Walkera LAMA 400 series mods and discussion - Page 6 - RC Groups
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Sep 27, 2009, 11:03 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Heya Sven, sure can mate. I'll post up some pics tomorrow after work. I did a blade crash test today. I deliberately flew the 400D slowly sideways into a 90X90 timber post with lower CF blades on and upper standard plastic blades. Very controlled crash. I have pics of the results which can speak for themselves tomorrow.... I am extremely happy.

The composite lay up of the blades I settled on allows for about half the flex of the original plastic with excelent strength.

Hover requires less throttle and response is nice and sharp on the tail now. All in all well worth the few weeks of playing around.

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Sep 28, 2009, 07:28 AM
Registered User
Gerner's Avatar
Good source told me there is an extreme head and blades coming out in october - niiiiiiiiice
Sep 28, 2009, 07:52 AM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Originally Posted by Gerner
Good source told me there is an extreme head and blades coming out in october - niiiiiiiiice
For the LAMA400D??? That already has an aluminum head??

From the company that needed 9 months from the first nebulous rumours about the blades for the big lama until you could finally buy them??? from the same company that announced metal tuning for the big lama in words and then finally showed some pictures on their website in June but you couldn't get the parts before the end of August ??? - or was it the beginning of September ??
From the same company that delayed their release date for aforementioned blades again ... and again ... and again ... and then some???

Really, XTREMELY niiiiiiiiiice

Dear Xtreme, if I should interpret this rumour (which is probably unfounded anyway) WRONG, I apologize
Latest blog entry: Random Pictures ...
Sep 28, 2009, 11:01 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Pics are in. The first flying set are 3 layers 190gsm weave CF with 2 layers of 45 degree FG mesh. This gives a nice flexible CF blade thats very forgiving but only half the flex of the standard plastic.

First pic was the trial crash test post and what resulted. Not a scratch on the lower CF blades but the standard blades on top did what they always do... break like glass. I also deliberately tipped it on the grass about 10 times with no resulting damage.

Second pic is the first set made and polished, no extra paint. They come in at 9.4g which is pretty much the same as stock with more area. which is what I was aiming for. Not interested in making them lighter as the motor setup on the 400D is fine, the motors barely get warm. If I was to trim them back to exactly the same size they would be about 1g lighter. The edges aren't rough on the blade holder reinforcing section, it's just the edges of the mesh showing through where they were ground flat. In future this will be all CF so it looks prety

Rough cut to size straight from the mould the four blades were 9.75g, 9.8g 9.6g and 9.55g.

Third pic all polished up (no clear coating here, if you get the epoxy resin worked in properly it polishes up perfectly), ballanced and tracking spot on. I needed to adjust the flybar link and fine tune the lower blade seats as the tracking first up was out by about 5mm on both sets.

Guess I'll make a stiffer set next. 5 or 6 layer 200gsm CF. These will be a lot more rigid and prone to shattering but will be more precise in flight but harder to set up.

Doing it casually after work it takes about 3 days to make a set. Pardon the french but they shite all over the standard blades

Cheers... Mark
Last edited by KCV6; Sep 29, 2009 at 08:44 AM. Reason: correction 190gsm not 200gsm
Sep 28, 2009, 12:12 PM
Wish my coax could autorotate
Nice work.I would like to see picture of your mold.Ive been thinking about modifying the smaller CX2-V3 style blades.
Sep 28, 2009, 01:14 PM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Hi Mark,

congrats and all respect I can possibly give out for this - this is just amazig!
I am looking at your pictures with a mix of admiration and envy. (in particular knowing that I would never be able to achieve something like this myself ... )

Just beautiful!!


Does that me you are going to sell them for 300$ a set ??
Latest blog entry: Random Pictures ...
Sep 28, 2009, 10:18 PM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Thanks guys.

Airwolf, The mould is just a set diameter pipe with the "teardrop shaped blade roots machined in oversized (depth wise) with an outer 2mm oversized half pipe section clamped in place while they cure. Strictly the blades should have a flat section leading edge that leads into the curved section, but for these first ones I stuck with a uniform radius that works fine

The real secret is in the material used and how it is laid up which I will disclose now as I'm more than happy to help others out to do this themselves (fortunately my day job pays me well enough ).

I have always used 0.2mm thick polycarbonate sheet (I have a huge roll of the stuff) to lay up CF sheet stock. I lay up the composite material on a oversized sheet of polycarb. I then squeegee out the excess epoxy resin (R180/H180 5:1) and then squeegee a second sheet over the top. This is then placed between the mould halves and pressed together. With heat gradually applied, the thin polycarb stretches and conforms to the shape of the mould (this only works for fairly uniform shapes, complex shapes are different). The mould is heated to about 60 to 80 degrees C and kept that way for about 20 minutes. I then let it cool and usually leave it over night.

Epoxy resin does not bond to polycarbonate so once the mould is removed the polycarb sheet simply peels off leaving a perfectly uniform pressed satin finish that can be hand polised.

Trick 1. If you don't have access to polycarbonate sheet, use heavy grade cling wrap. Even thin food wrap (gladwrap) works fine so long as you don’t tear it.

Trick 2. If you cant get the mould machined, use a piece of reinforced PVC tube and make a half tube to go over the top. Add the "teardrop" blade holder reinforcing after by cutting them from the scrap left over after cutting the blades out and CA them in place. CA bonds CF pefrectly providing the area is lightly sanded with 400 grit.

LOL Sven, If I did sell them they would only be about 20 bucks for rough cut to be final shaped ballanced and polished. Too much hard work and the first time I got one wrong I'd be crucified regardless of good intentions.

Once I tidy up the lower mould I'll lay up some more. The blade holder ends were a bit too thick so I had to sand them back.

These "blanks" work for my CB180D as well. Just cut back shorter.

Cheers... Mark
Sep 28, 2009, 11:02 PM
Wish my coax could autorotate
Clarify a few things for me.You had to cut the blade shape out after making an irregular blank with the grip indented into the mold to make it thicker.Did you make 1 at a time with a seperate mold?Im not seeing a clear picture and am trying to understand.I under stand the 2 pipe halves.Thanks,Randy
Sep 29, 2009, 12:05 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Hey Randy,

You lay up a piece of uniform thickness with 4 indents machined in the male part of the mold spaced out. I traced the blades with a sharpie and then machined where the flats go to a reasonable depth, bigger than you need. This way the indents end up on the lower face of the blade and are oversized in depth. The pressure of clamping the mould forces this area to indent. The trick is to make sure there is enough epoxy left to force out when you clamp the mould together.

All this said there is an easier way:

Easiest way to do it is to make the blade holder "tear drop" pieces seperately and then clamp and CA them after the main part of the blade is shaped. CA'd CF will not come appart if wicked together. This is how I will do them in future as It's a lot simpler. Anyone can do it this way without the need for machining.

I just thought of another "plastic media" that will work really well for initial layup flat. Laser Printer clear tranperancy sheet. The epoxy will not stick to this either. And A4 sized sheet should be big enough.

So, lay up a halfish tube big enough to cut your blanks out of as many others have done, but make sure you have a female half to clamp in place as well to get good compression. Cut all your bits out and shape the "tear drops". CA them together with good compression. Final sand and ballance then polish. Best done using a metal tube as male so tou can apply heat to it, however thick walled composite PVC stormwater piping would probably work ok.

Cheers.. Mark
Last edited by KCV6; Sep 29, 2009 at 12:12 AM.
Sep 29, 2009, 02:38 AM
Registered User
excellent job on the blades......well done......happy flying
Sep 29, 2009, 02:51 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Ty chris... I'll drop around thisarvo so you can have a decent look at them.

Cheers big ears
Sep 29, 2009, 08:50 AM
Registered User
I saw Mark's 400 fly tonight. The blades looked great on it and they didnt even flinch while trimming down the top of my 2ft high grass LOL.......There was some wind too and it handled it with no problems at all.
Sep 29, 2009, 08:52 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
ok. Blades are now fully ballanced and roots are flattened properly on the lower face so they sit correctly in the blade holders. Tracking is almost spot on which is pleasing. I must take a pic with it being supported by the standard lower blade tips and then one with the CF ones so you can see the difference in flex. had plenty of short flights to try and blade strike. even hitting the ground firmly and not one single telltale clicking noise.

I laid up new 1mm thick CF sheet stock so I can go to town and cut some new main frame sides, RX holder and tail fin. Also bent up some landing skid moulds.

LOL heya Christine, ty... Maybe i can come cut the whole jungle. PS thanks for the pizza
Last edited by KCV6; Sep 29, 2009 at 09:10 AM.
Sep 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
Wish my coax could autorotate
Thanks for your answer.So you did cut the blade shapes from the blanks that you made and the only machined indent was the blade holder.I also understand the alternate blade holder method.What are you using to cut out the blade shape from the finished blanks.
Sep 29, 2009, 11:54 AM
lurking in the HOLE :)
KCV6's Avatar
Randy, I'm using my trusty dremel with the thin stone cutoff wheel. Always do it outside and wear a respirator, Carbon fibre dust is nasty stuff. Carbon fibre is very easy to cut and rough shape. It sands with 80 grit wet and dry (emery) very easily. you could even fret saw it real rough and then block it coarse and work your way back to fine. The dremel or equivalent does make short work of it though.

And yes, the only machined part was the blade holder indent end. Like I said best bet is to make them as a separate item and then clamp them in place and wick CA in. Rock solid joint that won't break.

Cheers.. Mark

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