Helicopter Testing

Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby jander14indoor on Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:57 pm

Depends on the site/region/state. Fifty-two seconds is certainly a very respectable start. Experienced teams or lots of effort should get you into the two minute range. I expect nationals to be over three minutes. Don't know if it will be by a little or a lot.

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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby mrsteven on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:26 am

I've noticed that there are a few thresholds that one finds in this event. I've stolen this from someone I've talked to in the past (illazar maybe?) but still holds true.
There specific groupings are based off of last year, the actually TIMES labeled will be different, but I personally believe the same type of grouping will be seen again

There are 3-4 main sections one falls in:
Under 1:00, kind of all over the board in terms of actual timing (generally the one closest to 1:00 at regionals will place in less competitive states/regionals)

once won hits above 1:00 the scores almost always jumps to 1:15, I've seen very few times between those to.

The next major conjunction is 1:30

The at that point where one is over 1:30, generally their within the 2 minute range, these are the really quality ones that will place in said state competitions (depending on state). The range between 1:30-ish to 2:00-ish is bare, most are right above or below that mark.

those are of last year, but with the new rules, I havent seen enough fly this year thus far to predict a good set of groupings.
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby illusionist on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:10 pm

What's the preferred method for matching rubber with pitch? I know both ways work, but do you keep the rotors constant and change the rubberband, or use the same thickness of rubberband and then build different rotors to match?
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby mrsteven on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:24 am

either or type of thing. I'd find the best possible time with that sp. rubber then do up/down 1 size of rubber and then find best, use the best of best.
thats if you have goo-gops of time to spend testing however

Has anyone had issues with FAI? I ordered rubber from them 2-3 weeks ago and nothing yet, not even an email. I called them twice with no response and now I'm freaking out a bit and quite mad >< they took my money and I can't get to them at all.
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chia on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:48 am

mrsteven wrote:Has anyone had issues with FAI? I ordered rubber from them 2-3 weeks ago and nothing yet, not even an email. I called them twice with no response and now I'm freaking out a bit and quite mad >< they took my money and I can't get to them at all.
Huh. I haven't bough anything from FAI since the last time I stocked up on rubber a year ago. I buy most of my stuff now from Turnertoys, Freedom Flight, and A2Z, and also balsa wood from some previously mentioned sites.
I think FAI might be slower in processing orders than the other sites, though. I may remember my rubber having arrived about two and a half weeks after I ordered it.
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby mrsteven on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:52 am

mhm ok. my issue is that the rubber i want from FAI they dont sell as indoor rubber on A2Z.
The sell it under the regular 'rubber' section versus the 'indoor rubber' section. This is probably a question directed to Chalkers/janders, what if any is the difference? Will I see a difference in times from one marked indoor V regular in the same dimensions
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby jander14indoor on Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:58 am

To my understanding, FAI only sells two types of rubber. Tan Sport and Tan Super Sport. The Super Sport has higher/more consistent energy storage and return capacity than the Sport rubber, but costs slightly more. He sells a limite range of sizes as most who are hardcore into the hobby of free flight have rubber strippers to tailor the rubber to just the width needed.

FAI is the source for all free flight contest quality rubber, everyone else just resells FAI rubber. They buy FAI rubber and strip to a wider range of widths for those who don't have a stripper. I'm not sure who's seperating by indoor vs outdoor rubber, as I said above, FAI makes and sells Sport and Super Sport which is suitable for either. Indoor tends to use narrower widths than outdoor, but the rubber is the same (except for that Sport vs Super Sport difference). Except a few years back A2Z sold an off brand of rubber trying to increase the sources of supply, wasn't very successful, but they might have some left.

Oh, and unless the $4 dollars a pound difference between Sport and Super Sport is going to kill your budget, stick with Super Sport.

Which vendor seperates their rubber by indoor vs outdoor? I'll take a look and see if I can interpret.

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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chalker7 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:58 pm

jander14indoor wrote:FAI is the source for all free flight contest quality rubber, everyone else just resells FAI rubber. They buy FAI rubber and strip to a wider range of widths for those who don't have a stripper. I'm not sure who's seperating by indoor vs outdoor rubber, as I said above, FAI makes and sells Sport and Super Sport which is suitable for either. Indoor tends to use narrower widths than outdoor, but the rubber is the same (except for that Sport vs Super Sport difference). Except a few years back A2Z sold an off brand of rubber trying to increase the sources of supply, wasn't very successful, but they might have some left.

Oh, and unless the $4 dollars a pound difference between Sport and Super Sport is going to kill your budget, stick with Super Sport.

Which vendor seperates their rubber by indoor vs outdoor? I'll take a look and see if I can interpret.

Jeff Anderson
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I would have to assume the indoor/outdoor separation is more about the size of the strips than anything else (outdoor guys normally either use much larger cross sections or use multiple loops.) I would not recommend using the A2Z branded rubber, it is much lower quality than FAI.


illusionist wrote:What's the preferred method for matching rubber with pitch? I know both ways work, but do you keep the rotors constant and change the rubberband, or use the same thickness of rubberband and then build different rotors to match?


More people change the rubber thickness than the rotor pitch because it's easier to slice a new motor than it is to build a new rotor.
Last edited by chalker7 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chalker7 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:34 pm

Sorry, double post on accident
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby mrsteven on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:40 am

Ok thanks!
The A2Z site (Sorry Chalker, have to as FAI still hasn't emailed or called me back nor any indication that their going to send me it 3 weeks later... and I've paid... little torqued) separates from the home page 'indoor rubber' versus a general 'rubber' category.

The indoor is separated into dimensions by decimals while regular is in terms of fractions, what gives? I cannot even buy the size I really want via indoor rubber as it isn't included but is in the general category
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chalker7 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:49 am

mrsteven wrote:Ok thanks!
The A2Z site (Sorry Chalker, have to as FAI still hasn't emailed or called me back nor any indication that their going to send me it 3 weeks later... and I've paid... little torqued) separates from the home page 'indoor rubber' versus a general 'rubber' category.

The indoor is separated into dimensions by decimals while regular is in terms of fractions, what gives? I cannot even buy the size I really want via indoor rubber as it isn't included but is in the general category


I'm sorry and surprised to hear about that, did you call and leave a message for John (the owner)? There's an off chance he has gone out of town for awhile, but I would suspect he left an answering machine recording saying so.

And looking at the A2Z site, I know what the situation is. A couple years ago A2Z bought out Lew Gitlow, who was one of the major model suppliers. This included all of his pre-stripped rubber, which was sold in small sections and is now listed in the Indoor Rubber section. That is all Tan 2, which is an old formula of rubber which was a little superior to super sport. Most of it should still be good, but some people are claiming that it is starting to get brittle.
On the general rubber page, almost all of that is Super Sport. Only the last two listings "Sport rubber for the discriminating modeller" are the formulas that A2Z initially used and should be avoided for competition purposes.
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chia on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:43 am

Finally, success (well, mostly)! Got my new heli right at 3.48 grams, added a tiny bit of ballast at the bottom. Then I went to test it on 450 winds, 1.65 grams of rubber, just to make sure it wouldn't fall apart. On the 8 ft ceiling, it was doing really well, virtually zero wobble, for about ten seconds, and then... the top rotor came off, like it has on my past 5 helicopters. Argh! I did what all of you suggested with the u-shaped wire, but I guess it still wasn't enough, somehow. I just ended up regluing it, still in the same u-shape, but also combined with my usual method of sandwiching it between another piece of wood. Sacrificed a bit of weight (it's at 3.59 now :T) and it has a tiny bit of wobble now, but it's still much better than what I've been doing before. Retested on 450 winds again and it stayed up for ~40 seconds. It comes down REALLY slowly :D
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby mrsteven on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:00 am

chia wrote:Finally, success (well, mostly)! Got my new heli right at 3.48 grams, added a tiny bit of ballast at the bottom. Then I went to test it on 450 winds, 1.65 grams of rubber, just to make sure it wouldn't fall apart. On the 8 ft ceiling, it was doing really well, virtually zero wobble, for about ten seconds, and then... the top rotor came off, like it has on my past 5 helicopters. Argh! I did what all of you suggested with the u-shaped wire, but I guess it still wasn't enough, somehow. I just ended up regluing it, still in the same u-shape, but also combined with my usual method of sandwiching it between another piece of wood. Sacrificed a bit of weight (it's at 3.59 now :T) and it has a tiny bit of wobble now, but it's still much better than what I've been doing before. Retested on 450 winds again and it stayed up for ~40 seconds. It comes down REALLY slowly :D

What do you mean "came off"?
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby illusionist on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:55 am

chia wrote:Finally, success (well, mostly)! Got my new heli right at 3.48 grams, added a tiny bit of ballast at the bottom. Then I went to test it on 450 winds, 1.65 grams of rubber, just to make sure it wouldn't fall apart. On the 8 ft ceiling, it was doing really well, virtually zero wobble, for about ten seconds, and then... the top rotor came off, like it has on my past 5 helicopters. Argh! I did what all of you suggested with the u-shaped wire, but I guess it still wasn't enough, somehow. I just ended up regluing it, still in the same u-shape, but also combined with my usual method of sandwiching it between another piece of wood. Sacrificed a bit of weight (it's at 3.59 now :T) and it has a tiny bit of wobble now, but it's still much better than what I've been doing before. Retested on 450 winds again and it stayed up for ~40 seconds. It comes down REALLY slowly :D

450 winds? I'm assuming you used 3/16 rubber?
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Re: Helicopter Testing

Postby chia on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:22 pm

The rotor came off in about the same way I described some time before, when I asked you guys for advice - the wire came unglued from the rotor, though the u-shaped bit stayed hooked on. I think the problem is that the rotor couldn't handle the stress of being pulled down into the hanger (yes, I do use teflon washers as bearings). -shrug - it works well now, though.

Don't worry, I wasn't winding to full capacity, I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't fall apart under the stress first (I don't trust a device that light :lol: but it really is surprisingly strong). I was using 1/8 rubber, so yeah, I could have wound it up to ~800 or so.
(I think my rubber always breaks earlier than what you guys seem to report... does age matter? I've had most of it for a year and a half. I've been mostly just keeping it in the box up in my dining room/workplace, though it was in the basement for a long time. Too cold/damp?)
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