The RC Turbine Helicopter explained, with details of the Micro Turbine and how to select a great RC Jet Helicopter.
I challenge anyone to tell me if this photo is of a full size remote control helicopter or a model! It is actually an RC Rotortech Bell LongRanger 206. This is a 1/5 full size radio controlled helicopter, powered by a Wren RC turbine. Visit the Wren site by clicking here.
Not only does this RC helicopter look realistic, it also sounds and even smells realistic! Today's RC turbines are marvels of engineering and the prices are getting more affordable. Having said that the price of these micro turbines is still quite high and they are definitely NOT for the beginner!
The price of this Bell Longranger is about $13,000+, so this is a project to be taken very seriously. All of the mechanics are placed up in the roof of the RC turbine helicopter ( Just like the full size), so the cockpit area can be detailed as much as the scale modeler desires.
I can imagine myself flying one of these beauties. It is not like flying a RC jet turbine in a fixed wing airplane, at very high speeds. My reflexes are much too old and slow for that! I would need to vastly improve my RC helicopter flying skills and win the lottery, before I could seriously consider such a venture. At least I would have the satisfaction of running and flying an RC jet turbine.
Bergen RC Helicopters have an extensive site, dedicated to the latest in RC Helicopter technology. To visit just click here.
The 44Magnum, shown in the photo, is , I believe, a real bargain at approximately $5200 US. This is for a kit complete with a Wren 2-stage helicopter turbine.
It is possible to arrange for Bergen to build a complete system, to suit your application. Of course this will cost a little more!
The kit builds into a very nice helicopter, that is fully capable of 3D aerobatics, as long as the pilot is capable!
One thing to notice regarding the model turbine engines installation is that it is facing rearwards.
This arrangement places the majority of the micro turbines weight, further back in the airframe and makes balancing of the turbine helicopter a lot easier.
The Wren turbine is such a beautiful looking piece of engineering, that it seems a shame to cover it up!
It can be seen from the photo at left that the Wren is a 2 stage turbine. This design is far more efficient than a single stage unit and there is little unwanted thrust produced by the exhaust gases.
At the far right the electric starter motor can be seen, followed by the first stage turbine, then the second stage, the exhaust stack and finally the 90 degree gearbox.
In this photo the RC jet turbine can be seen, as well as the balance of the installation.
This makes for a very neat and well organized RC turbine helicopter, that should be a snap to maintain and service.
The frame is manufactured from G10 fiberglass and is available in black as well as the high visibility orange, as shown here.
Visit the site for full details and more photos.
The biggest difference between an RC jet turbine and a gas or nitro powered helicopter are the systems required to start and keep the unit running. This is generally referred to as the ECU ( Engine Control Unit) or FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control)
This unit is a computer that enables the RC jet turbine to start, run and shutdown. It is carried on the model and requires the on board battery to be a little larger in capacity than normal.
Another difference, will be noted as soon as the unit runs-an RC turbine helicopter is very SMOOTH. A lot less vibration than that experienced with a gas RC helicopter or a nitro RC helicopter.
The video below is of a RC turbine helicopter. The scale Mi-24 Hind helicopter. The pilot flies it in a very good scale manner and it is hard to tell it from the full size, in some of the shots!