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..The sun is out!...Let's go FLYING....False alarm...
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Heli-Log 5:15:15

Posted 05-15-2015 at 02:53 PM by rcnut

And now May is half over!

May is proving to be an interesting month for sure. We’ve been getting lots of rain, overcast skies, and temps as low as 37 degrees (over night that is). This is making it hard to get out on a more consistent bases.

As for heli status, the Synergy N7 is performing great, much better than all the rest of my helis…so far. The Rave, on the other hand, it was totaled! In flight!!!

The “old” Rave

On Tuesday, I decided to head out to the club field after work to sneak in some nitro flying. I wanted to see if I could get 6-7 flights in before it became too dark. Well…I didn’t make it, needless to say. The first flight on the Rave was a lot of fun “ripping” through known maneuvers and trying to figure out why I add a touch of tail input in certain maneuvers…you know, knocking the “winter rust” off your fingers. I needed just a little expo to fix it.

The second flight, I settled down and broke into working on perfecting individual maneuvers. This consisted of fast side tic-toc’s both directions, forward and back flips (trying to determine if I have a slight phasing issue as it cork-screws through the flips), and inverted forward and backwards flying (making stall type turns), and piro-flips (still need more collective management, but I’m getting a whole lot better at it!).

The third flight is where everything went wrong in a blink of an eye. I was cruising around the sky inverted backwards having a blast when all of a sudden I heard a “boom”, and then watched helplessly, as my Rave disintegrated in the air! Parts were flying everywhere! The canopy ejected and floated to the ground, the boom departed with the boom supports and then separated before making contact with the ground. The main body continued to rain parts as the motor was still running and trying to maintain the 1950 rpm that I programmed into the Vortex controller.

I watched the body flopping around and I instantly hit throttle hold, and then throttle cut. The motor died just as it hit the ground…from an idle. The carnage is unbelievable. The blade grips are slightly bent, possible feathering shaft as well, mainshaft bent, all linkages are bent and ball links broken, the swashplate anti-rotation holder shattered, main gear chewed up. There are 4 plates that make up the side frames (two mains and two front frames)…all 4 destroyed. Main bearing blocks, made of plastic (stock part) shattered…I used them temporarily while I had the metal bearing block bearings on order. The fan shroud…busted up. Landing gear destroyed along with the bottom stiffening plate. The boom, torque tube, and boom support busted. The tail output shaft and crown gear busted and bent. Both tail blade grips along with the yoke, busted. I would imagine the tail hub is bent, along with the control arm and stand-off for the control arm. Oh, and the muffler was totally ripped off the header! It is AWOL. I'm not sure about the clutch stack, clutch, fan, fan hub, front transmission gears, and tail drive gear and OWB.

The canopy is not broken or torn, it just has a bunch of paint removed from it…go figure. That pretty much ended my day of flying. I could have pulled out the other two nitro’s, but didn’t have the heart. So I packed up and went home. On the way home the thoughts of the damage added up to basically a new kit. I started wondering if there was a used Rave on the website for sale.

Once home and after some searching, I found a replacement Rave! A buddy of mine living in the Chicago area had one for sale. So I called him and told him what happened and said I want to buy your heli. There was an interested party that was trying to get it cheaper shipped than the asking price ($350 under full price with several spare parts which makes it just over $400 off full price). Jeremy asked what I would offer and I said what you’re asking as asked in the post. I told Jeremy that was more than a fair price with the spare parts and some extra goodies.

Friday I head out to Plainfield IL to pick up my new/used Rave. I might bring the busted up body as show and tell… However, I might piece my original Rave back together…slowly and as a backup or… Everything looked ok, enough to start installing all of my stuff. It didn’t take long at all, maybe 7 hours ready to fly from start to finish.

The first flight was done after a short rain storm on Sunday. I wanted to see if and how the newer Rave would fly/feel. The Rave flys once again, but it felt very mushy! Reason for that has to do with the servo horns. I used longer horns than Jeremy did, so that explained the mushiness. I also noticed the fuel tank was foaming very bad. It’s a good thing I was using a header tank, otherwise it would have been heck on the motor!

During the cleanup, I found the tail output shaft flange bearing was loose and wobbling around. This is a common occurrence with this heli. An easy fix with some JB Weld! The factory “glue” with last 50 or so flights before breaking down/ loose, it is more of a nuisance than anything. Once home, I removed the side plate holding the flange bearing, cleaned the area and bearing. Then mixed up some JB Weld and applied generously around the flange, pressed in and wiped the excess off.

I reassembled the tail after waiting 24 hours. Took the Rave (I did) out for a test flight. First flight, not one problem, a little FBL tuning and it is flying like it used to. The next time out, I had an issue with the tail servo. For some reason after it initialized, during power up, it moved all the way counter clockwise?

I pulled the servo out of the heli, checked the wiring, I even tried plugging the servo into another port. No broken or chafed wire, butt trying a different port on the controller told me everything I needed to know…it’s the servo. So I opened the servo and saw that the motor was running…ah once I plugged it back into the controller. I moved the gears, which was still connected to the feedback potentiometer

I was able to find the center spot to stop the motor. I placed the top assembly back on the servo and everything is fine…I hope. I haven’t tried the Rave in flight just yet as I’m trying to wrap my head around why this may have happened. Should I chance it? Or replace this servo?

The Mostro…

So far the Mostro nitro heli is flying fine. The motor is breaking in nicely. However, on the fifth flight, the tail stopped working… The weather Monday was supposed to be rainy and windy. However, when I got off from work, it was sunny with calm winds! Ok, rush home and grab the helis!

At the club field, I was the only one there for about an hour. I pulled the Mostro first as I need to get some flight time on the airframe and motor...more on the motor than anything. I had 4 successful flights and decided to round if off to 5, well that was the plan. At the start of the fifth flight, I came across the flight line and pulled gently into a vertical climb.

I had made an adjustment to the piro rate prior to the 5th flight, so I wanted to see if it was enough or if I needed more. Well, as the heli reached the top of the climb, I pushed the rudder to the right to spin somewhat fast, but the rudder had a different idea! It let go!

There is a pin the holds the pulley on the output shaft that came out. I was able to gain control and landed safely. So now I need to fix this issue! That almost scared the crap out of me. There’s nothing truly like the feeling of losing control of your heli and watch it smash into the ground as when you try to command the tail to move and nothing happens!

I couldn’t see anything obvious at the field; I’ll find it at home. The field was filling up with people getting off work and needing a fix before it gets dark. At home, I discovered the 2mm pin that holds the tail pulley to the tail output shaft had departed. Unfortunately, I don’t have any spare Mostro parts…or 2mm rod stock lying around. I did find some larger diameter spring steel rods.

2mm is 0.0787 inches, and the rod that I have is 0.093 inches, which means I need to open the holes in the pulley and output shaft, but before I do, I tried to sand a few thousands off the spring steel first. Because spring steel is very strong/hard, the most I did was 0.003 inches and now it has a very nice finish!

I found a drill bit that is 0.093 inches and proceeded to open the holes. Holes opened and slightly countersunk, I cut the spring steel rod to the outside diameter of the pulley and sanded the tapered the ends. Thinking about how the original pin escaped, I decided to install a very slight flat spot on the new rod/pin. And to make double sure the grub screw didn’t perchance back out and let go of the pin, I installed a second grub screw behind the first.

So far I have put 8 flights on the Mostro without any issues! The tail is working wonderfully and the pin is in the same position that I placed it. The belt is either loosening up some (stretching) or I disturbed it (the tube) when I was fixing the pulley. The last few flights, I could hear the belt slapping in the tube. Maybe I’ll remove the tube and sand the gloss finish off where the clamps are that or “pin” the tube. I think with this heli, pinning the tub would be a bad thing…not sure.

Heli practice

Now that I have two nitro helis flying rather great…meaning now issues so far…I’ve been working my skill set. Mark, unfortunately, works long hours and isn’t able to meet me at our practice site. So I take advantage of that time to work on some of the things I need. Currently I don’t have much of an issue with orientation, but I’m unsure of the stick commands a times. There are particular positions that have the tendency to “freak” a pilot out…when their heli gets into those positions.

Every pilot, for the most part, has a strong side, and a weak side. Some prefer to flip/roll away from them, or into them. Some pilots like to piro-flip counter clockwise and others (like me) prefer to piro-flip clockwise. Actually I learned to piro-flip clockwise first. Counter clockwise feels very weird, but I’ve been able to do it…from time to time.

I feel comfortable flying inverted backwards, but uncomfortable inverted forwards. So the 5 flights I put on the Mostro was working on the areas that make me nervous! I started with a short warm-up, looking at my heli in a hover at 90 degree intervals…tail, left side, nose in, right side… A couple of laps around and roll to inverted. Gentle figure “8” laps inverted perfecting the turns, and then reversing the figure “8”.

I started doing shallow (tight turning) stall turns, forcing myself to become quicker at the sticks. Then I would take a break and fly around for a couple of minutes and start working on something else…the piro-flip! I don’t have much of a problem with doing the flip; it’s losing the timing and using too much collective pitch!

Just as I was getting into a grove, I would lose it and screw it up! I’m also getting very good at recovering from those screw ups, almost to the point of “I meant to do that!” I will recover, reset and try it again, but once I get to the point of not being able to do it, I break away and perform something else…fly around, do some traveling flips, tic toc’s, etc.

Over the course of the 5 flights, I gain some comfort in the things I was working on. I even started working on the basics of pirouetting tic toc’s. It looks ugly and clunky, but I’m starting to understand the stick movements required, and then using those inputs to somewhat make my heli to roughly resemble something of a pirouetting tic toc. But this is what practice is all about!
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