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Old Sep 17, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Falls Church, VA
Joined Jul 2006
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First Inverted Hover

I had a spare half hour today during lunch hour and ran out to the park with my Trex 450 and three batteries. The goal for today was to try an inverted hover and see if I can hold it for a few seconds. Wind today was about 5-6mph.

I was having a bit of a tail drift problem so I decided to increase the gyro gain and see if that would help. It did, the tail was holding much better. I had the soccer field all to myself for the first pack, so after warming up with a few high-speed figure 8s and circles, I hovered it about 40 feet up and pulled back on the elevator. When I centered the stick I was inverted, and somehow not quite level so the helicopter started sliding sideways to the left as I input negative collective. I quickly pushed the elevator forward and flipped it back over to gather my nerves.

Second try, I made sure I was in a level hover and flipped it. Instinctively I kept pulling back on the collective way too far, and the heli started going up inverted and away from me. Had to flip it back over again and bring it back.

On the second pack, some people had started to show up for a little lunchtime soccer. I had to move to a smaller baseball diamond at the end of the park.

Third try, I flipped it and tried to hold the collective so it wouldn't fly up, gave too little collective and the heli started heading toward the ground, inverted. My brain instictively told my hands to give positive collective, which was a mistake and the heli started heading toward the ground FAST. Somehow I caught myself and slammed the stick to full negative collective. I think I must have blown out the tail because the heli did an inverted pirouette, stopped about 4 feet off the ground, and started going up again. Then I was able to flip it back over and gather my nerves.

Fourth try, I flipped it and success! I held the inverted hover, actually correcting roll and pitch axes inverted, just like the sim! After about 5 seconds I started to lose it, so I flipped it back over and gave myself some time to calm down. Then I took it up and did it again, held it for about 5 seconds, and flipped it back over. Woo hoo!

Third pack, I just decided to enjoy it. A couple more short inverted hovers, some flips, and just general flying around. It was a good day.

So I'm not sure why it took me two months to progress from my first flip to an inverted hover except that I just needed to practice it on the sim and gather the courage to actually stop the flip in real life. I decided to try it with the Trex because it is so much more stable than my HBK2, and it felt so good with the Trex that I'm not sure I even want to keep my HBK2 for practice since I would have to maintain two different helis.
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