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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.