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Old Apr 01, 2014, 12:32 PM
Trex 150 - Trex 450L Dominator
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United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Feb 2014
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Hovering skills - How long for you?

I got my first FBL Micro Heli a few weeks ago and am just getting tail-in hovering to be second nature. How long did it take you to get all directions of hovering to be under control without thinking about it?
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 12:43 PM
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with the v911 (fixed pitch flybar'd heli)i had it ok but with flybarless heli's i took a step backward's ,from what i'm told that's normal , i'm still to polish nose in after 4 months but it's not been getting my full attention , plus i'm told it's harder when you'r older and i'm in my 40's.there a a few good guides on learning orientation , start with tail in ,then tail in slow squares ,then tail in figure 8's ,then left side in ,right side in etc etc until it feels natural .i'm getting moments of natural flight ,i find it helpful to have a large practice area to take the next step until i have it ,thing's can go pear shaped faster in a confined space .
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 12:50 PM
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If you got a lot of time on your hands, probably not long. After 2 years, I still have trouble with nose in but I've kind of avoided it. I'm so used to planes that I got lazy with the heli's. As long as I'm moving, I'm good. Anything involving a stop and hover nose in, it's pretty much crash time for me.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 01:01 PM
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I was exactly like that( didn't like hovering nose in),then I bought a quad and practiced nose in and flying towards myself till it clicked.Quads can be self stabilized and not as scary as learning with heli blades spinning near you and crashes are simple to repair.Took about two weeks and now I can fly my heli's with much more confidence!Kinda turned into a quad guy though!
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 01:07 PM
Trex 150 - Trex 450L Dominator
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United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadio View Post
with the v911 (fixed pitch flybar'd heli)i had it ok but with flybarless heli's i took a step backward's ,from what i'm told that's normal , i'm still to polish nose in after 4 months but it's not been getting my full attention , plus i'm told it's harder when you'r older and i'm in my 40's.there a a few good guides on learning orientation , start with tail in ,then tail in slow squares ,then tail in figure 8's ,then left side in ,right side in etc etc until it feels natural .i'm getting moments of natural flight ,i find it helpful to have a large practice area to take the next step until i have it ,thing's can go pear shaped faster in a confined space .
yea, I went the same route with the v911.. the FBL definitely takes more skill LOL.. I was just curious how long for other guys. I fly every day and I am seeing progress. and I'm an old guy too! and I definitely know it takes longer to learn new things and develop new neural pathways at my age.. (57) but I"m determined!
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 01:12 PM
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I suggest the Blade Nano Qx quad and some orientation exercises I have as the best way to learn... especially if you are older. How long it takes to develop hovering skills is really a matter of how smart you are about how you go about it.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Get a quad with blade guards and you can bump into things without damage.Im 55 so I know it takes abit longer at our age.I did learn to fly the hard and expensive way with fragile heli's .Crash ,repair,repeat!If I could do it again I would take the quad route for learning the routine stuff.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Quads would be best bet. FBL f/p/ FBL c/p's have pretty good headspeed. C/p's even more so and flying nose in hover not all that wise. Even that little micro 100 size / c/p can cut pretty good. We had a local heli flyer flying nose in messing with his girlfriend. Took his eyes off 450 heli and flew it into himself. Lucky close to Hospital, he might not have made it. That day cost him alot.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 02:58 PM
Trex 150 - Trex 450L Dominator
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I'm finding the HFP80 to be perfect for indoor practice! LOVE this little guy!
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 03:05 PM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
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Originally Posted by FliHi View Post
I'm finding the HFP80 to be perfect for indoor practice! LOVE this little guy!
Then you aren't as old as you think!
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 09:18 PM
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United States, CA, Monterey
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I took like 2 weeks continuous practice before I got it. I realized I had to keep my practice sessions as close together as possible for best effect. If I had a long break, I'd lose progress.

Learning to fly heli is like learning to ride a bicycle. Some of my friends took a few days while some till today still can't ride a bicycle.
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 09:49 PM
Trex 150 - Trex 450L Dominator
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Having the HFP80 is helping a lot, mostly because I really love flying it!
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 10:33 PM
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Patience is key, you'll get hang of it soon enough something that helped me was, (for instance I'll use nose in hovering) instead of thinking of the controls as being reversed, I tell myself it's not the controls it's just the heli facing towards me so if I press forward it's the heli moving forward not backwards. I also try to visualize as if my transmitter is rotating with the heli if this makes sense. For me it was easier to learn my side orientations before nose in. Everyone's got there methods I guess so just my advice
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Learning to fly a heli means to grow some new nervous system connections and automatic reflexes in a humans brain. That's why it is difficult and that's why it takes time and patience. Young people learn faster, but luckily a human can always learn, it just takes more time when you are older.

Btw: hovering is actually quite difficult, if you want keep it precise. It's relieving to notice that you can make rolls and loops and flips etc. even if you can't keep heli hovering on a dime. It is like parking a car, you have to master it, but who cares if the car is half inch yawed in the parking slot. The real thing is that you have to be able to rescue your heli safely to ground from any orientation and position from surrounding 3D sky.

I was stuck with basic hovering and only very careful sky flying attemps with very slow progress for two years. Then I started to seek after some way to really learn.
There are certainly many good training programs but I've been following this simulator training course "From tail-in to all 8s and funnels in 6 months" http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=531380 for about 4 months now. It is not for everyone, but I have managed to keep practicing regularly, and I'm about to finish lesson 5a (still kinda hovering practice); 8 point piros upward and inverted cause no pain anymore. There are about 80 hours total time of simulator training behind now. I'm 58, so there is age factor involved. But hey, I don't care if I'm flying upwards or inverted anymore And I can do it with my real helis too

There are a few rules I have found useful:
- nothing beats a good simulator when learning new things that need muscle memory.
- keep practicing every day (nervous system adapts with every rest every night)
- separate work (training with program) and fun flying, work comes first. 15min a day is enough though.
- log practice results, you may think you a not developing, but you are (put results in a spreadsheet program, you'll see)
- keep difficulty level right (not too difficult, brains explode, too easy, you don't learn)
- concentrate on what is difficult for you (like for me it was/is hovering 300...330 degrees nose in, I still use extra time torturing myself and keeping heli on that position. )
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Old Apr 02, 2014, 07:40 AM
Never let it down
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France, RA, Lyon
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My method for nose in hovering is to think I am IN the heli, and to anticipate (always always always) where I want to go then. So that left and right are less difficult to find. Anticipation is the key I think : if you travel without thinking of a flight path before going, crash is on your way (it's also true for real planes or heli ...).
I also have a HFP80, a real fun flyer especially outdoor
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