Eco Piccolo Micro Indoor/Outdoor Helicopter


Body Kit  
Blade CP:
Reloaded On PatrolReloaded On PatrolReloaded On PatrolReloaded On Patrol
Spy Cam DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-SpyCam.wmv DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-SpyCamOnlyEdits-384x288lowres.avi
Outdoor DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-LoopDarkHorse-PiccoloFP-Loop DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-ThrashingAroundDarkHorse-PiccoloFP-ThrashingAround
  DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-Mods286gAUW-Himax2800-Ph10-3x1200-HornetCFs.wmvDarkHorse-PiccoloFP-Mods286gAUW-Himax2800-Ph10-3x1200-HornetCFs.wmv FF-CruisingFF-Cruising
Indoor OneLumpOrTwo NoseIn-IndoorTraining
Moth DarkHorse-Moth-13inchHGF-CDrom3xTP480mah.wmv
Misc, old or dull FFF-G310on3x1020withHCFblades PiccoloMods
  Misshaps G310on3x1020withHCFblades

One Lump Or Two:

March 2003

Well i thought i'd try n have a go at making somat to demonstrate good hover control... i was doing fine until the tape started rolling and my hovering skills left me (over correction syndrome), in a 10x10 room showing object repulsion and air turbulence effects. anyway here's the highlights of what happened. more like a Piccolo snuff movie!

Piccolo FP (165g/5.8oz no batts), Orion Elite motor 10T pinion, Hornet GF/CF (1550rpm) Blades & paddles, Swash Plate ball insert(, Ali hub(, Skysports 6, 2 x 1020mAh Kokams(45g/1.58oz).

OneLumpOrTwo DarkHorse-OneLumpOrTwo.avi (mirror)
Video - 4.1Mb, 3:16, 320 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 15 kBit/s, 11,025 Hz, Mono

To drop the sugar i used a third servo on channel 5 on my Pic+ board which corresponds to the 'gear' switch on my cheapo Skysports6 TX


May 2003

Lovely blade noise. An indoor short little snip like "One Lump Or Two". Demonstrating G-310 powered Piccolo on 3 Lithium Kokams (3x1020mah originals, 10.8v nominal) with home made plastic head stiffener mod n Hornet CF blades buzzing hard.
i need a new Tx with expo rates.

G310on3x1020withHCFblades DarkHorse-G310on3x1020withHCFblades.avi
Video - 1.75Mb, 47sec, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8bit, 22,050 Hz, Mono


June 2003

General Forward Flight n flying about. G-310 powered FP Piccolo on 3 Lithium Kokams (3x1020mah originals, 10.8v nominal) with home made plastic head stiffener mod n Hornet CF blades.

the near vertical crash that nearly nails the camera operator:
-broke the frame in 2 places, tail boom mount and front tray
-twisted and ripped off retro landing gear
-wrecked the canopy a bit more
-separated the swash plate bearing and bent A/R pin
-sheared the shaft pin through the rotor hub
Pic+ board, gyro, kokams n blades where all fine.

FF-Cruising DarkHorse-FF-Cruising.avi FF-Cruising
or download only 'Save Target As' from page at
bandwidth limited ;(
Video - 5.8Mb, 2.5mins, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo (3 files in zip)

May 2003

3 short little outdoor clips (edited highlights). Demonstrating breezy Fast Forward Flight, G-310 powered FP Piccolo on 3 Lithium Kokams (3x1020mah originals, 10.8v nominal) with home made plastic head stiffener mod n Hornet CF blades. More lovely blade noises.
No camera operator, so i tried to fly into a fixed frame view with some success. Occasionally u can see something fast moving.
Wind was 5mph gusting to 15mph when ever i was airborne ;( u can just see seeds floating past the lens in the breeze.

bandwidth limited ;(
Video - 6Mb, 3.5mins, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo

Flight school Piccolo 3D orientation #1
(DarkHorse-3DCSideInHover & DarkHorse-3DC-mishaps ;)

June 2003

DELETED no space...

... DarkHorse-3DC-mishaps.avi (watch that chicken run)

Video - 2.2Mb, 1min, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo

the crash that hit the camera mount gashed my HCF's 1 inch from the
tip. the V shape has been filled with paper n CA, then sanded back, added
thin sticky taped to smooth stream line finish.

Total cost of all above repairs = £0.2 for glue and about 5 man hours. not

Outside2-Orion On 2 Liths HCF blades:

May 2003

Pretty poor example of a camera man who captures nothing but all the dull bits of an out door flight in the breeze. Demonstrating a little of an Orion Elite modified powered Piccolo on 2 Lithium Kokams (2x1020mah originals, 7.2v nominal) with Hornet CF blades.

Outside2-OrionOn2LithsHCFblades DarkHorse-Outside2-OrionOn2LithsHCFblades.avi (no action)
Video - 4.46Mb, 1min, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 24 kBit/s, 22,050 Hz, Mono


September 2003

Demonstrating breezy Fast Freestyle/Scruffy Circuits, G-310 powered FP Piccolo on 3 Lithium Kokams (3x1020mah originals, 10.8v nominal).

Nothing particularly new from me in this vid, another fixed frame capture (no camera operator) but since i'v digitised it, here's a couple of minutes of condensed action, what i could salvage from two flights and multiple crashes. none fatal and not where u'd expect, i was dead jamy at times.

It took me quite a while to settle down and when i did managed to do some more elegant controlled flying, the heli was out of shot (cut!). mostly suffered from lazy tail work (practise), too much cyclic response (20mm CF flybar setup for max and with linear Tx) which on reflection makes it very difficult to fly slowly. also started to suffer a lot of cell fade under load (at 14 degrees air temp?).

The wind was not too bad, roughly constant around 5 mph. oh, hope u can enjoy (endure) the slightly abstract sound track called 'soul in motion' by DJ Krust ;)

Freestyle DarkHorse-Freestyle.avi (mirror) bandwidth limited ;(
Video - 3.2Mb, 2mins, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo


December 2003

This vid was supposed to demonstrate my new Direct Drive tail system, sadly it doesn't as my flying was a bit weak in a comfined narrow gardern (for me anyway).

You will notice the on ski wheels, that are a left over from when my old 3x1020s cells faded and i resorted to taxi'ing around the carpet. LOL

Misprint noted in the caption "120 HD" instead of 1200 HD

The backing music snip is one of my own demo's called 'Secret Places', created using Reason 2.0 s/w.

PiccoloMods DarkHorse-PiccoloMods.avi bandwidth limited ;(
Video - 5.8Mb, 2.5mins, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo

Nose-In Indoor Training:

December 2003

I'v pretty much ignored trying to learn 'nose-in' hover and took the outdoor Forward Flying route first for maximum fun. Whilst being able to do FF in any direction outdoors, 'hovering' at nose-in type orientations has been a problem for me, particularly indoors in a small room. Recently i'v made a determined effort to crack all nose-in type controlled hovering.

Lucky my heli is reasonably stable in Ground Effect (high head speed), even in a cluttered room with a 6ft sq flying area and it will hover quite well, a couple of inches off the deck. The best thing to do (if u'r not impatient like me) is to warm up on an over tweaked simulator to get used to nose-in characteristics. Then warm up with the real Pic doing the usually tail-in and just past both side-in hover, with some low level lazy 8s for a few mins. Then manoeuvre into a safe area, turn the ship round and gently try to get air born under control. Skidding around at first... short hops seem to be going well, I just have a bit of trouble when the tail is off angle more than about 20 degrees. If I don't get the tail back in line then my corrections don't yet seem to be accurate enough and the heli becomes unstable, panic sets in the few micro seconds before the heli zips off (with some bail out tip over's). A stable GE cushion is quite a bonus as u can set the throttle an forget about it until you need to dump it in a hurry, falling only 1-12 inches, normally landing square on the landing gear.

I found that if the heli is moving in very slow FF I can circle pretty confidently in either direction. it won't be too long before i have the dreaded indoor nose-in hover licked once and for all !!!

NoseIn-IndoorTraining DarkHorse-NoseIn-IndoorTraining.avi bandwidth limited ;(
Video - 4Meg, 1min 40secs, 384 x 288, 24 Bits, DIVXMPG4 V3
Audio - MPEG Layer-3, 8 bit, 22,050 Hz, Stereo

Air Wolf up close

April 2004

Once you've seen one standard AirWolf fuse you've probably seem them all but here's mine. I've tried to capture some interesting shots from various angles (in and outdoors) and I think I've managed to get something worth seeing, although not the FFF I wanted, just a few brief nervous blips of FF in a 13ft wide garden.

Ikarus AirWolf foam body + retracts Piccolo FP Pic+ board, Hornet MS080 CF blades, G310 10T/96T, Direct Drive tail motor, 3x1200HD cells 11.2v, estimated AUW ~310g 1750 rpm in hover, 2100 rpm max available.

DarkHorse-Airwolf-UpClose.avi (is a 9.2 Meg 360x288 WMV) (mirror)

5MB 20 second indoor ...TestClip1.wmv

AirWolf - Reloaded On Patrol

June 2006

That was a good flight and we managed to get some good shots,
not bad for a heavy Fixed Pitch, pretty happy with the old dog considering.
Sadly I missed out on getting a really good full throttle fly past,
which is just as well for the camera man's head sake . Better safe than sorry
especially with such a glitch ridden setup .

Don't be fooled, micro FPs with body kits are not often this much fun.
Takes a lot of effort with plenty of mods, some luck and an almost zero
crash rate to get any satisfaction. Main motor cooks and have to land
every 3 mins.

AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol

AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol AirWolf Reloaded OnPatrol
52MB 4.3 mins 50 fps 360x288

Edited highlights version:
...AirWolf-ReloadedOnPatrol_small.wmv 19.2MB 2.3 mins 50 fps 360x288

More info in this RCHeliSpot thread and this RCGroups thread
Short indoor ...AirWolf_TestClip1.wmv 5MB 0.3 mins 50 fps 360x288
For build history and info on this model here

AirWolf - Blade CP head conversion, 570mm rotor, stretch tail

August 2007

For more info see this thread.

...AirWolf-BladeCPhead-570mm.wmv 27MB 2.75min 50fps WMV

DarkHorse-Piccolo FP Modified...

May 2004

The highlights of a few flights as I try to get back in the saddle again whilst outdoor testing the Himax 2015 2800rpm/v + Phoenix10 combo in my porky 286g Piccolo. The video is rather large and shows some pretty country side in West Wales with some moderate flying, nose in and FF circuits from various dizzy angles. I couldn't decide what to edit out and the sound track is about the same length, so I left it around 5 mins.


(is a 24 Meg 360x288 WMV)



DarkHorse-Piccolo FP: SpyCam... makes me dizzy!
(Heli Cam, Wireless Camera, Pinhole Camera, Remote Video camera)

Well it was a nice idea... I feel sick now. I don't recommend trying to stitch 2 video streams (20 fragments) with out time codes.
The video consists of a static ground cam with audio and the heli spy cam stitched together for dual perspective action. the flying is mostly speedy figure of 8 circuits. I have some less frantic footage at higher altitude which I may edit down when I feel better.

Have a look:

WMV format:
40 Meg medium(better) res version DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-SpyCam720x576.wmv
9.5MB low res version DarkHorse-PiccoloFP-SpyCam.wmv


Here's the other video of some slightly less frantic footage at higher altitude, cam only, no sound and therefore less interesting:
12 Meg low res version (Xvid MPEG4 codec here among other places)
I found it hard to fly higher up (too small above 50ft) as I can't see what the heli is doing and can easily roll n tumble out of the sky.

Supplementary woffle:

The Rx unit for the spy cam is sat on open vellux roof window below the chimney on the house in the distance (30 meters line of sight), which is connected to a VHS video and recorded.

Cam is 8-9v (200ma code number-KTK00C? read this: in the head with audio (which I can't receive so I cut the plugs off)... bodged onto 3x1200 lith cells, video works but vibration effects transition. Much less effected by electrical interference and worked very well on 3x1200HDs. Vibration reduces accurate signal decoding tho. I think this cam may have been OK on 11.2v but to be on the safe side I used 2 12v Xmas tree light bulbs in parallel with the cam in series to drop the voltage a little. Each light bulb measures 12ohm cold but when lit is closer to 40ohm. 1/r = (1/40) + (1/40)... r = ~20ohms in series with the cam. I also bodged some capacitors across to help smoothing.

Video production:

I used Pinnacle Studio Version 8 updated to 8.5 and crashes all the time :mad:. I used animated DVD menus, customized (bodged!) to render 2 button previews of the 384x288 (no grid measurements so I guessed), ended up with 360x288(ish) twice across a 720x576 frame. Rendering lost some quality as I didn't have or know of any alternative s/w to use. When the timed DVD menu sequences render to AVI segments they give the required stream stitch (nightmare!). then append/edit the segments and render for Internet etc.

DarkHorse-Piccolo FP Thrashing Around...

Sept 2004

Testing out Thunder Power 1320s 10C cells and general messing about. Check the full throttle tests and girlfriend's head near miss :o. The extra power marging is taking some getting used to, lazy tail work n throttle/cyclic coordination etc. more scruffy than I'd like. Quite happy with this setup at the moment (how long will that last?), shame the total flying weight is nearly 300g and the motors get a bit hot. Check the serious flying face.


(is a 16 Meg 360x288 WMV)

DarkHorse-Piccolo Loop

July 2005

Here ya go, this will make ya laugh. 2 FP loops and 2 crashes and some chatter.


(is a 10 Meg 360x288 WMV)

Later off camera nearly did a roll due to a radio glitch on loop entry pulled the tail round at a critical moment.
Then another crash was caused by the Rx locking out all stick inputs... turned out to be a dodgy servo going nuts around it's centre point, drawing too much current and froze the Rx, all stick positions locked (ahhh no control).

Creating Compressed AVI's

With a 500Mhz PC i'v converted to Virtualdub 1.4.9 (capture plus filters) and compress using DIVXMPG4 V3 codec (or try here). for the equivalent picture quality tmpgenc requires 6hr+ processing, where as Virtualdub takes less than 20mins. if i could raw capture full frame and down sample the results should look very good. sadly my capture card sucks and barely captures 25fps of 384 x 288 RGB raw AVI.
anyway Virtualdub is worth looking at.

STOIK Video / VideoPak Converter (Freeware) converts AVI and Windows Media Video files.

That was then. Now i use Pinnacle Studio 8, DV capture via firewire.

Coming soon...

More classic various video and info at

Intro Buying Building Learning Flying Upgrades & Mods Airwolf Body Tips Video Heli BB Glossary Links