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Photo taken by Harold Rosee 2006Hi, I'm Michael Prewitt. I live in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, USA and I'm a member of the NorthEast Texas R/c Club. I am a member of AMA and IRCHA

Welcome to my website. I hope you find some of this information useful. A lot of the information is about the Raptor helicopter but I try to make some of the info generic enough to apply to r/c helicopters in general. The Raptor is my favorite type of helicopter. I bought my first Raptor (Raptor #1) on May 19, 1999. I later converted it from a 30 to a 50 back in 2001. This is my favorite helicopter and the one I have flown the most (over 1300 flights by 2003).

This hobby actually began for me back in 1991 when my dad and I together bought a "used" Concept 30DX with a JR Century VII radio and old mechnical Futaba 154BB gyro. Little did we know, the previous owner did not mention it had a weird problem with the tail that could not be figured out by the local pilots or us. So while trying to learn to hover for the first time I also had to deal with a tail randomly changing direction. After spending a lot of money trying to solve the problem, I gave up and bought a new Xcell 60 with a JR PCM 10 radio. Good helicopter, but I had a big time problem keeping the engine running right. It's hard enough to learn to fly these things, much less learn to hover with an engine that would go in/out of adjustment. BTW: A year later I did find the problem. It was a cracked weld in the muffler that caused the baffle inside to randomly move and therefore change the exhaust back pressure. Between two different helicopters that both gave me problems I was not making any progress.

By that time I was frustrated with nitro engines and had just heard about an Xcell Gas helicopter. I was fascinated by the thought of a helicopter that used a weedeater engine. I also thought maybe this would be what I needed to get me going in the hobby. I placed one on order and about a year afterwards MA finally released a production version. I really liked this helicopter, but I was a little intimidated by the size, expense, and how difficult the helicopter was to work on. I really was not progessing because of this and because there just was not any activity helicopter-wise going on at the local field. Besides, personal computers were really catching on and since I have been messing with them since I was about ten years old, I knew more then most about them and as a result all my friends and relatives called on me with their problems. This went on for a while and it got to the point that literally everyday when I came home from work I would either be on the phone until late in the night stepping others through problems or having to go over to their house to fix it. After this went on a while it was at this time that I decided I needed a hobby that got me away from all this.

I really had not been doing anything with my r/c helicopters and decided I needed to get back in that hobby. I started back with the Xcell Gasser, but it was still a little intimidating. By the time I started back I had this helicopter for 5 years and I was looking for something new to get me excited about getting back into the hobby. I was also wanting something that was not as expensive. At that time the Thunder Tiger Raptor had just came out. People on the H-list, an old forum that no longer exists, had a lot of good things to say about it. I heard about the Raptor List and browsed the archive to find out the real story. I knew if there were problems, then someone on that list would have found it. To my surprise, there were no negative comments about it... well except for the ugly canopy (I hate to admit it, but I've grown used to it <grin>). Actually message after message had very good things to say about it so I ordered one from Rick's R/C ( I have to say this was the best investment I have made in this hobby so far! I soon found out the Raptor hype was REAL! This helicopter really handled well and I found myself having fun and progressing finally. At the time I bought the Raptor all I could do was hover and move around, no forward flight, nose-in, etc. The Raptor changed all this, I was really excited about the r/c helicopter hobby now.

The website:
After purchasing Raptor #1 in May of 1999, I began learning a lot more about the helicopter and that Fall I decided to change my personal webpage from computer stuff and instead list the tips I had learned about this helicopter. I gradually added more and more to the website and I haven't stopped yet :) The website was becoming popular in the Raptor community and it was great to know others were finding it useful. I found the website was outgrowing my local ISP so I searched for a web host and found a good one that offered free hosting if you purchase the domain name through them. So in July of 2001 I bought the domain name This was a good deal and the host has been very good so far. As I added more and more to my website I was outgrowing the web space given in the free host deal. About that time they offered a Summer Special on more space, more allowed throughput, and CGI access (this allows a search function). BTW: Just a note here, I do not get paid for my website by TT, ACE Hobby, or anyone else. All cost comes out of my pocket. Also although I do promote the TT Raptor helicopter I am not a rep for the company. I like this helicopter for many reasons and feel it is a good helicopter for someone to start out with or to buy to advance their flying skills.

I like helping anyone that wants to learn, but if they are the type that 'just wants it fixed' and does not care at all about learning how it's done then I'm not the one to do it. I enjoy helping anyone that wants to increase their knowledge. I help a lot of people every year at the local field, at fun flys, and through email and find that I often learn just as much as I teach. You will find this too. You learn more about the subjects you help others with, if not directly about the subject then through the way others perceive it by the questions they ask. You will also find that the more you learn about the hobby the better the hobby will be for you. As an example one of the best things for me was learning more about engine tuning. I found I no longer worried about the engine quiting unexpectly and could more concentrate on flying.

Helping others:
When you get the opportunity do your best to help someone new in the hobby. We all had to start somewhere and know how much we appreciated any help we got when starting out. I have had many people come to the local field from as far as 140 miles away. At times during Summer I have someone needing help come about every weekend. I have seen many parts installed wrong, some just plain backwards but I don't laugh at them, just grin and show them what went wrong. The most common thing I have to do is get the engine tuned right. I also commonly find the helicopter setup too sensitive to learn on. The tail pirouette rate is too fast as well as head speed too high. A properly setup helicopter means the difference between having fun learning or getting frustrated.