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Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Beginners Flying tips Honeybee FP by a beginner!

Here are some of my flying tips as a beginner and very inexperienced RC Helicopter pilot. If you have just received your Honeybee helicopter and have got it out of the box here are a couple of my tips beginner to beginner!

  1. Before you do anything at all read the eFlight Wiki for the Honeybee FP helicopter by clicking on this following link...
  2. Get a few spare bits and pieces. I find the most vulnerable parts are definitely the rear vertical tail fin and attachment, and also the ring like push rod links for the main rotor blade. (They attach the main rotor blade to the flybar). These little plastic components break easily if the main rotor is forced off in a crash. I have broken 4 of these already! See below for recommended parts links to BuzzFlyer.
  3. If you haven't got the training gear (to extend the base of the helicopter) then I wholly recommend you get them and fit them. The Wiki has ideas for making a set. But without these an inexperienced pilot will certainly do more damage to their helicopter than they want to.
  4. Find yourself a wide area (about 10-15 foot square) to learn in. My attempts on the bed (which obviously is in an enclosed space) has caused more damage than intended. At this point I would recommend not going outside unless it is a calm day, slight cross winds can cause more difficulty for an inexperienced pilot. if you do go outside, then very short grass in a nice big open area is where you want to be. Long grass can cause the tail rotor to jam and will definately make you crash even before you get off the ground! (I know I've been there!)
  5. When mounting the battery into the battery holder... I recommend mounting the battery as far forward as possible to maintain good balance. If you have the LiPo battery then I also recommend a small piece of tape to secure it, as minor bumps and jolts easily knock the battery loose causing instability in the balance.
  6. Don't fly too high too quickly. It feels really easy to get the helicopter high in the air, but the higher they are the harder they fall. I would stick to about 3ft off the ground until you are fully familiar with the controls of your honey bee FP helicopter.
  7. Make sure you check the balance of the main rotor and the angle of the paddles. Slight downward force on the paddles seems to make it easier for hovering your honeybee, but you will want to adjust these as you get more experienced, so that you have quicker response and better maneuverability later on.
  8. Attach the battery and wait until the green light (inside the helicopter) has stopped flashing. This allows the Gyro to adjust correctly. This is mentioned in the wiki anyway, but I just thought I would mention it again.
  9. Before you take off, position the helicopter in front of you facing away from you. That way the movements you make on the controls make the helicopter move in the correct direction. Its hard enough to fly this thing without not knowing which direction the helicopter will fly in!
  10. On take-off the helicopter tends to lean to the left, do not trim this adjustment as once it is off the ground (providing it is balanced) it will level out. As you take off you should adjust the balance on the controls with TINY movements.
  11. Always make small precise movements on the sticks. I found myself making too large movements on my right stick causing the heli to lose control easily and making it hard to correct.

The most important of all the tips above is the very first one! Read the wiki it helped me set-up and "know what to look for" with my heli. Don't try and fly straight out of the box, particularly if you have never flown an RC helicopter before. I learnt this the hard way and had to purchase spares within one day of getting it out of the box!

Recommended pre-flight spares/accessories for Honeybee FP Helicopter:

BuzzFlyer also do a "Crash Repair Kit" which includes many of the parts above. Take a look at their site. And the support via email I have had from them has also been great.

Happy flying!


John said...

Hi Claud,

Just got my HBFP -wow it is hard to hover! But I am making some progress. Followed your flybar balancing tips which were very helpful -thanks!

John (also a drummer -mostly jazz)

Anonymous said...

Very useful blog Claud.
I was interested to see a mention (on your blog and the wiki) of the Honeybee moving to the left when power is applied although no reason is given. I noted this behaviour and was puzzled for a while until I realised that it is caused by the thrust of the tail rotor which is quite significant. The rotor has to spin pretty fast to stop the tail boom rotating.
Andrew (New Zealand)

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