Flying High With RC Helicopters
Over the years, the radio controlled (RC) helicopters have gained tremendous popularity, with devoted model plane flyers. Standing on terra firma, with a hand-held transmitter, the RC ‘helicopter pilot’ can soar the helicopter high in the skies and execute intricate manoeuvres, not only for the pleasure of the ‘flyer’ alone, but even for those observers, who watch in awe.
Apart from the fast growing as a recreational hobby, RC helicopters are put to serious uses, such as aerial photography, filming and distant inspection and observation for civil and military purposes.
RC helicopters are usually made of balsa wood, carbon fibre, and aluminium or fibreglass. The RC helicopters are available in a variety of designs, including scale models of actual machines. With a hand-held transmitter, ‘the pilot’ can send signals to a receiver in the helicopter. The more manoeuvrable models with advanced transmitters and receivers can control the throttle of the main engine speed, variable pitch of the propeller, cyclic controls for pitch and roll and the tail rotor for yaw. Thus, the aerobatic capabilities of the RC helicopter are limitless, including hovering, backward flight, and virtually all the manoeuvres an actual helicopter can perform.
The different types of RC model helicopters available are:
*Nitro (internal combustion engine)
Gas turbine and electric helicopters are fast evolving and becoming more popular. However, the nitro engine powered copters are most common.
Learning to fly a RC helicopter is not difficult, as some might assume. With the availability of flight simulator software, the novice ‘pilot’ can learn all that needs to be on a computer, including the aviation and operational manoeuvres.
RC helicopters are complex gadgets and require the following equipment and accessories:
*Radio system, which includes a transmitter, receiver, servos and battery
*Gyro or equipment to control the tail plane of the helicopter
*Field equipment that supports the helicopter
*Maintenance tools for repair and tuning as hex drivers, pitch gauge, glow plug wrench, ball link pliers and set of screwdrivers of common sizes.
There are other categories of model flying planes. Competitions are held in different parts of the world, which include several categories of RC helicopter events. These events invariably attract a large number of competitors. Two of the most renowned competitions on the international aero modelling competition scenario, are the 3D Masters that are held every year at the Northampton University in England, where this competition showcases the best of RC helicopters from around the world and the other competition is organized by The Flying Giants Community, Triple Tree, South Carolina, USA.
It is only in the world of RC helicopters, you will get the thrill of making your machine hover at a height, then climb high and move in any direction, you desire. You do not require a runway to fly helicopters. Just a small piece of ground is enough to make it land and take off.
So, why wait! Go out to the nearest model plane shop and check out, what is available, to take you into the exciting new world of RC helicopter flying!