Apr 7, 2013

When do Dampers go bad?


Dampers are one of those things that if you’re not crashing a lot and don’t take your spindle shaft out to replace it that can be very easy to overlook. The dampers in the picture above have well over 200 flights on them and should have been replaced a long time ago.  You can actually see the difference along the outer surface of the damper where they’ve been beaten, worn down, and are now smaller then the outer lip which is the size they started life at. On the bench there was a significant amount of visible movement when you rocked the main grips from side to side.  Worn dampers can cause bobbles and wobble on hard stops, collective lag during harder collective maneuvers, and an overall feeling of the cyclic just not being very locked in.  The scary part here is that this is something that our brains can get used to over time because of the slow rate in which they wear. So, what I’ve done to prevent this from happening is automatically replacing them every 100 flights or so.  This seems to be the the point at which they’re just starting to break down and loose performance. Replacing them is also a good opportunity to repack your thrust bearings in the head. – Nick