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GForce Upgrade – Aurora Metal Tail Grips

April 7th, 2010 3 comments

GForce LogoThe other weekend I had one of the plastic tail grips fail on my Avant Aurora, which is essentially the first flight failure I’ve had with the Aurora. The arm on the tail blade grip which holds the ball fatigued, cracked and the ball pulled out. Fortunately I was able to get the heli down with minimal damage.

(broken plastic tail grip)
aurora-broken-grip

Needless to say I’m now looking for a metal tail grip solution to replace the stock Avant plastic ones (which perform fine… they are just not durable enough IMHO). After digging around it turns out GForce maybe able to offer a solution if there is enough demand for an initial run of replacement grips. Hence a show of hand is required to get and indication of how many people would be seriously interested in a set. (yes I know Avant have some in the pipe line, but there is no indication of when that will be)

If you are interested in a set of quality metal tail grips specifically designed for the Avant Aurora please contact Garf at GForce to express your interest, his email can be found in the following thread on RunRyder: http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t579394p1/

 
 
 

Trex 500 Canopy Mount Modification

November 6th, 2009 No comments

Trex500 – Standoff Mod – Side2During the recent build of my newly acquired Trex 500, there was one small concern that jump out at me and that was the rear canopy standoff’s…and how shit they are (that aside the Trex 500 is great quality and value). And it’s not just because the canopy mounts are plastic, as plastic mounts will often save your frame in a crash. The issue is the canopy mounts don’t seem to sit far enough in the canopy lug holes and/or with enough tension for my liking (I normally upgrade the canopy mounts to “thumb-screw mounts”). Also there have been a few reports of Trex 500’s loosing canopies in-flight, either way something needed to be done and there are no thumb-screw upgrades currently available.

It turns out you can fit a pair of Trex 700 canopy mounts with a small amount of modification and as luck would have it, I had some lying around as I upgraded my 700 mounts to QuickUK thumb-screw mounts.

The main modification is to the plastic swash guide, the main frame is essentially untouched. One concern with the modification is in a crash the metal mounts will transfer more energy to the frame (rather than bending/snapping like the plastic counterpart), my solution to this was to cut 2 small sections of carbon fiber and bolt them to the frame using existing frame holes. This effectively doubles the frame width around the canopy mount point and hence reinforces the frame.

The Modification

The Trex 700 standoffs uses M3 bolts (into steel) and the Trex 500 uses M2.5 bolts (self tapping into plastic). So you will need to enlarge the canopy standoff holes in the frame just enough to accommodate an M3 bolt, which should easily be done in a few seconds by rubbing a small drill bit inside the canopy standoff holes.

The swash-guide also needs its bolt holes enlarged enough to accommodate a M3 bolt (you need to source 2x M3 bolts), note that the M3 bolt will not be tapping and held by the plastic (although it will be a tight fit). The trick with this is there is not a huge amount of meat on the plastic so you need to drill very straight and not make the hole to large. That said, if you make the holes too small the plastic will crack when you push/screw the M3 bolt through. When you have drilled through to the end you will notice the center support pin start to fall away…which is fine cause we don’t want it any way :) Finally cut away any protruding plastic in order to allow the M3 bolt head to sit snug against the inside of the plastic bolt hole. Bottom line is if you stuff up the plastic swash-guide modification it’s only a couple of £ to replace. I brought a spare, however I manage to get the modification right the first time. Installing the swash-guide and bolts back into the frame is simple, a ball-end hex driver is a requirement though.

Frame bracing around the bolt hole is optional but recommended and if you’re like me you probably have an old broken frame you can use for carbon. I wont go into detail you just need to cut some carbon to match the frame around the bolt hole (see below) and drill some holes in the brace to match the location of the rear bearing bock bolt hole and canopy mount hole. You will need to also source 2 slightly longer M3 bolts, that’s it.

Installed Trex 700 Canopy mounts on Trex 500

Trex500 - Standoff Mod - Back

M3 bolt snug against modified swash-guide (need ball-end hex to gain access)

Trex500 – Standoff Mod – Side3

Installed carbon brace for canopy mount/standoff

Trex500 – Standoff Mod – Side

Trex 250 Joins RC Heli Fleet

August 23rd, 2009 No comments

trex250_upgrades

Aurora Head Configuration

August 3rd, 2009 1 comment

Aurora upper mixing arm ball configurationI’ve been lucky enough to have owned an Aurora for over a year now and I must say it’s an amazing machine. For sometime now I’ve been running a custom head configuration based on the “Active” setup in the manual. Let just say active is truly active, which is fine on those still dead calm days but when the wind is up I find the heli a little flighty or jumpy which can be a little unnerving.

At first I attacked the problem by adding more expo but really once you get up to about 30%+ it’s just getting a little silly. I then moved to the outer hole on the flybar carrier, then finally tried the inner hole (on the flybar cage side) on the upper mixing arm. You’ll also notice that I flipped the upper mixing arm in order to give the link from the swash to upper mixing arm more clearance to minimize the possibly of binding.

Aurora flybar carrier ball configuration

Summary

Basically this an “Active” setup with the “Ultra Stable” flybar configuration which I’m finding really smooths out the flight characteristic while maintaining the edgy-ness of “Active”. Needless to say I can now drop the expo down to a more reasonable value, at the moment it around 20% but I’m sure it can go further.

MultigovPro Surging – Fixed

July 19th, 2009 No comments

MultigovPro Sensor CableThe last couple of flights on my Aurora have been plagued with governor surging issues. Turns out the sensor cable had one of the plastic tabs broken off that holds the wire crimp in place. That plus some standard heli vibrations was enough to cause a bad sensor connection (gov on, gov off, gov on, gov off) …cut solder job done 😛