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HomeAircraftHelicopterBeginners Corner › Okay, I can hover. Now what?
07-16-2002 03:20 PM  16 years agoPost 1


Blue Head, Florida

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To the experienced pilots out there:

I am on my second gallon on a Raptor 30. I can hover and have shed the training gear. What is the best way to transition to forward flight?

I started out in Helis and have no airplane experience so I'm a bit wigged out about forward flight. On the simulator, when I start moving around, the heli just seems to get away from me and I end up buzzing the simulated paddock. I'm not interested in doing that in real life. The airplane folks already frown on me enough.

Are there any good exercises to practice to transition to forward flight? What are good visual queues to watch on the aircraft as I seem to have more trouble keeping it level at higher altitudes?

Thanks for the help. Love the hobby.

Doug, Raptor 30

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07-16-2002 03:30 PM  16 years agoPost 2


Montreal, Qc

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I'm assuming you're doing hovering tail-in? You need to start hovering while looking at the left and right sides of the helicopyer.. start at about 45 deg before you start looking square at the side of it. After that i'd try some CW and CCW circles with yourself in the center. Try it tail in and then left and right. You reeally want to keep the heli as close to you as you can (about 15 feet, if it gets to 10 you're too close - careful!) so you can see that little twitches it makes before moving off in whatever direction.

I've seen somewhere online a full list of exercises that starts from simple up/down with tail in all the way to full 3D so you can guage your progress... you might want to look that up, or perhaps someone here has the address handy.

Good luck!

07-16-2002 03:41 PM  16 years agoPost 3

rrElite Veteran

Ontario Canada. Member of "some sort" s

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Now what?
I'm not that experienced,but, there are a couple of things to consider. At 2 gal. you may want to continue to practice hovering until you feel comfortable in ALL orientations.........both sides, slow tail-in circles, nose in, figure 8's etc.
Maybe nailing nose in will be the most beneficial as comming towards yourself seems to be the most scary for some people,( when the controls are "backwards") it's better to be able to react to that instinctivly BEFORE you need to.
An airplane comming towards you isn't as intimidating because you usually have a lot of distance and altitude between you and your plane, with a bunch of spinning parts 20' from your head it's a whole different picture!!
Just keep buring fuel and don't move on too quickly......that's usually when things can get wierd.....

07-16-2002 04:04 PM  16 years agoPost 4

rrElite Veteran

Daleville, AL (Ft.Rucker)

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This is how I've help some local flyers.
Two of which have never flown RC's at all.

If your hovering the heli well enough to TELL it what to do rather than REACTING to the heli, Then start to make forward and backward slide movements and side to side movements till you have SMOOTH control of them. Concentrate on maintaining a nice controlled height, say 2 to 5 ft. No more!
I then suggest you do the same thing again with the heli at 45deg attitudes to you and progress to 90 deg. I would think after that you'll be able to start sliding into figure 8's hovering slowly in front of you till you are smooth again and maintaining good height. You must practice transitioning from movement in figure 8's to a controlled hover in front of you again. IF you can do these maneuvers you'll have no problem in flight.

NOTE: The hardest part of real forward flight is not letting the heli get TOO FAR (Loss of orientation) away and to lower the collective (pwr) enough to descend and stopping the decent into hovering height again.

Just don't get into the hurry up and leap mode in this hobby and you'll have lots of good enjoyment out of it. It's practise, practise, practise and then LEAP!


07-16-2002 04:21 PM  16 years agoPost 5


Blue Head, Florida

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Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I am only doing tail in hover. I have tried turning the heli 45 degrees with some success.

I like the idea of of doing circles around myself. I will try that. I also need to train on getting the heli stopped and tail in when paniced. Repetition is the key I think.

I appriciate the help. I am pretty much on my own at the field as I am the black sheep as a Heli pilot (actually, I kind of like that).

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07-16-2002 08:24 PM  16 years agoPost 6

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

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Great link
Try the training instructions on this site. They pretty much cover the whole gamit for the beginner to switchless inverted and autos.

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07-16-2002 10:59 PM  16 years agoPost 7



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how I got in to FF
This is one of my old post !!

Well, for me to learn FF my instructor (Tom) kept pushing me to walk beside my heli while in FF, I thought it was to soon !! So one day he said let's walk with the heli while in FF, I said how about I turn the heli as I turn with it so the sticks will still be as tail in to the heli,,, so the heli was in front of me tail in, so I turned right as the heli turned right, so now the heli is at my side but still tail in to the sticks, so now I turned left as the heli turned left, and then right again, so after I did that 6 or 8 times the turns started to get farther and farther apart !!,,, next thing I knew I was doing figure8s, and then I was hovering right side in and left side in, not rock solid but I was doing it,,, After I landed they all clapped, so I said to them please, please don't throw money, LOL ! IT CAN BE DONE !!,,, SIMs DO WORK !!

I add,,, The sticks on your Tx and the sticks on your sim box may feel different but they are oriented the same (left is left and right is right and so on) !! Once I got disoriented on a circle, but I knew where the sticks where, and I knew the heli was level, I did not overreact, so I kept the sticks where they were and my heli came around, the heli went where the sticks told it to,,, when I told my instructor he said "in that case you have to fly the sticks", you have to fly the sticks !
So if you do get disoriented don't overreact, take 2/3 seconds before you react, and then don't over stick it !!


07-17-2002 07:41 PM  16 years agoPost 8
Wild Turkey


Bethlehem, PA

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Let me suggest a few things:

1) MASTER Nose-In hovering - I mean MASTER IT. Once you have Nose-In down pat - almost all other orientations will be easy. My circuits and 3D used to be VERY sloppy until I mastered Nose-In.

2) Move the Heli in circles around you (as stated above)

3) Learn to hover the heli with the nose to the left and right. Once you can hover the heli with its sides facing you - learn to move it away from you (still facing sideways) then bring it back to you.

I spent an entire Winter and about a gallon of fuel a week - mastering Nose-In and side-ways hovering. Maybe overkill - but it now shows when I fly.


Wild Turkey

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07-17-2002 09:34 PM  16 years agoPost 9


Spokane, WA

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What I did
This is all very fresh since its only been in the last couple weeks. First off, I've spent a few hours working the on the simulator and get pretty comfortable with it first. Here's what I've done:

- Learned tail in hovering.
- Started moving the tail left and right, hovering 10-30 seconds with the tail 45 to 90 degrees away from me then move it back the other direction.
- Started turning the nose to the right and "sliding the helicopter 10-15 feet, then nose left and back 10-15 feet.
- Continued doing this but going further and further until I was essentially going back and forth 30-50 Yards each direction and doing figure eights.
- I continued to work on Nose in on the simulator
- I started work on real nose in. Start tail in hover and gradually bring the helicopter further and further around. Its not yet completely automatic, but it gets better everytime I'm out.
- I'm now doing FFF in any direction, bringing the helicopter into me, nose in, flaring to a hover and landing, nose in. If I find myself getting at all disoriented, I just turn the tail back to tail in. Yesterday I worked on taking off Nose In and thats going pretty well.

I'm just about to the end of my 3rd Gallon. I can't say enough about the simulator. If you've been using one, you know how to do this, its just a matter of believing it and going out to the field and proving it to yourself.


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07-18-2002 08:16 AM  16 years agoPost 10


Palm Beach , Fl + Hereford , UK

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this can take ou through step by step.
including those dreaded autos......learn how to do them or you'l regret it.

07-18-2002 07:21 PM  16 years agoPost 11


Blue Head, Florida

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Thanks to all!
Thanks to all for the great information. The web sites mentioned are very helpful.

This week I've started sliding around, tail in and 45 degree hovers and walked around with it a bit. Here is what I gathered form your input:

1) Burn fuel. Get more air time.
2) Don't get rushed to advance. Keep returning to basics.
3) Work on sliding, going to 45 degree hover with sliding to 90 degree hover with sliding.
4) Mix it up to keep your brain from freezing.
5) When in trouble, tail in first!

Again, thanks to all for the help.

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