Art Applewhite Rockets - Helix (18mm) {Kit}

Contributed by Matt Gillard

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

The 18mm Helix is a monocopter from Art Applewhite's new range. I got the kit as part of a set of six rockets Art sent me for placing in EMRR's youth participation contest. I gave 4 of the rockets to members in my club, keeping this one for myself, as I'm really liked the Popsicle stick monocopter that Art gave the plans for on TRF.

The kit comes in a sealed plastic bag and consists of:

  • Detailed instruction sheet with plenty of pictures
  • Basswood wing
  • 29mm main tube, thick walled
  • BT-20 motor mount
  • ¼ inch dowel balance beam
  • ¼ inch launch lug

To build the kit I used

  • Model knife with new blade
  • White PVA glue
  • Spray paint
  • Varnish
Art Applewhite Helix

The Helix is a really simple build, especially with the detail in the instructions and the pre-marked main tube.

Polygons have to be cut out of the main tube to house the balance beam, launch lug, and motor mount. The instructions give the easiest method for cutting the polygons out, and it is far easier than cutting circular holes out.

After cutting the holes out, its best to test fit the tubes and make sure everything fits. On my Helix everything fit perfectly--tight but not too tight.

The basswood wing requires a 1/16th by 1 inch strip removing from either side of the wing at one end. The wing is then test fit into the main tube. This should just slightly oval the tube.

Next everything is glued together with Elmer's Glue-All. The main tube has two black triangles marked on it, which the wing has to be aligned to. The hardest thing is waiting for the glue to dry. All joints were then filleted with more glue and again allowed to dry. The whole build, without drying time, is about 10 minutes.

Art Applewhite HelixArt Applewhite Helix

Art Applewhite HelixArt Applewhite Helix

The instructions suggest two coats of enamel as a moisture barrier. I sprayed mine a light brown. Then I spray varnished the Helix.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight and Recovery:
Recommended motors are: B4-2, B6-2, B6-0, C6-0, and C6-3.

The instructions give details on how to build a launch rod for the monocopter. I improvised with a long thick headless nail hammered through a 4mm sheet of hardboard. The end of the nail anchors the board into the earth.

The motor has to have a tape thrust ring added to it. This consisted of a band of 5/8th inch masking tape added to the nozzle end of the motor. This is the only prepping needed.

Two flights were made on the same day. Motors used were C6-5 and a B6-2. Each time the monocopter performed as one would expect. The C motors give the best performance with the monocopter climbing rapidly. At "ejection" the monocopter rotates back down to the ground.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

This is a great kit. Almost idiot-proof instructions and building is straightforward. At the end you get a solid performing monocopter.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


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