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Helis and fixed wing

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Heli Day

Its been a very, very long time since I have flown a heli, let alone setup a CCPM or programmed a FBL (flybarless) system.

I started with the Trex 600e, a flybarred heli that has been one of my favorites. I crashed it some three years ago when the elevator servo control ball link snap separated from the control rod and she did a 360 flip onto the ground (I thought I had posted on that, one of my last day at MCRCC in Biloxi, but I can't find it. Since that crash I had rebuilt the heli, and moved a couple of times, and then found problems in a pre-flight check. I discovered that like many of my helis with Align gyros, in fact, all of them, she had a tail twitch I could not program out, even trying to reset control lengths etc to reduce sensitivity. I kept wanting to buy a Spartan Quark, but I didn't want to spend $100+ to find out its not the gyro. Finally I found one NIB on eBay and ordered it a few weeks ago for $60. Today I finished installing the Quark and programed it, and fine tuned the CCPM on the 600e. A week ago I reviewed some videos on CCPM setup from Helifreak.com, and it all came back to me. A few tweaks and I set her up for 11 degrees pitch and 6 degrees aileron and elevator. Lubed her up, and now she is ready to go. Her head speeds on 12S are scary high, so I plan to create a throttle curve at about 80%, and may fly her 10S on 100% curves.

I moved on the my HK500FBL that has a BeastX on it. I wondered if there was a Mac software for it and found that they is one now and installed it. It is a manager, not a programmer, so after I updated the firmware on the BeastX, I spent the evening programming it. Its easy, and I found some things I hadn't done quite right before. I used the BeastX digital bevel box and tuned it to a pitch tolerance of 0.2 degrees. Sweet. I had to replace a weak ball link snap, and the new ones wouldn't fit! After a while I got the idea to heat the control rod and the new snaps went on easily, cooled nice and snug and custom tapped to fit! She is now ready to fly! I love the wheels, but it does make her a bit tippy. I remember this being a challenge on spinning her up unbalanced as she will wobble and tip over. I also need to find a better way to secure the wheel cowls to the landing gear as they can vibrate a lot in the current arrangement.

I have honed my skills on the Phoenix Flight Sim, and think I like about 35% expo. I fund flying planks that I don't like 40% and have dialed those down to 35, and will likely end up there, or perhaps 30. I have always flown 25% expo, but think as I age I need to loosen that up a bit.

I am excited to get back into my helis. I plan to re-tune the 450's which both have Tarot ZYX FBL systems on them. I've pretty much stopped flying the 450's liking the stability of the larger helis.

And I still have the Trex600 EFL Pro NIB with all the parts and electronics that I have never gotten around to building, including a Spektrum AR7200BX 7-channel receiver with BeastX. A couple of years ago I rounded up the parts after accidentally winning the airframe on eBay. I think its time to build! I plan to build it along with the Great Planes Stick. After that I am going to put off new aircraft until I get my mojo back!

A couple of days of work work, and then its back to the lab, and hopefully some nice weather to fly!

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