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HelicopterAudacity Models P6 Pantera - Tiger 50 › tail rotor grip problem
08-12-2007 10:17 PM  10 years agoPost 1
kolt1911

rrNovice

leon, wv- us

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i was in an inverted hover about 30 feet off the ground when i heard a POP and then lost tail control and started spinning, hit throttle hold and auto rotated in on the head...one tail rotor grip had broke right thru the bolt hole and lost the tip of the grip...$38 later and ready to go....

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08-12-2007 11:04 PM  10 years agoPost 2
djMidnight

rrApprentice

Petaluma, California

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I wish I was so lucky - I had exactly the same thing happen today on my first flight. The tail blade (including the bolt) landed at my feet from about 20 yards or so away. I tried to get it upright before landing (my field isn't flat, so it would've chewed the head & blades all to hell).

I'm up to $250 (without blades) and haven't found the frames yet on the order form. I'm thinking of just buying a whole new bird. I'm also thinking it might not be a Pantera as this is my 2nd mech failure in less than 2 gallons.

Jason

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08-12-2007 11:59 PM  10 years agoPost 3
BitMaP

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Jackson TN

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$38 is all the damage after auto rotating down inverted onto the head?

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08-13-2007 01:45 AM  10 years agoPost 4
heli_headcase

rrKey Veteran

Hovering around​Atlanta

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Check the remaining tail blade bolt...

kolt1911,

Your failure is a perfect example of tightening the tail blade bolts too much. The manual covers this potential issue in a side note.

Two things:

1) Inspect the surviving tail grip for a crack through the bolt hole outward to the tip of the grip, through the thinnest portion of the bearing clearance arch in the grip.

2) If your remaining tail blade is 'locked' into the grip so it's unable to swing on the bolt (it should swing with almost no force), you 'gorilla-gripped' the bolt and forced the plastic to collapse into that arched gap on either face of the tail blade where the bolt passes through.

I was with John the night he and I participated in a tech support phone call relating to one of these failures. Right then it was decided to add the warning to the manual.

There's no reason to make the tail blade bolts 'tight'. The word 'tighten', I believe, was edited out of the manual and replaced with 'adjust' or some such.

Please let us know what you find out.


HHC

So many heli's - too little time...

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08-13-2007 03:38 AM  10 years agoPost 5
djMidnight

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Petaluma, California

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My remaining tail blade would best be described as 'floopy'. The grip is tight enough to hold the blade in place, but it nearly falls under its own weight. It wasn't over-tightened.

Jason

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08-13-2007 04:15 AM  10 years agoPost 6
BitMaP

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Jackson TN

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My tail blades always fall under their own weight. You could have tightened it, then backed it off, that alone might have been enough to crack the grip. What blades do you use? All carbon blades I have tried needed to be "fit" to the holder in order to prevent binding. So far you've posted that the main blades are running out of track, the blade grips are sloppy, the model has landed upside-down on it's head, and tail blades throwing themselves free.

Truthfully it sounds like there are some serious assembly/maintinance problems that need to be addressed. Looking at the situation as "only 38 dollars later and I'm back in the air" is in my opinion, "crazy". I've been in this hobby 25 years and have personal up close experience with rotor blades. Believe me it's nothing I wish on anyone! Take a good look at that rotor in a hover and think what it be like to have one of those blades pop you a good one! DON"T TAKE CHANCES!!! If it's loose, REPLACE IT, if in doubt, REPLACE IT, inspect everything TWICE and THREE TIMES. And plan on completely dissassembling the model from time to time to check for problems that you wouldn't normally be able to see on a simple pre-flight.

Seriously though, I'm not your daddy, and you can do what you want, however I'm just trying to emphasize how dangerous these things are and hope you develop a healthy respect for them without getting hurt!

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08-13-2007 09:14 PM  10 years agoPost 7
dialarotor

rrElite Veteran

Traverse City,​Michigan

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Saw John and Lynn at IRCHA, Lynn encouraged me to pick up the demo machines, but I declined as I was afraid if I picked it up something might break. Seems that is tHe way it goes with the three TIGER 50'S now MKII's that I own or fly. I did have the two tail units (to be returned when buying the improved tail) from my two kits in my pocket, but forgot to hand them over. Oh well, I will put them in the mail and let USPS break them. Audacity was a good sponsor and gave away at least 2 PANTERA's that I saw. I also saw two PANTERA kits NIB along the MIDWAY for sale. $200 for the first one and $250 for the other. The marketplace speaks volumes. Young Kyle did a great job of demo flying the PANTERA. Also got to see two of new t-shirts, the Red one with the little devil on Lynn looked nice, the brownish one on John looked like something from a KC Barbeque sauce cook-off event.
Anyway, off to fly the snot out of my TIGER 50's.

RapRexSynLog Pilot

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08-14-2007 10:57 PM  10 years agoPost 8
djMidnight

rrApprentice

Petaluma, California

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I flew the living hell out of my Tiger for 2 years until a really bad auto in high wind ended its life and gave me the excuse I needed to upgrade to the Pantera. I have friends with Raptors who were amazed at the beating the Tiger took from me, and I have never had any bad dealings with John, so I have nothing bad to say about either of them.

I'm a little disheartened that I've had problems with the Pantera, but I'm not sure I'm ready to write it off just yet. This past weekend a friend of mine spent the whole time at the field trying to diagnose problems with his heli - first tail wag, then his motor cut out, then a tail servo failed - so it's not like it's just me.

Failures are part of the hobby, but it's hard to remember that while watching your baby go nose first into the dirt.

Jason

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08-24-2007 01:50 AM  10 years agoPost 9
kolt1911

rrNovice

leon, wv- us

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the tail rotor blades were not tight, the rotor grip just failed plain and simple, lets face it, the pantera is not exactlly a high quallity air craft... i do like it alot, but the components are cheap. my other heli is a t-rex 600 nitro pro and the two are not in the same class....

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08-24-2007 02:32 AM  10 years agoPost 10
ProModeler

rrElite Veteran

Sanford, FL (Orlando​area)

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kolt1911,

Comparing a $600 helicopter manufactured of aluminum and carbon fiber to a $370 model manufactured of plastic would be quite a feat. To be fair, we really designed the Pantera to compete with other plastic 50-class plastic machines from Thunder Tiger, Hirobo, Kyosho, etc. Frankly, Align blindsided the entire market by offering such capable models for such an inexpensive price point. How can they do this? Two reasons.

First, they are blessed with a much less expensive manufacturing base, i.e cheap labor in Communist China.

Second, the Communist Chinese currency is is artificially pegged to the US$ Dollar and hence, we directly subsidize Chinese products, i.e. all of us as taxpayers to the tune of about 25% presently. How competitive would their Communist pricing be if their currency were free floating as all others, i.e. £ Pound Sterling, the ¥ Japanese Yen, and even the Eurodollar are? In short, that $600 TRex 600N would be going for about 800 bucks, and that nifty Sport version would be over 500 bucks.

Naturally, most guys don't know much about currency manipulation but this is a fact of life for anbody doing business overseas. And this is pretty much everybody as the global economy transitions and evolves. But if you think we have it bad, pity the poor folks in the Carolinas who aren't making clothing anymore. Or the folks who aren't making furniture anymore - been in a Wal-Mart lately? Frankly, I suspect Sam Walton is spinning in his grave.

Naturally, we will, all of us in the industry, i.e collectively and individually, try our best to respond, I assure you. But the Communist giant wields great power. Anyway, this game ain't over yet!

However, kolt1911, vis-a-vis the tail rotor blade grip that failed. Did you replace them? Have the replacements failed? We have about 1000 models out there now and the number of failures is very, very small. Meanwhile, I am working on injecting a batch of tail grips with a new engineering plastic formulation - more fiber basically, to see if we can make these stronger. Frankly, we're not sure of the reason some have broken. We know we can replicate a crack at will by overtightening the blades on the grip. But enough of you have said you're certain you didn't overtighten the grips that I believe you and hence, we are investigating a new material. But please give me a little time because these things don't happen overnight. I'll keep you posted as soon as I have results I can share.

Thanks for your patience.


John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745

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09-05-2007 03:09 PM  10 years agoPost 11
kolt1911

rrNovice

leon, wv- us

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thanks for the reply, are there any alluminium main or tail rotor grips for the pantera yet?

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09-05-2007 03:36 PM  10 years agoPost 12
ProModeler

rrElite Veteran

Sanford, FL (Orlando​area)

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Not yet, but on my radar for some time in the future - a winter project no doubt.


John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745

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