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Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Loop Try

2008-11-29 Saturday 0815

Reached at Putra Heights Aircraft Flying site to find the field is not in good condition to be used due to heavy rain the night before. My car was all dirty with the mud, thank God, Alhamdulillah, I manage to go in and out without getting stuck there!!

From RC Helicopter - My Journey

Looking for other place to fly I called AXDFZ to find he is at Puchong Putra Prima Flying site. It took me about 20 minutes, with clear direction from him I found the place with no problem.

There are different Helicopters being flown here. They are Hirobo, Raptor, Knight and TRex as well.

From Puchong Putra Prima Flyer Site

From Puchong Putra Prima Flyer Site

From Puchong Putra Prima Flyer Site

I filled up my Raven's fuel tank, and then watched other flyers flew their airplane and helicopters. I realize that for heli they have a dedicated fly pad, which will ensure heli skid will not dirty at all for the flying session. Neat! However the usage of the pad is not a must and flyers are free to utilize other parts of the field for helicopters as well.

From Puchong Putra Prima Flyer Site

My turn to fly, I started TR3703 engine, let it run for a while, then bring it to the helipad.

From Puchong Putra Prima Flyer Site

Started with normal hovering, make sure the controls are ok, then checked the throttle/pitch response with rapid hover climb.

Then started my normal fly and thinking if I should try a loop inverted flight today (?).

These are what I have during the fly:

  1. Familiarizing with normal mode and idle-up mode flight and switching between them.
  2. Fast figure 8. Familiarizing with the control and improve my precision. I don't think the figure 8 I made is good enough, need to improve on altitude control and rate for cornering.
  3. I tried half-stall turn climb, where I not yet dare to turn the tail at the stall attitude, instead, I leave the heli facing the same site. Just stop/hover before turning to the other side.
  4. Then the time came where I am confident to try the loop.
    1. So instead of I push the elevator back to level up, I keep pulling until it was upside down.
    2. Then I noticed that the Raven stop climbing, I pull down the throttle stick, which should give full negative pitch but, now the Raven started to drop!
    3. Well I begin to panic, at the same time looks like the Raven also a bit rolling to a side.
    4. I continue to pull the elevator hopping that it can complete the loop before it reach the ground!
    5. Then I see another opportunity to safe it, since it was rolling I push the aileron further to assist and finally I manage to get the main blade on top again and it started to climb!
    6. I still thinking and thinking what actually happened, I need understand and the overcome the problem next time, looks like this is quite the same as before when Fendi tried the Loop maneuver with the Raven. Now I suspected these few things
      1. Head speed has slowed down during the inverted posture, it started to slow when climbing and reached the minimum there.
      2. The wooden blade is not giving enough lift (width is about 75% of other blades)
      3. Center Gravity is not balanced, resulting on the unexpected roll (which helped me to recover)

Luckily I have enough heights, if not, I won't be smiling now!

After that I landed my Raven, packed up and join the group for a quick break at a nearby restaurant.

Thanks for very good hospitality from the PPPF gang!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Fly Faster

0715 TR3703 Ready For Takeoff over.

From RC Helicopter - My Journey

Today, this what I manage to execute:
1. All flight is done in Idle-up2 mode.
2. Faster figure 8 maneuver.
2. Forward flight transition to hover flight
3. Forward flight to stall turn, but still facing the same side (still scared to rotate the tail)

Again, when I landed, I have less than 1/4 fuel in the tank! Need to improve this one, i MUST NOT make this kind of mistake.

Finished flying at 0750, with big smile on my face.

From RC Helicopter - My Journey

Then charging all batteries, tomorrow will fly more!

From RC Helicopter - My Journey


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fly Raven Fly

0700 Morning

I already fill up the TR3703 tank last night. This morning I need to have a good fly to build up my confident. It is very cloudy, thank god that it is not raining so I have the opportunity to fly the Raven.

Arrived at the field just to find that I left my glow heater at home. Quickly return to take the glow heater.

From RC Helicopter - My Journey

I started the engine without any problem. So for this flight:

  1. Start with hovering check ok, from the last hard landing by Fendi. This is the proper hovering to check all the controls functions.
  2. Familiarizing myself with idle-up switch.
  3. Familiarizing with the current setup
    1. throttle curve setup (65% at point 3) and
    2. expo setup for idle-up (25%)
  4. Build up confident with figure 8 maneuver. After few figure 8, I feel more comfortable and confident.

At the end of the session I landed with very low tank capacity, less than ¼ of the header tank. Next time I need to remind myself not to take such risk.

From RC Helicopter - My Journey

0745 Pack to return home. Started to rain lightly, just on time.

From RC Helicopter - My Journey


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TR3707 Inverted Test


I have a slight problem with the Fan, need to change it. Now I am more familiar on taking the top and bottom frames apart. The design of Century Raven (I believe it is quite the same for Hawk, Predator as well) is very good. For me to access to the fan and top of the engine, just need to detach the upper frame from the bottom.

I need to use the piston stopper to remove the damaged fan. Thanks for the kindness from Cikgu Vanan, I don't have to pay a single cent for the new Fan and the Piston Stopper!

Just before the sunset, after work yesterday I reached Rinching fly site. I was really lucky because another Sifu, Fendi was there. I have setup the blade pitch before at about -10/+10 and really hopping that it is sufficient for the inverted flight.

He flew my TR3703 Raven, test it, started with Hovering, while familiarizing with the sensitivity of my controller and helicopter. Then he did the Inverted Flight! Great!!


Zali (left) and Sifu Fendi (right) starting up TR3703 engine

Then he tried a loop.. however suddenly the Raven is dropping fast at the half loop (at inverted posture)! He managed to correct it with hard landing on the ground. According to him suddenly there was not lift during the invert. Before I had notice the battery indicator lighted red just before the loop, that must be the reason.

Luckily, there only some scratches on the blade. I tested to hover, and it still fly nicely!

Lesson learn:
1. Land immediately when red or yellow battery indicator
2. Need to make sure battery is charged enough, 2 days or longer.

These are comments from Sifu Fendi:
1. Need to check center of gravity for more stable inverted flight and 3d maneuver
2. Need to make cyclic control more sensitive, slowly reduce the expo configuration to 15%, for fast 3D response. Current setup is 35%.

Inverted Test Flight Passed!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Fixing My HoneyBee King 2

Hey, remember my TK2703. I had a little crash a few days ago while changing the flight mode from normal to idle up during hovering.

Lesson learnt: For this ESky stock 6 channels transmitter, make the flight mode change while on the ground at half stick.

Damaged on the main rotor blade,

And the main gear.

There, finished, it was fixed in about half an hour, tested hover flight ok.

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At Rinching Again

This is the best place to see what Helicopter can do. This action happened everyweek!!

YusRC with his pro-inverted hover.


This is my Raven at the field

With Sifu Joecarnine's TRex doing his stunt at the background..
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Blade Pitch and Visit to MAHA site

Saturday 2008-11-22

Geeting ready for faster and faster flying, I rechecked and reconfigured my blade pitch. Finally I able to have about -10 to +10 pitch range. This should be sufficient for now.

At MAHA site, first time I am here.
Envy this guy with turbin engine Scale F-16. I am always the fan of F16!

I do brought by Raven along, but looks like nobody flew Helicopter on the day. So I decided to proceed to Rinching.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TR3707 with No Fly Bar Weight


I had problem to move the fly bar weight from outer position into inner part of the fly bar. The screw thread of one of the weight is damaged and I was not able to fasten it tightly at the fly bar. After I verified with Cikgu V, I have removed the weight totally.

Today I have able to test TR3703 without the Fly Bar Weight.

0740 Packed all of the equipments into the car and drive to the nearby field.

Yesterday I have problem starting up the engine. It was due to glow heater has low voltage. Last night have charged the glow heater so it should be ok today.

I manage to start the engine after a few tries. Now is school holiday season in Malaysia, few kids just arrived at the field to play soccer. I need to be careful and to limit my flying space to only the half of the field which are still empty.

It flew nicely! Not much different for hovering. It should be more responsive for all maneuvers, but yet to test at a bigger field. J



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At URFF 08 Site Port Dickson


URFF 08 – Umran RC FunFly 2008, planned to be held on 27, 28 December 2008.


It was on Sunday 16-Nov-2008. I arrived a bit late due to some personal reason. It was quite far, about 120 km from my place.

Everybody was already there.


I flew the TR3707 for 2 tanks.

Got valuable comment form Umran and other flyers that my Ravens' head speed was too low. I increased it and yes it flew much better.

Me and my wife.. pause a bit before the second flight.

Landed safely and at about 13.30 packing to go back.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Setting Up – Tuning and Test (T&T)

From the last post, I just have one flight session, testing up the new throttle curve and familiarizing with the head speed. One new important finding is I need bigger space for me to learn and to familiarize me with the flying behavior of this Raven TR3707. The field at the park near my house is not big enough, only sufficient for hover testing, slow and small figure 8. I won't have much space to recover from my mistake in faster figure 8 or others. Well the space at high altitude is big, but I need to make sure I do not over flown buildings and pedestrians – I guess I don't have to elaborate further on that.

Still, I am not satisfied with few things in current TR3703 setup. I need to do more tuning and test sessions to improve them.

These are few things in my mind that need to do for me to proceed with other maneuvers:

  • Setup and test throttle curve to get good head speed for normal mode/scale and sport flying
    • This is quite tricky, after few changes, I found at one time the head speed is too slow, giving me slow response and at other time the speed is too high, and the engine is screaming during descend.
    • Here are various configuration I have tried (only on normal mode, the ST1 and ST2 just follow accordingly but I have not really test it in flight)

      • Setup 1





0 33.5 39.0 45 70

32 32 52 inh 95


25 60 45 60 85

32 32 52 inh 95


90 60 45 60.5 90

1 inh 52 inh 100

This Normal mode setup gives me slow response, I guess because it just give barely enough lift.

  • Setup 2





0 33.5 45.0 52.5 80

32 32 52 inh 95


25 60 45 60 85

32 32 52 inh 95



90 60 45 60.5 90

1 inh 52 inh 100


This one is better, higher speed, more response. Still need some more tweaking.


  • Move the fly bar weight to inner position to ensure more responsive cyclic control
    • So far still using stock fly bar weight at the end of fly bar near the paddle, in theory this make the Raven nimble and slow cyclic response. I need faster response for fast forward flight and figure 8 and many to come, but I yet to experience how much different it is.
    • Hopefully it won't be too much and I will still able to handle it.


  • Fine tuning the gyro
    • On my previous flight, I noticed that the tail was drifting to the right. I need to push the rudder a bit right to correct it.
    • I have reconfigured by gyro setup in DX7, now instead of using Gear->Gear, I am using Gear->Gyro at the "System Model" setup, with [Gyro Sense] Rate at 85 and 90 at the "Normal Setup".
    • I noticed with this configuration, the Gear Switch is not usable to select the Gyro mode any more but I able to configure the sense as above. I wonder if I will be able to assign other function for the Gear Switch, or it will be totally useless.


  • Change the main rotor blade!
    • Ha, I am still using the original 'training' white wooden blade I got since day one. After a good test flight to ensure I able to fly it with setup of 1, 2 and 3 above, I'll swap the blade with the Hurricane 600mm Fiber Reinforced Blade which come with the original Raven Kit. I don't want to swap this right away to avoid adding to much variable. I need to make sure I can handle the above first since setup 2 and 3 will give major impact to the flight characteristic.

Today (Saturday), my time already fully booked for family. Will need to hold my passion on this Heli. Remember, Family is always the First Priority!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuning Flight


Ready for transport to the nearby field. Today I am going to test various items:
1. New LSN (Low speed Needle) setup,
- turned to "close" a bit since before the engine always having problem during idle, but not at higher speed.

2. New throttle stick feel
- I have loosen the screw for the throttle stick, before it was a bit too tight, I was not able to precisely control the throttle

3. Visibility on the stickers
- I have put some additional stickers (see the photos), hoping to improve the visibility and eliminate orientation confusion during flying. Orange sticker at the bottom and red line at the middle of the canopy. I had a 'close call' on last Sunday due to orientation.

4. Throttle curve and idle-up switch
- Lowered the 50% throttle position to avoid head/engine over speed during descending.

5. "Lower the throttle" switch
- New switch I setup in MIX1, assigned to AUX2 switch, hoping the resolve the head/engine over speeding during descending as well.

After the arrival, snap few photos first.

Then started the engine.

Here are the test result:
1. New LSN (Low speed Needle) setup,
- the adjustment work great! During idle the engine is stable and no sign of quitting.

2. New throttle stick feel
- The new throttle feel is super. The super smooth movement allow me to control the hover precisely. Before the Raven will move up and down during the hover, now no more, I can put exactly the right amount of throttle/pitch to make it stay at the same height at my choice!!

3. Visibility on the stickers
- Unfortunately, the stickers only make very little different. From far it is not really noticed. The bottom big orange sticker did make some different, but seldom visible unless at high degree maneuver.

4. Throttle curve and idle-up switch
- The new throttle curve is too low! I raven is not responsive due to the slow head speed. I need to change this.

5. "Lower the throttle" switch
- Tried to use the AUX2 switch during a descend maneuver, but felt very awkward. It is quite hard to reach, probably because I am not used to it. But it seems to be quite difficult to flip it while controlling the pitch and roll at the same time.
- However, the throttle reduction programming in MIX1 works great, it does reduce the throttle as expected, 15%, but need more tuning, assuming that the switch is not a problem.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ground Maintenance

2008-11-10 Monday

Here is new ball link replacing the damaged one, last Friday.

This is the new location of the Voltage Indicator.. in the canopy and it looks cool!

I have opened up my spectrum DX7 to adjust the throttle stick feel. Previously it was a little bit tight and I have difficulty in doing precise control. Have loosen a bit the screw and now it is super smooth. I also tighten other spring screws since I prefer a harder feel on other controls.

Here is my new pilot for TR3703, Boba Fett the bounty hunter ( He is very famous on his various skills including in flying space craft. So helicopter should not be any problem for him.

I am still working on the throttle reduction switch. Will keep you all updated.


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