Raptor 30 by Thunder Tiger - 3D capable RC helicopter

raptor.jpg (7083 bytes)     
Raptor 30
by Thunder Tiger

5/10 -- Bought a Raptor 30
I just picked up a Raptor for two reasons. First, I wanted an inexpensive heli with which to learn inverted flight. Second, I wanted to see just what all the fuss was about regarding this new ship. My first impressions are good. There is very little about this ship that they could have improved upon. I have the 49 ball bearing version with the Thunder Tiger engine. All ball links are smooth and free, yet there is no slop in any of the controls.

Some of the likes are:

  • beefy, tall landing gear – lots of ground clearance for the tail rotor
  • inexpensive replacement parts
  • full 3D capability
  • designed for easy repairs
  • nice servo arrangement
  • lots of bearings

Some dislikes:

  • most people don’t like the canopy design
  • I’d have preferred a good wire drive for the tail rotor instead of the belt

I’ll be configuring my Raptor as follows: Arcamax HH gyro, JR 10 channel ZPCM receiver, 1100 mah 4-cell flight pack, HS 545 servos all around except for an HS 525 on the tail, 20% fuel, JR 10SXII transmitter.

6/1 -- Havin' a BLAST!
This Raptor was the best investment yet toward learning inverted flight.  It's still scary, but practicing inverted with this heli puts the mind at ease somewhat and allows met to focus more
intently on what I'm doing, rather than wonder when it will crash. The little Raptor just keeps on ticking too.
The only problem with it to date is a split in the top of the fuel tank.  I roughed it up with sandpaper and applied hot glue to the 'wound'.  So far, so good.  Two of the guys at our field have had pitch slider problems with the plastic shroud coming loose from the brass sleeve.  A drop of CA should fix it.  Probably a good idea to do this from the start.
The engine is running GREAT on 20% Excalibur fuel.  It's developing a lot of power, idles well and has a nice transition.  I'm running a governor on my X-Cell, but see no need for it on this ship.  I'm running very simple throttle curves and head speed is quite consistent.
Autorotations are a lot of fun.  Of course it won't hang like a 60 class ship, but it gives you plenty of time for the final flair.  It tracks down predictably and smoothly.
I'm not yet what you'd call a 3D pilot, but loops, rolls, inverted, flips, etc. are all easily handled by the Raptor, and actually make you look better than you are...

6/2 -- New Canopy
Here's a photo of an HHI canopy that adapts very easily to the Raptor.  It comes with an excellent whit gel coat.  This one was painted with Krylon, then sprayed with automotive clear coated.

Raptor Canopy Painted.jpg (41343 bytes)

6/5 -- First Raptor Crash
Check THIS out.  There I was, practicing inverted hovering and forward flight all morning, when I thought I'd do a regular loop - just like I've done hundreds of times.  Coming down the backside, I got crossed up on the cyclic (from all the inverted flying) and dorked it.  Tail boom, boom supports, pitch slider, clutch lining, tail blades, flybar spindle, main blades - all about $100.  No big deal, but sure makes you think about it next time!

6/12 -- Good as New Again
Got it all back together and it runs as sweet as ever.  Back to the inverted practice...

Just ran across this well-written post from Ted Wilds that you should read!  Thanks, Ted!!

6/20 -- Making Progress
For the first time today, I hovered inverted at waist height!!!   This little Raptor is helping me advance much quicker than I ever would with my X-Cell Graphite!

7/20 -- Fuel Tubing Problem
Right at the top of a loop today, the engine quit - just like that!   The Raptor turned into a lawn dart and plunged to it's death.  Standard crash parts.  Know what caused it?  The fuel line going to the muffler broke right at the muffler nipple.

By the way, you can make permanent repairs of the frames with fiberglass cloth and CA.   It won't, however, work on the landing gear or tail fins.

7/23 -- Lost Tail Control
At around the fourth flight of the day, I took off and the little Raptor started pirouetting wildly.  I hit the auto switch, but it was too late.  She did the funcky chicken all over the ground.  Standard crash parts.  Turns out that there is a roll pin that locks the tail pulley on the shaft.  The pin was broken in four pieces allowing the pulley to spin on the shaft.

Other than that, I'm really having fun with this machine.  Inverted hovering is now about 5".

8/1 -- Buried the Heli
Well, that's the end of this Raptor.  I forgot to flip the @#$%* idle-up switch before flipping it on it's back and holding inverted in NORMAL mode!  Too late to figure out what was wrong.  Damage was $318 if I was going to fix it.  It even broke the engine block where the muffler attaches.  You can read about the same experience with my X-Cell on 3/6.  Not sure if I'll buy another one or just scale down for a bit.

8/3 -- It Won't Die!!!!
So, I finished licking my wounds and took a second look at the trashed Raptor.   Turns out that the engine, even though cracked at the muffler attach point, is still ok.  I was thinking that the muffler bolt threaded into the cracked hole.   Instead, it just passes through the engine case and threads into the muffler.   What all that means is that I can salvage it and stick the thing back together.   Total purchased parts is $94 since I already had a new frame, blades and a few miscellaneous parts.  That leaves me fiberglassing the servo tray, elevator arm.   No problem - been there.  It'll be back in the air early next week.

8/8 -- They Were Right!
A lot of guys on the H-List warned about the fuel tank pick-up line splitting and coming off.  I ignored that and kept flying.  Today, the engine quit without warning (don't you just HATE that?), and down she came.  When it's calm out, it has the glide path of a concrete block!  Bent spindle and pride.   Searching for fuel tubing...

8/28 -- Sold My Raptor
Yep.  I was a great machine for learning inverted, but I really want to put more time and effort into my X-Cell - and probably get a back-up X-Cell just in case, well, you know....   :)

I sold the Raptor for 1/2 price to a local newbie.


« X-Cell 60 Graphite Raptor 60 »
rbreban, 09/01:
It seems like it did not last long.I have one and crash it the 1st day at hovering practice,then after fixing it for like 70 bucks the receiver went bad,now i'm waiting for it to come Monday so i can learn how to flight or crash it again.Bad thing that there are no frames for this heli any more,hope never breaks

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