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Old 10-06-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
RĒzĒ
 

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Default How-To: Inverted with Video

I figure there's probably enough interest on this topic to warrant an inverted how-to. So here goes...



Pre-requisites:
You should have fairly good control of the helicopter at this point. Hovering in all orientations, circuits, funnels, backwards flight, loops, rolls, nose in, stationary pirouettes should all be in your repertoire before starting the task of inverted. If you need to work on any of these items come back later as you need a solid foundation of control before layering on yet another set of complicated orientations....

That being said, welcome to Inverted 101

You should at least be comfortable with a little "inverted" by now if you can do loops and rolls. You know at least how to give a little negative pitch when inverted to keep the heli from crashing to the ground.

Learning process
There really isn't a lot to "teach" about inverted but I will give you a bunch of pointers that will make the learning process (maybe) a little easier for you. Also you should know that taking 6 months or more to even start to get comfortable at inverted is actually fast learning. If you work hard 6 months is a very attainable goal, but expect up to a year or more if you are not actively practicing on a regular basis.

What I'm trying to say you're only enemy with learning inverted is time. Even using a sim diligently you will need to put a lot of time and effort into learning well controlled inverted hovering. Learning forward or backward flight is an even bigger step (IMHO) so relax and work at your own pace. It will not come quickly, but you will get out of it what you put into it.

Simming
First off, if you don't have a sim by now, get one. Sorry but the fact is sims are a very effective learning tool, that saves a lot of time and money. What sim to use is up to you. See the 1000 different threads here on helifreak on that topic, but whatever floats your boat is what I say. Flight time is flight time especially when just practicing orientations. All the sims (even the really bad ones) all work the same. Move stick left heli leans left. Good enuf, but I digress... Get a sim and use it.

If you refuse to get one, or can't use one that's ok, but expect the learning process to take a bit longer. You will need to practice everything with your real setup which means a lot less stick time (sims can be used 24/7 in any weather), plus you will likely crash a cpl times. But don't fret, just keep it high and keep at it.

Most sims have some kind of inverted practice trainer game. They are ok, but I don't recommend getting too attached to it. Just get in the air in an idle up mode and flip her over and work on stability.

Flip it
Flip or roll to inverted however is comfortable for you. Personally I like to backflip to an inverted nose-in orientation, but you do run the risk of using too much positive pitch and flying the heli over your head so keep the heli a good distance from you if you prefer backflips. When you do your flip start with a little positive to get the inertia of the heli moving upwards. As you roll quickly transition the collective to mid stick/zero pitch and as you finish the flip end with a tad below mid-stick amount of negative pitch. You really do not need a lot of negative pitch for hovering (no more than positive pitch for upright hovering) but it will take a bit of practice to find that sweet spot.

Reversed Controls
When you are inverted a few of the controls will get "reversed" from what you are used to when hovering upright. I'll list them and then I'll list some tips on overcoming the changes.

1. Rudder - If you normally "fly the nose" when you are hovering upright, then you are used to using for example left rudder, and whatever part of the heli is furthest away from you points to the left. So if the heli is tail in, then the nose (furthest away) points to the left. This will be reversed when inverted.
2. Elevator - Normally you pull back to make the nose go up. Now pulling back will make the nose go down.
3. Collective - Down is up and up is down Don't ever get this one mixed up hehe.

Notice I didn't mention ailerons. Aileron controls are not affected by being inverted. If you are inverted tail in then giving right aileron will roll the heli to the right. How convienient!!! One less thing to worry about

Rudder:
To overcome the rudder being reversed look at what part of the heli is closest to you. So if the heli is nose in look at the nose. If you want that nose to point to the left, then give some left rudder. If the heli is tail in then left will make the tail go left. Point being is the part if the heli that is closest to you will move in the direction of the rudder you use. In normal upright flight this would be called "flying the tail" which some people do. When those people go inverted they have to switch to flying the nose.

Elevator:
To overcome the elevator reverse, I always just pictured the tail as just being the nose. Forget about the actual nose, it's useless, look at the tail. Pull back and the tail goes up. Push forward and it goes down. Hey that's just like the nose when upright hovering!! Point... The tail is the new nose. Don't forget that and the elevator will be a snap to get used to.

Side note: Because the inverted tail acts like the upright nose, I always found inverted tail forward flight much easier than nose forward flight. Pull back and heli go up. Push forward heli go down. It's just less confusing.

Collective:
Not too much to say about collective. It will just take time to get used to the stick being below center when inverted. Normally when upright UP is your friend to bail out and fly higher in the air. Now DOWN stick will be your bail out direction. Get that wrong and you'll have a weekend of wrenching to look forward to

Practice Practice Practice
Well as I said you will need to practice a LOT. Keep at it and slowly but surely comfort and control will come.

Pirouetting while hovering:
This will probably be one of the hardest skills you will have ever learned in your life (not really joking here ) I've learned a lot of different skills in my life, but this without a doubt ranks up at the top of the difficulty meter. Hovering inverted is hard enough, but now do it while the heli is spinning around... Yeah, you get the idea. However this is an essential skill that you will simply need to put hours of practice into. Work on piroing in both directions, but it's ok if you get a little better at one direction than the other, just make sure at least to work on both. Also, keep them very slow. About one revolution every 10 or so seconds at most. As you get better you can speed them up, but when you are starting keeping them slow will teach you a lot more (I.E. it's harder).

Although this is extremely hard to do (and also very frustrating at times) there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the more you practice the easier it will get. Eventually you'll forget why it was hard and it will actually be easy and natural to do. Just put in the time and you'll get there.

Forward and Backward Flight
Actually flying forward or backward while inverted is a whole 'nother animal. You will need months to get used to hovering alone, and I honestly do not suggest practicing forward inverted flying until you are very much in control of hovering and stationary piros first. The better you are at piroing in place, the less likely you will find yourself in a confusing dumb thumb situation later when you are flying around.

If you have an airplane background (and could fly well inverted) that will certainly help learn heli nose forward inverted as it's nearly identical. But hold off for a while and get the control down first.

I recommend starting with a controlled hover in front of you then slowly use a little rudder and use the cyclic to follow the heli around in a circle as the heli piros round. This is why learning to hover a slow piro is so critical. Once you can piro in place forward or backward flight will be a piece of cake.

Coordinations:
In a different How-To I talk about what I call "coordinations", that being how the rudder and aileron sticks work together when forward or backwards flying. As I mentioned in that post inverted flying will have the opposite coordination than upright flying. When flying nose forward rudder and aileron will be uncoordinated (opposite directions) and tail forward flying will be coordinated (same direction). Try to keep that in mind when starting out and it may help you in a moment of "what do I do!" and remove some of the early learning dumb thumbs.

----

Well there's a lot of text here. More than I anticipated writing when I started, but it's useful stuff. Mostly what I went though when learning. The end goal while far away is not so impossible to attain, just keep working at it, and keep it fun.

Good luck, and keep practicing!
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:50 AM   #2
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Thanks for this post! Your step-by-step approach makes a lot of sense!

Am working on my inverted orientations, and I find that piro hovering on the sim is too easy. So I started flying slow piro circles around myself, which requires constant cyclic correction.

Upright I can do this ok, but inverted, it's showing all my orientation weaknesses.
Very challenging!
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for taking the time to help people out. Just this week i started practicing inverted hover on my sim. I will be using all of your great tips. Thanks again
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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Jeez man do you have to make it look so damn easy?
Nice vid. I'm still far from trying this but I know where to go when I'm ready.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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While I know everyone is going to be able to do different things at different times, I seriously disagree with some of the so-called "prerequisites" here. First of all, who's to decide what everyone else MUST know before they try something new? I can do FF and hover in any oriention while inverted just fine after only 8 weeks with my first CP heli without having even tried backwards flight or stationary pirouettes outside of a simulator. In other words, no, you are not required to know those things before you try going inverted. Those skills may come in handy, sure, but they hardly qualify as arbitrary "prerequisites" that should be imposed on anyone learning to fly. IMO, backwards flight is a far more advanced discipline than inverted FF or hovering anyway.

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Old 06-20-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Man Wiggins View Post
... I seriously disagree with some of the so-called "prerequisites" here. First of all, who's to decide what everyone else MUST know before they try something new? ...
Ease up, amigo. Nobody is imposing anything, and it is not written that you "have to" do the prerequisites. I don't know of any word in English for "pre-suggestives" though.

FWIW, you can spend a lot of time messing around trying to learn a skill if you don't have the "prerequisities". But it is ENTIRELY up to you how you spend your time!!

If you can hover in any orientation as you say, then piro hovering should be a snap - just turn the heli around while you hover in each new orientation! You appear to be learning this hobby a lot faster than I am -- more power to you!
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Well with 8 weeks of CP heli wizdom like that, I will be taking my internet learning elsewhere. Just kidding.
Keep up the great work RaZa.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Man Wiggins View Post
While I know everyone is going to be able to do different things at different times, I seriously disagree with some of the so-called "prerequisites" here. First of all, who's to decide what everyone else MUST know before they try something new? I can do FF and hover in any oriention while inverted just fine after only 8 weeks with my first CP heli without having even tried backwards flight or stationary pirouettes outside of a simulator. In other words, no, you are not required to know those things before you try going inverted. Those skills may come in handy, sure, but they hardly qualify as arbitrary "prerequisites" that should be imposed on anyone learning to fly. IMO, backwards flight is a far more advanced discipline than inverted FF or hovering anyway.

- OMW -
My only reasoning for mentioning pre-requisites is I personally do not like to crash, or like the idea of people crashing trying to learn a maneuvar I am trying to teach. This is why, in this particular case, I encourage people to learn everything they can about upright flight before trying inverted flight. Upright is supposed to be our "bailout" orientation. If there are aspects of your upright flying that are weak, then you are more likely to crash should you ever find yourself accidentally in that orientation. Doesn't mean it's not possible, just means you may crash more often. If this does not bother you then by all means. I will still sleep well at night...

Oh and before you respond with an "I've never crashed" (I've read your other posts here) you are an individual case. As you've said yourself not everyone learns at the same rate or will have the same natural abilities. And while yes you may have never crashed (and may never will) you do set yourself up more for one by skipping orientations you should already be familiar with.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RĒzĒ View Post
My only reasoning for mentioning pre-requisites is I personally do not like to crash, or like the idea of people crashing trying to learn a maneuvar I am trying to teach. This is why, in this particular case, I encourage people to learn everything they can about upright flight before trying inverted flight. Upright is supposed to be our "bailout" orientation. If there are aspects of your upright flying that are weak, then you are more likely to crash should you ever find yourself accidentally in that orientation. Doesn't mean it's not possible, just means you may crash more often. If this does not bother you then by all means. I will still sleep well at night...

Oh and before you respond with an "I've never crashed" (I've read your other posts here) you are an individual case. As you've said yourself not everyone learns at the same rate or will have the same natural abilities. And while yes you may have never crashed (and may never will) you do set yourself up more for one by skipping orientations you should already be familiar with.
Fair enough, but perhaps that's why I included the note that I've not tried backwards flight or stationary pirouettes "outside of a simulator". I do practice those things... well, the backwards flight anyway, on a regular basis in the sim, although I've not reached a point where I feel that I can do it with my real heli yet and for the very reason you mentioned... I don't like to crash. And no, I haven't, yet... (knocks on wood) ... but I know I will someday. (Probably the first time I try backwards flight, actually.)

Edit: I should say that I have flown backwards to some degree... like a short straight distance, or after coming out out of an inverted hover tail first, but not in continuous circuits or figure 8's.

I practice stationary pirouettes only a little because I consider them to be more of a stunt than a discipline, like funnels or piro-flips, because you can still learn to control the heli with confidence in any orientation, upright or inverted, and even practice plenty of bailout scenarios without learning to pirouette in place. (Actually, I would say that stationary pirouettes are very good for someone who's trying to master piro-flips.)

I never try anything new without first envisioning and practicing a bailout method in the simulator repeatedly. I know plenty of pilots who can fly some mean 3D moves and can fly inverted practically with one hand, but even they admit that their stationary pirouettes need work. Heck, I know a couple of 3D flyers who get rattled when trying to hover nose-in, upright! (Yeah, seriously. Obviously, they did skip some things they shouldn't have...)

Instead of stationary pirouettes and backwards flight, I would say that flips, or at least loops (nice, controlled, slow-ish ones, with perhaps a slight pause at the top) and rolls are a more beneficial precursor to inverted hovering. Learning the dynamics and stick inputs of those moves really helped me to get my bailout routines in place for practicing inverted hovering and FF, and seeing my heli upside down, even for only brief moments, allowed me to "ease into" the inverted stuff later without feeling too freaked out. That and countless hours of sim time. Although I can fly and hover inverted, I still have many hours of practice to ahead of me in order to hone those skills.

- OMW -
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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yeah I'd have to say I'm guilty of the same. Need to take my own advice sort of thing. If you have the ability and confidence I say go for whatever you can (or think you can) do. Of course I always recommend hashing it out completely in the sim first. I was doing inverted within my second month of flying. Wrote my first piro flip howto within 6 months. I tend to rush things a bit myself.

I have always seen value in learning all the basics though. Not much I've skipped. I've spent countless hours perfecting and smoothing out even the most basic of forward and backwards flight (thank you trex 500) In fact I'm doing so again with all right rudder since I have mostly ignored the other rudder direction up till now (thanks again trex 500 you've served me well )

Btw I don't see stationary piros the same way as most people. I see them as extremely tight circuits. The value in doing stationary piro very well is that it will make your larger circuits much more controlled and smooth.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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Rudder:
To overcome the rudder being reversed look at what part of the heli is closest to you. So if the heli is nose in look at the nose. If you want that nose to point to the left, then give some left rudder. If the heli is tail in then left will make the tail go left. Point being is the part if the heli that is closest to you will move in the direction of the rudder you use. In normal upright flight this would be called "flying the tail" which some people do. When those people go inverted they have to switch to flying the nose.


Thanks... the video and write up was really helpful...

especially your explination of controling the rudder! It seemed to click with me!


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Old 02-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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Default How-To: Inverted with Video

Thanks RZ for making the effort and taking the time to compile and publish those valuable tips.
People shall appreciate your contribution and understand that everyone is different and some methods of learning works for some people and not for others; but I see no reason for anyone criticizing your advice.
I hope to see more of your postings.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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Great guide, thanks for creating it. I'm still getting down all of the normal orientations, but got brave and attempted my first roll the other weekend. Spending time learning the nose in hover has really made FF flight so much easier, that it made me wonder why I skipped that step in the beginning.

Do you think it would make sense to try inverted flight at higher elevation first after mastering in the sim?
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarter76 View Post
Do you think it would make sense to try inverted flight at higher elevation first after mastering in the sim?
Rule of thumb. Fly 3 mistakes high. With inverted, for most this is at least 6-9 meters (18-27 feet) up. (A dumb thumb and you can still travel this in what seems a heartbeat as you have both gravity and collective working against you).
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:10 AM   #15
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ttt
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:16 PM   #16
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Thanks so much for your post! Very I formative and helpful

Aren't funnels a fairly advanced 3D move? I have pretty much have all of the orientations you mentioned down pretty good. I realize the moves you stated are suggestions only and very good ones at that

Haven't really tried funnels yet. They do look pretty complicated. In your opinion would you say that funnels are "easier" to master than inverted?

Thanks again for the post!

S
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:31 PM   #17
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...
Haven't really tried funnels yet. They do look pretty complicated. In your opinion would you say that funnels are "easier" to master than inverted?
...
Circles are also hard. Just depends on your order of learning.

If you are comfortable with upright circles, the nose-in funnels will be easier than inverted hovering.

If you are comfortable with upright backward circles, then tail-down funnels will be easier than inverted hovering.

I learned inverted hovering before circles and funnels so I could learn them all at the same time (CW/CCW, upright/inverted, forwards/backwards/sideways). Once inverted is as "normal" as upright, then inverted travelling flying is as normal and upright travelling flying (well, almost).
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:09 PM   #18
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Sweet thanks so much for the response...

S
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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If you are only practicing that which you are comfortable with, due to some consideration, and this is keeping you unscaved in the "crash" world, you're really not practicing. When learning to walk does a baby not fall? I've experienced the fear factor in real time, but if your not crashing on the sim your not expanding your horizon!
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:09 AM   #20
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If you are only practicing that which you are comfortable with, due to some consideration, and this is keeping you unscaved in the "crash" world, you're really not practicing. When learning to walk does a baby not fall? I've experienced the fear factor in real time, but if your not crashing on the sim your not expanding your horizon!
Yes and no.

If you are not pushing yourself in the sim to try what is uncomfortable (or at an enhanced precision level), then generally you are not progressing.

I crash in the sim usually 10 or more times a session. This is with "bailout" button than emulates the BD3SX. On moves I can do (like 8's, funnel 8s, general flying), I often reset (usually from trying too low and flown bailout reaction too slow). When practising advanced stuff in the hover circle (leave the circle you crash), is most of my crashes. Advanced stuff like piro-flips and fast piros (upright and inverted).

Try treat the sim as real. Get annoyed at a crash. But do not let it stop your attempts at new stuff. I get annoyed when I crash in the sim. 0 crashes on the X5 in 10 flights so far is testament to this. (Including flying in gusty wind and flipping at least once on each flight). I know I will crash the X5 eventually. When it happens, hopefully I will learn from the incident, fix the X5 and fly on. (that's the plan).
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