GWS Dragonfly Suggestions - RC Groups
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Sep 09, 2005, 10:47 AM
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jonbennett's Avatar

GWS Dragonfly Suggestions

First of all, I recently (about two months ago) switched from another popular brand of micro heli to the GWS Dragonfly 150. I am still learning to hover facing various directions, so I crash once in a while. I switched to the dragonfly because the parts were less expensive.
I really like the heli! It works great!

Please accept these suggestions from someone who likes the Dragonfly as simply ideas for improvement.

Since the 150 is so nice for beginner pilots, improved flight time would be nice. The stock battery only offers 5-7 minutes. With a slow charger, you can only fly a couple of times per day. You cannot learn to fly a micro-heli with 15 minutes/day of flying. I switched to lithium batteries (1100mAh, 2Cell), and am getting much longer flight times. About 20 minutes. Also, I can charge them in about 1:15, so I can get several flights per day (on weekends :^)

Due to the much lighter battery, it is very difficult to get the CG correct (so that the heli is level when held by the flybar).

Issue 1: Flight time/battery/balance/canope

Suggestion 1: Some way to position a lipo so that the heli is balanced.
I know that you can fight the imbalance with the swash, but it is difficult for a beginner to do this.

Suggestion 2: A canope that will fit over a forward mounted lithium battery. Perhaps a little more room, like a Bell 500 would make plenty of room for the lipo. I currently have to fly without a canope because I mount the lipo forward to get the CG correct.

Issue 2: The tail boom
Since us beginners break the tail boom ALL OF THE TIME, it might be nice to have some other option:

Suggestion 3: Aluminum tail boom. It is not too much heavier, and will only bend instead of breaking.

Suggestion 4: Find some way other than glue to hold the tail boom to the chasis and tail rotor mount. Using a plastic tab with a tiny screw to clamp around the tail boom (on both the chasis and the tail rotor mount) would make boom replacement MUCH easier.

Suggestion 5: A better way to deal with the wires that run through the tail boom. When replacing the boom, I have to un-solder the tail motor in order to put a new boom on. I now run the wires outside the boom so that it is easier to replace.

Issue 3: The Swash
When setting up the heli, it is important to get the servo arms at 90 degrees and have the swash level. Getting it level is very difficult as you can only check the level visually.

Suggestion 6: Perhaps some kind of mark or a little plastic guide to help get the swash level.

Suggestion 7: I am using GWS pico servos. The pre-bent push-rods are the wrong length for the pico servos. Since I had to re-bend the wires in order to installs the pico servos, It was difficult to get the swash level.

Issue 4: Getting the paddles level with the swash.

Suggestion 8: A plastic guide that would touch the frame on the back and go up to the flybar, so that the flybar has to be level when it is touching the guide, then the guide would go out a little bit to offer some way to judge if the paddle is level.

Thanks for a great product. I hope these suggestions will give your engineers some ideas on how to make the 150 an even better way for beginners to learn to fly.

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Sep 09, 2005, 04:22 PM
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swatson144's Avatar
You break the tail boom?? How in the heck do you do that? The only tail boom I've broken was one of the paper thin Esky tail booms from a rotor strike. Replaced it with a piece of CF tube from allerc and that problem went entirely away. Later I was ordering spares for my MDF and found that the GWS booms are just as solid. You aren't using a cheaper brand are you? If so Get the GWS I was doing backwards circuits this morning and the house jumped out in the way hit it about 8' high and dead on the tail boom strike sounded like thunder, no damage. Just stretched it back out and flew some more.

I'll probably hack a canopy out of a shampoo bottle some time as it's pretty certain the stock won't fit. My biggest complaint was the fiddly landing gear. Hard landing fiddle with it, crash replace cf rod and fiddle with it. Used too much of my flying time. So I added 15g and here's what it looks like now.

No glue and no screws I can go back to the original anytime. I just drilled 2 2mm holes in the new gear using the space for the CF rods as a guide. Used pieces of broken oem gear to pin in place. A REALLY good hit and the front will pop up. Just pull out one rod reassemble and push the other rod through the top, and go again. The V holds it together very well and don't seem to move the sacraficial parts to more expensive pieces. No more fiddling and I have great protection for my LiPos.
Sep 09, 2005, 09:59 PM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Thanks for your suggestions.

I had passed to GWS RD team.
Sep 12, 2005, 02:29 PM
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jonbennett's Avatar
Originally Posted by GWS4CEO
Thanks for your suggestions.

I had passed to GWS RD team.
Sep 12, 2005, 02:37 PM
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jonbennett's Avatar
Yes, I broker the tail boom. I fly indoors (basement) in very close quarters, so I hit things pretty hard. The tail boom was much more durable than the one on my piccolo, although I cannot figure out why. I am currently using aluminum, so it only bends, but does not break. It is kinda nice.

Youre re-doing of the gear looks great!

I am working on nose-in hover, so I still have the training gear on. I cannot affort any extra weight.

Maby when I get past the all-direction hovering phase, I will do something more creative with the gear. I am currently running pretty stock hardware, with separate electronics. I am using an Eclipse 7 tx.
Sep 12, 2005, 08:12 PM
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swatson144's Avatar
If you put the trex gear on you won't need the training gear It's so wide and low. I just made a cdrom motor for the tail for mine and am taking a break from machining the mount for it. I'll post picks soon as I geter done and test fly.

I did 20mm 10t and even kept the stock magnet ring for the test flight. I have plenty of magnets to replace it just not the time and any way I have never run one with stock mags until today. I think it'll do fine. my 12rnx tail motor just don't want to start sometimes so it's replace it time. Unexepected piros are too exciting. I've pulled a CC-10 to run it, It'll be to windy to fly slowsticks for the next couple months anyway.

I'm seperates on a 9chp, ph03, ms-55 esc main, GWS 300 esc on the tail, Blue Bird 371 servos, stock main is still doing ok, It's mostly a bunch of handmedowns from my Hornet2. It just flies so darn well, I'm only upgrading as parts go out.
Sep 14, 2005, 06:07 AM
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swatson144's Avatar
jonbennet, I didn't mention as I had planned. A good way to afix the tail boom is to test fit with no glue and if it is too loose put a thin coat of CA on it and let it dry completely. Test fit again. repeat until it is a very snug fit. If you go too far a light sanding will get it down to size. Then fly it removal is simply by twisting and pulling.
Sep 26, 2005, 09:34 AM
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jonbennett's Avatar

T-Rex Gear

I'm looking into the T-reg gear right now. What is that piece of carbon under the frame on your heli? The whole thing looks great. Do you mind if I copy some ideas?

Sep 26, 2005, 09:35 AM
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jonbennett's Avatar

T-Rex Gear again

How did you attach the gear to the dragonfly frame?
Sep 26, 2005, 03:48 PM
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swatson144's Avatar
run a 2mm drill throught the leg holes from bottom to top front and back. This will open a hole at the top. The gear was temp glued to the frame and a 2mm drill was turned by hand to drill through the LG in the front holes, then it was removed and mounted in the back (you won't be able to drill from the back) using 2 short pieces of original landing gear CF to pin it in place through the top. repeat for the front. It works well and will allow the rig to pop off in the event of a real crash but is trouble free for rough landings and light crashes. This allows no permanent change to the chassis. the pins arranged in an inverted V does a fine job of holding it in place.

The battery holder is a piece of light ply painted black. I've laid out a new improved version that allows access to the motor screws etc. If you are interested I'll post it on my son's web and link it here. It uses the Trex gears mounting holes to attach with 4 sheet metal screws. between it and the skids it provides a very good level of protection for Lipos, and enough length to balance with 2s 1250mah.

Later edit I attached a pic of it if it won't scale right let me know and I'll pdf it. The holes are .5 inch and the mounting holes are to size of your screws. drill only one end and mount it so you can transfer the other holes to place as they may not be right for yours depending how close you came to centering before drilling.
Last edited by swatson144; Sep 26, 2005 at 04:01 PM.
Nov 01, 2005, 08:59 AM
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jonbennett's Avatar
Thanks for the info. I ordered the T-rex gear and I am working on installing it. I will probably try screws and see how it goes. I have become frustrated with breaking the landing gear. I am workin on side-in hovering and have been chewing up gear lately.

I am getting pretty good at left-side in, but right side is still giving me fits, and costing me parts. I have extended the training gear to 18 inches in all four directions. It has kept me from breaking blades, but the landing gear has had a hard time of it.

Nov 01, 2005, 09:37 AM
For landing gear replacements... (That's what I break the most, especially when I had the stock batts. And now with the lipo,... more aggressive flying sometimes puts the heli in awkward positions where I can barely recover and hard landings , luckily on skids, break the skids and the frame). What I did was purchase 5mmx1020(?)mm carbon fiber rods instead of the stock gws replacements and the cf rod also fits as the tail boom. I take what I need for 2 tail booms (32 in. each) and 1 to 2 sets for the landing gear of about 6 inches long. For the strut.... I purchased 2mm graphite rods and cut out what I need. I drill 2 2mm holes on the one side of the cf rod (and not let it go through all the way basically) and epoxy the graphite rods in. It's very strong, lightweight and can take quite a beating. Although I have now reinforced the area where the it connects to the frame with Carbon Fiber (from a crashed cf blade from my 30 size nitro) sice that area has become the weakest point of the landing gear.

p.s. Love your T-rex landing gear setup... I'd most likely do the same setup if I go brsuhless. But, for stock, the weight may be a factor.
Last edited by xADRYANx; Nov 01, 2005 at 09:56 AM.
Nov 01, 2005, 09:55 AM
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swatson144's Avatar
Easiest way to afix it is to
temporary glue a strut to the front and run a 2mm (.08) drill down the hole the original struts went in, drilling all the way through. do both holes.

remove that strut and repeat with the other because it's hard to drill from the back of the frame.

Take a 4 pieces of broken strut from prior mis haps about 5/8" and pin the new struts in place. it'll give in a real crash but not cause problems in rough landing or minor crashes.

I was afraid that screws might cause frame damage in a crash.

Mine is still going strong Lots of hours on it now. I went back to the GWS IPS 50 DD motor on the tail, put some M24 blades on it, and a GWS 350 with 12t pinion. On 2s it hauls, and does ok in moderate wind. *It is all seperates and the blades and motor stuff will likely wreck any brand of combo mixer esc xN1 board*
Nov 01, 2005, 10:14 AM
Here' a pic... although this one is with a 3mm steel bar and a 6mm cf rods... it's very strong but it's a bit heavy so I did the 2mm graphite and 5mm cf.

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