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Home✈️Aircraft🚁Helicoptere-AlignOther › The story of my T wrecks (long post)
11-09-2005 09:56 AM  14 years ago
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Rocketwiz

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Lakewood CO

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The story of my T wrecks (long post)
BTW there is a highway construction project going on here in Denver called T-REX. Someone should tell them and Align the right way to spell wrecks. I got my XL HDE over a month ago and have been lurking on the forums since then. I have a Warp 4 motor TP 2100ma battery. CC35 ESC, Futaba 240 gyro, and a JR 6102 radio. I have learned a lot in the last month. My girlfriends son came over when he heard I bought a chopper. He brought over a .30 Shuttle that he’s been building for about the last year until he ran out of money. He also brought a Real Flight G3 simulator which he bought instead of a radio. Thank God. I started practicing on it every minute that I wasn’t building I had it almost together when the swashplate separated. So I had to take it all apart again. I read about this on the forums and it was a pretty old post and it didn’t even occur to me that it could still be a problem since I had a new kit. I see now that it was and still is a much bigger problem than I had suspected. My first bad crash happened right after fixing the swashplate and reassembling it. I had the tx and rx on and was adjusting the links to get everything centered. I reached over to get a phillips screwdriver and accidentally bumped the throttle on the tx. The motor fired up and the blades swung around and nailed me in the chest, being much heavier than the Trex I didn’t move. The Trex however slung itself off my kitchen table and thrashed around on the floor until I got everything shut down. Wow, these things make a lot of torque. Lesson 1, disconnect the motor when working on it. About $80 worth of parts later I was, again, ready to try it. I made a set of training gear out of some carbon tubes and ping pong balls. I took it out to my back yard and tried to hover. Lesson 2 my yard is too small. No mishaps but some real exciting times. We took it to a local school and flew it in their grass sports field. It was a little squirrly and I couldn’t keep the tail pointed in, but managed to get about 30 seconds of flight. I asked my girlfriends son if he wanted to try it since he has pretty much mastered the sim. He went about 20 ft. just inches off the ground and nosed in. Lesson 3 Training gear don’t slide in grass, they dig in. Had my first boom strike, dinged the wooden blades and trashed the tail servo. Brought it home and took the boom to my garage and I machined an aluminum plug that just fits inside the boom. I pushed it in to the dented area and with a plastic hammer managed to beat the dents out. A little work and it was straight as new. I had to fix this a couple of times since and it’s still in use. Pretty resilient stuff. I finally took it to the LHS where I bought it and had their heli guy check everything out and help me set it up right. He took it outside in the snowstorm we were having at the time and hovered it. I was real encouraged, it flies! Over the next three or four weeks I had some success and some crashes. I have replaced all the broken plastic parts with Align CNC parts as needed. I got everthing from the swashplate up and the tail assembly. I’ve crashed about every other time I tried to fly it, actually just hover it. The last one was pretty bad. It got out of control and flew backwards past me and got about 12 feet high with the nose pointed toward me. I still need work on nose in but I couldn’t keep the tail pointed at me. It slid backward from 12 feet and I couldn’t pull it out in time and it slammed in tail first. More parts ordered, a couple of new HS56 servos, fiberglass canopy, odds and ends, the 325 align carbon blades the $21 set not the $34 set ( these are stiffer and lighter than the stock plastic blades and seem pretty good), ferrite core from a PC power supply ( I hope nobody at work needs that particular power supply), everything that I could make out of aluminum like landing gear, the boom brace bracket, the tail slider arm that the ball loops are connected to, a machined bracket that wraps around the HS56 tail servo, the CF boom support rods with aluminum ends, and several hours work on the mill and lathe and it’s all back together. It probably weighs about 8 pounds ; -) . I took it out last night and tried to hover in my driveway. I had about a 15 by 20 foot area, by far the smallest area I’ve tried. I few little hops and some final tweaks on the trim and it was starting to get real stable, then a garbage can jumped out in front of me. I hit it about a foot up with the blades and the copter dropped to the ground. I looked it over and didn’t see any damage, but when I spun it up again I saw that the main shaft was bent. No other damage though. My main gear had a slight knock in it from my last crash so I bought a new one since I had to change the shaft anyway. Many of these parts come in bags of two so I have a spare main gear and shaft as well as numerous other parts left over from before. I installed a new shaft and gear and decided to spin it up before putting the rest of the head together. The Main shaft had a definite wobble to it. I though I had put the old one back in until I found the old one on the table. Yep a brand new Align main shaft was bent, the second one in the package was OK so I installed it instead. I took the new pre-bent shaft to my garage and chucked it up in my lathe. It was probably .040 out of true. Lesson 4 Align parts are a crap shoot. Sometime you get a winner sometime you don’t. Anyway, I got it all back together, fired up my halogen work light and managed to hover in my driveway for a full battery’s worth of flight. About 5 or 6 minutes worth without touching anything, not even hitting the ground, keeping it about 1 to 3 feet high the whole time. It was a personal best moment. So now I’m officially done with crashes, at least for the time being. After hours and hours on the simulator and more money than I even want to think about, ( I was keeping my receipts and decided it was better to trash them), many hours of machine work and a humongous pile of aluminum shavings to prove it, I finally have a stable, manageable helicopter that I can fly. Is the curve always this steep? I could write a book.
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11-09-2005 10:08 AM  14 years ago
martinic

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NB, Canada

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Sounds about right. Doesn't it feel great to overcome all that and fly the heli? That's the appeal of helis - they're challenging. Eventually you will relax and will not have to think about the controls or crashing - then you'll be having lots of fun too. This will be a while yet, but it sounds like you have the patience and essential skills to get there.

Go slow and you'll progress more slowly but without so many crashes - the alternative is to push it, progress more quickly but crash a lot more. Personally, I (and my wallet) prefer the slower method.
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11-09-2005 10:15 AM  14 years ago
Rocketwiz

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Lakewood CO

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Amen to that brother.
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11-09-2005 11:58 AM  14 years ago
Learn to Fly

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Yalesville Connecticut

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I took my time cause of what I read. You rush you crash and burn. But now I have full control of a hover, side , nose, tail in. So now I will practice FF. Then 3D.

I have been flying for a short time, 8 gallons of nitro and I finally had a crash. I also had my radio set up in normal mode for a while so I would not have been tempted to hit the switch.

The store I go to has a guy learning, but he is not taking his time and crashed like 5 times already in a months time. He must be rich...or dumb, or both.

Take your time, be safe. Its no fun when you hurt someone.

***Set your throttle hold so when you are working or walking in the field you don't bump the throttle.***

Jeff
Believe nothing you hear, and half of what you see...
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11-09-2005 03:31 PM  14 years ago
rerazor

rrElite Veteran

Mich.

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"I thought we agreed that we will not discuss how much money we put into those FP helis in the beginning"
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11-09-2005 05:29 PM  14 years ago
Hoverdown3K

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Rochester, New York

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The learning curve is something like this

you want a chopper because they look fun!
you try to hover.
you crash.
you repair.

repeat for for a couple of months.

then the curve changes

you fly
you fly
you fly
you crash
you repair

repeat.

When you get past the repair all the time stage you really start to have fun with flying it!

then comes 3D and the whole thing repeats itself hehehehe...
-= I know there is Money in RC helicopters. I put it there=-
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11-09-2005 05:46 PM  14 years ago
Ozydego

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Westerville, Ohio

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Same with me, now I can hover on a dime, and walk my rexy through 3 foot walkways, but only after about 10 crashes including a run in with the ceiling at the store I work at.... I now always turn on the throttle lock before moving the heli, or when Im working with it, as last minor crash, It whipped outa my hand while I was holding it by the head and walking out to the line, and scuffed my newly painted pristine canopy... dangit!!!

It gets easier.... somewhat....
But Honey, I can't live with just stock.....
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11-09-2005 06:00 PM  14 years ago
TRex888

rrVeteran

Monmouth, UK

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I couldn't agreed more about FP helis. Without them I would have never learnt to fly. I've had 70+ crashes on my HB FP2 and the total repair cost has been less than $50. Every crash with the TRex is $50.

When I can nose in with my FP I know I can nose in with the TRex. FP are just much harder to fly, but you gain in simplicity of design, robustness, and much lower costs. Nothing worst than being grounded and not having a heli ready to fly.

Damn nose in hover
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