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Align AH-1 Scale Cobra Fuselage — Build 23Apr12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, Scale Helis, TRex.
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Cobra Frames

Align T-Rex 500 Cobra frames (underneath) compared against the stock T-Rex 500 frames (on top).

The Align AH-1 Scale Cobra Fuselage kit is a very nice and complete package. The fuselage is about 95% complete and all the builder has to do is swap frames, add-on the raised tail component and then insert the assembly into the fuselage. The fuselage itself comes fully painted and just needs decals applied and a few minor bits.

Cobra frame cuts

Red lines indicated where the frames were cut to accommodate the scale cockpit. Easiest way to do this is with a cutting wheel on a roto-tool.

Of course the reality of any build never ends up being quite so simple even with a complete package. The frame swap was rather straightforward and if you do one side at a time it goes quite easily with minimum of hassle and it will not mess up your mechanical setup. The main difference between the stock and Cobra frames is that the Cobra frames drop the tail to the bottom. The difficulty comes much later unfortunately. The Cobra comes with a nice scale cockpit that looks very nice and just slides into the canopy. If you want to use this cockpit then the frames are going to need to be cut. The normal battery position of the T-Rex is not going to work with the scale cockpit and you will need to cut about 1/4″ of the frame off above the battery tray. Why Align did not adjust this after going through all the trouble of creating new frames is a complete mystery. It is an easy cut to make but not one you would discover until you first test fitted the mechanics into the fuselage. If you do not wish to use the scale cockpit then life is easier and you can use the new frames as they are.

Coming soon: Building the tail, flight test, installing the mechanics, balance issues, and more.

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