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SAFETY - A CNC (bling)
parts warning !
Many of us like to add CNC
(aluminium) parts to our helicopters, especially the rotor heads and
tail drive assemblies, as they not only look rather nice, but they
usually help the helicopter to fly better.
However, many people forget one of
the most crucial things when using CNC parts, and that is that
YOU MUST THREAD LOCK EACH AND EVERY SCREW AND BOLT
THAT IS BEING THREADED INTO A CNC PART
If you forget to do so, there is a
very good, if not guaranteed chance that those screws and bolts WILL
This is because helicopters create
a great many different harmonics and vibrations in all of the moving
parts, and these are quite enough to start these little screws moving in
It doesn't matter how large or
small they are, always ensure that they are ALL THREAD LOCKED.
To illustrate this, I personally
fell into the thread lock trap recently when working on an Airwolf that
had the stock Esky CNC Upgrade tail assembly. I was working on the
tail at the time, so to test it I didn't bother to threadlock the screws
that hold the side plate on. After all, I only intended to fly it
for a few minutes to set the tail up.
All was well, I adjusted the tail
and gyro, and then went to perform a nice prototypical approach and
landing from about 20 feet up. Luckily I was only about 6 inches
off the ground when all of a sudden the helicopter started to spin
frantically. I dropped it onto the ground rapidly and hit the
throttle hold switch.
It was easy to spot the problem -
3 OUT OF 4 SCREWS HAD COME RIGHT OUT AND DISAPPEARED. That in only a few
minutes flying. Had I been at 20 feet, my AirWolf would have been
So, don't let this happen to you -
LOCK EVERYTHING IN CNC PARTS.