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HelicopterBeginners Corner › Planks for orientation?
05-15-2008 08:12 PM  9 years agoPost 1
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Hi All,

I realize I might get some flack for this, but....

Will an RC airplane help me with orientation issues? I started RC with heli's about 5 months ago and am loving it, but am trying to get my orientation skills to the next level. As you can imagine, I've accumulated a substantial pile of spare parts from crashing and have started tinkering with a foamie scratch built plane with some of the bits and pieces. It's partially because I like to tinker, but I also hoped flying it might be a way to help with orientation.

I guess my questions for the guys that "go both ways" would be...

How easy is this going to fly a plank after flying/building/crashing heli's for a few months? (Seems pretty easy on the sim!)

Is this going to help with the skills I'm looking to improve?

Anything bad habits to prevent flying these?

Should I sneak around to fly these things? Will the other heli guys laugh at me behind my back for mucking with such a silly way to fly?

I guess I figure it could be fun to putt around while the motor on the heli cools. This foam stuff is a hoot, can't believe all the plans available for free online.

Thanks for any input. This forum is great. Please don't ban me for asking about..... "planks".

Can't help but be curious, is that wrong?

VM

Perfectly sliced air every time!

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05-15-2008 08:18 PM  9 years agoPost 2
blazobob

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hi
there are no stupid questions , just stupid answers , the best thing besides burning fuel for orientation is a sym , i have flown planks since the 80's and i honestly do not believe it helped me with orientation , the problem is a heli can fly backwards and sideways while it is facing you or facing away , some people do not have a problem with this , and others end up in big trouble , so get a sym and practice , practice , practice , bob

RR Master wannabe

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05-15-2008 08:29 PM  9 years agoPost 3
JRjoe

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Jonesville , IN USA #1

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I believe that yes it can help.

Also way back when, when i was learning helis i'd fly a plank just to calm down.....Worked for me....


JRjoe.....
Indoor plumbing??? No, we don't need that!!!

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05-15-2008 08:50 PM  9 years agoPost 4
BarracudaHockey

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Jacksonville FL

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I don't reccomend learning to fly both at the same time. Most of the time new heli pilots that are long time plankers need to put up the plane for a few weeks to break the bad habits they already have.

Sim and practice.

Andy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com

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05-15-2008 09:02 PM  9 years agoPost 5
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Bad habits?

Guess I was a little curious about what bad habits might develop. Can you elaborate?

Definitely sticking with the sim. Been a bit windy here the last couple of days, so practice is out for the moment. Tinkered with the heli's until there's nothing left to do, thus the foamie build.

VM

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05-15-2008 09:03 PM  9 years agoPost 6
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Hey Tailspin....

Were you already proficient with planes?

VM

Perfectly sliced air every time!

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05-15-2008 09:12 PM  9 years agoPost 7
blazobob

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hi
i know you addressed this to tailspin but , i had been flying planes for a long time , and at first i thought it would help me , but in hindsight , i feel i had a lot of unlearning to do

a heli in fast forward flight is very much like flying a plane ( except there is collective ) , but in hovering it is quite different , in it can move in any direction while facing in any other direction

where as planes tend to be always moving forward ( except if you are hovering ), bob

RR Master wannabe

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05-15-2008 09:47 PM  9 years agoPost 8
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Hey Bob

I appreciate your candor on the subject. I guess I was trying to rationalize playing with planes. I am quite proficient at tail in, and both sides hovering as well as FFF, stall turns and reverse flight. Do you think I'll have a big problem flying planes, or am I just getting into another aircraft to crash a lot?

Truthfully, I enjoy the tinker aspect of this hobby immensely, perhaps as much as flying, which is fascinating no matter what's in the air. Always wanted to try it and I'm glad I started with heli's, but have always been curious about planes. Just figured they were not as much fun (I like a challenge!). Worst case scenario, I crash in 5 secs, I still have the electronics to migrate to a heli anyway.

Given your background in planes, I wondered what your thought might be about learning planes AFTER learning heli's. I can relate to barracuda's comments about not messing with both simultaneously, and hope I'm not making too much of a mistake building this thing. Hell, it might set on the shelf for the next few months as I am really wanting to get over this "nose in hover" things that's presently hanging me up. I guess one of the other things I was hoping for was what tailspin mentioned.... "i'd fly a plank just to calm down". Hopefully, I'm not getting in over my head with it.

Thanks for all you comments. They are appreciated.

VM

Perfectly sliced air every time!

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05-15-2008 09:58 PM  9 years agoPost 9
fla heli boy

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cape coral, florida

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valid question

and my response is: yes it does help. Because of the orientation.
I advanced rapidly on helis because I had a lot of plank time.
Does not apply to everything of course.
I mostly fly heli on the sim, but now and then I start out with a radical plank to quiet down the dumb thumbs, then go to heli.

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05-15-2008 10:00 PM  9 years agoPost 10
BarracudaHockey

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Jacksonville FL

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The desire to flare on landing is the biggest thing to get plank pilots over. The other thing is awakening their left thumb, most don't know what a rudder does aside from taxiing and most could put their throttle on a toggle switch FLY/LAND or just wait till the thing runs out of fuel

Also the mental aspect of planes just don't fly backwards, sometimes thats harder to un-learn than someone with no experience for some reason.

Andy
AMA 77227
http://www.jaxrc.com

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05-15-2008 10:16 PM  9 years agoPost 11
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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FLY/LAND

I read about this feature and was a bit surprised that it was so "automated" to land. I'm starting to study Tx programming for my scratch built and wondered how much of this I might need? Things like aileron/rudder mixing seems a bit overkill after flying heli's. Should I even muck about with it, or will heli skills take care of that for me? I love to stall turn and I think it might mess me up if I DIDN'T have to give a little rudder to the bank.

VM

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05-15-2008 10:31 PM  9 years agoPost 12
TJinGuy

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Socorro, NM - USA

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I just conquered nose-in hovering this week. I also let a long time plank flier try out my heli a little while back. He has no heli experience. So let me put in my .02.

First off if you can fly a heli, you can easily fly a plank. With the exception of landing, it is just simple by comparison. It may be fun but I don't see much help for hovering a heli. As for the help with orientations, yes it could help you get past the right=left, left=right thing but it is not going to help you with anything else really.

Ok now for my recent experience with a plank flier and my King2 (with TG). The those that don't know, the King2 is a very fast little heli and requires an high amount of control to hover. Think of it like a BladeCP that actually flies well. Ok so back to the guy ... he has been flying for like 25 years and is very, very good. He has become bored with normal flying and is far into the stunt/acrobatics flying so I had some decent faith in his basic skills. I gave him a 2 min explanation of how everything worked and what he is going to expect. Then I let him go. He did the basic float-left-across-the-ground thing for about the first 3 minutes. Then he started to get past that and by the end of the 12min pack he was able to keep it in a hover for 5 seconds or more before things got away from him. I was damn impressed as his skills after just 1 pack. I see it like this, he has the necessary mental skills and touch skills to handle the heli with much more control than a total newbie does but he would still have a long way to go to match his plank skills.

And for my recent nose-in conquest ... I just put my TG on, got it in a stable hover 6-10 inches off the ground and whipped it around. Then I held it as long as I could. If things went south I either whipped it back around or just dropped the throttle a bit. I mentally made a choice for each correction by moving the stick in the direction the heli was moving and after about 2 packs I was hovering whole packs and taking off nose-in with out much drama. Now after about 25 packs I am nearly as good at nose-in as I am tail-in. Now I am more comfortable tail-in but I can do both easily. Next I started on what we in the ESky forum call "Toolman Piros". These are very slow piros, think 10 second piros, that require you to change between all the orientations constantly. Those a good practice.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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05-15-2008 10:44 PM  9 years agoPost 13
Way2slow

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Jeffersonville Ga

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I started off with a sim last summer that I got for my granddaughter to learn to fly planes on. I played with the planes on it for a while because the guy teaching my granddaughter said he would teach me. In October, after getting tired of waiting for that guy to teach me planes, I bought a Blade CP Pro figuring with the sim and the blade, I could teach myself how to fly heli's, and I have managed to do that (but not with that dam blade). In April of this year the guy finally teaches me how to fly planes. He buddy boxed me five flights, after two flights I was taking off and landing and solo'd the sixth flight without the buddy box. Could I have done that without the heli experience and sim experience, not no but hell no. Now that I'm also flying planes and still learning heli's, does that help me with learning to fly heli's, not in the slighest as far as I can tell. Two totally different flying experiences.

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05-15-2008 10:48 PM  9 years agoPost 14
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Toolman Piro's

That was the result of my last crash. I do GREAT with that... until I get to nose-in. Then... BAM! Lesson learned.... learn ALL orientations before trying that little maneuver! Thanks for the story about your friend. Has he got a heli yet? Seems like that's the most common direction, start with planes, progress to heli's. Guess I am just backwards (but STILL not nose-in!).

VM

Perfectly sliced air every time!

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05-15-2008 10:49 PM  9 years agoPost 15
fla heli boy

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cape coral, florida

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right on TJ

Perfectly said. Now as far as mixing, I would never do it on anything (now that we don't use revo.). You want to steer that nose around in a bank FFF turn. To mix that would mean you could never, ever have a decent roll. It's a lot harder to unlearn something, than to learn it right the first time. I guess that's what I was driving at above. In larger planks, you DO need to use rudder for a pretty, tight turn. With a heli, it's WAY MORE SO. Might as well train that left thumb now and it'll be automatic later.

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05-15-2008 10:52 PM  9 years agoPost 16
vidmarv

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ft walton beach, FL

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Way2slow

Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. I've learned what little I know on the BCP. Learned by myself, so I guess I just didn't know any better. Love the little thing, but it certainly is merciless. Oh well, it makes flying the Trex MUCH easier. Learn not to crash on the BCP, then learn it on the Trex without crashing. So far, so good. Guess it won't help much to fly planes, at least it will be fun and sounds like a "break" from the intense concentration of heli flight.

VM

EDIT-

Oops! Off topic! Sorry, more stories about learning to fly planks please! Interested in those who learned heli's first. Doesn't seem to be too many though. Seems most started with planes and went to heli's. Hmmmm.

Perfectly sliced air every time!

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05-15-2008 11:21 PM  9 years agoPost 17
TJinGuy

rrProfessor

Socorro, NM - USA

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My friend has now tried out my heli twice if you include the 4 minute attempt yesterday. Then he handed me back my radio and said he would stick to planes. I think it is partly because the King is setup very sensitive. I run either zero or positive expo (on a Futaba) and I have the tail setup way fast. I see his biggest problem being his left thumb. He has a really hard time running the throttle. Without the notched stick and having to make tiny adjustments with no feedback, he just had a hard time. Then he would try to move the tail and he would bump the throttle. I see that as typical newbie stuff and he sees it as annoyances compared to flying a plank. Even his fastest 3D plank is nowhere near as sensitive as my King.

- Chris

Team New Mexico
TJinTech

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05-15-2008 11:24 PM  9 years agoPost 18
racin06

rrKey Veteran

Indianapolis, Indiana

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First off if you can fly a heli, you can easily fly a plank.
Prepare for the barage of hate comments from the plank-only pilots. Oh, I forgot this is a heli-only board.

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05-15-2008 11:39 PM  9 years agoPost 19
blazobob

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Given your background in planes, I wondered what your thought might be about learning planes AFTER learning heli's.
hi vidmarv

with all you said , it changes things a bit , i was thinking you were just starting out with helis , but i am now thinking we are just opposite , you have a lot of flying a heli down and i think that you could pick up planes easily now , they are easier to fly in some ways , and i think being able to fly a heli will be a big leg up for you , i would say jump in and have fun , i am a builder to ( building is as fun as flying )and i know you will enjoy flying and working on planes , bob

RR Master wannabe

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05-16-2008 03:58 AM  9 years agoPost 20
oldboldpilot

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Southern California

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The major orientation skill to acquire is to keep track of ship's left/right, up/down, roll left/right.

Someone coming from (succesful) planks has a big leg up on that.

However, helis are harder to see.. use bright colors on pod and boom, and also main blades to enhance visibility. Flying larger helis also helps

The biggest difference for me between plank and heli is left thumb "throttle." It ain't throttle on a heli. Jamming "full throttle" on a heli will only "save it" when upright..

And it won't make you faster inverted

Everything else pretty much works for one as the other.

Helis are Man's Defiance of the Laws of Nature - OCHC

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