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Old May 14, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Keyrigger,
In regards to aerobatics and helicopters. In my early scale days I used to do all kinds of crazy stunts like barrel rolls, backward hurricanes, inverted pitch pumps, flips and rolls on my 450 scaler, it was fun and if it wrecked it no big deal; I was out only a few hundred bucks tops. When I moved up to the 500 size scaler (MB-7) I started cutting back on some maneuvers, like no inverted anything; partially due to my skills going full scale and not practicing 3D anymore (you don't use it, you lose it) and also because the extra $$$ tied in the machine; Other factors like flexible scale blades, even lower headspeed... I kept on doing backward hurricanes and vertical stall turns, but none of the insanity I did on the 450.
Then once I built the 600 (MB-8) in 2010 I did cut on anything that had any risk associated with it, besides forward flight with banked turns; skill deterioration after 1 1/2 years without flying any 3D took its toll; that coupled with the 6+ grand $$$ and 6+ months of work tied on the 8 pretty much left the MB-8 as a scale hoverer and a grandpa taxi and now it will fulfill its true destiny, become an FPV scale platform.

G.
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Old May 14, 2014, 06:22 PM
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With this particular body, I was not worried about the crash factor at all. It had survived a few dirt naps and although a bit worse for the wear, it was still very much a solid body. The major weakness was the plywood floor because of the additional weight that was put on it between the formers, not over them. I fixed that in the rebuild where I put in all new wood and it has held up very, very well. The landing gear is the second item that is way too weak for the average chassis installed in there and that problem has been fixed for good. The gear will now take a hard landing and with the structural change to the body, the entire body is more resilient to abuse because of autorotation landings. I collapsed three struts because of that so it is nice to not need to cringe as much anymore.

Now about the aerobatics, I felt that it was not going to get me what I thought it might. When maneuvers are done that are not standard, eyebrows tend to get raised a LOT. I have proof that both the AS350 and my TOW Defender can be pushed into loops and rolls like any other mildly aerobatic aircraft. The difficulty is getting it past the nay-sayers. I will be limiting the moves to lazy 8's, hammerhead turns, pedal turns, and high angle landing approaches. There will be no way of arguing the helicopter's ability to do those. The last thing is that like a full size helicopter pilot that bought the farm, this helicopter, when held too long nose down in the loop, will stall when pulling out and pancake into the ground. Four times I have been high enough to be able to power out of that pending disaster and I figure I have used up all my horseshoes with that helicopter for good. This is a good a time to stop as any, lol. I will not stop pushing myself to fly as if I was in the cockpit and put on a flying show as interesting as watching an aerobatic biplane. Funny part is that I just did some 3D testing a chassis and found I could now hover inverted better than I had before. I do need to get my 450Pro out and continue to keep practised with it but if I don't get it out this year, I will not loose sleep over it. Take care.

Don
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Old May 14, 2014, 07:29 PM
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Very nice.

In my experience the weakest part of the 500 heli fuselages has been the canopy. If you plunge into the ground hard enough it will come off and get chewed up by the rotor blades. When I built the 8 I designed everything on the landing gear to withstand a 5 feet fall; then, while testing the NAZA a wrong feedback loop on the collective proved the design when slamming full collective-down into the asphalt with only a few scratches. Now, I didn't have the canopy on at that time, but I am certain would've been the canopy installed, I would've had to order a new one; and I have like 10 neo-magnets holding the dang thing, and it still pops out if you are not careful.

Inverted is out of the question for me as I never learnt anything beyond basic flips and rolls; even then, if I knew and was good at it, the MB-8A has roughly 5-7 degrees of coning at the rotor head; that seems like a sure way for a boom strike, should I attempt any high negative G maneuver. Maybe loops might be fine provided you keep the rotor always loaded positively...

I understand the nay-sayers will always be nay-sayers but whatever, right? But.. your heli looks great, flies great so who cares what others say so long you are happy with it. I was usually the only scale flyer at my previous club's field, and ppl hated the 20+ minute flights because they thought me flying was a waste opf time; they wanted to practice 3D around the clock, which wasn't a waste of time. I am sure if it would've been anyone doing piroflips and other interesting 3d stuff, the 20 minute flights would've not been a problem at all. Thats part of the reason why I got out of the hobby for a while. I was tired of the 3d stick bangers just hating. The new club I am now part of, the 3d stick bangers are the minority, as most pilots fly large scale fixed wing aircraft, therefore the MB-8 is now right at home, and around a lot of ppl who respect and like scale stuff. I no longer have to prove to anybody I can piroflip the MB-8...

G.

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Originally Posted by Keyrigger View Post
With this particular body, I was not worried about the crash factor at all. It had survived a few dirt naps and although a bit worse for the wear, it was still very much a solid body. The major weakness was the plywood floor because of the additional weight that was put on it between the formers, not over them. I fixed that in the rebuild where I put in all new wood and it has held up very, very well. The landing gear is the second item that is way too weak for the average chassis installed in there and that problem has been fixed for good. The gear will now take a hard landing and with the structural change to the body, the entire body is more resilient to abuse because of autorotation landings. I collapsed three struts because of that so it is nice to not need to cringe as much anymore.

Now about the aerobatics, I felt that it was not going to get me what I thought it might. When maneuvers are done that are not standard, eyebrows tend to get raised a LOT. I have proof that both the AS350 and my TOW Defender can be pushed into loops and rolls like any other mildly aerobatic aircraft. The difficulty is getting it past the nay-sayers. I will be limiting the moves to lazy 8's, hammerhead turns, pedal turns, and high angle landing approaches. There will be no way of arguing the helicopter's ability to do those. The last thing is that like a full size helicopter pilot that bought the farm, this helicopter, when held too long nose down in the loop, will stall when pulling out and pancake into the ground. Four times I have been high enough to be able to power out of that pending disaster and I figure I have used up all my horseshoes with that helicopter for good. This is a good a time to stop as any, lol. I will not stop pushing myself to fly as if I was in the cockpit and put on a flying show as interesting as watching an aerobatic biplane. Funny part is that I just did some 3D testing a chassis and found I could now hover inverted better than I had before. I do need to get my 450Pro out and continue to keep practised with it but if I don't get it out this year, I will not loose sleep over it. Take care.

Don
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Old May 15, 2014, 10:55 AM
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Jesse Kavros 3D'ing a scale Hughes 500E (Mikado Logo 600) (3 min 48 sec)
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Old May 15, 2014, 12:00 PM
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I've seen this done a number of times by different pilots and it doesn't do anything for me. My own opinion is that it is done to make fun of the work done by so many scale builders and when those builders are asked to do such crap with their scale builds, those that ask walk away with a lesser opinion of the piloting skills of those fellows. If you want to do scale, do it. If you want to do 3D, do it. However, do it with the appropriate helicopter. Even one of my club members did this with the same setup as in that video but as usual, destruction did follow. His reason for flying 3D with it is that it infuriates some of the club members when he does it so he would rather do 3D with it than learn the skills to fly it as if it was a full size. The shame of it is that this is all he does with it and I honestly don't even watch him fly it. Scale aerobatics that can be done by the original helicopter are fine and add some real excitement to a scale flight but tick-tocks, rainbows, and inverted flying should be left in the parking lot. If you put enough power into an MI-26, you can get it to do a loop, too, but what is the point?

Don
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Old May 15, 2014, 12:21 PM
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I have to agree; but I must admit its cool to see someone with the skill to do it, but then it just looks silly after a while. Now, I wasn't aware of such opinion to make fun of scale builders, but whatever, its their money: scale 3D you better have the pro-skills to back it up, otherwise, your crashes will be 5 times the time and cost of wrecking a pod/boom.

One of the things I take pride now when I go to the field is teaching people who want to fly scale how to setup their gear for proper scale flight. I met the other a guy loved seeing my next build (a larger heli than the MB-8) and quietly asked me for some help. Upon looking at the setup I was told it was done by someone who exclusively flies 3D.... a 3D setup to fly scale... I was like WTH??? 100% throttle curves, with headspeeds that would cut trees... pitch curves that made no-sense for a scale flight, and let alone for learning hovering. He just wanted his pod/boom to fly similar to how my heli flew. So, we sat down and I explained to him some of the basics and after some tuning, we got his heli flying similar to how any of my helis flies: he loved it, and he thought it was a lot easier to fly too (he is learning to hover)

Keyrigger, to me you don't have to prove anything man, I love what you've done with your helis, and the fact you take pride with it thats all it matters. When I started flying scale back in 2009 I was a hot-head, due to coming from a strong 3D background and I felt I had to prove myself I could outfly anyone in scale, but once I grew up (keyword here) I realized the point of scale is not to show off your flying skills... in fact, the smoother you fly the more people tend to like it so I concentrated in learning smooth precision scale flight, forgetting altogether the 3D school from where I originally came from.

Now I just want do my thing man: doing slow circles with my large scale helicopter, when I have the NAZA fully tested FPV too... but I am sure someone thinks is dumb too, since anyone can buy a cheap quad and do it. The feel of seeing a large scale helicopter over the road with nav lights, makes you feel like the real deal is up there!!

I am not sure if this is some sort of statement, but maturity level indicates what kind of flying you do... b/c lets face it... if someone has the motor skills to build a scale helicopter with the amount o details you've into yours, I am 100% sure he can also become a phenomenal 3D flyer as well: but motivation is just no there, and we all know motivation is the fuel to drive progress.

G.

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I've seen this done a number of times by different pilots and it doesn't do anything for me. My own opinion is that it is done to make fun of the work done by so many scale builders and when those builders are asked to do such crap with their scale builds, those that ask walk away with a lesser opinion of the piloting skills of those fellows. If you want to do scale, do it. If you want to do 3D, do it. However, do it with the appropriate helicopter. Even one of my club members did this with the same setup as in that video but as usual, destruction did follow. His reason for flying 3D with it is that it infuriates some of the club members when he does it so he would rather do 3D with it than learn the skills to fly it as if it was a full size. The shame of it is that this is all he does with it and I honestly don't even watch him fly it. Scale aerobatics that can be done by the original helicopter are fine and add some real excitement to a scale flight but tick-tocks, rainbows, and inverted flying should be left in the parking lot. If you put enough power into an MI-26, you can get it to do a loop, too, but what is the point?

Don
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Old Aug 04, 2014, 08:17 PM
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The Boys are Back in Town

Over the past month, I have been thinking hard about going to either the AMA US Nationals or to IRCHA. I guess I could have done both but that is for another time. I don't have a single "Scale" build done and before you say that I already have scale helicopters, I really don't. The three large helicopters that I have are all fictitious as they are not based on an actual helicopter model in that colour and markings. That is the main reason I am building the new Jet Ranger and 500MD TOW Defender bodies. I am going to be entering in Sport Scale which only requires a 3-view drawing and a modellers declaration so it is not quite the same as the full blown class. Next year, yes, this year, no.

So it was time to dig up some bits from the crash and get Bruce back in place, large and in charge. I went over the body from one end to the other repairing paint chips, scratches, and finishing off some new parts that had, as yet, not been painted. A bit of weathering was added to the new head and landing gear as well as the exhaust. I was at a float fly-in this past weekend and was not comfortable flying a non-float equipped aircraft there so the AS350 and 500MD TD sat in the truck. When I went to paint the head, I discovered that one ball link on the grip was two threads from coming off. You could see where the thread lock was and that really bugged me but it might have been my own doing as I found two others that were not hard tight but still had thread lock holding them in place. It must have been that I didn't torque them in as I usually do so something must have dragged me away just before tightening them up. Had I gone to a Warbird event on Sunday, it would have had a serious dirt nap. So here are the pictures that I did and had a bit of fun with. The third figure is the pilot from the rebuild and he is having words with the confiscating flight crew but Bruce is not even paying a bit of attention to it, lol. Take care and maybe see some of you at IRCHA.

Don
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Old Aug 05, 2014, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Keyrigger View Post
I've seen this done a number of times by different pilots and it doesn't do anything for me. My own opinion is that it is done to make fun of the work done by so many scale builders and when those builders are asked to do such crap with their scale builds, those that ask walk away with a lesser opinion of the piloting skills of those fellows. If you want to do scale, do it. If you want to do 3D, do it. However, do it with the appropriate helicopter. Even one of my club members did this with the same setup as in that video but as usual, destruction did follow. His reason for flying 3D with it is that it infuriates some of the club members when he does it so he would rather do 3D with it than learn the skills to fly it as if it was a full size. The shame of it is that this is all he does with it and I honestly don't even watch him fly it. Scale aerobatics that can be done by the original helicopter are fine and add some real excitement to a scale flight but tick-tocks, rainbows, and inverted flying should be left in the parking lot. If you put enough power into an MI-26, you can get it to do a loop, too, but what is the point?

Don
Don,
I sometimes do aerobatics with my scale helicopters, but not to piss someone off but to show some of the 3d guys that scale flying can be as tuff as their style of flying. When I land I tell them to add 25 lbs. to their 700's and then do their 3d I get no takers. The other point I make is a lot of the 3d guys tell new RC pilots and to everyone that scale helicopters are something you fly once in awhile but not every day. I say BS. I fly mine every day I can. Flying scale can be just as tuff and unforgiving as 3D. New pilots just getting into the RC helicopters need to see this so they are not turned off by the 3D guys and to have a open mind about scale. If you look around there are few RC helicopter pilots and a lot less scale RC Helicopter pilots at AMA fields.

John
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Old Aug 05, 2014, 02:19 PM
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Don,
I sometimes do aerobatics with my scale helicopters, but not to piss someone off but to show some of the 3d guys that scale flying can be as tuff as their style of flying. When I land I tell them to add 25 lbs. to their 700's and then do their 3d I get no takers. The other point I make is a lot of the 3d guys tell new RC pilots and to everyone that scale helicopters are something you fly once in awhile but not every day. I say BS. I fly mine every day I can. Flying scale can be just as tuff and unforgiving as 3D. New pilots just getting into the RC helicopters need to see this so they are not turned off by the 3D guys and to have a open mind about scale. If you look around there are few RC helicopter pilots and a lot less scale RC Helicopter pilots at AMA fields.

John
+1 - scale are helis that are flown regularly by many, including guys I know who also fly 3D.
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Old Aug 05, 2014, 03:41 PM
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+1 - scale are helis that are flown regularly by many, including guys I know who also fly 3D.
Where I'm at we our out numbered on a good day 60 to 1( Or More) over fixed wing. Most AMA Fields around here, are geared to fixed wing. I fly both myself so your right about that.

John
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Old May 13, 2015, 07:40 PM
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It has been a long while since anything new has been posted on this thread and a few things have happened since last year. I attended three events with the TOW Defender and it was well received. At one this past March, my main scale build met the ground in a rather unfortunate brain fart induced severe landing so the TD became my backup at the event. It was so familiar (even though it was the first few flights since mid-October) that I was awarded First Place, "B" Class, which is helicopters under 700mm. The contest was judged by one of the best helicopter builders out there, Len Mount, and a few tips and comments have lead me to do some serious rethinking of my helicopter setups.

One of the first improvements he noted that I could do is to get rid of the semi-symmetrical blades that I have been using from day one on this helicopter. They can provide more lift for a given angle of attack but that is pretty much all they do. A near or flat bottom blade acts just like a trainer wing on a high wing airplane. When it goes faster, it creates more lift and also in doing so, creates much more drag. A symmetrical blade creates lift equally on the surface and it is the angle of attack that creates the change in altitude and speed of the helicopter. However, it does not balloon like a semi-symmetrical or flat bottomed wing does. As well, the drag it creates is not as large as that created by the semi-symmetrical blade.

Previously, I was really chuffed at the noticeable change in the way the Spin Blades performed compared to the Rotor Tech blades that I installed at first. They seemed to have better handling, used less power, and did so at the same speed as the Rotor Tech's. Competing in scale events requires that hovering maneuvers be done in front of judges that can be really tough to please. If your model is bobbing up and down while trying to hover in a breeze, you are going to loose marks and there is nothing worse than leaving points on the table. Yes, increased airflow over a disk will change lift and therefore altitude but it does not have as pronounced an effect on symmetrical blades as it does on semi-symmetrical blades.

I did a day of preliminary testing going from the Spin Blades to the new symmetrical blades. The results were immediately noticeable in the way the helicopter held in a hover. Now, it is much more solid and I actually used less angle of attach (pitch) to hover compared to the Spin Blades. Ok, the name of the new blades. They are Rotor Tech 600mm Carbon Fibre Composite blades which were matched by the importer into a three pair set to be then worked and painted to be on the helicopter in time for the next round of Fun Fly's and then the Nationals/IRCHA.

I have the blades balanced within .1gr and they tracked perfectly from the get go. I have been completely reworking this helicopter so that it will now be turning the main blades counter-clockwise. It took almost a day and a half to work through all the changes needed to turn the blades around. I had a nagging feeling that the airflow from the tail rotor was being seriously disturbed by the vertical tail and boom that blocks the air. There were some tail servo setup issues that had to be addressed as well and one still needs to be done and that is to change to a solid rod rather than the current Sullivan flex cable. However, the anti-torque direction is on the pull portion of the servo arm movement. I spent a great deal of time optimising the position of the tail rotor hub to give me the best resolution from the servo, which increases the power ratio of the servo arm to the pitch arm.

I'll try and get some pictures before I paint the blades and see if someone at the club can take a picture that shows the silver disk that these blades become with the light reflecting off them in the right position. That won't happen for much longer. Hope this info can be useful to you out there. Take care.

Don
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Old May 14, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for the post Don,

There is always trade offs in helicopters, even more so with scale but I also find symmetrical blades work best for me as well. I try to find a set of symmetrical blades when I can for all my scale. My large Roban UH-60 has stock blades on it and they are semi-symmetrical blades, due to rotation I've yet to find a good replacement set.

John
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Old May 25, 2015, 10:52 AM
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Well, I didn't find someone to get some flying pictures but I took one while on the ground. The switchover has not been without difficulty and as it turns out, I had far too much travel in the pitch travel for the tail blades. They would stall out when pushed to the end of travel which turned out to be why the tail was bouncing back and forth. I know that it is possible to put 105mm blades on and that would give me more thrust in very heavy winds but I am thinking that very few would fly in 35km winds, even in a contest. I guess if I was to hedge my bets, I would have a set of 105's on hold and if the wind was that high, out they would come. Currently the blades are Edge (Fun Key) 95mm and for the rest of the flying I do with this, they have been the best performers. I will say that switching back and forth from right hand to left hand rotation helicopters has not been too hard to handle but there are still times that I need to not correct the tilt of the TD as it comes in for a low pass. It naturally wants to have the right side lifted because of blade procession on the right side. Here is that lonely shot with the rest of the large fleet. Take care.

Don

PS: I bought a second Logo 500 (chassis of the TD) for autorotation and backward flight practice and so far, it's been six days of practice but four crashes, the last of which was a perfect auto with a run-on landing (best for scale helicopters, not spot landing) that ended in a crash as the helicopter ran into high grass where the skids caught and it flipped. Sigh........
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