23 July 2018

What to be aware in the heatwave
How to protect your RC heli stuff

We are suffering in this heatwave for weeks now. No rain at all, London and England becomes a desert, golf courses resemble to savanna. Some awarenesses can be obvious, but some of them perhaps not well known.

What to be aware in the heatwave

Car vs. rc helicopters

Do not leave anything in your car, if you can. Temperature can hike up to 80-90°C in your car which is killing hot. Kills all life formats and many other things. Batteries can't survive this temperature for long time, so let's not leave them sizzling there. When you have to do it anyway, put them on the floor or to the lowest possible place in your boot. This heatwave also hard for moving parts and transmitter. The fine mechanical parts can dry out causing breaks and getting stiff. Make sure main shaft, feathering shaft, tail shaft have got enough lubricants, they are not dry underneath slipping parts, like swashplate bearing, or tail pitch arm bearings. This is more important than ever.

It seems obvious but metals (especially alloy metals) expanding a lot by heat. Therefore the tail boom can be much longer than it supposed to be, causing extra tension on the belt and finally tearing it apart. So a bit loser belt can be useful, when you leave your heli in your car for a while. Canopy keeps the hot air inside, get it off the helicopter. When you leave your transmitter in the car, make sure it doesn't get direct sunlight through the windows, otherwise you might find it melted later.

After flying clean your heli, remove the dust from everywhere. It's not nice having a dusty helicopter, but the dust particles can get into the gear teeth causing extra friction and damages. Use hight pressure air spray to remove dust from the motor. When you are flying don't forget that biggest enemy of high current electronics is heat. Heat absorption is critical, check all cooler boards.

Flying nitro helicopter

Never leave your nitro heli in the car filled up with fuel (partially neither), otherwise you might put your helicopter and your car on fire, and there will be double crying. In addition, unplug at least one pipe on each tank letting the tank evaporate. Do not leave the receiver battery on the helicopter.

If the electronic helicopters are sensitive to high temperatures, the nitro ones hate it. The helicopter is going to be weaker, which is normal. Hot air is less dense therefore less oxygen get into the engine. Set the fuel mixing richer than usually. When you don't see strong smoke, that is not a good sign.

It has to pull the smoke.

Check the engine temperature more often, sometimes in the middle of your flight. If you have no thermometer, use your finger. You must be able to keep your finger on the bottom (karter) of the engine for 5 seconds at least on 30 or 50 engines, and 10-15 (or unlimited time) on 90 or bigger engines. If you can't, your mixture is not enough rich. Use cold glow plugs, hot can go off quicker.

After flying it's even more important to remove the dust, just your heli is covered with oil, therefore the dust becomes grease, you can't wipe the heli down like an electric one. Easiest solution is petrol based brake disc cleaner spray. Just spray the heli then wipe it down after a minute. Voila, everything gets off. Double-check the lubricated parts after cleaning.