Quick UK Trex600n Precision Swashplate

Reviewer: Rob Turnbull
Review Date: 4th March 2008
Supplier Quick UK
Manufacturer: Quick UK
Unit Cost: £49.95

Introduction

With the recent introduction of the Trex600n, Quick UK decided to make a few upgrade parts for it, including this swashplate. It is a shade over 2.5mm thinner and approximately 14 grams lighter than the stock swashplate supplied with the kit. It also comes in a choice of four colours. I received the black one for review, although I'm pretty sure the colour will not alter the performance of the part!

Here's some of pictures of the swashplate.

  • The packaged swashplateThe packaged swashplate
  • Top viewTop view
  • Bottom viewBottom view
  • One of the four pre-tensioner grub screwsOne of the four pre-tensioner grub screws

In the last picture you can see one of the four pre-tensioner grub screws. You will not need to touch these as they are set perfectly fine in the new swashplate when it is assembled. They can be used to tighten up any play you might develop in the swashplate bottom bearing, but with this swashplate being machined to very high tolerences, that might not be for a long time.

Over-tightening these pre-tensioning grub screws can damage the bearing, so be careful if you ever decide to tweak them!

Fitting the swashplate

Obviously, we need to remove the existing swashplate first, and to allow us to do this specific job, we can approach this in one of two ways:

  1. Undoing the bolt through the main gears, detatching the rod links from the swashplate down and then removing the complete head assembly from the helicopter. Taking the main shaft locking collar off the main shaft will then allow you to remove the swashplate, Or,
  2. Remove the bolt securing the headblock to the top of the main shaft, detatch the four links on the inner part of the swashplate and the whole upper assembly including washout base and arms can be removed. If it's a little stuck, or seems firmly stuck on, hold the gears firmly and rotate the headblock anti-clockwise (against the one way bearing) which will free it up and the head should pull off.
  • Head removed to remove the Align swashplateHead removed to remove the Align swashplate
  • Quick UK swashplate fitted to main shaftQuick UK swashplate fitted to main shaft

Notice in the above right picture I have fitted the front push rod to the anti-rotation pin in the swashplate and then slotted that through the anti-rotation guide. The push rod has already been extended a little bit at this point (see below for details) in order to try and save a little time later when getting this rod off so it can be adjusted means removing the back two links also.

Adjusting the setup

Owing to the fact that the geometry of the two swashplates is very slightly different, and the Quick UK swashplate having perfect geometry, it is not simply a case of swapping one for the other. The linkages will need altering to ensure the head is correctly set up.

What we're looking for in the setup is to keep the centreline of the swashplate in the middle of the main shaft at mid stick (zero degrees of pitch). With this swashplate being a little over 2.5mm thinner than the Align swashplate and having the inner and outer ball links perfectly in line with each other, the links from the bell cranks that go up to the swashplate will need to be lengthened to take up half of that height loss to keep the swash at the same centred position on the main shaft.

From there, the upper rod links will need to be adjusted to accurately set up the pitch.

I use approximately 13 degrees of pitch (positive and negative equally) with zero degrees at the mid-stick position. With that in mind, my final rod length gaps (between ball link ends) are as follows - please use these as a guide only as setups can vary, but they should get you somewhere close.

  • Head setup with Quick UK swashplateHead setup with Quick UK swashplate
  • Everything level means it should be setup nicelyEverything level means it should be setup nicely

I always set up the mechanics of the helicopter to use maximum available range and then modify how it flies via the transmitter setup.

Getting everything level and square at 90 degrees with the swashplate in the middle of the available range of movement on the main shaft giving zero degrees of pitch achieves this mechanical goal.

It doesn't take a great deal of time to set up all the links and it is not only worth doing right, it's required in order for the helicopter to fly as expected. A set of verniers (digital calipers), some pliers and perhaps a ball link tool will make the process even easier.

Once setup is complete, please make sure that the linkages are not too tight on the new Quick UK linkage balls which are slightly larger than the stock Align ones that have just been replaced. The rod links should be able to move on the ball links without being too loose for best fit.

Flight testing

Having flown the helicopter with this swashplate fitted to both the Kasama Srimok rotor head and the stock Align head, I can attest to the fact that the helicopter definitely feels more responsive now that the original swashplate, which had developed slop, has been removed. The slop that had developed in the original Align swashplate had caused unwanted affects on the control surfaces making each flight just that little bit more interesting!

The Quick UK swashplate gives the helicopter a very solid feel in the air with no tendencies to wander off course when flying 3D manoeuvres.

Long term testing is the only question that remains unanswered for this swashplate, and I have no doubts that it will stand the test of time. I have used Quick UK swashplates on previous helicopters, including Raptors and Sceadu Evos and once they were fitted, they were never taken off again and never gave me any trouble - I believe I will see the same level of longevity and trouble free accurate flight from this swashplate.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Removes any phasing tendencies the 600n may have had
Precision engineered swashplate with correct geometry on ball links
High quality bearings
Thinner and lighter than the stock swashplate
Looks great and is available in multiple colours
Pre-tensioning grub screws can tighten up a worn down swashplate in the future if necessary
Slightly increased range of pitch available due to shorter overall swashplate height
Long lasting and hard wearing
Cons
Higher upfront cost than competitor products
Can't simply swap the original for this aftermarket swashplate - setup does need adjustment

Conclusion

This is a high quality component that will work very well for a long time making the higher initial investment more than worth while.

The original swashplate on my 600n has developed slop, and it did so within the first 200 flights, which isn't terrible, but it's not exactly great either. If this Quick UK swashplate eventually starts showing signs of slop, a careful tweak on the pre-tensioner grub screws will help to keep things tight for some time after that. However, that's not something I've had to do with Quick UK swashplates in the past.

Comparitively speaking it's an expensive swashplate, and if you're buying purely on price, then your money will no doubt end up in Aligns pockets for their upgrade swashplate which also does a good job. However, if longevity is a factor in your purchase, and you only want to buy one swashplate upgrade, this is the one you should buy.