Fly-Sky Configuration
and Helicopter Setup Manual

Setting the Blade Pitch

In the next step we are going to set the initial blade pitch. Select one of the blades as your reference blade. This is the one we are going to get to zero pitch with the servo horns at 90 degrees. Mark it with a dry erase mark, or a piece of tape. I typically have to balance the blades, so one will already have the red weight decal applied and that will be my reference blade.

With the blades attached. Set the radio Throttle Cut switches ON (towards you). Power up the radio and then the model. Set the Idle Up switch.

*Safety Reminder - it is much safer to keep the motor wires detached during setup. Always turn on the radio first and wait for at least 5 seconds. Always set the Throttle-Cut switch to On, and then you may safely connect power to the helicopter.

Power up the model and attach a Pitch Gauge to the reference blade about 1 ½ to 2 inches from the end. You want to tighten the gauge down on the zero setting. Make sure the fly bar is perpendicular to the main shaft. Look down the blade and observe the top of the pitch gauge as it lines up with the fly bar (Fig. 12). It can be handy to use tie-wraps with a blade holder connected to the fly-bar paddle to hold the fly-bar steady (see Fig 12a). This is another area where the Idle Up pitch curve of 0,50,50,50,100 comes in handy.

*Note – The Swash AFR setting has a range of -100% ~ +100%. A Negative setting has the same effect as reversing a servo.

Fig 12

Fig 12a

If they are not lined up, then you need to adjust the top blade grip to fly bar control lever link until you reach to zero pitch or as close as possible. If you are real close, then you can use the VR(A) dial to tweak it in, but only if it is real close. You do not want to use up all of your VR(A) setting just to get to zero pitch. The lower fly bar control level link is used for fine adjustments. It is preferred to keep the VAR(A) dial close to 9 o'clock or mid way in its potential travel.

Fig 13

Test for zero pitch at multiple locations as you rotate the blade a full 360 degrees. This is to verify your swashplate is properly leveled. If you keep a constant zero degrees throughout the full rotation, you can be certain that the swashplate is indeed level.

Now that the reference blade is at zero pitch, you can move the left stick all the way to the top. Measure your pitch at this setting. You do not want the pitch to be more than 12 degrees unless you are a serious 3D pilot in which case you have a better radio and are not wasting your time with this set of instructions. I typically keep the total pitch at 11 degrees.

We will use the SWASH AFR setting to limit the upper and lower pitch. The setting here effects both positive and negative pitch. Typically on the EXI head, the SWASH AFR is set to ~83% to provide a maximum of -11 and +11 degrees pitch. Your particular head assembly may differ in the SWASH AFR settings. If the swash plate level was perfect throughout the travel, then all three SWASH AFR settings should be the same percentage. If not, this is an area you can compensate a little by allowing slightly more travel percentage for the lowest servo during the leveling exercise.

Everything so far in this procedure has been using the reference blade. It is a good idea to check the pitch of the other blade at mid stick for zero. It needs to be as close as possible to the reference blade. In the blade tracking step you may be required to adjust this blade, however if you get the two blades dead on, it greatly minimizes the need to adjust your blade tracking.

If the opposite blade is wildly off pitch from the reference blade, you need to check for out of tolerance parts. Typically the main shaft will be the problem, however, a worn or weak set of dampers (rubber o-rings in the head), a bent feathering shaft, or a bent head can cause this offset.

Note: Dampers do wear out with use. Align makes a couple different stiffness rated damper sets. I prefer the #80 dampers. Keep a couple sets in your parts bin. Periodically check the dampers for wear. An easy check is to lift a blade with your hand to see how far it picks up the feathering shaft in the head mount. A health set of dampers will only allow a small amount of movement. As dampers wear out, you will notice blade tracking changes.

At this point you should now have -11 pitch at full bottom stick and 0 at mid stick, and +11 pitch at top stick. Your AFR settings have been set to limit the amount of pitch, and your VR(A) dial is at or around mid point. You have removed the pitch gauge from the blade.

   Prev    Next - Blade Tracking

Skip Navigation Links.