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How to setup your rotorhead
9Z for Dummies
3D Downunder
Victorian F3C Champs
Visit to Model Engines
Flying the Fury Tempest FAI
Pilot Profile - Pete (Panos) Niotis
Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Pilot Profile - Russ Deakin
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Toolbox Essentials
Setup for F3C
Vigor Refit
Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
JR Challenge 2003
Pilot Profile - Len Sabato
Helicopter Resources
Comparing the Webra 91AAR and the YS 91ST
Engine Tuning
Curtis Youngblood in New Zealand
Futaba GV-1 Governor
Pilot Profile - Malorie Zastrow
Scale: Flybarless Heads
Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
JR 10X
Pilot Profile - Mark Christy
Futaba 9Z WCII
Pilot Profile - Alan Szabo Jr
163km/h with a Vigor CS!
Raptor 60 V2
Low cost, high camera!
TSK & the Squirrel Part (V)
Follow up - Hirobo Freya
Follow up - Hirobo Shuttle RG
Sceadu 30 update
Hirobo Shuttle RG
Vigor CS - My thoughts
Bye bye little Ergo
Kyosho Caliber 30
OS 91
JR Voyager 50
Hirobo Sceadu
TSK & the Squirrel Part (III)
NZ Team Returns from Heli World Champs
Hirobo Freya
OS 50 Review
Millie vs CS (Part III)
Living with the CS
TSK & the Squirrel (Part II)
Promoting the Hobby
Ergo Z230 Gasser
Millie vs CS (Part II)
Millie vs CS (Part I)
TSK & the Squirrel
TSK & the Squirrel (Part IV)

Raptor 60 V2
Alton Rodgers

Well, if everything had gone to plan I would not be writing about the Raptor 60 at this point in time. I would be writing about my TSK Acrostar and telling you the benefits of a full metal heli and about the precision from a more precisely built machine! That would be the plan. However, thanks to gravity, dumb thumbs and a general moment of brain fade, the Acrostar lies in a cardboard box in the garage ready for the ceremonial burying. This is the first lesson to be learnt, metal bends. The damage didn’t look bad, but it was a case of lots of little things adding up to quite a bit.

The tail boom was not bent, but pushed up inside the heli 2-3cm. Head bent, tail bent. Etc etc .

So after a bit of an add up I found that for the same price as repairing the Acrostar I could buy a new Raptor 60V2.
The Acrostar after its crash.

The Acrostar was a very good model, although the head was difficult to set up and it only liked a certain head speed. To high it shook, to low it nodded. It did fly very well, nice and fast, very smooth, and it loved BIG loops and slow rolls. It won its first outing in Sportsman despite my nerves. Sniff, it’s dead. So enter Raptor 60V2, stage left.

I decided that I was in this for fun and not for glory, so binned the idea of buying another expensive heli (at the moment). Sure the Vigors and Calibers are very nice, but I could not bring myself to part with that sort of cash to purchase one, let alone fly and repair it when it goes in (and it will). You buy it to fly it, not put it in cotton wool and look at it all day. (Or do you?). I found the Acrostar had me shaking nervously enough as it was. Then there is the Raptor 60. Cheap, some say disposable J. But is it just a cheap, “prehistoric Velociraptor”, as Hirobo say in there ads for the Sceadu?

Well, after owning a Raptor 30, and having a good run with it, I thought I’d give it a shot. A few minutes on the Internet one Friday night saw an order placed withe Stephen at www.cyberheli.com. Three days later and a package arrived at work. Two nights later it was assembled ready for the radio.

First Impressions:
I think I’m going to like this one. The kit is all in numbered bags, with good instructions as is pretty normal with most manufactures. I won’t go into building detail cause it’s very easy, with everything fitting as per the instructions. There is also an ARF kit available that is 90% assembled.

The Raptor 60 uses metal upper and lower side frames, while using plastic for the bearing blocks, tail boom bracket and cooling fan subassembly. This give a very strong unit with plenty of support to areas of high loading. Using the plastic avoids using metal angle brackets, or putting bends in the metal frames. The landing skids mount to plastic rear frame and to the cooling fan casing at the front. Metal frame spacers are used to allow the frames to be tightened securely without distorting any plastic components. The whole frame is light and easy to work with. One complete side can be removed without upsetting the gear mesh or engine alignment. Slots have been added in the frames to allow for different gear ratios and for different engines in the 60- 90 classes.

Rotor Head:
This is rather beefy, compared to my Acrostar. With 670 blades the total rotor diameter (1545mm) is more than my Acrostar with 680’s (1535mm). The head is made of composite (plastic). It is also a large version of the 30, with the exception that the pitch link is on the leading side of the grip, whereas the 30 are on the trailing. This caused a moment of confusion when checking things out, as the pitch increases when the swash plate moves down and decreases when the swash plate moves up, opposite to the Raptor 30. I have now started to watch what the blades are doing when checking my radio, and not looking at the swash plate. I have 13+ /10- Pitch range with no binding, so there is a good range available to any flying style. The main shaft is a 12mm hollow type with the main shaft locking ring screwing into the main shaft with two 3mm socket screws. That should stop it from going anywhere! The head is dampened with two large dampening rubbers and the main blade grips has dual ball bearings with a single thrust bearing in each. The Blades supplied with the kit are 660mm woodies with a 16mm blade root. As much as I dislike wooden blades, this pair seemed well made and had identical C.G. and weight. They needed no balancing at all. Thunder Tiger have included a plastic clip-in spacer, which is for use with 12mm blades, as part of the kit. I will be using 670mm SAB blades. The flybar is on top of the blades allowing for a shorter main shaft. Overall the head is very strong and I wait with interest to see how it behaves.

Control System:
The Raptor uses mechanical mixing with one servo for each operation. The swashplate is supported on four sides with good amounts of movement available. The Acrostar used 120deg CCPM that showed a small amount of interaction and required three good servo’s of the same type and Swash plate movement was restricted due to binding in the head. With the mechanical mixing there is no interaction and it allows for different servo combinations to be used. Suitable for both the beginner budget and those without one.

The tail rotor pitch set up is basically an enlarged version of the 30. The tail pitch control lever has a good fit to the ball link giving no slop at all. The tail gearbox is nice and simple with the two gears meshing well with very little friction. Shim washers were supplied, but not needed. The supplied tail blades are good to begin with, but I have heard that they are not up to Fully Blown 3D flight. Mind you, I’m not up to that either so no worries there. Standard tail rotor diameter is 260mm so larger diameter carbon blades would sort that out.

Tail Drive:
The Raptor 60 uses the Constant Drive Tail Rotor System from the Imperio. The stainless\ aluminium drive shaft is a nice snug fit through the support bearing in the tail boom. The drive from the main rotor is via a constantly driven gear to a drive pinion set which is mounted in the tail boom bracket. The gears are large and have a good amount of contact area that has a preset gear mesh. This was spot on, and allows for a very free running system. Again the whole assembly is supported with a number of bearings.

The OS61SXH-WC came straight from the Acrostar and after fitting the fan and clutch for the Raptor slotted straight in without problem. I did have to cut the canopy slightly to allow for the bigger muffler I had on the Acrostar. Better to cut a $40 canopy than a $200 muffler!

I am using Futaba 9202 servo’s for all swash plate controls, 9001 on throttle and a Futaba 401 gyro with digital 9253 tail servo, PCM receiver. What I would call a good middle of the road set up.


Raptor 60 V2
Engine: 60-90 Length: 1370mm
Width: 190mm Height: 465mm
Main Rotor Dia: 1545mm Tail Rotor Dia: 260mm
Gear Ratio: 1: 9.3: 4.65 TT Weight 4668g / Mine was 4830g with 1700mah Rx pack

Howz it Fly?
Well, so far so good. The hover is Very stable, even more so than the Acrostar. The head appears to be very good with no nodding or shaking at ANY speed. I have run it at many different speeds and it seems happy to stay where I put it. Obviously as the speed increases the response increases and at a higher speed in Idle up it becomes very lively. Forward flight is good with no pitching and it shows a good turn of speed. The balance point is right on the main shaft, which is good for 3D, however I will add some weight to make it slightly nose heavy to help the F.A.1. flying style I want to use it for. Big loops and rolls etc.

The woodies are fine & track well. I have since removed them and fitted the SAB 670 blades. This required drilling out the blade root bushes to 5mm as the standard SAB blades are 4mm. To my surprise the SAB’s needed no retacking & were bang on. This show’s that the original woodies were a good set with two identical blades supplied. The pitch & throttle curves have both been dropped back a few points due to the efficiency of the composite blades. The mechanics are smooth and quite with no apparent vibrations.

I like it! It certainly flies very well and shows plenty of potential. It shows incredible value for money, and certainly out specs some more expensive machine as far as features go. I guess now it’s just a matter of burning some fuel and putting some time on it to see how it stands up. I do not foresee any potential problems and think that Thunder Tiger have a real winner on their hands with this model. Most manufactures have responded to the Raptor 30 with several new models being released lately to compete. I wonder what the 60 market has to come. Top marks to Thunder Tiger for stirring the pot again.

Featured Link!
Horizon Hobby
Distributors in the United States for JR helicopter among many others.
Excellent reference site...

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