Written by Ashley Davis Thursday, 28 February 2008 00:00
The new swashplate and washout from Align change a few things in terms of the slop in the system. The washout arms have new bearings on the down links and the washout base has better tolerance on the headblock pins. Additionally both the swashplate and mixers are lighter than the standard parts, so there is weight savings to be had as well.
So why introduce this item?
Certainly the washout benefits from the new bearings and much of the slop has been lost due to this change. The swashplate is also different but fundementally this is where things go a little wrong. The balls on the inner swash ring are not on the same horizontal plane as the balls on the outer swash ring. This is incorrect and after a lot of study I believe will cause phase errors in the control system. So it's a bit of a mixed bag, the washout is a marked improvement on the standard part but the upgrade swash is just not correct from a mechanical perspective.
This all said what difference does it make in flight?
My own 600 has always been less than accurate when it comes to being in phase, this can be seen in a straight forward flip where the heli just doesn't track straight through the flip. With the new swash there is a marked improvement but it's still not right. Why Align put the balls on a different horizontal axis is very odd and I can't come up with an explanation for this. One other thing is the swashplate is now taller and just swapping this swashplate with the old standard swashplate will put all of the linkages out. So remember to re-setup your machine after fitting these parts.
Much better washout, less slop, lighter
Relatively cheap for a swashplate and washout upgrade
Swashplate is an improvement on the original
The swashplate is still wrong and will create phase inaccuracies in flight, although still better than the standard swash
This is a cheap upgrade and does improve the overall flying characteristics. However, if you really want to get your 600 to fly straight you would be better investing in the Quick UK swashplate which is far better and finally does resolve the phasing issues on the 600. However, if you are intent on sticking with Align parts this upgrade does improve things a good deal just not completely. Just to put some perspective on this I don't think sports fliers would necessarily notice errors on the new swashplate, however a 3D flier attempting something like a tumbling loop would definitely notice. Taking this a step further a sports flier would notice the difference between the original swashplate and the new 3D swashplate, particularly screwing out in loops on the original swashplate. All in all a good upgrade which does improve things but still a little work to do before it's spot on.
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