Archive for September, 2013

The Anatomy of a Banshee

This video is from the September 2013 German Speed Competition where Christian Köperl, set the new world speed record of 273.6 km/h and had the fastest single pass of 286 hm/hr or 177mph with the Speed Banshee.

This is what the Banshee looks and sounds like when it is in skilled hands.

The full fuse used in the video above is not an option that can be purchased, but the heli underneath is very impressive even without a fuse.

The original Banshee was an evolving prototype and the three people who built these prototypes initially gave no intention of putting them into production. Eventually they decided to create a very small production run of fifty Banshee 700 Limited helicopters. This helicopter was designed to be the fastest 700 series heli ever built and has some very interesting design features to successfully accomplish this. It turns out that it is also the most agile smack 3D helicopter ever built as well.

In the middle of 2012 these fifty helicopters began shipping to their eagerly awaiting owners and within a few month they had all been delivered.

The Banshee 700 Limited is no longer available, and interestingly enough the choice of 50 turned out to be about what the market at the time could bear for a manufacturer who had never had an RC Helicopter in production before, wanted payment up front and had the most expensive bare bones kit by a margin.  While many expected the Banshee 700 Limited to sell out immediately, it took two weeks to sell all 50 reservations.

Of the 50 sold about 35 are located in the Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The others are spread around the world in the US, Australia, South Africa and one in Argentina.   Parts can only be ordered by a person who is registered as the owner of a Banshee, so a person can not build one up from parts, and a stolen Banshee would only be able to fly until it’s first crash unless it was returned to its rightful owner.

What makes the Banshee special?

It is exclusive, but it is also full service. If you crash your Banshee, it can be shipped back to the manufacturer to be repaired.

Its design appears to borrow from  Henseleit, VooDoo, and MiniCopter, but it seems to have used them as a springboard to then take the design a step further. The end product is very light, extremely strong, and can not be overpowered by any of today’s motors.

Here are some of the details.

The head is engraved with the production number of the helicopter.

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There are massive main grip bolts to hold the blade grips on at obscene head speeds. The blade grips have long needle bearings with much greater surface area than radial bearings have. The half shafts are 10mm.

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The entire head is designed to slightly wobble. Notice the damper on the main shaft. The turnbuckles on the links are also a nice touch. Adjusting blade tracking is very easy with a digital pitch gauge since the top of the rotor head and the main grips are flat surfaces.

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The servo/swash geometry allows for very large amounts of collective and cyclic pitch without binding.  This means that unlike some other speed helis that require the links to be adjusted asymmetrically  to get enough positive collective for speed runs all you have to do is increase your collective pitch range to get well over  +/- 16 degrees without binding.

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The fully belted drive train is very robust and made so that it can not be overpowered by any motor currently made.  There are 3 main bearings on the 12mm main shaft. 

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There  are two cross braces for structural support. One is between the center drive plate and the top main bearing brace. The other is just behind the main bearing brace.  This successfully makes the drive train extremely rigid.

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The tail tension system is very easily set. While the spring is fully compressed the boom is pushed in as far as it will go. Tighten the boom and let go of the tensioning spring.

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The Tail boom is a 30mm diameter solid Carbon Fiber tube. The boom is rigid enough by itself so as not to need boom supports.

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The Canopy is very light weight. It is made from a single layer of Carbon Fiber that you can see through with any light behind it. Tenax fasteners secure the canopy and rare earth magnets seal the trailing edge.

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The tail is very clean looking and very precise. There is a 5 x tail multiplier which gives great tail authority with 95-105mm tail blades.

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The Banshee flies very well over a very wide range of head speeds.  Some owners fly the Banshee as low as 800 rpm and as high as 2600+ rpm in speed runs. 

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This is definitely the most impressive helicopter that I have ever seen, but the group who designed it are working on a successor.  There is no schedule for completion of this next heli as it is a passion but not the occupation of its designers.  It will be very interesting to see where they can find improvements left to be made on this amazing helicopter.

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Configuring JLog 2.5 with Kosmik and Jeti

Setting up telemetry with the JLog2.5 and Kosmik is easier than it was with the JLog2. There are no custom cables to build. The JLog 2.5 ships with the cable to connect to the Kosmik and a servo cable to connect to my Jeti receiver.

Instructions:

Download latest JLog 2.5 firmware. Click HERE.
Then on the web page that comes up select Your ESC and Telemetry system.
Press the Go button and save the file to your computer.

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The file I got was: 25-K_E-91.4.bin However Tom is constantly adding new features so this is likely to be updated periodically.

Download latest JLog Configurator:  Download JLC

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Select the correct combination for your equipment from the pick list at the top.

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Set your Motor’s Poles: I have 14 poles selected for a Pyro 800 48
Set your gear ratio:  For this heli that is 1:9

Note: These are required for Head speed calculations.

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Next select the Telemetry channels that you would like to see. There are options 0,1,2,3.  I chose Configuration 1.  Below.

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Next press the fuchsia button below to save your configuration file.

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Now you should have the firmware for the JLog 2.5 that matches your system, and a configuration file for your helicopter. 

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Copy these to the micro SD card and insert that into the JLog2.5 device.

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Connect the wires as shown below.

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Connect the Kosmik with the supplied cable.

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Connect the servo cable to the Jeti Receiver’s EXT port.

IMPORTANT!  For the Jeti system make sure to remove the red wire.

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Power it up.

The Red Error/Boot LED will flash for a while.

Then the Green light will come on and the green light will start to flash.

At this point it is done updating the firmware.

Disconnect power,  remove the SD card and delete the firmware file:
25-K_E-91.4.bin from the SD card.

Put it back into the JLog 2.5.

Power everything back up again, and the DS-16 will recognize the parameters being sent back.

Configure the values that you want to see on the displays

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Configure your alarms.

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See the Telemetry being sent back. I only had 1 of the 6S batteries connected for this test. It was at a storage charge.

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Then go fly !!!