The Buttons below will take you through the different hints and tips that I feel will make your helicopter safer and more reliable.

Factory Clutch

Factory clutch spring tube

A recent email states:

Hi Orv,
Mike Garner flying (old Yellow). Doing the condition inspection and having read your article in the latest magazineI found on the clutch cylinder only 1..one rivit installed, however it is a steel rivit, at the top of the cylinder holding the cylinder in, it is very close to the edge of the cylinder. I believe you would advise me to install three more?
I most likely would not have noticed had you not wrote about it.
Thanks AGAIN.
Mike Garner


Hi Orv.
Update on last Email "rivits".
I said there was one rivit? Well there
were really two,when installed, both aluminum. The one on the bottom had already sheared off. The remaining one at the top position was bent at, I estimate, at a 30 degree bend and ready to shear off olso.
That was CLOSE!!
I did the fix as stated in the article.
Again, Thanks, I really don't like doing real autos. (I have done 3, )
Mike Garner

My old Exec had aluminum pop rivets securing the plunger into the spring tube. Eventually these rivets wore out allowing the plunger to come out of the tube. I now use steel rivets in this area to insure that the rivets stay in place.

When Andrew Burr purchased his second hand Rotorway he hired me to travel to his home to begin his flight training in his new aquisition. I spent several hours going over it with him and provided him a long list of items needing attention before I would fly in it. Many of these issues were from a poor job of building the helicopter by the original builder. The final product is only as good as the person building it. The items on that list are all covered in the Hints and Tips section of this web site.

One item on the list was the clutch pivot arm was poorly constructed by the original builder. Andrew's motto is " I don't want to re-invent the wheel, I just want to make the wheel better". His solution was to remove the original tube from the end of the clutch pivot arm and to replace it with a larger diameter tube and then reinforcing the tube to the arm by welding steel gussets between the new tube and the arm. He then installed "oil-lite" bushings into the top and bottom of the tube so that, when installed, the pivot bolt would now be protected and lubricated by the bronze bushings. This clutch arm is an area that needs close inspection during your preflight.


The photo below is of the bolt that Andrew removed from the damaged swing arm. If the swing arm is built to the factory standards and according to their directions and plans, it should provide good service.

I have been working on a new design to my original electric clutch. This one is even simpler than the original that many know of the Easy start clutch. It will cost less and since I missed the boat on manufacturing the first design myself, I have decided to team up with Vertical Performance Systems to manufacture and sell this new design. We are currently testing the new clutch and will make it available soon.


The material on each page is the opinion of the author only and any actions taken by the reader relating to information on this site is the responsibility of the builder.