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A Trio of MD Helicopters I have always been fascinated by the NOTAR helicopters that Hughes, and later McDonald Douglas, developed and finally brought to production in the early 90’s. The fascination even went that far that I ended up doing most of my undergraduate and all of post graduate studies on a similar system (that specific one called CIRSTEL) and helicopter aerodynamics. Thus a NOTAR helicopter was always on my must build list. Some years back I got hold of the Italeri AH-6 kit, with all the intention of converting it. What held me back was the canopy: the kit had of course the original round canopy of the original AH-6, and not the pointed one that is used for the NOTAR versions. About 5 years back I had a try at the kit, having built myself a Mk1 vacu-former. But the attempt at forming a canopy was less than brilliant. The remainder of the parts however came out great. But the canopy issue stalled the project.... Fast-forward 2 years, when I happened upon the AZ Model kit of the MD500E at an airshow. The picture on the front showed the canopy I needed, so I bought it. Big surprise when I got home and found out 2 complete model kits inside. Now I had 3! Bad news was that the canopy was not completely useful. First it was a model of the fragmented version, that could be fixed though. The big setback however is that the canopy fits badly. Useable, but not ideal. Circumstances at the time caused the project to be shelved regardless. With my previous build of the Chengdu F-7, I built a new vacu-former, and along with much better knowledge and experience, I tried again at forming the canopy. This time rot useable results, though the master required a bit more work. But now I got a useable canopy, and can continue. But what to do with the other kits? Simple, build all three current versions of the venerable Model: MD530F, MD520N and MD600N. Here are all the kits together And this is how far I got with the first one, the Italeri kit: Here a group photo of the evolution of the vac-formed canopies. Furthest one was formed in sections (not that great), and the closest two are useable, all formed in one piece. I formed the plug from Fimo, as it is easy to form and can be easily be carved and filed after being baked. Getting it to the correct and symetric shape is a mission in its own! Caution however, since it attacks plastic if left to contact it for too long. This is what a sheet of PETG looks like when formed over the plug. Now proceeding with building, I decided to use the Italeri kit for the MD600N conversion, simply because the port door was moulded separately, which made cutting the fuselage into a front and rear bit to accept the extension piece much easier. This is after cutting it, and with the extended floor and overhead spacer fitted. Next up the production of the extension piece doors and fuselage skin. R
Kiwi Resin is to release soon a 1/48th MD Helicopters MD.520N NOTAR resin conversion set Source: http://www.kiwiresin.com/#!product/prd1/3881135941/1-48-md520n-notar-conversion-coming-soon V.P.