What an adventure! - RC Groups
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Mar 01, 2013, 04:56 PM
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What an adventure!


So I had the day off & decided I'd try & do a little flying this morning.

Packed up the heli, hand tools, spare batteries, jug of nitro. Get halfway to the field & realize my tx is still sitting on the table, luckily I only live 8 minutes away....

Go back for the tx, get to the field & start unpacking, realize the heli's training gear is in my living room... Screw it, if I crash then I just crash, not going back again!

Function check good, fuel it up, take off to do some hovers & a couple minutes after liftoff it starts spinning (slow but no tail control) so I set it down. The grub screw holding the tail rotor head on the shaft is missing. It was completely free, only thing that kept it from flying off was the pitch linkage. Packed everything up, ran to Marshall & found one at abc auto, put it in with a little locktite but i think i didn't give it enough time to set.

One minute into the next flight it happened again. Packed up, went back to abc & bought all the m4 grub screws they had & went to try again. Now I've got 9 spares!

This time I noticed one of the first 2 screws must have flown up & hit a main rotor blade because it has a couple nasty splinters in the leading edge. Pull out my spare blades (good thing I was bored one night & checked the balance ahead of time), get them on & decide to give the locktite on that grub screw plenty of time to set. 90-minute naps feel good!

New main blades installed, new grub screw with blue locktite in the tail rotor head, ready to go except for this stupid wind. By now it's 1pm & the breeze is picking up pretty good.

Oh well, it seemed pretty stable & easy to handle before, right? Take off, do a half tank of piddling around, not so much fighting the wind as letting it do it's thing & bring the heli back during the breaks. Having a blast! Set it down for a sec to wipe my eyes (cold breeze making them water) just as I lift back off the wind picks up & I overcorrect causing another tail strike. Same thing that grounded me last week.

Blades are ok, but I broke another drive gear. Luckily I ordered 2 the last time this happened, so I can fix it & be back out tomorrow morning, before the wind gets bad.

All together I burned 3/4 tank of fuel, made 2 trips to abc auto & didn't break anything I don't have a spare for, so it counts as a successful day in my book!

I also learned my throttle hold setting is a perfect fast idle which makes starting the engine a breeze (just slow enough when the engine is warmed up that the clutch wont engage) and that I definitely prefer heading lock mode on my tail gyro.

I plan on showing up around 8 or 9 tomorrow if anybody else cares to join me before the wind gets bad like last weekend.
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Mar 02, 2013, 07:30 AM
Livin ta fly
sparkx38's Avatar
Thats why i fly planes. To much to remember to bring out and to many parts a on a heli. I can't even remember to bring my wings out. LOL. Glad to see someone besides me and eric using our rc groups site.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
So I had the day off & decided I'd try & do a little flying this morning.

Packed up the heli, hand tools, spare batteries, jug of nitro. Get halfway to the field & realize my tx is still sitting on the table, luckily I only live 8 minutes away....

Go back for the tx, get to the field & start unpacking, realize the heli's training gear is in my living room... Screw it, if I crash then I just crash, not going back again!

Function check good, fuel it up, take off to do some hovers & a couple minutes after liftoff it starts spinning (slow but no tail control) so I set it down. The grub screw holding the tail rotor head on the shaft is missing. It was completely free, only thing that kept it from flying off was the pitch linkage. Packed everything up, ran to Marshall & found one at abc auto, put it in with a little locktite but i think i didn't give it enough time to set.

One minute into the next flight it happened again. Packed up, went back to abc & bought all the m4 grub screws they had & went to try again. Now I've got 9 spares!

This time I noticed one of the first 2 screws must have flown up & hit a main rotor blade because it has a couple nasty splinters in the leading edge. Pull out my spare blades (good thing I was bored one night & checked the balance ahead of time), get them on & decide to give the locktite on that grub screw plenty of time to set. 90-minute naps feel good!

New main blades installed, new grub screw with blue locktite in the tail rotor head, ready to go except for this stupid wind. By now it's 1pm & the breeze is picking up pretty good.

Oh well, it seemed pretty stable & easy to handle before, right? Take off, do a half tank of piddling around, not so much fighting the wind as letting it do it's thing & bring the heli back during the breaks. Having a blast! Set it down for a sec to wipe my eyes (cold breeze making them water) just as I lift back off the wind picks up & I overcorrect causing another tail strike. Same thing that grounded me last week.

Blades are ok, but I broke another drive gear. Luckily I ordered 2 the last time this happened, so I can fix it & be back out tomorrow morning, before the wind gets bad.

All together I burned 3/4 tank of fuel, made 2 trips to abc auto & didn't break anything I don't have a spare for, so it counts as a successful day in my book!

I also learned my throttle hold setting is a perfect fast idle which makes starting the engine a breeze (just slow enough when the engine is warmed up that the clutch wont engage) and that I definitely prefer heading lock mode on my tail gyro.

I plan on showing up around 8 or 9 tomorrow if anybody else cares to join me before the wind gets bad like last weekend.
Mar 02, 2013, 09:06 AM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
So I had the day off & decided I'd try & do a little flying this morning.

Packed up the heli, hand tools, spare batteries, jug of nitro. Get halfway to the field & realize my tx is still sitting on the table, luckily I only live 8 minutes away....

Go back for the tx, get to the field & start unpacking, realize the heli's training gear is in my living room... Screw it, if I crash then I just crash, not going back again!

Function check good, fuel it up, take off to do some hovers & a couple minutes after liftoff it starts spinning (slow but no tail control) so I set it down. The grub screw holding the tail rotor head on the shaft is missing. It was completely free, only thing that kept it from flying off was the pitch linkage. Packed everything up, ran to Marshall & found one at abc auto, put it in with a little locktite but i think i didn't give it enough time to set.

One minute into the next flight it happened again. Packed up, went back to abc & bought all the m4 grub screws they had & went to try again. Now I've got 9 spares!

This time I noticed one of the first 2 screws must have flown up & hit a main rotor blade because it has a couple nasty splinters in the leading edge. Pull out my spare blades (good thing I was bored one night & checked the balance ahead of time), get them on & decide to give the locktite on that grub screw plenty of time to set. 90-minute naps feel good!

New main blades installed, new grub screw with blue locktite in the tail rotor head, ready to go except for this stupid wind. By now it's 1pm & the breeze is picking up pretty good.

Oh well, it seemed pretty stable & easy to handle before, right? Take off, do a half tank of piddling around, not so much fighting the wind as letting it do it's thing & bring the heli back during the breaks. Having a blast! Set it down for a sec to wipe my eyes (cold breeze making them water) just as I lift back off the wind picks up & I overcorrect causing another tail strike. Same thing that grounded me last week.

Blades are ok, but I broke another drive gear. Luckily I ordered 2 the last time this happened, so I can fix it & be back out tomorrow morning, before the wind gets bad.

All together I burned 3/4 tank of fuel, made 2 trips to abc auto & didn't break anything I don't have a spare for, so it counts as a successful day in my book!

I also learned my throttle hold setting is a perfect fast idle which makes starting the engine a breeze (just slow enough when the engine is warmed up that the clutch wont engage) and that I definitely prefer heading lock mode on my tail gyro.

I plan on showing up around 8 or 9 tomorrow if anybody else cares to join me before the wind gets bad like last weekend.


Great news congrats!

feels good to make it happen, you got me looking at Heli's again my wife is going to slap you (JK) as I mentioned I've got the 450 about 1/2 done and I'll do some practicing here at the house if weather gets better, I'm not as determined to fly when it's this cold

I've been staring at a Chaos 600 and the only thing holding me back is I really like Align and would Love to do a Miniature aircraft but just can't pull the trigger so I'll play with the 450 for a bit!

Congrats - S
Mar 02, 2013, 09:07 AM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkx38
Thats why i fly planes. To much to remember to bring out and to many parts a on a heli. I can't even remember to bring my wings out. LOL. Glad to see someone besides me and eric using our rc groups site.
Getting old is a "b" no? (ducking)

- S
Mar 02, 2013, 10:03 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by -S-
Great news congrats!

feels good to make it happen, you got me looking at Heli's again my wife is going to slap you (JK) as I mentioned I've got the 450 about 1/2 done and I'll do some practicing here at the house if weather gets better, I'm not as determined to fly when it's this cold

I've been staring at a Chaos 600 and the only thing holding me back is I really like Align and would Love to do a Miniature aircraft but just can't pull the trigger so I'll play with the 450 for a bit!

Congrats - S
Once you know about the little quirks setting up an align heli & programming the 3gx I really like mine. It's stable/predictable enough for me to be flying with no training gear, so that's saying something. I definitely wouldn't have tried that with a flybar heli!

Well the wind seems to have started early today. I'll give it another hour or so to see if it breaks before packing back up. I'm on my last torque tube drive gear, so I don't want to risk another tail strike....


@ Sparkx:
It'd be nice if more members were active on here. Boards are a great way to share ideas & set up meets, not to mention the locals can report conditions so nobody wastes an hour drive to see a flooded runway or decides to stay home when it's actually ideal conditions.

I'm disappointed I probably can't fly, but it only took an 8-min drive to find out. Wind is a steady 8-10mph or so with very light gusts. Probably ok for you guys with the bigger planes, but I'm still not control savvy enough to handle my heli in it.
Last edited by Ken Weir; Mar 02, 2013 at 10:22 AM.
Mar 02, 2013, 10:42 AM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
Once you know about the little quirks setting up an align heli & programming the 3gx I really like mine. It's stable/predictable enough for me to be flying with no training gear, so that's saying something. I definitely wouldn't have tried that with a flybar heli!

Well the wind seems to have started early today. I'll give it another hour or so to see if it breaks before packing back up. I'm on my last torque tube drive gear, so I don't want to risk another tail strike....


@ Sparkx:
It'd be nice if more members were active on here. Boards are a great way to share ideas & set up meets, not to mention the locals can report conditions so nobody wastes an hour drive to see a flooded runway or decides to stay home when it's actually ideal conditions.

I'm disappointed I probably can't fly, but it only took an 8-min drive to find out. Wind is a steady 8-10mph or so with very light gusts. Probably ok for you guys with the bigger planes, but I'm still not control savvy enough to handle my heli in it.

My 450 is a bit of a mutt, I have converted it from belt drive to TT and the TT is MUCH nicer I run Landing gear and a tal that is one size up from factory (I put 500 sized LG and Tail on the 450) this gets the tail up high enough that it's about impossible to have a tail strike.

On the 700 I don't think there is a good option, but one thing I did on my Blade 400s is just cut out a piece of a broken tail and glue it to the existing tail to get an extra inch done right you can't tell it's been done.

I never used training gear either, if you don't have them set perfect it throws of CG and causes issues I have a feeling that you will be a pro in no time you've already done much better much faster than I ever could have. Most likely because of the larger size Heli and younger quicker reflexes!

If you keep having issues with tail strikes you'll figure something out to raise the tail, saves alot of grief and increases actual flight time because you are not repairing all the time.

I think my 450 looks better with bigger gear, some hate it it's functional and I'm more concerned with function over pretty - You've seen my planes

well I got the servos centered, radio set up, I'm using a brand new head so now I'm off to tear it down and be sure it was loc-tited and lubricated correctly - They never do a 100% job from the factory, even my Align stuff was not right when I got it.

In my 500 Head they some how stuffed two bearing in one side and use no grease had I not tore it apart first it would have been dead the first flight.....

L8r - E
Mar 02, 2013, 10:53 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by -S-
My 450 is a bit of a mutt, I have converted it from belt drive to TT and the TT is MUCH nicer I run Landing gear and a tal that is one size up from factory (I put 500 sized LG and Tail on the 450) this gets the tail up high enough that it's about impossible to have a tail strike.

On the 700 I don't think there is a good option, but one thing I did on my Blade 400s is just cut out a piece of a broken tail and glue it to the existing tail to get an extra inch done right you can't tell it's been done.

I never used training gear either, if you don't have them set perfect it throws of CG and causes issues I have a feeling that you will be a pro in no time you've already done much better much faster than I ever could have. Most likely because of the larger size Heli and younger quicker reflexes!

If you keep having issues with tail strikes you'll figure something out to raise the tail, saves alot of grief and increases actual flight time because you are not repairing all the time.

I think my 450 looks better with bigger gear, some hate it it's functional and I'm more concerned with function over pretty - You've seen my planes

well I got the servos centered, radio set up, I'm using a brand new head so now I'm off to tear it down and be sure it was loc-tited and lubricated correctly - They never do a 100% job from the factory, even my Align stuff was not right when I got it.

In my 500 Head they some how stuffed two bearing in one side and use no grease had I not tore it apart first it would have been dead the first flight.....

L8r - E
Align actually states in their manuals they're not preassembled ready to use, it's just for easier parts accountability & to show how it goes together, bearing direction & so on. All their stuff must be disassembled, lubed & reassembled before flying. That also makes it easy to forget to locktite something though, like that grub screw on my tail rotor. It must have been the one I missed during assembly....

On the tail, I've been thinking about making a cross piece to go on the bottom like a blade guard. That'd keep the fin from stabbing into soft dirt, which seems to be what happens. Can't really lengthen the fin. It only clears the ground by a half inch, so any more & the heli wouldn't sit square on its skids.

Either that or learn to fly 30' up, those are the only solutions I can come up with
Mar 02, 2013, 02:06 PM
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-S-
Just one more..... Just one...

Woo Hoo! Airborn!


well, I'm sorta impressed how much I rememberd and how well it works.

I finally figured out a long term issue, the Hitec RX's have channels on both ends of the rectangle. it never fais that one servo goes on the far end and goofs up my wire routing.

Well after pondering that..... DUH - remap the channel to a differnt slot on the RX and it worked!

It aint pretty but it flew, I actually got everything set right but the Normal throttle curve on the first try, I did not go into Idle up because it is way too windy to be flying such a small critter but I got it a few feet up and it was stable and held a hover nicely.

I can't wait to run a few batteries through it, the main reason I gave up on it is I had some issues with the head getting tight after a battery, I had customized a 80% Align TT tail onto a frame designed for a belt drive and it was never right after that, I swapped everything but the main bearing and after that didn't do it I just tried to sell it but couldn't get what I wanted out of it for parts.

I had a brand new Almost complete Fuse, so I used the new Fuse with the bearings I did not change, reused my tested and true head instaed of the new one, and the good tail and it sounds good, no binding anywhere, and it was pretty smooth, I had some tail bobbing because the head speed was too low so I bumpped that up and the last quick flight was great.

Curse you Ken, I've got the fever again....... and the only cure it to fly it!



Thanks for the motivation!

- S
Mar 02, 2013, 02:12 PM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
Align actually states in their manuals they're not preassembled ready to use, it's just for easier parts accountability & to show how it goes together, bearing direction & so on. All their stuff must be disassembled, lubed & reassembled before flying. That also makes it easy to forget to locktite something though, like that grub screw on my tail rotor. It must have been the one I missed during assembly....

On the tail, I've been thinking about making a cross piece to go on the bottom like a blade guard. That'd keep the fin from stabbing into soft dirt, which seems to be what happens. Can't really lengthen the fin. It only clears the ground by a half inch, so any more & the heli wouldn't sit square on its skids.

Either that or learn to fly 30' up, those are the only solutions I can come up with
I have not see your 700 yet, but depending on how crazy you want to get a simple 1/2 inch 1 inch or what ever size shim you want between the fram and the Skids would solve that issue, make it off road!

good call on the tail sinking in the mud, I fly off a Cement HeliPad here mostly or a 2x2 board I have laid out because of that, that was how I would practice my landings center it on the board.

get a piece of canvas, or something easy to carry that is big enough to land on, and stake it down at the field so it wont blow away and use it as your target. That solves the tail sink issue.

For me, I always enjoy getting better at precision, smooth take offs, and putting it right where I want it on landing everybody is different but that i what I like to do.

Maybe we can petition the board to put in a thin cement Heli pad

I bet I get kicked out just for bringing that up!!!

anyway, it was good to be back in the air with a Heli again....

- S
Mar 02, 2013, 04:11 PM
Registered User
Problem with that is I still haven't mastered keeping a steady altitude when hovering, that's what I'm working on most right now, so it'd have to be a pretty big board! Once I've got the altitude bit down I'll start working more on keeping it in one spot instead of just the same general area.
Mar 02, 2013, 04:52 PM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
Problem with that is I still haven't mastered keeping a steady altitude when hovering, that's what I'm working on most right now, so it'd have to be a pretty big board! Once I've got the altitude bit down I'll start working more on keeping it in one spot instead of just the same general area.
for what it's worth, it helped me alot with my 500 to jump up about 4 feet to get out of the rotor wash that made things easier for me....

Still sick, don't know if I'll make it tomorrow but weather looks to be nicer!

- S
Mar 02, 2013, 05:05 PM
Registered User
Yeah, getting out of the ground effect helps a lot & I try to keep it around waist level when hovering.

The wind was my biggest enemy though, as when it drifts back I correct forward & any airspeed in any direction on a heli makes the rotors more efficient, so it climbs a bit & I correct, then it drops & I correct. so even though I'm aiming for 3'-4' height, I get 2'-6', with the occaisional skids tapping the ground.

Just haven't flown it enough to know instinctively how much to change the pitch to keep a stable altitude. It'll come with time. The are also compensations for this in the flybarless software but I haven't flown it enough to know how much to adjust. For now I've just dumbed down the roll rates so it isn't as jerky as the 3d guys would like. After 2-3 more tanks of fuel I'll have a better idea what I need to adjust.
Mar 02, 2013, 07:05 PM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
Yeah, getting out of the ground effect helps a lot & I try to keep it around waist level when hovering.

The wind was my biggest enemy though, as when it drifts back I correct forward & any airspeed in any direction on a heli makes the rotors more efficient, so it climbs a bit & I correct, then it drops & I correct. so even though I'm aiming for 3'-4' height, I get 2'-6', with the occaisional skids tapping the ground.

Just haven't flown it enough to know instinctively how much to change the pitch to keep a stable altitude. It'll come with time. The are also compensations for this in the flybarless software but I haven't flown it enough to know how much to adjust. For now I've just dumbed down the roll rates so it isn't as jerky as the 3d guys would like. After 2-3 more tanks of fuel I'll have a better idea what I need to adjust.

Yea you are well on your way congrats!

I reduced my Expo, flew two full battery packs in Idel-up just now made a slight trim adjust (Use FlyBar guys have to do that ) :-)

It's ready to button up finalize and see if the canopy still fits with all the mess I got going on up front.

If you are going out tomorrow drop a line as early as possibly I may stop out just to see it even if I don't bring planes, I'm about a 1/2 hour out so the longer notice the better.

Got some trees I have to take down and cut up and that may wear me out totally still not well but I'll push it and regret it Monday

keep up the great work.

I really hope I don't get to see it because I'll want one Electric of course

Take care, - S
Mar 02, 2013, 07:37 PM
Registered User
I won't be out tomorrow. They're calling for even stronger wind all morning/afternoon
Mar 02, 2013, 07:42 PM
-S-
-S-
Just one more..... Just one...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Weir
I won't be out tomorrow. They're calling for even stronger wind all morning/afternoon
ok... If I can make it it will be after 1:00 maybe next week!

good luck, fly well.

- S


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