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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Which boom is ultimately stronger?
10-14-2005 06:24 PM  13 years agoPost 1

rrElite Veteran

Sydney, Australia

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Carbon fiber or metal?

I know most pilots prefer metal as it flexes less in the air. However am curious as to which one will hold up to the most force exerted on them. (Bending over the knee came to mind but that isn't an accurate test!)

10-14-2005 06:45 PM  13 years agoPost 2
John Benario


Las Vegas

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You have to decide what parameter you are looking for. Strength is usually defined as the stress that causes 2% deflection - not a very useful value for us.

Stiffness, defined as elongation/stress, is what most model pilots are interested in as a floppy boom affects gyro performance. For the same tube size, aluminum is stiffer than carbon, but heavier.

It sounds as if damage tolerance is what you are interested in. Carbon has very poor damage tolerance. With models though that can be a good thing. Many times in a crash a carbon boom will depart the helicopter, not breaking a blade or saving the tail gearbox, etc, whereas aluminum wraps around the main blade and trashes everything it touches.

Even though the carbon booms are more expensive they can be cheaper in a crash because of less ancillary damage.

John Benario

10-14-2005 08:17 PM  13 years agoPost 3

rrKey Veteran

Huntsville, Alabama

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Not sure about strenght, but I perfer the CF on my raptor, simple because it is less sesitive to temp. distortion. I never have to adjust the cf boom for belt tension due to temp. change, but the metal one needs to be adjust about every 10-15F change in temp.

Ignorance is curable, stupidity is for life.

10-14-2005 09:13 PM  13 years agoPost 4

rrKey Veteran

Western Massachusettes

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John, that's a very interesting observation. I always though that C/F booms weren't worth it because of the added cost vs strength/weight gains, but never considered that a $34 boom might save a $75 set of blades.

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