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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterKyosho Caliber/Quest Neo-Caliber series › Caliber 5 maiden flight today -- finally.
07-23-2006 05:55 AM  14 years ago
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dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Caliber 5 maiden flight today -- finally.
The weather was absolutely scrumptious today. A great day to fly. I loaded up the van and off to the flying site I went.

The first heli out of the van and into the air was my new Caliber 5. I got a total of three flights on it.

The first flight was over at the hovering area. The OS Hyper 50 fired up immediately with the factory suggested needle settings, and ran pretty well for a new, out of the box motor.

I goosed up the throtttle, the Caliber lifted off into a stable hover, the blade tracking was about as near perfect as I could hope for. The tail was solid, the controls felt very good, and the heli is quite responsive with the CCPM setup. I hovered out an entire tank, landing occasionally to adjust the needle valve. The top end was quite a bit rich. After landing and shutting down the motor, I gave the heli a once-over, looking for anything that may have come loose, or that needed additional work before flying again.

A bit later, I fired up the Caliber a second time, and enlisted the aid of another flyer to run my camera and see if he could get any good shots of the heli in the air. Considering that he wasn't familiar with the camera, and that I probably had some of its settings screwed up, out of about 20 shots, I managed to cull out a couple that weren't too bad.

I flew out about half a tank of fuel getting the feel of the Caliber, and making sure the motor was running OK, and that the trims on the TX were set. For its initial flight, the Caliber flew quite well. No tendency to nose up, good and solid on the controls, the tail behaved itself and the motor, though putting out a bunch of smoke ran well. Halfway through the tank, I flipped the flight mode switch into Idle Up 2, and did two very nice, straight, and relatively quick rolls to the right in succession. The rolls were nearly effortless. A couple of easy stall turns followed, the tail was good and solid, and the gyro did its job. Next, a big loop. The heli tracked straight all the way 'round and the motor never burped once. This was followed by a couple of flips. Again, nice and easy, and the heli responded well. Not wanting to push the new motor too hard, and with the "new heli smell" still on the chopper, I decided to do a few more circuits of the field, then land. Landing was uneventful, the heli descended as if it were on rails, and the flare prior to touchdown very easy to achieve, and the heli settled on the runway. I shut down the motor, turned off the radio, and took a bunch of very deep, slow breaths! The maiden voyage was in the can. Throughout the flight, although I didn't push the heli particularly hard, the stock CF blades performed remarkably well. No tendency to go out of track, to woof, or do any other bad things.

The third flight of the day could have been disastrous, but turned out somewhat OK. When I was filling the tank, I forgot to clamp off the hose going to the carb, and proceeded to fill the motor with fuel. D'oh, what a dummy. I closed the clamp, filled the tank, and grabbed my starter. I pulled the motor through by hand a couple of times to see if I had filled the crankcase up and check for a hydraulic lock. Things seemed OK, I hit the starter, and the motor turned over a time or two, then locked up. Darn! A hydraulic lock after all. I removed the canopy, pulled the plug, hit the starter and blew the excess fuel out of the motor. I checked the plug, reinstalled it, and put the canopy back on. The motor fired up, I took off and began to fly my third flight of the day. The motor was running quite well, pumping out lots of smoke. I did a couple more loops, some rolls, a few stall turns, and a few pirouettes. Still not wanting to push the motor too hard on its third tank, I backed off on the aerobatics and began to fly more circuits around the field. Suddenly, and the beginning of a right-to-left pass, the motor just stopped dead cold. I managed a quick, useful autorotation and got the heli down in one piece, with no damage. Back at the pilot's station table, I hooked up my glow starter and noticed the plug was dead. I pulled the plug, the element was broken, and looked squished. It must have been damaged by the hydraulic lock. I replaced the plug, and tried to start the motor. All of a sudden the Hyper wouldn't start at its normal setting, required more throttle opening to start. I checked the throttle arm, it appeared to have moved a bit. I reset its position, tightened the bolt that holds it on the carb, but still had trouble getting the motor to start. Once I got it started, I had to open the throttle a bit more to keep it going. I set the heli down on the runway, and began to increase the throttle. For some reason, the motor just didn't sound right. I shut it down, wiped off the heli, and flew some of my other choppers the rest of the afternoon.

When I got home this evening, I pulled the Hyper out of the Caliber, removed the muffler, and peeked inside. To my horror and my surprise, the entire piston skirt was deeply scored, and the ring was not evident. I dismantled the motor. The right half of the piston (exhaust side) was scored very badly. The piston ring is stuck in its groove on that side, due to all the smeared aluminum. The cylinder wall is badly scored between the exhaust ports and the top of the cylinder. Much of the piston skirt that isn't just plain mucked up shows signs of wear, shiny spots. Needless to say, the piston, ring, and cylinder are toast, and therefore the Hyper as well.

The motor had been running fine, showed no signs of sagging, and was producing smoke like a freight train. I don't think the high speed needle was too lean (though I guess that's a possibility), I was still pretty close to the factory initial settings. So, I need to box the Hyper up, send it off to Hobby Services, and hope and pray that my Hyper gets repaired and back to me before the Owatonna Rotary Ring Out.

Overall, at this point in time, the Caliber 5 is rock solid. I've had NO problems with the A-arms, and the Tail Rotor shaft and bearing are nice and snug in their respective positions. I look forward to getting more air time on this heli. It has the potential to fly well and be a barrel of fun to fly.

I'll take this opportunity while the motor is out to balance the fan and clutch bell, as I was seeing some hint of fuel foaming while hovering the heli.

Dave
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07-23-2006 02:42 PM  14 years ago
vortechZ230

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U.S.A.

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Dave the heli sounds GREAT!!, I finally got my Caliber 30 flying good also!, Too bad about the Hyper!, Lets hope they just send you a new one!!, Horizon usally is pretty good about defective parts, and such., Let us know how it goes!, Joe...
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07-23-2006 02:42 PM  14 years ago
Chief_USN

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Chesapeake, VA

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Awesome post Dave. Sorry to here about your bad luck with the motor. You think the hydraulic lock might have done it? Might have weakened the coil alittle. Hope OS warrants it for you. She sure does look good in the air. Oh yeah, nice recovery to save the damage.

Chad
Team HeliProz 12-14
US Navy Chiefs...Unity, Service, & Navigation to the Fleet since 1893
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07-23-2006 03:06 PM  14 years ago
cmsilvoy

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Durham, NC

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Dave,
Man, I had a similar situation with my Voyager 50 a year or two ago.
THe motor had all of 6 flights on it and no one at the field could really say that the enginge was running lean as a cause.
Anyhow, I soulc not (or did not want to) wait so I did the expensive option and rebuilt the motor myself. I was back in action less then a week later.
Since then, I have had no problems with any of my OS hypers.

Hope all goes well with yours.

Chris
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07-23-2006 04:18 PM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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I've thought about buying a new ring, piston and cylinder, could be back in action next Saturday. Hobby Services has always treated me well when it came to fixing OS motors.

The camera is a Sony DSC-P51, 2 megapixel digital. It seems to do OK indoors and for closeups with a flash. It is difficult to get a decent outdoor picture with that camera, especially with a nice sunny background. That's one thing I lament about not using a good ol'd 35mm SLR film camera. At least with those you had control over the aperture and shutter speed, and could use the built-in metering to get a decent shot.

The pictures are a bit dark. I've got some more of the heli at liftoff, lots and lots of smoke, if that's any real indication of needle setting.

The fuel I've been using is Sig Champion 15% heli, with 22% oil, so the motor definitely had its share of oil.

Dave
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07-23-2006 06:29 PM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Piston, Ring, Cylinder. About $92 before shipping! If I go this route, I might as well spend another $35 on some decent bearings from Paul at RC-Bearings.

Considering that the motor has had only three tanks of fuel through it, I'm going to cross my fingers, send it to Hobby Services and keep my fingers crossed that it will get repaired and back to me before the weekend of August 24th, the Rotary Ring Out weekend.

Dave
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07-25-2006 12:53 AM  14 years ago
wurthless

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Redding Ca.

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Just a thought Dave...did you look inside the motor before your first started it?QUICK! ,,,can someone turn the gravity off for just a second,,,,
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07-25-2006 03:29 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Only enough to use the crank lock tool....

Dave
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07-25-2006 03:38 AM  14 years ago
Dwight

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West Chicago, IL

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What exactly is a crank lock tool?
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07-25-2006 03:55 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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One of these:

Machined delrin most likely. Remove the backplate, this tool is inserted into the crankcase, captures the con rod in the vertical slot, and keeps the crank from turning as you tighten or loosen the fan nut or the clutch shaft in the case of the Calibers...not to be confused with the piston punching style piston locking tools of days past...

OS calls it a crankshaft clamp.

Dave
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07-25-2006 03:59 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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BTW Dwight...are the Caliber 3 and the EP 400 XP going to be available in the US? I've been having a ball with the EP400, it's a fun little machine, I like it much more than my T-Rexes.

I've only gotten my Caliber 5 in the air a couple of times, but so far, I like it.

Dave
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07-25-2006 04:53 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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While the 50 is back at the ranch for repair, I took the opportunity to whip out the High Point balancer and check the clutch bell, the fan, and the flywheel...

Seems that I had a little work cut out for me...

Dave
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07-25-2006 05:05 AM  14 years ago
cassat

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Alberta,Canada

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Dave

I think you have to get more lightbulbs there for the photography.

Dave Too Land of the Midnight Sun
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07-25-2006 06:10 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Well, I had been experimenting with the camera earlier in the week, and had some of the default settings changed. Those two flying pics were the pick of the litter, the rest of the 20 or so were almost like night flying pics, only without the heli having any lights on it.

I've since reset the camera settings to some that don't make it look like midnight in the middle of the day.

The other problem is that I had asked a fellow flyer to shoot the pics, and he was unfamiliar with the camera. I know it's a point-and-shoot digital, but if the menu settings are wrong, its a point-and-flush camera.

Dave
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07-25-2006 01:03 PM  14 years ago
Dwight

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West Chicago, IL

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I wanted to be sure you did not mean a piston lock tool that was popular years ago. Those WILL damage an engine and conrod.

As for the 400 XP and the Caliber 3 I know the 400 is expected later this year but I have not seen a sample yet. I do have the Caliber 3 now for about 3 weeks. It is really designed for the novice but it does fly quite well. To answer the question about availablility I think the 400 for sure but not sure on the 3.
Dwight
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07-25-2006 05:09 PM  14 years ago
wurthless

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Redding Ca.

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Wonder if there was a piece of junk in the cylinder from the factory,,I've heard of such things before,,,QUICK! ,,,can someone turn the gravity off for just a second,,,,
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07-25-2006 11:03 PM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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When I get the repaired/replaced version back, I'm gonna check its innards real good.

Dave
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07-27-2006 03:08 AM  14 years ago
Scottish

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Greensburg, PA USA

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Hyper
I am a newbie, but I seem to remember that if a ring is damaged or broken, then oil gets into the cylinder and causes the engine to smoke when it is running. Could this have been the cause of the original smoking on your first flight?
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07-27-2006 03:17 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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No, probably not. These motors are designed to burn oil as part of their normal operating condition, it's mixed in with the fuel, and there is no sump for excess oil.

Unlike the typical four stroke automobile engine, there is only one ring, and it's there for the compression. There is no second compression ring and dedicated oil ring as on a car's piston.

Lots of smoke is generally an indication that the motor is running rich, lots of oil and unburnt fuel going through the motor. The fuel that I'm using is 22% oil. A broken ring in one of these motors will show up as an engine with little compression, and one that runs poorly, if at all.

BTW -- I mailed the motor to Hobby Services Monday afternoon. I just got an email telling me that they received it....

Dave
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07-27-2006 03:19 AM  14 years ago
Scottish

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Greensburg, PA USA

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Thanks for the info. The information is excellent.
Like I said, I'm a newbie but willing to learn.

Jim
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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterKyosho Caliber/Quest Neo-Caliber series › Caliber 5 maiden flight today -- finally.
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