Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:35 13:35

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Gary Townsend

(8-12 mph) Gentle breeze

Align Trex 550E
3 flights
Avg. flight time 00:04:30

My 1st flights with the SK-720 Black Edition and GPS2, and overall it went very well.

I had a very slow start because I'd forgotten the exact light sequence for doing the compass swing. I had already done it indoors as a test to make sure it worked, but it needed doing again a good distance away from metal objects as the instructions state. I phoned Clare, she Googled the Skookum GPS2 manual, I did the swing, and perfect, it worked 1st time.

I popped my canopy on for the SK720 maiden fight, and unbelievably the plastic canopy clip at the bottom snapped, so I continued to fly without a canopy. Besides the fact that I like how much better I can see the heli with the canopy on, the only thing that really bothered me was the very long floppy battery/esc lead that was flopping around during tic-tocs.

I tried all 4 of the GPS2 features I have set (using 2 three position switches on my DX9), and overall I was very impressed.

Hard Deck) I only tested this from an upright orientation for this first mini testing session, but I gradually increased the rate of descent, and it reacted very well by quickly gaining height and rotating to tail in. I started off with it set to 15 metres, I then lowered it to 7, and then went back up to 9 metres. 7 seemed significantly lower than I thought it would, so I now think the minimum setting of 5 is easily low enough.

Rescue Now) I pushed it a little further with this. After first doing the very basic tests like I did for the Hard Deck, I then gained height, flipped to inverted, and flicked the switch, and Wow, it aggressively rolled to upright, rotated to tail in, and held position. That was fun, I only wish I'd had the bottle to fly through the Hard Deck inverted, but that would have perhaps been a little premature, since it's a good idea to check the inflight vibration score before pushing it even further.

Position Hold) The Position Hold needed the gain lowering as it was bouncing like the tail does when the gain's too high, but it became nice and steady after lowering the value.

Return Home) I was surprised to find myself feeling nervous after switching to Return Home. It just seemed weird watching it fly by itself LOL, but it did so very well.

FBL Mounting) I've used the super soft anti-vibration kit (the foam is quite thick and very soft) which I was very sceptical about at first. The heli with all the settings and gains set to the defaults flew great, I even did a gentle piro-flip high up. It'll no doubt need fine tuning once I gain confidence and get into it. The vibration score in the software which is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, was just 0.1 on the bench, and the target is to aim for less than 5, so I might very well try a harder mounting which lots of people do anyway. I guess the super soft mounting kit is for helis with very high (extreme even) levels of vibration. Anyway I haven't looked at the inflight vibration score yet, so I'll have to see.

Edit: I've just checked it, and the last flight recorded 0.7 for the vibration score. The last flight included 2 to 3 inverted rescue now tests, and some tic-tocs. So how good is that :) time for a more solid mounting perhaps.

So, a new canopy clip, some nice weather, some tinkering with the settings perhaps, and all should be perfect!


RichardV on Thu, 3 Mar 2016 17:59
Nice write-up. Good to hear it's finally working.
The weekend doesn't look good though.
Gary Townsend on Thu, 3 Mar 2016 19:25
Thanks mate. Sunday might just about be okay for a few flights. But as usual the BBC and XC are showing a significantly different picture.
Tony Rocco (Forza) on Fri, 4 Mar 2016 20:10
Sounds like a feature-rich fbl. Glad you're getting on with it and nice to see you're out flying again.
Gary Townsend on Sat, 5 Mar 2016 19:23
Cheers Tony you dude :) Yes I intend to have a busy flying year for 2016, once the weather warms up :)

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