Paul Tradelius’s Blog

First-Flight Checklist

Apr 01, 2014 No Comments by

• Initial test flights should be limited to hovering and very mild maneuvering. During this time check for proper blade tracking and any signs of vibration. Minor changes to the control linkages will bring the blades in track. Foam in the fuel tank could be an indication of an engine misalignment, while vibration in the [...]

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Pro Hovering Tips & Tricks

Feb 05, 2014 2 Comments by

One of the problems very common in hovering (as well as when learning to fly formation in full-scale airplanes) is that the pilot does not notice the need for a correction until the helicopter has moved, and then an over-correction is required. As an example, let’s compare two identical helicopters in a hover: one flown [...]

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Curtis Youngblood’s Aerobatic Stingray

Dec 12, 2013 No Comments by

Quad copters have always been known for their stability as an in-flight camera platform, but have lacked aerobatic capabilities because of their fixed pitch rotor system. However, Curtis Youngblood has changed all that with his new Stingray fully aerobatic Quad Copter with collective pitch. I was fortunate to see this fly at the Orlando Heli [...]

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The Heli-Max Digital Pitch Gauge

Nov 14, 2013 No Comments by

The Digital Pitch Gauge by Heli-Max is designed to measure the pitch angle of both the main and tail rotor blades. In fact I don’t know of any other pitch gauge on the market that can be used on the tail rotor blades. This is a first. And, as you can see in the photo, [...]

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Installing a Rubber Canopy Grommet

Oct 09, 2013 1 Comment by

Almost every helicopter uses rubber grommets to soft mount the canopy to the helicopter structure. Installing these rubber grommets to the canopy seems like a very straightforward task, but some techniques just work better than others. Over the years this is the technique that I have developed, and I hope it’s of help to you. [...]

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THROTTLE SERVO REQUIREMENTS

Oct 03, 2013 No Comments by

Starting with the throttle, let’s first take a look at the servo. There are those pilots who believe the throttle servo should be just as fast and powerful as those used on the swashplate so rapid throttle changes can be made for 3D flying. However, I am not of this belief for the following reasons. [...]

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The Nozarossi REX 57 Heli Engine

Sep 16, 2013 No Comments

Novarossi engines were developed in Italy in the early 60’s and are the leaders in almost all speed categories for airplanes, boats and cars. Although designed for max performance, their 3-needle carburetors provide an excellent idle and transition to a mid-range for hovering and normal flight. Shown here is their 57 Novarossi REX Helicopter Engine [...]

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Flying Safety Is No Accident

Sep 14, 2013 2 Comments

Every helicopter comes with a warning that this is not a toy. That it can cause serious injury, or even death. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened a few months ago when a helicopter went out of control and struck the pilot. I don’t know the exact circumstances of this tragic accident,. but helicopter design [...]

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About the author

A regular contributor to Model Airplane News, he is also the columnist for our “Rotor Speed” helicopter column. Paul has been flying RC helicopters since the early ‘80s and now enjoys all types of rotary machines, including scale and aerobatics, and he continues to experiment with modifications to improve performance.
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