any R/C helicopter enthusiasts?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joel Endicott, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Joel Endicott

    Joel Endicott Auditioning

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    I've always been a big fan of RC cars. When I was 12 I bought a Hornet with my paper route money. I loved to race it and have many fond memories of that car.
    Now that I'm 30, I'd like to get into RC again, but am thinking something beyond cars. Does anyone have any experience with R/C helicopters? Are they as expensive and difficult to fly as I've heard? Any recommendations for a first time purchase would be greatly appreciated!
    joel
     
  2. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    I purchased one but never had time to fully assemble it or fly it. It is from Hirobo (sp?) Im thinking on selling it including the remote and gyro for around $200 bux.
    ------------------
    Travis -- "Contrary to popular belief, Travis Hedger, DID NOT infact invent DVD. He was just a very enthusiastic fan!!!"
     
  3. Todd Harlan

    Todd Harlan Agent

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    I have a r/c nitro monster truck (T-MAXX). I thought about getting a stadium truck or buggy, but it does not handle the rough terrain as well. The T-MAXX goes through anything, and (mine....between 30-35 out of the box) has a top speed close to 40mph!! It is a blast bashing around or taking it to the track to race.
    Anyways....
    I have wanted to get a helicopter too. I have heard you should start off with a plane (don't know that I agree with this). I would be interested to hear some info on the helicopter.
     
  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I have flown R/C planes for quite a number of years. If you want to try flying R/C aircraft, start with fixed wing planes. It is hard enough to learn to take off, land and fly an aircraft that flys forward, without adding the extra complication of dealing with one that flys sideways and backwards. If you do want to try R/C flying, check for a local club to join and get someone to teach you. DO NOT try to teach yourself to fly. The learning curve is steep and and the cost will be extremely high. If you really want to learn to fly, ask at your local club if anyone flys a type of flying known as "pattern flying". The guys involved in this type of flying are some of the better people to learn from. Make sure that any guy that calls himself an "instructor" can fly in both directions and can make turns both to the left and right. Any guy who can only make left turns while flying is to be AVOIDED as an instructor AT ALL COSTS. The person should also be able to land and takeoff from the left and the right.
    The biggest mistake most people make is to think that these aircraft are toys.....they aren't. Improperly handled and without good training they can be deadly. I haven't flown in a while but up to the time I stopped I was flying birds that could do up to 100 mph. I have heard of some model turbine jets that do in excess of 200. If you are interested I can recommend a good quality trainer plane.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    hrm. I take it RC fields fly left traffic only?
    weird... why left? in a real airplane there are advantages to left traffic, but an rc you'd think you'd fly left or right traffic to keep downwind opposite of the field from spectators and the parking lot...
     
  6. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    ----hrm. I take it RC fields fly left traffic only?----
    Nope. Parking lots and pit areas at R/C fields are always oriented behind the flight line. You fly parallel to the runway and will land/takeoff from your left and right depending on wind direction. You take off and land in to the wind just like full size aircraft. A lot of guys never learn how to do right hand circuits or right hand turns because they never get over the discomfort that a right hand turn can cause. Most models have a degree of right thrust built into the engine mount. Doing a left turn is easier than doing a right one because as you bank left the engine, which is offset to the right of the longitudinal axis of the fuselage, causes the nose of the aircraft to be pulled up causing less of a drop in altitude. A right turn is just the opposite, the right thrust of the engine causes the nose to drop which requires more up elevator to compensate for. When someone is first learning to fly the rapid drop in altitude that a right turn causes if you don't get on the elevator quick enough can freak a person out. Some guys never get over the feeling of losing control so they just don't bother to learn to turn right. They only do left turns and only learn to land from the left. A lot of times the wind will be coming from a direction that requires a person to land from his right but they can't do it, so they land downwind. Landing downwind means you have to come in hotter because you don't want to slow down so much that you stall the aircraft.
    A lot of this stuff is why I was saying never try to teach yourself to fly. If a person does go it alone they are going to be playing a lot of WHAP,FUCK! As in....take off...followed by.......WHAAPP.....FUCK!! Part of the secret of learning to fly is being able to trim the aircraft out after taking off. When you don't have the first clue on how to control the plane, it is impossible for a person to know how to trim it for straight and level flight.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    what I was getting at is do you always orient the pattern to there are left turns only (left traffic) or if you have to land right to left do you make right traffic (and make all right hand turns) to keep the downwind leg opposite the flight line?
    [Edited last by Philip_G on November 15, 2001 at 01:43 AM]
     
  8. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Ok, I've got it. If you are landing from right to left your traffic pattern is oriented so that all turns will be right turns. The downwind leg will parallel the runway. The right hand pattern is the one that some guys never bother to learn. They will always orient to land using left hand turns only. Doing so requires them to always land from left to right, regardless of wind direction.
    Taking off from right to left means you will make a right turn after climb out to take yourself away from the pits and parking areas which are normally behind you. The type of flying I was doing had a requirement that would require you to do a right turn to your first crosswind leg...you then would take the aircraft out a ways along the leg following up with a 270 degree turn to the left. This would bring you back on to your downwind leg for a trim pass. After that you would make a left followed by a right to bring yourself back on line for flying aerobatics or a lot of times a person would do what is called a half reverse cuban 8 to accomplish the same thing.
     
  9. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    There's an OK game (good for a rental) for the Playstation (the original) called RC Stuntcopter. Turns out the PSX controller, the analog one, is a natural for basic R/C controls and the game is based on flying a simulated helicopter. Granted the game is more arcade than simulation, but it's kind of fun to fly around and do tricks and stuff.
    Worth a rental though. The only problem I have is that the areas they let you free fly are waaaaayyyyyyy too small.
    Jay
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    Certified HTF bike nut and mayor of
    Obscuria.
     
  10. Dan D.

    Dan D. Stunt Coordinator

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    Joel,
    Sounds like we have some similar interests. I'm about your age and I've got a Tamiya Hornet up in the attic too. Man, I loved that thing. I had it pretty well tricked-out too.
    I actually did take the plunge and got into R/C helicopters back in my car days. It was a costly experience that didn't last long. I was lucky becasue I had managed to lure my father into the hobby (he bought himself a Tamiya HotShot after playing with my Hornet), otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it then.
    Building the thing was fascinating, flying it was next to impossible. As cool as those they look in the air, you really don't realize how difficult it is to fly them. I never really made it past hovering, and truth be said, I never really did that very well. You've got to learn to hold the thing in place before you can safely send it flying around.
    Be prepared to break lots of rotor blades. It got so bad that we actually purchased a smaller, cheaper used helicopter to practice with. This is probably the most expensive of the R/C hobbies with exception to some of the more exotic airplanes.
    The closest thing I can equate helicopter flying to is piano lessons. When you are really good, it looks great, but it takes a ton of tedious practice to get there. Patience is a must (I'm not sure if I am really any more patient in my 30's than I was back then!) I certainly don't mean to discourage you, just give you the full story.
    If you go for it, definitely take Edwin's advice and find a group or a club. You'd do well to go out and watch them and talk to them for an afternoon. Most serious flyers will have several helicopters, so somebody might have a trainer for sale. Good luck!
    [Edited last by Dan D. on November 15, 2001 at 08:48 AM]
     
  11. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I'd LOVE to get into RC helicopters. But between my other hobbies (HT, home automation, and hovercrafts) I just don't have the spare cash.
    RC airplanes don't do it for me. They're neat, but even the slow ones are so fast that you're constantly turning to keep it in view. They get so damn small when they're flying that they're hard to see... just not my thing.
    Helicopters, on the other hand, kick some serious ass. My buddy's father owns a real one and took me flying one day. That's the most fun I've ever had. When I win the lottery [​IMG], a nice chopper is the first thing I'm going to buy. The second thing will be 6 months worth of a professional pilot's time to teach me how to fly the thing.
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    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    keep in mind a heli has the main rotor to tilt for turning (not neglecting gyroscopic precession) throttle, collective, and your tail rotor to keep in check, even in the real thing it's a nightmare, add the same controls and no feel on your body and it's even more fun [​IMG]
    every pilot I know that's gone from fixed wing to rotor hated it and said it as his worst nightmare [​IMG]
     
  13. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    I was into R/C airplanes last year..
    Bought a $200 Sky Scooter PRO, thought it was the best.
    Then, I tried flying it..
    CRASH!
    What I waste! So, I finally gave up this expensive hobby for some other hobby.
    Something cheaper.
    Home Theater
    Man, I thought $200.11 for an R/C airplane was too expensive! Try spending $400 a month on HT!
    So, I sold all the parts of the Sky Scooter I didn't break for $90 and purchased my first DVD player.
    That's when my life changed.
    Although somedays, when people fly their expensive R/C planes at the park across the street from my house, I get the sudden urge to join them or preach to them about HT..
    Nathan
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    "Um, ER, uh, No, it's not a bedroom HT, I just love it so much, I sleep in it."
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  14. Joel Endicott

    Joel Endicott Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the input. I live pretty close to a closed airbase where occasionally I see folks flying planes and heli's. Sounds like the best thing for me to do is to go watch and chat with these folks.
    Here's the other thing I've been considering: getting a nitro powered RC car. Since as a kid I had so much fun with a battery powered car, maybe now as an adult (but still definately kid at heart!) I would enjoy a nitro car. So the next question is- how do nitro cars compare to electric ones? Are they noisy? Is it true that not all of them can do reverse? I'm very mechanical and love to build things, so I think I would be into building the car.
    Any nitro racers out there? What would be a good car to start with? I'm most interested in off-road types.
    Thanks,
    joel
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Very interesting thread. I used to be an aviation nut, but I was into simulation, not models. HT eclipsed most of my other hobbies these last couple of years. But they will be back [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  16. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    ---RC airplanes don't do it for me. They're neat, but even the slow ones are so fast that you're constantly turning to keep it in view. They get so damn small when they're flying that they're hard to see... just not my thing.----
    If you think R/C planes are small and too fast, you have to see how fast a model helicopter becomes hard to see. Worse yet is that least with model aircraft you have a wing that allows you to judge the angle of bank; not so with choppers.
    Choppers are no slouch in the speed department either, they are probably good for 70 mph top speed....if not more. you have to fly them a lot closer in than your average plane. One thing about them, is that once you get good at flying them they can do stunts that no other aircraft can. You can do stuff with them that a real chopper pilot could only dream of doing. There is an American guy, Curtis Youngblood, that could fly the things backward while doing aaileron rolls, backwards loops with aileron rolls, etc. There isn't a full size chopper in existence that will do that. We used to watch video's of the guy flying and the running joke was ..."how many choppers did he go through to learn that". We figured at least 25. [​IMG] At $1000 Canadian for a top of the line machine...that's $25000.....and that's just for the helicopters....no engines,fuel or radios.
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  18. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    I really enjoyed the Playstation R/C Stuntcopter game, and it probably saved me thousands of dollars in real helicopters!
     
  19. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I really want to get one.
    Heres a pic of a buddies that i touched up a bit [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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