ChopperAddict's Hints & Tips


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   INFORMATION - What to check for when the tail is uncontrollable

Many of us have encountered times, usually after a rebuild for whatever reason, when the test flight shows the tail to be almost uncontrollable.

There are of course many thing that can cause this, but for completeness I will try to list all of the best known and least known possible causes in no particular order.

1 - Make sure the tail servo is working, and throwing in the correct direction.

2 - Make sure that the gyro is making the tail change pitch when you move it left and right, and that it is doing so in the CORRECT direction.

3 - Make sure that in RATE mode on the gyro, the gyro is holding the tail reasonably steady.  Do this with maximum gain, and reduce it slowly until the tail does not wag any more.  If it holds in RATE mode, it will hold in HH mode as well.

4 - Move the tail servo up and down the boom so that it holds the tail when the servo horn is perpendicular to the servo.

5 - Make sure there is no binding of the control rod going to the tail control lever

6 - Make sure there the control rod going to the tail control lever is not bending when being pushed by the servo, if so add more rod holders along the boom to stop it doing so.

7 - Make sure the tail assembly moves nice and freely when pushed and pulled by the control rod. Do this by hand so that you can feel how much pressure it takes to move it.

8 - Make sure that the tail rotor blades are fitted the correct way around, and that the control arm of the blade grip is positioned AHEAD of the blade itself.

9 - Make sure the tail blades are rotating the correct way around.  This is usually so that the leading edge of the tail blade is going UPWARDS into the downwash of the main rotors.

10 - Make sure the tail rotates freely by itself

11 - Make sure that there is NO END FLOAT on the tail shaft.

12 - Make sure the tail drive shaft is not bent.

13 - If you have a belt drive, make sure you have not turned the belt more than 90 degrees.

14 - Make sure that the tail blades are fitted quite loosely so that they can "drop" by their own weight.

15 - Make sure that the belt tension is correct, you should be able to gently push it in toward the other side at the front just behind the tail driven gear, but it should not be able to touch the other side. 

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