Product Tips & Tutorials: RC Helicopters
Beginners Tips to Helicopters
Posted by on 08 October 2012 01:14 PM
Here are some quick tips for beginners to RC Helicopters:
  • Always hold your blade grips tightly when you start your helicopter. If the engine starts at a higher rpm than you expect and you don't have a hold of it right away you may not be able to stop it. This can happen if you forget to reconnect the throttle link after maintenance or forget to turn the rx on.
  • If you do start your engine and it is near full power the first thing you want to do is pull the fuel line off the carb, then kill the throttle on the tx. You want to get the RPM's down asap to avoid damaging the clutch liner.
  • If you have a radio with a lot of switches, make it so that when you start your engine all the switches be one direction. For example, when all my switches are flipped back / up and the throttle is all the way down, my helicopter is ready to be started.
  • Always tighten / check the mission critical screws before you fly, especially the ones that control the tail.
  • Be very careful with those damn e-rings, or they may either fly across the room or drop into the heli and disappear for ever.
  • When you crash, inventory your heli and make sure you picked up all the pieces, because they're expensive as hell and you can never buy one part of a set.
  • Tilt the heli back after each flight to let the oil pond out of the muffler base, or it may end up in the seat of your car.
  • Make sure your throttle linkages are secure and set to idle before starting your engine, or it may try and get you!
  • If you have one of those short glow starters, don't forget to take it off after you start the engine. Those things get hot when you try and remove them later, and the battery dies too, so that's your last flight if you forget. I tied a plastic ribbon to mine, so that I could see it hanging down if I forgot. I think I need a bigger ribbon though :-/
  • Those foam blade holders that cost 3.50 aren't just to keep the blades from rotating all over, they preserve the life of those mixing levers connected above the mast, which otherwise get "stretched" out and cause slop
  • Don't forget to put the frequency crystal back into the tx after you've been using it with the CSM Simulator,(since the tx batteries last 10 times longer without the crystal installed) it's a real drag to go to the site and just as you're ready to start-er-up you notice you don't have a crystal in your tx.
  • Secure the Rx's frequency crystal with some tape. It's not unheard of this crystal backing out from vibrations causing loss of control.
  • Speaking of using the CSM simulator: if you use a different flight mode with your tx when playing the sim, don't forget to switch back to the "real-world" model before you try and fly!
  • If you're using the CSM HH gyro (and some others that work the same) you need to turn on the tx before the receiver or the gyro will not activate!
  • If you notice slop in the tail that didn't used to be there, land and find out why it's there now, or you may find yourself practicing a pirouetting autorotation.
  • Read the WHOLE manual, just because it looks done doesn't mean it will keep flying for long.
  • Less lock-tite is more. Don't get the screws all dripping with goo!
  • When the machine shakes very hard, and the blades appear to be balanced, check to see if the clutch shoes didn't snap off, or that the blade grips are not too tight and other things like that.
  • When you have a bearing or something that needs to go into or onto something else, but it won't slide on, consider heating the outside thing and or cooling the inside thing. The cold will make it contract and heat make expand.
  • If you get shakes really bad with training gear on and you're sure your blades are balanced and shafts straight, try chaning the length of the training gear. There are a few things that will affect the resonance frequency of your helicopter: 1)Weight and weight placement 2)Size and lengths 3)RPM 4)Shape. So when in doubt, change one of those variables and see what happens.
  • When you are flying with wind, remember that you'll need more power on the down-wind turn (when the wind becomes with you) because while it may look like you have forward flight, really you are just hovering. Hovering takes a LOT more power than forward flight which benifits from transitional lift, so be prepared for it to sink faster than usual in a turn with no wind.
  • Be sure to read through the "Crash Log" on this web site, it will give you an idea about what kinds of things cause crashes so you can look out and try to avoid doing the same things that others did.

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