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Old Oct 23, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Las Vegas
Joined May 2007
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Collective vs. fixed-pitch for first helicopter

I have been flying an indoor coaxial helicopter for a bit. I want to begin the transition to actual outdoor RC flying. It seems that the prevailing opinion is to transition to a fixed-pitch first and then on to collective pitch.

My question is how difficult and/or realistic it is to jump straight to a collective pitch heli first. My concern is wasting money on a fixed pitch heli only to outgrow it quickly and end up a the collective pitch anyway. I appreciate the thoughts.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:12 PM
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I'm just a new noob but I skipped coaxial and fixed pitch and went straight for Real Flight 6 and a Blade MCPX.

Lots of crashes but I have it figured out now.

Guess it depends on your patience, i'm very patient and very determined, and i'm also good at fixing things and didn't mind spending money on spare parts. If I wasn't all of those things i'm guessing I would have been frustrated. The MCPX is pretty tough but I did break it and still break it..usually minor.

Edit: Im not recommending anything other than the sim..gather info and make a decision on what best fits you.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Joined Oct 2007
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It depends on what sort of coax you have been flying. If it's one of those 3 channel toys, a small FP heli or quad is definitely a good idea to break the bad habits it taught you without breaking the bank.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:46 PM
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I started with a coax - my personal oppinion is it was a waste of money. Almost flew it's self and I outgrew it in less than a month.

If you don't have one, get a good sim - phoenix or realflight.

I learned on an FP in a small front yard - there wasn't enough room to fly a 450 or bigger. I still fly it when I don't feel like going to a larger flying field, so it wasn't a total waste of money. But I think I would have done just as well to really hone my skill on a sim and then go straight to a CP (450) in a bigger safer area.
Hope I don't confuse you with this, but - I don't regret learning on an FP - it's more forgiving and durable and cheaper to repair, but I don't think it's required for everybody to learn on an FP.
The truth is there is no single correct way to learn. I like Gene Kupra- you gotta find and march to your beat.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:49 PM
Need More PURPLE !!
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You ask a very good question. When i first started this hobby a few years ago, Like so many my first was a coax, then a fix pitch And on to the collective pitch helis. Looking back ( hind sight is always 20/20 ) I wish i would have just skipped the coax and fix p. And just went with a decent sim and an align 450. Your going to crash in this hobby your first year in. Its a given. I figure i pretty much wasted about 1k on coax - fix pitch that was not necessary. Ask yourself what is your long term goal in the hobby. If its to fly the larger models. Nothing wrong at all starting with a Sim and a 450. With c.p ther can be a steep learning curve. Hands on help would be awsome for you. If not check out finless bobs set up threads over at helifreak And study it all hard. Proper set up is everything.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:52 PM
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Forgot to mention i have never flown a fixed pitch or a coaxial so take that into account lol...well coaxial once and it flys nothing like a helicopter if you ask me..the auto leveling drove me nuts!. ( I have flown lots of first person simulator heli's prior to trying the RC deal )

PS I love my MCPX, I now have a 450 but I can fly the MCPX whenever I want..in the yard, in the house ( sort of im not good enough other than flying it slow, cant do any tricks indoors with it yet )

I have about 350 flights on my MCPX in the ~2 months that I have owned it..i have fixed it many times from stupid crashes have lots of spare parts but for every 10 crashes I fix it once ( just making that up...but you get the idea its tough )...I fly it at work I fly it at lunch I fly it when I get home...lol
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 08:55 PM
Need More PURPLE !!
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+ 1 for KTMDirtface....He is a perfect example of what i am talking about .
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 09:13 PM
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A few weeks back I watched a true noobie at the park. He was flying a little blade - either the mcpx or the nano cpx. It was CP flybarless.
There was enough of a breeze that I would not have enjoyed trying to hover my 300 size FP, and this guy was hovering his little palm size heli with very little effort, in a pretty decent breeze. His flying buddy confirmed the kid can barely tail in, no side in, and he had no trouble controlling that little thing. Then his buddy put in a fresh lipo and did some 3D. He clipped a tree, it fell to the ground, he put it back on the skids and started flying again.
I haven't flown one yet, but I gotta say I was impressed with what I saw.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 09:27 PM
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Karlik,

Both of my friends I fly with started with 450's, ( Or a CP Pro actually )

I came out to the field with them and with my Blade MCPX, fresh noob I mean I had been hovering it around in my house. and the backyard but couldnt do a turn without wrecking ( Couldn't keep my turns small yet )

It was windy, they were like there is no way that little thing is going to do good.

I was flying circles, and figure 8's and hovering it no problem in the wind...I crashed a few times but picked it right up and kept going.

Handed it to 450 friend, he instantly flips it upside down in the wind and is hovering it in front of his face. They were impressed with it, and were amazed. ( one of them went and got a pre-ordered the nano right after )
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8r777 View Post
My question is how difficult and/or realistic it is to jump straight to a collective pitch heli first. My concern is wasting money on a fixed pitch heli only to outgrow it quickly and end up a the collective pitch anyway.
i did asked this same question in this forum before.(from syma s033g co-axial to KDS 450qs). I didnt get a any good answer so far..

To get the best answer to these questions, which is i think, is to actually get a 450 and fly it and let it answer your question.

i want to try this but i dont have any 450 at hand as of now.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 12:03 AM
Slow Flyer
sterling, Illinois
Joined Feb 2006
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I've been enjoying these micro helis, do have a 400 CP but limited to scale flight.

Like the durability of these micros, am having fun with the MSR X described as twitchy by some, but does settle when you get the feel for it, perhaps an entry prior to cp, again is a fun flyer.

MSR X Fixed Pitch Helicopter Twitchy perhaps great prior to responsive CP Helis (2 min 6 sec)
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Hello

If your coaxial was a 3 channel like an S007 your going to need to start all over again.

Please read this document.
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread....81#post3854881

Consider a simulator first!
Get the basics of hovering, Orientations and turns.

Once you can fly the simulator without crashing!
Consider an MCPX helicopter.

Some reading that may help you!
Ron
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread....te#post4233010
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 05:11 AM
John
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Aug 2012
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IMO, It's all in the pilot.
I absolutely needed a lot of FP to get to CP: on the other hand, started CP at 450 size. Only one (minor) crash so far, in about 40 packs. But also had a lot of help and advice here, with phoenix, and in John Salt's eBook - though no real life mentor.
I'm not so sure that I needed Coax - maybe a bit of a waste there, I agree.
BUT I'm old, slow, and uncoordinated. And the 450 has been heavily tamed (but not FBL).
My son - who is none of the above - would have had only minor problems starting off with my (tamed) Align, and probably few with the stock version.
So FWIW, my opinion is that any relatively young, dextrous learner who has access to at least some competent guidance and a good sim, should have a reasonable chance of jumping straight to CP. And that, of course, assumes he even wants to.
Us older/slower guys really are probably much better off starting with a bigger 300ish FP (my own vote is for the MJX F45!), and learning the basic mechanics of heli flight and orientations that way. This approach also has the advantage also of being the far more fun road .
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 07:24 AM
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First, I would find out what the local hobby shop is stocking. Talk to them about your conderns and the selection of copters, and parts, that might be best for you.
Personally, I would start with a good fast FP just for the experience of orientation, flight charecteristics, and speed capabilities, all at a reduced cost to you, as compared to the standard CP models. There is a learning curve involved in this hobby, and it's up to you to determine your potential, but don't rush yourself.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Everyone learns differently and at different paces.

I started out with a larger 4 channel coax and it was fine for learning basic stick movements and orientations. It was a gift and it served me well. As Balr says, a lot depends on what kind of a coax you started with. If it was a 3 channel then the stick movements and muscle memory you gain from that is nearly useless but hopefully it is still fun to fly!

I progressed from there to a couple of inexpensive 4 ch FP helis (around $40 each) from China. I also bought Phoenix flight sim.

I think there are two things you should look for near the beginning of your journey into this amazing hobby:

A good flight sim (Phoenix and RealFlight seem to be the two most popular) and
A good computer transmitter.

A coax and even a fixed pitch heli to some extent are ok with a basic tx but if cp is your goal, a good computer tx will be invaluable.

With a good TX and a sim I think you could manage to go with a cp early on. A computer tx allows you to set things up to be anything from mild and very "FP like" to aggressive and responsive.

Some say go with the bigger heli first, others advise a micro cp to learn on.

I bought a Blade SR UH-1 Huey as my first CP and immediately realized I was not quite ready for that. I researched and went with the Walkera Genius CP as I wanted a computerized Tx and I am on a budget (even more so since I spent the money on the Huey that I was afraid to fly). The Genius CP (there are others just as good I'm sure) including the computer Tx was $140. Less than the BNF (no tx) or Basic Tx RTF micros from other manufacturers.

For me, going to a micro CP first allowed me to practice CP handling with less risk and fewer repairs to prepare me for being able to handle the larger CP heli.

Eoither way you can't go wrong with a good Sim to start with and then a good computer Tx to go with whatever you chose to buy CP heli wise.

Just my 2 cents...

Whatever you do, enjoy the hobby, it's awesome!

Jim
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