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RC Car Action - May 2013

Car Guy Go Fly! LESSON

Car Guy Go Fly! LESSON 2: MIX IT UP Now that you’ve learned about each of the directions in which a helicopter can fly, it’s important to learn that by mixing two or more of the stick’s motions together you can achieve multiple movements at the same time. In a car that’s moving forward, making a left is as simple as holding the throttle and turning the wheels in the desired direction. On a helicopter, making the same maneuver requires throttle to hold it up on the air, elevator to move it forward and rudder to rotate it into the direction of the turn and keep the nose pointing forward. At the same time as these motions or anytime a helicopter changes direction, you’ll want to slightly increase the amount of throttle to keep it at the same altitude. Your 11th grade physics teacher will remind you that this is necessary because as the energy of the body in motion (the helicopter) changes direction, a small amount of it is lost in that change and there for the energy must be increased to maintain the same position, in this case up and down. Side-to-side motions with the aileron do not require the same amount of throttle adjustment since you’re not turning the direction of the helicopter rather shifting or strafing it to the side. LESSON 3: HOVER OVER A SHEET OF PAPER Now that you’ve learned what your radio does and how it affects the helicopter, it’s time to fly! Not so fast; the first thing you’ll want to master before you go any further is your ability to correct the heli with small movements of the sticks. Lay a sheet of paper, a book or something about that size down on the ground and place your helicopter on top of it facing away from you so you have a first-person perspective on its flight. Start by lifting the helicopter off the ground high enough that air turbulence from the ground no longer affects it and practice keeping it above the paper. Knee-to-waist height is a good height to try and hold it at and once you find it drifting beyond the paper, land and start over again. Once you’ve learned to control it from behind pretty well, move to either side and repeat and then in front of it and repeat. By moving to each side, you learn to make the same adjustments no matter which way your helicopter is facing. LESSON 5: THE AIR UP THERE When you were taking off from the ground you may have noticed that things were a little bumpy at first. This is because as the propellers spin up, they create wind turbulence that bounces off the ground and pushes the helicopter around. When you’re flying outside, you’ll notice that a breeze will also toss your heli around but other than that everything is pretty smooth sailing. Flying indoors is a different situation and not only will the ground deflect air back and push the heli around, but so will air near the ceiling if you get too close. Your helicopter works on the same principle as a fan so while air is being pushed out underneath the helicopter, there’s the same amount that’s being pulled into it from above. When you get close to the ceiling, the air is drawn into the helicopter from across the ceiling creating a pocket of low pressure. As the helicopter gets further into that pocket, it will be sucked upward until you find yourself pressed completely against the ceiling. Remember to try not to cut the throttle, ease down on it until the heli begins to descend and as you get back to your desired altitude, slowly increase the throttle to level off. Another thing to watch out for is vents and air ducts. Regardless if they’re a vent or a return, the air rushing in or out of them can cause turbulence that will make it very hard to fly and cause you to crash. LESSON 6: TOUCHDOWN! To the typical car guy brain, landing seems like no big deal, but there’s a lot more technique to landing behind cutting down the throttle. Start off as you did in Lesson 3 by bringing the heli to a hover above a target object, I like to use a hardcover book for this. In this lesson, the book will be both a point of reference as well as a landing pad. From an altitude approximately face level, begin to decrease the throttle to allow the helicopter to descend slowly down toward the book, making corrections to keep it above it at all times. Once you find a speed of descent that works for you to come in gently, allow the heli to decrease in altitude and just before it touches down, increase the throttle a little bit to cushion the landing. Most times you’ll find that the helicopter will bounce up and down until coming to a stop but as you learn the fine touch it takes to land properly you will bounce less and less. LESSON 4: BACK AND FORTH With your hovering skills in use, press up and down on the elevator to practicing going forward and backward with your heli. This may not seem like it would be tough, but you’ll find that is it moves forward, it will tend to rotate a little bit on you due to any turbulence or even if your helicopter just isn’t trimmed perfectly. Practice correcting it to fly straight away, then bring it to a hover, rotate it back and fly back toward yourself and come to a stop hovering in front of you. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain the same altitude throughout your flight and that’s why it’s important to just go back and forth for a while and learn to do all of the corrections that are constantly necessary to make that happen. Once you’ve mastered this, you can move on to adding rudder to the mix to rotate the helicopter around a turn. Be sure to try and maintain your altitude once again. VERDICT The DR-1 and QR-1 are a big step in a new direction for Traxxas. Much like their RTR cars and trucks, these two helis are about as plug and play as it gets! While learning to fly is a completely different learning curve from driving, the crossover is something that I encourage every car guy to try. Having a familiar brand like Traxxas, one that we have come to know well when it comes to customer service and quality products out of the box, is a nice way for a guy like me to get his feet wet with a helicopter. The DR-1 is a straightforward copter that has enough size, responsiveness, and value to make it the perfect gateway into an entirely new segment of our hobby while the QR-1 offers increased performance and dynamics that can take your flying from 10 to 100. SOURCES Traxxas traxxas.com 46 MORE FROM THIS ISSUE AT RCCARACTION.COM

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