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HeliTorque :: View topic - Radio Controlled Helicopter Flying v Real Helicopter Flying
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Student Pilots & Hour Builders

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Radio Controlled Helicopter Flying v Real Helicopter Flying
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Jonny_Boy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Radio Controlled Helicopter Flying v Real Helicopter Flying Reply with quote

There was me thinking my old model heli (skills) should help me a little with real helicopter training. After all, how hard can it be, it's only lift versus drag and rotation!!!

Here's my light-hearted comparison of just how far apart these two machines are.

My hardest lessons when model helicopter flying: -

1. 'Nose-in' flying. This is where the heli is no-longer pointing away, where left was left and right was right etc, but is now pointing straight at you and all the controls appear to be reversed (left is now right and right is now left etc).

2. General loss of perspective. Where you can't see (or remember) whether it was flying away from you...or towards you...or pointing left...or right...and it's now in a nose dive!!!

My hardest lessons when real helicopter flying: -

1. Yaw! Yaw! Yaw! Why am I yawing either left or right...all the time? The model has a gyro, so the tail only moves when I tell it, but a real helicopter yaws constantly. It's a full time job to keep it in check. I swear it yaws even when I use the radio!!!

2. Flying in windy conditions!!! If the weather sock moves (even an inch) don't fly!!! It may look like a gentle breeze, but in a Robinson R22, it's a hurricane!!! Oh, and that 'breeze' makes real helicopters yaw even more than before...if that was possible.

3. Hover. Oh god. I have grey hairs from hovering. In the model it's the FIRST basic control you learn. In real helicopters it's the LAST basic control you learn...that says it all!!! The moment when the instructor says those 3 dreaded words...'You have Control'...is the moment time stops!!! Apparently a bad hover is something to do with 'hover-fairies' that jump up and hang onto the skids and rock you left and right....that explains a lot!!!

4. Autos. "So let me get this straight, I cut the power and glide down to earth at 60 knots". Does anyone else think this is a bad idea???

Joking aside though...WOW, how great is flying the real thing. It's changed my life forever!!!

I'm only 14 hours in and love every minute I'm in the air. But it's a lot harder than my instructor makes it look!!!

Fly safe...

J.
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rjc
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fly model helis too, and yep - the feet are an issue.

I do find myself doing things like quickstops etc. with the model, which seemed to help me in the real thing. Overall, the model does give some help before stepping into the big version.

I know of a Heli instructor, trying to learn about models. I understand he finds it very hard, I suppose the lack of "feeling" what is going on will be a problem.

So, that leads to the question - are model helis a good startign point to fly the real thing? (exclude the costs, which even in models are not a pretty sight)
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling it might be more difficult going from flying a real one to flying a model. Looks like a fine art! Laughing

WhirlyGirl Cool
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Jonny_Boy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a serious note, I completely agree that model flying does help...just don't expect too much as there's so much more to learn when you're sat in the pilot's seat.

Where it seemed to help me was with a general understanding of helicopter controls and my cyclic reactions.

As a result, even on my initial trial lessons, I was comfortable with low level hover (provided the instructor controlled the collective and yaw pedals). What I've had to unlearn/learn was yaw control, as this just isn't an issue with flying the models, and the lack of power-to-weight in a real helicopter meaning you have to control your actions far more than with a model heli...which is quite forgiving if you're coming into land a bit hard!!!

But there's one thing that the model just can't prepare you for, and that's your first lift-off, circuit and landing. I swear I didn't stop smiling for weeks...

Smile)

J.
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bom
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just dug out my model heli that I had for christmas a year or two back. Flew it in the living room for a bit................. just got back from the model shop after buying some new blades Laughing
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paddywak
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive been banned by the CAA equivalent (Wife) from flying mine indoors due to the lack of branches on the plants around the house. So mine is collecting dust on the shelf while I'm out flying the real version Laughing
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tombeeston
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having only had 1 hour in a real one, (but having flown models for 15 years), the biggest difference I noticed was the lack of visual clues in a real heli as to whether you were descending/ascending and how fast you were going. I suppose that's what all those instruments are for Smile

When model flying you've often easily got a tree/hedge/the ground in sight, and any movement of the model is obvious. At 1500ft the ground and horizon are so far away that I found this perspective is lost....but that's me at 1hour only!
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chopperjockey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been flying models over twenty years now. The biggest difference I found between full size and models is that with full size you can keep going for hundreds of miles, but with models you can manage about 300 meters max. then you have to turn around and bring it back! Smile
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Holmquist
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I flew full scale for 3 years before ever touching a remote controlled helicopter. Now 4 years into full scale and 1 year into model helicopters I love them both. Of course learning to fly a full scale helicopter was and still is quite a challenge. I found that tail in hovering with a model was quite easy, it felt natural but man nose in and flying around are a whole other feat. Its a strange feeling fully understanding the helicopter and what its doing but not being able to control it due to the multiple orientations the model can be flown from.

Austin
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