RCtoys.com has been selling the MASH rescue helicopter by E-flite for a few months now, and it’s turned out to be a great little scale helicopter for indoor flight. The MASH helicopter looks great in the air and handles better than most co-axial RC helicopters out there. It’s also got a fair bit of weight, making it great for flying outdoors in low winds. The MASH helicopter is so easy to fly that it’s perfect for anyone who’s new to RC, but sometimes we make mistakes and the helicopter can require repair.
If you’ve crashed your MASH helicopter and need new rotor blades, grips, or even a new flybar then you’re grounded until new parts arrive. Enter the crash kit – a carefully chosen assortment of the most commonly needed replacement parts, all in one convenient and discounted package. If you keep one of these on hand, you won’t have to stop flying and wait for new parts in the mail again. The MASH helicopter was designed to be user-serviceable just like larger fuel and electric helis. If you’ve got a broken part, then it’s almost certain that it can be replaced without anything more complicated then a screwdriver. This guide will walk you through replacing the most common parts:
Replacing Main Rotor Blades
The main rotor blades can become cracked in a severe crash and pieces can break off. While it’s completely possible to fix small cracks and dings with some medium CA glue and accelerator, this can negatively affect blade balance and make the helicopter vibrate. It’s easier and faster to replace the old blade so here’s how to do it:
- Get a small Phillips head screwdriver and unscrew the single aluminum screw at the root of the damaged blade. The blade will now be free, and you can remove and dispose of it. Damaged blades can be sharp, so be careful not to cut yourself.
- All the top rotor blades come with a white warning label on their upper surface. Choose from the upper and lower rotor blades as needed so that the rotors look like this when viewed from the front. As viewed from the front, the right top rotor blade should curve upwards and the bottom right rotor blade should curve downwards. This picture shows the correct blade orientation.
- Install the replacement blade and tighten the screw just enough so that the blade swings freely when you tilt the helicopter, but is secure enough that it won’t fly off. This has to be done by feel – it’s not critical that the screw is perfectly adjusted, but the blade should feel secure and move freely.
- Repeat this for any other rotor blades that need replaced. It’s helpful to install them one at a time to keep track of the orientation.
Replacing the Blade Grips
The blade grips / holders are black clevis like objects which clamp down on the root of each blade and hold it to the main shaft. If one of these becomes damaged, use this procedure to replace it:
- Remove the both of the rotor blades that the blade grips are holding by following the instructions above.
- Lay the helicopter on its side and observe the two screws that hold the blade grips together and on the main shaft. This picture shows one screw removed, viewed from the bottom of the helicopter.
- Unscrew the blade grips and keep the screws in a safe place where they can’t roll away.
- Replace the broken blade grip and install the screws.
Replacing Ball Linkages:
Ball linkages connect the RC helicopter’s servos to the swashplate and flybar. It’s fairly unlikely that these will get broken in a crash, but if they do, here’s how to replace them:
- Snap off the damaged ball link using your fingers or a screwdriver.
- Find the replacement link that matches the one you took off and press it on to the spherical plastic nubs where the broken link connected. This picture shows a partially disconnected ball linkage on the flybar:
What makes the MASH helicopter unique is its ability to be completely disassembled and user serviceable. You don’t usually find this on helicopters in the 100 to 200 dollar price range, which are usually meant to be flown and then discarded when they break. Want to learn more about the MASH helicopter, or get one to fly around your living room? RCtoys sells them at a great price. If you just want the crashkit, RCtoys.com has that as well.
The swashplate isn’t included in the crashkit, because it rarely breaks. If you need a replacement swashplate, you can get one online for a low cost.