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Old 03-28-2012, 07:25 PM   #61
dharwood
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Flyday, Panteradise style in Dalton.

It was again a windy/gusty day at the field. As it turned out, neither Forvols nor myself were really in the flying mode today. I arrived first and pretty much got in a flight before Forvols arrived. The air was not bad but the Pantera was just not real happy. I put her through her moves but something was amiss.

Chris arrived and after some discussion, he took to the air. He, like myself quickly ran through his schedule/program that we do, that is choreographed to the sounds of the geese and wind whistling through the trees
Around half way through his flight he started doing a, what I will call a "Gus-like" move. It was a "Gus", minus the half roll on the way up (see previous post for the proper procedure in doing a Gus). The first few were pretty high on the pucker-factor scale but quickly settled down into what was a pretty nice start at learning the Gus. Only a few trees were startled during the process. (the Gus moves quickly across the sky at the top during the half piro)
Anyway, for what seemed like a really long time doing these, with a circuit thrown in every now and then, I queried Forvols concerning the status of his onboard fuel....
Ohhh, I need to look at that. A quick fly-by was done, quickly followed by an Ohhh! and an immediate flare to land. The more he tried to settle, the more difficult it became as the throttle was being cut back, the rpm was ever increasing
FINALLY, she came to rest where she decided, and we made the walk out to her.



If you can't tell, you are looking at the low corner of the bottom of the tank as it is tilted up and left.

I flew one more time until I was tired of fighting her and landed. Oh yea, my tail blades are damaged from the other day, and I have a cracked windscreen. The BeastX is never impressed with vibes so I called it good and we spent the rest of our time talking, and programming a timer in Forvols radio

We should blueprint his clunk setup as it must be perfect! It never gave a clue until the start of the flare. One more Gus and it would have been P6 time

Time for some TLC for my bird. She is past due.

It was a good day at the field, just not up to our normal "10" days. No Panteras were hurt and all are reusable.

Until next time,

Dale
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #62
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Default Just not feeling it

There are days when you chomp at the bits to get out and fly. Then occasionally there are days like today. Nothing really wrong, had a great day at work, weather was nice... just didn't feel a lot like flying. Weird.

Anyway... Dale was in the air when I arrived at the field. He wasn't doing anything extremely crazy or wild, but was doing some very nice laid back rolls, and lazy flips. No envelope pushing, just smack dab in the center of his comfort zone, and the Pantera was looking very gracefull with all he was doing. Rather than rush to unload, I simply enjoyed staying back and watching his flight. It was relaxing and very enjoyable seeing him fly well within his envelope rather than on the edge of it.

After he landed I finished unpacking and started fueling up. I told Dale that I didn't feel like doing a lot of flying and he quickly indicated that he felt the same way. I took to the air an quickly ran through most of everything I know how to do. Then I started thinking about "the Gus". I decided that rather than doing a stall turn with a 1/2 roll on the up line, I would simply pull up, tilt slightly at the stall point, then bury the negative collective and hold on long enough to do a 1/2 piro. Well.. the pull up to the vertical was down a bit further than I intended, so when I hit the negative collective the Pantera wasted no time getting even further away from us than it already was. The Pantera has a larger profile in the air than most 600mm class helicopters. Even so, the Pantera was quickly getting very small! I pushed the collective back to the neutral area, and the Pantera started transitioning into a dive. I pushed the collective forward and before long the Pantera was headed back toward us. I tried a few more of these and started my pull ups just after passing center of the runway. This kept the Pantera a lot closer during the negative punch out and I managed to do several "Gus'ish" looking moves. Once I got over the fright of seeing the Pantera being pushed forward (skids first) through the air at a rather high rate of speed, I was able to start focusing on a smoth 1/2 piro. Once I get very comfortable with this, I will start trying to push the pull up further down the runway and do the 1/2 roll on the upline so that the negative push send the helicopter rocketing back at us rather than disappearing into the distant horizon

As Dale posted, he asked about my fuel status and I realized it had been a while since i had made a pass close enough to actually check the fuel level. My fly by revealed no visible evidence of fuel in the tank. Might be a good time to land eh? I flipped out of idle up and rotated the tail around to get the helicopter headed back to center runway. As I started to settle into the final hover to let the helicopter settle, the engine started leaning out, and head speed was quickly rising. I settled the P50 where she was and lowered the collective until she was firmly planted back on the ground. After killing the engine, we went to retrieve the heli from the runway and I realized that the tank was nearly bone dry. Tilting the model so that all the fuel could collect in 1 corner of the tank, there was less than an eyedropper of fuel remaining. I'd say my clunk line is pretty much at the optimal length to allow for maximum fuel utilization!

One more attempt at a "Gus" would have had me all messed up because I'm sure the engine would have quit during the hard negative punch. My head speed would have been fairly low due to the full negative punch, the Pantera would have been way out, but not all that high. Pretty sure my Pantera would have become pine tree food, or worse!

After the flight, Dale and I did a good bit of bench flying and even more just general discussion. One of those days where the social aspect was more rewarding than the actual flying. Nope, nothing wrong with the flights at all. We each had a blast. We each have some minor TLC needing to be done to our Panteras, but no major ragers. Just good to be out on a nice afternoon and shoot the breeze (or gusts) with a friend.

Until the next session,
forvols sends...
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:49 PM   #63
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Successful endeavors sometimes require persistence

I met up with some of the local talent today (wow..very skilled pilots). I had heard about a gent named Tom West. Pretty known around me for being a very skilled and knowledgable pilot. I told him my story and asked if he would help me. Short story: The Pantera is flying better than she's ever flown and I'm having fun again.

Long story: Tom started looking at the setup and found a few mistakes, bent spindle that I had missed on my post mishap repairs, Tail mechanical setup, throttle linkage setup, tossed the governor, and re-did actual throttle curves. Tom demonstrated all the things I should practice and be able to do both upright and inverted. I hovered two full tanks and called it a day. I need to balance the blades and do some small cosmetic tweaks.

I'll be back out tomorrow to practice hovering (I'd not flown in almost 2 years and Tom suggested that I get back to basics and make sure that I was 100% solid. I thought that I had all upright orientations down... I didn't.

Hover: should be able to hover a full tank in one spot at eye level.
T patterns:
Tail In:
Nose In
Left Side In
Right Side In
Repeat flying backwards

Then I don't recall if I do figure 8s or start inverted.. I'll let Tom tell me when I'm ready to progress... Right now I'm hovering !
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Last edited by Jermo; 03-29-2012 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: adding forgotten information
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #64
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Great post jermo, that is exactly why I'm re joining a club. Great help and a sense of purpose and goals.

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #65
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Hovered 1 tank. Tom said I was ready to start doing tail in "T" patterns. Did my last tank full of 30%, filled up with 10% nitro (20% syn oil), retuned (3 clicks) and finished up the day with 2 more tanks tail in "T" pattern. Wind was extremely mild to probably 1-2 MPH.

I really love not having the governor. The Heli is more managable in Normal mode and will probably have tons more power in Idle up but I've not talked to Tom about that yet. I probably need to look up the top headspeed I should run and make sure my curves are well below that. I'd guess my headspeed is probably 1500-1800 somewhere, It's just above where you get a low speed wobble. I get about 17 minutes on a tank. Great for learning imho...
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:57 PM   #66
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You must be running the soft dampers.

That is a LOW head speed.

Really 17 minutes a tank? Wow.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:03 PM   #67
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I'll have to measure it. I'm running stock dampers. I've also found 10% Nitro with 20% oil runs very well in my YS 61. Flew another tank today and had to do "L" patterns due to limited space. Still doing well with no mishaps. If I still had the Governor on I'd have already crashed. I think the general advice to run higher headspeeds is a mistake for new pilots based on my first hand experiences.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #68
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Head speed is all about what's comfortable for you and your flying style. So long as the head speed is high enough to avoid the "wobbles", a lower head speed helps keep to keep things happening nice and slow (relatively).


Glad to hear you've hooked up with some folks in a club. Flying with other pilots increases the learning curve a good bit

I burned a couple of tanks myself this morning. Saturday is the "big day" for our club and I'm usually the only helicopter pilot at the field on Saturdays . I kept things nice and smooth and tried my best to fly "plank style" as the other pilots seem to relate and respond to it better. No pushing the envelope, but the 2nd flight did find me trying to see how fast I can get the P50 going. Apparently, the Pantera can fly faster than the SK360 FBL controller likes (at least with it's virtually "stock" settings). On a couple of the fastest passes, the P50 started to develop a porpoise. Nothing horribly severe, but it caught me a little off guard the 1st time.
The Pantera has developed a weird sound that I've not yet been able to isolate. It's kinda of a slow "yang, yang, yang" taking about 2-3 seconds to complete each "yang" sound. I noticed that touching the windscreen seemed to kill the sound, or at least dampen it to the point of not being heard.

Anyone have any clues? Canopy, windscreen, main bearings, engine bearings? This is my 3rd season on the engine without replacing anything other than an occasional glow plug.I've not found anything loose. Checked the muffler while hot and before 1st flight of the day. I know my tail slider ring is way beyond needing to be replaced . I didn't try keeping my finger on the tail rotor control rod to see if it affected the sound.

It got plum hot at the field today. Can't remember ever thinking that about a march day. Looks like it's going to be a very long, hot, and windy summer
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:34 PM   #69
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Mine had a general thrumming which was the tail...combination of slightly bent tail shafts and bearings needing attention. I think it resonates all the way through the canopy.. Worth checking.

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Old 04-01-2012, 06:47 AM   #70
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Yeah, I had a bent tail shaft post crash, we found the high spot and gave it love tap. Brought it right back
Jer
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:25 PM   #71
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I managed to get out to the field to fly the Pantera yesterday between rain showers. Only one tank burned but it was nice to be flying... well hovering while adjusting mixture settings. I finally got the engine to idle without being to rich using Gus's pinch test he once pointed out to me. I then worked on the Needle Valve. I think I am still on the rich side. Temp after hoving on the head was 135 deg. F. with a non-contact therm.
I noticed that while hovering I was getting a periodic "bobble" or "twitch," so I never left the hover. After landing, I started to think that the head speed might be a little low. I have the Gov. set at 1500rpm in Normal. And if you are wondering, I have not done the RNFBL yet to fly the CGY 750 more then a tail gyro. I am waiting on screws from my LHS. Just did not feel like paying freight from JB. Although, I do need to place an order with him for the Stage 2 kit. The "twitching" was not coming from the tail as it was rock solid. The twitching looked more like I was putting very fast ailron inputs in the sticks when I put none.
Now that I have the engine running, I have a different brand of fuel for the next gallon. So, more adjusting to come. Wish I could find some Rotor Rage locally to try, but no one in the Portland area carries it. I was running Cool Power but my LHS is only carring this other brand, Torco I believe, and that is what I picked up.
Any way, one flight in and can't wait for the sun to put more in. Todd
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:27 PM   #72
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My heli will vibrate more and twitch if I run too rich.

It flys much better with the engine set right.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:22 AM   #73
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yep, I switched from 30% down to 10% and had to up my throttle curve just a touch to get above the low speed wobbles.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #74
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tealc, you might want to leave the governor disabled until you get your engine tuned in the ballpark. I know that my engine doesn't like being puched around by my multigov pro until it's tuned right. Lots of bobbles and hesitation/bogging even during "normal" flying.

Also, if you are using hard dampeners in your rotorhead, upping the rpm should settled it down. 1500 is pretty low. This does up the intimidation factor though.

Also, also, I've experienced periodic twitching before and have traced it to a bad, crash-damaged Spektrum satellite.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #75
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I will try the suggestions later this week. It looks like we might see sun light for more then a couple of hours without rain. No Spektrum for me. I have also hovered the heli without the gov. and still saw the little twitch. I believe the head has the hard dampeners, yellow is what I see. I will continue to work on engine to see if I can get it dialed in and up the rpm's. Right now I have the rpm's set at 1500, 1750, 1900. I have not throttled up to the 1900 yet. Thanks for the suggestions, Todd
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #76
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did you guys know there's a blog section under our profiles where we can write our flight logs and such? I just found it yesterday..
Jer
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:28 AM   #77
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I met Dale and Darrell Sprayberry at the field yesterday afternoon for our normal Wednesday flying session. Weather wise, we enjoyed clear skies and a cooler temperature than the past several flying sessions. Unfortunately, we were also blessed with lots of wind of the gusty nature. After we agreed that there was enough wind for us to fly in, we all unpacked our stuff and started preparing for our first flights.

Dale and I had both done several maintenance related things to our helicopters. Dale has been fighting some weird vibrations with his P50. I had installed new bearing in my OS 50 Hyper and installed a new tail slider ring for my tail rotor. I had test hovered my P50 Tuesday night to make sure the engine would actually run after having been ton down and put back together.

My first flight confirmed that the air was extremely bouncy. The Pantera usually locks into a heading and rides it like it's on rails. Today, those passes were rather comical as the helicopter fought it's way from one end of the field to the other. Watching the helicopter fly reminded me of a few of those badly done WWII war movies where aircraft were shown wildly bouncing around as flak goes off all around them. With my engine obviously lacking some cow bell (trust me, you're gonna want the cow bell), I didn't do anything that required a lot of punkin to get through. I did man up a bit and forced myself to have a go at some BUF flying. It was ridiculously ugly, but I did manage a couple of figure eight'ish looking circuits. I probably gained 100 feet during the process, but as Dale quickly reminded me, "better to gain some than to lose too much" . I've never attempted BUF in this kind of wind, and it was a real struggle for me to hit and maintain that "sweet spot" of coordination between aileron, rudder, elevator, and pitch. I was constantly over correcting one or more facets at all times .
The bright side is that I didn't let the wind prevent me from trying. Once I made up my mind to try it, I immediately wondered why though .

Dale had a mixed bag with regard to his flying. A minor encounter with the ground causing very minimal damage to his P50. The damage isn't as much a concern as the reason behind the encounter which has both of us scratching our heads . That's Dale's story to share (or not), but it was obvious that something is causing issues with the BeastX on his helicopter.

Darrell wound up getting in a couple of flights with a T-rex 600e and also found it difficult to impossible to do anything smoothly, which is an extreme bummer for a scale pilot!

Not a bad day at the field. Not one of those stellar days that you dream of, but not a total bust either.

Until next time,
forvols sends...
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #78
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Yea, not the stellar day at the field.

Pro: I had 2 9+ minute flights on the 700 and while VERY bumpy, it was relaxing and fun. I am digging the electric conversion. Also digging the 700 conversion as well and the combination of the 2 makes for a relaxing platform to fly. This bird will get a lot of airtime this year

Con: I have been chasing a vibe on the 600 for a while and just can't quite put my finger on it. It may actually be a combination of items that have crept up from doing nothing but flying cases of fuel through this thing and little else as far as maintenance.
I did have it down the other day to remove a cracked fin on the head. After reinstalling, I still had the vibe so I started removing items to see where it was originating. When I had no other moving parts but the engine and clutch stack in the air frame and it still had a severe intermittent oscillation, I pulled the engine out and removed the clutch stack.
I found the clutch bell bearing slightly rough and replaced it with new, and reinstalled the clutch stack. It is in at less than .001 runout and all looked good as far as everything else.
Reinstalled everything but the mains and tried again. Everything was happy with just minor vibs at certain rpm ranges.
Fast forward to Wednesday and all seems OK at 1750hs. No strange anomalies or twitches. I switched to 1900'ish and all seemed OK so I started twisting her around a bit. After several backflips I had pulled the engine down pretty bad (using the FRP blades rather than my good ones) so I leveled out to let it recover. As it started coming back I got the hard uncommanded lean to the left as it had done previously. I got a couple of full right stick corrections in combined with mid stick collective to unload the head. It started this fairly low and quickly lost ground as I chased it. I knew I had run out of sky and previous experiences with this behavior I knew that TH was the only sure fire way to make it stop the "flying itself" mode it was in. SO TH it was as I made one last valiant attempt at righting the craft and slowing its descent as it vanished into the low area of our field away from view.
When I got there, it was still running at idle. I killed the engine and inspected the damage.
Main shaft, vertical fin, main blades, and front landing gear.

This issue has eluded me for a while now. It is only present at 1900+ head speeds so I have been able to work around it until now. Let the problem solving begin.....

As I mentioned I think I have multiple issues. One being I went back to using BeastX gyro pads this year which everyone advises against. I will be going back to 3m for its next flight.

Arghhh,

Dale
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #79
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Went to the local place we fly and the group had decided to fly friday due to the wind being pretty gusty. It was 42 degrees... BRRRRRrrrr... came home and went over the Pantera. Recorded my normal pitch curves then set it to a flat 50% to check headspeed at 50% stick. I'm at 1620 ~ 1650 so I'm not overspeeding. I forgot the check what stick position I get up to 1850 headspeed (max suggested by Audacity). I'm not running a Gov so I'll probably need to find this spot in the future before I start doing more than just hovers and T patterns .
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:33 PM   #80
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Panteradise in Dalton:::

Weather was not great today in Dalton. Nothing on radar or forecast but it was not great. The day started out with rain early with the promise of clear skies and 70'ish in the afternoon. I woke up to clearing skies and as the day went on, it seemed to get worse. By quitting time when we were enroute to the field, it had gone from an every now and then mist to having to run the wipers on intermittent. I arrived first and since the 600 is down for maintenance, all I had was the P700e and the 450. I ran a pack through the 450 while while waiting on Forvols. At the end of the pack, the mist had settled in and was getting worse. By the time Forvols arrived, it was raining. We chatted under the shed for a few minutes and had already decided to not fly Forvols Pantera due to something we did not like about the re-assembly after engine maintenance. Preflights pay off.

The rain turned into mist, and then started clearing so I took the chance to discharge both sets in the 700, and the remaining 2 in the 450. 700 flights were slow scale'ish cruising and the 450 just getting mildly thrown around.

Nothing special in the air today just some relaxing airtime and good fellowship with a flying buddy!

Until the next update,

Dale
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