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Old 10-30-2010, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default backward flight help?

Hello flight school freaks

Looks like the flying season is wrapping up here in Ohio and this winter the plan is learning backward flight on the sim.

Anyone offer some proper techniques, perhaps a sim video on the proper way for backward flight before I develop some very bad habits?

Much thanks!
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would not start backward flight until you have all hovering orientations down (upright and inverted). Then start with backwards flight. It will "click" after awhile. I am a firm believer that stick time is the only way to get things imprinted in your head.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not "there" on backwards flight myself yet, but I find that if you approach the Sim with a set of "rules" for how you're going to do something, you pick up the basics quickly, but it takes longer to become "natural enough" to confidently do the move. I start with a basic idea of how the maneuver might be done, and I just fly/crash/fly/crash/fly/crash until eventually I don't crash anymore. I avoid "consciously" going through a sequence of motions to accomplish the objective. I want to "feel" how to do the move, and not have to think it through to get it done... you want muscle memory, not brain memory.

Same thing kind of applies to Golf, now that I think about it.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yep. repetition when you have to think about what to do it is already too late. It takes time, just keep doing the same thing over and over until you dont think about it anymore. It does get boring but once you have it you have it and can move on.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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I'm of the opinion that backwards should actually be one of the first things you learn after ff. It's a natural progression. When you get right down to it backwards flight is identical to forward flight. The swashes on our machines are 360 degrees so when you think about it the heli can fly equally well in any direction. Just a matter of which direction pushing the sticks around tilts the swash.

For starts it helps to know that if you are flying backwards your aileron and rudder inputs will be opposite from each other. If you're good at forward flight you'll know that aileron and rudder inputs go in the same direction. I.e. a left turn uses left rudder and left aileron. However when flying backwards you have to get used to the aileron being the opposite direction. A left backward turn will use left rudder and right aileron. Think of it as the aileron and rudder sticks away from each other or towards each other.

Also you'll already be used to pulling back on the elevator to "pull" through a turn. With backwards flight you'll need to push forward to "pull" through turns. The biggest obstacle with backwards flight is usually getting used to the reversed elevator. You'll more than once pull back when you mean to push forward. If you're not careful you'll pull back too much and drive the tail into the ground Just remember push forward to bail out.

Start with the heli hovering nose in and pull back a little to get it moving slowly. Use a little left rudder to steer the tail into the direction and give small right aileron inputs to nudge the heli to the left. Just keep working it until you can get the heli to go around in a complete circle. It will be ugly at first, but just keep at it and keep it slow, controlled, and as deliberate as possible. You'll get the hang of it soon enough.

If you're going to be simming this don't sweat it. Learn at your pace. I wouldn't say there are really many "bad habbits" you can form when learning to fly backwards. Just do what ya gotta do and have fun
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketSled View Post
I avoid "consciously" going through a sequence of motions to accomplish the objective. I want to "feel" how to do the move, and not have to think it through to get it done... you want muscle memory, not brain memory.
I'm the exact opposite, I always start by thinking or talking my way through a maneuver. At least the maneuvers I've learned so far. After a while I no longer need to think/talk it through, I just do it.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the great advice!

Ive been flying figure 8's, stall turns etc all summer, I always take on a new challenge on the sim over the winter.

I've tried backward flight on the sim recently and yeah I can relate to Raza's warning of driving the tail in the ground!
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
 

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I'm the exact opposite, I always start by thinking or talking my way through a maneuver. At least the maneuvers I've learned so far. After a while I no longer need to think/talk it through, I just do it.
+1. I try to wrap my head around just about all maneuvers before trying to just bang them out. This includes playing with and manipulating small models, creating spreadsheets and even writing programs. I'm a true geek in that respect, but I find it just as fun to solve the puzzles as it is to do the flying
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry to join in so late, but I didn't see anyone mentioned slow pirouetting...

I got into backward flying spontaneously while practising slow pirouettes. Actually someone mentioned being comfortable hovering in all orientations - which slow pirouettes teach you.

So, just slowly pirouetting (not faster than 1 rotation in 6seconds or more!) will give you confidence to hover in all orientations. And in, then, you add tiny elevator input (nose up) you'll start going backward and if you continue doing your slow piros - you'll find yourself doing slow backward circuit. CCW are naturally better as while doing CCW piros tail tends to dip and if not properlly corrected you get exactly what you were after - CCW backward circuit. Over correcting CW piro gives you the same effect.

And one more thing that came out of it (slow piros): pie dish (nose or tail in). They ended up being almost natural - while doing slow piros.

HTH
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow...slow piros?
That sounds like a way to get into backward flight,great advice clicky!
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow...slow piros?
That sounds like a way to get into backward flight,great advice clicky!
Glad to share my experience. BTW - they weren't entirely mine idea - I watched Shunut doing his 'warm up' exercises - and piros were one of them. And be warned, it was long time (over a year!) until I was able to do 'normal' piros again. When I started doing slow pirouettes I started being afraid to just slam rudder stick and stop it at appropriate point (usually tail in). If I couldn't control it I just couldn't make myself doing it! Now I can do fairly fast pirouettes and controlling heli all way through them. Also, I developed somehow undesirable habit of controlling the speed of pirouette and slow it down when things are getting "out of sync" (and that might just be consequence of flying mode 1.Eh...)

Now I'm hoping to start learning them in inverted! Last Sunday I almost started them - managed 'closer' part of circle - 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock!

BTW - I've noticed something else as a consequence of it: I didn't have one crash due to orientation problems. Not even when managed to get heli into really strange positions in unsuccessful funnels, for instance...
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Slow piros are one of the most effective orientation aids IMHO. It not only teaches you to fly the helicopter nose-in, side-in etc, it teaches you all the infinite variations between and how to control your model as you pass through them.Try dialling in a few clicks of left or right trim on the sim and get used to hovering and then moving around like that. You can always give extra opposite rudder to bail out.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I certainly will use slow piro's as part of my backward flight sim time while Im snowed in this winter. One thing I've already learned is I need to lighten up on the elevator...I'm using way too much and then spend all my time trying to keep the tail out of the dirt.
I've got 5 months of practice time ahead of me, so I should be ready to impress all my fellow club members next spring!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I was in the same boat as you flying upright figure 8's and race track patterns with a few back flips here and there but never tried to do much beyond that. I made a concentrated effort this fall to learn backwards upright flight. I used two things that got me doing the basics, now I am working on smoothing them out and flying figure eights backwards. I started by turning the sim speed down to 50% in Phoenix and I worked on CCW turns first. Left rudder and down and right cyclic. If I got in trouble I would move the right stick up and left (direct opposite) then back down and right to continue the turn. Was crude at first, but after a few hours of practice over the past few months I am flying them at 100% simulation speed and working on keeping the altitude flat as I go around. CW took some more time to get but I'm getting better each time. Once I can fly a figure eight backwards without thinking about it to much it will be time to try it for real. Try those stick movements I mentioned...It really helped my brain get started on this.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great information cactus, many thanks.
So far my biggest problem is over controlling, especially the elevator. But since being here in Ohio and its already frozen solid, I have months of sim practice ahead of me.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hey TD,
I agree with Raza. Learn backwards before inverting. Why? What happens if you invert, and flip back to non-invert. Then find yourself moving backwards? Can you save it?

My two basic tips that you should try on simulator first are:
1.) pinch and spread the sticks to learn how to bank/turn
2.) watch the tail not the head

I consider backwards flying as a "basic" skill. Not a "stunt" that requires you to hold your breathe and release tons of adrenaline. Once you get it you, it will be a totally reliable helicopter skill. In my 3362 flights with my 500 plus 288 flights with my 450, I have never crashed flying backwards(non-inverted, of course).
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