Raging Rotors: The Path to Pilot is Paved in Broken Blades and Landing Skids, Part 3: Right into the Danger Zone!
I’ve been buried into some multirotor building that I completely forgot I need to finish what I started here on Raging Rotors; either that or I was half expecting Doug to write it this week after last week (Props to Doug and his great scale/crawler work). As we come to the final phase of ‘The Path’ (which have alternate titles of ‘There and Back Again’ and ‘Evasive Maneuvers’), we need to discuss the most important part of becoming an amateur pilot, actually piloting! Now, I’ll break it down to helicopters and airplanes, as some of the maneuvers are not as necessary for one over the other. I would also like to give a shout out to Tony of HobbyTown Orland Park since most of this piloting advice (especially helicopter) is straight out of his manual.
When it comes to helicopter flight, the most difficult part of flight is when the controls are reversed due to the nose of the helicopter being faced towards yourself, known as ‘nose in.’ ‘Looking into the eyes of the beast’ can be a little intimidating; many a time I have freaked out flying nose in, even with my mini quadcopters. Here is a set of maneuvers you can do to practice flight, whether or not you choose to go nose in is up to you:
- Full Circles clockwise(opt: using rudder (left stick) to keep nose in direction of flight path) and counter-clockwise (opt: using rudder to keep tail in direction of flight path)
- Figure 8 forwards (opt: using rudder to keep nose in direction of flight path) and backwards (opt: using rudder to keep tail in direction of flight path)
For airplane flight, nose in is still a contributing factor but if you’re using a slow flying trainer plane, I’ve noticed getting accustomed to the viewpoint is easier, like controlling your RC Car (unlike helis, you can nose in your car and drive slow, and kill throttle of your plane and glide around). The major challenge with aircraft like RC Planes is accounting for depth (a plane can get away from you pretty quick) and wind (some planes need some assistance, especially out by me near the ‘Windy City’). Here’s one good flight hint: Take off in the wind. This will give you some help taking off, since the wind in combination with your propeller work will give you some extra lift.
These maneuvers with practice (on the field or on the simulator) will definitely hone your skills, but only attempt them after getting a handle for your aircraft.
The end of ‘The Path’ has been reached, but it is just a small piece of a bigger journey. I am honored to share my experiences and knowledge with you, and appreciate all the support to those of you who have contacted me or visited me on my ‘home turf‘. Between March Bash-ness and the continuing improvement in weather, it will definitely be a good month! As always, until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!