TREX500 Helicopter Project

My quest to build and fly an Align TREX 500 Remote Controlled Helicopter

I found this great webpage on how to fly remote control helicopters.  Check out:

http://www.heliguy.com/nexus/learning.html

I’m seeing wobbling on the main rotor head.  I’m not sure if the head got damaged during the crash…or is it normal to have a little side-to-side wobbling.  Take a look at the video and let me know what you think.

My first crash!  It happened so quickly, literally in half a second.  It happened on Oct 12, 2010.   I just haven’t had time to update the blog.

After my third flight (see video below), I swapped in a new battery and did a fourth flight.  Everything was going great.  It was windy though.  A gust of wind pushed the nose of the helicopter up very quickly, I pulled it back down, but the helicopter dropped.  It landed on the ground at a bit of an angle, so the blade dug into the ground and that was it.

It was really more of a VERY HARD LANDING than a crash, but none the less, there is damage to the heli…which really sucks.  I don’t have any video for the crash, but I’ve posted photos on this site.

For more detail on the crash, click HERE.

Notice the crack

A windy day, but I had the urge to fly. This is getting addictive.

I don’t have a fancy case for my Futaba radio yet.  I see people at the flying field with these metal cases with foam inserts.  I need to get one….someday.  However, for the short term, I’m going to make a ‘quick-and-dirty’ carrying case.  I found the original box that my Futaba radio came in.  I took out the styrofoam insert.  Cut away some sections to fit the batteries in and voila, I have a case.

Futaba Radio Case Top View

I put a little duck tape on the back of the styrofoam pieces to act like a hinge.  I can put this in a duffle bag to bring to the field and the radio is protected.

Futuba Radio Case - Duct Tape

Today I flew the helicopter for the very first time!  I have never flown a real remote control helicopter before.  Everything went very well, no crashes.   I’ve spent countless hours training on the RealFlight 4.5 simulator…which is the reason I did not crash.  Practicing on the computer is absolutely mandatory.

I flew for about 5 minutes.  There was a bit of a cross wind that pushed the helicopter to the left.  While flying, my heart was pumping big time, its quite the rush.  See the video below.

Tonight I went back to see if my blades were balanced.  The center of gravity for both blades was at the same spot, very nice.  Then I checked if they were balanced….and yes.  Wow, I’m very impressed with Align’s TREX 500 blades.

I still need to figure out why I had the tail vibration near the end of my flight test. See the video below for my initial testing.

All Done

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Finally, finished the helicopter. Now it time to fly.   For more photos click HERE.

For some reason, I had a hard time getting my head around the gyroscope behaviour.  I finally figured it out.  Now the gyro and tail servos are all configured.

Click HERE  to see how I configured the tail servo and gyro

Its not obvious how the throttle cut and throttle hold features work on the Futaba T7C.  After playing around, I finally figured it out.

Click HERE to learn more.