BLADE B L A D E
Wind Wind Wind Wind
Right Pull Left Push
1 43 2
Figure 7 During counterclockwise
pirouettes in wind, continually apply
brief bumps to tilt/lean the heli slightly
into the wind. Bump right aileron
into the wind at the start, briefly pull
elevator into the wind when the tail
faces the wind, bump left aileron when
the other side faces the wind, then
briefly push elevator when the nose
faces the wind. All together: bump
right, pull bump, bump left, push bump,
practice before flying in the real world.
When you become reasonably proficient at hovering with
the side facing you, it’s time to practice nose-in hovering
(Figures 5 and 6). The most efficient process for learning to
hover in a nose-in orientation is to return to the start of this
program and repeat each step with the nose in.
The maneuver that puts all of the skills learned to this point
to the test consists of holding in the rudder and performing
single, then multiple pirouette rotations while making tiny
aileron and elevator corrections to remain over the same spot.
You may try adding a steady wind into your simulation as a
great way to challenge yourself before flying in the real world.
Translating tendency is a helicopter’s likeliness to drift to the
left during hover because of the side thrust from the tail rotor
(which is necessary to counter the main rotor torque). Pilots
can compensate for this in calm conditions by tilting the heli
slightly to the right. Those who seldom have the opportunity
to fly in conditions calm enough for translating tendency
to be much of an issue will instead find that correcting for
wind almost always takes precedence, especially with smaller
Practicing continuous pirouettes while bumping aileron and
elevator into the wind to prevent wind drift is a great exercise
for reinforcing your wind-correcting skills (Figure 7). If you
establish a tail-in hover in a right-to-left crosswind, for example,
you’ll need to bump or hold right aileron against the wind to
remain over the same spot. When you start to pirouette, briefly
pull the elevator when the tail points into the wind, bump left
aileron when the other side is exposed to the wind, and push
forward elevator when the nose points into the wind.
It is common for helicopters to display a tendency to
move forward or backward and/or to the side when initiating
rudder inputs. When conditions are calm, proficient pilots
will perform a series of 90° and 180° pirouettes without
any corrections to determine whether the heli is prone to
additional unwanted movements when applying rudder, then
input the appropriate elevator and/or aileron correction during
subsequent pirouettes to prevent the deviation(s).
Although most pilots attempt to fly the best maneuver right
away and end up making so many corrections that it becomes
difficult to spot how to improve the maneuver, proficient
pilots initially keep things simple to make it easier to pinpoint
what they need to do to make significant strides by the third
or fourth attempt. Pros know that it’s not how you start, it’s
how well you finish that counts!
If you follow these tips, certain segments of flying will
become automatic—freeing you to find more ways to improve
your flying and/or add new maneuvers.
1st U.S. R/C Flight School
Dave Scott is a full-scale aerobatics competitor
and air show pilot, and has worked in the
development of several full-scale aircraft. He
founded 1st U.S. R/C Flight School and has
professionally trained more than 1,500 RC
pilots of all skill levels. His groundbreaking
flight training manuals and articles feature the
accelerated airplane and helicopter training
techniques that he’s developed during his
14,000 hours of instructing experience.
More information about Dave’s flight school and manuals can
be found at www.rcflightschool.com.
42 Model Aviation APRIL 2015 www.ModelAviation.com