Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: Art Applewhite Rockets
Art Applewhite Double Helix 18mm

Brief:
The Double Helix is another new twist on the monocopter (pun intended)--it has two wings and flies on two motors. In fact, it's more or less two 18mm Helix Monocopters stuck end-to-end. Technically, it's not a monocopter but a bi-copter.

Construction:
The parts list:

  • 3/32" Basswood sheet
  • 29mm tube
  • Two BT-20 motor mounts
  • ¼" launch lug
Art Applewhite Double Helix 18mm

This build is similar to that of the 18mm Helix Monocopter so I recommend the reader read that review. The build only requires Elmer's Glue All, and an X-Acto knife with a new #11 blade. Unlike the monocopter, you actually have to cut wood. One slab of basswood forms the two wings and balance beam. You also have to drill a hole in the beam so the lug can pass through it. This step is not that critical and you could just cut the hole with your X-Acto.

Finishing:
I have generally just been giving my monocopters a clear coat, but on this one I decided to paint one wing day-glo red and the opposing wing day-glo yellow. The body is still just clearcoated.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Art Applewhite Double Helix 18mm

Flight:
You form thrust rings with masking tape and friction fit the motors so they won't fall out. The motors should be oriented with their nozzles down. As with a Art's standard monocopters, you need a sturdy pad with a short ¼" rod (1" or so). Art provides plans for a suitable monocopter pad in the instructions. You will also need a clip-whip or a launch controller capable of firing two motors reliably since there is no way to twist those igniter wires together.

I first flew this on two C6-5s, ignited using a clip-whip. Both motors fired, and the flight was fantastic. It was a really fast flight and was the highest of all my monocopter flights. Nice!

I wondered what would happen if just one motor ignited, so I loaded a new C6-3 in one mount and left the spent motor in the other. It flew just fine but with a lower altitude. And the motors are not even canted toward the CP/CG! This might be the safest cluster that I've flown.

Recovery:
Unlike most of Art's monocopters, this model continues to spin until touchdown. Me like!

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
Like the standard Helix, this kit is easy and quick to build. When I first got this kit, I wasn't sure I'd like the clustering. However, the flight changed my mind. It was quite impressive and well worth it.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Art Applewhite Rockets - Double Helix (18mm) {Kit} By John Lee (September 20, 2008)

    Brief: Art Applewhite has recently been promoting a series of monocopters and, in the case of the Double Helix series, bicopters. The 18mm version of the Double Helix is not as simple as its 13mm sibling but neither is it very difficult. Mostly though, they are fun to watch and fly. Construction: The kit comes with instructions, a piece of basswood that must be cut to ...

Flights

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