Learning How to 3D
Now that your machine is set up for 3D flying after reading the article “Getting The Best 3D performance Out Of Your Helicopter,” it’s time for you to learn some new tricks. If you are at the stage of 3D set up, then you should already be able accomplish the basics such as a simple roll or loop. After this level it starts to get really exciting! It’s not that the maneuvers are so much harder, it’s that they look more impressive. I’m not saying that the maneuvers are easy either, but at this phase they seem to be more “friendly.” As I teach you eight of the “beginner” 3D tricks you may find yourself confused, don’t worry your not alone! When I was starting 3D I was positive that I would never be able to do certain maneuvers. This really annoyed me but it didn’t stop me from trying and because of that I learned what I thought was the un-learnable. The eight tricks go as follows, Four point rolls and flips, Backwards flying, Inverted flying, Stall roll, Pin wheel, the Tail slide and the Tic toc.
Four Point Rolls
This consists of a roll with four points as you have already probably gathered. As a normal roll you punch a boost of negative when inverted then positive when up-right and this remains the same for the four point roll. The four points will be: 1. Up-right, 2. Right knife edge, 3. Inverted, 4. Left knife edge. Start the maneuver as you would a simple roll with speed and make sure the model is level, Give a quick jab of right cyclic until the model is knife edge and hold that position for about 2 seconds, remember you want to be at half collective stick now (0 degrees) so the model maintains a straight path. Then add another jab of right cyclic so the model is inverted, hold for 2 seconds, then another jab of right cyclic so the model is back to knife edge (0 degrees collective) but facing the opposite direction. Then last add one more jab of right cyclic to bring the model around to the end of the roll. As for four point flips, the same principal applies except you use back or foward cyclic.
It is very important that you are able to continuously hover at least one half tank of fuel nose in before you attempt to enter this flight mode. When the model is nose is facing you the roll control is reversed as is the tail rotor and fore/aft. Get used to this position as you will be seeing a lot of it! After you have accomplished this slowly push the model into a backwards straight line away form you self using aft cyclic and make a turn. The tail rotor, fore/aft and roll is reversed so to make a left-hand turn pull the sticks away from each other and add some foward cyclic to push the model through the U turn back to tail in. Slowly bring the model back into the hovering position, repeat this many times until you have it down pat! At this point do the same thing but continue the “backwards flight mode” by flying past yourself, then make another U turn (left of right) so that at the end of the turn you are flying past yourself once again but in the opposite direction. You have just completed a full backwards circuit.
This flight mode is a bit less complicated then the backwards but is still challenging. Un-like backwards flying I do not encourage inverted hovering before inverted flight. The most effective way to learn inverted flight is by rolling the machine over and just completing a straight line across the field and then rolling out. Certainly by now you should know where the collective must be. After you have this down to a fine art it is a good time to start a turn (left or right) Sticks togther produce a left-hand turn and sticks apart produce a right. Remember when making the turn you will have to use forward cyclic to help bring the machine around the turn after it is banked. The only other advice I have for you during this flight mode is to stay high when learning.
I find this trick most amusing during a less aggressive 3D flight. Most people list this under an FC3 maneuver. To begin this maneuver you will want an acceptable speed as you will start it like a loop gently pulling into a vertical assent when the model has come to a stop complete a ½ roll, now the heli is starting to descend backwards. You will now turn the tail 180 degrees as a stall turn and wait for the model to pick up speed in its descent and gently pull into a straight and level, up-right flight mode getting set up for your next maneuver, what ever that might be. Remember as the machine initially becomes completely vertical you will input zero collective.
This is one of my favorite maneuvers. This is not one of hardest, but it is the most complicated of the list to complete. I think this will impress the person watching more than any other tricks because nobody expects it since initially it looks like a loop at the start, but transforms quickly into a more chaotic maneuver with no warning what so ever. Start with a good top speed because you will need it! This is a fairly long maneuver. As you start the maneuver pull up 45 degrees to the sky and let it travel that way for roughly 3 seconds then complete the first point of a four point roll still 45 degrees to the sky but this time don’t let it coast immediately do the next step . Now you will start to add some tail rotor to complete 360 pirouette now at this point you are facing 45 degrees to the ground. Let the model coast for approximately 3 seconds, then roll the machine back to up-right still coasting 45 degrees to the ground and at last gently pull out into a gentle foward flight. The 360 degrees will vary a bit depending which way you roll the machine and which tail rotor input you use.
This is a good way to enter a backwards flight mode which looks well planed out. Fly your helicopter as fast as you can across the field and pull up gently and gain as much altitude as you can parallel with the sky. Let the machine fall backwards towards the ground carefully steering the tail. Pull out 90 degrees or with a nice rounded look into backwards flight. When I was learning this, the advice given to me was to get a heading hold gyro. And trust me it is a lot easer with one!
The Tic-Toc is very simple, but a hard maneuver to accomplish. The model stays at one altitude while it moves back and fourth. When you are up-right then you will add positive pitch to keep the model in the air and when inverted you will add full negative pitch to again keep the model airborne.
Remember, before you attempt any of these maneuvers on you model master it on the sim first. If you are not ready for these maneuvers then please do not try them, I’ve seen it done and its not pretty, safe or inexpensive. Running a high rpm will really help you! The engine will not bog as much and you will be left lots of cyclic power. Any where from 1800 to 2000 rpm will be acceptable. Preferably at 2000 in idle-up.
In the next article we will get into some really exciting and advanced maneuvers. Some of the really good ones will be: Leap Frog, consecutive stall and fall along with more!