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HelicopterBeginners Corner › My heli learning experience
11-30-2005 08:49 PM  12 years agoPost 1
Hotrod69

rrApprentice

Huntington Beach, CA

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I thought I would share what I experienced this week in learning how to fly a heli. I have been flying fixed wing for about 4 years now and have numerous aircraft from pylon racers, to wings and 3M glider. Although I really enjoy the fixed wing aircraft and the speed they can fly, there was something missing. I figured it was my desire to learn how to fly helicopters.

So about 6 months ago I started researching beginner micro sized electric helis. I kept hearing people tell me how hard they are to fly and to be prepared for expensive crashes. So one recommendation was to purchase a flight simulator to practice on. I ended up buying Real Flight G3, and after buying a new computer to run it $$$$!, I have been trying to fly a heli on it. No matter how many times I tried to fly, I just could not get the hang of it (crashed continuously) and became so disappointed I gave up on the idea of flying a heli.

Then last weekend my wife surprised me with a gift, a Sabre Micro helicopter. I was quite pleased but cautious to even try flying it due to the poor flying skills I demonstrated on the SIM.

I gave it some thought and said what the heck I will gie it a try. Well I have been flying it now for 4 days. I fly 4 battery packs a night in the garage. As of last night I can almost keep a hover within a 5' circle going for the length of the battery, maybe 5 minutes. I was totally surprised at how I was able to catch on so much quicker by just flying the real thing than using the simulator.

So for kicks last night I fired up the simulator to see why I was not doing so well and maybe the "realism" was not accurate. Much to my surprise I picked it up instantly on the simulator and was hovering near perfect and was actually able to fly the heli around doing figure 8's quite easily. I admit I had a few screw-up's but I got to a point of flying on the SIM that I had never reached before. And I can honestly say it seemd the SIM was very close to the feel of the real heli. Obviously I have a huge learning curve to still climb, however I have so much more confidence now.

So here I sit trying to figure out why my brain just could not get the idea until I actually flew a real heli? The reason I bring this up is that if any of you out there are considering buying a heli but are concerned about getting the hang of it, you just might be surprised that if you follow the steps and suggestions from the experts on how to start flying it's much easier to grasp the concept with real life than on a SIM. Can't wait to get home and fly! Next step hovering with the tail pointed away from me....wish me luck.

Oh by the way I highly recommend using the training gear (sticks and ping-pong balls), it helps tremendously.

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11-30-2005 10:55 PM  12 years agoPost 2
kingair200

rrNovice

HKY, North Carolina

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Hey That's AWESOME! You know there really is no "right" way to learn to fly. Everybody will tell you something different. The important thing is that you're FLYING!!!! It sounds like you are taking your time and thats important. Too many people try to do to much in the beginning and to no avail, it costs them. Kudos dude! Next thing ya know you'll have a fleet of heli's and end up inverted all the time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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12-01-2005 01:59 AM  12 years agoPost 3
arawson

rrNovice

los angeles california

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What a great story! Welcome...I'm a recent addict myself and already have an XRB a Sabre and a Raptor 50v2. You'll have a couple more helis real soon...guaranteed
Andy

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12-01-2005 04:52 PM  12 years agoPost 4
Hotrod69

rrApprentice

Huntington Beach, CA

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I have the bug bad, I was flying last night at 10pm in the street (first time outside of the garage). I think learning how to hover in a tight space really helped me as when I went out into the open street, I felt even more comfortable. I can now hover, do slow circles and land on a mark I painted. Still keeping the training gear on, and taking it one step at a time....don't want to get over confident and trash it.

But you are right, now I want another heli. We have a Hobby People fairly close to home, was thinking about a Shogun V2. Do not know much about this heli, but they are very close by and have lots of spare parts. They say after upgrades and electronics plan on spending $500 to $600. I already have a computer radio. I plan on attending the AMA show in January in Ontario CA, I will be concentrating on the heli's this year for sure.......is there a cure for this addiction? Not sure the wife knew what was going to happen when she gave me this heli!

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12-01-2005 06:21 PM  12 years agoPost 5
Tatayoyo

rrApprentice

Belgium

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No cure

I started myself beginning of this year, and my learning curve was quite slow in the beginning, I couldn't find the balance on the sim, so I though, let's try the real one to see the difference.

Finally I gave up the sim, and all a sudden, I really started to fly (and to buy other helis...)! And so far burned around 70 tanks (average of 12mins) since july.

Now I use the sim to try out new figures... very cool I have to say !

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12-01-2005 07:43 PM  12 years agoPost 6
Tailspinner

rrVeteran

JAMAICA, NY

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The arc of the learning curve is directly proportionate to the total amount of time spent on the sticks. More time on the sticks = shorter learning curve. Crashing, albeit an unwanted result, will also help to shorten the curve.


.

Are you on the list?

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12-01-2005 07:58 PM  12 years agoPost 7
BC Don

rrElite Veteran

Calgary, AB Canada

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No cure but, after awhile you do finally get a bit more selective about when you go flying. I don't tend to go "EVERY SINGLE CHANCE" now. For example, it will be about -15C this weekend and snowing. I'm not planning on going out whereas when I first got started I would be definitely going out. But, if the temp warms up a few more degrees I'll be out there.

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

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12-01-2005 08:33 PM  12 years agoPost 8
Jeff Greunke

rrApprentice

Northwest Ohio

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Congratulations, another Heli pilot is born You'll find nitro Helis to be totally kool

Raptor 30, Raptor 50, Raptor 50#2, E620

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12-02-2005 12:15 AM  12 years agoPost 9
Hotrod69

rrApprentice

Huntington Beach, CA

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Nitro would be cool Jeff, but not too many fields near my place to fly nitro legally. Lots of electric here. This is Southern California where the "tree huggers" and plaintiff attorney's have just about ruined this state. We don't have big open flying fields like the rest of the country. If the land does not have houses on it then it's private property. With the high fire danger here, the fire officials get very nervous with people flying gas.

My son and I used to launch model rockets, that hobby has been pretty much pushed out to the desert, 2+ hour drive each way. Not to say you can't try it at a local school, but it only takes minutes before the police helicopter is on your butt........but the weather is nice here!

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12-02-2005 01:25 AM  12 years agoPost 10
Jeff Greunke

rrApprentice

Northwest Ohio

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Bummer, sorry to hear that On possitive side there are some really great electric Helis such as the T-Rex or a larger size like the LOGO. The T-Rex has a even greater power to weight ratio than most of the nitros So at least you can still enjoy some great Heli flying Too bad the fun police have taken over your state.

Raptor 30, Raptor 50, Raptor 50#2, E620

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12-02-2005 05:06 PM  12 years agoPost 11
Hotrod69

rrApprentice

Huntington Beach, CA

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I keep hearing the T-Rex is a great heli. Since I am not familiar with that heli, who makes it and is there a dedicated website or info on that particular heli? I would like to find a hobby shop in Southern CA that handles these.

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12-02-2005 06:27 PM  12 years agoPost 12
Jeff Greunke

rrApprentice

Northwest Ohio

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Should be pretty easy to find info on the Internet for the T-Rex. Here's a couple of links, one of them is for the electric section here on RR. Do a google search on T-Rex and you'll probably get more information then you'll ever need. I'm considering getting one myself

http://www.runryder.com/helicopter/f94p1/

http://www.deeteeenterprises.com/

Raptor 30, Raptor 50, Raptor 50#2, E620

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12-02-2005 07:37 PM  12 years agoPost 13
Hotrod69

rrApprentice

Huntington Beach, CA

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Thanks Jeff, very helpful. I can see I will be spending some money soon. Better revise my Santa list!

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12-03-2005 01:00 AM  12 years agoPost 14
arawson

rrNovice

los angeles california

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Where in SoCal are you Hotrod? I live in the Valley and the biggest airfield in California is right here in Van Nuys. Lots of heli guys out every day and 2 great hobby shops within 2 miles fom there.
Andy

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