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Interceptor 400 answers

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A4 - Interceptor 400 - How do you change the Feathering shaft ?

First off, the Interceptor 400 is possibly the easiest helicopter to change a feathering shaft on. Feathering shafts are designed to deform (bend) on a crash or even heavy landing where the main blades can be forced down far further than you might expect.

On the Int 400, the first thing to do is to remove the main blades by undoing the single socket headed bolt that holds each of them in place. Make sure that you also remove the nylock nut underneath, as this is only a light press fit into the bottom of the blade holder, and can easily fall out and get lost.

Once the blades have been removed, you will see that there are 2 small screws, one on each side of the bearing that need to be removed first to allow you to locate the 5.5mmm socket driver on the nylock nut fully.  Also disconnect the arm that goes to the main blade holders themselves.

Loosen and remove one of the nylock nuts, and pull the blade holder outwards until it comes off. Normally you will see that there is a small black carbon spacer left on the feathering shaft, so remove that as well.  The next thing is to simply pull the other blade holder out complete with the feathering shaft.  Now this can be a problem if the bend in the feathering shaft is on the side of the blade holder you have already removed. If it will not come out, hold that end of the feathering shaft with a mole wrench or similar tool and then undo fully the nylock nut on the other end so that you remove that main blade holder first, and then simply pull the feathering shaft out from the other end.  Don't forget to find the little carbon spacer on that side as well.  Finally, check to see that the damper rubber rings ( "O" rings) are still in the main head casting.  There are 4 of the damper rings, 2 on each side.  If they are in the head, remove them carefully so that you can inspect them.

Check the damper rubbers carefully for any signs of excessive softening, or cuts caused by the carbon spacer. If you think they need replacing - DO IT, these are important.

Take your new feathering shaft and put a nylock nut on one end just far enough that it is just starting into the nylock part. Next take one of the main blade holders and slide the feathering shaft through from the outer side (blade side).  NOTE there is a small alloy spacer inside the blade holder between the two bearings that are in there. This may have moved, stopping the feathering shaft from going through.  Use a thin screwdriver or similar tool to poke thorough and get the spacer positioned centrally again.

Once the blade first holder is on the feathering shaft, put one of the black carbon spacers on the shaft.  Check that you have TWO damper rings in place in the head, or else put them on the feathering shaft as the last item so that the carbon spacer will push them into the head recess. Push the feathering shaft all the way in.  Now put 2 damper rings on the other end of the feathering shaft if they are not already in place in the head followed by a black carbon spacer and then the other blade grip.  You should be able to see a few mm of thread visible on this side.  Use a 5.5mm nut runner to start the other nylock nut on that thread.

Continue to tighten both nuts up until you cannot tighten them any more. You will need TWO 5.5mm nut runners to do this job.  Once it is fully tightened, replace the 2 small screws in each blade holder and just nip them down, reconnect the connecting rod to each blade holder and refit the main blades.

JOB DONE - IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE.



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