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HomeAircraftHelicopterCentury Radikal G20-30 N640 Hawk Predator › Problem after problem..
11-07-2004 05:24 PM  13 years agoPost 1
Duracizer

rrApprentice

NC

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Do you ever have the feeling that you are doing more repairing/tuning than actual flying? It seems recently there is something always going wrong with my Hawk when I take it out to fly, this is no reflection on the heli it's just stupid little things that keep getting in the way of my airtime...

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11-07-2004 11:31 PM  13 years agoPost 2
SteveH

rrProfessor

Texas

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I hear what you're saying, but to keep it in perspective, a full scale heli mechanic once told me there was typically four hours of maintenace done for every hour in the air.

The government cannot give you anything without first taking it from someone else.

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11-08-2004 01:51 AM  13 years agoPost 3
Syclic

rrApprentice

Northern Hemisphere Ont.

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Heli's quickly teach you that they do not forgive "stupid little things" we do either in building them improperly. setting them up improperly, repairing them improperly, maintaining them improperly (and that includes items of the radio) etc.

So never, ever rush things when working on them, check and double check that you have always assembeled or re-assembled everything properly and using locktite wherever required...oh, and always use the proper tools. Then you will find they are very "plug and play".

Albert

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11-08-2004 04:34 AM  13 years agoPost 4
Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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Duracizer,,, yes, I did have that feeling many times before, until this year !!, because if you change this you may have to change that, change your needle settings may mean you need to adjust your tail,,, as far as maintenance goes it seems it-all came together for me this spring,,, yes I have tried a couple new things this last year because I wanted too, but other than burning up my motor I have not had a problem with my heli for a year now (knock knock knock on wood !!),,,

and I agree with Syclic also, it seems that there is a maintenance curve that gets easier as time goes by, for some it may take a long time, it all depends on how much you fly weekly yearly and how much you experiment with your heli's setup and Tx programing,,,

but I think 1 of the tricks of speeding-up that learning curve is to try many changes in your Tx programing, that way you learn quickly how you like your heli to feel and fly on the sticks,,, see, a couple time one of the guys at the field said to me "you keep messing with your Tx programming, why don't you set it and leave it", well I can tell you now that if my heli is not flying the way I like it to I know what to do in my programming/curves to fix it, I don't need someone els to set it up for me,,,

keep at it and it will all come togeter for you !!


Jim

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11-08-2004 05:50 AM  13 years agoPost 5
Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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Oh,,, at the end of last year I wrote a post on crashing, just after I crashed 3 time within some 7,8 flights, that was 4 for the whole year, then Phil replied and said 1 year he crashed 11 times~~ouch,,, on I went,,,

keep at it and things will get better/earier.


Jim

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11-08-2004 09:31 AM  13 years agoPost 6
nicco

rrVeteran

Sweden

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I know the feeling. I have crashed 6 times this year. 5 of them because of technical problem (one gyrosensor, one speedcontroller, two with a broken receiver (range check ok) and one by radio interferance, I will not use a whip again..). No of them was possible to predict...

Now I'm waiting spare-part to my predator gasser.

/N

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11-08-2004 02:17 PM  13 years agoPost 7
Duracizer

rrApprentice

NC

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I completely agree about taking your time to fix things, double checking everything etc. 9 times out of 10 it's something I have missed. But as everyone says, it is a learning curve and I am certainly learning a lot from the mistakes that I make. It's not even crashes...it's more like when I first start it up, if there is a little twitch or something doesn't sound right, I wont fly it until I figure out what it was. This usually means heading home to the workbench where I can inspect it properly.

But sometimes it's just the weather. I get everything ready to go and then it sits there waiting for the perfect day. But then I guess that's what the simulator is for

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11-08-2004 02:36 PM  13 years agoPost 8
sreuss

rrApprentice

Ontario, Canada

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The learning curve...
Don't get discouraged by the learning curve; There is really a lot to learn, and just when you think you've learned it all, something else comes and bites your ass.

I've been flying helis for a 11 years, and I'm down to about 1 crash every season. The season's crash was pilot error (botched looping auto). Last year's crash was due to the clutch stack locking up on my Fury. I should note that I get about 100 flights per season -- so I crash during about 1% of the flights.

In terms of routine maintenance now, I'll bet I spend 5 minutes of poking at the heli for every hour of flight - and this includes minor fixes.

During the first 5 years or so, I thought exactly the way most do... So much work to keep these things going. But in time, you get very good at looking at/for the 'right' things. I have gotten good at very quickly finding/fixing mechanical bugs before they became big issues. Radio bugs still bite me once in a while (bad solder joints letting go, etc...). Dumb thumbs get me to...

Ultimately, this is the sort of thing that brings me a lot of satisfaction. If it were all clear, then I guess it would be too easy. The good news is that it gets better as you 'do your time'. Certainly asking/observing how others maintain their helis and/or what they look for will speed up the curve too.

You have the right attitude about fixing things before they cause a crash. Never underestimate how much you ship will 'talk' to you.

Cheers,
SteveR

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11-08-2004 11:26 PM  13 years agoPost 9
BC Don

rrElite Veteran

Calgary, AB Canada

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Count another one in the "can't I fly for a month without rebuilding" club. Guess I've only crashed about 4 - 5 times this year (but just started in September). But it seems like more. Finally got the bird back together after waiting for parts and the weather is Rain + Snow + Wind - sucks.

But then on my planks, first flight 2 weekends ago and it was veering a bit to the left, thought I was clear of everthing and as it was the maiden flight I didn't want to overcorrect, hit a metal post with the left wing - wing destroyed but fuse OK so ordered another wing (ARF).

I've got a plane I want to build but there always seems to be something being repaired on the work bench.

Got Money? Send it to me, I'm a Heli Addict.

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11-09-2004 01:16 AM  13 years agoPost 10
Duracizer

rrApprentice

NC

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My wife says I should get a plank so that when my heli fails to fly for whatever reason I can just throw the plank into the sky and have some fun (of course I'd rather have another heli standing by!)

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11-09-2004 04:41 PM  13 years agoPost 11
oldfart

rrProfessor

Vancouver, Canada

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logs
I have kept flight/aircraft logs for over 20 years now. They have taught me a lot about mainyenance and proper assembly.

These logs of course include the crashes that are classified as 1) pilot error 2) mechanical failure and 3) electronics failure

Of note is that if the mechanical failure that caused the crash was due to inattention in the assembly or such (e.g, the screw that attaches a bellcrank comes loose or a ball link that I noticed had developed excess slop pops off) I do not call it a mechanical error, rather I call it a pilot error.

Hmmmm....maybe I should add a forth class - assembly/maintenance error

Now it seems that all my mishaps are pilot/dumb thums error while trying a new manoever without adequate altitude or in too low a light condition (that "one more flight today" syndrome.)

Phil

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11-09-2004 05:39 PM  13 years agoPost 12
eSmith

rrVeteran

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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If I kept a log Phil, The wife would find it and my flying day's would be over. I'm just about up to double digits this year (various Machines) for crashing.
It's been an interesting year for sure, at least I spen a lot of time in the air this year.......

More next year.

-eSmith.

http://www.edmheli.ca

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11-10-2004 01:02 AM  13 years agoPost 13
chopperhopper

rrNovice

Clovis, NM

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I can attest to what SteveH said, the real thing is VERY maintenance oriented. I sometimes I feel that I might enjoy gazing at the mechanical gadgetry we call helicopters more than actually flying them. What also amazes me is how fast the technology advances. I work on full size helis for a living and I am constantly amazed at how superior the technology of our "toys" is to the real thing.

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11-10-2004 01:19 AM  13 years agoPost 14
oldfart

rrProfessor

Vancouver, Canada

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Chopperhopper,

I would hate to think how slow the technological advancement would be in our R/C helicopters if everyadvancement had to go through the expensive FAA approvals the big ones do before any production and marketing could happen.

Phil

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11-10-2004 06:56 AM  13 years agoPost 15
chopperhopper

rrNovice

Clovis, NM

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True
I agree, not having the FAA in our business is nice. I just think it is sad watching our helis advance so fast and full scale can't keep up (mostly because I'm in the Air Force I think; we seem to get all the left over helicopter junk. I hear that the other branches are a little more up to date when it comes to helicopters). Just wish I could apply some of my "toy" stuff to the helis I work on. Both the pilots AND the maintainers would benifit!

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11-11-2004 04:28 PM  13 years agoPost 16
ebshulman

rrNovice

Albany, New York

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Maintenance
I've been flying rc helo's on and off since 1982. Having been a military helicopter mechanic for 4 years I have learned that preventive maintenance is a must. 7hrs of maint for every hour in the air is the average for a turbine single engine helo. I bet I have spent about a half hour for every hour my Predator Gasser is in the air. I have kept track and logged about 25 hours of flight time on the gasser. I have replaced the main plastic gear once, the tail drive gear once (found a small crack behind the set screw), have repacked the tail gearbox with grease twice, have found two bad servo's (shorts in the wires) BEFORE they caused a problem. Have gone to carbon blades. Wore out the skid tubes on the pavement (why don't they make full length skid shoes for these choppers?) So far I have had flawless flights and will continue to have a very aggressive maintenance program for it. I replace the self locking nuts and small set screws on a regular basis if I remove them. Check, re-check and check again. Compared to my previous helo's (Schluter heli-boy and Kobe Kiko Gas H300) this heli is a dream. Powerfull and reliable.

-manny

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