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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › Cleaning, How important is it? really?
03-11-2010 12:01 AM  8 years agoPost 1
700plus

rrApprentice

macomb, mi

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I fly about every other day. Occasionally I will go a week without flying. So I go fly for about an hour or two. Then I come home and spend another half hour wiping my helis down with rubbing alcohol to cut the nitro residue. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice shiny heli., But does this serve any other purpose other than making them look nice?

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03-11-2010 12:05 AM  8 years agoPost 2
Steff Giguere

rrProfessor

St-Eustache, Quebec, Canada

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Firstly, while washing it you should be looking for anything abnormal, loose screws, warned out wires, etc. If for only this it's worth it.

Team Synergy, Rail blades, Team Scorpion, V-Team

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03-11-2010 12:19 AM  8 years agoPost 3
TankDirt

rrKey Veteran

Illinois

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If anything, I would say it hurts it. Not only are you getting oil off the heli but you are also spraying electronics with it, and everytime you do it you wash out alittle grease from the bearrings, and de-lubricating parts that should be oiled..Not saying its a big deal, most people do it.

I think the biggest reason its done is to have a nice clean heli so they look good, and you dont have to change you clothes everytime you want to work on it.

Personally when I had nitro birds they were the dirtiest, nastiest, most oily heli's around. Didnt bother me any and the heli always flew great from first to last flight. I was never inclined to clean em, to me it was more work than it was worth..to each his own

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03-11-2010 12:22 AM  8 years agoPost 4
Gyronut

rrProfessor

Martinsville In.

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Goop attracts dust and dirt.....

Drips on your carpets and makes mess's.

Clean is best way to avoid some problems, not to mention getting crud in your electronics.

Rick

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03-11-2010 12:33 AM  8 years agoPost 5
ch-47c

rrElite Veteran

san jose, ca

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^^^+1
Oil attracts dirt. This along with high freq vibrations causes working metal with the lapping compound you've made.

Everyone likes a minty fresh heli.

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03-11-2010 12:48 AM  8 years agoPost 6
rcjon

rrVeteran

Macon, GA

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I like tank's answer. You can't get to the places that would really matter anyway.

Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for Radio Control Helicoptering.

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03-11-2010 12:52 AM  8 years agoPost 7
wifeorheli

rrElite Veteran

reno, nevada usa

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I clean my heli every time after a day out at the field nothing like a clean looking heli.

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03-11-2010 01:07 AM  8 years agoPost 8
ch-47c

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san jose, ca

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I like tank's answer. You can't get to the places that would really matter anyway.
 

Where, like inside an engine or servo?

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03-11-2010 01:45 AM  8 years agoPost 9
QuantumPSI

rrElite Veteran

Atlanta, GA

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Personally when I had nitro birds they were the dirtiest, nastiest, most oily heli's around. Didnt bother me any and the heli always flew great from first to last flight. I was never inclined to clean em, to me it was more work than it was worth..to each his own
In the exact same boat. Most I'll do is wipe the blades, canopy, and tailboom. I'll do a "good" cleaning like once every 30 flights (or when I crash it and there is just too much dirt on every part )

...now where was I, dh/dt = BS-dx/dt
I will fly you forever... till earth do us part

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03-11-2010 01:49 AM  8 years agoPost 10
rcjon

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Macon, GA

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Where, like inside an engine or servo?
Like between any two moving parts.

Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for Radio Control Helicoptering.

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03-11-2010 02:12 AM  8 years agoPost 11
700plus

rrApprentice

macomb, mi

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I think I agree with rcjon. while you can wipe off the outside of the helicopter or any flat surface, its not like you can get into any places that would actually matter. (like in any of the bearings, or inside the fan shroud which im sure is full of dirt and oil ready to be sucked into the motor.)

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03-11-2010 02:20 AM  8 years agoPost 12
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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I clean the mainshaft, tailshaft, canopy, blades, boom, and landing gear after my last flight of the day.

I then triflow the mainshaft and tailshaft, then put it away.

Sometimes I'll get an alcohol soaked rag and clean gunk off of easy to reach ball links, etc. This is once a month or so.

That's as far as I go, until a crash or annual teardown/rebuild gets me into the details.

I will agree with some others on here that the rigamorale of meticulously cleaning every part, nook, and cranny of the heli is probably a waste of time. It just gets tedious and offers little benefit. You get the heli looking 95% clean in 2 minutes with my method. If you go through everything, the other 5% takes another 15 minutes.

And yet, even after a long detailing, when you do a rebuild, you find gunk all throughout the heli as there is stuff you just cannot get to without disassembly. So even the 15 minute detail leaves me knowing that there is still gunk somewhere. It's like the empty soda can that still drips when you shake it.

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03-11-2010 02:44 AM  8 years agoPost 13
Gearhead

rrMaster

Vt

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a clean, well taken-care of heli will reflect on you !!

Jim
Buzz Buzz Buzz

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03-11-2010 02:51 AM  8 years agoPost 14
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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With mechanical things, you need to clean where one part moves relative to another. Problem is, most of these parts cannot be reached.

On a car, incidentally, this is totally intentional. These areas are sealed by boots, seals, enclosures, and sealed systems with filters, etc. Hardly anything mechanically worthy is open to the outside. Totally intentional. The same reason you can't get to it is the reason dirt can't get to it. If you try to blast your way in with compressed air, chemicals, and tiny brushes that apply pressures to areas where normal service doesn't, you'll probably do more harm than good. You'll probably degrease things that deserve lubricant or get MORE dirt into these protected areas than would otherwise be introduced. It can't hurt to clean the outside of these things for aesthetic reasons, but if get aggressive like blasting at a CV boot with alcohol you are not helping.

A heli is similar in that it has areas that offer poor access, like inside bearings, inside the head yoke, tailcase, etc. Some areas are unintentionally hard to get to, but changes nothing when you clean. When you blast with alcohol you're probably doing more harm by removing grease from bearings and letting existing dirt find its way into the crevices, as was stated.

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03-11-2010 03:12 AM  8 years agoPost 15
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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Knowing this can help you to clean the heli in a way that doesn't cause more harm than good.

When cleaning, try to keep the alcohol on the rag, not the heli. Do not spray the heli, spray the rag, and only rub areas where there are not small enclosures or bearing faces. It's easy to mess this up as there are ways to wipe the heli that will actually push dirt into places it never would have reached. Try to clean surfaces without rubbing dirt into small enclosures, especially bearings. If you rub alcohol over the outside of a bearing you probably pushed some dirt in and also got a little alcohol in there to break that grease up. Dry, dirty bearings are not good. Besides, there is a theory that a little grease outside a bearing may actually help keep dirt from getting INTO the bearing. Sort of a globby seal. So don't wipe at bearings. If you wipe a big surface and end at the enclosure, you will introduce way more dirt than could ever have gotten in there without cleaning. Start the rag closer to the enclosure and wipe toward the smooth areas.

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03-11-2010 03:14 AM  8 years agoPost 16
ch-47c

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san jose, ca

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Most any part of a helicopter is two moving parts. Comparing an auto to a helicopter is like an apple to an orange. Auto have a perforation protection that helicopters don't have. There isn't much of unprotected metal assemblies in an auto that galvanizing or undercoating can't protect, that a helicopter would never encounter in flight. If a car has a problem, you coast to a stop.

If one doesn't want to clean his helicopter, that is his choice, but any dirt or grime will work its way into components in varying degree. To say it doesn't, doesn't hold water. I don't spray alcohol or any solvents into bearings or whatnot, but I do wipe down any crap off after a days flying, so I can keep up with the condition and maintenace of my helis. I even wipe down my 600 size electrics to rid it of dust and grime from "working" it. It's not alot, but it is there. It's an old habit I picked up in the ARMY as a helicopter mechanic. Like I still put hospital folds in the corners of my bed and field strip my cigarette butts so the enemy can't track me by that habit , which I have since kicked since 1992.

I've always said RC helis are toys as much as many think they are the same as real helis. But there have many properties similar to real helis. On real helis, dirt is bad. Because of the nature of aluminum and composites with vibration, it "works" which leads to eventual failures or component replacement. If they were written-up as extremely dirty, it was grounded until cleaned and signed-off. It was that serious. I've seen RC helis that the owner never wiped down in the time he owned it. They've asked to borrow tools and I wouldn't lend them because I didn't want my tools dirty. Their car and personal hygiene was similar to their helis.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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03-11-2010 03:18 AM  8 years agoPost 17
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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I know they are different, but most of the critical areas like bearings and whatnot, are the same in theory and I use it for illustration that you can do more harm than good.

One critical difference is the shafts, both main and tail, and ball links. They are contact areas that are completely unprotected. That's why I "break my own rules" and clean/lube these every time.

And FWIW, if your mate's heli has never been torn down and 100% cleaned it's never had a 100% inspection, which I believe in doing every year. I also believe in looking over the major stuff more frequently.

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03-11-2010 03:25 AM  8 years agoPost 18
ch-47c

rrElite Veteran

san jose, ca

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Aaron,
I think I agree with you 99% because of individual preference. The 1% is I don't teardown once a year. I kind of due a phase or progressive type checks rather than an annual.

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03-11-2010 03:27 AM  8 years agoPost 19
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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field strip my cigarette butts so the enemy can't track me by that habit , which I have since kicked since 1992.
Heh, what?

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03-11-2010 03:27 AM  8 years agoPost 20
ch-47c

rrElite Veteran

san jose, ca

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I tranport my helis in a pickup and don't like the wet spot in the bed after a days flying.

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HomeAircraftHelicopterMain Discussion › Cleaning, How important is it? really?
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