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Old 07-04-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
gothicbunny
 
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Default Practice practice practice

This post is really for the newbies, and maybe for some not newbies. It is my 3rd season of flying and I love it. Have done some flips, rolls, and loops but just seem to be stuck there.

So I started getting on the sim and do some much cooler "moves" but nothing I am willing to risk crashing my real heli with. But even on the sim I seem to have hit a wall.

This week it has really just been too hot to go stand in an open field so I figured I would hit the sim and actually practice specifics instead of flying around.

Now I was already the king of tail in upright hover, but that gets pretty boring pretty fast. My other orientations are sorely lacking. However that has been changing and I can already see progress.

As excruciating as it was I started off with 15 min of nose in hover. Several crashes but finally got it to a point where I wasn't completely out of control. And then put the sim away.

Next session (same day) was a 5 min nose in with no crashes and much more steady already. I followed that with a 5 min tail in since I have heard the stories of people working on one orientation then dumb thumbing because that is all they have done for days.

After that, I added side in to the work out. Boy those still need work. My biggest problem there is it drifting towards or away from me.

Starting out was mind numbing and hard to force myself into, but in just days I am seeing progress on stuff I should have been doing 2 years ago in the beginning.

My plan is to keep up with regular work outs of 5 min orientations and regularly add a new one. I am already planning to order a 130x so as I feel comfortable with things I can start doing a lunchtime workout on that and an evening sum workout.

And yes, it really is a workout routine. Just like going to a gym regularly or training for anything.

I guess the lessons learned are when they say get your orientations down before progressing, they mean it, and when you do practice, actually have something to practice instead of just flying in the sim.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:22 AM   #2
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Default ... and practice slow pirouettes to start with!

Good points. Also, if you have followed this forum you'll see that many people (including me) suggested start learning slow pirouettes.

I personally did them 1ft of the ground (so I can easily settle it down the moment I 'lose' it). The whole routine is just to very slowly move tail to one direction trying to keep heli 'on the spot'. I deliberately put 'on the spot' in quotes as, to start with could be taken very loosely. it is just matter going through the whole rotation very slowly (not bailing out in last 120 of it (as I regularly did). And being so disciplined and not skip this practice each session for at least a battery or two and definitively doing both directions in same amount.

After a few weeks, when you get to point you can really do them you'll start learning. Very quickly. Learning orientation and ways of bailing out from awkward positions for you. And over time those 'awkward' positions would disappear and you'll be able to feel comfortable with all orientations of helicopter.

Mind you - to start with - slow pirouettes are hard. Very hard. But as a reward (for me it took up to a year!) you not only get to be comfortable in all orientations (and not crash after loop goes sideways and you end up nose to right instead tail in - don't ask me why I know you can easily crash in/after loops! ), but you'll learn to fly backward just by doing this, do nose in and tail in upright funnels and piro circuits! You'll see that, if you press learning slow pirouettes, you'll get all of those above for free!
(I was kind of surprised to see all of them coming about without extra practicing after 6 months or so into it)
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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Definitely agree on the orientations. My first battery out is always reserved for that. I notice that after just a couple days off my fingers can get heavy on the sticks so the practice really helps for the subsequent flights.

When I started flying I didn't even know to practice the orientations. Needless to say, many crashes later I started reading and getting advice. Then I found this site and started following Bob's tutorials. I'm still not great, but at least I can bail out of most bad situations
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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Two words. Slow piros. Start with whichever rudder side you are more comfortable, and practice holding a constant piro hover. Start and always practice very slow rotation. It will be ! Very! Hard in the beginning, but trust me...it's well worth the time. It's like learning scales to play music. It's crappy, boring, and sometimes frustrating, but it truly will be your key to unlocking true controlled flying. Check out some of my other posts, I highly highly recommend practicing these. "orientations" will become a thing of the past.. Eventually, you will always know where the heli is pointing
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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Once my orientations become a little more stable, will definitely add the slow piros to the mix. Also looking at adding circles/figure eights with both constant heading and constant orientation.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitbse View Post
Two words. Slow piros. Start with whichever rudder side you are more comfortable, and practice holding a constant piro hover. Start and always practice very slow rotation. It will be ! Very! Hard in the beginning, but trust me...it's well worth the time. It's like learning scales to play music. It's crappy, boring, and sometimes frustrating, but it truly will be your key to unlocking true controlled flying. Check out some of my other posts, I highly highly recommend practicing these. "orientations" will become a thing of the past.. Eventually, you will always know where the heli is pointing
Per your and others' advice I've been practicing inverted slow piros for a number of weeks now. Starting to get it, but I'm only about 80% comfy in all orientations. I will continue to practice, though. It's helping a lot.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Once my orientations become a little more stable, will definitely add the slow piros to the mix. Also looking at adding circles/figure eights with both constant heading and constant orientation.
Actually, what we are trying to say here is that you'll looking at it the wrong way. It is not your orientations that need to improve so you can practice slow piros, but you need to start learning slow piros to improve your orientation!!!

Start with simulator: just give very tiny rudder input (start turning heli in one direction) and try not to crash it (hence simulator). Stop at any point you feel you need to. Don't swing tail back. Try to hold it there (doesn't matter if helicopter at beginning wonder off and piros are all over the place not at one spot). Continue through the full rotation. Slowly and stopping to level it (level the rotor disc). At the beginning from nose at 12 o'clock to let's say 2 is going to be easy. Then at 3 you'll be just able to hold it (hence simulator). At 4 o'clock it might break apart. If you get to 5 you'll be half way! 5, 6 and 7 o'clock are nose in you said you're, kind of OK with. And then slowly (hardest part for me as I had tendency to just rush through them) go with nose to 8 - 9 o'clock (side hovering again) and 10, 11 - 12 o'clock and don't stop but continue again. I'm sure that after 5 days with 15 minutes sessions doing only that you'll be able to do a few full piros one after another (SLOWLY!) and gradually move to real rc helicopter to try the same...

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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I'll give it a try for the weekend's sessions.

So what model do you guys suggest? I've been working with a 700 size but even with expo turned up I find it twitchier than a 500. Should I dial back HS to soften it up more?
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #9
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Are you talking about on the sim or real helis?
If you are using Phoenix, don't judge it on that because it's not very realistic. Phoenix is ...ok... but doesn't model inertia very well.
If it's a real life heli, than that's probably because of the difference in setups. At "identical" mechanical and radio setup however, a 700 will always be more responsive than a 500.
In laymans' terms, from 500 to 700, there is a weight increase of about 2.5 times, and a blade disc area increase of about 3.5 times. So, alot more disc area, hence alot more lift. Also, alot more tip speed, so ... alot more lift. lol


Basically what I'm trying to say is that a 700 will always be more responsive. It can be deceptive though... because they "float" alot more.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gothicbunny View Post

So what model do you guys suggest? I've been working with a 700 size but even with expo turned up I find it twitchier than a 500. Should I dial back HS to soften it up more?
If it's on the sim, you should always be practicing "just" above your skill envelope. Push it just a little bit every time. Not to the point where you constantly crash, but one small step beyond where you would be comfortable. That's where you learn the most. Find where you are the most comfortable, be it expo, headspeed or throws, and dial it up just a smidge.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #11
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One week of slow pro practice 3 times a day, for 15 minutes each time has paid off big time. Was getting painful towards the end but I have way more confidence now!
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:05 AM   #12
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You ever play music?
It's like learning scales. Holy crap it sucks for awhile, then holy crap! This is easy!

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:35 AM   #13
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I can hover tail in and even left side in and sometimes right side in too.... should I start practicing slow piros now or should I first learn nose in ?
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:52 AM   #14
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Yes. Start practising them on the sim! That shouldn't prevent you practising nose in, too! (especially when you get to nose in while slowly pirouetting - you can always stop there for a second or so).

It is far better for you to be able to get into nose in confidently rather than to learn to swing the tail for 180 and hope for the best. Also, that will increase your skills far more than just nose in.

And, don't forget - do it in both directions!
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #15
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One thing I have noticed is I have more trouble with orientation when its a panic. Any time I need to make a fast adjustment to keep from crashing it usually doesn't end well. So for about the last three weeks I have been working on both orientation and the piros, I can already see an improvement. This is my first summer flying and is to have all the orientations down by the end of summer.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #16
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