Knight 50 Sport

Reviewer: Trevor Burley
Review Date: 28th September 2006
Manufacturer: Compass Models, UK Distributor: Climb-Out
Model: Knight 50 Sport
Unit Cost: £189

Equipment

The equipment that I will be using for the Knight 50 Sport build is as follows:

Kit: Knight 50 Sport (Plastic)
Engine: OS 50 Hyper (with standard head, awaiting new engine)
Exhaust / Muffler: Muscle Pipe 2
Receiver: Futaba R138DP
Governor: Throttle Jockey RevMax Limiter
Collective / Cyclics: 3x Futaba S9252's for eCCPM
Throttle Servo: Futaba s9253
Gyro: CSM SL720 Gyro with 9254 Servo
Transmitter: Futaba 9CHP (FF9)
Extras: Quick UK Header Tank
Extras: Quick UK Receiver Crash Box

First impressions

Upon receiving the Knight I was not impressed by the outer packaging. There was no 'pretty' box, just a plain cardboard one. This, however, is a good thing, although on a shop shelf it would not look good, the box is a significant saving in costs as you are not paying for the design of box artwork or associated printing costs, which all add up.

Opening the box I found that the kit was in ARTF (Almost Ready to Fly) form. Allowing you to get into the air quicker, this is quite a nice touch for a person who likes to fly rather than build.

  • The BoxBox Contents
  • The BoxBox Contents
  • The BoxBox Contents
  • The BoxThe Kit Contents

Unloading the heli from the packaging was fairly easy, but you can instantly see that they did not want the heli getting damaged en-route. It was packaged in such a way that things could not move about and get scratched; after all, it had a long journey from China.

The first thing I noticed about the kit itself was the machined gears. This means that they should be straight and smoother whilst running. I expect that there will also be a significant sound reduction compared to other 50 sized models due to the smoothness of the gears.

Along with the gears there is a nice auto hub, it's a bit stiff, but as with all new things it should loosen up. The hub feels very smooth to the touch, should produce good auto results for a 50.

  • GearsThe Gears
  • WashoutThe Washout

Looking around the heli further I saw the dreaded plastic washout, but on closer inspection I saw that it had been machined, not moulded, which should give it increased durability. It will be interesting to see how it holds up after a few gallons of fuel. Other plastic washout bases that I've used have not lasted more than a few gallons before developing slop. (See picture above)

Assembling the skids

The first step of assembly was to put the skids on, this was a simple task. The fixings to use were detailed in the manual, although the actual parts were left to common sense. The fit was snug, and I had no trouble with this assembly. I chose to measure how far I inserted the skids, settling on 30mm, I find uneven skids rather annoying.

  • SkidsThe Skids
  • SkidsThe Skids
  • SkidsI Like Perfection
  • SkidsAssembled

Flybar and paddles

Paddles were next on the list. I used the standard paddles that came with the kit, which are fairly light. For this reason they have thoughtfully provided flybar weights with the kit for those that are new to the hobby. I removed the weights before using a vernier to install the flybar with accurate spacing.

  • PaddlesThe Paddles
  • PaddlesInstalled

Engine preparation

Next I needed to prepare the engine for installation into the airframe by assembling the fan and clutch onto it. The fan is much like the Raptor 30 fan; you can interchange these if you wish. Firstly, the fan is bolted onto the engine; you should use a crank locking tool for this. Never use a piston locking tool, these can damage or even puncture the piston.

  • PaddlesThe Components
  • PaddlesInstalled Clutch

#Tip from Ade Law - loctite the pinion into the bearing that supports it. This will reduce slippage and prolong the life of the components.

  • PaddlesLoctite!
  • PaddlesDon't forget the rubber grommet!

If you are going to use a throttle governor, now is the time to install it. There are pre-marked holes in the fan which line up nicely with the sensor mount. Drill these all the way though and epoxy the magnets in place with 24 hour epoxy.

  • PaddlesEngine and Mount
  • PaddlesDrill out the magnet holes
  • PaddlesInstalled magnet and counter balance
  • PaddlesSensor and mount added

Installing the engine

Take the carb off and mount the engine in the airframe, you'll want about 1mm of engine mount protruding from the frames at the top. Keep the bolts just gripping the frames, but not tight. Grab your hex starter and turn the engine over to align it then pinch up the bolts. Then put the carb on.

  • MountedEngine Mounted
  • MountedEngine Mounted With Carb

Tail boom installation

The tail boom assembly was next, this was an easy build. Simply insert the belt through the boom, making sure that it doesn't get tangled, then tighten up the tail gearbox onto the boom. Slide the pushrod guides and the tail servo mount onto the tail boom. Unscrew the ball links from the tail pushrod, and slide it through the guides. Make sure that they are in line with each other and the tail pushrod can slide smoothly through it.

Attach the fins to the assembly and insert into the boom mount, making sure to follow the instructions for the belt orientation.

  • tailRemove Gyro Mount
  • tailFit Belt
  • tailTail Gearbox
  • tailTail Fin Added

Fuel tank

Both nipples on the fuel tank are metallic, which is a nice touch. Usually you will find they come moulded as part of the tank in other kits. The moulded versions are usually quite weak.

Something else I discovered after being advised to shorten the clunk line is that the clunk line is cable tied onto the clunk, stopping it coming off the thin pipe, which is another nice touch.

#Tip from Ade Law - Shorten the clunk line by approx 1cm - 1.5cm, this will allow the tank to drain properly and reduce the chance of it kinking in flight.

  • tankFuel Tank

Servo installation

The servo tray is held on by four self tapping screws, which is quite strong in design. The servo's alternate their orientations to provide space for the arms to move, or in my case servo wheels. Installing the servos I found really poor quality screws, the type that you would find on a Raptor 50. I used a screwdriver that fits well but still ended up with some chewed screws, the plastic is a little tough to screw into.

I liked the centre servo wire routing; a small thing but very thoughtful. You'll also notice that my 22 year old cat decided to help and get hairs all over everything at this stage.

  • servosServo Tray
  • servosServo's Installed
  • servosThoughtful Wire Routing

Next up was the throttle servo installation. I found later on that there was a misprint in the manual, the servo should be installed with the output spline closer to the engine, rather than towards the front of the heli, the photo below shows it the wrong way around. You could also use a longer pushrod if you have one spare.

  • throttleThrottle Servo
  • throttleThrottle Servo

Installing the receiver

I chose to install the receiver next. In the last few years I've been using the Quick UK Receiver Protection Box; this is reasonably priced and has always saved my receiver in the event of an incident. To fit the box onto the Knight, I either had to trim the loop hole (used to strap on radio equipment) or cut a slot in the box. I choose to do the latter as I had already modified the box to allow for the plugs in the top of the Rx to be accessible. You will also notice that I have taped in my Rx crystal as I find this the best way to stop it coming out in flight.

  • rxReciever Box
  • rxReciever Box Installed

Installing the battery

The battery very easily straps to the underside of the radio tray, I always wrap mine in foam, but you need to at least pad the bits where the battery contacts the airframe. If I had chosen to, I could have made a neater job, but I'm only interested in functionality.

Now, we hit a barrier, the switch mount is designed for those people who are begging for an electrical failure. There is no way to mount the Heavy Duty switch onto the airframe, it simply won't fit. I made a sketchy mod to accommodate my switch. Please note that the below mod has the potential to interfere with the wires. A simpler way to do this is simply stick the switch on with some double sided foam.

  • batteryThe Attached Battery
  • switchThe Switch

Fitting the exhaust

Fitting the exhaust was next, I chose the MP2 for this particular project. The engine sits higher in the airframe than the Sceadu so getting the nut's onto the bolts at the back of the exhaust is much easier.

  • ExhaustMP2
  • ExhaustMP2 Fitted

I called it a K-night (had to get that one in) at that stage as it was getting late, or should I say early?

Mounting the gyro

The next day I resumed the build, starting with mounting the gyro (CSM 720) and governor (Throttle Jockey Rev Max).

  • Mounted GyroMounted Gyro
  • Mounted GovMounted Governor

Wiring up the Knight

Next came the job of wiring up the Knight, and one very nice feature they have on the Knight is that there are several mounting points for you to cable tie your wires to.

  • WiringWiring
  • WiringWiring

Tail servo mount

The tail servo mount was just like the Sceadu's. I think with a few modifications you can move it up front, but on the tail is my preferred place. I find it much easier to adjust.

  • Tail ServoTail Servo

Setting up

Now we have the airframe mostly built, it is time to start setting up the radio gear. Making sure that when the radio is on and at centre stick I set all the discs with a 90 degree angle as detailed in the manual. This is critical for a nice running machine and you should spend some time setting it up correctly. You can see I had several attempts at this. Adjust the linkage rods until the control arms are also level and at 90 degrees.

#Tip from Ade Law - mounting the balls on the underside of the servo will make for a better 90 degree angle (unlike in the pictures below).

  • Servo SetupServo Setup
  • Servo SetupServo Setup

Next up, setting up the tail. This is fairly simple; make sure the servo arm is 90 degrees to the rod and that all the boom clamps are clamped in positions such that it would allow the least friction possible on the rod. These clamp onto the boom with a screw, there's no glue involved. You will get far better performance from the tail with a free system. Use your gyro manual to get the best setup for your gyro.

There is an immense amount of pitch available on the tail on this heli. This should be great for performance.

  • Tail SetupTail Setup
  • Tail SetupClamps

When setting up the head you need to make sure that several angles are set correctly. Firstly the swash plate should be level. If it is not, make this adjustment via the rods, since you have centred the servos already.

Next, adjust the linkage rods from the flybar to the washout arms and get the two washout arms level with each other.

Then we move on to the upper mixing arms, these need to be pointed downwards by about 3 degrees to maintain the 90 degree angles between the pushrods and arms.

Then last of all, the blade grip control arms, these should be set correctly when you get them, but just in case they aren't, the main blades should end up at zero degrees here.

  • Head SetupHead Setup

Whilst I am at this point, it's worth mentioning that the dampeners are very hard and need greasing, take them out of the head and smother them with grease. The hardness will make the response of the heli more 'crisp', but also means that you will need to run a higher head speed to prevent wobbles.

Finishing touches

Several small bits now. Attach the front canopy mounts and fit the header tank (you can drill the frames to get it closer to the engine or attach it to the boom supports).

  • Canopy MountCanopy Mount
  • Header TankHeader Tank

Canopy assembly

The canopy is the final item to put together. This is a plastic canopy, about the same strength as the Sceadu canopy. It is mottled which sadly means the stickers don't stay stuck on.

  • CanopyCanopy
  • CanopyVisor
  • CanopyCanopy fitted with stickers and visor

Pros and Cons

Pros
The clunk line is cable tied on, stopping the line from coming detached in flight.
Hard dampeners, great for 3D flight.
Machined gears, takes less power to turn it as it is machined to a better tolerance than a moulding would achieve.
A few holes in the frames at good locations to cable tie your wires to. Keeps things tidy
Tail geometry is very good, with a large amount of available pitch.
Auto hub is smooth, if a little stiff but I expect this to free up.
Pushrod guides do not require any glue to stick in place.
Hex screws are used on most parts of the heli, including the balls.
Cons
Servo screws are very easy to strip.
Switch mount doesn't fit the heavy duty Futaba switch.
The plastic canopy is mottled, this means that the stickers do not stick well to it.
Lacking in a decent mounting point for the header tank.
Some screws in the ARTF build were not loctited or done up properly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this was a reasonably nice build; some things that you should check are all of the pre-assembled screws that require locktite, some have very little or none. Also make sure the phasing is tightened up.

The build went well and I am very happy with the quality of the kit and the speed and ease of the build. This should be interesting to fly, a 'cheap' heli that flys well would be much desired.