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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:11 AM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
Blade CP: Avoiding boom strikes and other useful information.

I figured a new thread to post useful information that we have all gained could help new pilots to avoid the mistakes that we've made. Please post any help information you have as far as "learning" goes.

I've destroyed a number of brand new blades on my BladeCP due to boom strikes. Almost every time it was due to my own ignorance or simply chickening out at the worst possible moment. I have yet to "destroy" a set of blades by running the tips along the ground, and yet I will wreck them, and almost the heli, in an attempt to keep them from hitting the ground. A few things I've discovered while doing this:

- fly the heli until it won't fly anymore. Chopping the throttle removes almost all control you have over the heli. If the heli is about to hit something or someone and you want to minimize the headspeed then by all means chop the throttle. Otherwise continue to fly it until it's down!

- try not to land tail first if you can avoid it. If the decent rate is high enough and the tail hits the ground first the heli will pitch nose down. If you happen to be "prepared" for this by adding in aft pitch you'll end up flying the blades right into the tail boom!

- If the heli's getting out of control and it's coming down fast, feet first, don't chop the throttle to prevent damage to the heli. You will end up worsening the outcome. By killing the throttle you increase the decent rate and the landing gear must now take the full brunt of the heli's weight. By "gunning" the throttle/collective at the last moment you are at least helping to cushion the impact. Also, even if the blades can no longer support the weight of the heli (draining pack etc.) they probably can still support their own weight. So when the heli impacts the ground the blades will most likely NOT continue flexing downward and striking the boom.

I've chopped the throttle from 2 feet up and broken my landing gear, wrapped the blades around the boom, bent my pitch links, main shaft and twisted the paddles.
Another time I had the pack drain out and came in hard from 15 feet up. At the last moment I added full collective, it hit hard, but nothing broke.

One more thing, don't move the cyclic around in circles (all 4 corners of the box) while the heli is on the ground in full speed negative collective. You'll be asking for major troubles!!! (been there, done that )
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Last edited by beemer; Aug 17, 2005 at 11:21 AM.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:19 AM
My T-Rex Crash Counter:15
Obi-Wan's Avatar
Vancouver, BC Canada
Joined Feb 2005
451 Posts
You should title this 'Blade CP' usefull information as some of the info might not apply to all helis.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:22 AM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
Thanks Obi-Wan. I just figured that people could post ANY useful information in here. We'll see how it goes though.

Title changed.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:25 AM
My T-Rex Crash Counter:15
Obi-Wan's Avatar
Vancouver, BC Canada
Joined Feb 2005
451 Posts
I'm sure most of it will apply to all helis but people might start posting setup info or something that won't apply to others.

Another tip, most small helis fly much better without any training gear. Just don't tip over on landing

Oh, and the EHBG is a great read for anyone, you can find it stikied at the top of this forum or click here if you're lazy:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342744
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Last edited by Obi-Wan; Aug 17, 2005 at 11:38 AM.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:37 AM
I have n00bskid marks!
jamz's Avatar
Gorham Maine
Joined Aug 2005
24 Posts
What I've learned as a Blade CP newbie:

1. Learning how to fly indoors forces you to stay in control, but also is expensive in terms of rotor blade replacement.

2. Be careful with the radio- I've accidentally hit the idle up switch while carrying it and the heli, and it definitley got my attention, and cut me up a tad. Once I put my controller down sort of hard, and a battery in the back popped loose, turning the controller off. The heli naturally went nuts until I managed to take the cover off and put the battery back in place. I put a length of foam in there to prevent it happening again.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 11:52 AM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamz
Be careful with the radio- I've accidentally hit the idle up switch while carrying it and the heli, and it definitley got my attention, and cut me up a tad.
Safety first! Never carry a loaded heli! Carrying a heli by the blade grips (proper procedure) while it is turned on is just asking for finger issues. I've done it myself but was lucky because the heli simply popped out from between my fingers and dropped.

I've found that the radio battery door can easily slide off just while holding the radio. My fingers tend to slowly move the door downward while I'm flying (white knuckle flying) and soon enough it just pops off.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 12:08 PM
Registered User
Elk Grove, California
Joined Dec 2004
110 Posts
Blade Transmitter Battery Door

I too, have found that the transmitter battery door comes loose quite easily.
A piece of Scotch tape on both sides prevents that. It's not pretty, but it's better than having your batteries fall out while flying.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 02:13 PM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
Here's another few things:

Helicopters don't have a rudder! At least the typical ones don't. Even though most of us mistakenly refer to the left/right stick as the rudder stick, it isn't. It's the anti-torque control stick. Full size heli's have anti-torque control pedals, not rudder pedals. The stick/pedals may appear to have a similar end result on forward-flying airplanes and heli's, but they aren't even close in what they do, or how they do it.

Helicopters and airplanes do not fly, and are not controlled, the same way as eachother. Other than the "flying" surfaces using the same principals of aerodynamics, there are no similarities to the way they work, fly or handle flight conditions. So let's all stop comparing them to eachother. Please!

If you're coming to heli's with a firm understanding of airplanes, that's great. But you can pretty much forget about most of what you know because it doesn't translate directly into heli's.

(I'm sure I'll get flak over this one for sure)
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 02:44 PM
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VACaver's Avatar
Usually underground in Virginia
Joined Oct 2004
395 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by beemer

If you're coming to heli's with a firm understanding of airplanes, that's great. But you can pretty much forget about most of what you know because it doesn't translate directly into heli's.

(I'm sure I'll get flak over this one for sure)
No flak from me. I've been flying my Blade so much more than my fixed wing, that when I do actually pull the airplane out, I have to think for a minute about the difference in the controls.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 03:46 PM
Sunday Flier
Rickenbacker's Avatar
Sweden
Joined May 2005
1,488 Posts
I don't think I realized just how huge the difference is between the control systems until I started doing FFF. That'll teach you that a helicopter flies pretty much nothing like an airplane.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 07:44 PM
I have n00bskid marks!
jamz's Avatar
Gorham Maine
Joined Aug 2005
24 Posts
Too true. I have a commercial pilot certificate and used to be a flight instructor in airplanes....there is not that much that translates over to rotary wing aircraft.

My battery issue wasn't the cover coming off by the way, it was the battery inside popping out of place and losing contact with the battery terminal, which shut off the radio. It was disconcerting till I figured out what happened.
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Old Aug 17, 2005, 08:58 PM
Registered User
central AZ
Joined May 2002
1,350 Posts
Nothing to add, as I'm one of the noobs, but I will agree with most of what's said here. I got the guts up to take my training gear off last night, and boy howdy does the chopper handle better!

Also, where is this Idle Up switch everyone is refering to? Have you gone seperates and are using your own radio? The radio I got with my HB2CP does not have an Idle Up switch, but I wish it did.

Jamz, at least aviation charts and a lot of ground school transfers between the two.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 12:33 AM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
The idle-up switch on the Blade TX is on the right top side. I don't know if your heli is 3D or not. The blade is a true inverted flight heli, so the idle-up is required for this.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 01:26 AM
it's just plane fun
Salt Lake City
Joined Aug 2003
193 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by beemer
I figured a new thread to post useful information that we have all gained could help new pilots to avoid the mistakes that we've made. Please post any help information you have as far as "learning" goes.

I've destroyed a number of brand new blades on my BladeCP due to boom strikes. Almost every time it was due to my own ignorance or simply chickening out at the worst possible moment. I have yet to "destroy" a set of blades by running the tips along the ground, and yet I will wreck them, and almost the heli, in an attempt to keep them from hitting the ground. A few things I've discovered while doing this:

- fly the heli until it won't fly anymore. Chopping the throttle removes almost all control you have over the heli. If the heli is about to hit something or someone and you want to minimize the headspeed then by all means chop the throttle. Otherwise continue to fly it until it's down!
Hey Beemer,

I too beat my first set of blades to death by chopping the power when I would get into trouble. It's not so bad over a hard surface like a driveway, but over grass the training gear likes to dig in and flip over. I did learn that it was better to reduce the power slower when in trouble and to stay with it as long as I could. I kept flying that first set of blades, even though the leading edges of the tips were all beat up, until I could hardly get it to hover.

I'm on my second set of blades now, and they are still in good shape, and I can pretty much hover the battery pack out.

Heres my tip: When I was installing my second set of blades, I didn't have any thin colored tape for tracking the blades. So I used a Sharpy Black Marker to color a small square (about 3/16" wide X 1/8" high) on the leading edge of one of white rotor blades about an 1/8" in from the tip. Worked great for tracking the blades. I hold the copter in my hand and run the collective stick up to about half way and the black square shows up very nicely. Just adjust the pitch change links until the square is on both blades and you're done.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 08:25 AM
Seemed like a good idea!
beemer's Avatar
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
Joined Jun 2005
949 Posts
Soarmax, I use the same technique to mark my blades for tracking too. It is a great idea.

I would suggest not holding the heli for tracking purposes. The blades will be too close to your face. If something let's loose 1)you'll get it in the face and 2)you'll now have a whirling machine in your hand that you have to do something with before you can attend to your face.
It's much safer to leave it on the ground. Put a few feet between you and it and just crouch down to eye level and see how things look. Or put it on a table with something to weigh down the skids (so it doesn't slide away on you).
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