My route to a Henseleit “TDR”.
I first became interested in RC helicopters in the early 1990’s when I
bought a second hand Hirobo Shuttle Z from my brother. At the time I was
a keen fixed wing flyer and due to the lack of a decent simulator I
never got out of the “hover” and eventually sold it back to him.
In 2007 my interest was rekindled when I
met Jez Newsome and watched him performing aerobatics with his Align
Trex600E. I was so impressed and before long I bought a Trex500. This
was a good starter heli for me because the spares were easily obtainable
and relatively cheap! I already had the “Reflex” simulator on my PC that
I had used for some time in fixed wing mode and found that it was also
an excellent RC helicopter simulator. Reflex screenshot:
Well, before long I was hovering my
Trex500 and really getting into it, then after a couple of weeks,
disaster struck trying to do too much too soon and as I got into trouble
turning the tail at low height I went into fixed wing mode and slammed
the left hand stick back... which taught me lesson number one the hard
way. After replacing the main blades and several other damaged bits I
was back in the air again and having learnt lesson 1 ... collective,
collective, collective, I never did that again.
the massive help of the simulator, I soon got out of “the hover”
and was then looking for my next model which came in the form a
second hand Trex600E. Being a bigger, heavier and more stable
heli my flying began to improve loads (with the occasional push
from Jez) and I well and truly got the heli bug.
In the mean time I decided to put
a Hughes 500D semi scale fuselage on the Trex500.
This scale body
flew well but as the Align 3G 760 “flybarless” systems became
available I just wanted to get into this new technology and more
aerobatics. So I bought my first flybarless system and upgraded
I was really
pleased with flybarless because with no flybar mixer arms and
links the rotorhead is much simpler and requires less power from
the motor system resulting in slightly longer flight times. This
Trex600E uses a 6S (25 volt dc) 5000mA liPo and after a 7 minute
fling at approx. 1850 rpm head speed is has used in the region
of 3200mA which should keep the packs in good condition for a
Same model, new
“Canomod” airbrushed canopy!
Next came the flybarless upgrade to my
Trex500 complete with Fusuno airbrushed canopy.
||With all the advantages gained
from flying this system on my Trex600 it gave me a lot more
confidence with this smaller 500 class heli to the extent that
when the digital tail servo failed on its first flight after the
upgrade it was really a none event landing it without any
damage. I now consider this heli to be my “flight development”
model being the step up from the simulator helping me tackle
some of the more interesting aerobatic helicopter manoeuvres
like sustained inverted flight??
Late last year, one of the three other regular heli flyers at Warton
told me about the Henseleit “Three Dee Rigid” or TDR has it has become
affectionately known, designed specifically as a “flybarless” 90 size
high performance electric model helicopter. So when I got home that day
I looked it up on the internet and watched some youtube footage – wow,
was I impressed! The only downside being the 6 month+ waiting list!
So with voluntary redundancy and
retirement looming I ordered one .....
Made by Henseleit Helicopters in
Germany, this is engineering at its best. The model is in my
opinion the ”mother” of all electric helicopters. Jan Henseleit
is effectively a one man band. All the parts are handmade and
the kits are made to order with a waiting list of at least 6
months. Highly sort after it is an electric “Flybarless” heli
powered by a Kontronik power system - Pyro 700-52 motor
controlled by a Jive 80A HV ESC on 12S 3600 or 4000mA packs and
a Mikado mini Vbar 3 axis gyro flybarless rotorhead.
Two months later I received an
email one morning from Matt Olver (one of the Warton heli guys)
telling me there was a second hand TDR advertised on the BMFA
Classified Ads. Not wasting any time I was straight on the phone
and two days later it arrived. A basic airframe with the motor
included I procured the ESC, Mini Vbar, Futaba digital servos,
Emcotec safety power switch, oh, and a new airbrushed canopy
from Fusuno. Turning 710mm SAB “Red Devil” carbon blades the
head speed is varied between 1450 and 1850 rpm on the Stunt 1
and 2 switches on my JR DSX9 transmitter depending on how you
want to fly it. At 1850 rpm it puts a grin on Jez’s face from
one ear to the other and I just know that he loves to fly it.
Quote from Jez, “it’s the slipperiest thing I’ve ever flown; it
just climbs forever into a stall turn”.
Without any doubt this is an
extremely smooth and powerful rotary winged flying machine. I am
totally made up with it and long for nothing else..... at the
The line up of my “electric”