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Old Dec 11, 2007, 12:28 AM   #1
MikeTheC
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RC Helicopter

Hello all!

I'm a brand-spankin'-new entrant into the wonderful world of remote-controlled helicopters. Tonight I bought an AirHogs Havoc Heli. It's one of these super-small-scale (6 inch long) styrofoam helicopters, cost like $25.

The reason I'm posting is to see if anyone else has one of these, what their experiences have been, how long it took them to learn how to fly it, etc.

I come to this with absolutely no real-life flight experience, and strictly prop and jet flight sim experience. I know something about the mechanics of helicopter flight (controlling torque helps to keep the aircraft body from spinning, for instance) though I would never hold myself out to be an expert.

This is definitely a very cool "sport" to do, and at a $25 buy-in, it's not that bad on the wallet, either.


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Old Dec 11, 2007, 01:37 AM   #2
Daveman Deluxe
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I actually work for Knife Edge Software; we make a simulator for RC airplanes and helicopters. I haven't got much experience with helis, but I have flown some of the micro sized helicopters. They're actually pretty difficult to control. The ones that I've played with have no cyclic or collective pitch control. There's just the throttle and the anti-torque controls.

The biggest thing to remember with RC helis, as with all aircraft, is that control input will continue to affect orientation after you release the controls. You need to anticipate where you will be a little bit ahead of time.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveman Deluxe View Post
I actually work for Knife Edge Software; we make a simulator for RC airplanes and helicopters.
Cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveman Deluxe View Post
The biggest thing to remember with RC helis, as with all aircraft, is that control input will continue to affect orientation after you release the controls. You need to anticipate where you will be a little bit ahead of time.
In the real world, it depends on the helicopter's control system and blade configuration. Some have what feels like a 5-6 second lag and others are almost instantaneous.

On the RC side, I picked up one of these a couple of months ago and am having a hoot flying it:

http://model.hirobo.co.jp/english/

Click on the XBR SR link on the left side.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 06:44 PM   #4
atthecross
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if you have not bought you air hog yet try this site...

http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.801

Better prices and you get a larger selection
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 09:29 PM   #5
pilotError
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Originally Posted by Daveman Deluxe View Post
I actually work for Knife Edge Software; we make a simulator for RC airplanes and helicopters.
Hey, stop posting and get on a Mac version of the simulator! LOL

Big R/C Heli freak. Here's my Kid flying his XRB
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 10:40 PM   #6
sushi
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Big R/C Heli freak. Here's my Kid flying his XRB
Just don't see how it can be flying with the blades stopped!

Nice pic.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 10:53 PM   #7
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Just don't see how it can be flying with the blades stopped!

Nice pic.
The blades are moving. Look closely and you can tell.
That or there is a second set of transparent blades on that chopper.
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Old Dec 24, 2007, 11:08 PM   #8
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I've got a little thing I got at a brookstone in the mall. It's a very fun little helicopter that takes a short time to get used to, though not yours.
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Old Dec 25, 2007, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Just don't see how it can be flying with the blades stopped!
There's this remarkable new photographic device called an electronic flash.
It allows you to take pictures inside even when there's not very much light inside.
It does two other cool things.
Makes people's eyes look red like zombies.
And because the duration of the flash is so short--way faster than the fastest shutter speed on a camera--it freezes the action so that even a moving helicopter blade looks like it's not moving.

Or maybe it's a helium powered helicopter.

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Old Dec 25, 2007, 01:09 AM   #10
erickkoch
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I bought the same $25 helicopter. It's fun to play with but It broke after a few days and a few dozen crashes. It's difficult to control, it goes up and down OK but steering it around and getting it to go exactly where you want is difficult.
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Old Dec 25, 2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi View Post
Just don't see how it can be flying with the blades stopped!
My original quote. Notice the winking smiley face. As in I was joking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancestraz View Post
The blades are moving. Look closely and you can tell.
That or there is a second set of transparent blades on that chopper.
Actually that model has two sets of blades. The bottom set, which is the one that shows up a bit transparent, controls the direction of movement. The top set is there for stability and counter torque for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
And because the duration of the flash is so short--way faster than the fastest shutter speed on a camera--it freezes the action so that even a moving helicopter blade looks like it's not moving.
Uh, yes, I know this. Even have a couple that I've taken myself where the blades appear frozen in space.

What's your point?

Again, I was joking with my comment about the blades not moving as indicated by my winking smiley face.

Anyhow, I am having fun flying the Hirobo XBR. Tonight, I practiced some light sling loads. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.
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Old Dec 31, 2007, 02:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by erickkoch View Post
I bought the same $25 helicopter. It's fun to play with but It broke after a few days and a few dozen crashes. It's difficult to control, it goes up and down OK but steering it around and getting it to go exactly where you want is difficult.
Same experience here. I actually think my beagle was getting back at me for chasing him and sabotaged it when I wasn't looking.

I wondering what the next step up from those types of helicopters are? I would love something that has more control that I could buzz around the house/office...
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Old Dec 31, 2007, 02:51 PM   #13
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I've seen some crazy RC stuff before. An air field where used to hang out at - on "off days" RC people would show up with their planes and what not. I saw an ACTUAL Jet-Engine powered F22 model - that FLEW. Thing cost the guy something like $12,000 - literally. Little bugger was LOUD and FAST - faster than a lot of the "real" aircraft that used that field. Seriously.
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Old Dec 31, 2007, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
I wondering what the next step up from those types of helicopters are? I would love something that has more control that I could buzz around the house/office...
These are nice little heli's. I know a bunch of folks that have them. I comes with a really nice transmitter as well.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1250
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Old Jan 8, 2008, 06:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-TDI-Guy View Post
I've seen some crazy RC stuff before. An air field where used to hang out at - on "off days" RC people would show up with their planes and what not. I saw an ACTUAL Jet-Engine powered F22 model - that FLEW. Thing cost the guy something like $12,000 - literally. Little bugger was LOUD and FAST - faster than a lot of the "real" aircraft that used that field. Seriously.
You might enjoy these two:

B29 with X-1

B52 jet
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Old May 22, 2008, 10:34 AM   #16
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Anybody out there flying a Hirobo Quark?
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:33 AM   #17
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it was a good first purchase. Try to perfect the low-end models before moving onto the four channel beasts.

This is your goal.
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb60606 View Post
it was a good first purchase.
Are you referring to the Quark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb60606 View Post
Try to perfect the low-end models before moving onto the four channel beasts.
I have a Honey Bee King 2.

Will probably get a T-Rex down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb60606 View Post
This is your goal.
Nope.

For me it would be the AH-1F Cobra with a turbine engine. Sort of like this one.

Last edited by sushi; May 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM.
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Old May 22, 2008, 01:41 PM   #19
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If your goal is a full blown heli, don't waste your time with the Quark or any coaxial heli. Go ahead and get the T-Rex and pick yourself up a simulator (like realflight g4).

The Coax helis and most of the small helis are a waste of time, especially if your looking to move up. You need to just jump in with both feet and a big wallet.

I haven't flown much in the past year, but here's one of my heli's ( I have a few).

Here's my Trex, My Miniature Aircraft Stratus, and my Synergy N9.
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Old May 22, 2008, 02:00 PM   #20
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Go ahead and get the T-Rex and pick yourself up a simulator (like realflight g4).
Seconded.

(I work for Knife Edge Software )
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Old May 22, 2008, 02:28 PM   #21
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Does anyone know if mini RC Helicopters are safe for cats? I want to get one to fly inside of my house...however, I want to make sure that if my cat should see it and attack it, while it's airborne, that doing so wouldn't hurt him.

That's why those light, styrofoam ones seem a bit more safe. It's not like I'm ever going to fly it toward him...but I want to be safe just in case he surprises me. Or if this is just a case where I should always put him in another room while I fly it. Have people had issues where pets got hurt before?
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Old May 22, 2008, 03:59 PM   #22
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Does anyone know if mini RC Helicopters are safe for cats? I want to get one to fly inside of my house...however, I want to make sure that if my cat should see it and attack it, while it's airborne, that doing so wouldn't hurt him.

That's why those light, styrofoam ones seem a bit more safe. It's not like I'm ever going to fly it toward him...but I want to be safe just in case he surprises me. Or if this is just a case where I should always put him in another room while I fly it. Have people had issues where pets got hurt before?
It's actually a cat toy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=779bOsMaNto
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Old May 22, 2008, 07:15 PM   #23
sushi
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Quote:
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If your goal is a full blown heli, don't waste your time with the Quark or any coaxial heli. Go ahead and get the T-Rex and pick yourself up a simulator (like realflight g4).

The Coax helis and most of the small helis are a waste of time, especially if your looking to move up. You need to just jump in with both feet and a big wallet.
I understand your point and basically agree. However, for some, the small Hirobo XRB and SRB (Quark) helicopters are fun to fly as well.

These smaller helicopters can be easily flown around the inside your home/office. The Hirobo XRB can do things you can't do with a traditional TR type helicopter because it does not have a TR. Plus it's user friendly, in that the blades won't hurt anything if you strike something.

I've used my Hirobo XRB, since it is so stable, to demonstrate real helicopter characteristics such as IGE and OGE hovering effects.

On a side note, I am not sure how far I will go with this hobby. I have a friend who builds large scale RC aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing. The other night I held a turbine engine at his shop. That thing was so cool.

My dream helicopter would be a Cobra scale type since I used to fly the real ones. Not sure if i would go with a turbine like the video I linked to above. Probably just get a nice electric model. Still the turbine does sound sweet!

Quote:
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I haven't flown much in the past year, but here's one of my heli's ( I have a few).
Nice collection.

Which is your favorite?

The Align T-Rex and the Honey Bee King 2 are very popular around where I live and fly. One friend has his T-Rex decked out with lights including the main rotor. Fun to watch him fly at night. Another fellow has his with all the position lights which is nice too. The strobes have a nice effect even in daylight.

One fellow really likes the smaller helicopters such as the Wink type. He can really put them through their paces. Those things move so dang fast. I call them his "Bees" because that's what they resemble when he really gets them going.

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Does anyone know if mini RC Helicopters are safe for cats? I want to get one to fly inside of my house...however, I want to make sure that if my cat should see it and attack it, while it's airborne, that doing so wouldn't hurt him.

That's why those light, styrofoam ones seem a bit more safe. It's not like I'm ever going to fly it toward him...but I want to be safe just in case he surprises me. Or if this is just a case where I should always put him in another room while I fly it. Have people had issues where pets got hurt before?
The nice thing about the Hirobo XRB and SRB (Quark) is that the blades break before the helicopter in most cases. Usually there is no damage caused by the blades which is nice. The blades can be replaced fairly quickly and cheaply.

Not sure if they are cat friendly, but would think they would be. Unfortunately, both of these are expensive so you might just want to put the cat in a different room before you go flying.

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Originally Posted by Frisco View Post
Funny. I wouldn't do this with a XRB or SRB. Way too expensive!

Here in Japan, the Quark has really become popular. Its small size combined with being able to fly it both inside and outside contribute to its popularity.

One things for sure, the RC hobby can be very expensive.
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Old May 23, 2008, 03:29 AM   #24
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PLANKS 4 EVA!!!



I mainly fly fixed wing fun fly,
i also have a few micro helis, started with a Piccolo, and now have a Hummingbird 3D pro decked out in shinny stuff, never progressed passed rolls and loops though, in realflight of course I can hover inverted and do a range of 3D manoeuvres...
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Old May 23, 2008, 08:07 AM   #25
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I have an XRB and its fine for flying indoors. It's just not the same as flying something with a tail rotor.

If your goal is a turbine powered Cobra (I have seen the turbines helis fly), your going to need to know how to fly.

XRB is good for basic hovering and upright orientation skills (like flying nose in). The downside is that non coaxial helis are no where near that stable. Your not going to be taking your hands off the sticks to take a picture of it.

The T-Rex is not something your going to fly in your house (although some do). For all intent purposes, it's a full blown RC heli. What's nice about them, is that they are very quick and once you learn to fly it, your reaction time will get very fast. When you move to a bigger heli, it will seem "heavy" and slow in comparison.

Flying a scale turbine rig is not something I would go and do without a few years experience under your belt. Your talking about $7-10k depending on what your going to put together. You need a fair amount of skill, as most scale heli's (especially multi blade) can be a bear to fly. There are better head kits coming out for scale (flybarless) and some pretty cool kits out there. Hirobo makes a nitro Tow Cobra that's pretty nice looking and fly's pretty well (The Hirobo USA guys are reasonably close that I see them at funfly's). Which you could get into a lot cheaper.

Here's a link for you to some very nice high end Fuselages:

http://www.lenmountscalefuselages.com/cobra.htm

In terms of flying with a cat, the XRB has foam blades that break pretty easily. They will rip off if you hit a wall or furniture (and I'm assuming a cat). Cats like fast moving things, but I would think the noise would scare them off.

Hey Daveman, is it at all feasible to do a Mac port of Realflight? Not sure what tools you guys are using...
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