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
  • Repeat...

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.

Radio Glitches?

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.

Vertical Drifts

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.




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