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New Shuttle Z-TS Pilot seeks Parts (and some advice)

Old 12-04-2013, 05:43 AM
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Default New Shuttle Z-TS Pilot seeks Parts (and some advice)

Hi everyone,

I just finished building a Shuttle Z-TS kit. I have been into helicopters for some time, so I can hover pretty well (tail-in, that is) but I'm still learning.

I liked the idea of having a nitro helicopter because I think these are more "real" than their electric counterparts. Plus, the larger size is purportedly more stable. Even with all the stuff you need for a nitro model (field box, starter, glow plug ignitor, etc.) that electrics don't require, I think that having this stuff is part of the hobby process. I previously didn't own any of these things, but most of them are a one-time purchase. As such, I've been "supporting" the hell out of my LHS; they give you a coupon for $5 off of a $25 purchase with every $100 you spend. I don't know how much money I've spent there exactly, but I have about 7 of those coupons . I had also gotten frustrated with the relatively short flight times of electrics. Oftentimes I would make adjustments and get the machine flying (hovering) well and then it would be time to charge the battery. Nitro was a good choice for me because as long as one has fuel, it's just refill and go!


Although I don't plan on crashing the shuttle, I'm sure that I'll have at least a few minor incidents. I would like to know if anyone has spare parts recommendations. What are the most commonly damaged parts in a crash? I have a listing of all the part numbers already.

I've seen that RCjapan has a pretty good stock of parts, but they don't have everything.


Also, I have a GAZ-126 gyro on this bird which I've heard is a clone of the Futaba GY401. After some preliminary setup with the tail, I've gotten it to command the tail servo correctly, but I'm not sure on the tail hold because I have yet to lift the heli off the ground (more on this further down). I should mention that the gyro is paired to a Futaba S3001 servo.

Does anyone think it would be wise to spring for a real GY401 or something similar? Or should the GAZ-126 be good enough? How about a better tail servo? After all, people used to fly these things without gyros and I can't imagine that a digital tail servo is absolutely necessary for just hovering around.


More on why I couldn't get the thing off the ground...

I set up all the linkages as per the manual, but I had forgotten to check the pitch of the blades with a pitch gauge to confirm that I was reaching the required pitch at all stick positions. Currently, my DX6i pitch curve is as linear as it gets (0% 25% 50% 75% 100%) and the throttle curve is the same. When I spooled-up the machine for the first time, the engine, an Enya SS35, sounded like it was going to blow up! The throttle was near maximum, and the engine was whining higher than I had ever heard it go during the tuning stage (using a prop with the engine clamped to a table). I didn't think it should be whining that high pitched for just hovering and it turned out that the flybar to swash linkages were too long (4 ball link turns too long) which was not giving me enough positive pitch.

After adjustment, Low Stick is approximately -2 deg, mid stick is approx. 5.5 deg, high stick is approx. 11 deg, pretty close to what the manual says (-3, 5~5.5, ~10).

I have yet to fly the heli with these settings, but I can't see why I would need negative pitch at all if I'm not going to be doing any 3D or aerobatics.


I'm using CoolPower heli fuel (the orange stuff) with 30% nitro in the Enya SS35. Is this a good/bad idea? The guy at the LHS recommended it when there were bottles of 20% right next to it on the shelf, but the manual for the Enya has a little table of different fuel and glow plug combinations, and none of them go over 15% nitro. I am also using an O.S. #8 plug which I'm pretty sure is medium heat.


On the first flight, there was some vibration at about half stick. I realize that vibrations are a part of life, but these were enough to make the heli rock side to side on its skids. I rebalanced the main blades, but have not flown them yet. The manual says to make sure that the engine's clutch is properly aligned, but when I installed the engine, it could not be moved around so that the clutch would become misaligned, so I guess it's ok. I think the vibration was being caused by the blades being out of balance because even when the engine was at idle, the heli would rock back and forth at roughly the same rate as the rotor would rotate.

I have a helimax blade balancer, which turned out to be a piece of junk because if the balancer is moved slightly, it will go off-level. The posts on the see-saw sit into bearings (I think the designers prided themselves on using bearings) on the side supports, but the fit is very loose which makes the see-saw unstable because the side supports can wiggle. I will look into a better quality balancer.

Tail Blade Grips

The tail blade hub has a thrust bearing on each side of it that is held on by a nyloc nut. The tail bade grips fit over these bearings so that they can be held onto the hub. The blade grips fit over the bearings pretty loosely, which translates to a few degrees of lateral tail blade tip movement. Is this OK? It seems to me that this would cause unnecessary vibration in the tail, but the hub came pre-assembled and I don't want to modify it.

In conclusion, if anyone has any parts recommendations or general advice about the shuttle, please let me know.


P.S. Look at this really cool hat I found on RCJapan!

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