Chapter 23. How Helicopters Work

Table of Contents

23.1. From the user to the transmitter
23.2. From the transmitter to the lower swashplate
23.3. From the upper swashplate to the rotor head
23.4. The rotorhead
23.5. Basic helicopter aerodynamics
23.6. How gyros work
23.7. GY-series gyro technical info
23.8. Yaw-rate gyro technical info
23.9. How ESCs work

(Please consult Chapter 31, Glossary for any unfamiliar terms)

23.1. From the user to the transmitter

The helicopter's control system begins at the joysticks of the transmitter. There are two common configurations for converting the user's joystick movements into helicopter movements:

  • Mode 1 (Asia, Australia, Europe, and some UK)

  • Mode 2 (US, some Europe and some UK)

  • Mode 3

  • Mode 4

Table 23.1. Mode 1 Stick Assignments

JoystickDirectionUsage
left sticku/dfore/aft cyclic
left stickl/rrudder
right sticku/dthrottle/pitch
right stickl/rleft/right cyclic

Table 23.2. Mode 2 Stick Assignments

JoystickDirectionUsage
left sticku/dthrottle/pitch
left stickl/rrudder
right sticku/dfore/aft cyclic
right stickl/rleft/right cyclic

Table 23.3. Mode 3 Stick Assignments

JoystickDirectionUsage
left sticku/dfore/aft cyclic
left stickl/rleft/right cyclic
right sticku/dthrottle/pitch
right stickl/rrudder

Table 23.4. Mode 4 Stick Assignments

JoystickDirectionUsage
left sticku/dthrottle/pitch
left stickl/rleft/right cyclic
right sticku/dfore/aft cyclic
right stickl/rrudder