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Nov 05, 2018, 07:06 PM
Registered User
Discussion

Sigh.. Maybe helis are not for me..


I've flown RC planes of all sizes and types for over 10 years, without cursing myself i haven't had a crash for 5+ years. Now I wanted a challenge so 5 years ago I bought a old Trex 540 flybar to get into helis with, invested in some sims (Phoenix and Clearview). Spent months practicing with the sims before I started using the heli, after a few weeks I could hover it in all directions. I then bought a older model Trex 600 flybar that I eventually converted to FBL, it flew better and I started basic figure 8's and maneuvers. After maybe 3 years of just basic hovering and circuits I started doing some stunts, I crashed, rebuilt the 600, started again and once again I dumb thumbed and crashed, this time completely destroying it... I decided to just stick with sims, practice and practice, can do all sorts of stunts in Phoenix, loops, piro flips, inverted circuits and figure 8's, yet I do to the field and I fly like a moron. Thinking the old 450 was holding me back I bought a Trex 550X kit with my tax refund, bought a IKON 2 and some decent Align servos, had a experienced friend test fly it and make sure it was good, he said it handled beautifully. I started flying it, just slow gently passes. After a good few weeks of doing gently stuff i decided to finally do a stunt, just a inverted hover, the heli got a little out of shape and once again idiot me panicked , too slow with the correction my Trex bit the dirt, broken frame, boom, gears, 1 servo and busted battery (even worse, just before it hit the ground I remembered it had a rescue feature.. )
Now I'm sitting in the shed looking at my unmarked planes hanging from the roof while in the corner I have 2 wrecked helis sitting in 2 boxes...

Really think my brain just cannot operate a heli, I'm 51 so no spring chicken but I'm still well below the average age of most rc pilots at my club and our best heli pilot is in his mid 60's. Just think I should cut my losses and stick with planks...
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Nov 05, 2018, 07:55 PM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
I saw a guy on youtube in his 70's flying inverted circuits. You can do it.
I started with a v911 about 5 years ago, wasn't easy but I finally learned to fly it.
Moving on to CP, the flybar HK450's most certainly held me back, but I couldn't stomach paying big bucks and crashing.
Finally the 450's clicked and the bigger helis became a joy to fly.
I'm not without my crashes, but I'm close to your age and flying what I consider pretty well. My helis are actually wearing out now instead of smashing to bits.
It did take quite some time though.

Incidentally, I'm really bad at flying planes
Nov 05, 2018, 08:29 PM
RBW's sock puppet account.
RaisedByWolves's Avatar
Ive tried helis 3 different times in my 51yrs and I can honestly say there has never been a cheaper time to crash a flying egg beater into the ground.

The 450 size helis are where I would do most of my aerobatical practising. The sims IMO are good for learning the proper inputs, but I think too much sim time could lead you to perform poorly with the real helis is its really not the same, at least for me anyway.


Micros are another good way to practise as they generally crash well and parts are super cheap.


Then there are FBL controllers with rescue which it sounds like could have bailed you out a couple times.
Nov 05, 2018, 09:58 PM
Registered User
Helique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundRocket
...Really think my brain just cannot operate a heli, I'm 51 so no spring chicken but I'm still well below the average age of most rc pilots at my club and our best heli pilot is in his mid 60's. Just think I should cut my losses and stick with planks...
My experience is similar to yours. I flew RC planes back in the 70s. I got back into RC a few years ago through Helis. After learning to hover and fly basic circuits, I decided to get back into fixed wings just for something relaxing to fly! IMO, helicopters and planks are just two totally different animals. You just have to accept the fact that youíre going to crash the Heli more often than the planks. Iíve crashed my Trex 450 at least 10 times in the last couple of years, where Iíve had no problems with the planes. I think one of the main reasons why we crash the Helis more often is we usually fly them at a much lower altitude than the planes... less time to react. I too have a controller with rescue... one thing that has helped me is I practice using the rescue. I get the Heli a little bit out of shape and, pretending Iíve completely lost control, I flip the rescue switch. Just conditioning.
Nov 05, 2018, 10:32 PM
Registered User
Thickfog's Avatar
Taken me years and hundreds of dollars in crashes to even get basic forward flight down. And then took an entire summer /fall to get reverse flight down. And I still stink at reverse. I started inverted last fall and I have tons of work to do on that.

It sounds like you have lots of sim time, but not enough real stick time. You really need to get the real stick time in and learn all of your hover orientations and forward flight like it's second nature. And I mean no thinking at all. Just react. If you have to think about it, you haven't learned it well enough. Until then, forget inverted hovers. Forget piroflips.

Flying a heli is not easy. It just isn't. And then when you think it is, you'll crash. Most of us here like it for the ridiculous challenge. There are times I just think how ridiculous the whole thing is and have almost quit time and time again.

I have never stuck with anything this long that is this difficult to learn in my entire life.
Helis are not for me either. But I fight back and still stay with it.
It's not for everyone.
Nov 06, 2018, 01:03 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Helis are unforgiving beasts for sure, but they are also very rewarding. 51 certainly isn't too old, i was not far off that age when i started with helis and I'll be 56 in a few weeks. While I'm no '3D god' and never will be, I'd consider myself a competent and safe heli flyer and can do passable sports/mild 3D type stuff.

Maybe you are practising your stunts too low? Sounds like you aren't giving yourself enough altitude to recover, especially so on a heli that has 'rescue' where recovery is always possible 'if' you have time to hit the switch.
Nov 06, 2018, 02:15 AM
YadTech Bropulsion Engineer
Coopz's Avatar
Aw don't dispear.. I took months to get my head around flying my 450x. I became overconfident last month, started doing low inverted passes and piros, after a few passes I dumb thumbed and my Trex 550 destroyed itself (violently) happened so quick I didn't even have time to hit rescue... Don't feel pressure to go 3d, if just casual flying and loops is all you're comfortable doing you're still a lot better than most plank pilots.
Nov 06, 2018, 07:47 AM
Zippy Puffer
2Doggs's Avatar
It also helps to have a beater heli that's easy and cheap to repair. You can't beat an old 450 Pro for that, using clone parts for spares, and the new ALZRC 360 looks like a great beater too. My plastic Protos is pretty cheap to repair with good parts availability.

Like others have said, maybe you've had too much sim time. The visual cues are so different in "meat world". Flying two mistakes high and having rescue mode also help.

Helis will always crash - I don't want to jinx myself, but I've not had a crash for quite a while, tho I try to fly within my comfort zone most of the time which helps.

I also used to fly planks - but helis are so much more convenient. They fit easily in your car, and you can fly them in more places than planks. Flying a heli is always more challenging, tho you do get to the point where you can yank and bank just as comfortably as you would do with a plank. Overcoming the challenges is part of the satisfaction.

So, less time on the sim, two mistakes high, consider a beater and rescue mode.

Good luck!
Nov 06, 2018, 08:18 AM
The great Brutifier
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundRocket
I've flown RC planes of all sizes and types for over 10 years, without cursing myself i haven't had a crash for 5+ years. Now I wanted a challenge so 5 years ago I bought a old Trex 540 flybar to get into helis with, invested in some sims (Phoenix and Clearview). Spent months practicing with the sims before I started using the heli, after a few weeks I could hover it in all directions. I then bought a older model Trex 600 flybar that I eventually converted to FBL, it flew better and I started basic figure 8's and maneuvers. After maybe 3 years of just basic hovering and circuits I started doing some stunts, I crashed, rebuilt the 600, started again and once again I dumb thumbed and crashed, this time completely destroying it... I decided to just stick with sims, practice and practice, can do all sorts of stunts in Phoenix, loops, piro flips, inverted circuits and figure 8's, yet I do to the field and I fly like a moron. Thinking the old 450 was holding me back I bought a Trex 550X kit with my tax refund, bought a IKON 2 and some decent Align servos, had a experienced friend test fly it and make sure it was good, he said it handled beautifully. I started flying it, just slow gently passes. After a good few weeks of doing gently stuff i decided to finally do a stunt, just a inverted hover, the heli got a little out of shape and once again idiot me panicked , too slow with the correction my Trex bit the dirt, broken frame, boom, gears, 1 servo and busted battery (even worse, just before it hit the ground I remembered it had a rescue feature.. )
Now I'm sitting in the shed looking at my unmarked planes hanging from the roof while in the corner I have 2 wrecked helis sitting in 2 boxes...

Really think my brain just cannot operate a heli, I'm 51 so no spring chicken but I'm still well below the average age of most rc pilots at my club and our best heli pilot is in his mid 60's. Just think I should cut my losses and stick with planks...
Don't beat yourself up, you're not alone: I'm 51, flying helies for 36 years now, and on the SIM, I can do anything I like.
In reality, I rarely crash, but that's because I stay well within my comfortzone. I don't do nose in, let alone inverted or anything else. Don't even risk helies practising AR's, as I have virtually never ever needed that skill anyway.
I have tried a couple of loops long time ago and decided it wasn't my thing, and stuck to scale type flying.
Upside is, I can afford to fly 3000 Euro+ helies, and not feel the least bit of stress doing so And what's more, I fly them without even the slightest bit of electronic assistance.

I am still having fun, and what's more: there was a time I felt the stress and the peer pressure for not doing any aerobatics, and once I told the guys at the club " you, I am flying for MY pleasure and not yours" that stress went away overnight. Plan to keep flying them helies till the day I cannot hold a tranny anymore….
Last edited by Brutus1967; Nov 06, 2018 at 08:23 AM.
Nov 06, 2018, 08:41 AM
Registered User
FR4-Pilot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves
Micros are another good way to practice as they generally crash well and parts are super cheap.
^^ THIS ^^

I farted around for like 8 years with 180s, 400s, 450s, 550s, planes, quads, etc. It wasn't until I got a 1.5oz CP micro (and a bunch of batteries) last year that things began to change for the better. Fly over grass and it's like crashing on a sim. After a half-dozen or so initial flights (with crashes and no borken stuff) you won't be paranoid about crashing anymore and can begin to actually concentrate on some real flying in various orientations. When you get bored you'll be happy to see those skills transfer to your bigger helis

Anyway, it's working for me, and I'm your age Keep sim'ing though ...
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Nov 06, 2018 at 10:44 AM.
Nov 06, 2018, 10:33 AM
Screwed Again My Friend
jombo's Avatar
Dam you guys are old , I'm only 48
I have to say micros are the way to go for practice . I set mine to be a bit on the bouncy side so I need to practice quicker responses. Then going to a 450 seems like a turtle flying lol
Nov 06, 2018, 03:44 PM
RBW's sock puppet account.
RaisedByWolves's Avatar
I was just finally able to get my McpX flying like my 450's, I just wish the batteries lasted longer.


I do not use an idle up either, something I learned with the V911 and tried......Desperately to teach my nephew. I set the throttle curve 0-80-80-80-80 and just bring the throttle down if I get out of control. With a 6ch like the Mcpx you need to dial out most if not all negative pitch to get the same effect, but once set up this way crashing on grass (When you dump the collective properly) will not result in damage.

Check battery position, check main gear and it flys just like before.


Im practising nose in with this and it is much different than nose in on the sim. Much touchier and things happen fast, way fast.
Nov 06, 2018, 05:41 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves
I do not use an idle up either, something I learned with the V911 and tried......Desperately to teach my nephew. I set the throttle curve 0-80-80-80-80 and just bring the throttle down if I get out of control.
Problem is you're teaching yourself bad habits, especially if you ever do want to fly with negative pitch. Best to assign a switch to throttle cut and use that if you get into trouble. With a larger heli it's usually better to increase altitude if things start getting a little squirrely, and cut throttle if totally out of control; dumping the collective is basically never a good idea.
Nov 06, 2018, 06:42 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler
Problem is you're teaching yourself bad habits, especially if you ever do want to fly with negative pitch. Best to assign a switch to throttle cut and use that if you get into trouble. With a larger heli it's usually better to increase altitude if things start getting a little squirrely, and cut throttle if totally out of control; dumping the collective is basically never a good idea.
I am 52 yo new to helis and althoug i still practice nose in hovering there is one thing i have learnd: A cut off switch within the reach of your fingers is the most important switch on your rc.

Apart from the micros the Goblin Fireball is one of the most crash forgiving helis because of itĎs direct drive.
Nov 07, 2018, 05:03 AM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Nobody says you have to do 3D. If you can't "get" 3D then just stick to right side up and things like loops and just fly it like a plank. Lots of people fly helis like this.

Also an FBL with rescue mode is a big help. If you get ito trouble you flip the switch and the FBL will set the helicopter right side up and gain altitude. There are also FBLs with GPS and a "hard deck" mode that will not allow the heli to get too close to the ground. If it gets to low the FBL will take control and right the heli.


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