Remote Control Helicopter
Ground School

Learn all about the controls and the terminology associated with a Remote control Helicopter.

Learning how to fly a remote control helicopter is a somewhat challenging undertaking. I would say it's like trying to ride a bike without the training wheels. As a kid, it seemed almost impossible to think that you could keep the bike from falling to one side or the other, but after a bit of practice, you were cruising right along. It might take numerous tries to get to where you can consistently hover, but if you keep at it you'll master it.

Of course, After you learn to hover, you'll have to learn forward flight, nose-in hovering and flight, inverted flight, aerobatics, auto-rotation,etc...

RC Helicopter Controls

Collective Control
The Collective controls the lift on a remote control helicopter by increasing the pitch angle of the main rotor blades. The servoes cause the blades to tilt through a range of angles which increases the pitch angle of the blades. The increased pitch angle on the blades and an increase in power causes a corresponding load increase on the engine which keeps the engine at a constant RPM causing the heli to climb.

Cyclic Control
The Cyclic control causes the heli to pitch forward or back and to roll to the left or to the right. The cyclic is the same as the elevators and ailerons on an rc airplane. For example, pushing forward on the cyclic control (the right control on your transmitter) will cause an asymmetric lift on the main rotor head, causing the front section of the blades to move down and the rear section of the blades to move up with a corresponding forward flying, nose down attitude of the heli. This applies to any direction that the heli travels, nose up, right or left.

There are usually five servos on RC helis. One servo controls the throttle, another controls the collective, one controls forward and aft movement (like an elevator), one controls left and right movement (like ailerons), and one controls the tail rotor pitch (like a rudder).

The gyro can really be an indispensable little gadget, because can detect yaw movements and feed those inputs to the tail rotor to dampen those movements. Moving the left stick to the left or right also supplies control inputs to the tail rotor. A gyro is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, the heli would spin around wildly and be almost impossible to control.

A remote control helicopter requires a five channel radio. One each is needed to control pitch, roll, and yaw. One controls the throttle, and one controls the collective.

Auto-rotation is the process of safely landing a remote control helicopter after the engine has quit in flight. while the heli descends, the wind passing through the blades from below causes the blades to spin up, building up speed. As the ground nears, you can apply collective to increase lift.

To lean more about Remote control helicopters go here.

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