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Rickenbacker's blog
Posted by Rickenbacker | Jul 02, 2006 @ 03:18 PM | 3,487 Views
Well, practicing autos paid off today. I was on my way home from the glider field, and stopped by the RC field to fly a few tanks with the Evor. As I was practicing stationary piros at about 50ft the engine revved up (uh-oh), then stopped (oh crap!). I immediately entered autorotation, tried to place it on the field and slowed down. I was a little high, but this thing has loads of hang time, so I got it down in one piece.

When I could no longer hear my heart beating like a techno drum track, I took a closer look: the clunk line had broken, so the main tank was almost full, but the header tank was empty. I'm glad I practiced those autos, and I'm even more glad it didn't happen while I was practicing inverted fly-bys :-).
Posted by Rickenbacker | Jun 15, 2006 @ 05:42 AM | 3,676 Views
After owning a nitro heli for a few weeks I finally gathered up the courage to try an autorotation. Halfway through it, my more experienced friend yelled at me to turn it back on, which I did, narrowly avoiding a crash in the reeds. He then talked me through two more aborted autos (I have to check my clutch after abusing it like that) and finally I managed to set it down in one piece.

Autorotating with a 50 you have quite a lot of time to think about things, or at least it looks that way when you're watching someone else do one. When you do your first autos there's so much to do that it FEELS like you have no time at all, but in retrospect I did have enough energy left in the rotor to be able to restart three times, at maybe six feet, so I could probably get a bit more hang time once I get the hang of it (sorry about that one :-)). Anyway, I'm proud of myself, and a little scared. This weekend there's an auto competition, and if I can get some practice in today I think I might participate. Hell, I have to break this thing sometime, right?
Posted by Rickenbacker | Jun 12, 2006 @ 04:42 AM | 3,674 Views
I started a flight log for my new 50 size helicopter. I don't know if anyone else does this, but I fly full scale gliders, and religiously keep notes of all my flights there. It's only logical that I should do the same for my models, but I guess I've just been too lazy... I love Excel by the way, it makes all this stuff so much easier.
Posted by Rickenbacker | Jun 04, 2006 @ 06:44 AM | 3,923 Views
I started out all wrong in model helis.

My first helicopter was a Walkera Dragonfly #4. After replacing just about every parts of it it was good enough to teach me to hover. I bought myself a T-Rex to learn more, and that taught me to fly eights and stall turns.

Two weeks ago I bought an Evor 50 (Raptor clone, but with slightly more metal parts, sold under the Mavrikk name in the US i believe). I took my time building it, and finally maidened it yesterday. I don't see my small helis getting a lot of airtime in the near future.

The 50 is so much easier to fly that I immediately did some things that I only dared try in the simulator before, like stationary flips, loops and rolls (ok, I did flip the T-Rex, and ended up crashing it). The wind was strong but steady, and I only ever lost orientation twice, but got it back easily. I ended each flight with a baby auto, and when I flipped the switch the helicopter just hung there, I had all the time in the world to position it and put it down softly. Not quite like a T-Rex .

My only advice to all the newbies out there is this: Buy the largest helicopter you can afford to fly, and get some help from an experienced pilot so that your setup is good before your first flight. It's hard to believe how much easier a large helicopter is to fly, but it's true.

My setup is as follows:

Evor 50 kit
OS 50 Hyper engine
Futaba 9252 digital servos on cyclic/collective
Futaba 9254 on tail and throttle
GV-1 Governor
SAB Carbon reinforced 600mm blades
Optic 6 transmitter (the weak link, I'm planning on upgrading this soon)