Written by Ashley Davis Tuesday, 14 November 2006 00:00
The following is a review of the Century Third Bearing Block upgrade.
Century have released this third bearing block as a perfromance upgrade. The third bearing block not only stiffens the frames but also braces the main shaft further. This should reduce bearing wear as well as stiffen the overall Swift frames and main shaft. The upgrade pack includes the bearing block, bearing, main shaft collar and a new longer main shaft.
This is where things got a bit more difficult. This upgrade does not come with any instructions and it isn't immediately obvious how it should all fit together. So in order to help my following explanation here is a diagram showing the basics of how this upgrade should be installed.
The above hopefully makes it a lot clearer as to how this goes together. However, care should be taken to mount the main shaft the correct way up. The main shaft when it installed should be flush with the bottom of the bearing in the lower bearing block. No main shaft should be sticking out of the bottom of the lower bearing.
The third bearing block is there not only to help stiffen the main frames but also to stiffen the main shaft. Given that you need the new stiffened frames in order to fit this upgrade the result overall is a much much stiffer frameset than the original Swift.
So what? Well, even I was suprised at the difference this makes in-flight. Previously on the stock frames without the third bearing block I had found tic tocs (as one example) to be a bit 'flighty'. Frequently the heli would go off of it's line to the left or right. I had been looking at this as interaction on the swashplate or possibly a slow servo. Some discussion with other fliers and examination of the frames revealed that it was twisting inflight during extreme moves and causing it to go off in one direction or another.
The new stiff frames coupled with this third bearing block changed all that. It's now rock solid and tic tocs stay perfectly in line with no random wandering to the left or right. Similarly other moves are crisper and predictable.
There are numerous upgrades for the Swift but this one along with the new stiffer frames goes right to the top of my list of 'must have' enhancements. The model flies very differently in 3D, predictability being much better and the random wandering in some manoevres is now cured. Highly recommended for the 3D orientated fliers. Sport fliers or beginners probably wouldn't notice any difference from doing this upgrade. Overall it gets a thumbs up from me and has greatly improved my confidence in the model when throwing the Swift around.
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