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Belt Drive vs Tube Drive

crazzyjoe

Veteran

Grande Prairie Alberta Canada

Hi,
I have a new Rad 30 on the way and people are telling me to make sure I get the Torque Tube conversion for it when it comes out.

Now my questions are....

What is wrong with the belt drive in larger helicopters?

I think that a good belt drive would also run smoother then a Tube, would it not??

I also find that it's cheaper to replace a belt compared to a torque tube. I have a trex 450 sport with a belt drive and I replaced 3 booms on and i'm still using the same belt with No problems as long as it's not damaged.


Thanks
Joe

10-17-2010 Over year old.
Blades345

Veteran

FL

They both have their advantages and disvantages. I love having a belt for it quietness and it doesn't get damaged as easy as a TT does. I love the fact that most of the time its cheaper as well. The nice thing about the TT though is you don't have to readjust it all the time like a belt when it goes to temp changes. The TT is more efficent than the belt due to less drag, which retains a longer HS at the end during an auto.

The problems that arise in the larger belted helis is static issues and something else that I can't remember, but someone will chime in and tell you. Lol.

When u don't feel like soaring through the air with a plane, beat it into submission w/ a heli!

10-17-2010 Over year old.
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...

Belt drives are much more forgiving if you touch the tail rotor to the ground. And a crash that bends the tail tube is much cheaper to repair than a TT. The belt almost always survives, unless the mains hit it and cut it off.
Paul

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

10-17-2010 Over year old.
crazzyjoe

Veteran

Grande Prairie Alberta Canada

Thanks Guys,

I guess I have nothing to worry about.

Joe

10-17-2010 Over year old.
kogibankole

Veteran

albuquerque/ibadan

Cheaper is more expensive long term

Yes you do because its not a matter of if it will break but when. Timing belt changes are mandatory in cars to avoid breakage. Plus they have tensioners. There are many factors that can accelerate breakage. If belts were good for the tail then full scale would have been using them. They waste alot of useful energy. They cause static in some caes. They put more stress on associated bearings. During high g moves, the belt definately rubs against the boom and heats it up. Then you have the tension issues with temperature changes. The belt is not for me. If my sewing machine or printer has one I won't be worried, but a petrol powered rc helicopter is another story

What about the crash costs when the belt does fail? Maybe torque tube looks a little cheaper now.

Torque tube = set and forget

The torque tube and assocoaited gears can be more expensive than the belt, however my bergen gasser uses an arrow shaft which costs 5 something.

if im not blade bogging youll find me pack puffing

10-17-2010 Over year old.
AceBird

Elite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

Belt drives are much more forgiving if you touch the tail rotor to the ground.
If you do as I have done that is not true.

Replacing the set screws and shaft with brass tipped set screws creates a torque limiting clutch that will survive a tail touch unharmed. Most belts will strip a tooth or at the very least damage it. The only way to make a belt last in a 90 size heli is to use large pulleys. This will make the tail heavy and not to appealing for looks.

I am not sure what class the Radikal 30 is. Some say it is a 50 but driven by a gas engine would seem to me to be heavier. Of course everything depends on how you fly. If you don't push it then it may never see the stresses that a normal 50 would see with a nitro. I think the biggest question for you is how well can you handle the heli if the belt breaks in flight?

Ace
What could be more fun?

10-18-2010 Over year old.
Justin Stuart

rrMaster

Plano, Texas

No more belts for me. When a belt snaps, unless you get lucky and hit throttle hold instantly before the tail gets going real fast or you're flying an FAI style solid tail fin, then you're pretty much guaranteed a very expensive crash. Plus you have to retension the belt whenever the weather changes. And then there is the static electricity problem requiring static wicks and silicone spray.

With a torque tube, so long as you don't hit the tail in the dirt, you're fine. So the secret is not to hit the tail in the dirt.

Belts tend to break when you least want them to, like at the apex of a tic-toc when you're pulling a lot of pitch. Perhaps you can react fast enough to steer a helicopter pirouetting 3 rotations per second from vertical to horizontal and then into a soft gentle landing, but I can't do the little circles with my cyclic stick that fast.

I'll stick with a torque tube in all my helicopters (except for my 250 which doesn't have a TT available yet), and not having a torque tube is pretty much a deal breaker for me.

Avant RC
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Kontronik Drives

10-18-2010 Over year old.
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

Personally I'm on the other side of this. If I could sell my Predator for anything near reasonable (which I don't think I can) I'd sell it and buy the Radical-30. The belt drive would be the main/only reason for me to make the switch.

see, I hate the crown gear. It's a finicky setup, strips easily if it's not just right and can get shredded or pop a tooth if abused. When I crash (twice now) it strips this gear along with the $33 tube and $16 tail boom. Actually the Predator tail drive system is really strong with the nice worm drive metal gears and all, except the crown gear. I've gone through 5-6 of them now, two of them because of the crashes.

My experience with belt driven heli's is they are super easy to setup, much cheaper to crash, rarely break a belt in a crash but even if I do the belt is about the same cost as a crown gear or the umbrella gears on a Trex-700 style tail drive. I've never broken a belt on a bigger heli in flight. Even a Trex-450 belt I have has lasted years.

I will say that the tube driven tail on the Predator operates very smooth and low drag. It auto's great and spins for a long time with low drag after hitting throttle shut-off. My belt driven heli's don't run that free.

Team GrandRC

10-19-2010 Over year old.
crazzyjoe

Veteran

Grande Prairie Alberta Canada

Thanks for your opinions on this topic guys.

Joe

10-19-2010 Over year old.
reddragon

Elite Veteran

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blade345
I love having a belt for it quietness and it doesn't get damaged as easy as a TT does.
Perception
A belt drive is quieter than a torque tube? Aren't they about the same? If they are in a nitro/petrol helicopter how do you hear them over the noise of the I.C. engine? I'm not sure that one is quieter than the other.

Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!

10-19-2010 Over year old.
AceBird

Elite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

see, I hate the crown gear. It's a finicky setup, strips easily if it's not just right and can get shredded or pop a tooth if abused. When I crash (twice now) it strips this gear
So did I strip the crown on my first tail strike. Then I put the brass tipped set screws on a new smooth shaft and never looked back. All the tail dive needs is a torque limiting clutch so what are you waiting for?

Ace
What could be more fun?

10-19-2010 Over year old.
windy62

Senior Heliman

USA

Ace, Have you tested this in a hard 3D bird? One that does HARD pirouetting manuevres?

Something about a soft tip of brass holding my tail together scares the H out of me....

windy62

10-20-2010 Over year old.
kogibankole

Veteran

albuquerque/ibadan

i break trex 450 belts all day long

if im not blade bogging youll find me pack puffing

10-20-2010 Over year old.
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

That's what I'm thinking also. I don't fly "hard" 3D but I do very fast backward flying, long tail slides, piro flips, death spiral, ect... Important for the tail to hold solid, no blow outs. The tail on my Predator holds extremely well. I would think that a limited slip transmission would be a problem there, it needs to be a solid mechnical linkage to the tail blades. I typically don't have an issue tapping tail blades in unless something else has happened first. If only it had a drive gear and the umbrella gears like the 700, never had a problem with that transmission.

Not sure if the crown gear setup on the MA birds is a better design or not. The gear looks nearly identical but maybe the design of the tail transmission can get a better mesh that can be adjusted easily and held properly/tight.

Team GrandRC

10-20-2010 Over year old.
jschenck

rrProfessor

La Vista, NE.

i break trex 450 belts all day long
then something has got to be setup wrong - my 450 belt really is at least 3 years old, maybe more. Original 450SE, still has the same belt.

Team GrandRC

10-20-2010 Over year old.
Justin Stuart

rrMaster

Plano, Texas

I broke multiple belts on my Trex 450 V2.

Avant RC
Scorpion Power Systems
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Kontronik Drives

10-20-2010 Over year old.
pgkevet

Key Veteran

Wales

I broke multiple belts on my Trex 450 V2.
..so did I .. but never a single one broke on my 600e despite doing at least 20 booms. And o bigger helis if they got loose you heard a 'tinkling' sound in flight as it slapped the boom walls..stll never gave way or even slipped and almost never damaged a gear.

pgk

10-20-2010 Over year old.
AceBird

Elite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

Something about a soft tip of brass holding my tail together scares the H out of me....
Why? You set the three set screws that are 120 degrees apart so it will slip before it breaks a tooth. You can feel the torsion in the torque tube shaft give quite a bit before there is any slippage. If it starts to slip in flight it will be a gradual failure not a sudden failure. It is not like a broken belt. You will never loose control of the heli.
HARD pirouetting
I am not 100% sure what this is but the answer to your question is no. I have spun the tail full speed in one direction and slammed it the other way from a hover position. I could not detect any slippage occurring but it would be hard to tell unless there was a lot of slippage to where it wore the brass tips down and left a mark on the shaft.

Side note about hard 3D:
I would assume that someone doing hard 3D stick banging would have sufficient skills to not have tail strikes. If you are talking about "hot dogging" close to the ground then you are taking your chances anyway. You have way more at risk then your crown gear and tail drive.

Ace
What could be more fun?

10-20-2010 Over year old.
GyroFreak

rrProfessor

Orlando Florida ...

Belt Drive vs Tube Drive

This question is one for 'Myth Busters'....

I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?

10-20-2010 Over year old.
Justin Stuart

rrMaster

Plano, Texas

We need our own MythBusters crew.

Avant RC
Scorpion Power Systems
Thunder Power RC
Kontronik Drives

10-20-2010 Over year old.
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