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HelicopterBeginners Corner › Beginner Needs Guidance
12-11-2004 08:35 PM  13 years agoPost 1
Jollygreen

rrNovice

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I am wanting to enter the fun with an electric helo. Any suggestions on what kit to begin with. I have been reading the online advertisements and forums and there seems to be too much info out there for me to decipher. Thanks

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12-11-2004 09:27 PM  13 years agoPost 2
sabooo

rrVeteran

Allentown, PA area

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Let me ask an important question - What is your motivation for wanting to start with an electric heli? The small electrics are a bear to learn on.

The general consensus is that a .30 or .50 sized nitro machine makes a much more stable platform to learn on. The cost for a used one will be in the ballpark with a small electric package new, and will return alot more satisfaction.

Take a moment to fill out your profile. The best course of action IMO is to seek out some local flyers in your area and see what they are flying. Ask their opinions about availability of parts and support from local hobby shops, and make your decision there.

The small electrics are great fun, once you've mastered the basics. My fear for anyone starting out with one is that after buying it and crashing it a few times they get disgusted and leave the hobby.



I was going to take up Origami, but someone said the local club folded.

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12-12-2004 12:50 AM  13 years agoPost 3
Heliavi8or

rrApprentice

Temecula, CA

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I can't agree more with Sabooo. We all want every heli we see but a raptor 30 or 50 is a great way to start. Any good 30 or 50 glow machine will do.

Good Luck

Practice! It might be costly but it's the only way we get better!

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12-12-2004 12:59 AM  13 years agoPost 4
airdodger

rrElite Veteran

Johnston USA

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Electrics are not easy to fly if that is your motivation, I totally agree with the other posts. Chris

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12-12-2004 03:36 AM  13 years agoPost 5
l-milk

rrApprentice

georgia

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i've had a hummingbird V1 and my friends at our club has had a shogun s; a electric heli is a money pit. go with a gasser., a raptor is the all you will ever need.

just fly

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12-12-2004 09:25 AM  13 years agoPost 6
zagidave

rrApprentice

uk.(north london)

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the best thing about small electrics is mmmmm..................

ah yes something to fly when its raining outside.

joking aside, the horibo lama with contra rotating rotars is a very stable
small electric but is quite limited in its flight envelope.

the best advise EVERYONE has given (so far ) is buy a rapter or caliber.

hope this helps.

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12-12-2004 11:20 AM  13 years agoPost 7
Ringding

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Austria

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Garland, it took me exactly 1 gallon (maybe 1.5) to learn all those things. Then what? Trash that useless thingie?

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12-13-2004 02:02 PM  13 years agoPost 8
Phranque

rrApprentice

Wherever you go, there you are.

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Spend your money on a good sim, and do plenty of homework while getting proficient on the computer. Much cheaper this way.

Flying a heli is like seeing the Matrix, it is a mind bending experience.

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12-13-2004 04:17 PM  13 years agoPost 9
big_J

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London

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Until yesterday I would have gone exclusively for electrics given the noise/mess etc that come with a glow heli. However having had an hours lesson on a glow 30 size yesterday I am seriously considering getting a raptor 30 as you get so much more stick time - it only takes 5 mins to fill up then you're back in the air again. You can go Lipos but then the $$$ starts to get out of hand...
So I'll have both - logo 10 fo the local park and raptor for the field.

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12-13-2004 05:29 PM  13 years agoPost 10
BC Don

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Calgary, AB Canada

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I've got a Hummingbird, haven't been able to keep it in the air for a full battery charge yet (although I haven't tried for a few months). With my Hawk I'm still on the RotoPod but can hover and move the machine around somewhat and now that my floats are on I'll use them and drop the Pod.

In my view, the electric is MUCH more difficult to get the hang of and hover and control.

For a days flying, can't beat Nitro or Gas. Yes there is cleanup involved but all you do is burn fuel. WIth the electrics you've got to take an hour or so to charge up the batteries. If you fly twice an hour and have say 3 sets of batteries, you'll get your 5 flights in and then be waiting an hour. And, unless you have multiple chargers you can't be charging batteries at the same time. And, at over $200 per battery you can buy a fair chunk of fuel.

Got Money? Send it to me, I'm a Heli Addict.

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12-13-2004 06:03 PM  13 years agoPost 11
Ringding

rrApprentice

Austria

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There are also electrics that are more stable (because of their size) but those cost big $$$. Acrobat SE, Henseleit MP, MA Ion-X.

An E-Raptor 50 would probably be a viable learning alternative but there is no such thing (yet).

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12-13-2004 06:22 PM  13 years agoPost 12
gaanel

rrApprentice

Greenville, SC

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Electric

I learned to fly on a Ikarus Fun Pic. I think most of the above post are incorrect. If you want to get into helis, the electrics are very cheap and easy to get into.
I started with a fixed pitch heli. I had no help available so I did not go with a collective. The fixed pitch Ikarus Pic can get you in the air quick.

Make sure you get a popular brand. The Ikarus Piccolo FP and the Hummingbird FP have many upgrades. So as you progress you can get better motors, blades, batteries, etc.

Don't let those nitro people fool you. I can build a Lithium Polymer pack for under $20.00 and easily get 50 plus flights on it (try that on 1 gallon of 30% nitro fuel). I have had two packs for the past 6 months that give me 12+ minute flights.

In your beginner stages you will crash many times with a heli. However, the Fun Pic parts are very cheap. Heck, the whole thing only cost $69.00!!!!

Check the following sites for more details.

http://www.pgoelz.com/

http://www.ikarus-modellbau.de/ubbt.../ubbthreads.php

Also, I fly both my fixed pitch and my collective pitch heli outdoors all of the time. With the right blades and a good motor they can take a breezy day. They are a blast to fly in my yard, between trees, over trees, dive down on my neighbors cats, etc. Please ask the nitro boys how much they fly their helis in their yards (maybe a hover at the most). I come home from work, pop the battery pack into the heli, and go for a quick flight.

Now I do have a nitro heli, and they are more stable and a little easier to fly. However, I never seem to make it out to the flying field to fly. So, I say, an electric heli in the air is worth two nitros in the garage!

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12-13-2004 08:06 PM  13 years agoPost 13
Chem Geek

rrVeteran

AL

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If you really want an electric, get an electric. You can certainly learn on those. However, what Garland says isn't really true. Sure the corona will teach you to hover, and then what? No inverted, no autos, it can do loops and rolls, but not like a CP machine. No flipping.....if you are thinking at all about aerobatics skip the corona. Besides that, sure nitro costs money per gallon. But, when you're out of fuel, you land refuel and you're back in the air. All of maybe 2 minutes, with the Corona you have to recharge. Oh more batteries you say? But then it's not as cheap, and negates the "bonus" of not having to buy nitro.

So the Corona has a low crash cost, spend $200 (less if you buy used) on a quality simulator, you know how much that costs to crash? Yea, $0. And it will teach you hovering, forward flight, inverted flight, backwards flight, backwards inverted flight, 3D, autos, etc. Then, go and get yourself a 50 sized nitro or a CP electric (Eco 8, Logo 10, Eolo, etc), and do it all yourself.

What it comes down to is this, if you don't want to mess with a gas engine you'll be much happier with an electric. At that point I still think you should get a simulator, skip the corona, and then get a nice heli like an Eco 8 or Logo 10 that has CP, once you're proficient on the simulator.

If you don't mind the gas engine stuff, then get a simulator, and get a 50 size nitro. Countless guys have started with a 30 and wished shortly afterward they had a 50. I'm certainly one of them. I also tried a Hornet CP a long time ago, and it was a huge mistake to get one as a total beginner.

And just cause you're a beginner doesn't mean you will crash. There are plenty of guys out there that have yet to have a crash, and are well past the beginning stages.

Go to a local field, and check out what they fly. Watch them fuel it up, tune it, fiddle with it (electric's need fiddling too, just not with an engine), and decide if it's something you want to do. Find out what they fly, and consider getting something along the lines of what they have as they can provide more help for you. If there's no one local, don't be discouraged, it's certainly possible to go at it on your own. I did, and have had great success doing so.

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12-13-2004 08:31 PM  13 years agoPost 14
SDavied

rrApprentice

Ellis, Ks

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I agree with physics_nut. If you want electic, get electric, gas, get gas. You can learn on a CP machine by yourself without crashing. I did it. There was no one in my area that flew helis when I was a begginer. The key is knowing your limits. Take it slow and only progress when you feel confident with what you have already been practicing. There is no prize for the person who learns the fastest. Everyone learns at his/her own pace. It took me a few years just hovering and sliding around a bit to get up the nerve to fly a circuit. That might seem slow to some, but if a person goes out and masters everything with in a gallon of fuel, what's the fun in that? Point is: take it slow and you can learn by yourself. Read as much as you can about setup. It is not difficult to rebuild a CP machine after a crash. If you built it once, you can do it again. This is part of the fun. Ask specific questions when there is something that you don't quite understand. These people on RR are more than willing to give advice. What ever you choose to do, good luck to you!

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12-15-2004 02:40 AM  13 years agoPost 15
rkutach

rrNovice

Houston, Texas

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NOOOOOOO....

If you get an electric heli, go collective pitch!!!!!!!! or youll be sorry... sure, the electrics are cheap - for the heli, radio and whatever else is included in the kit,... - but the upgrades will cost a fortune... by the time you get the electric heli where you want it with upgraded parts-to get it flying like you want it to- you should have gone ahead and gotten you a raptor... A fixed pitch heli is HARD to learn on because the only way to control the altitude is by engine rpm... any seasoned heli pilot knows that its VERY hard to control a heli's altitude by using the engine alone...

Good luck with your decision... but here is a list of things you will want to upgrade if you buy a cheap electric... (in order)

blades - most go for the like90 blades
complete metal head - very expensive
batteries - for longer life
tail - to a 2 motor setup
gyro - because the one that comes with these helis are junk...

http://www.helihobby.com will give you an idea of some of the costs you are looking at... hope this helps. Russ

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12-20-2004 10:00 PM  13 years agoPost 16
gaanel

rrApprentice

Greenville, SC

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Electric again

The best thing to do is list out all of your needs, desires, etc. in a Heli. Important things to consider:

1. Do you have local people that can help you set up your heli?
2. Have you ever messed with nitro engines before (car, airplane or heli)?
3. Are you somewhat mechanically inclinded?


My opinions:

1. I love both electric micros helis and nitro helis. I have never tried a larger electric heli. I have an Ikarus Fun Pic Fixed Pitch heli and a Ikarus Pic Pro Collective Pitch heli and a Hawk Sport .32 heli.

2. In a crash the Ikarus Fun Pic will hold up much better than the Ikarus Pic Pro.

3. The Ikarus Pic Pro is more difficult to set up and fly than the Ikarus Fun Pic. Actually the Fun Pic can't get much simpler.

4. If you go with a micro electric go with a well known company. Check websites and stores that sell them and make sure you have spare parts availability.

5. Make sure their is a good bulletin board (like RunRyder) for on-line help concerning your brand of heli.

6. Make sure you have upgrade parts available. The Fun Pic can even be retrofitted to collective pitch if you desire.

7. Yes, get a simulator if you have the money.

8. If you go with a nitro heli, make sure there is some place close to practice (hopefully a local AMA club with helis). Because learning to fly helis takes a lot of practice and you want to be able to get to the flying field often to fly. If you try a micro heli you can fly in your yard. Most people don't have the space to fly a nitro in their yard.

9. Check your money supply. I would say, definitely get a good heli radio before you get your helicopter. Many of the heli combo deals come with a very basic radio. I tried a basic heli radio and was very dissappointed. I now have a RD8000 and I am very satisfied with that. If you really want to get into this sport get a radio that has the required heli features (5 point throttle/pitch curve min, etc).

10. When I got into helis, micro electric was all I could afford. After I learned to fly I got my nitro powered hawk. It was an easy step up from electric micro to the Hawk. I never needed the training gear. The Hawk is about as cheap as you can go but is good. Even then you will spend about $269 for the heli w/engine, $50.00 for a decent gyro (get a HH if you can and a good servo for the tail), then you need a decent flight box, pitch gages, electric starter, starter wand, glow plug ignitor, battery for the starter, batter charger, etc.

11. Weigh out the cost of electric vs. nitro. Check for available help. Buy a good heli radio that will carry you into the future. Go on-line and get as much info on heli set up that you can.

PS: I never had any trouble with my fixed pitch electric. It was easy to fly. Yes the Hawk is easier, but if you don't have anyone to help you set it up correctly, you may pull your hair out trying to get a collective pitch to fly correctly.

Hope this helps.

Gary

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