Learning to fly CP helis: My progress log...
Flying RC helis has been a dream of mine since I was 12 years old but I could never afford it because it's such an expensive hobby. Instead of helis I got into RC cars/trucks and loved it, well; now that I'm older and actually have some money to burn I decided that 13 years of dreaming is enough. Oddly enough, just as I was going to go out and buy a micro heli my parents got me one (blade mSR) for my birthday (November of 2009) and since then I have gotten pretty good with the mSR and have modded it in every way imaginable.
I have been living and breathing aviation my entire life and since this is my 'blog' I guess a mini bio seems appropriate. From the start (back in Russia) I spent much of my early years at the NAPO plant in Novosibirsk where my grandmother was an aeronautical engineer for Sukhoi. The bug bit me early and my dream back then was to be a test pilot/fighter pilot, well that dream never really died until the good old boys (USAF/NAVY/ARMY) here in the states denied me because I'm a Russian immigrant, even though I passed all of the tests with flying colors. They would not let me fly or work in any intelligence related field because of political reasons, well thatís just dandy, I think I would have made a great fighter pilot.
I have been flying since I was 14 years old, I initially learned to fly on ultralights (trikes) because my step dad had one but still wanted to fly tri-axis. That summer I got a job and spent all of my money on lessons in a Cessna 152, unfortunately this proved to be ineffective because I was only able to afford one hour a week and when school started that figure got cut in half. Eventually my stepfather got into general aviation and I was given the chance to complete my training when he got his CFI rating. These days I have over 250 hours logged and have started taking lessons in a Schweizer 300C with the hopes to one day fly for a heli-skiing operation (my new and more feasible dream).
Ok well now that you have read my mini-bio I can get back on topic...
This is intended to be a running log of my progress and hopefully will help others understand what they are getting themselves into before they go out and spend a grand on a heli and all the equipment needed to assemble, maintain, set-up and operate (and fix ) the thing... Then again, two people will probably end up reading this so perhaps its all for nothing.
OK, so, after 7 months with the mSR, 2 years with RC airplanes and 13 years in the general RC hobbies I went ahead and purchased a TREX 450 pro and all the goodies that I will need to fly the thing.
Here is a link to the build:
I would also like to add that I have spent a total of zero hours on a simulator; I'm not really recommending this, just stating the fact.
So after spending countless hours building, reading, setting up and meticulously double and triple checking everything I decided that I couldnít wait and tried the heli in my driveway; well, needless to say, it was a bad Idea!
I lifted off OK and immediately noticed how incredibly responsive the heli is compared to the mSR. I was doing fairly well but unfortunately was focusing so much on not over-correcting that I ended up under-correcting right into a shrub. BANG! miraculously it landed right side up on the training gear and the only casualty was a set of main blades (well and the shrub I guess).
A few days later I got the two sets of replacement blades that I ordered after I crashed and mounted them up. This time I was smart enough to go to my old high school's football field and give it another whirl. Also I set my TX a bit differently, I added +25 expo and 60% travel to my aileron and elevator channels, this dampened the controls to a point where I didnít have to worry so much about over correcting and taking my own head off by accident (very possible...).
I only have 2 packs worthy of a CP heli so I spent about 12 minutes in the air just hovering tail in and sliding left, right, forward and reverse. When I landed and packed my TX away my smile was ear to ear, I felt like somebody gave me happy pills or something lol.
Did a few more flights out at the air-field and basically just practiced the same thing, actually tried a slow circuit but almost lost it so I'm going to stick to walking behind it for a few more packs.
So far total stick time with the TREX is 37 minutes; Iím using a left over log-book that I had lying around to log my flights. I know, I'm weird, but IMO having a log is very important with a serious piece of machinery like a CP heli; I log anything from wind conditions to post-flight temperatures and battery performance.
Now its time to go home, charge my batteries and go back to the football field to practice a bit more. I'm gonna post up a few pictures later as well cuz the heli looks real nice sitting on that astro-turf.
PS: I know somebody is gonna say "dude, get a sim!"
... I will get a sim before I start doing anything crazy but for the time being I'm perfectly fine without it.
Edit: Update 06/22/10
Last nights flight went well till the end...
-Lesson number one: Know your limits and donít get too cocky!
Many people have said 'for the most part, stay in your comfort zone and every now and then peak outí; well I peaked out for a bit too long.
I was flying fairly low, around 5ft up and doing relatively small and slow circuits; I went a bit farther out then Iím comfortable with and got disoriented when the heli sort of blended in with the terrain behind it.
The heli did a half front flip/nose dive; I hit throttle hold and somehow managed to avoid too much damage... Here is the list.
-Bent main shaft
-Shredded lower torque-tube drive gear
-damaged but usable main and auto gears (Iím getting new ones anyway)
-Busted both main-shaft bearings
-Slightly bent flybar rod; bent it back, its fine.
-Stripped a gear on one HS-65MG, this one was somewhat of a surprise.
Parts should be here Friday at the latest so I aught to be up and running by Friday night or Saturday morning...
Total stick time: 47 minutes
Total crashes: 1.5
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