Latest Articles

2O15 Swiss Alpine Heli Smackdown

The 2015 Swiss Alpine Heli Smackdown (AHS) was the seventh year for the event. It is always held around the first weekend in October, which coincides with the Swiss Festa d’Autonno: the Autumn Festival.

Read More

Top Stories

F3C for Dummies

About 30+ years ago I taught myself how to fly a Carl Goldberg Gentle Lady glider. I would hand launch it, fly it, do it again and again and again. Eventually I moved on, joined a club called the FORKS and got into powered airplanes. A couple “old guys” (I was 14) helped me out and after a few lessons and a few crashes, I was comfortably flying powered models.

Engine Oil Know-How

Every mainstream gas helicopter currently on the market uses a two-stroke engine that requires oil to be mixed with the fuel (usually by you). Glow fuel, on the other hand, already has the oil mixed in and the percentage of oil is much higher. Oil content in glow fuels is typically referenced in percentages based on the total volume of fuel (gallon or liters). Oil content for gas helicopters is typically referenced as ratios like 32:1, 40:1, etc. You can calculate the actual amount of oil by dividing the ratio into the total amount of fuel (gallons or liters) and the result will be the amount of oil in ounces or milliliters to add in order to achieve the target ratio.

Advanced Radio Programming

As we progress in this hobby, entering the compulsory model settings into our transmitter often becomes second nature. And the more we use any given feature (or collection of features), the more we’ll tend to almost subconsciously dial in just the right settings to achieve our desired control behavior. If we look at each programming feature singularly, it’s relatively easy to appreciate what it offers and how we can put it to good use. However, when features are combined they often interact with one in other in ways that can make your head spin trying to wrap it around exactly what’s going on.

Learn How To Hover

As the saying goes, some of the most rewarding activities are also often the most challenging, and learning to fly helicopters certainly fits into that category. Indeed, merely hovering a helicopter has been compared to trying to balance a marble on top of a bowling ball. Therefore, those who become successful heli pilots really have something to be proud of.

Tail-Rotor Setup

There are many misconceptions regarding gyros. I often hear “This gyro is horrible; my tail drifts.” This comment has been made about many outstanding gyros that top performing 3D pilots have demonstrated to be rock-solid. Granted, some gyros in very inexpensively designed RTF helicopters may not perform as well as top-shelf gear. However, if you are told that a Futaba GY-401 doesn’t hold the tail, that’s simply incorrect. In that case, you need to look more closely at the way the tail was initially set up.