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HelicopterSafety - RC Helis are not toys › Pre-flight thoughts from a Noob
12-24-2008 08:33 AM  8 years agoPost 1
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

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Hello all,

First off, thanks to all of you experienced heli enthusiasts and professionals in the RR community. You've been incredibly helpful to me, a total heli-noob, in researching helis, buying a heli, and preparing for flight! Well, you've inspired me to do some serious damage to my savings account, too, but I think this whole heli experience will be well worth it!

So, here's what's led me to this point. Last year, after flying fixed-wing aircraft for about 12 years, I decided to buy a sim to see if I might enjoy helis. I got addicted to the beauty of heli flight and the challenges immediately, and started flying the sim for hours at a time, whenever I had the time. I bought a nice coaxial heli to practice orientations on, too. In the meantime, I did quite a lot of reading on RR and other sources, researching what everyone's thoughts were on the best helis out there in the 450 range (to fit my budget), watching all of Finless Bob's Trex videos, and keeping my eye out for a good deal from merchants and RR classified sellers to help get me into the heli hobby.

It's been a year now, and I'm feeling very comfy on my sim, practicing inverted hovering, inverted FF, and some basic aerobatics along with the basics. This month, I found a great deal from a RR member that I couldn't pass up, and finally bit the bullet. My Trex 450 SE should be arriving at my house tomorrow! Man, I'm excited, to say the least.

So, it's gonna be a big day for me. The RR member I purchased the heli from has been incredibly helpful already, sharing some really solid advice with me and toning down the seriously-awesome machine I bought from him to be more flyable by a noob like me.

All in all, I just want to make sure I'm as prepped as possible. I've read lots of helpful information in the Safety section of posts, been flying lots on my sim still, read the manual for my radio equipment and heli gear, and plan on taking this extremely slowly with the new heli. I'll be thrilled just to hover the bird successfully , and will only be working on FF from there on out for quite a while. I just hope that all my sim work actually translates into some skill with the real thing, even if only in normal flight (no inverted yet for a long time! )!

I ordered some great tools to work on my new heli with - hopefully that way I won't be stuck without a tool I need anytime soon. The RR seller included tons of spares with the heli, so I think I'll be set with those for a while.

So, once again, thanks to you RRers for all the great info and help! Do you have any helpful thoughts or advice as I get ready to make my first flight on a real heli? I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks, guys, and Merry Christmas.

Harmatchis

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12-24-2008 02:19 PM  8 years agoPost 2
Skarn

rrVeteran

Pasadena, MD

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Great job bro, you've done your homework and everything properly.

If you don't already, the only thing I'd suggest is training gear for your first hovers. Take them off however as soon as you aren't crashing on hover attempts.

Good luck!
Skarn

It's better to burn out than to fade away...

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12-24-2008 08:34 PM  8 years agoPost 3
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

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Hey Skarn!

That sounds like a really good idea. Better safe than sorry on my first flights! I think I'll make some out of CF rods and ping pong balls, like I saw on a post somewhere here. Thanks!

Harmatchis

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12-25-2008 06:45 AM  8 years agoPost 4
osterizer

rrNovice

Maryland, USA

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You can get premade 450-size ping-pongs for $15 or $20- not too much more than it will cost for the materials. They're a very good idea.

Otherwise, enjoy . If you've been simming for a year you probably won't have a problem IRL, but do try to pick a spot with some space for the first takeoff. You feel safer close to the ground in an enclosed space, but you're actually safest high off the ground with open space around you.

Good luck to you. Sounds like you're on the road to success.

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12-25-2008 04:57 PM  8 years agoPost 5
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

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Thanks for the help, osterizer! That's a good thing to consider/remember - that I'll actually be better off in a really open area, higher off the ground than low and enclosed. Thanks for the tip! I've got a perfect flying site in mind.

So, I went and looked at my LHS for training gear, but they only had some for smaller helis like CPs, so I went ahead and built some. I think they're going to work out alright!

Moment of truth today - I'm going to go fly!

Thanks all,

Harmatchis

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12-25-2008 08:35 PM  8 years agoPost 6
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

The maiden flight went well! Hovered quite nicely, and was just getting comfortable when the wind picked up very suddenly, so I decided to set it down and wait for a calmer day! No mishaps, everything went smoothly!

Thanks for all your help, guys!
Merry Christmas!

Harmatchis

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12-26-2008 02:24 AM  8 years agoPost 7
osterizer

rrNovice

Maryland, USA

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Good to hear . Congratulations.

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12-26-2008 11:30 AM  8 years agoPost 8
predatorman

rrVeteran

Falkland Islands

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A plastic hoop is a good idea too...I make them out of 10mm plastic tubeing like that used in plumbing...even better is the smaller diameter like used in small compressed air systems etc.

I use a 15mm thick hoop on my Predator when going through orientation training...just saves a skid digging in if I make a mistake.

You will like the SE, runs like a swiss watch. One of my work mates has one and its his first 'real' model. He has the hoop fitted which has saved him a few times.

I am seriously impressed with the Trex 450 series. I fly the 450 XL HDE version and its just magic. They cope well with a stiff breeze and parts are quite cheap and plentiful.
The only improvment for mine would be an extra charger or two and more flight packs! I only have the one pack at the moment...the other budget ones went duff.

Enjoy!!!

Rob

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12-26-2008 04:11 PM  8 years agoPost 9
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Thanks, predatorman! I'll look into the hoop idea, and yes, definitely I'd like to get some more flight packs! It's always good to hear that people like their Trex helis - makes a buyer feel good about a big decision!

Harmatchis

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12-31-2008 07:32 AM  8 years agoPost 10
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Update:

I've gotten some good flights in! It's been a great experience so far, and I've been learning a lot. On my last flight a couple days back I managed to put it in on its side; it was nose in, going fine, and then I think I must have corrected the wrong way and didn't have time to correct the correction correctly!

Anyway, it wasn't too bad. I broke the main rotor blades, bent the main shaft, bent the flybar, the upper main gear got totally eaten up by the concrete it crashed in to, and the gears in the elevator servo (3x hs56 on cyclic) stripped. I've totally rebuilt everything again, and taken it up for one test flight since. It's handling well, but I've found that I had to reduce the gain on the gyro (I was getting some tail wag) since before the crash. I am also hearing a very small "click" noise from the aileron servo, though the servo is working well.

So, another noob question: any ideas why the gyro gain would have to be different now? Would a different type of main rotors affect the gyro setup?

I've decided to ground the heli until I figure out what's going on with the clicking noise from the aileron servo. I plan on tearing down the servo to take a look at the gears. I have another gear set on order, so I'll probably just replace the gears entirely, just to be sure. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks guys!

Harmatchis

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12-31-2008 06:58 PM  8 years agoPost 11
osterizer

rrNovice

Maryland, USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Press on the servo arm lightly with your thumb, and then run it back and forth with the transmitter. If the gears are damaged you'll feel it/hear it when the servo has a little load on it.

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12-31-2008 08:07 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Harmatchis

rrNovice

Tucson, AZ &​Rochester, NY USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Thanks, osterizer! That worked - I can feel and hear the click through the servo arm, like you said. I'll tear it down and replace the gears once they arrive. Thanks!

Harmatchis

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HelicopterSafety - RC Helis are not toys › Pre-flight thoughts from a Noob
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