Art Applewhite Rockets - Helix (13mm) {Kit}

Contributed by Dick Stafford

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: Art Applewhite Rockets
Art Applewhite Helix 13mm

Brief:
This is an extremely simple monocopter design that uses a section of 24mm motor tubing as the central hub. Its construction is identical to its bigger 18mm cousin. As a result, much of this review is cut-and-pasted. New/different material is thus in bold.

Construction:
The parts list:

  • 1/16" Basswood sheet
  • 24mm tube
  • BT-5 motor mount
  • ¼" dowel
  • ¼" launch lug
Art Applewhite Helix 13mm

This kit requires Elmer's Glue All, and an X-Acto knife with a new #11 blade. It's almost so easy that it could be considered ARF (almost ready to fly). You start by cutting the pre-marked holes from the 24mm tube. The patterns are polygons so this involves multiple straight cuts. These are best accomplished by starting inserting the tip of the blade at one vertex with the cutting surface directed along the line. If you carefully insert the blade the rest of the way, the cut will be made. The tube is flexible so be careful that you don't crimp it or cut yourself.

The parts are all inserted and fillets are applied inside and out. Because the holes are supposed to be snug, I found it helped to insert a motor in the motor mount when it is inserted.

I'd recommend waiting until these fillets to at least partially set before proceeding...but I didn't. The wing fits in the end of the tube and needs to be trimmed slightly. The fit should remain snug and internal fillets are again applied. I checked several times as the glue set to ensure the wing was aligned properly and was straight.

Finishing:
Art says to apply two light coats of enamel to protect the kit from moisture. I used Helmsman Spar Urethane as a clearcoat.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
You form a thrust ring with masking tape and friction fit the motor so it won't fall out. The motor is oriented with its nozzle down. If you put it in backwards you will win closest to the pad (don't ask). You need a sturdy pad with a short ¼" rod (1" or so). Art provides plans for a suitable monocopter pad in the instructions.

I flew this kit on both an A3-4T and an A10-3T. The A3-4T flight was longer and higher so I recommend this motor. Both flights ejected near the ground so care should be taken if people are around or if there is a fire danger.

Recovery:
After burn out the model quickly slows and tumbles to the ground.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
Art's hit another home run with the Helix monocopters. They are simple, elegant, and fly great. It's the easiest way I know to get into monocoptering. This 13mm version is fun, but I prefer the 18mm version.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

avatar
J.A.L. (February 14, 2009)
Anyone wishing to follow the exploits of this rocket in photos or videos is invited to do so here.

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