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Old Jul 28, 2011, 02:48 PM
Agressive driver
United States, CA, Santa Barbara
Joined Jun 2011
1,201 Posts
Question
learning to fly a collective pitch.

Hello

I just made the upgrade to a collective pitch helicopter. But I am having trouble with it. When I try to hover it walks around alot. I have tryed messing with the gyro gain, but can't get anywhere. I also messed with the trim, but it doesn't always go the same way. Is this normal? Like to I just have to learn to constantly adjust it?

Thanks, Zane
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 03:13 PM
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USA, NY, Cedarhurst
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Yep... that’s flying CP. It’s like trying to balance yourself on a greased up beech ball in a windstorm... you just gotta practice and learn to correct for the drift, that's what makes flying a helicopter so much more difficult then flying an airplane.

If you have not already, I recommend getting a sim... you will crash and the sim will pay for itself over and over again. You can crash all you want in the sim and not destroy your heli, and then when you start to understand the movements better you can go and start flying your real heli.
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 04:24 PM
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United States, CA, Santa Barbara
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Originally Posted by vicovaludemero View Post
Yep... thatís flying CP. Itís like trying to balance yourself on a greased up beech ball in a windstorm... you just gotta practice and learn to correct for the drift, that's what makes flying a helicopter so much more difficult then flying an airplane.

If you have not already, I recommend getting a sim... you will crash and the sim will pay for itself over and over again. You can crash all you want in the sim and not destroy your heli, and then when you start to understand the movements better you can go and start flying your real heli.
Thanks for the advice. But I went through a whole drama with the sim. So I bought the software, and started flying on the keyboard while waiting for the sim cable. Only problem is with the keyboard is there is no tail rotor control. So still waiting for the cable. It never came. Eventually called and cancelled order. But that is the only place I know of to buy cable. Any ideas? I need a sim cable to connect Helimax novus cp TX to clearview flight sim.

Thanks, Zane
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Yeh you do... No clue where to get one, sorry... I have seen them on various North American heli vendor websites... I got Phoenix sim, it works with my TX and also has a dongle... but its a bit more pricey then clear view.

Other than that all I can say is get some training gear and follow RADS
http://www.dream-models.com/eco/flying-index.html

You donít have to be all masochistic about it but itís a good guide and will help if you follow it, just do it at your own pace. I learned hover and slow forward flight before I tried the sim... then I got the sim to practice and learn all the fun stuff.

This hobby requires quite a bit of practice to make progress... and the learning curve is quite steep. Its hands down the most difficult form of RC to master.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 10:39 AM
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
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Zanek. + 1 on all what vico wrote. However a properly dialed in c.p heli will hover Just about as well if not the same as a fix pitch. And its no easy task's for rookies. I went thru it. Ther are so many variations To find that perfect spot. When it comes to c.p You should have your heli wher you can basicaly hover hands free for 3 sec's. ( In my experince thats as good as it gets) So remember set trims at 0..and servo arms at 90 deg. Find your gyros sweet spot. And look up your helis proper throttle and pitch curves.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 05:58 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
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Originally Posted by jenn123 View Post
Zanek. + 1 on all what vico wrote. However a properly dialed in c.p heli will hover Just about as well if not the same as a fix pitch. And its no easy task's for rookies. I went thru it. Ther are so many variations To find that perfect spot. When it comes to c.p You should have your heli wher you can basicaly hover hands free for 3 sec's. ( In my experince thats as good as it gets) So remember set trims at 0..and servo arms at 90 deg. Find your gyros sweet spot. And look up your helis proper throttle and pitch curves.
In my experience, beginners just don't have the skill to get their helis set up correctly. You need to be able to fly the helicopter well enough to let go of the sticks, watch what it does, and recover from whatever it did, and then remember what it did so you can fix it. I go through 4 or 5 batteries doing that with every helicopter I ever get. And the smaller the helicopter is, the longer it will take - probably took 20 flights to get my 250 the way I like it. Beginners are too busy fighting the machine to concentrate on making it behave properly, or even to determine what bad behaviors it has. This is why I strongly recommend to get an expert to set up your heli for you, and show you how they are doing it.

If you take the time to set up your helicopter correctly, and it is good enough quality, then yes it should hover for a few seconds before it goes off in some odd direction - but that's only in calm air and only if you can establish a stable hover in the first place. For the most part, a helicopter will not hover in one spot - you have to make it stay there. The tricky part about that is helicopters don't do anything instantly - so, if you wait for a problem to develop and then try to correct it, you are way too late (by the time it took for the problem to happen, PLUS the time it will take for the heli to react to your correction input). You must be actively flying the helicopter all the time. I tell my students if you aren't moving the sticks, you're probably about to crash.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 06:19 PM
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In my experience, beginners just don't have the skill to get their helis set up correctly. You need to be able to fly the helicopter well enough to let go of the sticks, watch what it does, and recover from whatever it did, and then remember what it did so you can fix it. I go through 4 or 5 batteries doing that with every helicopter I ever get. And the smaller the helicopter is, the longer it will take - probably took 20 flights to get my 250 the way I like it. Beginners are too busy fighting the machine to concentrate on making it behave properly, or even to determine what bad behaviors it has. This is why I strongly recommend to get an expert to set up your heli for you, and show you how they are doing it.

If you take the time to set up your helicopter correctly, and it is good enough quality, then yes it should hover for a few seconds before it goes off in some odd direction - but that's only in calm air and only if you can establish a stable hover in the first place. For the most part, a helicopter will not hover in one spot - you have to make it stay there. The tricky part about that is helicopters don't do anything instantly - so, if you wait for a problem to develop and then try to correct it, you are way too late (by the time it took for the problem to happen, PLUS the time it will take for the heli to react to your correction input). You must be actively flying the helicopter all the time. I tell my students if you aren't moving the sticks, you're probably about to crash.
How can I dial it in? And I see that it is not like my dual rotor heli. If it is perfectly calm you can get it hovering and then put down the controller for a bit
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by zanek View Post
How can I dial it in? And I see that it is not like my dual rotor heli. If it is perfectly calm you can get it hovering and then put down the controller for a bit
You can get a lot of info searching around the forums but besides that you may want to check out Finless bobs videos.. here is the link.
http://helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=41692
I think he has them posted here somewhere as well but they are buried in the endless abyss of threads.

The basics are:
-Get your collective pitch set to 0 degrees at mid-stick.
-Set all linkages (servos, swash-plate, mixer arms, etc...) as close to 90 degrees as possible.
-Make sure you get equal pitch with full + and - collective (for setup purposes, you will not be using all of that negative pitch for a while) without any binding.
-Balance your blades.
-Set the tracking.

There is a lot to describe, just check out that link... Also, the manual to the heli may help a bit as well (if you have one) and just search around, there is waaaay too much to list.

+1 on finding somebody to help, maybe a local hobby shop or a member of a local field? This stuff could be really intimidating for a beginner and getting that heli dialed in will help tremendously.
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 07:59 PM
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
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I sure hope your lhs guys are better than mine when seeking advice Or a product to buy. The three in my town I went to were bass ackwards from the advice And poduct info I recieve in forums. I wonder sometimes if they dont just hire the first guy that walks in the door with the help needed sign in hand. ha
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 09:07 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicovaludemero View Post
The basics are:
-Get your collective pitch set to 0 degrees at mid-stick.
-Set all linkages (servos, swash-plate, mixer arms, etc...) as close to 90 degrees as possible.
-Make sure you get equal pitch with full + and - collective (for setup purposes, you will not be using all of that negative pitch for a while) without any binding.
-Balance your blades.
-Set the tracking.
+1 this is what I do. Then I start flight testing...

1. First flight spool up and check the basics - shut down if anything is suspect.

2. Once you're satisfied with the sound of the helicopter and everything feels smooth at full speed on the ground, take off into a low hover and check the tracking. Adjust links and fly until you get the tracking correct.

3. Make note of anything else you can notice might be wrong while checking the tracking in short hops. You need to adjust the gyro gain and possibly the swash plate leveling.

4. Fine-tune the gyro gain. IMO, you need to be able to fly backwards circuits to do this correctly, but you can do it in a hover, if you can fly side to side a bit. Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust it again in the future as you begin to fly more difficult maneuvers - but get it right from the start and leave it that way as long as there's no problems.

5. Fine-tune the cyclic and balance (CG) - you should be able to establish a stable hover and then the helicopter should hold it briefly with no input - inverted AND upright. This is an iterative process with two possibilities each time - one is that your swash isn't level, and the other is that your CG is off. If your heli hovers upright without drifting, but drifts badly when inverted, then your CG is off and you have un-leveled the swash to compensate. If your heli requires the same input to hold a hover in both inverted and upright positions, then your CG is fine but your swash leveling is wrong.

For step 5, note that I'm talking about issues too small to measure or see - you should get the swash leveled as best you can before flying, and the CG balanced well also... but you just can't tell when the CG is 2mm off center on a 450 size heli - you have to fly to figure that out.

The issue is important for beginners because while it may seem like a small thing, it is a small thing that you will be constantly fighting against, and it nags at you and drives you nuts, and you don't know what is happening when you're a beginner. You just crash and crash and crash and that's not a great way to learn. Lots of people say that having an expert fine tune their helicopter made an instant improvement in their flying.

Imaging driving a race car for the first time, with bad steering. That's what you're doing to yourself when you spool up a poorly adjusted CP helicopter - the expert can deal with this and tell the pit crew what to fix, but the beginner just hits the wall and they have to replace the whole car.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Echo echo echo....I think you two scared him off..Remeber baby steps. All that could have been an overload.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 07:20 PM
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United States, CA, Santa Barbara
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I am not scared off. Just taking all of this in quietly. Thanks for the great advice guys!
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Old Aug 07, 2011, 09:41 AM
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But I went through a whole drama with the sim. So I bought the software, and started flying on the keyboard while waiting for the sim cable. Only problem is with the keyboard is there is no tail rotor control. So still waiting for the cable. It never came. Eventually called and cancelled order. But that is the only place I know of to buy cable. Any ideas? I need a sim cable to connect Helimax novus cp TX to clearview flight sim.

Thanks, Zane
Hi Zane,

A few people have already chimed in for advice, I'll give you my 2 cents worth. The first thing you need to do is to get your transmitter running with your sim. If you can't get a cable too hook up the transmitter then consider buying a different sim like a Phoenix or Real Flight. (most heli pilots prefer the Phoenix). The sim is your most important tool right now because that will give you some actual stick time with out the frustration or hit to your wallet in crash repair, it will pay for itself in a very short amount of time.
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Old Aug 08, 2011, 12:47 AM
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Joined Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Zeta30 View Post
Hi Zane,

A few people have already chimed in for advice, I'll give you my 2 cents worth. The first thing you need to do is to get your transmitter running with your sim. If you can't get a cable too hook up the transmitter then consider buying a different sim like a Phoenix or Real Flight. (most heli pilots prefer the Phoenix). The sim is your most important tool right now because that will give you some actual stick time with out the frustration or hit to your wallet in crash repair, it will pay for itself in a very short amount of time.
Newbie here. So first let me say Hi to everyone. I've been lurking around for a while, and decided to chime in on this. Hope that it's ok. Zane, since you already have clearview, why don't you spend 20 bucks and get the esky sim transmitter, or the Dynam one. Its a fake transmitter with a usb attached to hook directly to your computer. Most online heli shops have them and you'll be flying in no time. It's not as good as flying with your actually Tx, but it is shaped like a real tx and it works well with clearview. 20 dollars is a lot cheaper than buying another sim program. And besides, you can't learn anything meaningful using your keyboard.... OK I'm gone now...
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Old Aug 08, 2011, 04:08 AM
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United States, WA, Spokane
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Originally Posted by ifly504 View Post
Newbie here. So first let me say Hi to everyone. I've been lurking around for a while, and decided to chime in on this. Hope that it's ok. Zane, since you already have clearview, why don't you spend 20 bucks and get the esky sim transmitter, or the Dynam one. Its a fake transmitter with a usb attached to hook directly to your computer. Most online heli shops have them and you'll be flying in no time. It's not as good as flying with your actually Tx, but it is shaped like a real tx and it works well with clearview. 20 dollars is a lot cheaper than buying another sim program. And besides, you can't learn anything meaningful using your keyboard.... OK I'm gone now...
This was a chunk of good advice. You will pay far more in repair costs wrecking your heli than you ever will buying a product that will emulate real time flying more closely on the sim.
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