Remote-controlled (RC) helicopters come in handy for beginners who want to experience the pleasure of hovering a helicopter affordably and harmlessly. With easy maneuvering controls, an RC helicopter allows an aspiring pilot to work on his or her skills without needing outdoor space.
This article explains all the controls available on the remote. Moreover, it includes some information about the working of RC helicopters and some helpful tips needed to become a pro.
Basic Info – How RC Helicopters Fly/Work
The construction of an RC helicopter is very simple and consists of a tail, main body, and rotor blades. This device works on a battery, which moves the rotor and, ultimately, the rotor blades. The fast movement of blades creates high air pressure under the blades and low air pressure above them.
This is where the Bernoulli principle comes in, according to which the high pressure moves the object towards low pressure. As a result, the helicopter gains altitude. In the same way, when you push the throttle backward, the blades experience high pressure on the upper side and decreased pressure on the lower side. Thus, the helicopter descends or lands on the ground, depending on what you want it to do.
Usually, there are three types of RC helicopters: co-axial, fixed pitch, and collective pitch. Co-axial helicopters fly with the help of two rotors in order to cut down the torque effect. Both rotors are situated one over the other, concentrically on the same shaft.
Next, are fixed pitch helicopters that come with tail rotors to control the spinning effect. These have only a single rotor on the head. Both fixed pitch and co-axial helicopters are convenient to handle and hence good for novice pilots.
For advanced-level hobbyists, collective pitch helicopters would be the best. In this type of helicopter, pilots use the pitch of the rotor blades to control the altitude. Entry-level enthusiasts should not opt for a collective pitch helicopter as it can be challenging to navigate it at such an early stage.
Understanding RC Helicopter Controls On Our Helicopters
As the name implies, the movement of RC helicopters depends on the instructions you send through the remote. Each function on the remote holds a crucial purpose that you need to know before playing with your toy. Once you are familiar with all the controls, you will be able to expand your flying area. So, let’s find out how to use the remote.
Once you examine the remote, you will find two joysticks placed at the extreme right and left side and two buttons somewhere in the middle. The leftmost joystick performs two functions and is called a throttle stick. When you push this stick forward, your helicopter will ascend. It will lose height if you move this stick backward (towards yourself).
When you slide the same stick towards the left, it acts as a rudder, and the helicopter responds by rotating in the left direction. On moving it to the right, the craft rotates to the right side.
The stick on the right is the direction stick. By moving it to the right, you can direct the model to move rightward. To go leftward, slide the stick to the left. For forward movement, push the stick forward and pull it towards you to fly the helicopter backward.
Sometimes, the helicopter spins unnecessarily, causing a loss of stability. To prevent the craft from spinning anti-clockwise, press the left trim button. If the helicopter spins clockwise, press the right button. You might have to press these buttons repeatedly in case there’s no change on a single press.
Safety should be the foremost concern of every person new to flying an RC helicopter. If you fly RC helicopters without taking precautionary steps, you may end up injuring yourself or crashing the craft.
Let’s have a look at some important safety hacks that ensure a safe flight session and also help you explore and have fun to the fullest.
- Make sure the area where you are going to fly the model has enough clearance. No trees, furniture, clothing racks should come in the way of a flying helicopter. Choose an uncrowded place so that the unit does not harm anyone. If you are supposed to fly indoors, make sure you fly it in a big lounge or living room.
- The base of the helicopter skids demand a smooth, flat and slippery surface to take off. Keeping this in mind, avoid playing with helicopters on uneven and rough surfaces. Carpeted floors are a big no for RC helicopters.
- Since newbies lack control over the navigation system, there is a high risk of falling and flipping a craft. Thus, we recommend you make the most of training kits to minimize the chances of damage. The components of training kits ensure safe and sound landing too.
Tips for Beginners
Of course, without the right knowledge, you can’t understand the maneuvering techniques of an RC helicopter. However, learning some tips will benefit you a lot if you want to get the hang of flying the helicopter in a short time.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
While making your helicopter ascend, you need to be patient. For that, you must always move the control stick gently. If you push the throttle rapidly, the craft may start to vibrate, making it hard to maintain stability. Similarly, use the throttle slowly while landing the model.
Look for The Battery Status
For uninterrupted sessions, it is essential that the charging is full. A fully charged helicopter will allow you to have fun for a long time. Therefore, always check the battery status before starting the flight.
Select Inexpensive Product
There is no point in buying high-end models when you have zero experience of flying them. As a novice, it would be better to get your hands on an affordable helicopter that encompasses all the basic functions and has a sturdy build. Once you get satisfactory control over a basic RC helicopter, you can switch to an expensive, luxurious RC helicopter. So, consider saving your money at the initial stage and invest it at the right moment.
Check The Weather Conditions
Rain and gusty winds don’t let the aircraft fly smoothly. In other words, these types of climates won’t allow you to accomplish your goal. Fly the craft outdoors once the rain stops and the winds get normal.
Keep The Tail Facing You
The tail of the craft should face you because this orientation will match the directions executed by the remote. Otherwise, your left button will move the model to the right and vice versa.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is the key to success. So, don’t be disheartened if the first session does not meet your expectations. Instead, try again and again until you improve and become confident.
A training kit is a type of gear designed to protect the RC helicopter from hitting obstacles during flight and ensure a crash-free landing. This kit consists of rods, sponge balls, and ties. The material of rods can be fiber, plastic, or wood. These rods are attached to the skids of the helicopter with the help of ties.
Sponge balls are installed at the outward tips of the rods. The balls maintain the balance of the craft and prevent it from flipping over. When something comes in the way of the helicopter, the rods suffer the impact and save the aircraft from damage.
Flying an RC helicopter is not that complicated as it seems to be. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- First, you must check the fitting of the blades. The last session might have loosened the nuts and bolts of the rotor.
- Install the training kit if you want to.
- Put the helicopter on a leveled, slidey surface in such a position that the tail points towards you.
- Then stand or sit at some distance from the craft to observe and judge the movement in a better way.
- Power on the switch to set the helicopter in working mode.
- Gradually, use the throttle and direction keys to rise up and start the flight. Meanwhile, use the trim buttons to get rid of the unwanted spinning of blades.
- For moving down, use the throttle stick and pull it back very slowly.
- Once you’re done, power off the model, remove the kit, and store it safely.
That’s how easy it is to fly RC helicopters. Good luck!