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Old 01-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Flying in circles: why so difficult?

Hi! This may look strange for some folks, but fact is, I can do some pretty 8 figures (upright, nose forward, with fine banked turns) , but I can't sustain a nice, circular path... even in the simulator.

All the times I try, the heli can't keep the airspeed and after one or so turn the circle becomes a brief stationary piro, then airspeed builds up again, and bleeds again... and in the end the heli draws some sort of nasty epicycloid in the sky...

As I try to make small corrections in the aileron, the trajectory gets somewhat better, looking more like a polygon than a circle. Not nice at all...

Any tips?

Thank you very much!

Cheers!
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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I have the same difficulty but have told myself that it's all the fixed wing stuff that I've done since the late 70's. For me I think it has so much to do with the collective stick. I flew fixed wings with mainly the right stick and only had to throttle up or down a bit or use a bit of rudder for take offs or bringing it back in after landing.
To use the collective for altitude and when in HH mode, to swing the tail around in a smooth motion while banking with the right stick and then making sure I don't bank too much while pulling back on the stick to make sure I don't lose too much altitude- which is what the left hand is supposed to be keeping up with...And then pulling back too much and going into a hover or not swing the tail around and end up flying sideways.......... IT'S TOO MUCH

They say it comes with practice and an "Oh Yea" moment but I'm still waiting on both.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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I can fly circles but I find it quite difficult, they are still far from perfect. I think it's a matter of practice practice and more practice
Counterclockwise I can do better than clockwise I can also use some tips
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Add power and decrease elevator gradually. Once it gets on track use very little elevator to keep it going. Very little rudder if any once it finds the groove. No aileron unless the heli tilts too much or too little.

One thing I like to do is bank 90deg and pull it around with elevator. You can turn like this without any rudder. This seemed to help me while practicing circles.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for all answers! Today I' ve discovered that flying circles for real is somewhat easier than on the sim...

I still need to improve my circuits, but at least I can fly those dreaded circles! :lol

Cheers!

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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Making coordinated turns requires exactly the right amount of rudder with the right amount of aileron - which usually results in slips - stalls - and crashes - not necessarily in that order. A MUCH easier way to make circles is to switch to rate-mode on your gyro. Rate mode?? Yes there is a rate-mode and it makes flying circles almost easy compared to heading-hold. Rate mode allows the tail to weather-vane (turn in the direction of flight) and make perfect coordinated turns without any rudder input. Is that possible? Try it for yourself - first on the simulator. Switch to rate mode - do a 360 around the field with just the aileron. Be prepared to be amazed!! UNFORTUNATELY - rate mode doesn't work when there is any wind because the tail will line up with the real wind instead of the apparent wind from your heli.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:03 AM   #7
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Hi Jack

My problem with turns is related to maintaining airspeed, not the coordination itself. I've got used to HH mode and I think it does wonders.

When flying the real model instead of the sim, it's easier to spot small changes in attitude, so elevator control is better, as well as the airspeed control.

Flying circles is still difficult, but doable in the real. Quite harder on the sim.

Cheers!

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Old 01-08-2012, 05:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackclarke View Post
Making coordinated turns requires exactly the right amount of rudder with the right amount of aileron - which usually results in slips - stalls - and crashes - not necessarily in that order. A MUCH easier way to make circles is to switch to rate-mode on your gyro. Rate mode?? Yes there is a rate-mode and it makes flying circles almost easy compared to heading-hold.
Yeah, but what's the point?
If you are going to fly in rate all the time (scale flier) then cool, but if you are a predominantly HH flier, then what is the point in flipping to rate?
I'd rather learn in the tail mode I'm going to fly in.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:40 AM   #9
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Glad it is not just me. I did not think such a "simple" maneuver could be so hard. Never realized I was so bad at it till someone asked me to do one. Keeping it on a line with forward momentum is challenging.

I have decided it is the move I want to master this year. A clean hurricane like forward flight circle. Sounds simple enough
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:34 AM   #10
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Remember that Pitch = Speed in many situations.

If you are loosing speed, in can be that the nose of the heli is not "aimed" properly in the direction you want to go. Like if the nose is slightly angled a few degrees out of the turn, its almost the same as putting the breaks on. To solve this just try to increase the rudder during the turn, to get a steeper angle.

Atleast this is my theory, as Im doing a lot of circles my self in all different orientations, and the times it goes bad, I notice its lack of rudder control.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:28 AM   #11
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Here is something that I have been doing that is really helping me out a lot...well 2 things.

1. When I am in phoenix sim, I tell it to put a circle or landing spot on the field. It basically has a red center, yellow middle circle and a green outer circle. At first I keep the HH mode on and see if I can do a really slow circle while keeping the heli in the green outer circle and keeping the heli tail in. I do this both ways...CW and CCW. (This has really helped with elevator and aileron controls) Then I've been doing the same thing except I turn the heli in the direction I am wanting to go. All you need is very small inputs and keep the forward speed very slow. ( This has helped with ele and aileron PLUS rudder)
2. I switched the gyro over to rate mode and made a few larger semi-fast circles ( to get the heli to weather-vane ) and really watched the tail as it follows the nose. Then I switch the gyro back over to HH and see if I can make the same banked turn but adding in the rudder to get just the right amount of turn / yaw to match for a nice smooth circle /turn.

These two exercises have really helped me along lately.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:40 AM   #12
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For the op description, sounds like too much elevator input for the collective. Doing the circle, increase in elevator input needs to be matched with increase in collective. If too much elevator for the collective, the turn will squeeze into a commar shape then go weird like your description, from what i read of your post.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmik View Post
For the op description, sounds like too much elevator input for the collective. Doing the circle, increase in elevator input needs to be matched with increase in collective. If too much elevator for the collective, the turn will squeeze into a commar shape then go weird like your description, from what i read of your post.
I've never flown a RC plane, but I've flown a real one. From that experience, I've got used to always have forward thrust, so keeping a sustained circular flight was a no-brainer. Yes, that was dead easy.

In helis, however, the forward thrust is totally dependent on the aircraft's pitch attitude. This is easy to control in forward flight, but in a curve, with orientation ever changing, the slightest mistake nulls (or even reverses) the forward thrust, and then airspeed suffers.

I'm prone to have the illusion that there's a "sweet spot" where I could freeze the sticks and physics would keep the heli circling round and round. This is sort of true for planes, totally false for a heli. The amount of corrections needed for a heli is 10x harder than for a plane.

Cheers!
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:10 AM   #14
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i found this... http://www.chadrg.com/flightschool/l...t-school-v1-1/

Im so new to this hobby can barely hover my mcpx lol.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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I have watched this and other videos. These videos don't really tell you how to do it. They show it can be done but they don't really explain the method. Maybe I am missing something but the stick movements seems so small you can't really tel what he is doing.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #16
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its weird got the sim today, fired up the mcpx model and in i was able to do a backflip, but i cant even do a banked turn. most the time i lose altitude and hit the ground. the thing that sucks is i dont know what im doing wrong, so i cant correct it.

i thought phoenix had a training mode, but it seems like its just videos.

any suggestions guys?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #17
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well I am stumbling around in the dark but I had better luck flying the 450. If I am going to belive the physics is right, I think the 450 has more mass(hence inertia) so it does not lose its circular speed so easily. I found I could sort of circle by starting forward and then banking and then rear elevator while applying more or less constant rudder. If it starts to slow dow, more banking and less rear-e. The mCPx seemed to lose its momentum and end up down tail pretty quickly.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesengr View Post
I have watched this and other videos. These videos don't really tell you how to do it. They show it can be done but they don't really explain the method. Maybe I am missing something but the stick movements seems so small you can't really tel what he is doing.
A very helpful video, with detailed stick movements description, on how
to perform coordinated and slow turns is this one: http://youtu.be/GAyNaAsu8Dw?hd=1

After 3:30, there is detailed info on stick movements.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #19
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great find. he actually explains in words how to do things. Thanks for posting his link. I looked at couple of his other videos and they are just as good with verbal explanations.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris K View Post
A very helpful video, with detailed stick movements description, on how
to perform coordinated and slow turns is this one: http://youtu.be/GAyNaAsu8Dw?hd=1

After 3:30, there is detailed info on stick movements.

Hope this helps a little.
Great video!

Thank you!
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