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Old 12-06-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
Jotto
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Post Jotto's helicopter winter flying guide

You may not have noticed, but winter is here. Actually it has been here for a while.

From time to time there are questions here about flying helicopters in the winter. I have published a little web page with some tips and tricks for winter flying at Jotto's helicopter winter flying guide:

http://www.jotto.no/heliwinter/

Feel free to comment, ask, and contribute with your favourite winter flying tips in this thread!

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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very nice write up ! it will help alot of people out! so your in norway, so you do know what you are talking about. well happy flying
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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Another thing that helps is fire
I know, your calling me a pyromaniac, but honest I still have to learn how to do piroflips.

When I fly in the city I use a propane radiant heater, the kind that sits on top of a propane tank. Just set it in front of me and it keeps me quite warm. When we go out to the farm on the weekends I start a small fire in the middle of the field and stand near that when the need to warm up occurs.

Just my .02
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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This is great as I am getting back into flying and the temp is dropping. Any other recommendations on the tx mitts- they seem to vary a lot in cost.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
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I think I'll stick to putting up with the insects.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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Cool write up and tips. Thanks for sharing
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:57 AM   #7
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I'll tell you what I do.

I leave the boom clamp bolts loose until ready to go to the field. When I get to the field I set the helicopter outside and let it acclimate. I adjust the belt tension and pull the rx pack out of my pocket and install it. I grab my handy Bernzomatic butane mini torch and preheat the head. Fire up the helicopter and let it idle in t-hold while installing the canopy. Fly my brains out. I use my trusty Mittmaster 3000 (do a search).

DISCLAIMER: Be VERY careful if you use a mini torch. You can't see the flame in daylight, it is very hot and very easy to heat the wrong things. Don't use your helicopter as the first thing you try a mini torch out on. It isn't rocket science, just use care and sense.

Wind is the enemy, it saps the heat out of you even when bundled up. I avoid anything over a few mph, not worth it.

Be careful of sunburn. It happens even on the coldest days.

Wear really good sunglasses with good uv protection, that reflected sunlight will get you. See above.

Try to not fly alone. The only thing worse than a serious injury is a serious injury in cold temps. You won't win extra points for Most Awesomest Knucklehead by flying alone. Besides, it's more fun to complain about the cold when you have other people to complain with. If you must fly alone, let someone know where you are and about how long you'll be. That way they can find the frozen corpse more quickly.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVBmcx View Post
This is great as I am getting back into flying and the temp is dropping. Any other recommendations on the tx mitts- they seem to vary a lot in cost.
The HobbyCity one is far cheaper, but it also seems to me like it's not insulated. Moreover, it doesn't have the nice sleeves. I haven't tried it myself, but a friend of mine has one. He says it's fine for chilly autumn days as it protects your hands from cold wind. It doesn't warm as much during cold winter days, however.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:51 AM   #9
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Hello Jotto,
I 'm Rob from holland and i fly (try) a Vario Benzin trainer with a 23cc gas 2 stroke motor. It's beautiful that people all around the world fly rc heli's. I started with this hobby only 3 months ago and wish i discovered it earlier.

I 'm a beginner and when i read your story about the temperatures there in Norway i feel al little bit ashamed to say that i got cold hands when it was plus 2 degrees celcius. But i think youre used to it. Thanks for the tips and keep flying.....

Gr. Rob Tweak.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:20 AM   #10
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or....you could follow my guide to winter, load a few cold ones into the esky, shorts' t-shirt, beach (sandals, sunnies and cream)......err, I think that's it!
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:01 AM   #11
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Warm gloves are for pussies
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:07 AM   #12
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actually I think warm underwear is but you make your point well! lol
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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Does anyone fly using regular gloves instead of a TX "glove"? I went flying the other day at about 0 Celsius and I did get cold fingers without gloves . I don't feel like getting a TX glove and would rather fly using some high quality flexible gloves.. so I'm wondering if anyone else is doing the same and what the experiences are.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:44 AM   #14
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Very nice and informative writeup Jotto. Thank you for sharing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliShredder View Post
Does anyone fly using regular gloves instead of a TX "glove"? I went flying the other day at about 0 Celsius and I did get cold fingers without gloves . I don't feel like getting a TX glove and would rather fly using some high quality flexible gloves.. so I'm wondering if anyone else is doing the same and what the experiences are.

I have used these gloves (Under Armour Cold gear Gloves) for quite a while now while at the shooting range. I have not yet used them for flying, but I don't see it being an issue. "REI" has an awesome selection of cold weather gear, as well as other things.



http://www.rei.com/
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:10 AM   #15
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I tried gloves some time ago, but it didn't work for me. Try it with a simulator first -- that's how I got used to the Raydiowarm!
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:39 PM   #16
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Thanks for the tips, Jotto!

Keeping your feet warm should be a priority as well. It really helps with staying comfortable so you can focus on flying. I've found the wool socks over cotton socks inside leather boots works great until the temperature gets down to 0F or so. Below 0F insulated footwear is a must.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:43 PM   #17
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About the only thing I can add is if you are using gloves.
If you take your gloves off, put them somewhere warm. Then you don't have to reheat them.
If you always get cold hands, consider using two pairs of gloves. Keep the second set in a warm place until you need them. Then swap them out.

Wear layers so you don't get too warm and avoid cotton.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:25 PM   #18
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Good info Jotto. Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwhite22 View Post
Keeping your feet warm should be a priority as well. It really helps with staying comfortable so you can focus on flying. I've found the wool socks over cotton socks inside leather boots works great until the temperature gets down to 0F or so. Below 0F insulated footwear is a must.
Yep, keeping your feet warm is important! You should avoid cotton, though. Use wool as your inner wear. Two reasons for that:
  • Wool will absorb sweat. Cotton will just get wet and damn cold if you sweat and then start freezing
  • The wool will perhaps itch a little.That increases blood flow to your feet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoe View Post
About the only thing I can add is if you are using gloves.
If you take your gloves off, put them somewhere warm. Then you don't have to reheat them.
If you always get cold hands, consider using two pairs of gloves. Keep the second set in a warm place until you need them. Then swap them out.
Good point. I also like having small disposable heat bags in my gloves. They don't get very hot, but warm enough to maintain the temperature in the gloves when I take them off.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:00 AM   #20
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I thought I was about as hard-core as they come, but I'm a baby compared to you. I just cannot bring myself to go out in the bitter cold to fly. I hate the cold. I hate when my cheeks get cold. I hate how cold finds every gap in your clothing and sneaks in. I hate cold fingers. I hate never being comfortable, either cold when you set still or sweating when you start to move. I HATE COLD. Too many cold winters in the Army, stationed in Germany, I guess.

With that said, I just got my new snow pants from Cabela's, so I think I will give a whirl this weekend.
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