Upgrades & Repairs


My friend Tony came out from New York a few weeks ago, and I assembled Airwolf to show him all the tricks the Lady can do so far...  I demonstrated everything except live-firing the rockets from the ADF Pods.  This was a very useful exercise, as I paid attention during assembly, and noticed that she could only be assembled and activated using openings in the fuselage that will not be available when everything is installed!  Clearly this had to be fixed!  There were two major problems:  First a battery made it impossible to place and tighten one of the mounting screws, and second, the wires were too short to connect the battery to the ESC without using the surveillance window to reach through.  I decided that if I were going to re-wire the mechanics, I would do it right.  I would mount a jack for a shorting plug at the top of the mechanics, so the ESC could be easily powered-up or disconnected.  I started by making a high-current shorting plug out of a Traxxas connector:


Now that I had my plug, I need a mount for the receptacle.  Using my mill, and some scrap Delrin, I manufactured a 2-piece holder for a female Traxxas connector.



Once it was machined, I boiled the Delrin in Black RIT liquid clothing dye.  My wife just LOVES it when I use the stovetop for this!  She loves it even more when it boils over!  The next time I buy Delrin, I will buy it in Black.



And here are  the rewired mechanics, with the shorting plug connector and the offending battery moved out of the way!




With the shorting plug mounted here, under the front of the doghouse (which is held on with magnets), it will be very easy to power up the ESC when we are ready to fly!




Another problem I discovered, was that the Port Machine Gun Pod light had burned out!  Fortunately, the way it was designed, there only two grub screws on the actuator holding the Pod in, and the whole pod slid out!  After removing the machine guns, it was easy to Dremel out the LED and dig new "channels" for the wires that power the LED.  Some Evercoat Metal Glazer fills everything back in once the LED is changed, and a new layer of color and clear are airbrushed back on.




Reassembly is just as easy, I can mount the machine guns first, as I had put quick-disconnects on the air lines to the guns when I first installed them.




Voila!  The LED is nor operational again!




I also discovered that the new recessed fuel port was not strong enough to withstand the pressure of a pressurized gas can being shoved against the valve!




For this job, I pulled out the stand that Tony gave me for Christmas LAST year, so I could position the fuselage with the port facing straight down.  This will make fiberglassing the part back in a whole lot easier!




First, I re-attached the port with Aeropoxy, and filled in the cracks on the exterior, then I used fiberglass to reinforce the entire area, and make the port relief spacers integral to the fuselage.




While the Fiberglas was curing, I disassembled the stand, and re-assembled it as a bench-top unit.  This makes it a lot easier on me, as all my tools are far more available!  I used this to position the fuselage to make it easy to touch-up paint the interior of the fuselage.




Now, I can get back to making some progress on this build!



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