My friend Chip helped a lot with this assembly. We worked two days getting the tail rotor assembled and mounted on the ship. Getting this done felt like a major accomplishment. It's a fascinating assembly because of the mechanics involved in changing the blade pitch while it rotates. We got so involved I forgot to take very many pictures.

In this picture we have already assembled the rotor blades, bearing hub, and tail rotor shaft. This illustrates the balancing process. Notice the level clamped in the vice. This was a lot easier than the method illustrated in the RotorWay instructions. We used shims under the vise to get the fore/aft level.

RotorWay says to balance the rotor blades before you install the blade end caps. I found the end caps changed the balance. So, I installed the end caps and balanced the blade using a pop rivet installed near the tip. It worked well.

This shows the tail rotor mounted in the rotor bearings with the actuator assembly completed. It's really cool to spin the blades by hand and manipulate the actuator arm and watch the blades change pitch.

This shows the bearing slider assembly and the tail rotor drive pulley. I almost got into trouble mounting the pulley. RotorWay doesn't give the dimensions for the hole location of the pulley bolt. If you drill the hole to close to the pulley body, the head of the bolt will not clear the outer edge of the pulley when installing the bolt. I actually had to slightly grind one side of the bolt head to get it past the pulley outer edge. If I had drilled the bolt hole any closer to the pulley body, I would have had to replace the pulley and tail rotor shaft and do it all over again. That would have been a costly mistake.

I still have some finishing touches like drilling the cotter pin holes on the castellated nuts and installing the belt on the pulley.


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