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Member Since : 2011

Rotor brake technique

11-08-2011 04:28:50

I've heard differing opinions on this--if you're parked outside, do you leave the rotor brake engaged? How long? Overnight? Any long term problems anyone has seen with over using it?


Blue Thunder
Member Since : 2007
11-08-2011 04:37:32
If I park outside, I will engage the brake, with the blades "not" parallel to the fuselage in case the blades flap for some reason.  If the winds were high, or parking over night, i would install the blade tie downs.
Member Since : 2008
11-09-2011 12:25:30
i have a neat little trick. when i apply the rotor brake to stop the blades i use one of the balls on the chain. with not too much tension i can do other things while the rotor come to a stop.
Member Since : 2015
11-09-2011 09:50:39
I don't think there is any harm to keeping the brake on overnight.  If there is a stiff prevailing wind, I find it useful to orient the main rotor blades parallel to the wind, then putting the brake on.  There is a lot less flapping than when the blades are locked perpendicular to the wind.  With the r22, I used to tilt the blade down then spin the lower end around so that is was over the tailcone, then lock the brake.  This kept people from reaching the other "high" blade and pulling it down.  This is less of a problem with the r44 since the blade is so high that you have to jump to reach it. 

One time at an off airport location, I returned to the ship to find a teenager demonstrating to his friends how the main rotor blades turn when you move the tailrotor.  Luckily the rotor brake was not on full, otherwise the tailrotor drive shaft/flex couplings could have been damaged, or the tailrotor blades could have been bent.  After that incident, if it is not windy, and I am off airport, I leave the brake off.   
Member Since : 2007
11-10-2011 06:58:29
I'm on my second R44.  I always leave the brake on when it is in the hanger.  I do this to keep anyone from rotating the tail rotor and causing a main blade to hit a hanger sidewall.  Leaving the brake on has never caused any problems.  Here in OK we get a lot of wind and I've never seen a situation where the blade has ever come close to hitting the tail boom once stopped.  I also use the trick of applying the brake using just a couple of the chain balls while doing the remainder of the shutdown.  The only problem?  Sometimes the blades stop before you notice and you have to rotate them using the tail rotor to a parallel position after you exit the helicopter.  I never like doing this, although it probably doesn't hurt anything.  Therefore, I try to not let it happen.