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T-REX 450 › Maintaining orientation
09-12-2007 02:27 PM  10 years agoPost 1
pgoelz

rrVeteran

Rochester MI

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To all you Trex450 pilots out there..... how do you maintain orientation when flying the 450? I am finding that I do just fine in my front yard and at the field just flying around close in. But when I try any aerobatics, I need to be a bit farther away and end up with moments where I am not certain exactly what the heli is doing. I think the problem is that the rotor disk is not real visible in flight and that makes the fuse the only thing I can see. And it is not easy to tell exactly what the heli is doing by looking only at the fuse. I find that +/- 30 degrees or so in any orientation is very difficult to discern. I have not yet crashed because of it, but it makes me fly much more conservatively than I might otherwise.

When I fly planes, the wing against the fuse makes it very easy to see what the plane is doing. And of course, with a plane, you don't have to be as "in touch" with it every millisecond.....

I don't have anywhere near as much trouble with my Raptor, but that seems to be because it is much larger and easier to see at a distance where I am comfortable performing aerobatics. But I still catch myself flying with one skid low or crabbing.

The blades on my Trex are the Align woodies, white with red lettering. Anyone have any recommendations for something to make the rotor disk even more visible? Like maybe solid white on top and bright orange on the bottom?

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-12-2007 02:38 PM  10 years agoPost 2
Helifanatic

rrApprentice

Bronx, NY

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Yeah get yourself some type of reflective stickers cut them exactly the same size and put them on the top of the blades in the exact same place then you will be able to see the blades as a disk, also just so you know, this is how we fly the little ones, pretty close, i dont let mine get far at all, you will get used to it, also that is why i fly the V BLADES, they have the reflectiveness at the tips already built in, hope this helps also i would put reflective under the blades as well, only a different color that way when u are inverted this will help as well, a different color will let you know what position you are in...Ivan!



HAVE YOU EVER FLOWN A STRATUS? THEN YOU KNOW!

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09-12-2007 02:41 PM  10 years agoPost 3
helimatt

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Lafayette, IN

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I have had the same issues, and until I got some new glasses (was flying with contacts which for me don't give optimal distance vision), I had several crashes from loss of orientation in inverted FF, and some 3D manuevers. The old conundrum- need to learn high up for some mistake room, but then its harder to see...

Practice has been the best deal- very careful as low as you are comfortable with, and just learn to expect the heli to be pointed where it should be given a set of control inputs etc. The setup needs to be as good as you can get, particularly the tail/gyro so that it holds and does not give erratic tail swings at inopportune times

In time, the little 450 is a very predictable machine, albeit quick and lively. Things happen much faster, there's less "hang time" than with a larger machine. I have found that flying my 600 has resulted in my flying the 450 even better, but I generally try new things with the 450 first- I guess I perceive that repairing the 450 is cheaper so I'm more brave.

so, practice on a sim, practice in the field putting the helicopter exactly where you want it- make sure you can hover and fly in all orientations (learning to fly backwards has helped me tremendously with handling the botched 3D type manuever) inverted and upright. Bright colors on the canopy and fin will help, but in the end you just need to be "ahead" of the heli mentally so that its pointing where you expect all the time.

Never, ever, ever, ever give up.

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09-12-2007 05:13 PM  10 years agoPost 4
nojohnny101

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10 miles north of Cincy, OHIO

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hey
i do this on the big birds too...

i always keep the tail boom cocked to the side....this helped tremendously with orientation...can't exactly explain why but it does...

i think it provides depth perception to the pilot instead of having the boom disappear either in front of the heli or behind it...by keeping to the side a little bit you can tell and judege depth...which helps alot

all of the other above advice is good too

Thanks
~Will-i-am~

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09-12-2007 05:34 PM  10 years agoPost 5
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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Yeah, that's just it..... the Trex is very fast and you don't have much reaction time low and close.

My Trex flies extremely well and the tail holds fine. It is very predictable. I am the weak link here For some reason, I also tend to dispute my internal memory of what the heli was last seen doing..... with the small profile of the Trex, my eyes play tricks on me and I tend to believe them over what I am pretty sure the heli OUGHT to be doing based on what it was LAST doing.

At least I'm not alone. I'm at the stage where I have done airplane style aerobatics and some stationary flips with the Raptor but they scare me with the Trex because of how fast it meets the ground when flying close in so I can see it.

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-12-2007 05:45 PM  10 years agoPost 6
helimatt

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Lafayette, IN

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I put flash tape on the blade tips- different color top and bottom. It looks really cool as the light catches it and changes color as you move the collective, but only so-so useful for orientation, particularly if the sun isn't shining bright.
For some reason, I also tend to dispute my internal memory of what the heli was last seen doing..... with the small profile of the Trex, my eyes play tricks on me and I tend to believe them over what I am pretty sure the heli OUGHT to be doing based on what it was LAST doing.
What can I say- gotta learn to trust your brain over your eyes? Its that way for me.

Flips and rolls are not hard with the 450- it does go fast and you need to be right there with the collective to make it look pretty. After a while doing them up high-ish, you can bring it down and begin to fine tune. The ground being close really gets your attention and refines your concentration on small details! Just keep practicing, get some good sunglasses (helps visual definition in bright or hazy conditions), and be methodical- do loops until they are very consistent, either direction, across, going away, and coming nose in. Then move to the flips, rolls, and make the heli do just what you want every time. Then bring it down close

Never, ever, ever, ever give up.

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09-12-2007 06:05 PM  10 years agoPost 7
lightningrc

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UK

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Ive crashed alot of times because of this problem , I fly my 450 exactly like my bigger birds , then before I know it , in a split second its going flat out towards the floor and I can not tell in the panic which way its pointing .

I do love this little bird though , as ive been so busy lately with work this is all I fly .

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09-12-2007 06:07 PM  10 years agoPost 8
Helifanatic

rrApprentice

Bronx, NY

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Another tip is if the Rex feels SQUIRELY go to swash set-up and lower the number, lets say the swash is at 60% lower it to like 45-50%, this will tame her down a bit, and if u get lost dont throw the sticks around, wait a split second and u will know where u are, turning the tail ever so slightly like stated above helps like heck as opposed to hitting the collective, that way you will NOT lose altitude but get rudder and look at which way she is...Ivan!



HAVE YOU EVER FLOWN A STRATUS? THEN YOU KNOW!

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09-12-2007 07:40 PM  10 years agoPost 9
lightningrc

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UK

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Ive turned mine up to around 85% love the crazy flips etc

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09-12-2007 08:00 PM  10 years agoPost 10
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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Good advice all. In my one real crash with the Rex, I was flying at a comfortable distance and altitude, attempted a loop and bailed into a turn, got disoriented, and before I could logic out what to do, it was in the ground. I think I was on my side and not the side I thought. About the time I might have had it figured out, it took a dirt nap. I kinda paniced but in my panic I froze, which was probably not the worst thing I could have done. I just didn't un-freeze until too late

I am thinking that for me and for little helis, I might just be a lot happier getting a nice scale body for it and flying it scale. Aerobatics are fun but I am not real attracted to 3D flying.

Still waiting for the right Hughes 500D fuse to come along. And yes I've been reading the scale forum

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-13-2007 01:56 AM  10 years agoPost 11
slider46

rrProfessor

Ocala Florida

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I fly a Hughes 500E on one of my trex's, they do look great flying around like a real heli.....

Tom..... No "D" flying....

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09-13-2007 05:25 AM  10 years agoPost 12
Helinorth

rrApprentice

Terrace Bc Canada

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The rudder trick work's for me too .if i lose orientation spin the tail to figure out where you are and drive out if its not to late.

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09-13-2007 11:36 AM  10 years agoPost 13
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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Tom,

Which Hughes 500 is that? What does it weigh and how well do the mechanics fit? Do you know approximately what your hover current is? Can you use a normal rudder servo or does it need to be downsized? I do recall a thread about it but would appreciate some more detailed info.

EDIT:
Found it on Ebay. I'm real tempted but wonder if my 15C battery will be up to it at the combined AUW. No 3D, just flying around.

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-13-2007 03:26 PM  10 years agoPost 14
TomRex

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West Palm Beach Join Date: 12-28-2005

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Orientation? I had the same problem also, I went to a very bright color scheem. Really helped this O.F.! My older colors turned dark leaving a silhouette you couldn't determine what was what. Now I can see the orientation because of the color scheem that helps with top and bottom orientaion.

Some guys paint one half red and the other yellow to help with orientation

Ignorance is the absence of facts.Stupid is lacking the intellectual capacity to comprehend the fact

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09-13-2007 04:58 PM  10 years agoPost 15
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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I don't actually have trouble SEEING the heli..... just easily and quickly determining roll orientation +/- better than maybe 30 degrees. And sometimes yaw orientation in some attitudes.

The color scheme I picked for my fuse is metallic blue on top (matches the anodized bits) and burgundy underneath with the supplied self stick Align "stripe" along the fuse. I could have used brighter colors but I was going for something "pretty". I still think the best idea so far is very bright colors on the blades themselves. Like bright white on top and brighr red or orange on the bottom. The rotor disk is a lot bigger than the fuse and if you can see IT, I would think it would be a lot easier to stay oriented.

I broke down and ordered one of those Hughes 500D fuselages from Hong Kong. It is yellow and blue..... I wonder what really bright colors would look good on the blades. Bright yellow might not be too bad. White underneath?

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-13-2007 06:11 PM  10 years agoPost 16
Zaneman007

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Texas - USA

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I run the White align CF main blades. I find this helps. IMO, the black blades disappear, quickly.

Old Guys Rule!

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09-13-2007 06:53 PM  10 years agoPost 17
docjoe

rrElite Veteran

Stockton, CA United States

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I've always run abnoxiously loud/bright canopies for the express reason of orientation.

The Gorilla gear helps with orientation, especially the tail blades. Additionally, white blades or reflective tape at the tips of black CF blades really helps.

Here's what mine looks like:

My current bird has the flourescent yellow gorilla tail blades.

Joe
We haven't seen Colonel Angus around these parts for years!

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09-13-2007 07:09 PM  10 years agoPost 18
pgoelz

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Rochester MI

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My Raptor has black CF bades and for that reason I put dayglow orange tape on the tips. It is relatively visible.

I like the idea of the brightly colored skids..... that is a problem I seem to run into.... I can't see the relative position of the two skids in flight.

And the colored tail blades also looks like it might help prevent the end of the boom from disapearing. On the Trex, mine are black CF. Probably easy to give them a light mist of something bright and then re-balance them (they were WAY off to begin with).

Paul

Paul Goelz
Rochester MI USA
http://www.pgoelz.com

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09-14-2007 02:07 AM  10 years agoPost 19
slider46

rrProfessor

Ocala Florida

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Paul The fusalage on my bird is the Hughes 500E from Darthdrk, It is light weight and easy to fit to the trex s sa or se. I use a small digital servo that need to be relocated to fit above the reciever, inside the back of the frame. I made a wood servo mount that bolts to the frame for it. For just flying around a 15C pack should do just fine, I flew for a year with an 18C pack with no trouble... I will be putting a jet ranger fuse on my next heli this winter, I have built and painted 3 jet rangers bodies so far but ended up selling them to others who don't have time to build and finish a scale body for their trex heli's.... I'm going to keep this one I hope.....

Tom..... No "D" flying....

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