Helium MG
Wingspan: 77.75 in
Length: 44.5 in
AUW: 25 oz
Wing area: 645 sq in
Wing loading: 5.6 oz/sq ft

Helium MG

Helium and blue sky

The Helium MG is a 2-meter four-channel (rudder, elevator, spoiler, and throttle) motor glider from Stevens AeroModel.

Helium and blue sky

I bought the Helium MG kit in December 2008 and started building it in October 2009. By Thanksgiving the structure was complete and awaiting covering, which I started after the holidays. Unfortunately, my house was severely damaged by a fire in January 2010. Not only did this keep me from building models for a couple of years, but the Helium's balsa structure was soaked during the fire, then became warped and covered with mold as it dried. The airframe suffered further damage as it was moved from house to storage and back.

Interesting shadows -- Helium bones in sunlight

I finally returned my attention to the Helium in February 2013. After a lot of uncovering, sanding, un-warping, spackling, mold removal, and general repair, the airframe was again ready to cover. Some of the mold stains were impossible to remove, and are still visible through the transparent covering.

The airplane is covered in white and transparent red Solite, in a pattern shamelessly copied from several other Heliums seen on RCGroups.

The Helium's maiden flight was on 2013-03-10. It flew calmly and predictably. The motor/prop combination has plenty of power (I never used more than about half throttle). The plane almost jumps into the air on takeoff, and the spoiler slows it down to a brisk walk for landings. It thermals, although it would probably thermal better without the landing gear (which can be removed by removing two rubber bands.)

Inkie and the Helium MG airframe, 2009-11-29


More photos:

Helium MG kit contents Helium MG -- building the tailfeathers Helium MG fuselage Helium MG fuselage w/tailfeathers & gear Helium MG wing center panel Helium MG wing center panel Helium MG wing tip panels Helium MG airframe on the bench Starting the covering Tight clearances at the tail Servo bay Brushless motor and folding prop Underside, showing rubber-band suspension for landing gear Helium on the dining room table Helium on the dining room table Helium and blue sky Helium and blue sky Helium and blue sky