1. Always read the whole manual in it’s entirety and check to make sure all the parts are there.
2. Before you start assembling your RC helicopter, make sure you have all the tools that you’ll need including hex drivers, screw drivers, needle nose pliers, ball link pliers, thread lock, super glue (CA), a pitch gauge and so on.
3. I like to lay everything out on a white sheet (you can use a table cloth or towel as well) and organize it. That way if you drop something, it’s easy to find and not going bouncing across the room.
4. Measure linkages with digital calipers if you have them to make sure they’re the correct length.
5. Check to make sure the swashplate is level using a swash plate leveling tool.
6. Secure your receivers frequency crystal with electrical tape. If it falls out or comes loose during flight, it will be your last flight for a while. Depending on the transmitter you have, you may want to secure it’s crystal as well.
7. If you have a short glow starter (or even a long one) don’t forget to take it off after starting your engine. Tying a ribbon or a string to it can be a visual cue to help you remember.
8. If you have two metal parts that won’t quite fit, consider heating one with a soldering iron or pencil torch, or cooling the other in the freezer (or with cooling agent), or both.
9. Use blue thread lock on all screws which thread into a metal part.
10. When using thread lock, don’t over do it. Less is more.
11. Make sure the main rotor blades as well as the tail rotors are tight enough and of equal tightness.
12. Only use hardened bolts for any bolt that has a load being placed on it. If possible, stick to stock parts.
13. Before applying thread lock, clean the bolts with an alcohol swab for best adhesion.
14. Don’t use thread lock on nylon or plastic parts as it can make them brittle which leads to breakage.
15. Don’t replace nylon nuts with metal ones. They’re there for a reason.
16. Be sure that no loose wiring rubs against the frame. You can use a nylon braid to protect it.
17. Don’t let metal or carbon fiber parts rub against each other. It can cause RF interference which can lead to a crash.
18. Check to see that your gearing mesh is correct. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
A trick I like to use to get a good tightness is to stick a sheet or regular printer pager in-between the gears, tighten them up, then remove the paper – the gap it leaves is perfect.
19. Make sure your blades and paddles are balanced.
20. Only use good and trusted electronics. You don’t want a servo to strip during flight or a gyro to go haywire.
21. Program failsafe settings into your receiver if possible.
22. If you’re new to RC helicopters, make sure that an experienced heli pilot checks out your helicopter and radio setup prior to your first flight.
23. When making any kind of repairs or disassembling your RC helicopter, take a detailed close up picture of everything. It will be a big help in case you gets stuck trying to put things back together.Have a question about this article or anything else RC Heli related? Ask it in our brand new RC Helicopter Forum and you'll get expert answers quick.
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