Sunday, 12 April 2009

Before Your First Hover - Learning to Fly Helicopters

Before your first hover you need to know what each control of the transmitter does, and then you need to forget about it. Well, basically that is not accurate, but you do need to get to the point that you give the correct controls without thinking about it. Believe me learning to do this will help you down the road.

Yeas, we all want to fly right away (or flip or roll or...) but each step takes time and each step builds up into moves you can add together into better moves. An example is that you should really know how to do controlled inverted-pirouettes before trying full piro-flips. Each move in each stage builds up to moves in the next stage, and so on.

Ok, let's get on with it. In this stage we are just preparing to hover. No, not hovering. Just preparing to hover. This can take anywhere from 3 to let's say 20 batteries. What you will do is sit the helicopter out in front of you with the tail pointed toward you. Now spool the helicopter up until you think it might want to take off. Now give it some rudder (tail) input. When you moved the stick to the right did the nose move to the right? If it did not you need to stop and shut the helicopter off and then reverse the rudder servo in your transmitter.

Now, this time you are going to spool the helicopter up even more. The helicopter is going to want to slip to the left. It will do this every time! There is nothing wrong with your helicopter. You will have to give some right aileron to keepp it in one place. Once the helicopter starts to slide some spin it down and move it back to where it was and start again.

You did remember to keep the tail pointed toward you didn't you?! This is probably the most important thing at this point (even though you probably think the important thing is hovering). If the tail turns on you then you will crash. The controls on the right stick will stop making sense and you will 'put-it-in'. Turning the helicopter is for later.

You need to do go through a few batteries getting it light on the skids a few times a day for maybe about a week before you are ready to hover (maybe less than a week?). I do know you want to hover, but if you can't hold the helicopter from sliding or turning when it is on the ground how are you going to do it while it is in the air?

I saved mentioning the of the training skids for last. You do not have to use them, but if you are using a big expesive helicopter you may want to put some on until you can hold a steady hover at about 10ft. That is a few weeks away. Trust me. :-)

Next weeks post, your first hover!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Learning to Fly Helicopters

Ok, so I have been toying with the idea of doing videos that will teach/coach people in the techniques used to learn to fly a helicopter from the first hover right up to piro-flips. What do you guys think? I have done a couple of videos as demos for myself and I am not completely happy with the format yet. Again, let me know if you like the idea and maybe even what you would like to see!