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Radio Control Helicopter Info, Hints And Tips

Elvis Elvis

A-R-T-F radio control helicopter models usually require the installation of the radio components, the engine and undercarriage. The amount of work needed varies between models and manufacturers – from a few minutes to about fifteen hours work.

R-T-F models are completely assembled!! They’re a favorite with most newbies as they’ll want to get airborne as quickly as possible. Nowadays even great advanced models are pre-built for the professionals who do not have the time or required patience to build a kit. Some r-t-f models even come with complete building instructions – very handy when the time comes to carry out any checks or maintenance.

Pod and Boon radio control rotaries are not scale models (not replicas of real life helicopters). Their name comes from their shape – pod is the front part that covers amongst others the servos, while the boon is the stick-like back part that holds the tail. Most of today’s helicopter models are of this layout. An advantage is that they’re lighter than scale models so are more forgiving on the first few hard landings. They are also easier and more fun to fly because of their power/weight ratio.

Radio Control Helicopter Info, Hints And Tips


Hints and Tips

If you purchase a kit or a-r-t-f model, before starting any work see that you have all the tools mentioned in the instruction manual and a workbench. It’s imperative that the instructions are followed to the letter.

If you purchase an a-r-t-f radio control model, it’s a good idea to check that all the screws and components are tightly secured in place.

Although IC engine breakdowns are very rare, do not give a second thought to check any erratic operation such as overheating and excessive noise.

Preferably newbies should train with a pod and boon model and start their practicing on a grass field, as it may prevent damage on the first few hard landings. Unlike tarmac, cement, etc., a grass field may even prevent the model from bouncing from one side of the undercarriage to the other. Training undercarriages are available; they not only help to prevent the above mentioned but even reduce the possibility for the model to tilt over as they have a wider area than the standard undercarriages.

Never try to stop the helicopter’s propeller by hand – could cause injury and damage.

If you’re not going to join any clubs, find out where they enjoy their hobby and keep at least 2 miles distance between your radio controlled model and theirs. Interference could result in a couple of crashed models.

A common question newbies ask is how far away the model can be flown. With today’s technology the ranges achieved are greater than anyone can see with the naked eye. Obviously out of sight situations are to be avoided. Before flying for the first time it’s a very good idea that you have someone with you at the flying site with you, so you’ll be able to test the models’ range. Any interference can reduce the maximum distance greatly.

The best weather for flying helicopters is dry, very light breeze and clear visibility.

It’s a good idea to take some basic tools with you to the field such as screw drivers, pliers, a rag, etc. In case of battery powered models, a spare battery in my opinion is a must, so you’ll still be able to continue flying while the other battery is being recharged.

Before taking off, check that all the models’ parts are tightly secured and not damaged in any way – especially the propellers.

Do not attempt much on the first flights. See how the aircraft responds to your commands and how the wind affects its performance. Newbies should start by practicing to hover, which is the most challenging of all maneuvers. Once hover is mastered, controlling the model is a breeze and aerobatics can be performed very easily – in some cases with just a flick of a switch.

Safety First. When choosing a flying site try to avoid places where children and pets are abound – they tend to be very inquisitive and could be hazard and a distraction. Remember that R/C models are not toys, especially helicopters. Never fly the model close to people, even if you’re a professional. When you’re at the flying site and ready to take off, stand at least four meters away from the radio control rotary model.

While all this may seem overwhelming to a novice, if you think about it it’s all common sense. With a bit of practice controlling the radio control helicopter model becomes instinctive.