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HelicopterTurbine Helicopters › The Predator lifts off!!
11-12-2005 10:41 AM  12 years agoPost 1
richie1967_uk

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London UK

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Well I finally plucked up the courage to take the head loaders off and bolt on the blades, i took the heli into the yard outside my workshop and spooled her up...... Man what a rush as it got light on the skids and lifted off into a hover. Little or no trim needed but will have to make some adjustments when i get it to the feild...engine sounded so sweet. I LOVE THIS HELI!!! I didnt tac the headspeed but it was hovering at 4 degrees pitch and 50 % throttle...there was some chicken dancing as it got light on the skids but i think adjusting the blade bolts will cure that. You guys who are flying the same set up (wren/predator) What pitch and throttle curves are you using? Also what headspeed are you running for smooth circuits...... Is anyone running the longer boom and blades? How do youu find them? Oh did i already say that I LOVE THIS HELI!! I did take a video of the hover but have no idea how i can post it!! I will take some pics and post them later....

thanks for the help and encouragement, I have just looked back and it was The 8th of october when i posted the question about should i or shouldnt i go jet powered. After alot of encouragement and help from you guys 1 month later and i am hovering a turbine heli!! FANTASTIC!! I am now el skinto tho!! Oh well it was worth every penny! Now all i need is to fine tune the beast and paint the canopy, anyone any ideas on that one?

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11-12-2005 11:25 AM  12 years agoPost 2
coolice

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Northamptonshire, England

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Hey,

Well done matey, you took the plunge and finally took to the sky's.
The WREN / Century Predator Turbine is an awesome machine straight out of the box and setup right is very capable.

I keep saying I will note down my pitch settings for the various flight modes and post them here, but as yet haven't.
I will do, promise.

As for flying with longer boom and blades, Bell Bloke has this morning he reckons it's the way to go as the machine feels so much more lively.
I have the boom & tube drive ready to install, just need blades.
.

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

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11-12-2005 03:13 PM  12 years agoPost 3
wolfdad

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Southern Maryland

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OUT-FRIGGIN-STANDING!!! I LOVE success stories! Now, just wait until the first time you take her into forward flight....my advice would be to either wear diapers or have a clean change of skivvies in the boot, because the awesome performance of the turbine is going to make you just about wet your drawers (maybe that just happens to us "old-timers"...and, Alderman, don't even start...LOL).

All kidding aside, great to hear your set-up worked out so well and even more fantastic to hear that you got her into the air...that makes it all worth the money...in spades.

Turbinomania (now a recognized mental condition) usually runs in three phases (phase length determined by age, flying skills and the size of your cojones). The first phase is the "man, starting this thing and smelling the jet fuel and hearing the noise is cool" phase. Usually conducted multiple times either on a test stand or sometimes in the aircraft, impressing yourself, neighbors, etc.

Second phase is the "I wonder if this thing will fly" phase which is usually accompanied by total awe, bodily quivering and, on occasion, dirty drawers. This phase includes the first time the aircraft comes off the deck and hovers more beautifully than you evern imagined it could...and, now you know it flies. Phase one and two have a common overlap with a continued and also recognized syndrome called "tailpipe sniffing" to get that wonderful smell of jet fuel burning high. Phase two is also accompanied by loud, public proclamations of "it does, it does, it does fly," accompanied by RR replies like this one.

The third and final phase comes when you actually find out it flies as well in forward flight as it hovered and, at this point, your flying skills start coming to bear on the situation as you start asking "what won't this thing do?" BTW (LOL), "tailpipe sniffing" continues and may become contagious to those around you.

Enoy yourself and good luck and may many safe flight hours accompany you through your "turbinomania."
Doc

"There are those who have...and, those who will" IRCHA #2117, AMA #70068, Turbine Waiver #105

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11-13-2005 09:29 AM  12 years agoPost 4
RUFFYB

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HERTFORDSHIRE UK.

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Hey richie,
WELL DONE!!
I have missed most of this as i have been so busy the past few months.
You beat me to it and i was telling YOU to just go for it.
Anyway, the jakadofsky is here tucked away keeping warm,
and i am hopefully going up to vario uk this week to pick up the
lama!!!!! . Will keep you posted.
Regards, Gareth...

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11-13-2005 10:44 AM  12 years agoPost 5
richie1967_uk

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London UK

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The video of its first hover is now in my gallery!! Boy what a rush!!

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11-13-2005 11:33 PM  12 years agoPost 6
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Hi Richie just watched your video, it looks just like my maiden flight, ALL WRONG!
Set your 2nd throttle curve to at least 75%, 3rd to 80%, 4th to 95 % and 5th to 100%
Pitch, I fly -3 +10.
Then you will really see how good it is.
You see on your video you can hear the turbine trying to throttle with the pitch change which is not good. The headspeed/tailspeed is too low and the tail is struggling (wagging) as a result, making it all rather mushy.
You need to get that turbine spinning then you will see how nice it is.
Well done though matey!!!

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11-14-2005 12:02 AM  12 years agoPost 7
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Oops, nearly forgot! Just flew with my 800cm blades today, WOW!!!
It's really lively now, the climb rate is fantastic and that's only at 120,000rpm on the turbine.
It's very, very responsive, probably a bit too much for me, so I'm going to dull it down a bit. It still pulls 1700rpm+ on the head and is even more stable.
The blades cost me £60 not bad eh.
New 860cm blades on order for more weight lifting and lower disc loading, will let you know how I get on.

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11-14-2005 12:42 AM  12 years agoPost 8
Gary Travis

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Utah

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Looks like the turbine epidemic is spreading!!! Glad to hear you got her of the ground, as Wolfdad said that's just the beginning. I love the Wren setup in the Bergen with the 810mm blades, definetly the way to go in my opinion. When i did the first Bergen conversion I ran some 720's and did not like it that much. I now run the 810 v-blades and find that the helicopter will perform any way I want it to, also the auto's are smooth and easy. Congrats again on the lift off, its a tremendous rush isn't it?
Gary Travis

Bergen R/C Helicopters Duralite Batteries DJI Innovations Magnum Fuels Wren Turbinesl

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11-14-2005 01:20 AM  12 years agoPost 9
hayabusa

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uk

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Brilliant richie!!
Hi richie 1967-uk congratulations are in order well done if you read the wren/predator info I have built up through the course of a few months it might be useful to you for example I have already covered throttle and pitch settings a short while ago and many other issues that might help you along your way with the predator its getting to cold for me to enjoy flying such an expensive model at this time of year so I will be flying my 90 millennium mainly till spring comes bye for now Hayabusa

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11-14-2005 08:37 AM  12 years agoPost 10
richie1967_uk

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London UK

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Yup it was a real rush. Since the video i have played around with the throttle curve and she is alot smoother. I set the headspeed at 1450 but i guess i will have to raise it a little. (so you suggest 1700 bell bloke?) I will upgrade to the longer blades when i get a few flights in at the field. Overall i am overjoyed with the wren engine and the conversion. The predator kit is very nice however there are a few little niggles.....First of all there was no lower thrust bearing for the mainshaft in the kit (i had bought the thrust kit for the top bearing but have used it on the bottom for now) Secondly there is some play in the top bearings (if you hold the head and move it from side to side there is deffinately some play) And thirdly the tail rotor gearbox....there is atleast .2mm of movement if you push the shaft in and out and also it is VERY noisy. When you shut the turbine down and the blades spool down the noise is horrible, i have packed it with grease and it runs smooth, just noisy....
Anyone else found these same things? One more thing, what pitch angle are you guys hovering at?

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11-14-2005 10:43 AM  12 years agoPost 11
coolice

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Northamptonshire, England

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Hey Richie,

For hovering I'd go no more than 1500 ~ 1600 rpm, this way it is nice and predictable in the hover and not to intimidating if you bring it in close to smell the jet fuel.
Keep 1700+ rpm for aerobatics and circuits, which will liven up the controls and make it penetrate through the air better.

As for a missing thrust race, can only appologise about that. A quick call to the model shop you brought the model from or CenturyUK will fix that for you.

Play in the top bearings, I have never experienced that before.
I take it you have not fitted the thrust race top bearing block as yet until you have the required missing thrust race?
Also, are you sure the head block is nipped up tight clamping it to the main shaft nicely?

The tail gears will be more noisy than normal for the first few gallons until they bed into one another, just like the mechanics gear train also which will smooth out in time.
Keep a check on the side play and the gear mesh, if it starts getting to loose you may have to shim it.
.

Ian Contessa
Team Robbe SchluterUK
Midland Helicopters

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11-14-2005 11:03 AM  12 years agoPost 12
richie1967_uk

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London UK

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Hi Ian

Missing thrust bearing has been sorted by Century. I will put the new top bearing block on when the thrust bearing arrives (the new block has two bearings) so hopefully that will do the trick. I guessed the gears would take a while to bed in but thanks for the reassurance. The slop in the tail shaft is not a problem yet, i am only doing circuits so i am not working the tail very hard at all.....I will make another film with the curves adjusted as per the recomendations by you guys.... thanks once again for your help

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11-14-2005 12:27 PM  12 years agoPost 13
Bell Bloke

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UK

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Mine whirs away like a good'un too, it's the main gear to tail drive cog that does it, I quite like it as it sounds just like the Skeeter on wind down!
1700rpm may be a little frisky, as Coolice said 1500-1600 is nice so your second curve would be about 70%, the key is not to hear the turbine throttling up and down. So keep the speed to at least 70% in the hover. Basically what will happen as you move the throttle stick from rest, the turbine will ramp up quite quickly in the first 1/4 of stick movement. This is what you want because when you are flying around and want to come down fairly quickly the turbine will still be wound up giving you plenty of control all the way.
You saw the old video I did, that was without idle up.
You're looking good though matie, very, very pleased it's all working.
Now it's just tweaking, and plenty of hover testing.

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11-14-2005 01:56 PM  12 years agoPost 14
Bell Bloke

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UK

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It's a good day for testing in your yard Richie, let us know how your doing.
Don't forget play first, work later.
1400hrs only 4 hrs of daylight left!

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