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Newbies: Tips and Information Section of HF, specifically for Passing along info to newcomers to the hobby. Setup, tweaking, orientation practice, etc.


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Old 04-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A good place to start

The problem beginners face is, you cannot stop and think while flying!
Once you lift the helicopter off the ground, the helicopter is naturally unstable and requires the pilot to keep telling it where ( not ) to go all the time. These corrections are small stick moments and it takes a bit of flying time to get your head and fingers working, without thinking move thumb. It soon becomes like riding a bike, you just stop falling over and ride but your going to skin your knee the first few times.

Helicopters with a tail rotor


Say you set your new helicopter on the floor set all the trims in the centre and give it throttle. The helicopter goes up and left or slides left on the floor.
You see it, think about it, then it takes time to think move the right stick right.
Then you move the stick a bit. During the time you where seeing it, thinking move stick then move finger the helicopter was off getting into trouble. Your beautiful new helicopter is broken before you even moved the stick.

WHY
The main rotor blades are being driven clockwise by the centre shaft of the motor.
Now for every action there is an equal and apposite reaction so the outer housing of the motor is trying to spin the helicopter the opposite direction. That's OK as long as the helicopter is sitting on the ground.
The friction of the skids on the ground keeps the helicopter from spinning. But as soon as the torque of the motor becomes more than the friction of the skids on the ground the helicopter will spin out of control counter clockwise.

So we put a fan on the back of the helicopter that blows sideways countering the torque and stop the tail from spinning.

Now we can stop the tail from spinning counter clockwise but the sideways fan blows the helicopter left all the time. We have no choice but to tip the helicopter just a little right in order to stop the sideways drift caused by the tail rotor. When in a hover the helicopter must be tipped right all the time or it will drift left. You cannot change this.

When the helicopter is sitting on the ground it cannot tip so just as the helicopter is starting to lift you must add just a little right aileron to stop it being blown left.

This is tricky at first but becomes natural after a few takeoffs. Once up you can trim the helicopter so it does not drift so much but it will still need your constant attention or it will be off getting into trouble again and again.

Take off
The hard part of taking off with a tail rotor helicopter is spooling the helicopter up and just as it begins to lift, you must input a little right aileron to hold the helicopter in place and add power.

This is a delicate operation, not enough aileron and the helicopter drifts left.
To much and you flip over.
This is an acquired skill not hard, but will take a little practice before your doing picture perfect liftoffs! Just lift the left skid a inch off the ground and add power. As soon as the helicopter lifts off release the right aileron and climb!

The Solution

Why 4 Chanel coaxial helicopters make good 1st helicopters.
Coaxial helicopters have 2 motors and 2 sets of blades that spin in opposite directions. They cancel out the torque of each other and we don't need a fan at the back to stop it from spinning.
No fan on the back equals no blowing sideways!
In order to turn the helicopter we slow down one motor just a bit and the torque of the other motor turns the helicopter. Coaxial helicopters also tend not to wander and will correct themselves if you just let the stick centre. New pilots get a chance to think move the stick and learn how to move the helicopter around without the helicopter constantly wanting to take off in a different direction every 2 seconds.

A good place to start
Any good quality 4 Chanel coaxial helicopter would be a great place to start flying.
The Blade MCX2 is a very nice helicopter and will provide new or 1st time helicopter pilots with the necessary motor skills required, before attempting a signal rotor fixed pitch helicopter like the MSR.

This is where the inherent stability of a coaxial comes in. If the trims are centred on the radio when you push the throttle up, the helicopter will rise pretty much straight up. It may spin a bit, just land and trim it out with a little rudder trim. Then take off again, gently move the helicopter forward a little bit with the right stick.

Big stick movements make big helicopter moments.
Don't make big stick moments or corrections you will end up out of control!

After a few flights you should be able to take off, rise straight up and hover.
Turn left, right fly all over the room and land without the helicopter running into things
like lamps and walls. Practice takeoffs and landings fly around the room sideways nose in nose out
fly forward backwards try everything you can think of to challenge yourself and have fun!

This is teaching your eyes, brain and fingers to work together without you having to stop and think about it. Once you are comfortable move the rods from the short balls to the long balls on your swash plate! Now the helicopter will handle a little more aggressively.

Although there are many people that can step into a collective pitch helicopter like the MCPX

Even a 450 or larger CP helicopter at this stage and successfully learn to fly them,
I'm going to suggest against this as most beginners would find themselves at a great disadvantage both in knowledge and experience. This is not about ego!
It's about giving you airtime and time for your eyes brain and fingers to get working together.

An out of control helicopter like a B450 can hurt you or innocent bystanders!



You will need a good Fixed pitch trainer like an MSR or 120SR.

Learning to take off properly and move an MSR or a 120SR around will take practice.
I highly suggest a helicopter you can fly every day in the house or garage.
Take a large peace of cardboard. 1 meter square.
In the centre mark a 12” square box out of green masking tape to set the helicopter in.



Keep the helicopters tail pointed at you at all the times. Tail control is paramount!
I cannot stress this enough! One of the most important things a new helicopter pilot
needs to learn is helicopter orientation. Do not let the nose of the helicopter drift to the side.
Keep the nose of the helicopter pointed straight ahead and the tail pointed at you!

Practice takeoffs and hover tail towards you. Move the helicopter around just a bit.
Tail always towards you. When it drifts away gently move it back over the cardboard.
Don't worry if your hovering around inside a 6' square at first, you will soon be able to hover the helicopter
motionless, Learning this simple skill will take time.
Don't rush it,relax and enjoy flying the helicopter and it will just happen!

A well trimmed helicopter will make all the difference.
If the helicopter constantly wants to drift left. Land and move the aileron trim a click right.
If it wants to go ahead. land and move elevator trim 1 click back.
If it spins trim the rudder the opposite way until it stops spinning.
Keep trimming one click at a time until the helicopter settles down.

Don't forget that the MSR is a high performance indoor helicopter. Hit the gas and it's going past your head like a bullet. Gentle on the throttle stick.

This is a nice helicopter if you go easy, but quickly turns into an unmanageable beast if you start banging the right stick around be gentle!

When the helicopter moves it is not an emergency! Respond with gentle small stick movement and the helicopter will do the same.

Take off Climb to 6 feet hover then move left a few feet slowly stop it and hover.
Move the helicopter back to the right and hover in front of you. Now move it right a few feet and hover. Always tail in. Bring it back in front of you hover power down and land softly.

Once you are comfortable moving the helicopter around a bit. Take off and assume hover.
Now rotate the helicopter from a nose position of 12 o'clock to one o'clock and hold the hover a few seconds then back to 12 o'clock. Then turn the nose left to 11 o'clock position and hold the hover a few seconds. Back to 12 o'clock and move ahead 10 feet hover and back hover. Do this simple exercise for a week before moving on to 10 and 2 o'clock for a week. Then 9 and 3 o'clock.
Take your time and enjoy flying the helicopter.

The most important part of this exercise is your patients and your willingness to practice takeoffs landings and hovering night after night until you can fly the helicopter without thinking about it.

No matter what you do, you will start out every flight taking off, hovering and you will end your flight hovering and landing. You may as well resign yourself to learning how to take off hover and land and do them very well.

After a few weeks practice you will be able to take the helicopter off hover when ever you want.

Fly it forward backward even hover with the nose at 9,10,11, 12 1,2 ,3 o'clock.

Now that you can move the helicopter around. Hover rotate the helicopter sideways and not loose control of it it's time to discuss turns.


Takeoff, hover,slow forward and land practice every day.
Then work on coordinated turns.

Forward flight and turns.
When in a stationary flight, hovering you can simply add rudder and steer the nose of the helicopter where you want it pointed.

While flying forward in order to turn your helicopter you need to do what is called a coordinated turn.

Imagine the helicopter is moving forward away from you.
You want to turn right.

Add a little right aileron and bank right. At the same time you must push the tail around behind the direction of flight with the rudder. Then you must add elevator up to hold the nose or the helicopter will slide down into the ground very quickly!

So it requires a little bank right, lots of rudder to push tail around and up elevator all at the same time to make the helicopter bank and come around to the right.

Left turn.
Bank left push tail around left behind and add up elevator

This is also an acquired skill it is not at all hard but will take practice to make the helicopter do graceful bank turns. Practice! Practice! Practice!

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6ScJhubQA[/ame]
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Last edited by Imzzaudae; 04-28-2012 at 11:18 PM..
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This info and all the other links under newbie are an incredible wealth of information...thank you so much Ron.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default 1 day old and loving it!

Thx! This really helped me as a noobie and gave me a very good idea of where I need to look at!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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+10000 to both comments, very helpful infoand sounds like a great starting route to get the basics.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As always Ron .
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ron from ontario you sir are my heli hero.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ron is one the guys who has helped me the most and keeps me going in this sometimes frustrating hobby, Great job as always!!!
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I love that video about looking at the mast. Focussing on that causes a more relaxed state of flight in my head.. So many things happen so fast it is hard to track. Tamming the nano (in my case) was a first good step. This is the second.

My problem was that I get my nano or msrx it in a nice stable hoover, then move it around a bit but sooner or later I make a fault (or wind effects from furniture etc) and the bird moves fast from it's place. I become better in "catching" it back in control but that results often in a sort of oscillation.like you show in de video. Me correcting to late and to much and after that correcting the correction etc causing the bird to go forward/backward and/or left /right (about a 1 meter displacement)

An other problem is the programming of the dx6i. Not how to do it, thanks to stickys in this forums, but the fact all models need other settings. I'm not yet good enough to make profiles on my own or the effects if I make changes in models. For instance I have learned my self to use the Aile/DR switch on my TX for "standard" in position 1 and "easy" in position zero.

My 200SR-x uses complete other settings, I'm finally used to kill the motor with the throttle switch but on the 200 this switch turns on expert mode and is the way to strip gears.

the Phoenix sim-model is the same story but there things get fuzzy thanks to the gyro thing. The 450 is again an other story with a giro that needs to be in a certain state if I turn power on setc.. So flying I never remember what knobs/mixes etc are needed for the model or about getting into stunt mode, normal mode, idle up mode, fly mode, rate mode , fail save mode, and what ever mode there is.

One day I will know enough to make uniform switch setting between models.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Little update, one way or another I often end up in this topic.

For other newbies how not to do it like I did.

I bought a Niko toy heli many years ago. Never could get it to fly (toy of the year, no giro and single rotor, you could only fly it like a plane.
3 years ago I bought a Protech coax heli (250 size I think) from a hobby shop.That could be used indoors accoiording the shop. That was no succes, also because the shop stopped a few months later leaving me without spares.

Then I went to a real RC shop. My sun a scout after some toy coax things and I bought a MSRx , dx6i and Phoenix sim.

This was 2 years ago, banged it for a few weeks through the room like a rocket out of control. Played with Phoenix but manage to get more crash then fly time there too. Then I more or less stopped. I have flew a glider 20 years ago so I under estimated the difficulty of a toy size heli and did not look for tutorials on you tube or forums.

A month or so ago I started in Phoenix again after I found some Freddy can fly totorials by accident on you tube . Watch eda lot of movies and many hours on Phoenix. Then adjusted the msrx, learne to control it more or less and took it outside. That was not a succes. People are right, a FP, no weight and a little breeze give it topspeed, but not in the wanted direction. And flying it down against the wind is also a rather special experience. For most as it decides to finally come down when it is above water.


So bought a 200SRx for outside. Very nice but stripped a gear very quick and gears in backorder. I wanted to fly and found, a used CopterX 450 with a tun of spares needed some TLC. Big fun rebuilding it, learned a lot about how it works and aligning it. First flights went well. I hovered it and it was fun. A very impressive thing.a sort of flying meat-chopper. The sound of the blades spooling up give me shivers, I like it. But I learned very soon why a 450 is not the best choise. I learned the hard way why you need locktight and distance,I managed to loose the blades and catch one with my leg. This is a typical, do not try this at home. Then after a few good hoover flights I landed it a bit to much on the rear of the trainig gear , it did not look spectaculair but it hopped a 50 cm backwards and I think the tail hit something, bowed up, touched the rotor, it flipped over and in a few seconds I hade two tailbooms, 4 rotor blades, a boomerang shaped flybar, a stripped gear, and a bend mast.The 450 is put on hold and waiting for repair until I realy can fly so I will not be seduced by here before that time.

Then I bought a nano. Small, light, crash resistant and CP. Then you learn that a small CP heli is indeed a horsefly on crack. I found some instructions here how to tame it and had a lot of fun flyiong it outdoor. But indoors was not a succes and I bought it for that purpose.

I then took an other approach. I landed on this topic again and thought, why not, upto now it was fun but a bit expensive with all those crashes. So I decided to staet all over again, no more speed, I now first want ultimate control and learn the basics.

I took the nano, 4 lipos and followed the advise in this topic. I made some room in my living on the carpet, (still only 1x1 meter but for this excersise enough) Sat down on the carpet, the heli in front of me. Programmed a new number in the dx6i according the manual and started to practice., Spool up, get control of the tail (instead of shooting it up in the hope to catch it befor it hit something). Gave a little pich while controlling the tail anf tonly ry to balance it on one skit without moving. After 2 lipos it started to get better and I used some cyclic to lift booth skits and hoover a few centimeter above ground. We have no inches so that was an extra handicap

And the carefull set it down again. It turned out to be great fun. The feeling of being in control is great. After some lipos I manage to do some nice contrilled lifting ups, upto around 50 cm, let it hang there a few seconds without moving around and then gently landing it on the same spot. And this not using the tamed tettings. Because you do it very controlled and without the rush to get it up I noticed that I reacted far much better when i made a mistake. Instead of dropping it with the kill switch I managed more times to set it in a normal way down without a crash. It is a new experience to notice that the heli is gonna be a naughty girl befor she goes out of control and instead of a panic reaction I now see it is wants to shoot left and ust gave a very tiny small correction to stop it befor it is to late and not try to get it away there. And to my supprise it was easy to just land it in a controlled way. Not on the spot I wanted but more important, I got it under control again and was able to land it.

This was great, I will follow this road. thank you very much for your postings. And for other newbies, if you have problems learning to fly, try the methode of the start post in this topic. It is much more fun as you think. It gives you more confidence.

Fred (sorry for the long post, hope this inspires others)
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the good information
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Ron, great info
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Excellent post as always, Ron!
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Imzzaudae,

what are your thoughts on the 200SRX?

I keep coming back to it, and (full disclosure) I'm recommending it to people without ever having flown one.

In theory, it sounds like a great heli for beginners, and something in between the mCX2 and larger tail rotor helis. I would have loved to have one of these when I started out. It's a bit larger so it's possible to fly outside (I fly my 120SR outside all the time), easier to see, it's also not "too big" as to be intimidating to the new pilot. The SAFE electronics give the noob pilot a greater sense of security and safety, yet allow you to expand your skill set with it (can even do loops, apparently!).

It's more expensive than anything else in its size/experience class, but I think it might be worth it. If I were to do it over again, even with it being twice the cost of my 120SR, I likely would have gone that route instead... Maybe still have a coax for goofing off inside, though...
A Real Basic Way To Learn To Fly Your Blade MSR (6 min 19 sec)
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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In theory 200SRX sounds great. I have been been bird dogging in the 200SRX forum for quite some time and am not all that impressed with what I'm reading.

I'm a firm believer in the kiss principal. Keep it simple stupid.
It seems the good folks at Horizon have forgotten this principal.

MCX2 is simple, It's small and very light so it is crash tolerant and it's affordable.
MSR and MSRX are also very good light weight crash tolerant but when you start dealing with even slightly larger helicopters.
CX2, 120SR and 200SRX the mass of the aircraft make them very susceptible to crash damage and this can get expensive for newcomers to the hobby!

Don't get me wrong. I love AS3X technology!
Although I prefer Fly-bar helicopter AS3X makes great helicopters like Nano- BL right up the X line possible.

I actually wrote Horizon 2 weeks ago and asked them to donate a 200 to me so I can do a tutorial but have not heard back from them.

If they send me one, I will surly break it down and do a first class tutorial but in all honestly from what I can see it's turning into a nightmare for Horizon. I figure they will discontinue it pretty quickly.
I cannot see it being around long. Just my 2 cents.
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Last edited by Imzzaudae; 10-22-2014 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imzzaudae View Post
In theory 200SRX sounds great. I have been been bird dogging in the 200SRX forum for quite some time and am not all that impressed with what I'm reading.

I'm a firm believer in the kiss principal. Keep it simple stupid.
It seems the good folks at Horizon have forgotten this principal.

MCX2 is simple, It's small and very light so it is crash tolerant and it's affordable.
MSR and MSRX are also very good light weight crash tolerant but when you start dealing with even slightly larger helicopters.
CX2, 120SR and 200SRX the mass of the aircraft make them very susceptible to crash damage and this can get expensive for newcomers to the hobby!

Don't get me wrong. I love AS3X technology!
Although I prefer Fly-bar helicopter AS3X makes great helicopters like Nano- BL right up the X line possible.

I actually wrote Horizon 2 weeks ago and asked them to donate a 200 to me so I can do a tutorial but have not heard back from them.

If they send me one, I will surly break it down and do a first class tutorial but in all honestly from what I can see it's turning into a nightmare for Horizon. I figure they will discontinue it pretty quickly.
I cannot see it being around long. Just my 2 cents.
Very interesting. Thanks for the incite. I haven't been lurking around the srx forum (didn't notice there was one, actually...) so that's news to me...

I don't think they will discontinue the 200srx based on some complaints from an internet forum, though. Look at the complaints against the Nano CPx, the 450x, 300CFX, (pick a blade product, really) etc... those are still going strong, and there is STRONG criticism over those helis' electronics. Their business model seems to be one of quantity and price points, which has its good side as well as bad...

I also like the KISS principle, but recognize there's a time and place for large leaps in technology that require complicating things to a certain degree. If everyone always held to the KISS principle, we wouldn't have FBL (even though it's physically simpler, the electronics are more complicated), we wouldn't have micros (making things small is hard), we wouldn't have a lot of things. I certainly wouldn't be flying helicopters if the only thing you could get was a $1000 .30 size nitro with balsa blades like back in "the good 'ol days" when I flew planks in the 90's.

That said, I generally don't want to be the first one on the block to buy something that has just been released. I do enough beta testing with proprietary software at work, that I don't need to do that in my personal life, too. I'll wait until whatever widget has been out for a while and (more or less) proven itself before I break out my wallet.

FWIW, though, the only thing I've ever done to my 120SR is replace the tail motor ($5) in about a year and a half. I'm still sporting the original canopy even! While its added weight technically makes it more susceptible to crash damage (compared to the mCX2 or even the Nano CPx for example), it's still (in my experience) VERY resilient to crashes.



Maybe I should have written HH and asked them to send me a 450x for free to "review". Could have saved myself $400...
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Note.
Never did get that 200srx I was hoping horizon would send me. Will keep my eye pealed of a good used one and do a tutorial when I find a helicopter.

All the best
Ron
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