First Big Flight Outside
Another entry from my experiences in learning to fly an RC 3D Helicopter!
First Time in Open Air!
Finally, after two weeks of learning to fly my heli (so far constrained almost entirely within the confines of my parking garage), I thought I might be ready to try flying out in the open for the first time. The garage was starting to get a little too restrictive, particularly with a relatively low cieling... plus, there are those pesky cement pillars to watch out for! I have tried flying outside once or twice before, but this was at very low altitude (< 5') and only in hover.
The air was calm, so I placed my floormat on the grass (to create a suitable landing pad so that my tail rotor won't dip into the grass) and started it up. Without having to worry about the ceiling or walls, I immediately flew up high enough that I was well out of ground effect, where the heli would become more stable.
Watch a Video!
The following video shows where I'm at after 2 weeks practice flying a heli (the Blade CP Pro -- notice the professional-looking training gear!)
What I tried
What a difference! I managed to fly with reasonable comfort around the courtyard, trying a number of things that I had never tested out before:
- Side-In Hover - (Video @ 1:15) Getting more confident with this now. Occasionally I get lazy and don't correct for the imbalance, but it's getting better.
- High altitude - (Video @ 2:10) Not sure how high I took the little heli, but I'm guessing about 50 feet. Felt like I was able to keep it relatively stable even with such a new perspective on the hover. However, when I started to bring it down, I started to get some unplanned spiraling motion that I'll have to work on next time.
- Distance - Again, I have never really flown more than about 10 feet away from myself before. Flying at some distance made it harder to detect the smaller corrections required to keep the hover stable. Nonetheless, this wasn't as hard as I had expected.
- 360 degree / Pirouettes - (Video @ 3:50 & 4:05) Once the heli felt stable, I thought I'd try my first ever pirouette (360 degree fast continuous yaw/rotation)! I was surprised by how fast it rotated, even with a somewhat heavy training gear attached! I figured that so long as I exited the pirouette facing some direction other than nose-in, I'd be able to recover. Turned out to be far easier than I had expected. On my second attempt, I overshot and ended up rotating past 360 degrees.
- Forward Flight - (Video @ 1:45) Really basic attempt at moderate-speed forward flight at constant altitude. This didn't seem to be that hard, but I imagine it may be more difficult if I were trying to keep the speed very low.
One problem that I did notice (and is visible at 2:45 in the video) is a bit of oscillation in yaw, which I assume is due to the gyro. I believe this would be an example of tail wag, which is apparently due to setting the gyro gain too high. It seems that the wag only appeared for a portion of the flight, so I'm not sure what might be happening. Anyone know?