Admin Control Panel

New Post | Settings | Change Layout | Edit HTML | Moderate Comments | Sign Out

Monday, February 23, 2009

Proper Stall Turns

Sunday 2009-02-22

I reached at PHAF Field 1 at about 11am.

Plan for today, I will continue to get familiarization with the figure 8 and stall turn, and if I confident and brave enough I will do the loop. Loop maneuver is where I had very bad crash previously, and I am very careful, to make sure I won't crash again this time.
From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Filled up the fuel, when the field is cleared, I started the Raven TR3703 engine.

FID: H3.E2.G2.T6.1 2009-02-22:1130 - PHAF Field 1

Lift-off as normal, did hover in-flight check in idle-up mode. Everything checked ok. Continue with forward flight and figure 8. Did some stall turn. After few minutes I bring it to the ground and put the engine to the idle.

Checked the engine temperature by touching the engine back plate with my finger. It is just bit warm and I can keep my finger thare forever without feeling any pain.

Continue to lift-off, HOWEVER, during the rotor spool up, I noticed that the no response to right rudder input. Tested a few times, yes, left rudder input was ok, but no reponse to right input. Even tested with half throttle RPM it was still the same.

Looking closely at the tail rotor shaft I can see that the nut which should hold the tail rotor blade pitch.

Take-off aborted! Shutdown the engine.

I quickly tighten the nut back. It must not be over tighten, or else the tail blade will not be able to spin freely. After statified with the quick fix, I started the engine again, ready for another flight.

FID: H3.E2.G2.T6.2 2009-02-22:1145 - PHAF Field 1

Took off, continue with few stall manuevers. This time I tried with full vertical climb just before it stall. Yes.. it works.
The last stall turn I tried negative pitch, yup it gave good negative push to the Raven.

Landed again for another check. Just when I begin to spool up the main rotor for another lift-off the tail rotor issue came back!
From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Again, aborted the take off and shutdown the engine. Looks like the quick tighten nut fix did not last long. Alhamdulillah, I was lucky enough, it did not happen during flight!

I do not want to take any risk with this issue, decided to pack the stuff and go home.

The Raven TR3703 is grounded till the issue is fixed, not able to try out the 'inverted' yet.

Anyway, went back with smile on my face!

1. The Raven flies beautifully
2. Manage to do few stall turn properly, with 180 degree turn
3. Tail rotor nut need to be fixed before continue with other flight
4. Did not have the chance for the inverted hover.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quick Flight

Saturday 10.30am

Reached PHAF Field 2. Looks like I am alone. Flying alone is not recommended at all, need a buddy to watch out if anything happen. Somehow for some reasons other fellow fliers have decided to fly today.

However I decided to go ahead with a quick flight. I need to keep practicing to become more familiar in controlling the helicopter, and to make sure that the engine is still ok. It has been almost a week I have not started the engine, that was last Sunday, 15-Feb.

The few days/nights before, I took the opportunity to check the center of gravity. The main shaft and the center gravity looks ok, I did not made any adjustment for this.
From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Also, I had dismantled the tail rotor gear to ensure the component do not have any problem. Before, I realized that there was some unexpected play at the tail rotor shaft. After putting some lubricant I put back the tail rotor gear assembly and tighten the screws which reduced the unwanted play.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

On top of that, I also had reconfirm the pitch setup for the blade, it is +11 to -9 range, which is very good. I had it only at +9 to -9 before. This time I should have more lift.

H3.E2.G2.T5.1 2009-02-21:1030 - PHAF Field 2

I fill up the tank, and started the engine. At first it is quite hard to be cranked, after a few tries it started ok.

Brought the Raven to the middle of the field. Lift-off and switched to idle-up mode. Did in-flight check during hover.

Everything is ok, I continue with figure 8. This time I am much more confident, I am able to let the Raven facing and fly towards me confidently in part for the figure 8 manuver.

Then after ensure that still have enogh fuel in the tank, I continue with stall turn. I have able to do proper stall turn, starting with almost vertical climb. Able to complete few stall turn then I landed the aircraft safely, with a soft touch down. What a satisfaction!

Turn back to the shades, I realize there a person wathced me flying the Raven just now. I after some conversation I learnt that he is also an owner of Century brand helicopter however have not flown it for about 2 years! I am quite exited to have another Century flier nearby. Hope that he will be able to join me flying the helicopters.

While talking to him another person came in. He requested me to show how the helicopter flies. Well why not. I fill up about quater (or less) of the tank for a quick flight.

FID: H3.E2.G2.T5.2 2009-02-21:1130 - PHAF Field 2

Started the engine, take off, did quick in-flight check and proceed with foward flight, figure 8 and stall turns.

Landed safely after about 4 minutes.

Sorry no photo for this flight session, forgot to bring my camera, it supposed to be a quick flight anyway :)

Yes, very satisfied. Alhamdulillah.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Raven – Re-learn from the beginning

It is Sunday morning 15-Feb-2009.

Reached PHAF Field 2 at about 1015.

Mr. Lee is flying his Esky Belt CP helicopter. However this is not a normal Belt CP, his Belt CP is equipped with "Heli Command" device. It is an expensive and sophisticated device which can automatically stabilize the helicopter, like an auto pilot. With the device the helicopter is able to auto-hover, with only throttle input from the user.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

(Helicopter 3, Engine 2, Gallon 2, Tank 3, Flight 1)
H3.E2.G2.T3.1 2009-02-15:1045 - PHAF Field 2

In-flight hover check ok.

Did forward flight at faster speed. Started to improve my figure 8 maneuvers.

I discovered the one tooth of the main gear is missing. That tooth has been damage since my bad crash previously and now it is completely flat.

Decided that I should be able to continue with the next flight. Filled up the tank again and ready for next flight.

Then mingled around with fellow fliers for a while, discussing and sharing RC information.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

H3.E2.G2.T4.1 2009-02-15:1130 - PHAF Field 2

Did some more Figure 8 maneuvers.  Now with more confident! I also did some semi-stall turns. The turns are okey, however not as smooth as what I targeted. I need to made many small corrections in the turns.

Probably next session I will be brave enough and confident enough to perform the proper stall turn.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Session ended at 1220pm.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Raven Flies Beautifully

Saturday morning 14-Feb-2009

Reached PHAF Field 2 at about 9.15am. Few fellow fliers already there fixing and preparing their RC plane for today session.

It was about 30 deg Celsius with about 5km/h wind.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

(Helicopter 3, Engine 2, Gallon 1, Tank 6, Flight 1)
FID:H3.E2.G1.T6.1 2009-02-14:0930 - PHAF Field 2

Its just about half tank, to finish the gallon. This is actually the 5th Gallon for the Helicopter, but considered as first gallon for the second engine.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Started up the engine, took-off into hover. I did in-flight check during the hover. Everything seems to be ok. The Raven seems to leaning to the left and forward. I made some trim adjustment. It took quite a bit of trim to prevent it from dropping its nose.

Landed the helicopter, checked the engine temperature. It was not warm at all. Turn few clicks to make it leaner.

Took off again, switched to idle-up mode. I did the same check again, this time including the rudder. Did some forward flights and land it before the fuel finish completely.

Then I let the engine died by itself to finish *ALL* of the fuel in the tank. This is because I don't want to mix the old gallon fuel with new one.

Then I filled up the tank using the new fresh gallon.

FID:H3.E2.G2.T1.1 2009-02-14:1030 - PHAF Field 2

Started the engine without any problem.
Took-off put into hover, did some more trim adjustment in idle-up mode.

Tested with some forward flights, this time it was further.
My heart was pounding and pounding like I the time I started to fly the helicopter in the beginning. Looks like I need to familiarize myself with the helicopter from the basic again!!

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Filled up the tank again. This time I have to tell myself to be strong and brave. I need to keep trying and progressing. I can't stop there, pack and go back. I need to keep trying to familiarize with the flights, that is how I can progress.

FID: H3.E2.G2.T2.1 2009-02-14:1115 - PHAF Field 2

Took-off. I did some forward flights. Also I did some crooked figure 8 maneuvers. At all time when the Raven is flying, I can feel that my heart is pounding, like a drum, inside me.

Landed safely, ended the session at about 1220, with big smile in my face.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Engine Break-in Sessions

(Helicopter 2, Engine 2, Gallon 1, Tank 2, Flight 1)
H3.E2.G1.T2.1 2009-02-07:1105 - PHAF Field 2

On Saturday morning at PHAF Field 2. Engine break-in tank 2. Completed.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Noticed there are some fuel came out when filling up the tank.

H3.E2.G1.T3.1 2009-02-07:1145 - PHAF Field 2

Engine break-in tank 3. Continue with the third tank, suspect that the main tank is leaking.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Some little smoke came out if fuel is less than half of the tank.
Completed the brake in with very low hover under the shades, maximum 2 feet high.

I have opened up the lower frame to take out the fuel tank. Discovered that the tanks is really leaking! This is since my major crash a month ago.

On the same night I went to get the replacement tank. Next morning, put it into the Raven.

Sunday morning (08 Feb) visited funfly session at Saujana Putra, it is just about 15 minutes drive from my place.

There are so many people there,

So many airplaines

and helicopters too..

And many demo showed by experience filers.

Then I came back to Putra Heights, need to test the new fuel tank.

H3.E2.G1.T4.1 2009-02-08:1215 - PHAF Field 2

Engine break-in tank 4 completed. New fuel tank tested ok! Here is the new fuel tank (the big one), also with new fuel line. I have moved the fuel filter, put it just before the carburetor, where it suppose to be.
From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

However, surprisingly looks like the Raven do not have enough lift to take off. Need to check the blade pitch.

When I checked the blade pitch, discovered that the the middle stick is giving me about -3 degree. This must be the reason why it won' t lift off. I re-setting the blade pitch, finally got with +10 to -9 range. That should be sufficient.

Tuesday morning, all set for the next test flight.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

H3.E2.G1.T5.1 2009-02-09:1215 - PHAF Field 1

Engine break-in tank 5 completed. The Raven TR3703 flew beautifully (still with wooden blades).


Saturday, February 7, 2009


Remote Control Helicopter FAQ – TrueMax Lesson Learn and Frequently Asked Question

I am putting the summary of Lesson Learn from my experience into this page. I will continue to update this page as when I have the time or have new important items to share out to the RC community. (RC can also stand for Radio Control)

I hope that this will be helpful for all RC Community especially for beginners or newbie who are just starting into the Remote Control Helicopter hobby, probably who just bought or thinking to buy one. This FAQ is focusing very detail on Nitro Glow Powered Helicopter.

Happy flying.

Last update: 2009-02-07

Basic Equipments

Scope: Nitro Helicopter in General

Q1: What need to be purchased with helicopter for it to fly in basic configuration?

A1: Need:

  1. Helicopter Kit (normally this contains the frames, skids, gears, tail boom assemblies etc) . Some package may have the engine, rotor blades or even governors etc.
  2. Engine, this normally comes with glow plug
  3. Rotor Blades
  4. 3 Servos for Cyclic (assuming that it is using CCPM) + 1 servo for throttle
  5. 1 set of gyro and servo for the rudder.
  6. 4.8v or better battery (higher volt battery will need step down conversion)
  7. Switch and harness to connect the things together.
  8. Good Radio (and its receiver), I would recommend at least 2.4gh 7 Channel. 6 Channels is the minimum. Radios/Receivers are not normally cross-brand compatible (Futaba, Spectrum, JR etc). Check your long term plan.
  9. See Equipment question on other supporting equipment needed (but for a start, you can actually borrow these from fellow fliers)

Please take note: The remote control helicopter is a very complex machine. Putting the kit and parts together correctly is very important to ensure it will fly as expected. If you are not sure on anything, you should consult more experience flier for clarification. A real aircraft have 3 qualified engineers to check and verify before it is cleared for take-off. In this case, you are the person!

Q2: What are the basic equipments needed for Nitro Helicopter Hobby?

A2: The basic equipments are (you need this to fly!):

  1. Glow heater. I have 2 glow heaters. In case one is not working, I will have another one for backup. Furthermore, if the battery type is NiCd, it is better to use it until completely finished then only recharge it.
  2. Starter and starter shaft.
  3. Nitro Fuel (consumable) at least with 15% Nitro. 30% is better but I think it is overkill for basic learning.
  4. Fuel Pump, to get the fuel into the Helicopter tank.

These are optional field equipments, things that really helpful if you have it:

  1. 12v battery for the starter and its charger (optional). I was using my car battery earlier, but with the dedicated battery it is very convenient.
  2. No 8 Socket (for glow plug and blade grips)
  3. Tool box, to put all these necessary equipment and other supporting equipments.

Maintenance supporting equipments:

  1. Locktite (blue, thread lock)
  2. The Hex Screw driver set
  3. Phillips screw driver
  4. Pliers – Long nose, Gripping pliers
  5. Lubricant for bearings
  6. Small Knife
  7. Pair of scissors
  8. Tooth brush – useful to clean up hard to reach position
  9. Small cable ties
  10. Cutter
  11. Caliper – Missed placed mine!
  12. Blade pitch gauge
  13. Small container to keep loose items (screws, glow plug etc)

Q3: What are recommended additional items that are also 'needed'?

A3: Even though you can fly the helicopter with the basic configuration above, it is highly recommended to have these items installed:

  1. Battery Volt indicator – so that can verify the battery is good for the flight
  2. Glow plug extender, electronic plug heater – so that don't have to open the canopy to start the engine.
  3. Header tank – while it provides additional flying time, it also ensures more consistent fuel flow to the engine regardless of helicopter attitude and maneuver.
  4. Fuel filter – needed to ensure the fuel is free from foreign object when entering the engine
  5. Hard damper (later when want to do fast forward flight and others)
  6. Air filter (at the carburetor) – with this I am confident no foreign object enter the engine
  7. Governor (err.. still don't have this, can live without it)

Q4: How to start the Nitro Helicopter Engine

A4: It may look tedious but once you are familiar with it, you will realize that it is actually quite simple. The step below with assuption that you already put the fuel into the helicopter's tank.

  1. Position your helicopter, starter (with the battery), glow heater, radio where you can reach easily without getting up.
  2. I recommended having your Radio on left side if using mode 2, and right side if you are using mode 1. This is because you may need to reach the throttle quickly with your correct hand/thumb throttle.
  3. Turn on your radio, make sure all switched are in correct position (take about 5 seconds)
    1. Flight mode in normal position (not idle-up) - Safety
    2. Throttle stick all the way down! - Safety
    3. Throttle cut in off
    4. Throttle hold in off
    5. Gyro is in Heading lock position (some gyro will not initialize properly if not in this position)
    6. And the rest which is less severe (dual rate etc)
  4. Switch your helicopter electronic on – wait for 3 or 5 seconds for the receiver, gyro etc to initialize.
  5. Check throttle stick, rudder, cyclic response accordingly at the helicopter
  6. Connect the starter to battery (if not yet done)
  7. Put the shaft to the starter
  8. Plug the glow heater to the glow plug
  9. Hold the main blade at the blade grip with left hand
  10. Insert the starter shaft to the helicopter, and activate the starter.
  11. Put down the starter and the starter shaft
  12. If needed you need play a bit with the throttle stick, throttle trim or HSN.
  13. Disconnect the starter from battery
  14. By this time the engine should already run for more than 5 seconds
  15. Take out the glow heater.

There, it is ready to fly.

All these steps normally performed in 1 or 2 minutes.

Please take note: You need to bring the helicopter to bigger space (or at least to move the starter and other equipments further before flying the helicopter). To carry the helicopter, always hold your radio with your throttle stick pushed down with your thumb (that's why you need to have the radio at you throttle hand side). The other hand, hold the helicopter firmly at the blade grip. The helicopter while tend to rotate counter clockwise when you lift it up. Just be prepared, not to hit the tail rotor.

Learning to Fly

Q1: What is the sequence of skill need to acquire and what is the suggested method to learn

A1: Need this is what I think the logical sequence:

  1. Orientation, need to know which control what
  2. Learn to hover, there are many methods, I personally recommend just do it in Simulator! Keep trying until it becomes reflection. Then you are ready to try it on your real helicopter, with the ping pong ball /trainer set.
  3. Hover Tail in
  4. Hover Side (left or right, your choice)
  5. Hover Nose in
  6. Forward Flight, Back Flight
  7. Turning/Circle
  8. Auto-rotation(!)
  9. Fast forward flight
  10. Stall turn 180 degree
  11. Backward flight
  12. Stall turn 540 degree
  13. Loop
  14. Then, you can go with more advance maneuver

Please take note: It takes lots of patient! It took me about 1 week getting the grasp of it, 2 weeks for 'ok' take off and more time to continue to familiarize with the tail-in hover itself.

Q2: What are the tips to avoid crash?

A2: Crash is something that will happen, but we can minimize it and minimize the damage in the crash.

  1. Make sure you double check that the helicopter is in good condition. No part damage, loose etc.
  2. Space, you need 2x or 3x of the normal space when you are learning
  3. Do not assume that you can do it again like yesterday! Today is different day. You will still need to be careful and need the extra space.
  4. Provide full focus.
  5. Spin up the rotor slowly, watch for any weird behavior, vibration or weird sound. If there is any, abort the take-off and verify the aircraft condition.
  6. Learn a bit a time. Get familiarize with the new skill for 5 or more flights then only proceed with the next.
  7. Lots of time on Simulator. Do not try it if you have not able to do it without crashing in Simulator. This also means that Simulator is the must!

Nitro Engine

Scope: I have experience only in OS .50 Hyper so far.

Q1: How do you do Engine Brake–In

A1: As indicated in OS 50 H manual:

  1. Make sure Low Speed Needle (LSN) at factory default.
  2. Turn the High Speed Needle (HSN) to 2 ¼ open (from fully closed)
  3. Start the engine
  4. Play with the throttle, mostly leave it in idle
  5. Hover with low RPM configuration
  6. At least 3 tanks

Q2: How do you do Engine Tuning

A2: Purpose of tuning can be to get most performance of an engine, or to get an engine that will last long, or to have engine running at low fuel consumption or the balance of all. In other words, we want to get the engine stable enough to continue to run without bogging down, giving enough power for rapid climb and hard maneuver while still having it last long enough.

The tuning for nitro engine OS 50 SX(H) Hyper involve 2 adjustable 'screws', High Speed Needle (HSN) and Low Speed Needle (LSN).

  1. Fully close the HSN (turn all the way clockwise till it stop)
  2. Turn the HSN counter clock wise (this turn also called 'rich' turn, or 'open' the HSN) 2 ¼ turn.
  3. Start the engine
  4. At the idle, slowly turn the HSN clock wise (also called 'lean' or 'close' HSN) until can hear higher/faster rpm in the engine.
  5. Push the throttle stick from down to up quickly
  6. If the engine response with lots of bogging then turn HSN clock wise.
  7. Repeat the process until the engine response will very less bogging
  8. Hover the helicopter, continue the process for few minutes
  9. Then land the helicopter, test the engine back plate temperature with your finger. If you cannot keep your finger there for at least 5 second because of too hot than you have over 'lean' the engine. Turn it open 2 clicks or more.
  10. Repeat the hover test again.
  11. Then land, see how the idle response. If engine not stable at idle, need to adjust the LSN (this is not that crucial for Helicopter because all the time for helicopter we run the engine at the lowest 45% throttle due to idle-up mode).
Q3: Engine won't start! What should I do?
A3: Troubleshooting engine problem can be frustrating and time consuming. However the engines are normally robust enough it should be able to start if there is no internal damage.
Common problem for beginners are (check these first):
1. Glow heater is charge enough, and it is fixed properly at the glow plug
2. Fuel is good. (The nitro fuel is very sensitive, should not be left opened and should not put under direct sun light (water in air and sun light can damage it)
3. HSN is opened enough
4. Fuel line is opened, connected and clean fuel filter.

If those already confirm ok, then need to proceed with trouble shooting:
1. Clear the fuel in the engine. Close the fuel line to the carburator. Open the glow plug. Without the glow heater connected, spin the engine using starter just like starting the engine.
2. If needed open the fuel line, and continue with the starter. Should have the tiny fuel droplet spraying out from the glow plug hole. If you did this, need to clear the engine again using step 1.
3. Put back the glow plug.
4. Prime the engine - this is to have the fuel reach the carburetor. Priming the engine is spinning the engine with the exhaust hole closed. You should be able to see the fuel pulled to the carburetor.
5. Start the engine.

If it is still not working. Fully close the HSN. then repeat the steps 1 to 3 above. Open the HSN 2 1/2 turn then continue with step 4 and 5.

That should start the engine if there is no internal engine damage, including for hydro-lock problem.

Note: To ensure that engine is always in good condition, you need to start the engine at least once a week. If you are plan to put the chopper into rest for longer than a week you need to use the 'after run' oil to clean the engine from remaining nitro fuel before the long resting period.

Century Raven Specific

Q1: What are to look for prevention of damage/crash?

A1: These are the important things:

  1. Make sure all screw are tight
  2. Ball links are not loose, easily come out from the balls.
  3. Make sure rotation pin at the end of starter shaft is center.
  4. Get a correctly machined shaft for metal fan.
  5. Blade grip pitch movements are free all the way to the extreme positions.
  6. Engine is stable; do In Flight Hover check before proceed with other maneuver.
  7. Turbo Fan (or Metal Fan) need precisely machined starter shaft. I almost trash the bearing when using custom made shaft.
  8. Frame/Engine/upper frame mount locations are very precise. A crash may move them a bit. Need to make sure all moving part have enough clearance. Had problem with Metal Fan touching the upper frame fan cover resulting in engine died and not able to start.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Got the new engine

After so many session of troubleshooting I decided getting new engine is more cost effective and time effective.

It is exactly the same model, OS .50 SX-H(H) Ring Hyper.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

About 2 hours of putting it in into my Century Raven helicopter..

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

On the same evening, I tested it..
From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

(Heli 3, Second Engine, Galon 1, Tank 1, Flight 1)
H3.E2.G1.T1.1 2009-02-02:1845 :
Engine is ok, some minor issue with the fan/frame.

Tested again next day..

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

H3.E2.G1.T1.2 2009-02-03:0740 :
Did not really take-off. Engine break-in.

Completed 1 tank of break-in, running it at high-idle most of the time, some low RPM hover take-off.

Now I need to complete the engine brake-in process. At least 2 more tank with low RPM hover, then only I can start flying normally at higher RPM.



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Opened up the engine!

Before deciding to get a new fresh engine, I should open up the engine to see what problem it has inside, there is still probability that only few parts need to be replaced.

At about 1330, I started to take out the engine from the frame, and opened it up. Here are how they looks like. (Click at any of the photo to zoom further to its maximum resolution).

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

The back bearing, visually looks fine, but rolling while holding with my finger I can feel the rattle.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

Piston from my original engine.. (in fact all internal parts are from my original engine)
It is a bit dented and chirp at a side due to the bad crash. I was able to start the engine with it (with the new crank case) but having this sudden engine died issue.

If you are familiar with OS 50 nitro engine, please advice if I can still continue to use the piston.

Other findings:
1. Looks like I have been running without head gasket since the rebuild. This could cause the problem as well.
2. Back bearing really rattling, it has to go
3. Front bearing is still good.
4. My pocket will be much thinner after this !


  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP