Sunday, April 30, 2006

2nd flight debrief

Got up early this morning and headed out to the local HS parking lot for some more hover practice. Unfortunately, my Triton charger died the night before, so again, only had one pack to work with. Got the Trex up hovering about 3 feet off the ground and just hovered around.

Of course, the Trex wants to drift to the left when it's hovering (tail-rotor push) so that's something I've got to work on. Another thing is I'm going to look at the throttle/pitch curves again. I only have four points set up and the throttle jumps from 65 to 100 % while the pitch curve jumps from 50 to 100. I think I'm going to adjust the curves so I get a little more flexibility in the high/middle part of the stick movement. I'm using a Hitec Optic 6 and I find it's very easy to program. If you're looking for a good basic 6 channel computer transmitter for your heli. The Hitec Optic 6 is great value.

For those folks starting out with RC helicopters, I can't stress enough how important spending time on a simulator is. It's great for working out orientation and which direction you should point the sticks depending on how the helicopater is facing you.

I use Aerofly Pro Deluxe:

It works very well for me and has a ton of helicopter models to choose from. (And when I'm feeling bored, a ton of airplane models as well). The model that feels closest to my Trex is the Raptor model. There is a version of the Trex out there but it does not fly at all like a "real Trex."

Here's the current canopy. I asked my girls to draw some pictures on it. They think the Trex is cool and like flying helicopters on the simulator. (hee, I just got my oldest a "Bladerunner" knock-off for her birthday!! I couldn't resist, it was a great deal)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

First flight debrief

OK, finally, after waiting a long week, I was able to take the Trex up for it's first flight. Wow, was my heart racing! I was able to hold hover for about 10 seconds and about 3-feet off the ground before I set it down. The conditions weren't ideal. The wind was swirling and gusting from 1 to 5 MPH (I guess) so I packed it in early, just one pack.

One thing I've learned is to trust your inner voice ("it's getting too windy") and never do "just one more flight". I'm a "graduate" of Radd's school of rotary flight.

It's a great self-guided program to teach beginners how to hover helicopters. One of the key principles in Radd's School of Rotary Flight is always be in control. If the helicopter ever goes where you don't want it to go, set down and reset yourself.

As you can see from these post-flight pics. I've painted the canopy. My girls picked the colors. The top was supposed to be fluorescent red, but I guess I didn't shake the can well enough and it ended up kind of pink. Still looks great!

One thing that doesn't look so great is the cutout for the cyclic servo. I mean, it works but there's got to be a more attractive solution. Fortunately, canopies are cheap and I do intend to try some different paint/decal jobs!

I'll have to get up earlier tomorrow for more flights!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

TREX arrives

Here are some shots of my brand new TREX SE.

As you can see, the boom is flipped and the gyro is mounted upside-down on a small piece of plastic mounted to the gyro platform. This plastic gives more clearance so cutting of the frame wasn't necessary

I need to put more shrink wrap on the bullet connector.

I'm also going to put some padding between the receiver and the frame.


T-REX 450 SE
Futaba GY401
Futaba S9650
3X Hitec HS-65
Hitec Electron 6
AstroFlight 20
Quark 33a

Running the new Align 2100/16C

Now for some trim flights!