An Introduction to Radio Control Boats and Planes
There are a number of rc aeroplanes and boats available. Each of them comes with unique features and accessories which will make sure they are exciting to use, so when you take the time to explore all the options you have got, you’ll clearly see how remarkable these models are.
Radio Controlled Aeroplanes
To start with there are actually four major forms of radio controlled aeroplanes. These are Gliders, Jets, Planes and Trainer Planes. Each is uniquely different and can provide something you can enjoy either alone or with your child.
We will begin by focusing on a glider. The 3CH Thunderbird glider is the first model that deserves attention. It comes complete with everything you will need to fly this remarkable glider. It comes bundled with a 4CH remote that will enable you to up grade to a better model down the road.
It is a shock resistant unit, and it has wings which are durable. It can fly fast or slow, depending on your preference, and you could cut the power at any time and it will carry on and glide. This is often a fun trick to do, especially when your battery life is running low.
Next, we need to take a look at jets. These are similar in a sense to the other aeroplanes, but imagine them as the next step up from the gliders we just looked at. They’ll have some similar features, but they are much more durable.
For example take the 4 CH Blue Angel model. It comes to you 90% built, so you don’t have to worry about spending lots of time trying to get it together before you can take it out. It utilises a small fan to help keep the weight down, but it is effective when it comes to helping to prevent your aeroplane from getting too hot.
Best of all is the transmitter on the unit. It has a extremely effective 2.4G transmitter that was made to do a lot of the more amazing acrobatic tricks that you see the full sized Blue Angels do. Most importantly, it comes complete with powerful batteries that are designed to store and hold a lot of power so that you can fly these planes for a long time.
Rc planes are similar to the jets we just mentioned. They provide you with the look and feeling of a full size plane, but are compact enough that you may fly them anywhere. An excellent plane is the 3CH Jaguar model that comes dressed in full military paint, and it is one you and the children can certainly admire.
It is able to go up to 300m and fly for approximately 15 minutes when you’ve got it fully charged. What’s even better, this exciting model is able to become airborne directly off the floor, or from your own hands. This makes it one of the more accurate models that you will find for radio control aeroplanes.
For some, the initial investment that is needed for the aeroplanes can be unnerving, and you may want to try a cheaper model out before you spend a substantial amount of money. The 2CH Art-Tech QQ-Dragon is a fantastic option. This is one of the trainer planes where you can acquire a feeling for the way these planes work, and to become comfortable with using them.
This model comes prepared for the novice flyer. Absolutely nothing for you to build from the box, and it can fly in small indoor areas as well as outside. When you’ve got limited garden space, this can be a fun method to experience the radio controlled world.
Most important, is the fact it’s damage resistant. With a rubber nose, and durable parts, this is one plane you can be comfortable with everyone in your house practicing with. Actually, it is a great first model for younger kids getting interested in aeroplanes.
Radio Controlled Boats
Just like aeroplanes, you will find rc boats as well. This latter model could be broken down into two differing kinds. Electric Boats and Hovercrafts, and the one you end up choosing will likely depend on what you will be using your model for.
For example take the 1/12 scale Queen2 High Performance boat. It comes equipped with a complete radio remote control together with a method for the motor to be cooled by the water that passes through it. Having a vector push design, it provides for easy control with 3 of the most powerful racing motors you can get.
If simplicity of use and power are the most important aspects of the radio controlled boats you are considering, then this is likely to be one of the best models for your needs. In actual fact, if you are looking to professionally race these boats, there would not be a better choice for you.
As you might be aware, a hovercraft is a type of boat that rests on the water and it’s also a hybrid of both a plane in addition to a boat. You’ll use your rudders to have it glide forward on the water surface, and for the beginner to radio controlled boats, this could be the best choice you will have available to you. In fact, it can run well on any surface provided that it does not have too many bumps on it.
It doesn’t matter what you are interested in, whether it be rc aeroplanes, or rc boats, they can be the perfect tool for family bonding, or a terrific way to spend some free time while you’re away from work or school. Consider picking one up, and see what it can bring to your life.
Remote Control Helicopters: The Basics
If you are just getting started with flying remote control helicopters, there are, without a doubt, a whole lot of new words that should be learned and understood, many of which have to do with the settings of your radio controller. While it is true that there are many different radio functions that you is necessary to be learned and understood, there are also some terms and basic radio functions that are common. Note that there are various radio functions depending on the type of helicopter you are using.
Some of the most commonly used remote control helicopters radio functions are the following:
1. Trim – This is the fine adjustment, which is usually controlled by small levers near the control sticks of your radio controller. This is responsible for the fine-tuning control surface center points.
2. Sub trim – This is finer division of the trim, and is usually adjusted by using the transmitter’s software of control menus.
3. Expo – this is responsible for making the feel of the controls around the center stick a little less sensitive, all the while giving 100% travel of the control surface. It is also responsible of making the feel softer without reduction of its aerobatic capability.
4. Throttle Hold – This control brings your engine to idle while still allowing you to have full control of the helicopter’s collective pitch. It is advisable to always use throttlehold in the event of a crash to reduce the amount of damage incurred by your helicopter (this is because it cuts the power to the main rotor blades).
5. Throttle Cut -This kills the engine, and is only applicable to nitro helicopters and not remote control helicopters.
6. Servo Reverse -This is responsible for reversing the direction of the servo wheel.
7. Gyro Gain – This is used to either increase or decrease the sensitivity of the gyro.
8. Endpoints or ATV – This is the adjustment, which is responsible for the control of the total amount of servo and the control surface deflection or travel.
9. Pitch Curve -this is responsible for controlling the degree of collective pitch at each point along the collective stick travel. Remember that the collective pitch is the angle of attack of the main rotor blades of your remote control helicopters.
10. Throttle Curve – The throttle curve governs the amount of engine power that will be transferred to the main rotor blades at each point in the collective range.
11. Idle Up – The Idle up allows for the maintenance of a constant rotor speed whether you are using positive or negative collective pitch.
12. AFR (D/R) -The AFR allows the adjustment of the control deflection in order to suit your flying style and ability. It is responsible for the reduction of the total amount of deflection to give a softer and slower feel, when changed to lower rates, or to aerobatic and agile when changed to higher rates.
By having a complete understanding of these commonly used terms in RC radio functions, you will be able to increase the likelihood of success that you will have in flying you helicopter.
History of Radio Control Flight
Hobbyists have enjoyed flying free flight model airplanes for well over 100 years. These early designs employed twisted rubber bands for power. Later and more advanced free flight planes incorporated small gasoline powered motors. Pilots dreamed of the day when these remarkable flyers could be remotely controlled as they maneuvered in the sky.
The ability to control a model airplane from a ground station depends entirely on radio technology. Walt and Bill Good successfully flew the first practical radio control model airplane in 1939. The Good brothers had to solve numerous challenges with fabricating a light weight airborne receiver and control system that fit into their plane layout. Radio control pilots during this era had to be highly skilled electronics technicians as well as capable aviators.
Progress with RC airplane designs paused during World War II. At the end of hostilities, model aviation benefitted from the rapid improvement in avionics and electronics know-how. Radio control sets were still limited to one channel of control for the rudder. In effect, these basic rudder-only RC systems served to guide free flight models back to their takeoff spot.
RC pilots strived for full control of their models. Radio sets advanced with reed systems. Under reed control a pilot could for the first time operate several aircraft flight surfaces. These typically included the rudder (turns), elevator (pitch), ailerons (bank) and engine throttle.
The limitation with reeds was that the control was either full on or off. The pilot pushed the rudder button and the rudder would go from neutral to full left. The next push of the button centered the rudder. The following button push commanded the rudder to full right, followed by a centering signal, and so on. This same scheme was used for the other controls.
Reeds offered a surprising degree of control for a model airplane, but the pilot needed to be very adept with pushing the correct buttons at the right time.
The dream of every RC pilot was a fully proportional control radio system. By the late 1960s, the first proportional transmitters were produced.
Under a proportional system, the transmitter uses small control sticks. As the control stick is displaced, a signal is transmitted to the model airplane’s receiver. The receiver is connected to an electro-mechanical servo that moves a small control arm the same relative distance as the transmitter control input.
Each aircraft control surface is moved by an independent servo. The model airplane is completely maneuverable via proportional control. The RC pilot can mimic any flight maneuver performed by a full scale aircraft.
From the beginning of the 1970s until around the year 2000, the main advances in radio control flight centered on lower system prices. Computer technology then started to be integrated with the transmitter. With computer programming, RC pilots could employ such useful features as dual rates, exponential control and servo reversing.
The next big change in the radio control hobby started around 2005 with the introduction of affordable, ready to fly model planes. Since the dawn of model flight, pilots had to build their own aircraft. Manufacturing advances, combined with computer aided design processes, laser wood cutting and state of the art foam fabrication methods allowed for the introduction of high quality ready to fly model planes.
For the first time, RC pilots could purchase a completed model airplane for less cost than if they had built it themselves. People took immediate advantage of this situation, often acquiring several RC models of varying types. Pilots can now hone their flying skills by having the chance to experience many additional different aircraft types than if they were required to construct each one.
The latest evolution in the RC hobby is the proliferation of micro, indoor ready to fly aircraft. You can literally open the box and be flying within minutes. There is absolutely nothing to assemble other that installing a set of batteries in the included transmitter. These miniature aircraft, some weighing a mere 18 grams, offer truly satisfying flight performance. Indoor flight also allows RC pilots in colder areas of the world to enjoy model aviation year round.
Radio control model flight has come a long way since the Good brothers flew their pioneering airplane in 1939. It is anyone’s guess where the hobby will head in the future. One thing is for sure, and that is more innovation at less cost. It’s a great time to be in the RC model plane hobby.