As a kid I loved helicopters, so now as an Adult Fan of Lego, I admire the Lego Group selling kits with realistic designs such as set 60034 (Arctic Helicrane) (Photo credit: The Lego Group) that so closely mimics the spider-like appearance of the Erickson Air-crane (Photo credit: Ryan Sharpe).
In recent months I have not been designing MOCs because of other priorities in my life, so this page features a few of my MOCs from spring 2016 (when I started learning LDD) to summer 2018 (trying my hand at STUD.IO and still learning!).
My earliest helicopter MOCs were 1-, 2- and 3-passenger light-utility aircraft. The MOCS shown here are all simple designs, most totaling about 50 to150 Lego elements roughly at mini-fig scale (1:39). An early favorite helicopter that I built in July 2016 is the Bell 47 G / H / J. But others in the works back then included:
1) Hughes T-55 Osage (designed May 2016)
The Hughes T-55 Osage has a varied history of names: Model 269, Model 300, Model 330, and Schweitzer-Hughes 300 among them. Over 3,000 were built across all variants including 2- and 3-seater versions, and between 1964 and 1988 this little helicopter became the US Army’s longest-serving training helicopter, with over 60,000 pilots trained. This light-duty helicopter model is still flying after more than 50 years. To build this little MOC requires only 57 elements.
2) Hiller OH-23 Raven (designed August 2016)
Another light-duty helicopter from the late 1940’s into the 1960’s was the Hiller OH-23 and its variants. Like the T-55 Osage, its role included pilot training for the US Armed Services, as well as for observation and medical evacuation. A distinctive feature is its tubular tail boom, set an angle that rises from the level of the landing skids behind the engine. To replicate this tail boom in Lego I use the Boat Mast Top Section (16 studs) [Part 2538B] whose stud at the tip permits me to fashion a way to attach the tail rotor. To build this MOC requires just 54 elements. Another Hiller model also popular as a US Army trainer was the YH-32 which I designed in October 2016, using 55 Lego elements.
3) Goodyear GA-400R Gizmo (designed December 2016)
Look a bit familiar? I made this my avatar here on Mocpages. The Gizmo prototype had a Johnson outboard marine engine and used rubber belts in its transmission, with an airframe of welded aluminum tubing. It looks only slightly more sophisticated than the DIY gyrocopters from the pages of Popular Mechanics decades ago. The Gizmo never went into production; the sole survivor was donated to the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, WI, in 1966.
4) Bell 209 (designed December 2016)
Some 1,100 aircraft of the Bell 209 have been produced since 1967. Most know this aircraft profile as the AH-1F HueyCobra, which since the Vietnam war has served many military forces worldwide. Having pilots seated in-line rather than side-by-side narrows the body width, making this helicopter a harder target to hit when heading straight into enemy fire. My MOC version of 186 elements shows a civilian model. If you want to see a Lego military version replete with missiles and machine guns, there are scores of them out there all over the Internet.
5) Sikorsky S-51 ‘Horse’ (designed January 2017)
Like the Bell 209, the elongated cabin of the S-51 put the pilot and passengers in-line, though just forward of the engine compartment three-across could sit. Over 300 were built between 1944 and 1951, later to be officially retired in 1957. Not only did this model see military uses worldwide, but as well as US Army, Navy and Air Force use, the helicopter also entered service with Los Angeles Airways and the US Post Office.
6) Double Bubble Ghost (designed April 2017)
The big bubble canopy of the Bell 47 G / H / J led me to imagine a helicopter that was almost entirely Plexiglas bubbles – I named it the Double Bubble Ghost (DBG). A set of Lego windscreens creates two ‘clamshell’ compartments in two sizes (the smaller front pilot cockpit and larger rear work area. The reliance on transparent pieces (even the tinted landing skids) makes it ‘stealthy’ (or ‘Ghostly’ if you will). The design uses only 122 Lego elements.
7) Ultra-Light White (designed May 2017)
Here’s another personal design, the ULW. Like the Goodyear Gizmo above, it’s a one-person model, except ULW has a sleek enclosed cabin, suggesting that it is both speedy and all-weather. The MOC has just 56 Lego elements.
8) Mosquito XE (designed May 2017)
This real-life light helicopter is clearly built for fun rather than big payloads. This aircraft looks very much like the Helisport CH-7 Kompress. This single-seat aircraft is homebuilt from a kit sold by a Canadian firm; to date a few dozen have been sold. Once again – as with the Hiller OH 23 Raven, above – I used the Lego part called ‘Boat Mast Top Section’ in order to recreate the tubular tail boom. The MOC has just 52 Lego elements.
9) Enstrom F28 (designed July 2017)
About 1,200 of the piston-engine Enstrom F28 aircraft have been produced since its introduction in 1965. Enstrom has also produced upgraded models, the 280 and 480. My MOC has 113 Lego elements. Photo credit: Frank Schwicktenberg.
10) Sud-Quest SO-1221 Djinn (designed August 2017)
The Djinn is a French design that shares a feature with the Hiller YH32 Hornet and the Fairey Rotodyne: ramjet-equipped rotor tips that make the counter-torque from a tail rotor unnecessary. This trick requires that the ramjets be fueled via hollowed-out rotor blades. The Djinn was France’s first natively-designed and produced helicopter. Fewer than 200 were produced by the mid 1960’s, with about half going to the French army. My MOC has 77 Lego elements.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my early MOCS. All 10 of these little MOCS can be found in the LDD file attached under the green "Building Instructions" bar just below. Some other classic and light helicopter MOCS separately posted on MOCpages include: Bell 47 G / H / J Helisport CH-7 Kompress Hiller YH32 Hornet