Learning How to 3D Part 4 (advanced)
Now that you have a good feel for some of the 3D maneuvers and you can link them together fairly well we’ll move into some of the more extreme crowd pleasing maneuvers. I’m sure you have been to an event where there is someone flying and one of their tricks really grabs your attention. There are some like the really fast “aileron tic-tocs” or the “tail stand launch” which cause you to want to see the rest of the flight. It is important in a admirable flight to have a good entrance maneuver (how you start your flight) and a good ending maneuver such as an aerobatic or normal auto. Since we’re moving into some extra serious stuff, your flights will no longer look like the normal lazy flight. They will look more like you are administering competition flying and not an average days flying. Throughout this article you will learn good maneuvers to start off and end the flight with, along with a few tricks in between . We’ll logically start off with the entrance maneuvers, moving into some new tricks and finally completing this 3D article with the ending maneuvers.
Tail stand launch
To start this maneuver you must be in idle up with the heli sitting on the ground at about 0 pitch with the helicopters side facing you. Add a fair bit (maybe full) of positive pitch and aft cyclic at the same time to force the model into a low level flip directly off the ground. When the helicopter is just a little past the vertical point you can add full negative pitch to punch the model into fast inverted backwards flight. You will notice everyone has their own style for this maneuver. Some will do them very small and tight in, while others make them look looser and longer. You can also fly them in 2 points. After you add the positive and aft cyclic when the model is pretty much vertical (tail is pointing the ground) go to 0 pitch for a second and then add the positive collective and aft cyclic again. All in all it is a pretty simple maneuver, just look out for the ground!
Leap frog launch
This is the exact same maneuver as explained in “learning how to 3D part 2” but instead of starting it in a hover start in with the skids touching the ground.
2 point roll launch
You see this maneuver done by Jason Krause quite a bit, it is a maneuver that will make jaws drop if done right! Start the helicopter off in the same position as you would if you were doing a tail stand launch. Instead of adding aft cyclic with the positive pitch use right or left cyclic (depending which way the machine is pointing) to roll it away from you, when the model is knife edge stop it and hold it there for a second, then proceed to add positive collective pitch and cyclic again to roll it over completely inverted. Now here is the part that will make people put on the face they make just before the model gets driven into the ground. Keep the machine heading towards the ground and after the disk gets about 2-4 feet from the ground add full negative pitch combined with fore/aft cyclic to fly off either inverted backwards or forwards. Like my dad says, you are trying to mash the machine into the ground inverted but at the last second punch out of it .
This one starts off exactly the same as a leap frog launch but instead of doing the second arc after you are inverted add negative pitch then fly off inverted backwards.
A great start of the flight is nothing without low level flips, tumbles, rolls and many other things. This part of the article will teach you how to keep your low level stuff looking smooth and under control. On top of this we’ll cover some new 3D stuff.
Some people just can’t seem to get a handle on this maneuver and it is probably because they have not put enough time into practicing it on the simulator. This maneuver takes time to learn, it will not come as easy to you as some others have! It all has to do with the timing of the cyclic, tail and collective controls. I find myself stirring the sticks a little as you would in a Kaos or piro flip (all in one continuous smooth motion). It is basically a link of fast inverted backwards and up-right backwards turns, it is best to start them out big and fast. If you try to get them really tight right from the start, you will have an awful time with it. Once mastered the combination of the fast backwards and inverted backwards turns will look like a slithering snake. Try not to use too much tail rotor or over control the cyclic, and using full collective pitch range will keep them going fast. If you use too much tail rotor the model will slow down. Slowing the manoeuver down will put the model in very awkward attitudes, so before you try this have it down-pat on the simulator!
Low level flips and rolls
I really think low level flips and rolls make the flight more exciting. You should get your flips and rolls down to at least eye level, any higher and there is so suspense. Doing low level sideways traveling flips across the field looks really good, at the end of the run you can turn the helicopter so it is coming backwards doing low level rolls across the field. A combination of some tic-tocs, rolls, flips with some good flow between the maneuvers all at a low level really make the flight spectacular! To keep them under complete do not horse the model around any maneuvers or be “jerky” on the controls. The key to keeping it all under control is not letting it get out of control. As long as you keep everything smooth and flowing well you should have no problem. As soon as you start using full cyclic and collective together when it is not required, this is where you will most likely mess up. Remember, since this aggressive stuff is performed so low you don’t have much space to mess up.
Start by flying at a low level across the field really fast, as the model is almost right in front of you pull full aft cyclic. As you add the cyclic go to 0 pitch to keep the same altitude, as soon as the model is vertical (nose to the sky, tail to the ground) give it a quick spike of full positive pitch (10-11 degrees) to stop the helicopter dead in its tracks right over that one spot. After it is stopped add full aft cyclic to finish the flip and settle into an inverted hover or link it up with a different maneuver such as the aileron tic-tocs or the snake.
So now you can start off you flight well, and you have a few more additions to your list of maneuvers. But how do you end a flight? Why have such a shocking flight only to land normally in front of yourself? If you enter the flight with a really neat maneuver then you should exit it with something equally as neat. This following section of the article will cover normal and inverted autos.
Get the helicopter up really high (if you are having trouble seeing what it is doing swing the tail around a bit until you gain full orientation) and hit the hold switch, use about -3 or -4 degrees to auto as this will keep the head speed the highest. Any more adds too much drag and won’t allow the blades to spin as to their fullest. When you are getting close to the ground start to add positive pitch to make the landing smooth but remember you only have so much inertia stored in those blades, so use it wisely.
Inverted autos are a little more tricky, start the auto the same as you normally would but instead of being up-right flick the hold when you are inverted and let it auto down at about +3, +4 degrees of pitch. The roll out part is not bad if you do it right. Make sure you are at 0 pitch when you roll or flip out, this way to will loose the least amount of head speed. Your roll/flip out should be high enough to regain head speed or low enough to land right after the flip, if you go in between you risk a boom strike from landing at a low head speed. You will eventually find what works best for you and perform the auto with your own style.
The most important part of doing 3D using all of these low close in maneuvers is being safe! This is especially true with the bigger 90 sized machines. Please judge where the model is and never fly it too close to yourself. Ensure you have 100% control of the model, know you won’t mess up and get hit by something. Leave room between you and your helicopter incase something ever happens to fail, because if you are too close you could be seriously hurt. Always take safety precautions into account when flying. These helicopters are only machines and cannot be trusted 100%.