View Full Version : Free or Locked Rotor Blades?
Do most ECO 8 pilots use locked rotors or
free? What are the advantages/disdvantages
This may not be comparable, but I find that the Eco Piccolo is definitely easier to handle with the blades tightened down a bit. In a still air hover there is no difference, but when there is some turbulence, such as hovering indoors next to furniture, loose blades can make the machine vibrate wildly. I guess they may be lead/lagging in the disturbed air. I'll bow to the experience of our ECO 8 and 16 friends, but thought you might like to hear my findings.
I fly my eco 8 with the blades fairly firm, they an be moved by hand easily, but they do not move when you tilt the helicopter. If they are too loose, if you open the throttle too quickly at start up the blades fold back and can get some severe oscillations. I think some people have tipped the heli over.
I had some vibration a while ago and I tried the blades loose and tight and it didn't seem to have much effect. My problem was the resonance of the Ikarus training gear. I cut a coupl eof inches off the carbon tubes and the vibration was a lot better. Now I am flying without a training gear, there is no noticable vibration.
Thanks for the feedback Mike. I've been experiencing a significant difference in vibrations between locked and free rotors, but I suspect I'm dealing with several problems at the same time. For example, the "edge-of-the-table" setup is probably not the best and last night I noticed a lot of the ball joints in the head were rather tight, so I used the pliers technique to loosen them up a bit (works very well BTW). Unfortunately, while doing this to the Y-Adapter link, it slipped off the ball and the pliers managed to cut through the link. I've ordered a new one, but it will be several days before it arrives <sigh>. I do like your approach of "slightly" locked rotors and is what I will be aiming for.
Thanks for the reply grenadilla. I'm having problems with vibrations at relatively low rotor speeds. They are much less severe if I lock the rotors, but I am wondering if this is acceptable since the ECO 8 manual implies the rotors should be free. You bring up a good point about getting the piccalo too close to objects and disturbing the air through the rotors. I may have a similar situation since I am testing while the heli is sitting near the edge of a large table so half the rotor disk see's a lot of backwash (over the table) while the other half is relatively "clean". I'll keep experimenting...
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