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New Build Option
#1
I am in the stage of ordering a XE285 and was going over the option list. I am going for the large Dashboard, Military grip and S-cyclic and vertical fin. I am interested in hearing from past builder/flyers on some of the options they added or wished they added. I don't see allot of Mosquitos with the horizontal wing. Does the heli fly the same with or without it? Tinted windshield...better or just a nice to have? Gearbox temperature monitoring system...or teletemps strips?  Thanks for any input in advance.
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#2
I think you have picked the right options with the dash, grip, cyclic and vertical fin.

I added the horizontal fin and tried the machine with and without. It did make a small improvement to stability in forward flight but the machine is quite good without it. May be more beneficial if you really like to push along at higher speeds. Since my machine was tail heavy anyway I dont have mine fitted at the moment.

I also got doors but its really nice flying without them. The shape of the cockpit means you dont get much wind inside in forward flight so they might be more useful if youre in a cold climate (then you might have to look at a method of screen heating/demisting, someone who flys with them could comment if thats ever been an issue).

I have the tinted windshield, I like it. I also got the seat cover from the factory which I recommend as well.

Its not an option for sale, but maybe chat to the factory about collective friction ideas/recommendations so you can take a hand off for a moment to adjust radios/transponders etc. Im still looking at what I can make for my machine there.

Again, not a factory option but the most useful thing I added to my machine was a secondary rotor rpm indicator, based on a set of lights rather than an instrument/needle setup. If you are not having a governor its nice being able to check/pick up rotor rpm lights in your peripheral vision rather than having to focus more exactly on an instrument. If you are having a governor its not an issue.

Gary
XE285 in NZ
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#3
Jeff
you'll probably want set of wheels added into the pile of stuff -- my opinion the vertical and horizontal make it look better, tinted nice to have, S cyclic yes
Gary,
off the subject but you said tail heavy, consider a hang test. You shouldn't be tail heavy if in CG.
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#4
Mike Messex, did the hang test, could get cg right by having the seat a bit forward, but I'm fairly tall so prefer the legroom and put some weight in the nose to compensate.

Good call on the ground handling wheels, another good option. (I altered mine so the wheel goes inside the skid, so machine could go on narrower trailer)

Gary
XE285 in NZ
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#5
If you get the vertical tail, specify the one with the mount for a strobe, in case you want to add one.
I got the horizontals becasue they look cool.
I like the tinted windscreen. I also got doors, but haven't installed them yet. They have to be fitted to your fuselage, so if you think you might want them, order when you order the fuselage so the factory can fit them.
I have gear box temps on both gear boxes, mostly for peace of mind.
XE285 #1329 N869DJ
Start: June 2018
Done:  Sep 12, 2018  Sleepy 
AWC Issued: Sep 26, 2018  Big Grin  
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#6
Thanks all for replying. I have a few more questions. The 285 quick build, what is involved with his option? if you don't get this do you need to bend and shape allot of the parts yourself. Would you need access to a milling machine to make some of the parts? Can you buy and install the horizontal wing later if you change your mind or does the factory need to pre fit it when they build the tail boom? 

Thanks again for all your help
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#7
I got the quick build kit and happy I did. Most of the parts would have to have been cutout from plate without the quick build kit.

Also the pitot tube is an option I think. The factory now does 4 point harnesses as an option too I saw (had to make my own setup there when I built mine), standard will be a lap belt.

And check if the kit has a valve for a fuel drain (I like to drain the fuel from the heli and use it in the car, then have fresh fuel for the heli next time out, a benefit of the XE285 doing oil injection). It used to be an option some time back but maybe its supplied standard in the kit now

I think the tail booms are built with the horizontal fin mount as standard, call the factory or Mike to double check maybe.

Gary
XE285 in NZ
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#8
Quick build will save time and way more precision
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#9
(10-15-2020, 07:01 PM)grevis Wrote: I got the quick build kit and happy I did.  Most of the parts would have to have been cutout from plate without the quick build kit. 

Also the pitot tube is an option I think.  The factory now does 4 point harnesses as an option too I saw (had to make my own setup there when I built mine), standard will be a lap belt. 

And check if the kit has a valve for a fuel drain (I like to drain the fuel from the heli and use it in the car, then have fresh fuel for the heli next time out, a benefit of the XE285 doing oil injection).  It used to be an option some time back but maybe its supplied standard in the kit now

I think the tail booms are built with the horizontal fin mount as standard, call the factory or Mike to double check maybe.

Gary
XE285 in NZ

FWIW:

 - I didn't get the quick-build kit because it wasn't available when I started my XE285.  It's a no-brainer at twice the price, imho.  In addition to the savings in time and frustration, there's no way you will be able to hand-fab those parts to that precision.  Unless you have a Haas VF-2 of your own, of course.

 - Getting the four-point harness boils down to "What's your a$$ worth to your family?".  (Same for a full-face helmet.)

 - Every aircraft I have ever owned or flown has had a "gascolator" which is mounted at the lowest point in the fuel system.  It's a mandatory preflight item to drain a sample from it until no bubbles of water are found.  They are not expensive (you don't need one with a glass cup) but you'll need to modify the plumbing.  The secondary benefit is that they are perfect for quickly draining the entire fuel system.  The tertiary benefit is that I run the same ethanol-free fuel in all my 2-stroke yard equipment and no longer have to drain them over the winter.  The chainsaw fires up no matter how long it's sat.

 - The receiver for the horizontal tail is molded into the boom and make an excellent hard-point for securely transporting the chopper, as long as you don't have a horizontal stab installed.  My bird is tail-heavy as well, and from what I gather from those who have them, the horizontal stab is mostly cosmetic, especially the ones that include endplates.

-Chip-
2016 XE285 N8421L
-Chip Davis-
N8421L 2016 XE-285 #1076
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