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Old Mar 20, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Fixed pitch to CP?

Has anyone recently moved from a fixed pitch heli to a CP heli. How did it work out?
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 01:44 AM
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It's a good move for those who are not willing to go with micro sized CP helis (i'm assuming you want to go with 250 size + helis). You'll be familiar with the stick movements, but it's going to be much more different in terms of sensitivity within the sticks (depends on how they are programmed), maintenance, danger and much higher cost.

Get a good transmitter that's compatible with phoenix simulator (my preferred sim when comparing to real flight 6). If you have money get an align heli. If you're tight on budget, get HK450 and other derivatives but be warned that you should research on the drawbacks of these helis. Don't get a crummy ebay 100$ RTF helis (if you're up for the massive challenge ahead, go for it).
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 03:00 AM
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Lots of practice on a good simulator (there are a few ones out there that will work well), along with Radd Programme and the jump is not too bad at all. It's not just the stick movements you will be used to, but also things like the tendency on take off for the heli to move left. When you get your CP getting someone who knows what they are doing to check that it is balanced and well trimmed before you get airborne is a good idea.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Thanks for the response but, I think my question is misunderstood. I am interested in the experience of those who actually had a FP and moved to CP heli.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 11:55 AM
AMA# 548800
jombo's Avatar
United States, CT, Trumbull
Joined Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_skaggs View Post
Thanks for the response but, I think my question is misunderstood. I am interested in the experience of those who actually had a FP and moved to CP heli.
i did it , and i bet i am not the only one . i went from a walkera 4#3 to a 450 CP and then i bought a simulator . best 100.00 i ever spent .
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 12:59 PM
Tom
United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Dec 2011
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In December, started with a co-axial as a Christmas present. Decided helicopters might be fun since I've flown R/C planes for 30+ years.

Co-axial got very boring very fast. Moved to a Lama V4 coaxial fixed pitch - HUGE waste of money. Bought a Double Horse 9116 single rotor 4ch FP. Learned how to mechanically set it up properly, learned how to use the programmable transmitter (a very nice feature in a cheap heli) and learned how to repair it. Got to the point where flying it was getting boring, could land it back at my feet almost every time, even in breezes. A very slow heli with limited movement authority but still fun and educational.

So, six weeks ago, bought a Dynam e-razor 450 in Ready To Fail configuration. Fail because the factory setup was a joke compared to the "right" way. While I was sorting that out, spent loads of time on the simulator (my wife swears it's just a video game) and decided to build my own kit because I learn better by doing since I'm a tactile learner. Although it's a cheap kit, the mechanics of building it and setting it up don't change because it didn't cost a $1000 (how long it actually holds together likely does).

Still can't "fly" it but I've stopped crashing it, can fly shallow circuits and land it pretty straight up on the training gear. Still get nervous in ground effects and start over correcting my hover which is why throttle hold and full cyclic is nice. Also got the Dynam dialed in and get pretty much do the same basic flight with it.

My personal interpretation of the learning process:
2% from the coaxial (just to understand some of the dynamics of rotary flight)
20% from single rotor fixed pitch
25% from the simulator
25% from Radd's School of Rotary flight on Youtube
10% from building it myself

And the rest, IMHO, comes from actually getting it in the air, clenching certain body parts when orientation starts to slip, trying desperately to decide if at that moment altitude is friend or foe and when it all goes to heck, remembering throttle hold/full cyclic and tall grass.

You will crash. Every R/C pilot I've flown with, trained with and competed with has crashed almost everything they ever put in the air. The whole point of the hobby is to push the limits and you will sometimes push over the limit and boom, repair time. With CP heli's, the limits are low initially and get higher with practice. To me, fighting a real time last second wind gust as you're trying to hover for a landing is about as challenging as you can get as a beginner and if you walk away from that, you can pat yourself on the back and know you're ready for the next level.

So, my noob recommendations:

Get a flight simulator program - a good one
Understand the physics of rotary flight by reading, watching, building
Get a good, digital, programmable radio system -
Buy spare parts - lots of them
Try to relax and have fun!
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Good stuff, Tom 4416.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom4416 View Post
In December, started with a co-axial as a Christmas present. Decided helicopters might be fun since I've flown R/C planes for 30+ years.

Co-axial got very boring very fast. Moved to a Lama V4 coaxial fixed pitch - HUGE waste of money. Bought a Double Horse 9116 single rotor 4ch FP. Learned how to mechanically set it up properly, learned how to use the programmable transmitter (a very nice feature in a cheap heli) and learned how to repair it. Got to the point where flying it was getting boring, could land it back at my feet almost every time, even in breezes. A very slow heli with limited movement authority but still fun and educational.

So, six weeks ago, bought a Dynam e-razor 450 in Ready To Fail configuration. Fail because the factory setup was a joke compared to the "right" way. While I was sorting that out, spent loads of time on the simulator (my wife swears it's just a video game) and decided to build my own kit because I learn better by doing since I'm a tactile learner. Although it's a cheap kit, the mechanics of building it and setting it up don't change because it didn't cost a $1000 (how long it actually holds together likely does).

Still can't "fly" it but I've stopped crashing it, can fly shallow circuits and land it pretty straight up on the training gear. Still get nervous in ground effects and start over correcting my hover which is why throttle hold and full cyclic is nice. Also got the Dynam dialed in and get pretty much do the same basic flight with it.

My personal interpretation of the learning process:
2% from the coaxial (just to understand some of the dynamics of rotary flight)
20% from single rotor fixed pitch
25% from the simulator
25% from Radd's School of Rotary flight on Youtube
10% from building it myself

And the rest, IMHO, comes from actually getting it in the air, clenching certain body parts when orientation starts to slip, trying desperately to decide if at that moment altitude is friend or foe and when it all goes to heck, remembering throttle hold/full cyclic and tall grass.

You will crash. Every R/C pilot I've flown with, trained with and competed with has crashed almost everything they ever put in the air. The whole point of the hobby is to push the limits and you will sometimes push over the limit and boom, repair time. With CP heli's, the limits are low initially and get higher with practice. To me, fighting a real time last second wind gust as you're trying to hover for a landing is about as challenging as you can get as a beginner and if you walk away from that, you can pat yourself on the back and know you're ready for the next level.

So, my noob recommendations:

Get a flight simulator program - a good one
Understand the physics of rotary flight by reading, watching, building
Get a good, digital, programmable radio system -
Buy spare parts - lots of them
Try to relax and have fun!
Tom4416, I started similar to you. First coaxial in December. Then, I purchased four more coaxials from 12" up to 28" but, they got boring. I bought a DH9116 FP. Then, a Spectrum DX6i radio and Blade 120SR FP. About a month ago I purchased a Sim and Blade mcpx CP heli . I can take off, hover and fly it around some. I feel I'm ready to get a 450 size heli.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Going from an FP to a CP is a little different than it was 4 or 5 years ago, when everyone was saying get the Esky HoneyBee FP, or the Century Hummingbird. The HBFP was NOT easier to fly than CP helis, because it had/has a 90* flybar and full Hiller control. Today when someone says they have "mastered" an FP, they are usually talking about one of the many self stabilizing FP's with either a 45* offset flybar, or a 45* offset head. These are so much easier to fly than a 90* head that there is a danger of over-confidence in one's abilities. The stability of these helis has nothing to do with them being Fixed Pitch, and everything to do with the offset head/flybar. That said, if you can fly the mcpx, hovering in all orientations, do slow circuits, then a 450 will be nothing but a ton of fun for you. It will react much the same as the mcpx, and may actually be a little more stable, as you will be going up to a 700+ mm rotor diameter. Don't over think it. Go for it and have fun.
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Australia, QLD, Clontarf
Joined Feb 2012
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I think you will be fine, honestly if you've flown a FP heli you should have your orientation a least a little bit under control, which for me being a beginner also was the biggest thing.

I went from never flying an rc craft before, to having one flight on a mates 120 SR decided to get a simulator (pheonix) used it a few times a week for about 4-6 weeks and just recently bought my first heli, a walkera mini cp and within my 2nd day flying it I could hover, fly figures 8s and nose in hover relatively competently.
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Old Mar 22, 2012, 02:04 AM
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Maybe my post wasn't clear, but that is exactly how I went from FP to CP through the simulator and Radds. Transition was easy as...

Aas long as you fly within your self and learn to hover first etc, you won't need a lot of spares either
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Old Mar 23, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Canada, QC, Montreal
Joined Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_skaggs View Post
Has anyone recently moved from a fixed pitch heli to a CP heli. How did it work out?
Pretty well, given that the helicopter is still in one piece and flying!

I purchased a Honey Bee CPX (300 size CP RTF) late last year because I figured that a) I was ready and b) at $100, it was about the same as getting another large-ish FP heli for outdoor flying. I spent many, many hours practicing on RealFlight 5, and with my FP helis as well.

The Honey Bee really isn't the best machine to learn on (weak DD tail motor, and you can't adjust throttle/pitch curves), but I can now hover it with some confidence. I have a 450 clone in construction, ready to take over if/when the Bee gets damaged.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Helis have been a PITA (as opposed to fixed wing) for me, and I've spent quite a bit of time and money to get to the aerobatics stage with a 6ch helicopter 450/500. I am hooked though. I have had a fleet of 3D planes up to 9 pounds, a nimble tricopter and a 4 cell quad copter, but I like CP helis most for some reason. Probably because they are really hard to fly, and can do amazing things.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Fixed pitch -> CP was hard for me, but I had no instruction, and built my CP helis from the cheapest airframes and components.

I crashed a lot. But I learned a lot I guess
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 12:43 AM
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I learned on the old walkera 4/ falcon 40, and glad I did. It is a bit harder to fly than a cp, and you gotta control the tail. But It's still such a fun little heli to fly around once you "get it".
Now I fly a ufly with no 3 way gyro here in the apt parking lot where space is limited.
My 450 is an EXI clone. It's kinda like learning to drive in your uncles old ford pickup with a manual 3 speed on the column and bad leaf springs, then finally getting into a nice new little Toyota Camry. It's not the best heli available, but it is such a huge step up from the FP.
The first few times I spooled it up and just got light on the skids the sound of those rotors scared the crap out of me. I had several short hovers while I got the headspeed right and dialed in the gyro etc.
This vid is the first time I actually did more than a quick test hover and had it up for any amount time. I kept it real simple and just wanted to get a feel for it. I tried not talk so my brothers camera wouldn't pick it up. I had to land way before the batteries went down so he could kill the camera and I could say something like " this thing is awsome. I love this heli"

The first few flights it did feel a little more touchy than what I was used to and I did overcompensate a few times (you can see it in the vid), but I never felt out of control.
I've flown it in what weather.com said was 15 mph wind, I'd guess more like 10 to 12. In a hover it only drifted sideways a little, and was real easy to correct. In a gust I just reduced collective a little and still had total control. I could not have hovered the ufly in that kind of wind.
I'm kinda old school, if you started with an FP learn to hover all 4 orientations with it if you haven't yet. If the 450 gets nose in on you and comes at you, you better know how to control it or it's gonna hurt you.
But if you can control an FP, a properly setup 450 should be at least as easy to fly, I think it's easier. Just show it respect.

EXI 450 short hover (3 min 5 sec)
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