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Posted by Paul1PA | Aug 10, 2017 @ 12:32 AM | 5,572 Views

The stock tail rotors on the Blade 230S, 200SRX, 250CFX have a deserved reputation for being quite fragile. Some RC Groups members are having positive results using Tri-Blade Props intended for FPV micro quads. Specifically, a 3045 (3.0” Dia x 4.5” Pitch) closely matches the size and thrust of the Blade OEM tail rotor. However, most have a ø5mm mounting hole. This then requires a separate shaft reducer along with a backing washer for mounting onto the heli's tail rotor adapter.

Here’s another option I found easier and wanted to share. DYS Model Co makes a special version of the 3045 with a T-Type hub design. As pictured below, this version has 3 small holes versus the traditional single 5mm hole. Note that the ‘S’ suffix in the part number denotes the T-Type option. These props are cheap to purchase and offered in a myriad of colors. I got mine from the retailer My RC Mart.

Here are the steps to modify the T-Type prop for Blade helis:

1) Select the Correct Prop
Quad props are sold in pairs for CW/CCW rotation. For the Blade helis, use the one with the ‘R’ suffix molded on the prop since it will have the correct AoA. TIP: It’s possible the other prop could be used if the tail motor wires were swapped for reverse rotation, but I haven't tested this.

2) Plug the Holes
To maintain structural integrity, first fill in the pair of M2 hub holes. I used short pieces of ø2mm carbon rod. Dry fit first since you may...Continue Reading
Posted by Paul1PA | Apr 22, 2013 @ 10:04 AM | 13,282 Views
Recently purchased another Radian, but the rudder hinge line was cracked right out of the box (kudos to Horizon Hobby for sending me a replacement fuselage). Anxious to get flying, I opted to repair the original fuse while performing a nice upgrade as well.

After researching various options, I decided the #307 Robart 1/8" Steel Pin Control Hinges would be perfect for the Radian. Start by cutting off the rudder from the tail with an X-Acto knife. Next, trim away any excess hinge foam from both the rudder and vertical stabilizer.

Beginning with the rudder, mark the three hinge locations as shown in the third photo. To form the holes in the foam, I simply used a sharp pointed 1/8" diameter nail. Perform a dry fit to verify the hinges are perpendicular to the rudder and parallel to each other. Once satisfied, epoxy into place ensuring no excess glue locks the hinges. After fully cured, mark the mating locations on the vertical stabilizer and then repeat the dry fit and glue process. The hinge gap should be 3/16" max and shoot for a 1/8" max gap at the top.

After re-connecting the pushrod and powering up the plane, check that the rudder can freely swing to max deflection both left and right. Any interference issues can easily be remedied with some minor foam trimming. Once finished, you will have a rudder assembly with precise movement and not prone to fatiguing over time. Overall, a nice upgrade that's worth doing to your Radian!


Posted by Paul1PA | Jan 22, 2013 @ 09:43 PM | 8,315 Views
Here's a short video of me hand tossing and catching my Radian without power assist. This clip was filmed in central Florida on a calm (and warm!) January day. The plane is essentially stock although I did stiffen both the wing saddle and tail. The Radian is a hoot to fly and has amazing performance for such a basic sailplane. Definitely one of the best RC purchases I've made!

Parkzone Radian - No Power Boomerang Throw and Catch (1 min 1 sec)

Posted by Paul1PA | Nov 23, 2011 @ 12:02 AM | 10,202 Views
After reading of a few Radian fuselage failures and fatigue issues at the wing saddle, I decided to reinforce that area. My design goals were to 1) add very little weight and 2) strengthen the wing saddle moderately so the fuselage would still be resilient during minor crashes.

The image below thoroughly details what I did (click on thumbnail for larger view). Considering this mod only added about 1 gram total (0.6 gram Carbon Rod + Epoxy Glue), the weight gain is negligible. More importantly, the wing saddle is now noticeably stiffer but should still have enough give for those less than perfect landings. Added benefits are it's aesthetically pleasing and will not add unwanted drag since flush fit. Finally, this will also give me the confidence to fly more aggressively should the mood strike. And hey, perhaps I can justify buying myself that G-suit now!


Posted by Paul1PA | Nov 08, 2011 @ 01:41 PM | 11,300 Views
I’ve been flying the heck out of my Radian and really enjoying it. However, I’ve had a couple issues develop with the Prop Adapter and Spinner assembly. First, the tiny pair of screws for securing the Spinner were weak and stripped out very easily. In fact, after a minor nose plant, one of the screws tore out and was lost. The second issue was a stress crack developed in my Prop Adapter. This crack emanated from the edge of the retaining nut and then spread further outwards over time.

To address these problems and enhance durability, try these mods:
  1. Purchase a replacement Radian Prop Adapter & Spinner Set (PKZ1018).
  2. Use a Ø3/32” (.094”) drill bit to enlarge the two thru holes in the Spinner. These will be clearance holes for the new larger screws. (NOTE: The counterbored sections of these holes do not require resizing).
  3. Now take a Ø5/64” (0.078”) drill bit and enlarge the two mating holes in the Prop Adapter. This will form the proper diameter for the new screws to self-tap into the plastic.
  4. Install the prop adapter, but now add a thin, metal flat washer behind the retaining nut (approx. 3/8” OD x 5/32” ID). TIP: I applied medium thread locker (Loctite 242) very sparingly on the male and female metal threads – do not get any on the plastic parts!
  5. After mounting the blades and metal pins, go ahead and install the spinner. In lieu of the OEM screws, use two 2-56 x 3/8” SHCS (Socket Head Cap Screws).
  6. These screws require a 5/64” Allen wrench which is included
...Continue Reading
Posted by Paul1PA | Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:59 AM | 9,564 Views
I'm primarily a RC helicopter addict, but recently decided to get my first fixed wing model. After seeking advice from friends and reading many positive reviews, I opted to get the ParkZone Radian. The ability to fly for an hour on a single charge by trying to catch thermals sounded both challenging and rewarding (being able to soar with the hawks was also enticing!).

My maiden flight went well. Much different than the helis of course, but going to be a fun and relaxing plane. Sure does eat up a lot of sky though. Note to self: Find a larger field next time so the landings aren't so harrowing!

Overall, I'm pleased with the quality of the Radian kit. However, I did have an issue with the tail assembly during the initial build. Since this seems to be a common problem, decided to make this short "How To" video on replacing the stock control connectors with stronger ones made by Du-Bro.

Hope this helps other Radian "newbies" like myself!

Parkzone Radian: Du-Bro Control Connector Upgrade (5 min 19 sec)

Posted by Paul1PA | Aug 23, 2010 @ 11:39 AM | 11,303 Views
I'll probably regret this, but decided to sell my ESKY Hunter. I've spent many hours upgrading and fine tuning this heli and she flies fantastic. Extra battery, FMS Simulator CD and plenty of spare parts all included for a great price. This will make an excellent introduction for beginners learning to fly a 4 CH model. For all the details, please see this For Sale listing:

Posted by Paul1PA | Aug 10, 2010 @ 01:49 PM | 10,133 Views
Here is a new video regarding the optional Double Bearing Drive Shaft for the Quark. While primarily a "How To" segment covering installation, I also discuss the design differences and performance benefits. Hopefully, this will help others who had questions about the Hirobo precision tail shaft. (Note: Sorry for the marginal quality...time for an HD camera I guess! )

Hirobo SRB Quark - Double Bearing Tail Drive Shaft Upgrade (8 min 45 sec)

Posted by Paul1PA | May 30, 2010 @ 02:11 PM | 12,256 Views
After getting acclimated to my first 4-channel heli, I quickly craved more performance. Even indoors, the Hunter’s forward speed was extremely slow. As read on RC Groups, longer servo arms seemed to be the answer. This is especially true on ESKY scale fuselages since the servo arms come “clipped” from the factory.

Thanks to Balr14, I discovered the E-Flite EFLRSA100 servo arm kit would fit the ESKY micro servos perfectly. With just one of these kits, I was able to do both servos. Please note that you will have to trim and shape the arms to get a matching pair.

Before making the switch, I knew there would be a fuselage interference issue (exactly why ESKY trimmed them in the first place!). To remedy this, the points where the servo arms would strike the canopy were marked. Next, I took a pair of 3/4” OD x 5/8” ID rubber O-Rings and CA glued them to the fuse centered about the left and right “bullseye” marks.

Once cured, a Dremel tool with a #952 abrasive bit was used to grind away the area inside. The O-rings served as a guide in how far to trim. In addition, they provide a finished appearance and will help prevent cracks from propagating around these cutouts.

Taking things a step further, I cut off that phony and heavy exhaust nozzle (it’s solid plastic!) and did the same O-ring treatment there. In this case, I had to use a slightly smaller O-ring measuring 5/8” OD x 1/2” ID.

Keep in mind, the holes and O-ring sizes are a bit larger than...Continue Reading
Posted by Paul1PA | May 24, 2010 @ 10:22 PM | 14,164 Views
While still a "newbie" to this wonderful hobby, I'm hoping some of my blog ideas will help others. The ESKY Hunter is my first 4-channel RC heli. Accordingly, my first posts will focus on this model.

To accommodate different fuselages and larger FM receivers, some variants of the Lama V4 have two identical mounting trays for the Rx. On my Hunter, the factory installed the 2.4GHz 4-in-1 on the upper tray. My thought was to move the 4-in-1 south to the bottom tray since:

1. It would be easier to access the 4-in-1's trim screws.
2. Less hassle to connect the LiPo's battery connector.
3. 4-in-1 would be oriented further away from the heat of the front motor.
4. Lowered Center of Gravity (probably negligible, but couldn't hurt!).

Only possible disadvantage was the aesthetics. With the 4-in-1 now more visible, the scale looks would be degraded a bit. No biggie to me since “real” EC-130’s aren’t co-axial designs anyhow!

Prior to mounting in the new location, I had to cut off the upper tray to give the 4-in-1 adequate clearance. I used a Xacto razor saw for this. Once the Rx was mounted on the lower tray, I had to deal with the wiring. The leads to the front motor were long enough. However, the back motor wires were just a tad too short.

After giving it some thought, I ended up re-routing these wires over to the left side. With this more direct path, everything was hunky dory. The only other issue was the 4-in-1 had to be oriented about 1/4" (6mm) further forward so the motor connectors could clear the battery tray. That was fine since I wanted a bit more forward drive anyhow.

Oh yeah, one more very significant bonus: The 4-in-1 is now centered in the middle of that huge canopy. This new position will give that expensive 4-in-1 more protection in a hard crash.

Overall, a highly recommended mod for your Hunter and possibly others in the Lama V4 series!