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Other › In flight Failure of a Mikado Swashplate--
12-29-2009 04:01 PM  7 years agoPost 1
Jag72

rrProfessor

South of Boston

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I was out flying yesterday ...only about 30 Degrees F here ...about 1 minute into flight I was doing a flip and the heli went crazy (logo 500 flybarless)

I had to do an emergency inverted auto...actually landed on the head and did almost no damage except for main blades...

well...it appears one of the inner swashplate balls snapped and I lost control of one of the blades

The kicker is that this swashplate has only 5 flights on it...it's one of the older ones that has the 2mm or 2.5mm balls ...but I was a bit surprised to see it fail...

I'm just curious if there are others out there who have had them fail?

I am thinking I am going to switch out all my Mikado swashes for something different....

BTW...I have had Hundreds and Hundreds of flights on these swashes in the past and have NEVER had an in flight failure until this one...I wonder if it's the temperature making the metal brittle?

Any thoughts?

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12-29-2009 04:10 PM  7 years agoPost 2
JEEPWORLD2002

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BLUEBELL PA USA

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my guess is u over tightened the ball and as its only 5 flights old. We all know you a mikado wiz and proficent logo builder but we have all do it some times Any chance you over tightened it ?? Temp ?? maybe if it were a ball link i would consider it but the ball post, i think doubt full. Just so i am not getting the wrong pic the ball snapped of the threads right

Trex600n Trex500 Mikado LoGo5003d// Hacker, CastleCreations,Ys 50, JR 7703d/8900, Radix

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12-29-2009 04:18 PM  7 years agoPost 3
Jag72

rrProfessor

South of Boston

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Ball---

Yeah...the ball snapped clean at the threads...I am pretty careful about not overtightening ...but who knows...that may be a possibility also ?

I will snap a pic tonight...

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12-29-2009 06:49 PM  7 years agoPost 4
Stolla

rrKey Veteran

Port elizabeth South Africa

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Mik does warn about overtightening the balls but i must confess they don't look as strong as say for instance the MA balls, so i prefer a stronger locktite and just fasten them till thread bottoms out.

Common sense may not be common after all

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12-29-2009 09:19 PM  7 years agoPost 5
TomC

rrKey Veteran

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Jag,

Had exactly the same thing happen with my Logo 10 a couple of years ago. Like yours, it broke clean at the start of the threads. Cost me a nice set of Logo 10 carbon frames!

I had a lot of fun trying to screw that little sucker out (dremel cutting wheel to the rescue; cut slot on top and managed to get it out with a flat-head screwdriver; Some cosmetic damage on outside of swash though).

Did what Stolla recommended (green locktite and minimal tightening). Have not had a problem with this swash since.

Never sure what caused it, maybe I overtightened it but I don't really know for sure.

Cheers,
TomC

Nqx,Mcpx-BL,300x,450x,500x,550x
Ion-x, 10s ,SS
TT X50E 10s, HC3-Sx

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12-30-2009 01:07 AM  7 years agoPost 6
Tday

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Needham, MA

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I found that any gravity event...hard auto or wreck had me replacing the balls anyway since they'd bend slightly and blade tracking went to hell. And I wasn't able to even find the part so had been canabalizing an old one to keep it up and going. The newer swash is much sturdier. Am I wrong on that? It seems like a worthwhile thing to do unless you don't hit the ground.

Tom

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12-30-2009 02:26 AM  7 years agoPost 7
Futura SE

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Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Sounds like a classic case of you over tigntened the ball and the cold weather did not help things either.

I would chalk things up to simple mistake and go on. The problem isn't the swashplate anyway as this was a ball that snapped. By snapping off flush that has to be over tightening.

Norman Ross Jr.

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12-30-2009 04:32 AM  7 years agoPost 8
gtxkid

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Gulf Breeze Florida

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The older plastic swashplate i had started with cost me a lot of CASH
Have crashed on the newer ones quite a bit and never a problem.

Futaba 14Mz / 1300mm Multi rotor / Logo 10

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12-30-2009 02:44 PM  7 years agoPost 9
Jag72

rrProfessor

South of Boston

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Pics...

I had 5 flights on this baby...no hard autos or crashes or anything...must have been overtightened then?

I guess I need to be more careful in the future

after looking at these pics closeup...you can almost see the material on the inner swash bulging up a bit...musthave been overtightened

check it out:

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12-30-2009 03:58 PM  7 years agoPost 10
helinutz

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Bournemouth, Dorset, UK

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I had exactly the same thing happen to my L600 that caused the heli to just drift in sideways.
I have to say I didnt build that particular swash plate, but it is now part of my preflight to examine the swash a lot more closely.

>>>>>I'm so broke, I cant even pay attention!<<<<<

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12-30-2009 05:31 PM  7 years agoPost 11
BobOD

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New York- USA

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Actually, it is just as likely that it was under-tightened, or came loose. Actually, this is common in a new build as the ball links are stiff and can put twist on the ball...in the cold too.
With such a long cantilever, if the shoulder isn't firmly seated, the stress in the screw shank goes WAY up. It's so long!

Team POP Secret

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12-30-2009 08:07 PM  7 years agoPost 12
twguns

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Indianapolis, IN

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It appears to me that the unthreaded shank is slightly bent which would indicate that Bob's "undertight" would be correct. This would also explain the mushroom of the aluminum from the base that also appears to be deformed.

bigTim

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12-30-2009 10:17 PM  7 years agoPost 13
BobOD

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New York- USA

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On second thought, I think it was just a dumb thumb and Anthony is just making excuses. That's the second time in like a week he's landed the wrong way up. Gotta work on your orientations man!

Team POP Secret

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12-31-2009 11:52 AM  7 years agoPost 14
aerton

rrVeteran

Longueuil, QC, Canada

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I like to push the rods hard before each flight to check for play and just to make myself feel better. Whether it would help or not, I don't know, but with so many moving parts I'd rather push them apart on the ground as preflight check.

Plastic is usually the one that gets brittle in the cold.

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12-31-2009 03:18 PM  7 years agoPost 15
PA Heli-Girl

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North Central PA

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All good observations thus far...

Anthony's first picture provides the most information. IMHO, the verdict is still out as to whether it was caused by over or under tightening. May I suggest the photo leans more toward over tightening? The deformation on the unthreaded shank appears to match the deformation on the swash perfectly, suggesting the deformation occurred instantly as soon as the shank snapped. If it was an undertightened situation, I would expect "wear or deformation" patterns around the entire shank OD rather than 1 location. Only way to know for sure is to analyze the fractured surface of the shank using a scanning electron microscope to identify the initial point of failure. Just a few more thoughts to muddy the waters ;-)

Regards,
Mair

*Flyin' with a purpose*

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12-31-2009 03:40 PM  7 years agoPost 16
PA Heli-Girl

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North Central PA

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Oh and one more thought...

I'm teetering on how much influence the cold had on the failure. Depending on composition, some steels are more brittle below 40 degrees F. It is possible that it had some influence but excessive stress was the major contributing factor either from overtightening ;-) or in flight stress from undertightening.

Regards,
Mair

*Flyin' with a purpose*

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12-31-2009 04:53 PM  7 years agoPost 17
RappyTappy

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North Denver, Colorado

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I love a lot of Mikados stuff, but their swashplate is substandard imo. I'm amazed they don't fail more often especially with vbar stuff. I've never had a swashplate ball snap off in flight or in a crash ever with any other heli. With the Logo, I've needed to replace the swash twice. The Quick UK one is worlds better.

In this picture you can see the difference between a common sized swash ball and a logo sized swash ball.

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12-31-2009 05:49 PM  7 years agoPost 18
BobOD

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New York- USA

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It also doesn't help that the shoulder is seated against a curved surface. I've seen many a logo swash where this surface gets marred even when the ball does not break. If yield point is being reached, you know trouble isn't far off.

Team POP Secret

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12-31-2009 06:02 PM  7 years agoPost 19
PA Heli-Girl

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North Central PA

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You are spot on with the curved surface, BobOD! ;-)

*Flyin' with a purpose*

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12-31-2009 07:15 PM  7 years agoPost 20
twguns

rrVeteran

Indianapolis, IN

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Your correct on the round surface. It wouldn't take much when the rings are being machined to spotface for a good support surface after drilling/tapping for the screw in balls.

bigTim

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