R/C helicopters look like fun - and they are - but you've heard they're hard to set-up and fly. And with all those linkages, they look really complicated. Not to worry, here are both workbench and flying field tips to help you because it's easier than you think!
First up are things a more experienced modeler will look for in a helicopter assembled by a newcomer. These include selecting the swashplate mode in your radio, setting the direction in which the servos should move, as well as how to subtrim them, set the travel adjustment, and make the the linkages - especially those linkages! And the details include the esoteric like ball link sizing to minimize drag, as well as the main blade pitch-range, and gyroscope setup. From there we're off to discussing flight modes like Normal, Stunt (or Idle Up), as well as the critical Hold set up (for autorotations).
Approached one at a time, step-by-step, helicopter set-up is demystified!
And to help ensure success, there's even a review of tools, types of fuel and selection, plus details on what you want in the way of field equipment - like starter subsystem, batteries, as well as field-charging. There's also information regarding which spare parts to have on hand!
Then we go to the field to learn both basic and advanced hovering techniques. Since your success is of paramount importance, we begin with your pre-flight procedures - to include a safety check, frequency control, and range check. Then we even show how to track the main rotor blades so that they fly within the same arc and level. Also discussed are details about training aids like training gear, a flight simulator, and how to set-up a buddy-box.
Interspersed with full-scale footage of a Robinson R-22
performing many of the same lessons, we demonstrate basic hovering tips
that range from getting the model light on the skids, through extended
in-place hovering - much as full-scale helicopter pilots learn!
Finally, advanced hovering progresses to the dreaded nose-in.
Presented in a manner designed to apply to all collective pitch R/C helicopters, the model featured first is Kyosho's neat Nexus 30. Of course, sometimes it helps to see things done more than one way, so next we set-up Century's fabulous Falcon 46. Then, we show you a 3D set-up using Thunder Tiger's radical Raptor 30
- along with a neat hover-game for sharpening your new skills!
Then, addressing the question of learning while using a scale helicopter, you'll discover you "can" begin with a scale model as we show the secrets of the
technically-elegant CCPM set-up using JR's exciting Ergo 46 while clothed in a remarkable Robinson R-22 fuselage! Finally, we explore the future as we present Mikado's lovely Logo 20 - a 600-class electric helicopter with astonishing performance!
The funny thing about an R/C helicopter is flight usually begins and
ends in a hover, so from the first terror-stricken moments of advancing
the collective, you're on your own. Fear not, if a duffer like me can
learn, so can you - and this video can help!
- John Beech
Unique in this series is seeing more than one helicopter being set-up. The point is to teach the elements of setup because helicopter models and brands come and go but the core principles remain the same through the years. Basically, this VHS video reinforces the basic procedures to be followed to successfully set up 'any' model helicopter.
Featured are popular 6-channel computer-transmitters from both Futaba and JR. You'll learn both a normal upright setup plus the fully-symmetrical 3D set-up with V-shaped throttle-curve and how tos for dealing with heading-lock gyros!
But that's not all, and because the heart of a helicopter is the engine, we also detail how to break-in the smooth and powerful OS Max 50SX-H ringed nitro fuel engine. When it's time, you'll go to the field prepared - secure in the knowledge your helicopter, radio, and engine are properly set-up!
Interspersed with tips and sage advice, you'll find setting-up and hovering isn't as hard as it's made out to be. Before you know it, you'll be flying an R/C model helicopter too!