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Old Mar 28, 2002, 10:15 AM
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Donald Duck's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Joined Mar 2002
229 Posts
FMA Co-Pilot for fixed wing models

Has anyone used the FMA Co-Pilot for fixed wing models? Comments? I just finished a Sig LT-25 and am wondering about the Co-Pilot as "insurance" for a non-expert pilot.
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 11:45 AM
R-C-A-V-8-R
adam_jorgensen's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined Dec 1998
349 Posts
2 questios about the FMA co-pilot

Im putting them here because the order I put them in my last post is all skrewd up.

Do you think the FMA direct co-pilot would be a better investment than buying a bunch of spare parts? I would almost think so because your not even going to crash with the FMA, so you woulden't even need any spare parts because your not even going to crash. I'm about to order my hornet, so I need to make a decision weather or not I should get all the spare parts I was planning on getting, or just put the money towards the FMA co-pilot. The cost of all the spare parts I was planning on getting is almost half the cost of the FMA co-pilot. And I would probably be getting more spare parts later on because of crashes. With the FMA, I wouldent have to worry about spares any more. It would save me more money in the long run. But is this a better investment? Does the FMA co-pilot really save you from every crash so that you don't need any spare parts? Is it a reliable enough system to not use any spare parts? What should I do?

Also, the FMA co-pilot dosen't interfere with the controls at all does it? What I mean is say your trying to pratice hovering and the whole time your not the one really doing the hovering because the FMA co-pilot is doing it for you. Also, what if all the time when your flying, the FMA co-pilot tries to put you back to a hover?
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 12:09 PM
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gliderdude's Avatar
Buena Park Ca
Joined Jul 2001
341 Posts
I have not used one or know anyone that has ,but my thought is what will you learn if you are not really flying it,I say get the parts and training gear and Practice,Practice,Practice,....
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 12:22 PM
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Millarville,Alberta,Canada
Joined Jun 2000
544 Posts
The extra weight might be to good for a Hornet using a Co-Pilot. I don't think it going to save your heli if its first time up. First you need to trim it and get all bugs out before putting in the Co-Pilot(if you do) You can turn it off if you have a spare RX channel(more weight).Also Co-Pilot need to be outdoors only and 100' of free space to work right.In a Hornet more geared for indoors.I would go with spare parts first. You can fly with a Co-Pilot and in theory if you let go on controls it puts itself into a Hover. Going to test my out this weekend I hope!

Wayne
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 01:06 PM
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adam_jorgensen's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Joined Dec 1998
349 Posts
I was the next one after wayne who put a message here just not to confuse anyone because the order of messages are all skrewed up.

I have a 5 channel radio. The 5th channel is just a digital on and off switch channel designed for things like landing gear. Can this channel work for turing on or off the co-pilot?

Also, it says that it has to have a clear direction of the horizon to work properly. Does that mean if there were hills and trees near by, it woulden work? You have to pratice in a flat bare field all the time to use it?
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 01:38 PM
Registered User
Millarville,Alberta,Canada
Joined Jun 2000
544 Posts
Yes the 5 th channel you can turn it off/on using your landing gear switch. Hills and trees I don't really know yet, will take to my cabin and test out one day. I think it depends on how close they are at takeoff. And when you are higher up it gets a better or clearer view in all directions.On takeoff if you get >3 ticks on calibration it should be okay. On a plane I think the Co-pilot will work better.

Wayne
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 04:16 PM
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Fred Bronk's Avatar
In Heli Wonderland
Joined Aug 1999
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The FMA copilot uses horizon oriontation for holding the heli level. IT DOES NOT KEEP IT IN THE AIR, NOR CONTROL THE TAILROTOR.

It would be very heavy for a micro, and is really for outdoors, witha horizon.

The Futaba auto pilot uses ground sensors but is also very big for a micro heli.

The best thing for a beginner is a SIM, hands down. You will need spare parts no matter what. Just a fact with helis!
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Old Mar 28, 2002, 07:36 PM
Making Cuisinarts Fly!!!!
Richardson, Texas
Joined Dec 2001
298 Posts
I run the co pilot on a corona and it has helped me a lot.

I would not think that the hornet is up to hauling the co pilot around. You would need to get a bigger heli and a co pilot or a flight sim and learn to fly.

The comment was made that if you fly with the co pilot you really are not flying the heli. This is not true. It will help you concentrated on what is happening. It will not hold it in one place. It will, however, hold it level. It will rise and fall as the wind blows and the tail will creep if you let it.

What it will do is tame a non trimmed heli out. How many times have you heard of a new heli that was trimmed out of the box. Most new e heli pilots are doing this on their own. This helps a new piot have a good experience and keep them in the hobby at the most important time, right after they have shelled out big money for a heli. Most of us saved enough to buy the damn thing, not to buy two ( one for parts and one to fly ).

Stepping off soap box now......

PS. The instructions say minimum of 100 ft from trees.
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