Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Apr 22, 2004, 05:39 PM
Registered User

Do Fixed Wing and Heli Pilots get confused ?

Hi guys

I am a reasonably competent fixed wing flier who now wants to try his hand at Helis. I've been playing with the sim and reading up on what needs to b done.

Anyway, I'm curious, for those who fly both, do you ever get confused what you're doing, or is it instinctive.

I don't really think about the controls when i'm flying my fixed wing..just do what I needs to be done out of habit. However for helis, at the moment, I really need to think about it. For example, on the heli, when I get into trouble, i basically just pull down on the elevator, for a heli...this is not a good thing

Do you just automatically adjust your hand inputs to the model your flying ?
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Apr 22, 2004, 05:48 PM
Registered User
buzzsaw 46's Avatar
When I first started flying helis on the sim it was natural to pull the throttle down when things started getting to fast obviously the rong thing to do but years of flying planes had tought me to slow things down you decrease throttle. I no longer have that instinct with the heli and I dont recall when exactly it started clicking for me but I dont have any problem going from helis to planes and back again any more.
Apr 22, 2004, 06:44 PM
Registered User
I am having difficulty overcoming the lack of wings to help in orientation.
i find that when the machine is above eye level i lose orientation very quickly.
working on it slowly.
Apr 22, 2004, 07:10 PM
Registered User
When I fly inverted on the heli, getting the pitch negative is REALLY important to keep the model up. I still drop the throttle when flying planes occasionally out of habit.
Apr 22, 2004, 07:14 PM
Registered User
I flew planes for over forty years. In my mind what keeps me from getting confused is that I fly planes with my thumbs only. I fly helis with my thumb and forefinger.

Somehow that one little change gives me a total new mindset when switching from planes to helis. I also like the thumb and finger for better throttle control with the heli.

Apr 22, 2004, 07:16 PM
Powered by ThunderPower
Chachin's Avatar
Hello OzzieFlyer,

I do get confused all the time. I used to be an avid airplane flyer, but now I'm down to helis ONLY. Every now and then I get the airplane "itch" and decide to fly one of my electric models.

I can tell things aren't like they used to be when I find myself gently slowing down the airplane.... to a "hover". Then when I loop the airplane I unintentionally hit "negative pitch" at the top of the loop and slow it down to an inverted hover . And yes, almost all my turns have rudder input.

So now I don't fly planes anymore. Too much risk involved , helicopters are easier.

Apr 22, 2004, 07:32 PM
Registered User
hmmm....i hope that doesn't happen to me. I love flying my planes
Apr 22, 2004, 07:37 PM
Registered User
It's a whole different mindset when you're flying a heli. Reflexes develop with time with the heli and since there's such a high concentration level, they tend to stay with the aircraft you're flying. There's this aircraft floating just off the ground in front of you - not at all like a fixed wing craft flying by. This is assuming that you're learning to hover before attempting forward flight. I havn't flown a heli sim that's quite like the real thing. A lightweight training gear made of two 1/4" dowels tipped with practice golf balls works great on a gravel or crushed stone surface. You get springiness and slide ability unlike on grass, which is not as forgiving with a heli as with a fixed wing.
Apr 22, 2004, 08:05 PM
Registered User
I have read many different views on the benefits of a heli Sim.

Would you say it's a help, no help, or a hinderance ? (also allowing for the fact that I am an intermediate fixed wing rc pilot)

I plan to use the RADD method of learning which doesn't really put much faith in Sims
Apr 22, 2004, 11:04 PM
It's a really big number.
Heli sims are great for getting the sticks right and hopefully curing yourself of the 'Things are pearshaped so chop the throttle habit', but they don't have the same tension of flying a real $$$ machine. I've seen a few pilots who rock on the sim just freeze up on the real thing when they get out of whack (did it myself).

I did fixed wing for 11 years before going heli. Once I had my head around the controls (and stopped closing the throttle when things got hairy ), I never looked back. Never tried a heli trick on a plane or vice versa, but I did take off a plane with the radio still programmed for CCPM - was a short flight .

Apr 22, 2004, 11:25 PM
Registered User
buzzsaw 46's Avatar
A good sim is an awesome resource, I've heard that CSM and Reflex have the best physics. I have CSM and freinds that have G2 and Reflex and I think CSM is the closest to the real thing but the graphics are so bad it is not much fun to practice with I like Reflex the best of the sims I have tried.
Apr 22, 2004, 11:36 PM
Registered User
When I fly fixed wing on my sim, i think "this is too perfect to be like real's not reflective of true flight at all", but now I am flying a heli on the same sim software (pre-flight), with my unexperienced fingers, I figure...oh yeah..this is what it would be like. I betchya i'm in for a surprise.
Apr 22, 2004, 11:46 PM
Registered User
buzzsaw 46's Avatar
Ozzie, I think the best part of the sims is they teach muscle memory IE. when this happens you correct by doing this. you know what I mean? Every heli flies differant in real life so as long as you go slow with the real thing and learn how it handles you should be fine.
Apr 23, 2004, 12:01 PM
King of The Moon
ozoneone's Avatar
on the heli, when I get into trouble, i basically just pull down on the elevator, for a heli...this is not a good thing. Do you just automatically adjust your hand inputs to the model your flying ?
Maybe eventually. Here's a trick to to loose the throttle-chop faster:

Take a particularly fragile and expensive helicopter (I used a never-flown out of production Kalt Whisper, a beautiful heli) and get it off the concrete surface about two meters high and quickly chop the throttle. As you pick up all ten thousand pieces, think to yourself, "never chop throttle, never chop throttle..."
Apr 23, 2004, 12:07 PM
I see the future.
Yukonho's Avatar
About the hardest thing for me is taxi'ing a 3 channel airplane. After being used to flying 4 channel airplanes and heli's, trying to think of the rudder being on the right stick was very difficult. I catch myself several times per flight co-ordinating turns with the left stick which is attached to nothing!
No problems when I am flying heli's though. No taxiing involved.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools