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   Tips & Tricks - How to feed the tail drive belt down the boom easily and quickly

This information applies to all helicopters that make use of a rubber toothed belt to drive the tail rotors.

As you probably already know if you have ever had to replace a belt, or change a boom, these belts have to be twisted through 90 degrees along the length of the boom tube so that they are moving in the right direction to drive the tail rotors in the correct direction.  In most cases, this is so that the tail rotors are pushing up into the downwash of the main rotor blades.

The tricky part is getting the belt all the way down the boom without it getting twisted at all, as this can lead to it being twisted twice, which will cause binding and rapid wear on the tail drive belt.

My solution to this issue is to get hold of a piece of reasonably flexible wire such as piano wire, bend it at one end into a small hook that can grab the loop of the belt at one end, and a 90 degree bend at the other end so that you can see exactly if the belt has been turned as you pull it down the boom.

I find that the best way to do this is to fit the belt over tail drive gear, and then push the wire back from the front of the boom along the boom until the hook pops out at the back, attach the belt over the hook in the wire, and pull it forward.  Then keeping the 90 degree end at the same angle drag the belt all the way forward, decide which way you are going to have to rotate it to allow it to drop over the tail driven gear, then slip it off the wire and over the tail driven gear.  Finally adjust the boom to get the correct tension on the belt.

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