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Helis and fixed wing

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Homemade Helipads

I wanted a helipad to protect my rotors, so went online and saw a variety of them, quite expensive. I decided to make some of my own out of some interlocking 2ft x 2 ft foam mat I bought at Lowe's (a pack of 4 2ft x 2 ft sections was $20). Its the kind you find on the floor under gym equipment. I took one and divided it into 4-1 ft x 1 ft sections and made 4 small pads. I took the remaining 3 and made big pads. The one I saw online was a full 4x4, and I suppose I will make one someday, but I can see why they are expensive; they were labor intensive. Once I got a pattern down I could mask a small one in 15 minutes, and the big ones in about 20 minutes. I think the online ones are silk-screened, I masked mine by hand and painted them with a good quality paint for plastic. One of the small ones has some significant bleed over; it was the first one I made. The mat material has a diamond like cross cut in it that allowed some bleed, which I learned to compensate for: several thin coats instead of a couple thicker ones. I made a stencil for the white squares, a small one for the small pads, a big one for the big pads. They look really good! Realize I am a lousy painter, but somehow I managed.  Here are a few close-ups of the helipads.

2 ft x 2 ft

1 ft x 1 ft

The ones with some bleed through I plan to pen in a black border around to cover it up. If it comes out okay, I'll post some photos.  I'm pretty happy with how these turned out!

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