Help keeping blades and flybar from shifting in-flight on FP flying FFF outdoors - RC Groups
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Nov 11, 2005, 08:47 PM
Registered User

Help keeping blades and flybar from shifting in-flight on FP flying FFF outdoors

I've graduated to fff, figure eights and the like outside now with my Esky FP (but my problems are probably similar to all micro FP's since the machines are so similar in design).

The problem is, I tighten my blades (I have a head stiffener but no nylok nuts) so they're slightly advanced, seems to produce smooth running mains. BUT, the blades shift in-flight when I start doing FFF and banked turns, even if I set them to be straight-out. Should I just loosen the main blade grips and let them rotate easily in the grips, or do I have the right idea to get some nylok nuts at the hardware store and torque those little puppies down? Anyone still make those blade springs that used to be in the forum months ago? I'm afraid if I let them rotate easily in the grips, all will be okay until I take a fast banked turn and they'll shift out of place again.

Other problem--the two grub screws that hold the flybar in place go into plastic threads. There's no way to tighten them enough to hold the flybar real tight without stripping the threads. The flybar is only finger-tight at best this way, it can be rotated either direction with minimal force. Not a big deal hovering about or doing slow flight, but again, if I pick up some speed, take a good banked turn, the flybar shifts! and this makes the heli go all spastic in stability and control, and I have to bring it in (or cut power and let it drop if its shifted too far) and reset the flybar/paddles so they're leve.

I know people fly these FP's outside and get some decent speeds and banked turns on them. Don't get me wrong, for under $200 with tx and all these things are a STEAL for a flyable micro helicopter. I've gotten more than my money's worth flying inside learning hovering and the basics of FF. I just want to try and make it to where I can do more than just hovering and slow lazy circles when I get a windless day down at the park.

Is it a bling thing? Do I need to replace the stock parts with something better to get good consistent FFF flight without worrying every turn I might lose basic control when the blades/flybar shift? Where would I get the appropriate parts? Or can I glue/modify the stock parts?

Thanks as always for the help.

Johnny B
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Nov 11, 2005, 09:03 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Johnny B
I've graduated to fff, figure eights and the like outside now with my Esky FP (but my problems are probably similar to all micro FP's since the machines are so similar in design).
Johnny B
I don't think it's common to all FP micros.

The Piccolo FP has never had this weird problem of blades shifting during FF, as far as I know. At least, I never saw it discussed on the Ikarus bulletin board in over two years.

On the Piccolo, you tighten the blades so that if you point the helicopter down and shake it a little, the blades droop slightly. This is the correct blade grip tightness, and the helicopter will fly fairly well with it.

Some other things you could try are:

o Add blade tip weights

o Cut the trailing edge of the blades and increase headspeed

o Use carbon blades -, and get the "Hummingbird cut" blades

Nov 11, 2005, 09:30 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the input.

Let me clarify a little.

When I saw FFF, I mean zipping stuff, and when I say banked turn, I mean throwing it up at about a 45 degree angle and then whipping the tail around for the turn. The little bird's probably going 25mph, and I imagine its not really designed to do this type of flying.

So far, I'm finding the main blades like to be super-tight and held in slightly advanced position. I'll try backing off the advanced part and tightening them in more of a "straight out" (as the spinning forces would naturally hold them) position. How much would you say to cut off the tips btw? I once tried to cut it down to a moth size--didn't have enough lift on the main blades to do anything.

And, the flybar paddle definitely shifts in-flight when exposed to speedy FFF and quick turns. I check it when it comes down, the paddles get "pushed" 5-7 degrees off of center, which is why it wobbles so spastically all of a sudden. I'm thinking of just using a drop of thick ca on either side of the flybar as it exits the see-saw thingey, because I know its shifting in flight because I see it when it comes down.

Anyone else got this problem? Tell me if I'm being unreasonable to fly one of these FP's fast and zippy like a 3d plane and I'll be okay with that, its still worth every penny as a hover trainer and close-in flyer, no doubt about it. But if I can get it set up to zing around the park without falling out like it does now, hey, that's loads of fun.

Watch the videos of the Hornet II's doing FFF, that's what I'm kind of trying to do. And it will do it, too, until either one of the main blades gets cocked different than the other (produces that violent wobble) or the flybar shifts, which produces the spastic oscillating shakes.
Nov 11, 2005, 10:05 PM
Suspended Account
tighten them as much as you can, i run mine tight and at 90% not advanced, on the dragon fly, was the same with my pic, rips with carbon blades or even profile woodies like "like 90,s)
Nov 12, 2005, 12:37 AM
Registered User
How about the flybar? Is there a metal see-saw bling replacement for the stock plastic one that won't grip the flybar enough to do zippy flight?

Or should I just drop some CA where the flybar exits/enters the seesaw piece?

With windless conditions, this thing will get up and go, I've seen it, just need to sort out these slippages so I can get it to move.
Nov 12, 2005, 03:20 AM
Registered User
autoair's Avatar
On my #4 DF the flybar grubscrews were shorter than the holes, so to get better clamping I got some longer screws, more thread engagement gives less chance of stripping. For the blades I use tight nylocks, nothing moves even in the most extreme manouvres unless I hit something !
Nov 12, 2005, 04:06 AM
Sunday Flier
Rickenbacker's Avatar
The flybar can possibly be fixed by replacing it with piano wire, and grinding two flat spots where the grub screws are. This would allow them to hold it still even in the plastic threads. The alternative is to glue it in, but that is a major pain every time you break the flybar - believe me, I know . But basically, these things aren't built for speed, and need upgrades to be able to handle it, IMO.
Nov 12, 2005, 04:37 PM
Registered User
i had the same flybar issue happening,they dont like being tightened and loosened too much,i found a nice blob of loctite blue on the grub screws helps,and just tighten them enough and no more,and then try and leave them alone,or maybe even a tiny bit of CA on the screws,not the flaybar,possibly wrap the grub screws in plumbers thread tape as well?.As for main blades,i found tight best,i was using very loose fitted blades from the start with my hummingbird,the day i tightened them,the day it became a lovely flying little heli,but i get horrible pitch up when im doing fff in the park,just done some major frame mods to see if ive helped it any.
Nov 12, 2005, 05:47 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Johnny B
Thanks for the input.

How much would you say to cut off the tips btw? I once tried to cut it down to a moth size--didn't have enough lift on the main blades to do anything.
Not the tips. The trailing edge.

The standard Piccolo cut for performance was 8x3, which is 8mm off the trailing edge at the widest point tapering down to 3mm at the tips.

As mentioned before, you will need to increase the headspeed in order to compensate for the narrower blades.

Nov 13, 2005, 01:06 AM
Team Compass/KBDD Team Pilot
Ah Clem's Avatar
I fly a Sabre (same as a Walkera #4) and have never had the flybar shift. It is carbon fiber and the set screws dig in enough to hold it. You can always add a wheel color on each side of the flybar cage for security from shifting.

With regard to the blade lead-lag shifting in flight-I have gone through that one too. People are attaching springs, going to larger bolts etc. to prevent this.

I finally took a surgical glove, cut a flat washer out of it, and mounted it between each blade and the head to increase the friction. The surgical glove material is as thin, or thinner, than a piece of paper, so it does not affect anything else. This cured the problem once and for all.

I don't know about Piccolo's as I have never owned one, but the lead-lag on the Sabre and the Walkera needs to be locked, or is will shift in hard turns (as you have experienced) and make flying much more difficult. There is not enough mass in the blades, nor enough head speed, to allow the blades to seek their own position through centrifugal force as one would experience with an E-Flite Blade, a Honeybee, a Shogun, etc.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
Nov 13, 2005, 07:13 AM
Registered User
Thanks guys, I really appreciate your time and input. Lots of good ideas to try. I think with a little tinkering and experimentation, I will get this little FP to handle some faster FFF at the park now. All the ideas sound great, so agin, thanks.
Nov 13, 2005, 12:57 PM
Oldie but goodie
Popsflyer's Avatar
I had problems with the flybar loosening on my Sabre too. If you over tighten them, the flybar will actually bow (not good). After centering the flybar, gently tighten the set screws until they just touch the flybar, then a drop of thin CA on the flybar at each exit point will keep it in place.

To keep the blades from lagging, I replaced the blade bolts with a longer 4-40 allen head cap screws and locknuts. This keeps them in the advanced postion.

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