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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Tips on aligning paddles?
07-25-2012 03:13 PM  8 years ago
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3kidzheli

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columbia, ms usa

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Tips on aligning paddles?
What are some of the common methods of aligning the paddles correctly? I've heard that there needs to be a certain degree of deflection above "0" degree level. Is this true for anyone and if so how much? Thanks for the input here. Happy flying.
There is no such thing as up, it's all out...
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07-25-2012 03:16 PM  8 years ago
BarracudaHockey

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Jacksonville FL

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Level. Use the paddle gauges from heliproz if you really want to get them down to a gnats buttAndy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com
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07-25-2012 03:23 PM  8 years ago
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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07-25-2012 03:57 PM  8 years ago
unclejane

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santa fe, NM, USA

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I don't think you normally need to add any pitch to the paddles, though I admit I've never tried it (the full scale Hiller helis have positive pitch in their paddles tho). So I've always run them at 0 pitch.

I've always aligned them by eye, looking down from the end. I make the seam on the edge of each paddle line up with the flybar cage as close as possible. Then, if you have an electric, run it up on the bench to check the paddle tracking. Or spin the head manually with the blades off.

I've always been able to get them on the gnats a$$ or close to it this way, though you have to be pretty OCD about it lol...

LS
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07-25-2012 04:15 PM  8 years ago
Tyler

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Chicagoland area

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Long ago I visited some advanced pilots at their field to fly and learn from them. I was always surprised how much smoother their machines appeared to be in the air, both visually and audibly. Plus, they had more available power. They did an inspection of my machines and quickly noticed the paddle alignments were not perfect, although I had tried for hours to do my best at eyeballing and measuring them.

Then came the lessons...

Set center pitch to zero degrees using pitch gauge and pitch curves.

Level the swash plate at zero degrees/mid stick.

Use a long, rigid carbon tube that can be fixed to the top or bottom of the swash plate from front to back. This will extend the swash plate visually several inches on each side. Some swash plates are flat on top, some are flat on the bottom.

Install blade pitch gauges on both paddles with the main blades over the tail boom and nose of the helicopter.

Look across one paddle gauge and compare it to the carbon tube that is secured to the swash plate. Align the paddle to match the swash.

Rotate the head and align the second paddle to the swash plate.

Finally, compare both paddles to each other by sighting across the head. They will match up perfectly.

Remove the paddle gauges and the swash carbon tube.

My helicopters became much smoother, quieter, and did have more power. The governors could work better, too. Auto rotations improved, and there was less mechanical maintainence due to less vibrations. Most noticeably, the helis tracked and flew so much better.

My previous misconceptions:

eyballing is close enough
level the paddles to the blade grips
level the paddles to each other
level the paddles to flybar carrier
Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.
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07-25-2012 04:27 PM  8 years ago
ShuRugal

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Richmond, VA

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a stencil and spray paint should work well enough.AMA 700159
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07-25-2012 04:58 PM  8 years ago
3kidzheli

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columbia, ms usa

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Excellent feed back, never thought of the carbon rod on swash. I will def get the gauges and try this method. I've always eyed them but seemed to get that slight drift that trim would notcenter correct. Yeah it's a bit overkill but the mechanical pert of this hobby is a large portion of why I fly helis. I like to tinker with them when they are not in the air. Thanks! There is no such thing as up, it's all out...
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07-25-2012 06:26 PM  8 years ago
YSRRider

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usa

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level the swash and put your pitch gauge on and adjust till they read ZERO. simple! Paddle gauges are a waste in my opinion.
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07-25-2012 06:53 PM  8 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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My RC Logger digital pitch gauge fits on my Raptor 90 paddles.
I level the swash, then set the paddles to 0-degrees.

I would think the ONLY reason to have a "positive" pitch on both paddles is if you are doing 100% upright flying (scale?) or the main blades are too small for the heli (and you are doing nothing but upright flying).

The old helis used to have flat-bottomed airfoil main blades - lots of lift at low RPM. But, you couldn't fly them upside down.
But, as those blades got harder to find, I would see how someone with an old GMP Cobra or Competitor forced to use symmetrical blades would try to "add pitch" to the paddles to try to make up for the lost lift.

Modern helis are designed to use the symmetrical blades, so they don't need work arounds.
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07-25-2012 06:54 PM  8 years ago
3kidzheli

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Thinking of getting one of the digital pitch gauges, any discrepancy against them, never used one.There is no such thing as up, it's all out...
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07-25-2012 06:57 PM  8 years ago
3kidzheli

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Like the observation on the old style paddles, the use of a slight positive pitch paddle was for "stabilization" purpose (which I have never tried). I see the consensus is the use of a pitch gauge. I will add this to my practices. Thanks.There is no such thing as up, it's all out...
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07-25-2012 07:15 PM  8 years ago
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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level the swash and put your pitch gauge on and adjust till they read ZERO.
Does that not assume the mainshaft is plumb? I just about guarantee the digital pitch gauge isn't as accurate as a good sighting method which adjusts the paddles relative to the mechanics, not "level."

IF you make the mainshaft plumb and the swash plate perpendicular to the mainshaft, then the digital pitch gauge should work to within its accuracy.

- John
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07-25-2012 07:17 PM  8 years ago
BarracudaHockey

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Jacksonville FL

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Get a set of Mavrikk paddle gauges, cheap, efficent, and dead onAndy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com
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07-25-2012 07:22 PM  8 years ago
RaptorRob

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hamlin P.A.

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I think with a digital you "zero" it to your mainshaft before you use it that will give you a very accurate reading....no babe i swear i sold my other heli to buy this one :)
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07-25-2012 07:29 PM  8 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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Leveling the swash is the key - it doesn't matter if the main mast is plumb.
If the swash is level, and the paddles are level, you are good to go.
Keep in mind - these are the flybar paddles, not the main blades.

If you are looking go from the bench to the field and get a hands-off hover, then it becomes important that you 0 the swash with the body level & the mast is plumb.
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07-25-2012 07:36 PM  8 years ago
BobOD

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New York- USA

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A reason you would want to add positive pitch (or negative for that matter) is to make the flybar more stable in a hover. It'll avoid any +/- activity when paddles are under no lift condition (zero pitch). Also, just applying a constant load tends to check play.
The amount of lift generated would not be significant.
Team POP Secret
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07-25-2012 07:49 PM  8 years ago
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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> Leveling the swash is the key

It's important to remember that when we say "level the swash" in the RC heli world, we don't actually mean "level." We actually mean perpendicular to the main shaft. Level means parallel to the horizontal plane. If your mainshaft is plumb, then, yes, you want to actually level the swashplate.

Sorry, I'm just supper anal when it comes to mechanical head setup. I spend a lot of time on it because it has a drastic impact on how the heli feels and flys. I have tried an expensive digital level (which still only read to the 0.1 deg) for setting the paddles and it wasn't accurate enough. You could visually see a misalignment before it would read/change 0.1 deg.

- John
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07-25-2012 07:57 PM  8 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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No - I mean level.
For the paddle it doesn't really matter.

Think about the old school method of aligning the swash paddles by sight. All you did was sight form the leading edge on one side, past the flybar control arm to the trailing edge of the paddle on the other side.
Swash did not play into at all.
But, that didn't set the "hand-off hover" - that just sets both paddels to 0-degrees to each other.
If you level the swash (set it to 0), then the flybar control is level (set at 0) and the digital pitch gauge on the paddles will read 0.

If you want a "hands-off hover" from the bench to the field, then it becomes important that the mast is perpendicular, the swash is level, the CG is okay - blah, blah, blah.
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07-25-2012 08:14 PM  8 years ago
JKos

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Redondo Beach, CA

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Think about the old school method...
Swash did not play into at all.
But, that didn't set the "hand-off hover" - that just sets both paddels to 0-degrees to each other.
Completely agree.
If you level the swash (set it to 0), then the flybar control is level (set at 0)
Assuming a swash to flybar ratio of 1:1 which is often not the case or the mainshaft is plumb.

- John
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