I have installed the same clutch pedal springs from LADA 2101 to pedals and made a short test flight of the upgraded hardware in X-Plane.
WOW,THAT NEW FORCE TRIM MODE IS AWESOME, SO ARE THE SPRINGS (like that, boldly, in caps)! Springs have actually added precision and made flying really comfortable. This short flight in a 407 probably felt like the best flight in it ever.
It really changes everything. I’ve been able to remove hands from the controls and pour myself some coke while flying the helicopter with pedals only.
I will need a couple of weeks to test mechanical strength of things, and if nothing breaks, will definitely recommend everyone to try a setup with springs!
Finally, after quite a long process of designing new things and upgrading old, I can relax for a while and fly to my heart’s content: stuff needs testing. I try to fly every evening, sometimes in DCS, sometimes – in X-Plane. I like both of them: DCS for the Huey, which feels alive, X-Plane for Ortho4XP, VATSIM and the opportunity to fly around the world.
Sometimes it’s a bit hard to go from DCS to X-Plane and fly perfectly: the way these sims handle controls input feels very different. Usually, I try new hardware in DCS at first, because its flight model is better. I have been flying there for a while lately, even had a chance to lead a large enough formation, and could say nothing bad about the new gimbal.
Today I decided to go on with my X-Plane journey across the US West in a 407, doing a short Derby (KLOL) – Silver Springs (KSPZ) leg of the route. After getting used to more sensitive controls response of the 407, the flight has been a pure joy. I have started the flight with 80% sensitivity mode enabled but quickly switched to 100%. The gimbal allowed for slightest adjustments to be made with cyclic. This time I used force trim function in flight a few times, to hold the stick while I’ve been looking at the map, and to try 407 specific “electric” cyclic movements with a hat switch. With rubber bands now present on the gimbal, it holds and centers cyclic stick quite well, now I use force trim mode on the ground only when I need to remove cyclic stick to go pour myself some tea =)
So far the gimbal feels perfect. It’s very precise, maybe because of a stronger mechanics, there seems to be no backlash at all. The collective with a pneumatic mod still holds together and feels great as well. I tried adding a few drops of bicycle chain oil to the tensioner, this way it can strengthen the assembly, yet not affect smoothness of travel.
Overall the whole set is very precise and smooth, probably leaving nothing more to wish for, except maybe pneumatic mods for cyclic and pedals =)
I have finally managed to build the gimbal, and even tried flying with it on Aerobatics Online Caucasus sever in DCS =)
I can say it’s great! For now, I’ve used rubber bands for stick centering, and they work pretty well. I noticed that I haven’t been using the software force trim function much during this flight. A lot of heli pilots were online, so I’ve had a great opportunity to put both the gimbal and pneumatic mod for the collective to a good test 😀
I am waiting for 50mm MAL16-50 pneumatic cylinders to arrive, hopefully with them installed the stick will feel perfect. The collective pneumatic mod still holds together, I am beginning to think it’s really safe to use. A couple more weeks will show if I am wrong =) The new gimbal will be released tomorrow, if time permits, I will also be making a couple of videos about the new stuff soon.