Helicopters are something that is a pretty common sight to see but only a select few people could actually pilot them. Although that may be the case, you can still fly a miniature helicopter with just a remote control.
These radio-controlled or RC helicopters may look complicated to control but with some focus and dedication, you’ll be adept at flying it in no time.
Hence, if you are a complete beginner in using RC helicopters, this is the right article for you. We’ve gathered some of the most basic tips and tricks that you can use as the fundamentals of your skills.
On the other hand, if you already consider yourself as experienced, you can still use this article to freshen up your existing knowledge.
There’s a high chance that you already have an RC helicopter by the time you are reading this. Now, you’re probably raring to go and fly that bad boy in the skies. However, before you do, keep a note of the following tips to not become a nuisance to other people.
1. Never fly your RC helicopter with other people or animals around – This is pretty self-explanatory. The last thing you would want to happen is to injure someone or some creature when you lose control of your helicopter.
As a beginner, your helicopter would spend more time on the ground than in the skies which is completely normal. Hence, if there are other people around, you will only just be creating a hazardous situation for them. Even if you are already an experienced RC helicopter pilot, you can never guarantee that nothing wrong will happen.
2. Always keep your RC helicopter fully-charged before flying – By now, you should already know that your RC helicopter runs on rechargeable batteries. These rechargeable batteries, depending on the type of RC helicopter, could only last below 20 minutes.
Hence, if your helicopter is not fully charged when you use it, there’s a very high probability that it would lose power midair, leading it to its inevitable doom. Keep in mind that your goal is to bring your RC helicopter back home in one piece and not in pieces.
3. Consider having a training kit – Training kits are extra accessories that you can use to minimize the damages that might happen to your helicopter due to bad landings. Since you are probably still a complete beginner, you should seriously consider adding these tools for your own good.
As a beginner, always look for a transmitter/controller that has few controls. In this case, the fewer it is, the better you will learn. Once you’re already confident enough with your skills, you may now switch to a more advanced controller if you want to.
The only difference it has with a basic controller is that it provides more precise movements that you can use to control your RC helicopter more freely. Nonetheless, all RC helicopter transmitter/controllers have the following basic controls:
1. Throttle stick – This is the control you will use for the vertical movement of your helicopter. Flicking this upward would make your helicopter rise to the air while flicking it downward would make your helicopter descend.
2. Directional stick – This control will handle the general movement of your helicopter from left, right, forward, or backward.
3. Trim buttons – You can use these buttons to make your helicopter stabilize itself once it starts to spin in circles.
Now, we get to the meat of the article. Different RC helicopters might have slight differences in how they are operated. This is why you need to thoroughly read the manual first before doing a trial run.
However, they are generally piloted just the same way so in that regard, here are the basic flight procedures you should take note of:
1. Stabilization – Piloting an RC helicopter is mainly all about stabilizing it at a constant altitude so that it won’t go haywire on you. Hence, you should first take your time in practicing the control in the comforts of your own room first or somewhere with a lot of space. To do this, simply place the helicopter on a level surface which could be an empty table or the ground.
Then, slowly flick the throttle towards the top to make your helicopter take off. Don’t push it too hard to avoid making your helicopter do an abrupt movement. Once in the air, your helicopter would most likely mess around and move in a counter-clockwise direction. To keep it stable, simply play around with the trim buttons and repeatedly press the one that could gradually stabilize it.
2. Steering – Once you get the gist of stabilizing your helicopter, you will now move on to steering. Just like the previous step, never make your helicopter do abrupt movements as the controls can be pretty sensitive.
Play around with your directional stick and take note of the movement of your helicopter with every movement of your directional stick. Combine your learnings in step one and simply use the trim buttons to keep your helicopter stable as it moves around.
3. Practice – The only thing that can equalize talented and average individuals is sheer hard work and determination. If you really want to get good at piloting an RC helicopter, constantly practice the basics until such time that you can just do it even without thinking too much about it. Once you become extremely confident with your skills, you may now pursue the advanced tricks and stunts that you can do with your helicopter.
Flying an RC helicopter seems daunting at first and it does take a lot of practice to get it right. But, practising is part of the fun, especially once you start to gain more skills and your helicopter starts to spend more time in the air and less time on the ground.
We hope these flying tips for beginners have given you a good place to start in a long and happy hobby of flying RC helicopters.