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Aug 29, 2012, 06:42 PM
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Helicopters and grass don't mix

Or to put it more accurately, helicopter tails and grass don't mix.

To wit: A few days ago, I had the Skyartec Wasp X3V I'd reviewed with me and I thought it would be fun to do a little bit of flying at the park.

All was A-OK until I went to bring it in. I ran it a bit too long and the battery was dumping, so I eased it into some thick grass not far from me.

Bad move. The brief contact between the tail rotor and the grass was enough to strip the tail rotor shaft. One quick phone call to Max Ettinger at Park RC Models netted me a new shaft. That marvelous little machine is now as good as new.

Max is a straight-up kind of guy; he simply couldn't resist a gentle chiding.

Today, I took the HK 450TT Pro for a spin at - you guessed it - a park. I've flown from that soccer field countless times without an issue, but today was a bit on the windy side. Instead of my usual gentle spot landing, I bounced it on the skids, catching the tail rotor in the grass.

Not a good thing with a torque tube tail. The resulting crunch was a sure sign that I'd stripped the umbrella gear, only the second time I'd ever done so.

Off to the hobby shop tomorrow for an Align brand replacement and some fairly involved dissection to set things right.

UPDATE: Taking that tail drive apart was easier than I remembered. It only took me 20 minutes to do this morning. My wallet is ten bucks lighter, but I have the parts and they'll go in tonight after work. A good thing to be sure, but the weather is lousy! I hope to be able to test it tomorrow morning.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Aug 30, 2012 at 07:27 PM.
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