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Old Aug 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
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Utah Rotor Heads

I've been debating whether or not to open a Heli thread. It seems that there are only a few of us that partake in the addiction or rotary wing aircraft.

All are welcome!

We can incorporate all aspects of rotary wing (tri-copters, quad-copters, etc.)

Please introduce yourself, along with what type of heli you're flying, or interested in flying.

Let me know if you have suggestions for the thread.
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
5,210 Posts
Reserved...
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Old Aug 24, 2010, 08:45 PM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
5,210 Posts
I'm Jim,

I've been flying heli's for about 3 years now... and only just starting to progress into anything more than hovering and basic flight.

I have 3 heli's ATM

Trex-450 (very close to being on the chopping block)
Raptor 50 Titan
Swift NX
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 02:41 AM
Jeremy D Stott
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Ogden, Utah
Joined Nov 2004
4,822 Posts
My name's Jeremy. I've been a heliholic for 4 years now. I'm actually 5 weeks sober without a single flight. I own a Raptor 50 SE and a T-rex 450. I learned how to fly with a GWS dragonfly fixed pitch - super fun. The bigger the heli the more fun it is for me.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 09:47 AM
Eek! I see RC People!
Utah
Joined Oct 2009
664 Posts
Hi,

My name is Phil. I've only been flying for just over a year now. I started out with a Swift 16. I've only recently transitioned to forward flight and can only do a few maneuvers (loops, stall turns). Trying to learn how to do rolls right now. My fleet consists of the following helis.

Century Swift 16
Mikado Logo 500
Outrage 550
Compass Knight 600e
--
oicufly12
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:09 AM
Eek! I see RC People!
Utah
Joined Oct 2009
664 Posts
Jim,

Last Friday was a very bad day for me. I think while you and I were flying out there I was bitten by the nitro bug. Funny thing is I've been watching Jim Young fly out there with his Raptor all summer long and didn't get bitten. Somehow, last Friday, the bug snuck up and bit me. I've been looking into it ever since. Right now I'm thinking I will strip the servos out of the Swift and move them into nitro so I can put one together before it get too cold. However, I might also just wait until next spring. I've only just done the math on how much it will cost to fly nitro. Any heli I get will definitely be limited to weekend flying. It costs way too much to fly nitro as much as I fly the electrics.
--
oicufly12
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:19 AM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
5,210 Posts
I've had a run of some luck lately with my electrics.

The Swift has been down for almost a month now due to a burned out tail servo. Luckily for me the All e RC replaced it as a warranty item. They said it wasn't rated for the voltage (even though the box disagrees). I'm now running a step down voltage regulator on the tail that I made using some diodes and a servo extension.

It's nearly back together, but I'm waiting on some bearings for the tail blade grips. When I was replacing the shaft I noticed that the bearings were notchy. They'll be here today or tomorrow. So I'll be able to give it a test run on Friday hopefully.

The 450 took another dirt nap last Friday. I was doing some FFF when I saw a puff of smoke and it fell from the sky. Looks like some wires from the motor shorted out on the CF frames, which smoked the ESC . Not too much damage, could just be the feathering shaft. I'm not in a big hurry to fix it up.

Surprising (at least to me) my Raptor has been a consistent performer. I used to curse the nitro heli, cause it wouldn't start. Now I love it.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 10:27 AM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
5,210 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by OICUFly12 View Post
Jim,

Last Friday was a very bad day for me. I think while you and I were flying out there I was bitten by the nitro bug. Funny thing is I've been watching Jim Young fly out there with his Raptor all summer long and didn't get bitten. Somehow, last Friday, the bug snuck up and bit me. I've been looking into it ever since. Right now I'm thinking I will strip the servos out of the Swift and move them into nitro so I can put one together before it get too cold. However, I might also just wait until next spring. I've only just done the math on how much it will cost to fly nitro. Any heli I get will definitely be limited to weekend flying. It costs way too much to fly nitro as much as I fly the electrics.
--
oicufly12
I remember you talking about it on Friday, but it didn't seem that it bit you too hard . Guess it snuck up for another bite just to be sure it got ya

Yes you would be burning up a lot of money flying nitro the same amount you do your electrics. I'm looking at buying another case of nitro right now, since I'm down to a pint or two. Best deal I've seen from retail is around $26 a gallon (ordered by the case) with free shipping from HeliDirect.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 11:03 AM
Eek! I see RC People!
Utah
Joined Oct 2009
664 Posts
All my helis are down now too. The 600e's motor bearings died. I'm trying to determine if I can replace the bearings in it and not have to get a new motor. Gonna buy the counter bearing and block in the hope of keeping the motor running longer in the future. The Logo is a work in progress. I could probably get the Outrage running in a few days. The Swift I'm still not sure if I will get running again.

Now for nitros, the price is sure right for a JS TZ Frenzy. Unfortunately, it's one of the heaviest nitros out there, and I'd like to keep weight down so I get more performance out of it. Price is also good for the Ely-Q Vision 50, but it has reliability issues and needs several mods to get to a good running state. The Compass 3D Plus is a contender and so is the Outrage Velocity 50. I think it would be nice to find a used Compass Knight 50 3D to complement my 600e. I'm also waiting to see what the new Thunder Tiger X50 is like. It might be the lightest of the nitro helis out there right now. Pretty sure I could pick up a used TT Redline 53 for about $100 to power whatever heli I get.
--
oicufly12
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 01:08 PM
Fly Cheap. Fly Hard. Fly Daily
USA, UT, Riverton
Joined Aug 2005
381 Posts
I fly a Pantera 50. Strong frame, within 3 ounces of a T-Rex 600 ready-to-fly stock, has a faster-spinning tail than most so the headspeed can be kept reasonable, and the head is much-noted for being smooth. Can be set up mild to wild. Happy to show off some time at the Lehi Utah Heli Association Field if you like, and hook you up with some flight time I bring a buddy-box with me everywhere I go!

However, there are some parts that wear out quickly that bug me. I'm on Case #3 of fuel this summer, and am alarmed by how many parts I wear out. Then again, I went through three cases without a crash... and that's unusual for most guys flying the 600s

I also fly/flew a T-Rex 500 (dirt-napping at the moment), T-Rex 450 (one-way bearing is shrieking and about to die, time to swap it out!), Gaui 200 (flies perfectly but thinking of selling it to fund a DLG), and Blade MCX. Have had Raptors, Blades, and others in the past. Fun bug, but keeping my fleet flying is more expensive than the rest of my aircraft put together!
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 01:31 PM
Eek! I see RC People!
Utah
Joined Oct 2009
664 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgiki View Post
I fly a Pantera 50. Strong frame, within 3 ounces of a T-Rex 600 ready-to-fly stock, has a faster-spinning tail than most so the headspeed can be kept reasonable, and the head is much-noted for being smooth. Can be set up mild to wild. Happy to show off some time at the Lehi Utah Heli Association Field if you like, and hook you up with some flight time I bring a buddy-box with me everywhere I go!
I'm going to take you up on that offer. Let me get a couple of my helis running again and I'll contact you to set something up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgiki View Post
However, there are some parts that wear out quickly that bug me. I'm on Case #3 of fuel this summer, and am alarmed by how many parts I wear out. Then again, I went through three cases without a crash... and that's unusual for most guys flying the 600s
Which parts wear out quickly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgiki View Post
I also fly/flew a T-Rex 500 (dirt-napping at the moment), T-Rex 450 (one-way bearing is shrieking and about to die, time to swap it out!), Gaui 200 (flies perfectly but thinking of selling it to fund a DLG), and Blade MCX. Have had Raptors, Blades, and others in the past.
Fun fleet. Would like to see you fly 'em sometime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgiki View Post
Fun bug, but keeping my fleet flying is more expensive than the rest of my aircraft put together!
Wow. Considering how many planes I've seen have catastrophic crashes this year. I find it hard to believe.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 03:44 PM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
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I've read and heard good things about the Pantera, I'd be interested in coming out for a look too. One thing I like about the Pantera is the buy one get one free, or something along those lines.

Those all look like good options to me, but you've done more research than I have. I picked up my Raptor used, for a pretty good price. I did have to put some money and time into it, but nothing compared to fitting out a brand new heli.

Bearings came in, so the Swift is ready to go. I also ordered in some light weight paddles for my Raptor to see if it'll help in learning to roll. As soon as I clear the bench from all the Swift mess, I can get the paddles and new clutch liner installed.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 04:25 PM
Eek! I see RC People!
Utah
Joined Oct 2009
664 Posts
So I'm just learning here. How often do the clutch liners need replacing? Is it difficult to do? Some of the build videos I've watched mention using CA or Epoxy to get those things in. Sounds like a pain.
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 05:48 PM
Got Thermals???
Fishjunky's Avatar
United States, UT, Roy
Joined Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by OICUFly12 View Post
So I'm just learning here. How often do the clutch liners need replacing? Is it difficult to do? Some of the build videos I've watched mention using CA or Epoxy to get those things in. Sounds like a pain.
Well they probably don't need replaced too often, mine needs replaced because I hot started the heli up in ID. TX was in idle up, and I didn't realize it, before I could get the engine stopped I had burnt through a lot of the liner. I let it cool down and did a test flight to see if it would work.

They are not the simplest thing to replace, but really the hardest part is getting the bell out.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:21 AM
Fly Cheap. Fly Hard. Fly Daily
USA, UT, Riverton
Joined Aug 2005
381 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by OICUFly12 View Post
Which parts wear out quickly?
The parts that don't have bearings, really.

1. The pushrod-guide balls on the boom are plastic and the vibration of the pushrod hogs them out within a couple of cases. Cheap to replace, but irritating. Also, the vibration tends to also wear out the guide rails that hold the balls, so you typically replace both at the same time. I tried replacing the whole assembly with one long CF rod, but apparently it vibrated at just the right frequency to snap off the metal pushrod part in-flight! Lucky to quickly feel what was happening and auto down with no damage.

2. The pushrod itself is pretty close to the horizontal fin nylock nuts, and tends to scrape them a little bit in-flight. Pushrod failed at the start of the third case because it had worn & flexed enough to break the pushrod right at that point. Repairs were: main shaft, spindle shaft, blades, landing skids from a bad pirouetting auto at that point.

3. The elevator bellcrank comes with bushings by default. Mine have wallowed out a bit. That's why they sell the bearings as an upgrade for this part.

4. The tail-pins that drive the tail pitch slider wear down the ring that they're set in, and the pins themselves. Any time you have a plastic-on-plastic joint you'll get pretty bad wear pretty quickly. Audacity also sells an upgrade for the pins to metal. If you fly a lot like I do, you need the upgrade. Most people are lucky to burn a case of fuel in a summer on a .50... I'm glad to have burned through 3 cases

5. The bleach-bottle canopy that comes with it doesn't like to sit in the sun at the field at all. Warped pretty badly. The Raptor canopy has a bit thicker plastic and seems to handle the heat better. Then again, I HATED the Raptor canopy retention method as several times I had the canopy pop off in flight until I hacked in some retaining bolts... I have a fiberglass, white T-Rex 700 canopy that I just need to paint.

6. Hate the clunk line. Pick up some Hayes Clunk Line from the hobby store (it's the black stuff) on the initial build or you'll get a split line within a case or two. Also hated the fuel-tank-nipple attachment until I learned the proper technique to attach it without hassles.

All that said, the Pantera has some really killer features that made me happy:
* Cone-style alignment mechanism for the clutch and fan. This allows me to get runout down to .002", which is much better than my old Raptor that often ran at .010" or worse. Less vibration == less wear.
* Really tough main frame that's survived 3 hard crashes so far with no damage.
* Cheap carbon & FG blades ($45 & $35, respectively) that hold up to my style of flying just fine and track well, though they're a bit heavier than the competition. You can, of course, run these 600mm blades on any .50.
* Incredibly smooth head compared to a 600n, but very sensitive around center. You have to fly it to feel the difference. This makes a HUGE difference in sport aerobatics. I can fly it in FFF the whole length of the field almost hands-off! The 600n is pretty twitchy without mods. Then again, you have to make changes to the Pantera head to get it to 3D the way a 600n can out of the box, too.
* Engineered-in mounts for retracts and in-flight mixture adjustment. I don't use 'em, so they are just lightening holes for me
* Much cheaper crash costs than many other models. The newer, thicker landing gear add a little weight but a lot of robustness.
* US support. Speaks English natively. John Beech is pretty opinionated and strong-headed, but if you have a problem with his heli, you can get the designer on the phone.
* Big tank == longer flights. Important for this 4-year-flying newbie just now working on inverted hovering and backward flight Also the tank is engineered to withstand crankcase pressure if you use a YS rather than OS-style muffler pressure. Nice, because many competing designs tend to swell the tank and distort the frames under crankcase pressure.
* Easy upgrade path designed-in to drop in a .60-.90 engine. The power of a Hyper 50 is less-than-impressive at our altitude. An OS .91 in this thing makes it absolutely un-boggable, and the big tank makes sense then. I don't have that upgrade in mine right now, but I plan to do so one day...
* Can run up to 640mm blades stock.

All that said, the Pantera 50 is really designed as a "beater" helicopter, not a showpiece, competing much more as a Raptor alternative than a T-Rex 600n alternative.
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