Chapter 16. Tail-In Hovering

Table of Contents

16.1. Preparation
16.2. Tail-in hovering - Phase 1
16.3. Tail-in hovering - Phase 2

The first helicopter orientation to learn is "tail-in" hovering. This is called tail-in because the tail of the helicopter will be the closest to you.

16.1. Preparation

  • The most common helicopter "minor crash" is a boom strike. This occurs the helicopter lands too hard and the main rotor blade strikes the tail boom. It is advisable to have at least one extra tail boom on hand to avoiding waiting for parts.

  • You should have some practice time on a flight simulator. This will really reduce the number of crashes and save you A LOT of money.

  • You should have a training gear on your heli. The training gear prevents the heli from tipping over and damaging itself, and additionally makes the heli more stable by slowing the cyclic response.

    For a 1000-2000 gram heli, the best and cheapest training gear can be made from a small hula-hoop and some 1/4 inch dowels. Do not use a dowel thicker than 1/4 inch, because the 1/4 inch dowels will break in a hard landing and absorb some of the impact.

    1. Put the dowel across the diameter of the hula-hoop, and cut the dowel so it's about 1 inch longer than the diameter.

    2. Cut another dowel the same length.

    3. Use two tie-wraps to lash the two dowels together in an X pattern.

    4. Use tie wraps to attach the X to the hula-hoop.

    5. Use tie-wraps or rubber bands to attach the X to the landing gear of your helicopter.

    6. Make sure the hula-hoop is on the bottom, so it will slide along the floor on the hula-hoop.

    The CG may shift when you attach the training gear, so be sure to readjust the battery pack to move the forward/aft CG back to the main rotor shaft.