Helicycle video on torque limiting

StanFoster

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Paxton, Il
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There has been some recent discussion on torque limiting on helicopters. I made this short video briefly describing how the Helicycle's torque is limited, and a modification I came up with to better inform myself in the cockpit when my fuel control arm is almost or at max position.

In the video I forgot to mention that I experimented with thinner and thinner feeler gauge stock that activate my microswitches. I needed them stiff enough to activate the small microswithces...but yet not hinder the movement of my fuel control arm.

This mod is an easy but kind of meticulous little project, but am I ever pleased with how it is working for me.


Helicycle torque limiter - YouTube
 

Resasi

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Stan, love your carefull and conservative approach to flying, that does not stop you exploring the limits, but does allow you to know exactly where those limits are.

A great video that shows us just what a carefully and beautifully crafted jewel your flying machine is.

That date is obviously one you will definitely not forget, and where being able to fly out to the limits allowed it to become an almost non-event.
 

aa777888

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Stan,

You've put so much effort into this but at the heart of it are some Radio Shack switches that you've had to make work. Yes they are cheap, but as you well know you get what you pay for.

I would recommend you get a "real" switch, something environmentally sealed (IP67), with an appropriate actuator already engineered into the switch. Choosing the correct switch travel, force and actuator would have saved you untold hours of engineering it yourself, not to mention make it weatherproof and probably more reliable.

Just as an example, the Omron catalog is extremely deep. Here is but a very small sample of what you could choose from:

http://www.omron.com/ecb/products/pdf/en-d2hw.pdf
 

StanFoster

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Aa777888- These micro switches are doing fine! I test them on each pre-flight, and in a year and a half, they havent changed their trigger positiion a bit. Its just a convenient extra bit of information to me the pilot, and not critical to flight operations. It just lets me know how close my fuel control arm is near its rearward limit. When and if the microswitches start giving erratic readings, then I will upgrade. Its having readily available sources such as Radio Shack that makes experimenting fun. Right now I could not be happier with my $2 switches. Stan
 

StanFoster

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Leigh- I appreciate your post. I remember so clearly flying like a grandma after my flameout, not knowing how hard I was pushing it, so I flew way too conservatively for half a year. It wasnt until I put those switches on that I could at least know what my fuel control arm was doing. I also failed to mention in my video the laser pointer on my collective, and how I can HIGE or HOGE and get an instant reading of exactly what pitch my rotorblades are at. Then going by my normal 10 degrees HIGE reading, on very hot and humidd days, its an informational delight to me to fire that laser and see i am pulling 11.5 degrees instead. That just gives me more information along with my warning lights, how near the limits I am asking my Helicycle to do. I found it VERY interesting the fact that my 95% light only has lit twice, and both times were under the influence of being at a fly-in. I tend to push it as little harder then, and these little crutch lights keep me in check when one of the 3 C's starts egging on my collective input! One more comment on those lights going off twice. Both times were at high density altitude days.......AND when I had full fuel onboard, aux tank full also. That combined with a little more aggressive than normal takeoff fired my warning light, and I simply backed off the collective a tad, and had a smile go across my face just loving this little system that I personally need to control myself. Dont forget my weight is the max that Helicycle calls for. I need more information than a much lighter pilot needs! I mentioned I will always be a fledgling helicopter pilot, and these "training wheel switches" are what i need. Stan
 

Resasi

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So right Stan.

We never stop learning. I always remember Palm 90 hitting Washington Bridge because their instruments were misreading and they did not utilise the full potential of their engines. They stalled in but had lots of power available.

Anything that tells us where the limits are is valuable, together with the ability to fly to those limits...and beyond them in those rare cases when doing that is all that is left.
 

StanFoster

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Leigh- These switches made me smile when they sat waiting to do their job. Finally after a year and a half, the 95% switch activated twice this summer on very hot days when I was at full fuel and pulling collective briskly. Both times were at fly-ins and it shows me I need a little control. I am sure there are other helicopter pilots that would also turn their lights on once in awhile. Just knowing i have a benchmark that is rarely met gives me a good feeling. Now, if my lights were coming on frequently, then in my opinion, I am not letting them keep me in check. Its nice to know the system is working, and I test it on preflight. The laser indicator also gives me some valuable information to have. If I were flying at high elevations like in Colorado, this laser and the idiot lights would be even more useful. Stan
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
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Thanks Stan for your video link!

Thanks Stan for your video link!

I got to learn more about the Helicycle from your video. Very informative. I like your ingenuity as well.
 

trunkmunki

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Mar 13, 2009
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Winterport, ME
If someone could figure out a light, simple, low cost torque meter it would be really nice. I have thought about it quite a bit and have not come up with anything reasonable. You should be able to calculate it off fuel flow, sat, and tgt, but that is higher math than I am capable of.
 
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