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The Atom Special

A simple to build, tough autogyro with racy looks

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Nigel Banham17/07/2016 20:11:15
11 forum posts
4 photos

Hi Ian,

There is a post from me on no 31 of this thread on what went where and some photos of the finished model on no. 36. Engine was mounted on a nylon mount - sidewinder and the cowling was made from a shrunken plastic bottle (balsa plug and a heat gun), using the neck as the front end behind the prop. Canopy was likewise a plastic bottle. A lot of Tesco's water went on the garden during the production experiments. To get the CG back the Rx battery is strapped on the cross bracing behind the "fus" and you may find with a 15 that you have even more of a "nose down" prob.

The model has loads of power and it flies fast + climbs well, but short of using a vintage style diesel, the ASP 12 is about as small as you can get. I used a 4oz tank, but the engine uses so little fuel that I may replace it with a 2oz, as the model needs to begin a flight rather nose heavy, which then of course, lightens during the flight....a problem that the leccy boys don't have.

No-one in our club (Raydon in Suffolk) has done these things before so I am ploughing a furrow, but there is a lot of info on this site....good luck!


Martin K09/03/2017 14:05:58
8 forum posts
4 photos

Hello all,

I am building the Atom and just wonder why the blades are cut at the root at an angle, 15 degrees or so, and is there a reason for the cut out at the root? Is it to fold them aft?

The shim of AJ blades is 0.4mm thick, right? This is to induce a slight negative pitch to help spin up?

First time for me to build an auto gyro, but the sound of the blades whistle through the air an the look is just great.

Thanks to all already for the infos on the build.

Richard Harris13/03/2017 20:03:11
1913 forum posts
1735 photos

Hi Martin and welcome to the forum,

The angle of the blade roots are 15 degrees, it is not essential but does help with spin up also. As the blade is pushed up it does so hinging on this 15 degree angle, this pushes the TE edge up further than the LE inducing negative incidence to the blade. This seems to work better at lower RPM as the blade accelerates, then centrifugal force flattens out the blade disc as it goes into full auto rotation.

If you can pop a few photos of your build as you progress?


Martin K14/03/2017 09:34:44
8 forum posts
4 photos

Hi Rich,

thank you very much for your reply.

Your explaination of the angle makes perfect sense now, very clever.

I am happy to post some pictures. At the moment I am trying to balance the blades. I ordered the AJ once about two years ago. Their CG is at its maximum 10mm off, so unfortunatelly there is some balancing required.

As weight for the balancing I use wood filler at the blade tips, and sand them for fine far my plan. If thats not a good idea, please let me know.

A friend gave me the short kit of the Atom, so I thought I will give it a go! It is almost finished and I am curious how it will fly...



Martin K14/03/2017 16:12:00
8 forum posts
4 photos

Here is my stage of the process. So far it is covered in two coats of wood surface primer...(it fills the little holes to allow for painting. What is that called?). Now just waiting for some parts to be delivered to finish the job.

Today I wanted to try the blades in the wind. Nice sound and spin up. Then the pushrods slipped out of my hands and the blades struck the stabilizers in the back. Within an instant they were gone...That is also the moment where I realized, I am such an idiot surprise , just like a little, impatient boy yes. But all is fixed already.

img_0824 (1).jpg

Martin K27/03/2017 19:12:41
8 forum posts
4 photos

Today was beautiful weather, and I could not resist the temptation of the atoms maiden flight attempt.

So at the field, almost no wind, grass too long, and the initial run up was not successful. A little wind would have helped...but none. Then I decided to go for it an create wind by running, yeah! Some power, nice spin up...and off she went! Awesome, it flew right out of my hands and control was easier than expected.

It is been a while, since a maiden flight of a model made me smile and cheer so much! Good fun!

Some guys at the field expected desaster, I think, but were stunned by the flight charakteristics.

Now that it is flying, I will make her pretty with some nice paint.


Martin K27/03/2017 19:14:28
8 forum posts
4 photos

..someone filmed it, waiting for video

Ian Jones27/03/2017 20:28:06
3175 forum posts
1378 photos

Mine's still flat packed sad.

Steve Jones 227/03/2017 21:39:20
477 forum posts
349 photos

Well done, come join us at one of the UK Autogyro events


Richard Harris27/03/2017 22:51:25
1913 forum posts
1735 photos


Great stuff thumbs up, looking forward to seeing the video of your Atom flying


Stephen Jones27/03/2017 23:01:06
2475 forum posts
1444 photos
Posted by Ian Jones on 27/03/2017 20:28:06:

Mine's still flat packed sad.

LoL, mine is now back in Flat pack form face 14


Martin K01/04/2017 17:21:01
8 forum posts
4 photos

Okay, finished my Atom. I went for a strong red glossy colour and clear gloss for rest. Also the blades are only with clear coat, and red tape at the tips. The rotor head received a bit of silver, also the hub is in chrome. Originally, I wanted to just paint the front red, just like I did with the tail, but the paint was very difficult to apply, and it got underneath the tape I used... just looked messy, that is why I decided to paint the whole fuselage in red, more or less, as a saver. Should be okay, since it is a small model. Turned out alright, I think. Atom Special red

Martin K01/04/2017 17:31:41
8 forum posts
4 photos


I already received some positive comments on the atom, it is an eye catcher and somewhat unusual. Maybe I can convince some guys in my club in Germany to join the Atom special build...smiley

Richard Harris02/04/2017 23:15:58
1913 forum posts
1735 photos


Nicely finished Atom thumbs up, I have added a picture to the Atom gallery HERE , I hope you don't mind?


Paul Cox 202/05/2017 21:42:56
16 forum posts
13 photos

Dear All, It's been a while since I last posted, but having successfully flown my Atom last week I thought I might 'share'. Our patch at Chobham is somewhat rough so getting the Atom to bounce along the ground has proved quite tricky. To this end I had a go at a hand launch and was surprised at how easily it was. Probably not to be attempted with my Panther though! Anyway, here's some footage - assuming I've done it right.

It was gusting to 15mph, but the Atom seemed to handle it quite well. Thanks again Richard for your time and effort - you really do make a lot of people very happy. Paul.

Martin K03/05/2017 08:32:34
8 forum posts
4 photos

Hi Paul,

nice video, and beautiful finish. yes

Have to agree with your friends comment, that it must be very satisfying!

It is easier to hand launch, especially with a bit of wind. That is how I launch my Atom.


Richard Harris03/05/2017 12:46:51
1913 forum posts
1735 photos


It's videos like that which make all the effort that goes into these published desgns worthwhile, personally it keeps my drive maintained to keep putting pencil to paper, thanks for taking the time to make a video thumbs up its very much appreciated.


Mike Stevens04/05/2017 17:26:28
455 forum posts
57 photos

Mine is built but still not flown three years later embarrassed

Rob Meades05/06/2017 20:56:33
10 forum posts
1 photos

Hi there. Inspired by a visit to Alexandra Palace for the London model show back in January, I've spent the last four months building myself an Atom (build log here). I finished it yesterday and now I need to do that flying thing, having never flown an RC model myself before :-|.

I've collated the advice I found in the original article and the pages here in the bullet points below. I would be grateful for any further advice, or corrections to the advice below, before I arrive at the Crash Zone .

  • get the machine moving forward on the ground, at no more than walking pace with the head pulled back, to allow the rotors to spin up to speed,
  • the rotors are spinning sufficiently fast when they make a "sort of whistling" sound,
  • once they make that sound, add more throttle to achieve jogging pace and the tail should rise,
  • if the machine falls to the left instead, the rotors weren't rotating fast enough,
  • let the machine hop and adjust the trimmers on the sender unit until it flies true,
  • once trimmed, start again and this time add more throttle once the tail rises; the machine should become airborne,
  • get more lift by applying more throttle, rather than by pulling back on the rotors (which tends to act like a brake),
  • it may be necessary to apply rudder to make a sufficiently tight turn.


Rob Meades05/06/2017 22:08:12
10 forum posts
1 photos

I don't seem to be able to edit my post so here's another post to a very short YouTube video of the completed machine:

Edited By Rob Meades on 05/06/2017 22:09:10

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