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Jan 27, 2011, 01:25 AM
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Flight blog

Flight Blog #1
Aircraft: DH 9053 Volitation
Time 10:30pm
Location: Grassy area next to local mall
Wind: 5 – 9mph

This was my first time flying the 9053 outside. I thought the winds were tame enough to get a controllable flight. Boy, was I wrong.

At this time I have not done any tail rotor mod, and really wanted to see if the rubber band under the flybar could help this forward flight problem. The heli is pretty much out of the box, except for the flipping of the lower blade grip, and adding the elastic bands under the flybar. For testing purposes, I first tried to fly without the rubber band in place (not restricting the flybar).

Plugged in battery, turned on transmitter, checked sticks and trim tab, turned on heli. I noticed that the tail light did not turn on. Thinking that maybe the rotor motor might not work, I did a quick spool-up and checked the rotor. It works….
No time to investigate the minor lighting problem I prepared for take off.

Launching off the sun roof of my car, the Volitation spooled-up nicely. the small vibration that I thought was a bent shaft was solved by loosening the main blades. (I thought that tighter blades would be better in wind but this is not the case - tight blades will cause vibration).

Quickly lifting off to avoid sliding down the windshield, the 9053 would go up, up, up and away. I had no directional control at all. I could not even control the elevation. Where the very calm winds blew, the Volitation will go. I had to do a lot more walking than I had planed. I really now fully understand the complaint about lack of forward flight. After a few bounce landings, one of the tail boom struts came out of place. I noticed that the boom was a bit lose (shaking in the mount), but no big worries.

The flight pattern went like this. Lift-off, level out and hover, breeze calmly blows it up and away, fight to get it back, try to bring her back down, try to keep it from bouncing off the ground, walk over to the emergency landing area, asses the damages, take it back to the car, and do it all again.

Being a night flight, I really missed the tail light. As it got higher, and further away, it was hard to tell what direction the heli was facing.

Next, I tried to fly with the rubber bands fitted tight under the fly bar. Pretty much holding the flybar level at all times. While doing my indoor test, having this much restriction on the flybar, the slightest forward rotor action made to heli shoot forward and not want to stop. So. I approached this flight with caution.

Lifting off went well, hovered for a bit, was able to keep the heli down and not caught up in the wind as much. It was still drifting back with the wind but not bobbing, and rocking around like it was before. With full forward rotor on quick mode I was able to keep the heli from blowing away. The whole night I was flying nose in, with the wind at my back, at least now I had more control of what the heli did, and where I wanted it to go. The rubber bands are definitely working. I still need more rotor power to push through the head winds. As the batteries died I was able to make a clean landing in the grass with no bouncing or tipping over. Did not have to walk to the end of the field to get it either.

Post Flight: (de-briefing)
Feeling almost satisfied that the rubber bands help to control this heli outdoors (more testing needed). Realizing that a tail rotor mod is necessary (I already have the parts I need), and after the boom struts keep coming out of their holders, they have to come off. I’ll take a look at the pcb and connection to find out what happened to my tail light. But most importantly – I had a lot of FUN…..


Until next time...

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