The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

EXI 450 Maiden Flight... Not so good.

I should have taken pictures... It was a little breezy, but I felt that I should be able to hover the 450 for a shake down flight. I took it and the 250 out to the soccer fileds. I set everything up, and spooled her up to about 30%. Wow, the power already scared me! I let her spin for a lttle while, then took her up to about 70% in Normal mode, and she took off! Her tail wagged something fierce, and I could see where the canopy was worn through by the main gear, it hadn't been touching before. The breeze was more brisk than I had thought, and with my nervousness and my limited flight skills, I wasn't controlling her well, but she landed upright everytime. I was amazed how loud she is! The autorotation gear is clearly out of round, and the tracking is off (I suspect a cut in one of the blade dampers I noticed in construction, but didn't think much of, may be why. I'll be replacing them). I put some tape on the blades to see if I could tell which blade it was, but I couldn't tell... Last spin up, and a ball link broke lose, then the funky chicken danced the blades hard into the dirt in just the few seconds it took me to drop the throttle. Blades are fine, but the rotor head took a beating. The feathering shaft is bent, as is the main rotor shaft, and the main gear is stripped in places, and missing some teeth. I took the rotor head completely apart, well what I could do. My 1.5mm hex drives have rounded out so I am waiting for the arrrival of my MIP Thorp hex driver's to take the grips off and remove the feathering shaft. The flybar is bent, which was my first clue in the field that this ws ending badly. I was suspicious of the main rotor, so removed the entire head to roll the shaft, and yup, its bent too. Replacment parts, some coming in multi packs like the shafts and gears, is about $50... Makes me nervous about the next flight! By the time I was done the winds were really brisk, so I didn't fly the 250.

Well, I am glad I got that out of my system. I am now really just eager to fly again, but got my hands out there for the first big heli flight! I want to get the EC5 connnectors I need and get the ERazor 450 set up and flying.

I am disappointed in my build work, though I recognize I am self taught and it went much better than I could have expected. All the flight surfaces did what they were supposed to do. It didnt run as smoothly as I thought it should, perhaps the main gear had issues. I had decreased the gain on the gyro, but it wasn't quite enough. That will also need some fine tuning. All in all a good outing, but I remain disappointed in myself.

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