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- Checking out your new helicopter - things to look out for
information arises thanks to another new pilot bringing his almost new
Belt CP V2 down to me to look at after a (minor) crash while he was
trying to learn to hover.
illustrates very well the sort of problems that you could find in your
brand new helicopter
time available was limited as the owner had his small daughter with him
and I also had another appointment later in the afternoon. The first
thing I noticed was that the swash plate was not level fore and aft.
This was duly corrected.
next thing was that there was significant end float of the tail blades
hub along on the tail rotor shaft itself, indicating that end float was
present, which is a VERY BAD THING. On further checking, the cause of
this was found to be that the grub screw that holds the tail blades hub
to the drive shaft had been locked down (by the factory) without being
on the flat that is provided. It must have been close to it as the hub
was now able to slide in and out along the length of the flat.
all efforts, the grub screw refused to loosen, and worse yet, would not
even drill or cut out with diamond tipped Dremel bits, so I had to
resort to cutting the drive shaft just inside the tail rotor.
of the bolts holding the tail blade grips to the hub also would not
budge, so I ended up putting together a new tail drive assembly from
what could be salvaged from this tail, plus other parts, many of which
have been KINDLY DONATED TO ME BY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE HELICOPTER FLYING
FRATERNITY TO ENABLE ME TO DO JUST THIS.
THANKS GO TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY DONATED PARTS,
AND TO ALL OF YOU WHO HOPEFULLY WILL DONATE PARTS IN THE FUTURE.
got the tail assembly sorted out, I checked the pitch, to find it set to
+10 degrees at 50% throttle in idle up (we were using the stock Esky
Transmitter). So I sorted that out to give zero degrees at 50%
throttle and +9 degrees at full throttle.
done, I put it on the turntable and span it up to check the
tracking. The motor did not start to spool up until the throttle
was at around 50%. NOT GOOD. However, I went ahead and tracked the
blades, and then started to check the Esky HH gyro.
it was not really attached to the frame at all, it was just floating
around, and worse yet it was strapped to the side of the helicopter,
which meant it did not actually work at all. I repositioned it in the
normal place on the top of the boom clamp, and then drilled through to
add a tie wrap to make sure it would not move in the future.
the motor up again, and the tail went mad. WHY - THE GYRO WAS SET
TO NOR, AND NOT REV.
it to REV, and got the tail servo positioned correctly so that it would
hold the tail in RATE mode
also removed the velcro strap that holds the LIPO as it had simply been
slipped through the frame from one side to the other, making it almost
useless as it would not go around the leads from the lipo. These
straps should be go around the battery from top to bottom (or vice
versa). Worst of all the supplier had the velcro going directly
over the ESC's heat sink, which would certainly not help keeping it cool
we were ready to try to test fly the helicopter although the weather was
less than ideal, with a 20mph wind and strong gusts.
the first spool up it took some time to get the heli airborne due to the
binding on the motor we had noticed earlier, but at around 75% throttle
she lifted off. I adjusted the gain on the gyro to get the
tail holding nicely, and we achieved quite a reasonable hover despite
had run out for us by this time (about 3 hours), so I could not
investigate the cause of the terrible motor spool up. I advised
the owner to pull the motor out and spin it up separately to see if the
cause of the problem is in the motor itself or else it must be in the
MORAL OF THIS STORY IS -
was an almost brand new Belt CP v2, purchased from an unknown (to me at
least) Internet heli supplier in the UK. It had many problems
straight out of the box, and had clearly never been test flown or even
checked out by the supplier concerned.
gyro was incorrectly fitted and did nothing at all, the pitch was so far
out it would be a miracle if it ever got off the ground, the tail was
incorrectly assembled at the factory, and either the motor or the ESC is
EVERYONE - ALWAYS CHECK ANY NEW HELICOPTER YOU PURCHASE, OR YOU MIGHT
ALSO GET ONE AS BAD AS THIS.
feel sure the faults noted caused the new pilot to crash it trying to
hover, as he knew no better at that time.