The Electric Helicopter Beginner's Guide v16

Toshiyasu Morita

Mark Pearson


Table of Contents

Preface
1. Things You Should Know
1.1. Helicopters require a SIGNIFICANT TIME COMMITMENT
1.2. Repairs are expensive
1.3. Hovering is difficult to learn
2. First Helicopter Selection Guide
2.1. Classification of helis used in this guide
2.2. Overview of selected machines
2.3. Summary of helicopter sizes
3. Recommended Configurations
3.1. Beginner configurations
3.2. Intermediate configurations
4. Brushless Motor Upgrade Paths
4.1. Corona upgrade paths
4.2. Piccolo upgrade paths
5. Helicopter Parts Selection
5.1. Gyros
5.2. FMA Copilot
5.3. Tail (rudder) servo
5.4. Swashplate (Cyclic) servos
5.5. Receiver
5.6. Motor
5.7. Pinion
5.8. Wire
5.9. Battery connectors
5.10. Motor connectors
5.11. Main motor ESC
5.12. Tail motor ESC
5.13. Revo mixing
5.14. BEC (battery eliminator circuit)
5.15. Batteries
5.16. Main rotor blades
5.17. Modifications
6. Support Equipment
6.1. Pitch gauge
6.2. Blade balancer (optional)
6.3. Paddle pitch gauge (optional)
6.4. Prop balancer (optional)
6.5. Tachometer
6.6. Ball link pliers
6.7. Submini needle nose pliers
6.8. Battery chargers
6.9. Field battery (optional)
6.10. Field battery charger (optional)
6.11. Portable generator (optional)
6.12. Digital voltmeter
6.13. Transmitter tray
7. Simulators
7.1. FMS
7.2. Piccofly with Game Commander
7.3. Easyfly
7.4. Aerofly Professional
7.5. Aerofly Professional Deluxe
7.6. Realflight G2 w/USB Interlink
7.7. Realflight G3 w/USB Interlink
7.8. Reflex XTR simulator w/USB interface
7.9. PreFlight Simulator
7.10. Helicopter simulator for the Mac
7.11. Summary
7.12. Simulator practice
8. Transmitters
8.1. Suitable helicopter transmitters
8.2. Special transmitter notes
8.3. Transmitter hand position
9. Helicopter Construction
9.1. General tips for all helicopters
9.2. Specific tips for LMH Corona only
9.3. Specific tips for all Piccolo (Fun/ECO/CP upgrade/Pro)
9.4. Specific tips for fixed pitch Piccolo (ECO/Fun) only
9.5. Specific tips for collective pitch Piccolo (CP upgrade/Pro) only
9.6. Specific tips for the MS Composit Hornet II
9.7. Specific tips for Ikarus ECO 8/16 only
9.8. Specific tips for Logo 10 only
10. Helicopter Electronics Mounting/Wiring
10.1. Channel assignments
10.2. Component placement
10.3. Wire routing
10.4. Soldering technique
11. Post-Construction/ARF Checklist
12. Helicopter and Transmitter Setup
12.1. Balancing the heli - forward/aft
12.2. Balancing the main rotor blades using the KSJ-528 blade balancer
12.3. Adjusting the blade grip bolts
12.4. Flybar paddle setup
12.5. Tail belt tension setup
12.6. FP & CP helicopter swashplate setup part 1 - swashplate type
12.7. CP helicopter swashplate setup part 1 - servo setup
12.8. CP helicopter swashplate setup part 2 - collective pitch setup
12.9. CP helicopter swashplate setup part 3 - cyclic setup
12.10. FP helicopter swashplate setup - cyclic setup
12.11. Transmitter throttle hold setup
12.12. Transmitter exponential setup
12.13. Transmitter throttle setup
12.14. ESC programming
12.15. Transmitter Throttle Curve setup
12.16. Tail rotor pitch servo setup
12.17. Gyro setup - variable pitch tail rotor
12.18. Gyro setup - fixed pitch tail rotor
12.19. Transmitter tail setup - both fixed and variable pitch
12.20. Adjusting main blade pitch
12.21. Blade tracking - CP helicopters
12.22. Blade tracking - FP helicopters
13. R/C Heli Rules & Tips
13.1. The proper way to carry a heli
13.2. Avoid pointing the transmitter antenna at the helicopter
13.3. The blades are traveling at high velocity!
13.4. Always disconnect the battery when working on the helicopter
13.5. Liability insurance
14. Learning to Fly an R/C Helicopter
14.1. The skills required
14.2. Making the learning process easier
14.3. Minimize downtime; maximize practice time
14.4. Divide the learning process into smaller, easier steps
15. Hovering Technique
16. Helicopter Power-On/Power-Off Procedure
16.1. Helicopter power-on procedure
16.2. Helicopter power-off procedure
16.3. Safety notes
17. Tail-In Hovering
17.1. Preparation
17.2. Tail-in hovering - Phase 1
17.3. Tail-in hovering - Phase 2
18. Side-In and Nose-In Hovering Orientations
18.1. To translate into a left side-in hover
18.2. To turn into a left side-in hover
19. Additional Orientation Exercises
19.1. Introduction
19.2. 90 degree yaw
19.3. 180 degree yaw
19.4. 45 degree nose-in orientations
19.5. Single pirouette
19.6. Multiple slow pirouettes
20. Forward and Backward Flight
20.1. Idle-up mode setup for forward flight
20.2. Entering & exiting fast forward flight
20.3. Banked forward turns
20.4. Figure eights
20.5. Backwards flight
20.6. Banked backwards turns
21. Backwards Exercises
21.1. Backwards remote half circles
21.2. Backwards remote full circles
21.3. Backwards tail-in figure-eight
21.4. Backwards nose-in figure-eight
22. Additional Upright Exercises
22.1. Pirouetting remote circles
22.2. Pirouetting figure eights
23. How Helicopters Work
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
24. Battery Care & Maintenance
24.1. Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries
24.2. Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries
24.3. Lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries
24.4. NiCad/NiMH/LiPo Battery disposal
24.5. Solderless power tube (SPT) battery packs
25. Tweaking Helicopter Twitchiness
25.1. Reduce the headspeed (CP helis only)
25.2. Reduce the swashplate mixing
25.3. Increase exponential on aileron/elevator
25.4. Add flybar weights
26. Your First Major Crash
27. Maintenance & Crash Repair
27.1. Brushed motors w/carbon brushes
27.2. Main rotor shaft bearings
27.3. Tail rotor shaft bearings
27.4. Tail belt tension
27.5. Battery retaining o-rings
27.6. Main rotor blades
27.7. Corona specific maintenance
27.8. Piccolo specific maintenance
27.9. ECO 8/16 specific maintenance
28. Troubleshooting Common Problems
28.1. Vibration problems
28.2. Tail control problems
28.3. Throttle/ESC problems
28.4. Other problems
29. Useful Equations
29.1. Calculating headspeed
29.2. Estimating amperage draw
30. Electric Helicopter & Parts Vendors
31. Glossary
Glossary

List of Tables

2.1. Helicopter Size Summary sorted by AUW
4.1. Piccolo Upgrade Motors
5.1. Motor quality
5.2. Heatsinks
5.3. Wire size recommended by current capacity
23.1. Mode 1 Stick Assignments
23.2. Mode 2 Stick Assignments
23.3. Mode 3 Stick Assignments
23.4. Mode 4 Stick Assignments