Hovering Tail-In & Side-In
This page shares some of my progress as I learn to fly a 3D Helicopter.
Left-in ... Tail-in ... Right-in
For the last few sessions I've been practicing the training routine from the Past Hover section of RADD's School of Rotary Flight. Basically, it involves the following:
- Hover Tail-in for 10 seconds
- Hover Left-in for 10 seconds
- Hover Tail-in for 10 seconds
- Hover Right-in for 10 seconds
As boring as this sounds, it has been very helpful to gain confidence in the different orientations, rather than focusing in only one. This is especially helpful for my Right-In hover, which tends to be a little weaker than my right-in hover. The other advantage I see out of practicing this way is that it has helped me to work on side-in hover at positions where the helicopter is conceptually "behind" me. In other words, if I am working on a left side-in hover, I find it easier if it is positioned to the left of me slightly. However, if I were to fly the heli right side-in in this same position (to the left of me), the frame of reference becomes closer to a nose-in orientation than a tail-in orientation. At first I found this a lot more difficult, but I am beginning to gain confidence irrespective of some positioning changes now.
Now that I have been practicing full pack hovering (heli is airborne for the entire 8-10 minutes), I am more aware of the occasional glitch that I encounter. Within the confines of my parking garage, I get the occasional sudden drop in main rotor power. I doubt that this is due to a lack of contact in the brushes in my stock brushed motor or a failing motor (as the occurence is quite rare and very brief). Instead, I expect that it is likely due to a momentary interference that cuts the signal to the main rotor. The net effect is that I have twice encountered a sudden drop of ~ 1' in altitude, with the motor picking it immediately back up afterwards.
I have also experimented with flying near my work, where there is probably a significant increase in the amount of RF interference. While practicing hover, I have witnessed an occasional burst of full right yaw, causes an immediate rotation of about 60 degrees. At first I thought this may be due to a failing tail motor (the N30 apparently gets burnt out fairly easily), but I realized afterwards that right yaw can only be due to an increase in motor output, not decrease. Therefore, I believe these sudden glitches (I have only encountered 2 in 10 minutes) are again due to RF interference.
My Blade CP Pro's transmitter is an old-style (analog) model that uses the 72MHz spectrum and thus can is more prone to interference. The Blade CX2 comes with a 2.4GHz spread-spectrum transmitter that is likely much more immune to much of this interference.
I have noticed that while I'm practicing my hovers, I often experience a slow movement up or down that may carry the heli as much as about 3-4', without me touching the throttle. I'm assuming that this is just the inconsistent lift generated in ground effect, but I'm not certain.