 'special order' only given the undisclosed high price tag.  Marketed by Ripmax in the UK was the Garbo Zenith from Italy; basically a made under license Heli-Baby with a different nose cone.

1980 Hirobo electric start option

Also shown at Sandown for Hirobo flatbed mechanics, the ultimate though adding an extra 0.5 Kg or so in weight.  Models capable of the pull start option could alternatively be fitted with an onboard electric starter; cost £120 which was the equivalent to the cost of an engine and gyro together so did not really sell to the 'average' helicopter modeller.

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller.  General information on auto-ration and also how to set up for 'switched' inverted flight; note that the Mike Mas switch-less inverted demonstration news had not reached the UK at this point so everything was about the European 'switched' demonstrations.

June 80

First mention for Kalt helicopters in the UK though listing appears to mix up Kalt and Hirobo models.

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller by Jack Barnard.  More on auto-rotation and beginners items.

July 80

Hirobo Falcon Mk1 review  -  Build and flying review from Radio Modeller by Steve Bennett.

Finally, a decent attendance at the UK Nationals plus an appeal concerning the use of illegal CB radio in the UK.

Slough Radio Control introduce the full Kalt range of helicopters to the UK and also the first advertisement for the new electric powered helicopter, the Ishimasa Skylark EH1 being the first commercial production model of its kind. 

August 80

John Heaton, another competent flyer opening up a RC helicopter business in the UK.

Hovering About  -  Helicopter column in RCM&E by Jim Morley.  General musings covering the Sandown show and Hirobo onboard electric starting system.  beginners items also covering collective / tail rotor mixing and mechanical set up plus the Sanwa Black Custom radio transmitter which can carry out this function electronically.  Jim also mentions governed head speed as a way to go for rotor control though another 20 odd years before this would be common and even then not at the 'average' modeller level.

September 80

No info currently held.

October 80

John Heaton offering full build and flying training service.

Hovering About  -  Helicopter column in RCM&E by Jim Morley.  General comments on UK flying meetings.

November 80

Hirobo Falcon 505, 707 and Tow Cobra models now available in the UK.

Kalt Robin magazine review by Jack Bernard from Radio Modeller - Part 1 building

December 80

Advert from Watford models covering the introduction of the Heim StarRanger.

Hovering About  -  Helicopter column in RCM&E by Jim Morley.   General fly-in comments.

Helipad  -  Helicopter column in Radio Modeller by John Heaton.   General fly-in comments.   

'Ugly Bug' own design contra-rotating helicopter (later dated magazine cover photo).

Roy Sturman -  Article covers his Auto-gyro which was to be released by Micro-Mold and also his home build Contra-rotating, Co-axial machine of the Breguet called the 'Ugly Bug'.  Interesting comment about only flying it on three channels however, it appears he only hovered it and the rudder only has effect in forward flight.  He was though to demonstrate it a number of times through 1981 as noted by the magazine cover photo.     

Introduced in 1980

Kavan Lockheed 286L  - Ranger  # Schlüter Cheyenne  - JetRanger II - Photo Helicopter Mk1 

Garbo Zenith   Heim StarRanger   Ishimasa Skylark EH1    Horizon 60

Kalt - Robin  20_Baron FP (TBC) 

Hirobo Falcon 505 - Falcon 707 - Falcon 808