Jun
24

Radikal Update

Well hello there, its been a few weeks since I posted any updates on the Radikal so I figured I’d catch you up.  So far I have run a gallon of fuel through the helicopter and it is flying like a dream.  I noticed a bit of dirty grease coming out of of the tail rotor bearings so I decided it wouldn’t hurt to do a tear down and inspect everything.  While I did the tear down, I went ahead and simplified the electrical system and I ran it inside the helicopter so it would look cleaner.  I also got rid of most of the wire ties that were holding cable bundles together and replaced them with Velcro tape.  What I’ve learned so far is that vibration is normal for gasoline-powered helicopters and it must be dealt with accordingly.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Use Velcro tape instead of zip ties to keep cables together
  2. Anywhere that any cables will be interfacing with the frame, insulate with rubber tape, fuel tubing, or an equivalent.
  3. Mount electronics on foam tape, self-adhesive Velcro strips (my preference), or anything else that will insulate from the vibration.  The natural vibration can cause board components to come loose over time.
    2012-06-15 10.56.03These tips should help you keep your electronics in good shape and ensure you have a long, enjoyable experience flying a gasoline-powered helicopter like the Radikal G20.  I’ve included a picture of my spark plug below to demonstrate what I “think” the plug should look like on a slightly rich engine.  The plug isn’t quite the chocolate brown that everyone I’ve asked spoke of but it has a slight darkness to it that leads me to believe it is still rich.  I’m not going for high-performance so I’m ok with the engine running a little bit rich.  The condition I want to avoid like the plague is a lean run since that can destroy the engine pretty quickly.  While on the topic of engines, I had a conversation with Al at BH Hanson and I think I’m going to send him my engine later on this year for a full balance.  I’d love to have it run smoother!
    2012-06-24 16.30.06

The tail rotor got a full cleaning, belt adjustment, bearing inspection, and thread locker for bolts all around.  I think the excess grease from the bearings was pushed out through normal operation.  It is nice to see all of this clean again and looking like new!

2012-06-24 17.06.45

In addition to all of the cleaning, adjusting, and inspecting, I also installed an exhaust deflector using silicone tubing and a copper elbow.  I also finished putting all the decals on the canopy to add a little bit of pizzazz!

2012-06-24 16.30.21

When the electronics were relocated, I moved the GV-1 governor to the gas tank side so I could still make adjustments to it and see it when starting the engine.

2012-06-24 17.14.11

The final modification was a Dean’s plug “switch” in the rear of the helicopter, allowing me to fire and kill the electronics without removing the canopy!

And finally, the fleet!

2012-06-24 17.17.36

About Angel R. Rojas, Jr.

Angel R. Rojas, Jr. is the President and Founder of DataCorps Technology Solutions based in Valrico, FL. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of South Florida with a focus in Management Information Systems and has over eighteen years of experience helping individuals and business get more from their technology. Mr. Rojas is actively involved at his church and his interests include aviation, music, technology, and automobiles. Recently, he and his wife welcomed their son, Samuel, into the world. DataCorps Technology Solutions has been serving its clients since 2003, ensuring their technology is an asset rather than an expense.

Comments

  1. Hank says:

    Angel,
    Well I got mine put together after a lot of headaches 🙂 Ended up replacing the entire tail rotor and slider with an Align 600 and an Align 600LE head. Have not test flown but was very surprised this morning when it fired after a little priming. Runs rough but am running at 25:1 and have not messed with the low needle settings yet.

    I did put the pull start on (permanently) and she starts up after about 3 pulls.

    Can’t wait to get the engine broken in where I’m sure it will smooth out.

    Again, thanks for the pictures. They have been extremely valuable.

    R/Hank

  2. Marsh says:

    Hi, Angel –

    Thanks so much for posting this very thorough build log! I just purchased a G20 at a drastic discount ($199!) and am looking forward to getting started on the build. I plan to use this in a scale fuse, once I find an Agusta A109 that it will fit in, and have read through your log and will refer back to it frequently as the build progresses.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to build the log and post it for others to benefit from your experience!

    Marsh

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I have to update the blog. It’s been quite a while and the Radikal is a bit different now! I went flybarless with a Mikado V-Bar, have an RJX muffler, and crashed it a few times!