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bent landing gear - johngheli - 08-09-2018

First post! Pulled the trigger and bought a 60 hour XE, went out and got it, trailered to its new home late July.  So heli had just had it's annual done, but I have discovered a few things I need to address.  Like, well the previous owner had one or two rough landings and bent the landing support struts.  Heli now leans to the left 2 or 3 degrees. It was bad enough to require repairs. The repair looks like a downgrade from original design.  Support cables were replaced with like a local hardware fix.  Wire rope wrapped around post eyelets and clamped down without any protection from abrasion at eyelet. The mounting posts are seriously bent.  Also, when airborne one cable becomes loose and has major oscillation.  It's flexing like 6 or 8 inches in the middle.  Bad news.

So, I decided to do the right thing and replace entire assembly. Built the assembly jig.  E-mailed Composite FX with order, going on 2 weeks now, and haven't gotten a response.  Made a couple of calls and (I think it was Dwight I talked to), said to copy him and he'd check on it.  Well so far no response. 

So here's the question, has anyone tried to straighten these tubes?  I can get hardware from Wicks or somewhere, but not the strut tubes.  If they were straightened would they be strong enough?  

Really wanting to fly.  Didn't expect such poor customer support.


RE: bent landing gear - Dick Campbell - 08-10-2018

Call Norbert directly, I'll PM you his number. I've noticed they are very slow to respond to emails. He at lest can tell you what the delay is. They were pretty loaded up last time I was there.


RE: bent landing gear - johngheli - 08-11-2018

thx for response and PMs. Things are moving now. Happy camper.

One question now is just how likely is it - I mean how many times has anyone bent up landing gear on these - am thinking maybe salvaging ok skids and brackets and building a spare set.


RE: bent landing gear - mgrindel - 08-12-2018

Anyone who has bent the skids has done a VERY hard landing! (crash)
Unless the cables were not crimped properly AND they did a bad landing.


RE: bent landing gear - johngheli - 08-13-2018

Was just looking at post of incident involving John Uptigrove 4 years ago where he lost anti-torque control during flare and had to drop it quickly to ground. Bent both struts (bows) to the point of fuselage belly sitting on ground. But impact didn't break the support cables! He said it felt like standing on a bed and dropping to your seat.

Now on my machine only left side struts are bent, the front and rear cables were replaced (but not the angled ones), and no damage to aux fuel tank. Am now thinking that cables failed due to inadequate crimps, and landing probably wasn't that hard after all.

Also, info from Marcher07 states that design limit of landing gear cables is 3 g's.

On an unrelated note I've noticed that many mosquito skids are silver in color. Are these just left in raw unfinished form? If so, is rust a problem? Also, has anybody treated underside of skids in any way for protection from pavement? I have some 1/16" teflon strips, but can't think of a good way to attach them.


RE: bent landing gear - marcher07 - 08-14-2018

(08-13-2018, 01:03 PM)johngheli Wrote: Was just looking at post of incident involving John Uptigrove 4 years ago where he lost anti-torque control during flare and had to drop it quickly to ground.  Bent both struts (bows) to the point of fuselage belly sitting on ground.  But impact didn't break the support cables!  He said it felt like standing on a bed and dropping to your seat.  

Now on my machine only left side struts are bent, the front and rear cables were replaced (but not the angled ones), and no damage to aux fuel tank.  Am now thinking that cables failed due to inadequate crimps, and landing probably wasn't that hard after all.

Also, info from Marcher07 states that design limit of landing gear cables is 3 g's.

On an unrelated note I've noticed that many mosquito skids are silver in color.  Are these just left in raw unfinished form?  If so, is rust a problem?  Also, has anybody treated underside of skids in any way for protection from pavement?  I have some 1/16" teflon strips, but can't think of a good way to attach them.
 
If just the cables pulled it usually doesn't lean to one side, If the cross tubes are bent (usually on the rear just wide of the fuselage) it was landed hard and will lean. If it was landed hard you should do an inspection of all the flight control rods, threaded rods, and male rod end components in the flight controls to verify nothing is bent. Bent threaded components will affect flight and are weak points.  True, If the cables are assembled correctly they were designed for about 3 Gs failure point.  If the cross tubes are splayed out and the helicopter is sitting belly on the ground then a couple of thing usually happen, the cables pull or brake, the rivets shear at the saddles mounts, the bows and probably the skids bend, and the fiberglass bow support through bolts tear the fiberglass at the saddle or at the floor mounts, any or all the combinations above or more.


RE: bent landing gear - Dick Campbell - 08-14-2018

Skids and bows are 6061 aluminum tubing, hence the need for the cables for additional strength. A lot of builders polish them (I did), but some are painted or bead blasted. The fittings are steel and are painted, so a slight chance of galvanic corrosion is minimized but possible with the fittings and hardware, but easily inspected, but no corrosion issues on the bottoms, because aluminum, and they would have to be all scratched up anyway.


RE: bent landing gear - mgrindel - 08-16-2018

NOTE to everyone: Please pay attention to the maintenance people.
Every machine that has had any form of damage needs to be fully inspected. This includes ALL running gear.
These are real helicopters NOT toys, they can and will kill you if you do not care for them properly.
Do not try to save money and look for short cuts!!!
Would you go skydiving with a rig you just got cheaply from some guy and "fixed up" yourself?...


RE: bent landing gear - FlyGuy - 08-17-2018

Well Stated!