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HomeAircraftHelicopterCentury Radikal G20-30 N640 Hawk Predator › Why are there so many bad Century posts?
07-19-2002 01:59 AM  16 years agoPost 21
smithdp

rrNovice

Annville, PA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Century
I have had real good luck with Century, they ship parts fast and didn't charge shipping. I am rebuilding a crashed Hawk IV to SE standards, so far its been an enjoyable project. I like the product and price.
Dave

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07-19-2002 11:18 AM  16 years agoPost 22
SJN

rrApprentice

Denmark EKCH

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I think my Hawk SE is great. verry reliable. But I can only compare it to my old kyosho concep 30 SR.
Nothing has broken, and maintenace is minimal, so i guess this is verry well built ship...

SJ.


PS.
Anyone know when Century are comming up with their 60 heli ?
I will deffinetly buy their 60 heli when it is here..

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07-19-2002 01:53 PM  16 years agoPost 23
heliman41

rrKey Veteran

Valparaiso IN. USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Not being a beginner ive had the pleasure of flying a lot of different brands of helis both all metal and plastic. Ive seen the Hawk go thru several evolutions over the yrs. and it has reached a perfect stage for beginners, handles well, holds up well, easy to setup etc.....but the next stage MUST include either a belt drive or a tube drive, and the belt is a better choice much easier to setup and repair. If they dont do this they are going to have trouble competing W other helis as they do have belt drives specificly made to handle HH gyros and even beginners are starting out W HH gyros these days as they have become affordable now and the standard piezo is starting to phaze out, lets face it hovering is a lot easier without having to master the tail at the same time, now a fella can master hovering in HH then sw. to normal to master the tail after getting air exp first W HH. A better way to learn in my opinion. If Century makes a version W a belt drive or tube without having to upgrade ill be a loyal follower again, if they dont then JR and TT will eventually leave em in the dust........................this is the future and the other manufactures know it otherwise they would have wire drives as well for beginners.........

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07-19-2002 03:07 PM  16 years agoPost 24
driftrider

rrVeteran

Cedar Rapids, IA. (In my own little world)

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Belt or Tube drive for Century helis.
Heliman41,

I agree with you about the belt/tube drive issue. The wire drive on the Hawk IV and Raven 30's wasn't my first choice. If they redesigned these with a belt drive it would be much better. The Falcon SE/Raven 50 and I believe the Hawk SE cone with a very durable torque tube drive that works great. I say very durable because my first crash resulted in the boom being completely severed in two places, right by the frame and right where the blade(s) hit it. The torque tube completely separated and flew 10 feet but survived unscathed.

Mike

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07-19-2002 05:02 PM  16 years agoPost 25
Syclic

rrApprentice

Northern Hemisphere Ont.

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Belt/wire/shaft
Heliman41,

I have wrung the $hi* out of my Falcon SE/V1 (wire-in-tube drive) with a Futaba 401 and the 9253 servo through over 500 flights and a Hawk IV with the same drive and the same gyro/servo combination (now with about 260 flights) and found they worked better then the belt drive on my my "Hi-Zoot" Shuttle and about the same as the belt drive on other helis I have. Optimizing the system by using the proper length servo arm, proper gain and delay settings are all it takes.(This is true of all helis).

Now to step up from there, the inexpensive shaft drive upgrade ($45) now makes the SE a real treat flying backwards. and the CDT (constant drive tail - $45) now has it replacing my 60's at the field. And I agree with driftryder, it is a strong system having survived two of my mishaps.

In fact I much prefer the configuration the way it is because it makes it inexpensive to move up to the best system - the torque tube. A heli designed for a belt drive is an expensive unit to upgrade to a torque tube system, if at all.

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07-19-2002 05:09 PM  16 years agoPost 26
voclain

rrApprentice

Houma, LA

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Syclic
Do you recall the SIZE of the wire in the Hawk IV??? What I mean is the thickness of that wire????

2mm? 3mm? 4mm??

Just wondering???

Kirk

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07-19-2002 06:00 PM  16 years agoPost 27
Greg McFadden

rrKey Veteran

Richland, WA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

the problems with the hawk (unupgraded) in my mind (I own one btw, and fly it all the time) number one is the shoddy wire drive. everything about the wire drive says "we don't want to put any effort into this" but there is a torque tube upgrade for 50 bucks that I am looking at. They really should have done a belt. (ever broken a wiredrive doing just a stall turn? I have on this machine)

Number two. the most glaring omission from the general kit was the anti-roation bracket for the swashplate. This is where they went way too cheap... that and the plastic ball links on the tail. come on guys even the nexus has metal ball links on the tail. (which btw, century so blatantly ripped off that one can drop a nexus tail grip assembly on there and get metal ball links)


Number three. I have had to deal with their customer service several times. Most of them are really great to deal with but there is one guy who is "not a very nice person" so to speak.

The silence often, of pure innocence persuades, when speaking fails

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07-19-2002 06:08 PM  16 years agoPost 28
Syclic

rrApprentice

Northern Hemisphere Ont.

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size wire
It uses a "second generation" 2mm wire inside a tube system that is supported is three places. So it acts a lot like a shaft drive. WIth just a little relatively inconsequential "wind-up" in 30 and 46 size helis.

The older "first generation" wire drives used in the old GMP, Kalt, Schlueter 60 size helis had the 2mm wire fed directly through two to three nylon support bushings. Because they were turning directly inside these, they would quickly enlarge the holes and start whipping and increasing the "wind-up". They worked relatively well, but not as good as a good belt drive or a shaft drive. This stigma has rubbed off on these newer designs even though they do not suffer the same issues.

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07-19-2002 06:12 PM  16 years agoPost 29
voclain

rrApprentice

Houma, LA

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Thanks!!
Just wondering???

Kirk

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07-19-2002 11:27 PM  16 years agoPost 30
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Falcon 50 SE II
I am one who was on the bubble about Century helis. But, having built and flown 3 gallons through the all new Falcon SE II with OS .50 I can say that I am VERY pleased with my decision. It has it's own set of issues but NOTHING worth being discouraged over. I think it is ALOT better than these plastic fantastics out there that everyone thinks are so great. The quality of the Falcon and it's performance are awesome!

Century is obviously improving the manner in which they listen to their customers and the market. They have room to improve(ie phone orders) but their website is slick and the pricing and shipping is top notch.

I started a post called something like "Falcon SE II - Take A Chance or Not" back in June-ish and was a tad scared to get involved with Century products. I can now say this for the Falcon and customer support: You WILL be pleased!

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07-20-2002 01:33 AM  16 years agoPost 31
gforce

rrVeteran

Fort Mill, SC

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Post it Kirk
Post it Kirk, but why don't you start a new thread, this one is getting long. I would like to see what you have found with the Falcon 50 SE. I am building one right now also. thanks!

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07-22-2002 09:39 AM  16 years agoPost 32
blazen

rrApprentice

California

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Poor Quality and substandard Customer service.
I have built more of Century’s Hawks series Helis then I can count.

All of them have been for new Heli enthusiasts. The owner of my favorite local Hobby shop. Sends as many of his new Heli enthusiasts to me for asstance as he can. Most people have been so happy with there heli that I usually get dinner or some other type of gratuity for doing it. The owner talks them into having me help them if he can. He tries to talk them out of buying the ARF Buy saying something like “ Who do you want Building your helis? Someone working in a factory for minimum wage who has probably never even flow a model heli or someone who has been building and flying Helis for 20+ years and has a wall full of trophies and plaque’s. Your choice ??

I was for many years Vice President in charge of Prototype development for Full Size Rotary Wing Company. And building all those hawks has given me quite a bit of insight into Century’s evolving Design process!! I have seen them correct quite a few design flaws in there Helis

I will admit that most of the problems I see people post about the Hawk series of Heli is from the builders lack of common sense. It amazes me as to how many self proclaimed Heli experts don’t have a clue as to even basic mechanical assembly. Not to mention the ability to follow simple written instructions. It seems as though the new breed of 3D model helicopter enthusiasts would rather learn how to do the funky chicken in the air (helicopter maneuvers that look like a helicopter falling uncontrollably from the sky) Then actually learning how to properly preload a ball bearing on a shaft so the shaft does not spin in the races. It seems as though liberal amounts of J.B. weld and locktite are the answers to the lack of basic buildings skills, It kind of reminds me of the bubble gum and baling wire fixes my dad used to do on his old Ford pickup. just like my Dad these new pilots blame the manufacture. When it’s really there repair job or building practices that are to blame!


With hat said

I will also say that most of the century kits that I have built have had some sort of issues missing parts, wrong parts incorrectly machined flats on shafts, mistakes in the instruction manual. That’s Just to mention a few. But in the end none of those problems would have been enough for me not recommend there products !!!

Until NOW.

While at another local Hobby shop. They made me a deal on a Falcon SE V2 that I could not resist . This has to be the worst kit I have ever built nothing but problems. Here are the problems that irritate me the most

Lower side frame stand off’s are .10 inches wider then the corresponding mounting on the servo tray. Making it impossible to mount the servo tray to the frame. Without machining the stand offs

Engine mount is to small accept an OS 50 or 46 without machining relief’s. They have fixed this problem with a new mount but will not replace mine

Tube drive couplers that are incorrectly designed. The one in the tail rotor housing will not allow you to preload the bearing. “They have corrected this in new kits but will not replace mine”

Out of round Upgraded aluminum fan SEE this post. for more info
http://www.runryder.com/showtopic.h...1&topicid=16201

Other Missing parts in my kit

Century’s answer to all this !! You have to deal with the hobby shop. Hobby shops answer !! You have to call Century. After I informed them I already called Century all I got was shrugged shoulders and that they could not do anything else for me. So I called Century back. There answer was “bring it down here so we can look at it” All I can say is that they bumped there ever living heads. If the think I am driving all the way there so they can look at it.

So now what ??? am I’m stuck with a heli that I have to Modify just to get it to build the way it should have come from the factory.. that’s just garbage for customer service


73’s

Blazen

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07-22-2002 04:05 PM  16 years agoPost 33
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Falcon SE II
Blazen,
While the little brass standoff are a tad wider than the radio tray side frames I can't understand why it is "imposssible" to mount the tray. All I did was spread the frames with my fingers while sliding it on. You must have something wrong.

The engine mount is to tight around the bolt swells on the rear of the OS .50 crankcase that holds on the backplate. Nothing a little Dremel work can't correct. Yes, they need to correct this if they haven't but it didn't stop me or anybody else from installing the OS .50 SX-H.

Come on now. You can't on one hand claim "holier than thou" building skills and then fuss about having to use a Dremel tool in a heli building project. If it weren't for the mighty Dremel most of us hobby folks would be hosed! Yes, it should be corrected by Century if they haven't but sometimes you gotta overcome these issues and move on.

Now, please enlighten me on "preloading" a bearing so that I can avoid having to use JB weld and Loctite on my helis. I have no idea what "preloading" is.

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07-22-2002 07:22 PM  16 years agoPost 34
blazen

rrApprentice

California

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Lift,
I agree the motor mount is something that can be fixed with a dermel tool. BUT I stand on principal here. It is advertised as a 46 size heli. When an OS 46 won’t mount without modifications I get tad Upset... especially when Century tells me on the phone that it’s the first time they have heard of this problem. They should have told me that some of the mounts came out a little out of spec and that if I don’t have a dermel tool I should take it back to the hobby shop and they would grind it out for me. that would be good customer service.

As for the side frames .10 inches is a lot more then just a little tight. Bending the side frames that much will induce quite a bit of stress into the frames. This is the same problem that early X-cells with bent aluminum side frame suffered from. In the X-cell the motor mount was about .05 smaller then the lower aluminum tank mount. If the builder did not see this. And just forced it instead of shimming the motor mount or grinding the tray. Engine vibration over time would cause a stress crack in the side frame around the motor mount. The idea here is to build a stress free Heli. I am still flying my original X-cell with the side frames that came in the kit. She has never been crashed and is over 10 years old. I fly her hard she probably spends more time upside down the rights side up. My friends tease me by saying things like “did you just forget how to fly right side up.

Sure all the problems I have mentioned can be fixed by me. But why should they !!! these are quality control Issues. If century would have admitted to knowing about the problems instead of playing dumb and giving me the run around. I would have felt better about do the modifications myself !!

The Century $40 aluminum fan that is way out of round was the final straw this thing is so bad that you can see it wobble when you spin it

I have to admit I really like the Falcon and none of these problems would probably keep me from buying another one. But as cash spending customer I have to ask myself how much crap am I willing to take from Century.

73's Blazen

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07-22-2002 07:31 PM  16 years agoPost 35
blazen

rrApprentice

California

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

“Preloading” a bearing
Lift,
I almost forgot

As for “Preloading” a bearing. Take a look at the bearings in the Bell Mixers. Notice how the bolt puts slight pressure on the inner race of the outer bearing and the washer on the blade grip puts pressure on the inner race of the inner bearing. That is preloading. Although this is not a spinning part it’s the same principle that should be used on spinning shafts such as the Counter gear assembly, You should apply slight pressure on the Bottom gear and shaft “the bottom gear is molded to mate with the inner race of the bottom Bearing”. And while putting slight pressure on the top gear transferring that force through the two spacers that mate with the inner race of the top bearing. tighten the set screw. You will have to grind the flat on the shaft a bit as it is not long enough. There should not be any end play in this assembly. If done properly the shaft will spin with the Inner races of the bearing. Be careful not to apply to much pressure or you will cause premature bearing wear. The bearings should spin freely and the shaft should not rotate within the inner races. If the bearing feels notchy when you spin the shaft you have applied to much pressure to the inner races.


73’s
Blazen

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07-22-2002 07:40 PM  16 years agoPost 36
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Falcon Frames
Blazen,
There must be something wrong. Mine was tight but it lined right up. What I mean when I said I had to spread the frames was nothing more than just enough to get it to clear over the brass eyelets. Nothing as serious as you are mentioning. Do you have the lower frames with the bottom lip facing out?

http://centuryheli.com/manuals/hawk...l_step22_23.pdf

On the fan I think that is totally unacceptible as well. I would send it back. Personally, I have found that the stock fan is working great. You should put it on a high point balancer regardless but it is more than adequate for cooling task.

Yes, the engine mount SHOULD fit. I guess it is my laziness that I just Dremeled it out instead of calling Century to give them an earful. I'm just that way. Actually, I am perfectionist but it would be nice for them to save me some work since I was the one that shelled out $399.99. Surely they can give up a little more profit and redesign the mount. I agree.

You will like the way this heli flies. I have a post about the tail that I just put up but other than that if you get everything setup to your liking you will be pleased!

Hang in there and keep us posted on the fan.

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07-22-2002 08:39 PM  16 years agoPost 37
voclain

rrApprentice

Houma, LA

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Drimel engine????
Payton????

What are ya'll talking about??? When I put my engine in, I did not have to drimel anything??? Did I miss something???

Kirk Voclain

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07-22-2002 09:04 PM  16 years agoPost 38
oldfart

rrProfessor

Vancouver, Canada

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Hi Kirk
Kirk

No, I do not think so.

The first Falcon SE's had motor mounts for the OS46 engines, so when OS came out with the 50, which had the same mounting hole dimensions but an ever so slightly wider crankcase, you would have had to file or dremel the top a bit to get the 50 to fit. The current V2 has the newer mount with the top already machined to fit.

Phil

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07-22-2002 09:07 PM  16 years agoPost 39
voclain

rrApprentice

Houma, LA

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Thanks Phil....
...OLD FART!! LOVE that name.

Kirk

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07-26-2002 08:33 PM  16 years agoPost 40
warlock1174

rrNovice

USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Poor Helicopter, Poor Design, Poor Service and Poor me!
Having owned 3 Century Hawk Helicopters (2 Hawk 3's and 1 Hawk 4) I can attest to the fact that these helicopters are designed in such a way that critical mechanics fail intermittently. As a Mechanical Engineer, I have pored repeatedly over the inner workings of the Hawk line and have drawn the same conclusions every time. These machines have several minor design flaws that have yet to be addressed, and if left un-modified, they will eventually fail. I won't get into the long-winded details here, but you can read all of my previous posts pertaining to this subject on RCU. I have spoken to the development staff of the Century product line, and they have ACKNOWLEDGED the design flaws, and that they are aware of them, and also that they intend to address these issues as newer models are developed.

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