Well, it was going to happen sooner or later, my first crash of a Helicopter, and this weekend, it did.
I had bought myself a small electric Helicopter, these tend to be harder to control than the larger petrol ones, so figured it was a good thing to use to push myself a little more. hovering it was fine, I can do that, it’s not a problem. I had a day of flying on Saturday, having bought an extra battery for the electric, so I had 2 batteries for that, and got through a tank of fuel on the Nexus. having re-charged one of the batteries for the electric, I started to push a little more, I was doing small-low circuits with it before, this time I started going a bit faster, as it came in fast, I pulled back to slow it down, and the rotors hit the tail boom and down to the floor it came… it took me a moment to work out what had just happened, I’m still not sure why exactly it did that, as it shouldn’t. but new parts are ordered, that’s only £20 – and it should be flying again by Tuesday (internet orders, have to wait for delivery – ho humm) – all I can say is, I’m damn glad it wasn’t the Nexus, because then I’d have been seriously gutted. I just have to work out why it hit itself once it’s re-built.
On Sunday, I went back up the airfield, this time only with the Nexus. Neil gave me some spacers, so I could put my nice new Carbon Fibre rotor blades on – and they look really nice! once they were on, I had a quick hover, but there was a couple of issues, the tracking of the blades was out, and the head speed was too high, well first job is to get the tracking roughly right, with a guage, next step is to get the head speed slowed down, and then to finely adjust the tracking. while sorting the head speed (we wanted this at 1750 RPM – as this is “optimum” for these rotors) we got it right, and I made a mental note of the display of my receiver so I knew exactly where to set the “max” power. – if you’re interested that was 55% throttle. job done, so move the collective stick down and…. wait… it’s not doing anything… I have no control at all. The Heli had decided to turn the electrics off! so, my toy that I really enjoy was now a sitting duck, with rotors spinning at 1750 RPM, engine running, and no control! Neil ran round telling everyone that the machine was there and has no control, and all we could do was wait for it to run out of fuel… and 30 minutes later it finally did. fortunately the pitch was still too low for it to get off the ground, but had the wind picked up, it could have gone anywhere.
The good news is that I did get the settings for the head speed – though, this will change slightly once it’s in the air, and there’s some friction on the rotors. but it’s roughly there. I have sorted the switching off problem (seems the switch was faulty – and was hard to turn on, but very easy to turn off again – just a light touch and it went off, so it most likely vibrated to the “off” position.
Next I need to sort the tracking out, and check my Gyro. the Gyro has been a hard thing to setup, but little point in messing with it until everything is set up right, otherwise you only end up changing the gyro again. though, I might replace this with a better one before long.
all in all, a bad flying weekend. however. I learnt more. I stayed calm when there were big problems (and dangerous problems) and I’ve had my first crash. I’m sure there will be many many more, I just hope not with the Nexus!
Thanks to Neil for his help. was much appreciated.