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Other › FMA co-pilot, bad habit?
11-21-2006 02:50 AM  11 years agoPost 1
oopsididitagain

rrVeteran

Dubai

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I would like to hear the feedback from you guys as a veteran pilots would it be better to train with a co-pilot or without? I wouldnt want to develop a nasty habit relying on something. pls let me know your feedback or if anyone of u guys use it on a trex SA.

thanx

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11-21-2006 02:56 AM  11 years agoPost 2
caseyjholmes

rrElite Veteran

Portland, Oregon

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Get some sim time and forget about the co-pilot..
Then just make sure to have somone look over your heli to check airworthiness. A set of training skids and a well set up heli and you will be fine on sim practice alone.

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11-21-2006 03:13 AM  11 years agoPost 3
oopsididitagain

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Dubai

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hmm well i only have one guy (brain_DX) live close to me , but he is a very busy man i wouldnt want to disturb him all the time.

I already have a clearview sim. cant afford G3 yet. so any tips how to spot airworthiness , or there is no way i can tell at all without an experience pilot?

btw , say u guys adjusted everything correctly on a bench for a trex but u bring it out and there is a slight breeze and the heli drifts a bit to the right(example) , do you guys play with the trimming to make sure it doesn't do that or u fly as it is?

thanks a lot

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11-21-2006 06:55 AM  11 years agoPost 4
TomC

rrKey Veteran

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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oops,

I learned to fly heli's with a corona all by myself about 3 years ago. I could already fly electric r/c planes/gliders and this helped a lot. I also used the free fms sim with a logitech wingmaster controller which helped a bit as well. This controller allows you to program 2 sticks to help simulate an r/c tx (except throttle, which uses a slider).

I followed the Corona flight instruction manual to the letter (you can still download these from the Light Machines WebPages). With training gear attached, I managed to teach myself to hover ok, just taking the heli a few inches off the ground. Yes you have to trim all heli's and this is very difficult when you are just starting out. All you can do is just notice where the heli wants to initially drift and add a little trim to help correct this. The main thing is to not let the heli get above knee height so if you get into trouble you just dump the throttle and bouncy land it right away.

Eventually I got the hang of it, with minimal damage I might add! Just being able to hold the heli in a controlled hover, within say a 6 foot box, is a big first step. This took me a couple of weeks to master.

To make a long story short, I progressed well until I was into forward flight. Then I ran into problems. I just could not manage to work power and cyclic at the right time to bring the heli back to where I wanted to. After buzzing the pit area a few times, scaring the heck out of myself and my fellow plane flyers, and going though a fair few repairs, I bought a fma Co-pilot.

Once I got this installed and trimmed properly it worked fantastic. When I got into trouble, I just centered the cyclic and the heli leveled itself. I then just had to use power and rudder (sorry, tail) to bring it back alive. Over the next month, I slowly reduced the gain (Co-pilot control) until I was comfortable flying it with very little gain. I then set it up with a switch that I could use to actually turn it on/off. Another couple of weeks and I was fine. I took it off, sold it, and never looked back. It was the best $US100 investment I ever made.

Could you do this with a trex450xl? That is, learn from scratch without any help. I think you could.

First, it would be a good idea to get a small/cheap electric plane or glider and learn the basics/orientations. Also, get a good 6 channel or better Tx to start off with. One you can grow with.

Then setup the trex for fixed pitch, say at about 5-6 degrees positive. A trex xl hde model would be best because you could just set the pitch lever mechanically to hold +5-6 degrees. You could use a linear throttle curve (0-50-100) or just use it in plane mode.

Attach training gear and learn to hover. You would probably hover between 1/2 stick to 3/4 stick. Follow the Corona flight instructions and go for it.

Once you are into forward flight, see how you go. If, like me, you get into trouble, think about installing a Co-pilot. If all is well, progress to variable pitch modes using your tx and adding the pitch servo.

The fma co-pilot is a great tool, but it will not do everything for you!

Cheers and good luck,

Tom C

Nqx,Mcpx-BL,300x,450x,500x,550x
Ion-x, 10s ,SS
TT X50E 10s, HC3-Sx

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11-21-2006 01:09 PM  11 years agoPost 5
nojohnny101

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10 miles north of Cincy, OHIO

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hey
well written....

my story sounds very familiar

Thanks
~Will~

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11-21-2006 01:31 PM  11 years agoPost 6
gorn

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Western Australia

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I think the Co-pilot whichever brand you choose (there are a few) are a good thing, and not just for the beginner pilot either.
Aerial photographers use them for stability, some 3d pilots use them as a bailout on a switch when trying new things.
I have a gasser on the way and I will be using the Spartan AP2000.
Im not a great pilot but I can fly ok, but I want to do more, and really for me, the sym just gets boring.
I look outside and think I should be out there not in here.
They ARE a great tool though, and given the option Id go the sym before a co-pilot if I could only afford 1 thing.
I will be using the sym and a co-pilot setup, and hopefully my flying will improve, as I know a lot of my problems are related to worrying about crashing, cost, setup time etc etc.
Co-pilot gives a bailout which I think gives peace of mind.
Hell, even a Trex is big money to the average Joe these days....
Just be aware that the FS8 Co-pilot uses their RX which is known to be VERY glitchy.
The FS4 can use any RX but only works if the heli is right way up, the FS8 will level your heli either upside down or right way up.
Also the FS4 only works on mechanical pitch, wont work on a CCPM heli.
Both systems are pretty light, and a while back I enquired about using one on a Shogun, they said it would be no problem.

For the love of the hobby

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11-21-2006 02:59 PM  11 years agoPost 7
kcass518

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Manhasset, NY - USA

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I struggled with my Raptor 30 for a year before I figured out that the Co-Pilot might help. I just couldn't bring my self to put it into forward flight even though I'd been flying planes for 10 years. My friends at the field also struggled making limited progress every month. After putting the Co-Pilot in, it was as if it was crash-proof. It enabled me to be more daring, and very quickly I was doing Figure 8s and flying everywhere. I put the gain on a slider on my 9CHP and lowered it a little at a time. I found I was able to do loops, no problem. My friends who shunned the Co-Pilot are still doing Figure 8s, but not much more. I'm doing flips and rolls with the Raptor and my Trex now with no Co-Pilot.

It did take some weaning to get off of it, and those first few flights without it were like going cold-turkey, but it was well worth it. All along the learning curve I felt like I was having a lot more fun than my non-Co-Pilot friends, and it just keeps getting better and better. I will say, in the same breath though, that the Trex would be a tough bird to learn on. But it's a blast once you get it worked out. Enjoy!

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11-21-2006 03:15 PM  11 years agoPost 8
kcass518

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Manhasset, NY - USA

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Just wanted to add this - the sym is a terrific learning tool. It can get boring, and I feel it is much more forgiving than the real thing. I can do things on the sym that I wouldn't even try yet on the Trex. We're all different, and age might have something to do with it, but I feel very strongly that the Co-Pilot is a good thing. Helis drop out of the sky so quickly that many of us can't think fast enough to keep them from crashing. The Co-Pilot solves that. It only has to save you once or twice to pay for itself, and you can turn it off whenever you want.

I guess I've said enough! I think if more people worked with the Co-Pilot, we wouldn't have lost so many heli flyers at our field to discouragement.

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11-21-2006 05:42 PM  11 years agoPost 9
oopsididitagain

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Dubai

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oh dang it , the one i looking at was teh FS4 co-pilot and i have the trex 450SA. means it couldnt work right?

TomC: thanks for the nice write up

my radio system is a dx6 system , hence the FS-8 wouldnt work too?

which would work then people? any suggestions?

i only fly the HB cp2 and a trex 450SA

will the FMA FMA Co-Pilot CPD4 work for me?

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11-21-2006 05:55 PM  11 years agoPost 10
kcass518

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Manhasset, NY - USA

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Call FMA. They should know the best setup. When I first installed mine, I couldn't get it to work correctly. They stayed on the phone with me and went through it step by step until it was perfect. I'm sure they will help you.

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11-21-2006 05:58 PM  11 years agoPost 11
oopsididitagain

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Dubai

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but i just read in the website the CPD-4 is not for ccpm 120 degree swash configuration that two of my heli has.

other than fma is there any other decent co-pilot with the same price range?

kcass: which one did u get , and are u using a spektrum radio with it?

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11-21-2006 06:08 PM  11 years agoPost 12
Rafael23cc

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Junction City, KS

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my radio system is a dx6 system
The FMA co-pilot will not work with a DX-6 completely different frequency band.

You need to use your JR 8103 to be able to use the Co-pilot. The FS-8 CAN handle CCPM helicopters.

http://www.fmadirect.com/Detail.htm...1768§ion=29

Rafael

Keep your feet on the ground, but your eyes on the sky.
Team Heliproz.com

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11-21-2006 06:24 PM  11 years agoPost 13
oopsididitagain

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Dubai

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oh shucks..... when i'm starting to like the non-glitch system now i realise i can't use a co-pilot on it. hmmm

thanks rafael , but i just dont have any JR rx . any for sale ? *grins*

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11-21-2006 06:31 PM  11 years agoPost 14
Rafael23cc

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Junction City, KS

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If you get the FS8, the RX is included in the system. It's the only way to do the CCPM with the Co-pilot

Rafael

Keep your feet on the ground, but your eyes on the sky.
Team Heliproz.com

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11-21-2006 06:43 PM  11 years agoPost 15
kcass518

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Manhasset, NY - USA

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oops,

I had the original Co-Pilot when it first came out. I used it with an 8 channel PCM Futaba receiver and an 8UAP transmitter. I can't help you with Spectrum or CCPM - they didn't exist when I got started. It would be a tough decision to have to invest in more radio equipment just to be able to use the Co-Pilot, but I'm sure you would have more fun and learn quicker if you did. But, then again, I'm not sure I would try to learn Heli on a Trex. Even with a Co-Pilot, the Trex is so fast it can screw into the ground quicker than you can say..oops! It's almost like the new plank guys who show up with warbirds and bipes. Our advice is to start with a trainer. Save the exotic stuff for after you learn to fly. We already know you're going to crash. Why risk something expensive? We have a guy at our field who insists on learning on a Trex - no Co-Pilot. He crashes every day. I hope he learns before he runs out of money.

Does anyone else think a Trex would be hard to learn on or is it just me?

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11-21-2006 06:46 PM  11 years agoPost 16
caseyjholmes

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Portland, Oregon

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That is true. I do crash like a mofo.. but then again, I wouldn't be doing 3D with a co-pilot on my heli (unless it was a V-stabi ). For learning FF, I could see now, with explinations above, how it could be very helpful. An interesting thread indeed, as I have never played with one myself.

I started with planks first, but could never get them to fly right. Then I went to heli's and realized setup involved. When I Went back to planks, I could get them to fly perfect, and even designed some of my own. Then I went back to heli's again, and now I'm stuck on them for good.

If you can do a decent normal figure eight with a plane, chances are you can do one on a heli too, with a bit of confidence. if you have experience turning a plane with a large rudder doing flatspins.. that is similar to what turning a heli will feal like. (lots of aileron and rudder for sideways smooth "realistic" looking turns)
Does anyone else think a Trex would be hard to learn on or is it just me?
Yes, they are harder to learn on. A raptor 30 is probably the best learner heli ever made.. Besides the "unbreakable coronas", followed by an HDE Trex XL.

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11-21-2006 06:58 PM  11 years agoPost 17
kcass518

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Manhasset, NY - USA

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Casey's right - you should be able to do figure 8s without too much trouble. My problem was that I would get about 3/4 of the way around, and the heli would stop (due to not enough forward cyclic), and then it would lean to one side or the other, and start to fall, and by the time I figured out how to correct it, I was at the LHS getting out my checkbook. With the Co-Pilot, whenever I would get into that murky situation where I didn't know what to do, I would let go of the right stick and give it full throttle, and poof, up it would go. It would stabilize and let me start over. A number of times the heli would get away from me and end up way, way out in the North West corner of our field, and very high. I would just stop it from moving by letting go of the right stick. I would rotate the heli with the rudder until the nose was pointing at me while holding it at altitude. I would then gently push the right stick forward and nurse it back towards me. It worked every time. Otherwise it was so far away I could barely see it. Good luck!

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11-21-2006 08:44 PM  11 years agoPost 18
jackheli

rrProfessor

Vancouver - Canada

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I learnt most of my 3D with a co-pilot as a safeguard and I don't regret it.

It saved my wallet a couple of times.

Now I fly pure 3D without it, no problem.

It's easy to find an excuse to do wrong. Hard is not to find an excuse to do right.

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11-21-2006 09:02 PM  11 years agoPost 19
oopsididitagain

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Dubai

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kinda have some pros and cons , like to use it then i have to whip out my JR 8103 fm radio instead of using my dx6 spektrum.

it's a very hard decision indeed. any advise?

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11-21-2006 09:44 PM  11 years agoPost 20
Rafael23cc

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Junction City, KS

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kinda have some pros and cons , like to use it then i have to whip out my JR 8103 fm radio instead of using my dx6 spektrum.
Make a list of the pros and cons. if one is longer than the other then make a decision based on that.

I have not tried in a heli, maybe I should. I have just tried it with planks and they fly by themselves. If I let go the sticks, the plane just keeps going staight and level in the same direction as before. A few months ago my sister and my mom that have never touched an RC system (they do not live in Kansas) tried my airplane and they were able to fly without a buddy box, just my verbal coaching.

There was thread not too long ago about the pros and cons of the co-pilot. http://runryder.net/t289955p1/ do not get scared by the comments on this thread. If a device keeps you from crashing and you can keep flying it is always a good thing. What you NEED to realize is that you need to bring down that gain on the co-pilot as soon as possible.

This thread has me thinking, should I put my FS-8 on my Raptor 50 to try out the new maneuvers I want to perfect? I crashed it a few weeks ago trying something new. HHMMMMM.....

Rafael

Keep your feet on the ground, but your eyes on the sky.
Team Heliproz.com

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