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Heli-Max . Scorpion Power System . Ron's RC Helicopters
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Belt vs Shaft Drive Tail Rotor

LECz3

Heliman

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Can some body provide the pro and cons (cost, performance, durability, maintenance) for each system and which should be better?

Iím looking for a new 60 helicopter and the final candidates have different tail driven.

05-21-2007 Over year old.
BarracudaHockey

rrMaster

Jacksonville FL

Belt, doesnt break in every crash, cheaper, no setting gear lash.
Cons: Bleeds more energy in an autorotation, need to keep up with belt tension.

Torque tube, more precise in flight (we aren't talking a large margin here)less drag in an auto (same thing, not alot but some).

Cons: if the tail rotor hits the dirt you are replacing a torque tube or gears.

Andy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com

05-21-2007 Over year old.
RappyTappy

rrProfessor

Fort Collins, Colorado

Belt drive:

Pros - Simple and easy to set up. Cost of the system is less
than the torque tube.
Cons - Sligtly more drag on the rotorsystem than torque tubes.

Torque Tube:

Pros - When set up right, it is the smoothest for the
rotorsystem, giving better auto performance (more hangtime)
Cons - More complicated to set up, cost of gears and torque tube*

*Unless of course you are able to use an arrow shaft for a torque tube, they only cost $5 give or take.

Personally I prefer the torque tube, but for shear day to day durability and simplicity, the belt drive is hard to beat.

05-21-2007 Over year old.
ErichF

Elite Veteran

Gainesville, FL 32606

They both turn the tail rotor. That's all you need to worry about. It's not a deciding factor in choosing a heli, the differences are that small. If you expect to use the heli to learn new 3D manuevers, I guess the belt drive tail has the one major advantage in repair costs and labor.

BTW, I used to be a die-hard shaft drive flyer...until I got an X-Spec and found out I was kidding myself. Only the pros can see the real difference in autos with a properly adjusted belt drive tail.

Erich

05-21-2007 Over year old.
S Bell

Senior Heliman

Nova Scotia Canada

A beginner is better off with a belt drive as are those basic sport flyers who hate maintenance. Like someone mentioned gears can be easily toasted with ground strikes and correct gear mesh can be a tedious process for the new guys. Too tight it melts plastic gears, too loose and teeth strip. Misplace the shaft position in the tail boom and load a gear axial and plastic gears will go south. Sometimes bearings break loose off the shaft during installation into the tail boom thus shifting position.

For a seasoned flyer the shaft is better having lower friction and good reliability. A seasoned flyer can intentionally strip tail gears inflight through abuse.


The difference in real world performance between the two is minor for many people.

Stephen

05-21-2007 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
airboss

Elite Veteran

OC ,california

VS

belt is very durable and torque tube is not.i have 2 similar helis set up both ways, the TT heli breaks teeth off on hard landings and the belt never breaks on hard landings,such as autos.

DA120/PRC 37% Edge540

05-21-2007 Over year old.
gordonre

Senior Heliman

Ireland

For a beginner I would certainly recommend as mentioned above that the the belt option be used.

However, I find it easier with the tube to remove the boom and not have to worry about undoing gearbox etc to free belt.

Gordon

05-21-2007 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
airboss

Elite Veteran

OC ,california

tubing

the tube is easyer to work on but durability is the issue.

DA120/PRC 37% Edge540

05-21-2007 Over year old.
bellecrank

Veteran

Canada

shaft - much more efficient,precise and less maintenance (no reseting tension etc.), but more costly. This is why most manufacturers go from belt drive systems on their lower cost "sport " helis (e.g. their 30's and 50's and their "sport" 60/90) but abandon the belt drive and go torque tube drive on their top 60/90 helis.

And a torque tube drive that has a dogbone type of coupling both at the front and at the rear are relatively crash resistant.

05-22-2007 Over year old.
ErichF

Elite Veteran

Gainesville, FL 32606

Could you then explain why it is that one of the world's premier competition helicopters, the Caliber 90, uses a belt drive tail? This, on a kit that's $2500?

I'm just asking


Erich

05-22-2007 Over year old.
rexefekt

Heliman

Byron Bay, Australia

belt is quieter mechanically than TT. The cal90, sylphide etc are f3c helis which need to be really quiet and smooth so belt is the go for those guys.

05-22-2007 Over year old.
bigdad390

Veteran

East. Liverpool, Ohio

LOL, As I said in the last Belt vs Torque Tube Thread, I remember these same aurguments 20 years ago.

05-22-2007 Over year old.
oldfart

Elite Veteran

Vancouver, Canada

EricF,

The Caliber 90 is designed specifically for FAI/F3C competition and not for extreme 3D competition. It is a very competitive FAI/F3C Competition helicopter, not so in 3D competition.

The demands on the tail rotor drive system in F3C, compared to that of 3D extreme, are substantially less.

05-22-2007 Over year old.
Jimmi

Key Veteran

Southern Ca. U.S.A.

I have never had problems with a belt, knock on wood. Torque tube I had more problems with. Doesn't mean one is better then the other. Just had better luck with a belt Jimmi

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing

05-23-2007 Over year old.
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Belt vs Shaft Drive Tail Rotor

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