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Old 09-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Flight 34, grip flips and being humbled

An update for anyone who is interested in following a noob's learning curve, and also looking for some opinions...

Now gotten myself up to 34 flights, still without incident (though with a couple of skipped heartbeats - notably completely losing orientation for the first time and the heli ending up about 10-15ft above my head).
BrokeDad's recommendation of PTFE Dry Lube was spot-on (thank you BD); the heli is noticeably quieter, and spool-down at the end of a flight seems to take forever.

Had some really great flights with perfect weather a couple of weeks ago - got the chance to really push it hard and refine some basic aerobatics and a rough inverted hover lasting nearly ten seconds at one point. I'll post a little edited video of those flights shortly.

After this, I'd read a lot about the grip-flip mod and thought I just had to try it out. I haven't flipped the mixers mind you - I don't think I'm ready for an extreme handling change just yet.

So I took out the old Blade at the weekend to see the difference with flipped grips... and I'm really not sure I'm sold.
One major positive effect I noticed is that collective and cyclic changes DO seem much smoother, and in some respects it's a lot easier to hold a constant altitude when hovering.
On the negative side, cyclic doesn't seem so well affected; the helicopter seems less stable, almost as if the trim is off - yet adjusting the trim doesn't solve the issue. I'm guessing this is likely just a symptom of a more ssensitive bird?

Further, due to the assymmetry of the blade grips, collective / cyclic is now restricted to around +/-10 and +/-5-6 degress respectively (I could get +/-11-12 and +/-7-8 before). I really feel this loss of control range as she feels much more sluggish, and flips / rolls seem glacial now.
I think I probably did have some binding with extreme control positions at the previous settings, but it never seemed to have a major impact, and the helicopter flew very smoothly before.
How damaging is slight binding within a rotor head; is it more a case of reducing servo life than anything else?

I'm considering taking a dremel to the blade grips to try regain some of the control range, getting some faster flybar paddles or simply reverting back to my previous setup.

Maybe I just need to become accustomed to the new setup, but it just didn't feel right when I flew it this weekend.
It made the helicopter seem much more difficult to fly in all honesty. Kind of humbling as I feel I've been progressing very quickly up to this point, and was beginning to think that CP helicopters aren't actually all too difficult in basic hovers and flight (complex 3D etc. Notwithstanding).

I'd be grateful for any thoughts / opinions on this. Have I just had it easy so with a more docile setup thus far, and now I've moved to a more advanced setup I'm facing the music?
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Blade 400 3D "2019 Edition" - Stock 420H Motor, EFLA335H 35A ESC, Quark Spartan, Savox 0257MG servos all-round, Trex 500 skids, DX6i.

My YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxIBBszfXNcHtNCM7dbELg
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm glad you liked the Teflon spray. I like how it repels water, dirt, and grime where other things make them cling.

I've never tried this grip mod you speak of. First I've heard of it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokeDad View Post
I'm glad you liked the Teflon spray. I like how it repels water, dirt, and grime where other things make them cling.

I've never tried this grip mod you speak of. First I've heard of it.
My favourite aspect of the spray is that you simply fire it at the parts which need attention and it works beautifully. I use lithium grease on the OWB and thrust bearings and that's it.

The 'grip flip' mod is to change the head to leading edge control of main blade pitch, from the stock trailing edge setup. Supposedly it eases the loads on the cyclic servos and thus helps to provide finer control.

If you Google 'Blade 400 grip flip' you should get enough hits to get fully up to speed.
Here's a good starting point though...

https://www.helifreak.com/showthread.../topics/210004

I did option three.

Ignore that it's on the SR forum, it relates to the B400 directly.

Starting to wonder if it's too advanced for me at the moment, having too many cons compared to pros (or maybe I was simply having a bad day!). Though you may decide to try it on one of your fleet!
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Blade 400 3D "2019 Edition" - Stock 420H Motor, EFLA335H 35A ESC, Quark Spartan, Savox 0257MG servos all-round, Trex 500 skids, DX6i.

My YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxIBBszfXNcHtNCM7dbELg
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's an edited video of flights 31-34. Perfect weather, sunny with no wind at all.
Sorry for the poor quality, my phone doesn't do too well when zoomed in (as it was for most of the flight - I never got that close to the cameraman!). Also, the app I used on my phone to edit the video compressed it further.

Still, it gives you a good idea of what the ol' B400 can do in the hands of a novice pilot.

Blade 400 Helicopter Flights 31-34 (3 min 2 sec)


I've now fitted some Trex 450 paddles - flew it this morning with FB weight collets and hard to tell the difference. About to go fly without the FB weights at all - wish me luck!
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Blade 400 3D "2019 Edition" - Stock 420H Motor, EFLA335H 35A ESC, Quark Spartan, Savox 0257MG servos all-round, Trex 500 skids, DX6i.

My YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxIBBszfXNcHtNCM7dbELg
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, perhaps the title of this thread was a bit prophetic, as now I am truly humbled by my first crash.

Had to happen eventually.

Ran through first batt on flight 40 without the FB weights. Didn't feel there was a huge difference, but I could tell the heli was subtly less-stable. More like flying on a knife-edge than before, but not massively so.

Flip rate was slightly improved, and dared try my longest inverted flight, with some corrections keeping it going the right way before flipping her back and landing to switch in battery #2.

Ahh, battery #2. Why didn't you warn me to keep being careful and cautious?!

Did a couple of circuits and flips, same as flight 40, started a new figure-8 with a very aggresive banked turn about 20 feet up (guessing over 60-degree bank angle). In that instant I decided it would be a high-speed, very tight 8.
Fatal mistake made in milliseconds.

Didn't realise how much altitude I lost as I entered in the the middle of the figure-8 where you have to quickly flip directions and start the opposite turn.
From what I can tell, I didn't have the altitude to make that switch. Augered in at maybe 75% throttle and no TH (I was trying to save her).

I just laughed, but my girlfriend let out a howling 'NOOOOO' and threw her hands to her head. Quite a sight haha.

Good job I bought a helluva lot of spares, I think the only part I don't have is the canopy mount rod. Oh and I don't have any more orange paint for my spare canopy. She'll be good as new soon enough.

Oh, and I have a distinct feeling that I've not fully come to terms with this yet!



Not sure how to properly add the images from my phone camera without resizing each one, so here's the imgur gallery of the devastation.
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Blade 400 3D "2019 Edition" - Stock 420H Motor, EFLA335H 35A ESC, Quark Spartan, Savox 0257MG servos all-round, Trex 500 skids, DX6i.

My YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxIBBszfXNcHtNCM7dbELg
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