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Old Feb 07, 2016, 07:23 PM
macr0t0r is offline
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Engineers should not do RC helicopters: the nomenclature is all wrong!

Okay, I know this subject has been done a couple times, but is there a movement I can join to fix all of the bad nomenclature in RC helicopters? I had always thought that using outdated or airplane-specific terms was just a short-term error, but it looks like we have no intention of correcting things!

Let's start with the basics: there are no aileron, elevator, or rudder control surfaces on a helicopter. We all know they are not airplanes. Helicopters have cyclic pitch, roll, collective, and yaw control. Let's call them what they are.

The last rate sensor that I ever used that had a "gyro" (a spinning wheel) was my ancient Futaba GY240. They were rate sensors then, and they are rate sensors now. Gyros are used to induce roll movements in spacecraft. We aerospace engineers look at you funny when you talk about gyros on your helis/quads.

A "flybarless" unit? This is my favorite contrived term of the RC community. We call that a Fly-By-Wire system (FBW), although some still use Digital Flight Control System . You can be forgiven for using "Electronic Stability System", but that usually refers to anti-skid systems.

Riiiiight, because I also enjoy driving my RC horseless carriage with my wireless control-line box. In the recent decade, I now only use gas-less engines. I've also been getting into flying wing-less, tailrotor-less quad-helicopters.

And now...apparently we all fly DRONES! At least that one wasn't (mostly) our fault. But, jeez, the manufacturers have done a thankless job of getting our newest additions to start using that term. It's fun hearing my 12-year-old son correct these guys, but his dad knows what I drone is! (I use to work on R-Max 50 "drones" at NASA).

RC, Pitch, Roll, Collective, Yaw, Rate sensors, and Fly-by-wire(FBW). Is there a movement I can join to correct the manufacturers, tutorials, wikis, etc? As an engineer, these bizarre RC terms just grind at my nervous system. It was another of my favorite features of my Taranis: I could at least re-name all of the inputs to the correct terminology!
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Old Feb 08, 2016, 10:05 PM
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Obviously you're bored, but if you want to get technical, you've got your technicalities wrong.

1) The devices we use are indeed called "gyroscopes" by their manufacturers even if they don't have spinning wheels.

http://www.analog.com/en/products/me...yroscopes.html

2) Fly By Wire distinguishes controls mediated by electrical or electronic controls and electromechanical actuators as opposed to more direct mechanical or hydraulic control. All R/C helis are "fly by wire" in that sense, although they're really "fly-by-wireless". A full-scale fly-by-wire system can incorporate electronic stabilization, but that's not what makes it fly-by-wire.

3) The name "drone" is a play on the name of the de Havilland Queen Bee, a radio-controlled (but full-scale) version of the de Havilland Tiger Moth. Early ones were mostly used as gunnery targets (hence "target drone"). The term can refer to any unmanned aircraft.
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Old Feb 08, 2016, 11:28 PM
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Ah yes, I was certainly bored and a bit annoyed. However, I stand by my "technicalities."

1) Gyroscopes are clearly defined: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...lish/gyroscope

I suppose at Lockheed, we've forcibly made the distinction in Space Systems because "gyros" represent either a torque-control system or the really old rate sensors (it better be spinning if you call it a gyro). Mixing the terms can cause some real headaches in software and documentation, so the hammer is laid down.

However, it does seem various companies still use the term "gyro" interchangeable with "rate sensor," often even within the same document:
http://www.moog-crossbow.com/Literat...te_Sensors.pdf

2) I think your definition of Fly-By-Wire as applied to RC is a bit of a technicality, but I have no defense (at least none that wouldn't be either boring or obnoxious). Nonetheless, can we at least agree that Flybarless Unit is a term that was invented and adopted strictly in the RC realm? We never used that term in full-scale. What do the quad-pilots call the little box?

3) Any unmanned aircraft? (ugh) If you are piloting it, it is either RC or a UAS/UAV. Drone means a computer pilot, unless you are news reporter generating click-bait. But I fear AMA, FAA, and the DoD have lost that fight.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/drone
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...-drone-anyway/

Anyhow, it's out of my system, and this thread can now fall into obscurity. Thanks for your time!

- Jim
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Old Feb 25, 2016, 09:28 PM
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Totally agree on the control axis names, but there's no point in fighting it. Same goes for "1S lipo batteries"... and dialing telephones, and filming a digital video.

I never did understand where the term "flybar" came from in the first place. Nevertheless, if the control system is designed specifically for a helicopter without a flybar, I feel like "flybarless controller" is an appropriate enough term. The multicopter guys use basically the same things but call them "flight controllers" which is pretty hard to argue with and could be applied just as easily to the device on a flybarless helicopter.
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