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Old 06-21-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default Beginning Heli Pilot Basic Advice

All that I have to say is stick with it.

This was me the day I got my first heli:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


Now this is the most recent video of me flying the same heli:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


You can see that the level of skill is up huge and I fly mostly RC planes. The point of this thread is that at first it can be REALLY hard to make it work right, at least it was for me. Just like with riding a bike, it just clicks one day and you are off and having fun flying.

I hope this helps you guys!

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Old 06-22-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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Nice indoor play......

The level of skill required for a 4ch coax toy by an experienced plank pilot is transitioned by most fairly seemless.......

The real challenges are the fixed pitch and collective pitch craft where the plank skills related to oriantation will come in handy, but the remaining learning curve will be brand new.....and it won't "just click" one day.....maybe over period of months for most.

Keep at it, stay focused and patient.......anything is possibe with the proper attitude and "equipment".

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Old 06-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
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For anyone that is new to helicopters, there is a learning process involved. Not all helis are set up to fly out of the box, some setup and adjustments are often needed. There is a lot of advice and opinions out there about how to get started, so I won't go into listing them.
What I will say is to start with an inexpensive coaxial which will withstand some crashing and will be inexpensive to repair.
This will give you a feel for flying helis if you wish to continue, then little by little as you learn more you can move up in class. It is inevitable that you will crash and have to repair, but with patience and determination you will move up and get better.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
The real challenges are the fixed pitch and collective pitch craft where the plank skills related to oriantation will come in handy, but the remaining learning curve will be brand new.....and it won't "just click" one day.....maybe over period of months for most.
+1 once set up and trimmed co-axial helis are really very easy to fly. Single rotor is where it starts to get 'interesting'. To be honest I'm not sure if co-axial experience really helps much to prepare for flying a single rotor, it's just totally different.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
+1 once set up and trimmed co-axial helis are really very easy to fly. Single rotor is where it starts to get 'interesting'. To be honest I'm not sure if co-axial experience really helps much to prepare for flying a single rotor, it's just totally different.
You are so right about that. Coaxials can be looked at as an introductory helicopter to heli flying. Single rotor Collective Pitch or even Fixed Pitch helis do require a whole new learning curve and most individuals will still need more set up help and advice.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Thank you all very much for your contributions to this thread. Sound advice indeed.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GBLynden View Post
Thank you all very much for your contributions to this thread. Sound advice indeed.
Yes indeed, the advice is only as good as the pilot applies it...really hope the OP will put it to good use when advising others how to fly heli's....and expand's on ones build/repair and set-up skills as well.....Particularly with heli's, one without the ability and knowledge of the other is really useless to any audience one cares to advise........!

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Old 12-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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So I dusted off my MCX2 and it seems that once you get over that initial hump, flying one of these is just like riding a bike:

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
+1 once set up and trimmed co-axial helis are really very easy to fly. Single rotor is where it starts to get 'interesting'. To be honest I'm not sure if co-axial experience really helps much to prepare for flying a single rotor, it's just totally different.
I have both Co-Ax and Single rotor jobs ... and as JPF refers to - Co-Ax is so different as to be Chalk and Cheese ...



Co-Ax in my view is a step that only gets the eye's used to the idea of watching the nose of the Heli instead of the natural action to watch the tail. Rest is so different that really I question whether a Co-Ax is really way to go.

My Co-Ax needs a new battery ... so I looked online .. and then looked at a V911 FP ... Guess what ... I chose the V911-1 FP job .. the Co-Ax may be resurrected later if I really feel like it ... but it's boring to fly in all honesty.

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Old 12-16-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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I got my first 'proper' heli about a year ago, before that the only heli I'd flown was the indoor 'toy' type.

It's a steep learning curve both on the hardware side and flying but it's rewarding. A few months ago it just 'clicked' for me and all of a sudden I was able to move from mainly boring tail in hovering to proper controlled flight in all orientations. When this happens it's a great feeling.

My advise, based on my own experience, if you are really serious about getting into helis, is to push the boat out and buy the biggest and best you can stretch to. Clones look great on paper but i found I was constantly repairing and upgrading due to mechanical failures. If you think you will be in to helis in the longer term then splashing out on a genuine brand name IMHO is worth it in the longer run.
Micro helis are great but they are much more twitchy than the big ones, bigger helis make you look like a better pilot.

If you cant stretch to a new one there are plenty of good ones second hand.

The feeling when it all 'clicked' for me was one of the best feelings I've had in RC flying for many years, almost like my first solo! Dont get me wrong, i still consider myself a learner when it comes to heli flying and there are still lots of areas i need to work on, but I'm getting better.

Here's a video from a couple of weeks ago, I've added rolls (bad ones) to my repertoire since this.
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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Heli's unfortunately provoke a Clone vs Brand name debate everytime.

Many like myself want to 'dabble' in Heli's but don't want to spend out the money on Brand name.

There are various 'clone' heli's out there, especially in the most popular CCP size - 450. The clone market on that one size is huge.

I bought an Upforce 450 ... pure clone of the Align 450 SE V2. Cost was just under $200 all in as RTF. More than 3 years later - she is still flying albeit with new canopy and various parts replaced.
Overall in 3 years I can comfortably say that I have spent less in total - that also includes a bare-bones spare CF frame and gear - than an Align OEM would have cost without radio.

The model has been flown by better Heli guys than I .. and although they do say it is not as 'crisp' as their tuned jobs ... they do say they are surprised that it flies well and steady.

My overall idea and it has worked. Initial purchase is a clone. Set-up as per lots of online tutorials to make sure all is as best possible. Fly. As things wear out or damage ... then replace part by part spreading cost out. A good brand to go for in replacement parts - TAROT ... their all in one tail unit is superb. I also use an eBay seller : chunqiangung ... who has good clone gear but prices are very nice. His 12.9 screws are excellent and well worth a couple of complete sets ...
It's interesting that one specific part by him is far better than Align's own : One way bearing sleeve. His is less than half the cost and far better.

I don't knock Align or recognised brand - all I say is careful selection, on-going part replacement as time goes on ... spreads out the cost and actually works.

I fly with guys who have Copter X and Tarot ... those machines are pushed to limits same as any Align product and just as good. I also know two guys who fly for GAUI ... but that's a different world !

The one thing that Heli's are strict about ...

Check fittings, screws, blades EVERY TIME ... make sure all is 100% before opening that throttle. No flying with chipped, cracked or suspect blades. No trying to glue up cracked blades.

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Old 12-19-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
... make sure all is 100% before opening that throttle.
+1 on that point. The requirements for inspection and mainenance on helis is FAR more than fixed wing. I suffered a few crashes that were due to failures like loose screws or damaged gears that I should really have spotted before flying.

Also a few crashes that were due to cheap clone parts, failed tail servos caused me two crashes until I eventually bit the bullet and purchased a genuine brand name quality servo. These sort of failures cant be spotted in advance. The clone vs genuine debate perhaps depends to some extent on how much you fly the heli. I've been getting a lot of hours of flying in and the clone parts just havent stood up.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
I got my first 'proper' heli about a year ago, before that the only heli I'd flown was the indoor 'toy' type.

It's a steep learning curve both on the hardware side and flying but it's rewarding. A few months ago it just 'clicked' for me and all of a sudden I was able to move from mainly boring tail in hovering to proper controlled flight in all orientations. When this happens it's a great feeling.

My advise, based on my own experience, if you are really serious about getting into helis, is to push the boat out and buy the biggest and best you can stretch to. Clones look great on paper but i found I was constantly repairing and upgrading due to mechanical failures. If you think you will be in to helis in the longer term then splashing out on a genuine brand name IMHO is worth it in the longer run.
Micro helis are great but they are much more twitchy than the big ones, bigger helis make you look like a better pilot.

If you cant stretch to a new one there are plenty of good ones second hand.

The feeling when it all 'clicked' for me was one of the best feelings I've had in RC flying for many years, almost like my first solo! Dont get me wrong, i still consider myself a learner when it comes to heli flying and there are still lots of areas i need to work on, but I'm getting better.

Here's a video from a couple of weeks ago, I've added rolls (bad ones) to my repertoire since this.
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
Very nice flying!

I will say that the point of this thread is not to promote any type of heli, it is more to promote a mindset. That is of course to see your way through it until you have it down. It is how we all should approach everything we do IMO.
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