First Flight

It’s a good day for a test flight. The sun is out and there is absolutely no wind. OK, so there aren’t any excuses left, I have to fly the RS352 for the first time with four new servos. I needn’t have worried though, because it went up and a few clicks here and there had it sorted. I’m still worried about the “buzzing” servos though. When I turned it on at the field, the ailerons and the elevator looked like they were jammed and were buzzing away frantically until I moved the surfaces on the TX. I really don’t understand this as they are all brand new Hitec HS65MG units, so they’re not cheap servos. The problem definitely isn’t to do with the control surfaces or the linkages binding, as they still do it even without the servo arm attached. I actually broke one of the aileron linkages while trying to fix this yesterday, so had to replace both anyway. The problem does seem to be electronic, so the next thing to try is eliminating the receiver.

The RS352 before its first flight with four new servos

The RS352 before its first flight with four new servos

Anyway, with the new servos, it’s definitely slightly different in the air. The elevator seems a bit more responsive and is holding the inverted part of a loop more easily. Not sure why this is, but maybe the Hitecs have a bit more torque? Response does feel crisper all round though. My only niggle was almost hitting the ground a couple of times. There were a couple of occasions where the elevator to pull out of a downward section didn’t happen quite like it normally does and I had to correct again. I did wonder whether this might be to do with the elevator servo buzzing in the air and not finding its position immediately? Further trimming and testing is going to be required to get the aircraft sorted out again, but it is a bit like having a new aircraft to play with.

It must have been the weather, but I had lots of company this morning. In addition to three flights with the RS352, I also flew a Mini Twister Sport helicopter and an EFlite UMX Beast biplane. The helicopter was interesting, largely because I don’t fly helicopters, but also because the trim was a long way out. It was getting a bit windy by this point, but even with full forward, the aircraft still drifted backwards. After a lot of fiddling about, we noticed that the push rod with the ball links going to the rotor head is threaded. The ball link unclips very easily, so I added four turns of forward to it, moved the trim back to centre on the TX and had another go. This time it flew really well, but it was getting much too windy for such a light helicopter by this point.

Next up was the Beast, which was interesting to say the least. One problem with this type of aircraft is that the control linkages are very light and vulnerable to bending. The ailerons must have been a long way out, as it would only go left, even with the stick at the full right limit! Luckily, I knew I could flick the aileron rate off and rapidly found the new centre point for the stick and landed it. To be honest, it was a bit windy for such a light aircraft by this point, so we gave it up after that.

In addition to all this, another guy with a big helicopter turned up, somebody else with a big hex copter and a Walkera QR ladybird micro quadcopter, which looked very like a HubSan X4, but seemed to fly a lot smoother. There was also the Solius Multiplex glider which went really well despite the cold conditions and lack of thermals. Then the guys with the HobbyZone Sport Cub turned up, along with a HobbyZone Firebird Stratos. Unfortunately, the Cub crashed into the ground while I was there and I think it crashed again just as I was leaving. I didn’t see the cause of either crash, but looked round the first time just in time to see it bounce up into the air after impact and obviously survive almost unscathed. They must be made of some tough stuff these Super Cubs. These guys also met up with another friend who had a new foam Cessna and an FW190 which I never got to see flying. All in all it was quite a fun morning.

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