This blog, as has been MIA
Micro-FLIGHT's direction, from the start, is aimed at
promoting and improving the hobby through my comments, tips, mods,
upgrades, instructional and flights-crashing-repair-upgrades videos,
as well as products and services I offer through my web site.
It just so happens that I also
love RC Autogyros for the unique satisfying experience they provide,
once you get the hang of it.
What you will find in this Section
The Auto G2 has allowed me to have
fun while customizing and improving it to a much higher level than
the stock product offers. This section covers step by step my
experiences with the product as well as instructional sections. I hope you find all this informative and the Upgrades I've made for them useful and fun!
About the Durafly Auto-G Family
The 2013 Auto-G2 Radio
Controlled Autogyro, OEM by Durafly and distributed via Hobby King,
is basically the same as the 2012 Auto-G with the exception of the
rotor head and side mast plates which are drilled with a few extra
holes for the Auto-Start Assembly (Pre-Rotator). Version 2
also has a steer-able tail wheel and slightly different decals.
About MIA Upgrades for the Auto-G's
All the MIA Upgrades apply to both
Sites I've shared this Blog Content
At the start of my blog
03/08/2013 (August 03, 2013) I've also made similar entries at the RCME Autogyro Forum as well as RC Universe and Hobby King Product
Discussions and Reviews areas, so anyone interested in the Auto G2
can easily find this information and make the most of out this
unique and wonderful product and hobby. Unfortunately, I am no
longer posting in RC Groups but you can come back to this blog or any
of the other mentioned areas, as well as my You Tube channel
MarioIArguello and find this information easily.
A Thank You Note
RC Universe as well as Hobby King have been gracious in
allowing me to talk honestly about these products and the upgrades
I've been doing. I am very thankful to these entities and I would urge you to visit them
also as each one has a lot to offer.
Without Google, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, E-Bay, Amazon, Paypal, and other similar
entities, it would not be easy to share information, and make
available products online, so a big thanks also to these mega
giants. And of course to MIA Customers and Supporters.
Mario I. Arguello.
So, let's start by seeing what's in the box......
I did this video
with mind on an audience who maybe totally new and not familiar with
RC autogyros and maybe wanting to see what these things look like
and what goodies they come with. This maybe boring to some, so I am
doing another video that will kick things into gear. Just need a
good day to go fly it and mess with it to see where this model takes
me. I do like the pre-rotator feature, but being accustomed to my
own designs without one, I hope I don't get too spoiled with it.
I noticed that the head has some friction, as would be obvious, by
the added mechanics to pre-rotate the rotor. The other thing is that
the model has an extra motor for the pre-rotator, added weight to
content with, also for the less lively feel.
But all in all, it is a nice model and as many will appreciate the
tradeoffs are minimal considering the added features.
I was testing the blades under a home made wind tunnel, as weather
has not been favorable for a flight, and the blades spun up nice and
smooth, with no pre-balancing. Not having to balance the blades
yourself and obtaining even density on the molded foamies is the pro
to them. I would favor them more, but I guess I am just used to
woodies, as they have been the standard since the first RC
helicopters were manufactured.
I've been doing some added work with this model before I maiden it,
just a matter of getting the model tweaked and upgraded to my
standards and likes.
I am not going to mess with the pre-rotator until I get some flights
with it but I've oil all the exposed areas where friction is
present. I may still get around 7 minutes but 1 +or - minutes is not
an issue for me. A good 5 minutes is quite satisfactory, especially
when you have a couple battery packs extra and you fly like I do for
a bout 15 to 30 minutes, whenever possible, at the local park.
I wished fields, here in AZ, were green and level for miles. I'd fly
there instead. Oh well I guess I'll have to maiden it at the local
rocky mountain field.
Talking about the
hobby is as much fun for me as I am sure it is for many out there
I actually design RC Autogyros and other more complex as well as
simple products, been doing it for close to my lifetime so far. Many
products I make are Upgrade Kits to improve the performance,
durability and looks of products that I feel require it, many are
driven by suggestions from folks who are also looking for these
things. This has have kept , and are still keeping me busy. I have 2
RC Ultralight -Microlight-Trike Kits I presently produce, The MIA RC
MIni Robo Trike and the MIA EZ 2.0 Trike and I am adding more to
this line, but a full RC Autogyro model kit has been a challenge to
produce, because I am a perfectionist and not having a way to make
consistent blades has been the block. I am a huge fan of anything
that has a rotor on it as well as ultralight aircraft.
About RC Autogyro Blades
Let me talk a bit about blades. The way most careful DIY's make
them, including myself, wood has to be selected for even density and
weight, this requires meticulous careful work, balsa has to be
laminated to hardwood, then sanded to near perfection, either by
hand or by more elaborate methods, which are not easily accessible
to the DIY. So without a way to make blades easily and more
importantly consistently in weight , density , etc. it is difficult
for a one man operation. Nevertheless, it is possible with the
proper equipment. As I mentioned in my MIA MPG thread (one of my
favorite AG), I am still going to produce an RC Autogyro kit of my
own and it will be in similar lines to the ones I have already shown
in my other RC Autogyro Threads.
Auto G-G2 (Same Architecture, Great for Customization)
The Auto G2 is a very nice kit, as I mentioned in my first video
here, a product of great interest to me because I think it opens new
doors for newbies to this RC area of the hobby.
It certainly has raised my interest level as well, from a design
point of view, as this happens to be also a great part of my hobby
and I bought it to really have fun with it not only flying it, but
also customizing it, as this model lends itself very nicely for
I did a very nice Ultralight Conversion Kit for the GWS Slow Stick
and I did a similar kit for the Auto G/G2. Because I find them more
interesting with a custom look. A personal thing of mine since I had
my first erector set when I was 5, I've never left a product intact,
as there is another world of fun in customization.
Pusher Vs. Puller
If I had to choose between a puller and pusher RC Autogyro design, I
would lean towards the pusher, Bensen style like my own 2009 MIA BBW
(one of my favorites), this is perhaps a bit biased towards my own
designs, but if you were to design your own to the way you like it ,
I am sure you would say the same thing.
As I mentioned in
another thread most of my RC Autogyro designs rely strictly on the
blade design and rotor head for pre-spin up w/o the need for
pre-rotator, more so during ground take off which is trickier as
opposed to hand spin up and toss. Here is one video that is a good
example of that.
I have tried my own pre-rotator setups in my own designs, but I
often found them more elaborate and being a mechanical minimalist, I
opted for making sure the blades were designed correctly and with
some added tricks of my own to make them spin faster than the more
typical basic RC autogyro rotors, so they take off ground in very
short distances. The trick is replicating this for others if I were
to produce a kit. This is where I think the Auto G has the upper
handle, as the blades, as far as I tested them, are consistently
well balanced and this has to do with the manufacturing techniques
to produce a molded foamy blade with even density.
A photo of my AutoG2 as It sits awaiting take off clearance from the
The MIA MPG is compact and easier to
transport in a small car. Hopefully I can put together a kit of such
soon. But regardless who makes a kit, I just want to see more
regular people flying these things.
Here in the USA, there is a good number of RC Autogyro enthusiast
but it is not enough, and I want to help remove the fear from first
timers and promote this area of the hobby which has been under
rated, due to these models being harder to fly. With the proper
approach, the right model, setup and some hands on RC models, there
is absolutely no reason to not try this model.
Continuing with my diary...
I had a chance to test fly it , no surprises there, I love the way
the blades spin up, but I already had a feeling they would, after
testing them in a wind tunnel.
About some of the Upgrades I made for the Auto-G's
The why's of the MIA Racer G2 KIT upgrades for the Auto Gs.
The Mast Cover
The mast cover was the first thing I did, because it shows up quite
obvious and with the exposed mast plywood supports, looked
unfinished. The Auto G has nice molded body but I wanted to provide
a more finished look while making the model more aerodynamic.
The Pilot Head
I like a certain types of pilot figures on my models and so it was
natural for me to add one of the pilots that I offer for similar
size rc plane models, as well as the MIA GWS Conversion kits, RC
Ultralights and Trikes.
I was debating using a full pilot head with torso, and smaller ,
because this does not show well on a "free-style' model of this size
and shape, if you make it scale like, so I played with the head size
until it looked just right. I wanted the head to be an added
orientation reference mark "aid" and this was the other defining
factor for its particular size. In flight the model shows very well
with the pilot head and encourages confidence in flights.
The Motor Cowl (Cover)
This was more for aesthetic reasons and to provide a nice flow with
the shape of the stock body and the mast cover and pilot head.
The LG Strut Covers and Wheel Pants
Same reason as for the motor cowl, but I also wanted a bit more
lateral stability, and thus the strut covers, which double up also
as vertical stabilizers.
I love to dress up my models and have the option ready at my
fingertips to do so so. I often get tired of one color and if its
just a matter of simply switching color it makes things more
enjoyable, while personalizing your model.
I elected the bright green as in my personal model in the first
photo, because this blends well with the already stock decals
colors, but a royal blue, white or black parts work also well, as
they compliment the stock artwork and show clearly against the sky.
More custom colors such as red , yellow, orange , silver and olive
drab are the other options, but these work better with my own custom
matching color decals which I am creating for fun.
Rotor Head Flex Plate
Because this is a standard part I make from G10 proper thickness
(varies with model size and weight) and use in all my RC Autogyro
designs, I couldn't help but to make one also for the Auto-G/G2. On
this note let me just add that after giving the Auto G2 another
closer look at the rotor head parts, I don't think the original flex
plates that come with the Auto-G are going to break easily, but just
in case I wanted to have my own which have been tested and proven in
similar size models. This part is an integral bonus part of the MIA
Racing G2 Kit.
Ok so let go fly this thing ! Video in process... stay tuned, the
fun has just started!
Here is a recent video I did to follow up on the first one in this
thread, p/o my diary with this great flyer.
The AutoG2 is allowing me to get really creative with it. As much as
I love flying I think I love more customizing things. Please take
this as an artistic work.
The video unfortunately shows the green parts a bit dull, in real
life the green parts are really bright, almost like a hot green,
this shows more realistic to the actual color in the photo in my
I got some request for some customized layouts and I will post these
The stock blades have a perfect airfoil hard to compete with hand
made blades even some of the best woodies I've made "by hand". So
this is going to be interesting to compare with with the blades I
will be manufacturing with the new industrial tool that is almost
About the Rotor Head
As I mentioned in my videos, and as others have experienced with the
original as well as V2, the weak link is the rotor parts, in
particular the plastic flex plate. Now as most people have been
doing simply making a flex plate from fiberglass, or PCB material
and even plastics is OK, if you do it carefully.
I am using my own CNC cut composite Flex plate that has proven
airworthy in my own RC Autogyro designs. The more precise this plate
is manufactured the smoother the head will spin. Making one by hand
hand has its pros/cons, the pro is that if you have the correct
material at hand it is simply a matter of making a triangular plate
and drilling some holes, the con is that when drilling by hand there
is room for tolerance error in the precision of the spacing of the
holes and rotor smoothness needs to precise. Rotor Head part
geometry and tolerance precision is very important.
The MIA FLEX Plate (this is the bonus part in the MIA Racing G2
This is my own CNC manufactured rotor head flex plate and it is of
particular thickness so hat it works aerodynamically and
mechanically better than the stock. It also has specific MIA
geometry that not only is more aesthetically pleasing , standalone
or as part of the existing other rotor head parts, but also has some
mechanical advantages that have been tested to allow the rotor to
spin smoothly as in my MIA MPG RC Autogyro videos.
The Auto G2 with a few of the available MIA Upgrade Color Parts
and Vinyl Kiss Cut Decal/Paint Schemes
Improved look of the MIA Integral Strut Covers/Wheel Pants Parts.
While designing the Strut covers-wheeI pants, I wanted to keep this
assembly lightweight yet attractive.
I started with separate wheel pants and separate struts, but decided
on the combined parts for ease of installation. Separate parts are
always involved more parts to deal with, more assembly and more
SO the trick here was to come up with a single lightweight unit that
works and looks good.
I wasn't too happy with the original lightweight intregral Strut
Cover -Wheel pants section and so I tweaked the part design a bit
more and this is the result of such. I am more pleased with it,
still lightweight, easy to instal and is more beefier, more
attractive and I think the person this particular Red color kit is
going to, will too. He probably doesn't know I've done this
enhancement. The Pilot head needs the vinyl visor cover and the cowl
is still green because I just wanted to see how the new LG parts
looked on the model. If you like it let me know.
The full MIA Racer G2 Kit, in Red, with "custom vinyl decal sheet".
Customer supplied image was reworked, resized, and placed over MIA
Graphics to complete the body side panels and stabilizer decals.
Color scheme red-white-black works extremely well and complements
the red molded parts.
This customer was a pleasure to deal with, I ended up doing the
custom personalized graphics at no extra charge. I truly enjoy doing
this for people who appreciate this customized art-form and can also
enjoy it once it is on their model.
The Emperor's New Clothes
A change of clothes from the bright green to my favorite model color
"Yellow and Black". Full Custom MIA graphics to complement the new
clothes. Ready for flight. Days are getting better and I should be
able to get someone to video tape my next flight wth this color
Meet my buddy, Mr. Cooper
An extension to my family. He grew up next to my work shop seeing me
tinker with models, hearing the noise of shop machines and the smell
of fresh balsa and epoxy. He is expecting me to fly my custom AutoG2
soon, as he loves to watch flying models also.
Taking the MIA Racer G2 Upgraded Auto G2 for a Test Drive
While taking this model on test drive with the new clothes, I
decided to make a quick how to fly the G tutorial, for beginner rc
I had some nice flights, considering the day was windy. No especial
settings on my transmitter or the links to control horns. I had the
control horns to link on the rudder and the the elevator too
sensitive and the first flight was a bit bouncy but manageable.
Second flight was more docile.
The model is easier to see than the stock one and had no issues with
orientation, except for the times the model faded into the rocky
mountain, but I am used to flying in this field and can do it almost
blind. Beginners should pick a wide unobstructed field for first
Amongst all people who fly RC autogyros and have posted YT videos, I
think I am the only only who flies in confined and obstructed areas.
The basketball court, although a nice place to take off from, it is
short and the Basketball nets, nearby trees and buildings, and the
mountain are quite a challenge for flying these models.
As seen in the attached photo, the parts in red , next to the MIA
Ultralight Conversion for the GWS SS Kit going to a customer.
Reason for the Design
As a follow up to my previous post video.
There are many reasons that I designed this new Rotor Head for the
Auto G/G2. But the most important one is that I wanted to reuse the
stock blades which had been broken at the blade mounting tabs by
drilling a new hole on the blade chord section where there is more
meat for the mounting. But doing this and remounting it to the stock
rotor head flex plate reduced the overall stock diameter of the
I also thought of many people out there that maybe have blades
sitting in a bin broken at the mounting tab and Auto G's not flying
because of not having a way to remount them and perhaps waiting for
new blades to ship from Auto G distributors. The New MIA G2 rotor
Kit resolves this dilema and does more.
The single Bolt Blade Mounting Method vs Double Bolt Mounting
(Stock Auto G/G2 rotors)
Another reason was that I didn't favor the stock head design "double
Bolt mounting feature" as this is a big problem and reason for many
busted blades, which could be saved with a better head design and
mounting method. Having said this I am still supplying the MIA
Freebie flex plates with the MIA Racer G2 kits, and this plate
although better than the stock as my previous videos showed, it was
made to simply replace the stock, and be more crash-proof, but was
not designed to be use with modified broken tab stock blades or
single hole mounting blades (New or old) .
About the new MIA G2 Rotor Kit Flex Plate (MIA Vs Standard DIY
As discussed in my recent video about this head design, there are a
number of features built into the plate design and so it is not a
typical DIY delta plate or as supplied by some online sellers.
Although also made from G10, which has been the standard material of
choice since early RC helicopters, the MIA G2 Rotor Head plates have
specific geometry and MIA trademark features. One of them is the
specific way in which the blade shimming is done. Other features
have to do with the plate's blade function enhanced dynamics as a
result of its particular geometry.
Here is a comparison photo to show the obvious differences in a
typical Delta Flex plate and the MIA Design. In this photo there is
also the MIA Blade Drill Jig that is supplied as part of the kit to
allow broken as well as new blade to be prepared for the much better
single hole mount. More on this is in the associated video.
For comparison purposes here is the simpler MIA Freebie Flex
plate. Note the size difference.
MIA Freebie Flex Plate (black Part) with New Stock blades = Stock
Rotor Diameter = MIA G2 Rotor Plate with Modified single bolt Mount
MIA G2 Landing Gear Reinforcement, Adjustable Battery Mount,
Keychain Camera Mount
Another Upgrade I did as a result for the need to reinforce the LG
socket area better and have a way to adjust the CG by relocating the
I've been putting the Durafly AutoG, and my upgrades though a lot of
abuse to see how well the stock and upgrades hold.
The Auto-G has been holding quite well, Body Mast and Tail section,
but the LG and rotor head areas have taken most of the punishement
during some very harsh testing.
The attached video segment is about the MIA G2 LG, Battery, Camera
Plate I just completed , The Logic behind it and the Installation.
The following video one will be how these parts including the new
MIA G2 Rotor are still holding after some brutal! testing in heavy
wind conditions with some very interesting temporary blue blades I
made while waiting for new stock blades to arrive.
Auto Start Problems and Solutions
- Electronic Soft Start Option and Clutch Slippage Repair
The Auto Start electronic switch on my Auto G stopped working, short
life span, I had no more than 12 flights when the switch simply did
not want to start the motor anymore. I did some troubleshooting with
a VOM and the motor checked OK but the controller was dead. I ended
up replacing the stock controller with a regular DC brush motor ESC,
and got it back to normal again for a short while, but the rotor
clutch was slipping.
Well, the Auto G could use a better
electric start controller. It is quite a challenge to install the
battery with the bulky controller in the tight space of the body and
routing the wires through the back , into and under the body is not
easy for heavy and large hands.
The greatest thing about the Auto G is the molded EPP body and
stabilizer parts! I love them!
I have been putting the Auto G though a lot of abuse testing the MIA
upgrades, and it is holding equally well. I finally crashed, nose in
hard and from the impact, finally bent the thrust motor shaft
slightly, broke the stock plastic motor/LG holder at the motor
socket end, the MIA LG reinforcement intact.
The thrust motor is also a very nice part, it's taken a lot of
abuse. I never cared for the CD-Rom like shape motors and from a
glance I did no think the motor was going to hold, but in all
honesty this is also another best part of the Auto Gs. See my next
video "How I straightened the shaft".
This may sound as I am recklessly flying my Auto-G, but it is part
of my job as a designer and mfgr to fully test my products, as well
as the model that my upgrades complement, and so many of the crashes
I've been putting the model though are methodical and structured to
simulate similar conditions as if a beginner pilot would experience,
but some of them have also been due to pilot error and forgetting to
secure things carefully. Things, typically, we all do, at some
point, as RC enthusiasts.
I am having a ball flying , crashing, repairing and upgrading the
How to Straighten the Auto G/G2
Motor shaft after a hard crash
Ok so here is a video on how to do it. This is aimed at someone new
and unfamiliar with some of these repairs and processes that some of
us model enthusiasts already know.
Here is a video after taking the Auto G completely apart to repair
some of the parts that broke after my last flight which ended up in
a hard nose dive. I'm in process of making a couple more upgrade
parts and rebuilding it.
Once again the model has proven beyond my expectations with some of
is stock parts as well as with the MIA upgrades installed thus far.
A little bit of chocolate to expose a missing
This next video has an important point I forgot to mention in my original video
of the MIA Racer G2 Kits and it deals with the way I designed the mast cover and
fasten it to the mast. So I will leave this diary with this one while I work on
the next upgrades and rebuild of the Auto G. It can only get better and it
People often refer to Red Vehicles as "Hot"
"Fast!" and "Devil Like"
Here is an all decked out Auto-G/G2 with a devilish look, put together by a
customer of mine. It sports all the MIA Upgrades, thus far. This customer
requested his handle name and racing number be printed on the decals. With his
permission, here are the photos he took, sure is quite a contrast with the
Industrial Yellow I like.
Reinforcement-Battery-Camera Mount Plate shown below with a
velcro customer installed to
mount a small RC Airplane camera.
The Emperor's New Crown
Here is a much beefier rotor head hub to replace the thinner stock one.
I designed this part after the stock one broke at the center stem. The stock one
is very light and for the most part and flights I've had with it, lasted a good
while, but I wanted a more robust hub not only to replace the stock one, but
also to be more in line with the, also more robust, MIA G2 Rotor Single Bolt
Blade Mount Flex plate design.
The Hub and flex plate assembly mounts over the Durafly Rotor Shaft with a snug
fit and it requires one to twist it into the threaded shaft till it bottoms with
the shaft nut. The stock locking hardware and rotor button is installed over the
Hub, like the original one.
Well, my Auto-G2 has been under the scalpel and while at it,
I've been doing some redesign of some components.
One of these is the LG Socket and motor bracket that broke in my
last flight, the crash was pretty hard .
I was thinking of ways to redo the part so that it is more
universal, meaning that it will not only work with the Auto-G/G2
but with any RC autogyro that requires an integral LG and motor
There is no way to redo the original part in its exact form
since the part is injection molded and some of the areas that
make up the socket for the bent wire LG are backed up with walls
that are as thin as 0.040 inch. This is about the standard in
wall thickness for injection molded thin wall sections. So I had
to start from scratch, but I wanted to maintain the same or
close socket dimensions.
In order to retain the bent wire LG in similar fashion to the
plastic molded socket, I made two plates from G10 with
strategically placed steel bolt holes, these make up for the
retaining wall sections, but are a lot more durable by nature of
stronger materials than the stock plastic part, the assembly is
slightly heavier which actually will aid in bringing the nose
down a bit and better CG. The Stock AutoG2 is is a bit tail
heavy and the model tends to balloon in flights. The tail
directional wheel could be made lighter, but I actually like
that part as is and it is another of the better components of
My motor mount was made up of aluminum spacers with the proper
mounting angle offsets. Steel bolts run through the motor socket
and spacers all the way back to the G10 plates and are held
secure with locknuts.