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The Atom Special

A simple to build, tough autogyro with racy looks

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RCM&E Special Issue preview!

in the shops 19 Sep

Richard Harris06/06/2017 17:32:54
1909 forum posts
1735 photos


If you have never built a model before you need to give yourself a pat on the back, your build block is excellent too.

Not wanting to put a dampener on things it reads to me ( and please correct me if I'm wrong?) that you have never flown any kind of RC flying machine? If this is correct I would strongly advise to pop to your local flying club and get advice on learning how to fly before even contemplating on going out alone. If you have no flight experience it will end in tears.

You are of course always welcome to bring your creation along to one of our autogyro Fly-Ins through the year to which we would happily get it in the air and trimmed for you and at least guide you on the directions you can take. There is a separate thread listed in the autogyro section with dates, we are about 3-4 weeks away from our main get together, the info should be printed in the next issue of RCM&E if you are interested in popping along?


Rob Meades06/06/2017 22:50:49
10 forum posts
1 photos

I spent 6 months building a 1/6th scale Piper Cub from a kit back in 1996 but it was only ever flown twice, by the helpful gentleman from the local RC flying club who lives on my street. I decided it wasn't for me, too stressful, and so I've never personally flown an RC machine.

I'm kinda allergic to clubs (I prefer to learn by my own mistakes) but, on the other hand, the idea of some experts being around to prevent the inevitable crash is somewhat attractive. Where/when would the main get together be likely to be? Is that Winterton 23rd to 25th?

Edited By Rob Meades on 06/06/2017 22:58:31

David Hayward06/12/2017 12:20:56
26 forum posts
4 photos

Can anyone suggest how I can get hold of a copy of the Atom Special autogyro plan which was issued as a freebie with the RCM&E Autumn 2014 Special magazine in support of the quick-build article featured in that issue. Unfortunately, I didn't keep my copy of the plan at the time but now, some 3 years on, I'm interested in tackling the build. The magazine puiblishers (MyTimeMedia) tell me that they can only handle such requests going back 6 months. They suggested I try Amazon or E-bay but unfortunately, the Autumns 2014 magazine + associated free plan does not seem to be currently available through either of these sources, although many other issues are. Anyone got any other ideas? I still have my copy of the magazine in question - it's just the Atom Special plan I'm after.

Steve Jones 206/12/2017 12:24:42
477 forum posts
349 photos

PM me your address and I will copy mine and post it


David Hayward06/12/2017 17:34:17
26 forum posts
4 photos

Steve - My goodness, that's very good of you - many thanks. I'm quite happy to reimburse you for printing & P&P costs by say cheque if you care to give me your address. Alternatively, I can make a Christmas donation to a charity of your choice. My address is:

The Nest

South Town Road



Hants GU34 5ES


PS According to local legend, my house is made of leaves & twigs – but I’m glad to say that there is plenty of space for my large model-making room!

Steve Jones 207/12/2017 22:10:24
477 forum posts
349 photos

Plan printed and posted, Merry Christmas


onetenor08/12/2017 01:12:17
1470 forum posts

Sarik, Outerzone, Aerofred, or one of the others could have the plan . Academic now but could help someone else.

John O/T

David Hayward08/12/2017 08:27:04
26 forum posts
4 photos

Onetenor - all noted, thanks.

Steve J - many thanks; I'll confirm receipt when the plan arrives. Seasons greetings to you too.

David H

David Hayward12/12/2017 14:04:55
26 forum posts
4 photos

Steve J 2 - The plan arrived in yesterday morning’s post. Very many thanks indeed - much appreciated.>>

I have no previous experience of building or flying autogiros, only sizeable fixed wing ic models and a couple of small indoor electric ones (Parkzone Night Vapor and a mini helicopter). I note the Hobby King C30 head (an obvious first choice of head unit for the Atom as it is part of the original Richard Harris design) is once again out of stock, both on the HK and coolwind websites. Could this still be the situation in several months’ time I wonder? >>

In case of long delays with the C30 becoming available again, can anyone advise me what are the best tried and tested commercially-available alternative in-stock head units for the Atom - incorporating roll and pitch, and not just roll which would require designing in an elevator (too radical for me I think as I’m new to autogiros). >>

I have read through this long thread a couple of times and note (with my head spinning) that there is passing reference to one or two commercial options mentioned including a laser cut wooden set of head parts (e.g. ref. R Harris on page 11) – but where can the latter be obtained and are there any instructions as to how to put the bits and pieces together and what bolts to use, etc? >>

Also, now I have the plans, clearly I can cut my own wooden parts for the basic model but, out of interest, where can the set of laser cut parts be purchased if required, as illustrated for example, on page 67? And, is a pre-formed u/c available anywhere? I see on page 9 that there is mention of an Atom wood pack including fibreglass head plate and pre-formed u/c but who sells this pack nowadays?>>

Sorry if I’m going over old ground which I’ve missed in the thread but would appreciate advice.>>

David H


Martin McIntosh12/12/2017 19:38:06
2272 forum posts
914 photos

There are pics of my home made rotor head in my album, but just how you can access it I do not know. They could be on the main Atom build thread. Failing that I could repost some here. It is very easy to construct from GF plate, bearings from an old electric motor and a few bolts.

David Hayward19/12/2017 10:53:49
26 forum posts
4 photos

Martin M - Thanks for your reply. I have been able to access your 52 Atom Special photos by simply clicking on '895 photos' below your name/photo of yourself and going to the top of page 3, Looking at the ones showing a close-up of your home-made rotor heads, it looks as though pitch control is via a brass hinge parallel with the line of the fuselage whereas roll control at 90 degrees would seem to be below this via the lowest bolt which is connected through the top of the mast (rather than a separate rotating link above a rigid connection to the mast, as in the Hobby King C30 rotor head design). Have I got this right?

Martin McIntosh19/12/2017 19:02:20
2272 forum posts
914 photos

Er, not quite. From memory and without digging one from the loft the hinges in line with the fus. are normal pinned ones, such as Kavan and control roll. Bear with me and I shall try to post some clearer ones here.

Martin McIntosh19/12/2017 19:41:25
2272 forum posts
914 photos

Here are some.atom special 001.jpg

atom special 002.jpg

atom special 003.jpg

atom special 004.jpg

David Hayward19/12/2017 21:37:35
26 forum posts
4 photos

OK, all is clear - thanks Martin.

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