This was originally published on my now defunct Home Drones site on May 15th 2015.
Well, my RC flying has been on a bit of a hiatus recently due to a combination of weather, illness, family commitments and a number of other things but over the past week the sun has come out and the wind has all but dropped to little more than a mouse’s sneeze. In short – perfect RC flying weather.
I’ve managed to get out twice with the helicopters this week and this gave me the opportunity to finally get properly accustomed to the S33. The lack of wind has meant I could get to grips with its controls more rather than fighting it to keep it from flying off in to the sunset. When I first got hold of my S33 I will admit that I was a bit disappointed with its forward and reverse controls. Having spent hours with the Schweiser 300 wrestling to keep it steady and walking downwind with it having almost no control in which direction it went I was looking forward to having a helicopter that would do what I told it to.
While I found that up/down and left/right were very responsive and very smooth the best the little rotor on the back seemed to do was stop it from going where the gentlest of breezes was trying to take it. Like I said it was disappointing. Now in hindsight I am beginning to wonder if this was more to do with a combination of my actual abilities to fly the 3-channel helicopter and my expectations being too high.
On Wednesday I went out to my usual flightline, Portskewett Recreation Hall’s playing field, taking advantage of the beautiful weather we had. Having waited for what felt like hours for the 2.4G controller to link up with the helicopter (more on that later) I hit the throttle and up it went and after a few feet I yawed left. Purely by accident my right thumb on the yaw control pushed up and this sent the tail rotor going which dipped the nose and suddenly I had forward flight.
Surprised by this I set the throttle to give me about 8ft of altitude and hit the tail rotor on again. In the gentle air the helicopter did indeed pitch forward but its momentum was quite slow. Then I added more throttle to the main rotors and suddenly it was heading forwards down the playing field. It was slowly gaining height but I could see now how to get it to go where I wanted to and eager to prove that it wasn’t a fluke I turned it around and repeated the action.
By now it had gained quite a bit of height and there was obviously a headwind facing it so I reduced the throttle until it lost two-thirds of its height and then hit the throttle and the tail rotor again. I was suddenly faced by a swooping RC helicopter which passed overhead perfectly under control and doing what I wanted it to. Success!