Why a Raptor
As a child I already wanted such a helicopter. For my 7th birthday I asked a model helicopter, and my parents gave me this plastic model.
You could put batteries in it, and its rotor rotated then, but that was only for show - no take-off!. Slightly disappointing, expensive as it might have been for my parents....
On a morning somewhere in january 2000 I woke up and remembered this story. As I have affinity with nice mechanic things and difficult self-motor control tasks, I decided to buy the "real" thing.
I made a 3-page extensive overview of all the available model helicopters I could find, and a large number of parameters that could be important (here is also the word file). (If I would have to redo this, I would also consider availability of spare parts in nearby shops and what they are flying at nearby clubs). Of course all data came from other websites, esp. the website of Ron Lund gave good overview information. First I focused on all-metal frames, but later I decided that in the event of a crash it would be better to break a small number of cheap parts instead of a bending a large number of expensive parts, and I went for a plastic frame.
Another important aspect is that I wanted to have a really portable system: everything required to fly the model should fit into a single backpack. This also would save space in my small appartment (24 square meter). Therefore I had to go for a .30 engine. On the other hand the model had to be 3D-capable. These requirements left only a few alternatives.
The Hirobo Shuttle ZXX seemed a good choice, actually better than the raptor. I found the shuttle canopy look better than the raptor canopy. Furthermore there seemed to be a lot of problems with the raptor engine (the more recent sites are more positive on that engine, but I made my choice in january 2000).
A few things made me go for the raptor. First, I encountered the website of Chris Gibbs. He has fitted his raptor with a Webra .35 helicopter engine, which runs with little nitro (cheap!) and has lots of power (claimed 0.2 HP more than
the .32 OS engine).
Second, the raptor was often suggested as more 3D capable as the other .3 helis, maybe even the only .3 heli capable of autorotation-landings (landings with the engine turned off).
I also visited a model flying club. The first time I came there there were - to my surprise - a lot of helis! (Another time some reseller told me that actually they sell more helicopters than airplanes, and he thought that the price is no problem for dutch customers, but the space in Holland is often insufficient to fly a plane). There was also the smooth flying raptor of Jasper Steffens, fitted with a very good sounding OS32 with Hatori 333 tuned pipe. This was the last drop that made me decide for the Raptor.
© W.Pasman, 29/5/00