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Old Mar 19, 2012, 06:49 AM
Tom
United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Dec 2011
254 Posts
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Helicopters are starting to remind me of English sports cars.

In another life time, I was into MG's and Triumphs and it was a love/hate/hate relationship. Drive, repair, drive, repair, repair, repair, drive ad nauseum. Now I'm into helicopters and getting a distinct deja vu feeling.

Even without crashing, it seems like I'm always fixing something. Screws coming loose even with loctite, electronics failing, gears stripping and just yesterday, a motor failure in my Dynam. Sometimes there is a warning (like the motor - started crapping out after only a few minutes of use, should have known). Does anyone ever have a period where they just fly, change batteries, fly and this goes on for weeks at a time or is it just the nature of helicopters that they need a LOT of maintenance.

I'm still at the hover, fly forward, return, land stage, can't imagine how much worse if might be when I actually start sport flying and these little failures start to happen thirty feet in the air Seems as if the number one criteria for owning and flying these things is a well stocked spare parts shelf. Kind of like my English roadsters.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 07:53 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,416 Posts
Your choice of helis has a lot to do with how much of your time is spent on repairs. You DO get what you pay for. My Hirobo SRB Quark has had one flybar, one bearing and a number of blades and tail rotors replaced in 4 years. It's all about perceived value. Lots of beginners see a real neat looking heli at a low price and think it's a real value. It usually isn't. The more expensive models could be more durable, more reliable, better handling and will teach you more.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 08:02 AM
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elan's Avatar
VT
Joined Feb 2006
2,200 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom4416 View Post
In another life time, I was into MG's and Triumphs and it was a love/hate/hate relationship. Drive, repair, drive, repair, repair, repair, drive ad nauseum. Now I'm into helicopters and getting a distinct deja vu feeling.

Even without crashing, it seems like I'm always fixing something. Screws coming loose even with loctite, electronics failing, gears stripping and just yesterday, a motor failure in my Dynam. Sometimes there is a warning (like the motor - started crapping out after only a few minutes of use, should have known). Does anyone ever have a period where they just fly, change batteries, fly and this goes on for weeks at a time or is it just the nature of helicopters that they need a LOT of maintenance.

I'm still at the hover, fly forward, return, land stage, can't imagine how much worse if might be when I actually start sport flying and these little failures start to happen thirty feet in the air Seems as if the number one criteria for owning and flying these things is a well stocked spare parts shelf. Kind of like my English roadsters.
-Once set up, unless you are dealing with crash damage repairs you should not be experiencing mechanical/electrical failures. If you are, it's due to the type of model you are flying... FYI; my first auto was an Austin/Healy Sprite Roadster...
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 11:06 AM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
25,386 Posts
I know what you mean... SOME helicopters are like British sports cars... but the ones you want, are like Japanese sports cars... drive, change the oil, drive, change the oil, drive... that's what you want!

On all of my helicopters, normal wear and tear has been minimal. Most people are only concerned with crash durability, but it's normal wear durability that is really important, and most of the clones have horrible normal wear durability.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 11:26 AM
God is my pilot
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United States, MI, Kalamazoo Township
Joined Aug 2006
2,368 Posts
If there is no oil under it, there is no oil in it! That was the saying for my old TR4
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 12:08 PM
Registered User
United States, SC, Irmo
Joined Sep 2011
4,599 Posts
Even real helicopters require huge amounts of maintenance. Yes, my cheap helis cause me more problems, but all the quality and maintenance in the world don't mean anything after you've wrecked it, at least as far as longevity goes, as long as it's not a low quality part that caused the failure. But even an align or hitec servo can fail mid flight. I guess it's about choosing high value components, not the most expensive. I used to run only synthetic oil in my Ford truck since it was new. It had 130K miles on it and ran like new and used no oil, lots of life left in the truck's engine. Well, the intake gasket failed and let coolant in the combustion chamber and destroyed the engine when I tried to start it. All that synthetic oil was a waste. I use cheap oil now, just change it more often.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 02:42 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
9,376 Posts
.....Like British sports cars, except the defroster works better.

All my models just flew. LV4 would clean out a set of blades every time I took it outside ($3 and 5min). HBFP/HBCP ate tailmotors but that's just what they do. Year with 120SR, had to snap a new tailblade on it. I walk it around the complex like most people walk dogs (except it doesn't poo on the landscaping). And trust me, I'm no Tom Cruise (not even if I could afford capped teeth).
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Letchworth, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Jul 2004
11,452 Posts
Hey, will you guys please stop knocking British sports cars

I'm about at the same stage you are, tom4416, but my British-built (I built it ) Align T-Rex 500 has been utterly reliable ... the only failures, apart from bearings I replaced after two years, have been initiated by the pilot.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 03:10 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Hey, will you guys please stop knocking British sports cars
With all due respect... it's one of the wettest countries in the world, and you built a car out of WOOD....
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Australia, VIC, Heathcote
Joined Feb 2012
40 Posts
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With all due respect... it's one of the wettest countries in the world, and you built a car out of WOOD....
Yes, true, but then the decent british sports cars were made from fibreglass.
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Old Mar 19, 2012, 09:21 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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And a Morgan is a beautiful thing, also true
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Old Mar 20, 2012, 03:34 AM
Registered User
Letchworth, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
With all due respect... it's one of the wettest countries in the world, and you built a car out of WOOD....
With good reason ... wood doesn't rust
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 03:09 AM
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With good reason ... wood doesn't rust
no it floats.........
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 08:28 AM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,416 Posts
My wife had an MGC. Damn thing leaked fluids from every place but the headlights!
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 10:12 AM
Tom
United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Dec 2011
254 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
My wife had an MGC. Damn thing leaked fluids from every place but the headlights!
That's because it was designed so that the oil was self-changing
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