Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beginner RC Helicopter & Quadrocopter

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By Gabriel Staples
Written: 13 Jan 2013
Last updated: 3 Dec 2016
Update History (newest on top):
-3 Dec. 2016, updated dead link to micro heli (now linked to "v911" search results on eBay), and updated links to some other small parts too
-6 Oct. 2013, added links to micro quadrocopters

Related Articles:
For those of you who have tried a 3-Channel micro helicopter or two (ex: virtually any helicopter that you might see at a mall), you are probably ready to try something a little bit better.  Well, don't go out quite yet and spend hundreds on a 6-Channel fully acrobatic collective pitch heli.  Rather, get a nice single-rotor 4-Channel beginner micro heli that can take some abuse while still teaching you more skills.  Once you master a micro 4-Channel heli, then take the step up to a several hundred dollar 6-Channel helicopter, and start flying slowly and carefully as it will be much more difficult still than the 4-channel heli.

So, which one to buy?  Well, I have the HobbyKing FP100 ($29 + shipping) (also see the "v911" eBay links below) (shown to the right), and I love it! It flies very well, gives you those extra skills you need while providing more challenge and capability, and yet is still so light that it is durable and can take quite a few crashes without breaking.  And if you break it? --you can buy spare parts!

How is this different from a 3-Channel Helicopter? 
A 3-Channel helicopter has a left stick which controls throttle, and a right stick which controls pitch and yaw.  There is no roll control, and pitch is extremely limited, since it is done simply via a tiny horizontal propeller near the tail which spins to create lift and slightly raise or lower the tail, thereby providing forward or aft movement.  A 3-Channel heli, therefore, is very limited in control authority, and can rarely go faster than a walking speed.  Another serious limitation is that they usually use infrared transmitters, which have a very short range, and are affected by sunlight.  Therefore, they are usually only indoor helicopters due to their ultra limited control (inability to counter even the slightest wind gusts), and infrared antennas which are susceptible to interference from the sun.  (Note: infrared transmitters are usually identifiable by a small, usually red, plastic cover near their top, instead of an antenna).

So, what is the extra channel on a 4-Channel helicopter?  
A 4-Channel helicopter, on the other hand, is highly maneuverable in comparison

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Mastering the Landing Approach, by Dave Scott

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Model Aviation magazine recently posted this article online, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you, so here is the link.  It is a good article, and many of you may find it useful in helping your landings and approaches.  The author doesn't come at the topic of landing from a completely beginner perspective, however, as it seems more tailored to helping someone improve their basic landing skills rather than develop for the first time any landing skills.  It is by a man named Dave Scott, of RCFlightSchool.com.

Here is just one of the many diagrams from this article:


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Friday, April 5, 2013


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Written:  22 March 2013
Updated: 14 July 2013.
Note: most recent additions are at the top of this article.

I suppose I watch my fair share of videos that I find amazing or inspiring.  I am going to begin to save some of them.  I will save them at this post, so check back from time to time.

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