Beginner Tips for Flying RC Helicopters
A unique RC pick, remote control helicopters take the motorized fun off the ground and into the air, but this change of venue can bring some new challenges to RC play. A new control style and new obstacles to navigate are two of the most obvious differences beginners face when flying their first RC helicopter. There’s definitely a learning curve, but following a few simple guidelines can make mastering copters much easier. If you’re just starting out, check out our beginner tips for flying RC helicopters to improve your performance and prevent damage during flights.
Choose a Lower End Model to Start
We know there are a lot of super-slick RCs out there, especially copters and flying vehicles, but they’re not always the best bet for a first timer. It’s important to think realistically – beginners crash. Sometimes, that’s going to mean damage that requires replacement parts, perhaps even a new toy all together. That’s less painful when the copter isn’t very pricey and has parts that are inexpensive to replace. Beginners often find it easier to fly “coaxial” copters, which feature two rotors on top that make it easier for users to maintain a hovering position.
Master the Controls
RC vehicles on the ground have controls that are pretty easy to master, making the same forward, reverse and turning motions as a typical car. In the air, controls become a bit more complex. From a mathematical perspective, you’re operating on a z-axis, which means upward and downward motion need to be accounted for in addition to directional motion. There are four basic controls: the throttle moves the copter up and down, the rudder rotates it left and right, the elevator moves it forward and backward and the aileron strafes the copter left and right in the air. Practicing in a controlled environment is the best way to master these unique motions.
Point the Tail Toward the User
Try Out Some Training Gear
Choose an Ideal Launching Surface
Master Hovering Successfully
Once your copter is up off the ground, the next step is maintaining the hover position successfully. Raise the copter into the air, making sure that the tail is pointing at you and following guidelines for maintaining that position. Keep adjusting continuously until you’ve successfully achieved the desired position. Keep the copter about a meter in the air, practicing your control until you can keep the tail continuously pointed at yourself without a struggle. This is one of the most basic operation techniques, and helpful videos are available online to demonstrate. Sites devoted to RC copter use can guide you through the mastery of more advanced techniques.
Choose Safe Operating Conditions
The most basic guidelines for safe and fun operation of your RC copter rely on common sense. If it’s windy, raining or snowing, the weather isn’t compatible with successful RC flights. It’s better to wait for a day where the winds are relatively still and there’s no precipitation to maintain maximum control. Additionally, choose wide open spaces without in-air obstacles, especially trees and power lines. It’s okay to practice inside, too, but do it in large rooms without many breakable objects.
RC helicopters are a fun step up from standard RCs, and mastering them doesn’t have to be a hassle. Following basic guidelines for beginners goes a long way in helping users understand standard operation. Combining those guidelines with common sense flight strategies and location choices can provide lasting remote control flying fun for the whole family.