550L maiden flight

So the 550L is no longer a very attractive desk ornament, it’s actually a flying machine, and a lovely one at that. The skids left the ground at approximately 7:45 this evening, and it flew beautifully. 

I had it set up for around 60% RPM and it needed quite a bit of collective to get it airborne at this speed. Also, as you might notice from the video the tail was not very sensitive at this head speed, causing me to pop it back on the deck fearing some kind of failure. One it was on the deck, a larger input confirmed that the tail was responding correctly and I lifted it back off. 

Here’s the vid… 


There are a few more tweaks to make over the coming weeks. I want to up-rate the sensitivity of the GPro a bit, which is easily done with an iPhone app and a bluetooth connector. I also need to play with the tail gain to get it feeling a bit sharper. It had a tendency to meander a bit at 60% (heading hold) so I’ll crank that up a bit and see how we go. 

All in all I’m really pleased with it. It feels HUGE to fly in comparison to the 450L and definitely NOT a first heli to learn on as I’ve seen some people suggest. The blade slap noise is very different to the 450, and has a deeper bass tone to it when you pitch harder, which I enjoy a lot! :) 

Some final tweaks before flight

The 550L is one lovely and capable helicopter. I look forward to learning its intricacies over the coming months. 

Cheers

© Ben Ramsay 2016