SSPRR Run Room

Playing with Toy Trains

Flat Car w/Operating Helicopter 30-7942, 30-7658

  Adapt MTH Helicopter Cars to Launch the Helicopter "On The Fly". 

Helicopter Car

 Change Activation

MTH designed the car to launch the helicopter using an Uncoupling Track Section.
Install the Electric RR Mini Commander and enable Lionel TMCC control with a Lionel or MTH remote controller and launch on any live track.  (At one time you could order the Electric RR kit with Pickup Roller Truck.)

Variations from Electric RR Instructions in my Installation

Replace the pickup shoe truck with a pickup roller truck.

For the pickup roller truck, I used a truck from a RailKing Crane Tender Car. Both trucks on the tender car have pickup rollers so you can do two helicopter cars with one tender car.  This is the bottom of the completed Red Cross Car showing the pickup shoe removed.

Pickup Roller Installed

The slot cut into the copter car truck mounting plate removes the extruded area to allow the roller mount top to move freely on uneven track and prevent shorts.
To create the slot, I drilled holes then shaped the slot with a Moto Tool.

Tndr Trk 1 Tndr Trk 2 Tndr Trk 3
Pickup Roller Truck on Tender Plate Pickup Roller Truck Top Pickup Roller Truck Bottom
Trk Slot 1 Trk Slot 2 Both Trucks
Pickup Roller Truck
on Copter Plate
Pickup Roller Truck
with Copter Plate
Both Helicopter Trucks

Expanded slot How To:
Lay out the slot center line with dividers or compass centered on the truck swivel/mounting post. The distance between centers of my truck post center and pickup roller "button" center is about 7/16". That gives a 7/16" radius from your slot center. Mark positions for 1/4" holes to start slot with a center punch. Start with 1/8" holes on the inside of the raised area. On outside of raised area use a Unibit to drill graduated holes up to 1/4". Finish shaping the slot with a Moto Tool.

Keep the tilt mechanism.

The tilt mechanism remains in my helicopter cars and the Mini Commander is in the "tool box". The hole in the shed roof holds the tilt key.  Electric RR instructions insert the circuit board in place of the tilt mechanism.  My second conversion is the MTH 30-7658 Transport Car.

Tilt Mechanism

Circuit Board

MTH Helicopters

Launch two "on the fly" at the same time!


There needs to be almost 1/16" play on the shaft between the blade and helicopter.

Slide Shoe Truck  Service MTH truck with pickup shoe (remove pickup shoe).
   Remove coupler/truck mounting plate from car. Remove coupler/truck from mounting plate.
   To remove the pickup shoe with the six truck springs in place hold trucks and springs in position with your hand or a Quick-Grip clamp while removing the coupler mounting screws.
   Remove the coupler mount. Unscrew the sliding shoe holder and remove. The shoe will slide out. Replace the coupler mount.  

Tool Box

Tool Box Drawing

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