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Setup for beginners

Old 06-02-2009, 07:05 PM
  #1  
martin_05
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Default Setup for beginners

I was thinking about this earlier today...after having crashed my AXE CP3 twice now (it's OK, it's the sacrificial lamb before I get my trex 500 going).

As a long time model airplane guy my instinct is to cut the throttle when in trouble. Less power means things don't happen as fast and you have time to glide around and correct things. Of course, there are cases where the opposite is true...you need full throttle to get out of trouble.

But, for the most part, you tend to cut the throttle as a natural response.

Now, the problem is that low throttle on a heli gives you negative pitch...which gives you downward lift...which slams you into the ground!

Wouldn't it be a good idea to have a training setup that does not have any negative pitch capabilities?

This morning I was practicing hovering with my ACE CP3 at the park and it went a little too high for my taste. Not thinking I cut the throttle. I was flying off mid-high grass (about three inches high) which was nice and bouncy. When the heli came down it bounced off the grass and flipped...blade and boom strike...which broke a few components and bent the boom.

Not a big deal as this is a cheap heli to fix...but it got me thinking: Why do I need negative pitch as a newbie? I can avoid windy days just fine.

-Martin
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:39 PM
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phillipmorris
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I'm certainly at the learning stages, my Axe CP lasted only a weekend, yet to repair mine, disliked the way it handled at least for me, responses weren't as forgiving as my other models, watch out for winds as believe that was the issue with mine...but it is a good starter for the price...

You have to lower the throttle smoothly or will lose altitude too quickly, this happened with many of my other models, just go easy on the throttle...even my Blade 400 currently flying went too high as hit max throttle to avoid tree contact and was waaay up, reduced throttle too much and it sank fast and just pulled it out swerving all over the place but somehow saved things....as me sounds like you just need some more flying time, hang in there....

PS I need the drop on my heli when coming too close to lines etc, so the drop is sometimes needed...

Not for everyone but you can fly these in example a double garage during the windy days, but you must follow the Radd method of flight, have this small zone and put things down immediately when it drifts, most are not disciplined to do this, but it works and I'm a horrible heli pilot, even flown the 400 in the garage, fly low, yes in the wash but it indeed works..if your not comfortable with this don't do it...need positive thought to pull it off as correct stick and again set things down right away, worked amazingly well for this terrible pilot, less misshaps in the garage than out and learned most of the hovering skills inside....yes it works, but if you have negative feeling don't do it..


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Old 06-03-2009, 06:41 PM
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m40a3
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Martin,

I had a long post explaining but for some reason it did not post, so here goes again:

Normal Mode: Some would call this a beginners mode but its a false sense of security. It essentially has a lower head speed and zero throttle means no head movement. Lift is generated by a concert of blade pitch and head speed. Although these things seem light, when you cut the throttle up high, they will fall very fast. When they start falling with none to little head speed, its almost impossible to spool back up quick enough and strong enough to keep them from slaming into the ground. Also, wind creates lift, natural response is to kill the throttle. Well, when you do that, you have no power left to combat cross winds with cyclic so they just get blown all over the place. Happened to me the other day and I was nervous to say the least.

Idle Up: This is where you need to learn so when you get your 500 up and running you can be ready. Lift, both positive and negative collective, is created by the pitch of the blades because relatively speeking, your head speed is constant - and MUCH higher I might add. Now, that depends on you throttle curve, but generally lets say 85% at mid-stick to 100% at full positive and negative stick. 85% throttle is enough head speed by far to combat cross winds with cyclic. So, when you get lift, you can simply pull down on the throttle and induce negative collective and the heli will come down in a controlled manner vs falling like a shot duck. It does get a bit tricky in landing, but that just like all things, will become easier with stick time.

Funny Joke: A man tells his doctor that it hurts when he raises his arm. His doctor says, then don't raise your arm! Moral to this story, fly in idle up, just don't kill the throttle. I'm light heartedly joking, but its true...learn to fly in idle up and just keep in mind that you cannot "kill" the throttle. Wait till you learn to Auto Rotate...Fascinating way to land one.

Hope this helps...

Ps...Phillip...with all due respect...there is still no WAY I'm flying a blade 400 in my garage! More power to ya man if you can do it!
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:48 PM
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fly more on a sim... It will help your flying abilities immensely...

SK

Last edited by ministeve2003; 06-05-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:22 PM
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Martin,
A negative 2 pitch (or negative 1) is needed to keep the heli on the ground as it spins up. Negative 2 is recommended by almost everyone. But they say that for new pilots, you can go to negative 1 which will still help it stay grounded but be a little less dramatic during flight.

Sorry Alan, but I have to disagree with you. Learn to fly in normal mode first then move to Idle Up. You put a ton of time in on the sim prior to flying so you were more ready to go.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:14 PM
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Normal mode shouldn't be bringing the heli down that fast. You should be on -1 or -2 for normal mode..unless your pulling right back on the stick, then the problem would be loss of headspeed and with that tail authority ie. it would piro on you trying to regain height/headspeed...HeliG I would have agreed with you on the normal/idle up thing. But one of the things that progressed me so quickly was going to idle up. I flick between the 2 now but moving to idle up was the best thing i did. Having said that it wouldnt be for everyone... You need to look at it and work out whats best for you...Also if your in idle up and going in, hit the throttle hold to minimise damage. You will still break things but atleast the motor wont be trying to spin still... It makes a difference, dont ask me how i know...
Cheers Darren

Last edited by Jaiwill; 06-06-2009 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:55 PM
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I spent a lot of time (about 12 hours) in the last few days on the simulator working on shaking the "airplane-style throttle-cut habit". I'm good now I think. I also experimented with idle-up and I definitely like it over having the stick spool the rotor up and down. I think I am going to switch to idle-up when practicing with my AXE CPv3 and see how it goes.

Thanks,

-Martin
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:33 PM
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just remember to throttle up partway in normal before hitting the idle up, or it will strip the gears...

what I was told, is that at low throttle when your in normal, the gyro can't work as well because the tail isn't spinning enough, so it can/will kick around and get way from you....

I learned to fly in idle up and haven't had a problem...

SK
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:54 PM
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ps, the sound of the blades spinning in idle up, can be a bit intimidating...LOL

SK
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
ps, the sound of the blades spinning in idle up, can be a bit intimidating...LOL

SK
LOL.. This is funny cos it's true....

If you go into your throttle curve settings they should be identical from 1/2 throttle upwards... (normal and idle up) this is because your heli will start to hover from about this point. this is when you can switch safely between normal and idle up in the air.....
I was helping a friend on the weekend with his blade 400, the settings were wrong, i suggest people with these helis do some checking before switching in the air....
All i did was up the normal mode to line up with idle up at half stick...
His heli hovered better and had more tail authority...Cheers Darren
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
ps, the sound of the blades spinning in idle up, can be a bit intimidating...LOL

SK
Couldn't be more intimidating than the 1200 Watt motor on my high-performance glider spinning a 16 inch prop at insane RPM's.

The difference is that you only run the glider motor for ten or fifteen seconds at a time and you pretty much let it go as soon as you turn it on.

With the heli, as a newbie, the darn thing is going to be somewhree between knee-cap and eyeball height for quite some time. That's the intimidating part.

Do any of you folks fly with full body lexan shields in front of you? (just kidding).

-Martin
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
just remember to throttle up partway in normal before hitting the idle up, or it will strip the gears...

what I was told, is that at low throttle when your in normal, the gyro can't work as well because the tail isn't spinning enough, so it can/will kick around and get way from you....

I learned to fly in idle up and haven't had a problem...

SK
I think the ESC on the 500 has a really gentle soft start. If I take the stick and slam it hard to full throttle it still takes its time to spool-up. But I'll check. I understand.

-Martin
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:38 PM
  #13  
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Idle up, yikes that is scary, my hats off to you guys and I truly understand the lifted eyelids on flying the 400 in a garage, but its not me, its the gifted Radd method that pulls it off, you don't fly in the garage at all at the start, you simply bring to level hold, only after really having finess on the take off do you bunnie hop, then its all low in the wash, completely solid hover before lifting up even knee high...and yep friend of mine completely new to helis does the exact same thing in the garage even the 400, I really find him frustrating as way less stick time, is gifted, but if you find it intimidating I say Don't Do It, follow the Radd and its a piece of cake on a slow progression, you guys idling up, again that is scary, hi hi...gads such great info here, keep it up...BEST WARREN...
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by phillipmorris View Post
Idle up, yikes that is scary, my hats off to you guys and I truly understand the lifted eyelids on flying the 400 in a garage, but its not me, its the gifted Radd method that pulls it off, you don't fly in the garage at all at the start, you simply bring to level hold, only after really having finess on the take off do you bunnie hop, then its all low in the wash, completely solid hover before lifting up even knee high...and yep friend of mine completely new to helis does the exact same thing in the garage even the 400, I really find him frustrating as way less stick time, is gifted, but if you find it intimidating I say Don't Do It, follow the Radd and its a piece of cake on a slow progression, you guys idling up, again that is scary, hi hi...gads such great info here, keep it up...BEST WARREN...
Guys, idle up is nothing more than a mental barrier. Get yourself aquainted with the throttle hold switch and check all your baggage at the gate. I never looked back. If your confident tail in go for it... The throttle curve in idle up as far as im concerned is better for beginners as the headspeed is more constant, therefor the tail and the heli in general more steady. Cheers Darren
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaiwill View Post
Guys, idle up is nothing more than a mental barrier. Get yourself aquainted with the throttle hold switch and check all your baggage at the gate. I never looked back. If your confident tail in go for it... The throttle curve in idle up as far as im concerned is better for beginners as the headspeed is more constant, therefor the tail and the heli in general more steady. Cheers Darren
I am a newbie to RC Helis but not to RC flight and understand the aerodynamics of flight very well. Idle up might be mentally intimidating because of the decision to go to such a "high" idle from the get-go. However, as long as you have a fully symmetrical airfoil set to zero degrees angle of attack (AOA) no lift will be generated. This is where the garage/warehouse/gym scenario might have an advantage. The one thing that can change the lift equation for airfoils at zero degrees is wind. You can have an AOA of zero yet a gust of wind can change is momentarily to a few degrees positive, thereby generating a little burst of lift. Still, I don't think that this is dangerous so long as you understand the physics of it and maybe use a little negative AOA to control it. The RPM's of the rotor as almost of no consequence, it's the AOA that controls lift.

-Martin
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
I am a newbie to RC Helis but not to RC flight and understand the aerodynamics of flight very well. Idle up might be mentally intimidating because of the decision to go to such a "high" idle from the get-go. However, as long as you have a fully symmetrical airfoil set to zero degrees angle of attack (AOA) no lift will be generated. This is where the garage/warehouse/gym scenario might have an advantage. The one thing that can change the lift equation for airfoils at zero degrees is wind. You can have an AOA of zero yet a gust of wind can change is momentarily to a few degrees positive, thereby generating a little burst of lift. Still, I don't think that this is dangerous so long as you understand the physics of it and maybe use a little negative AOA to control it. The RPM's of the rotor as almost of no consequence, it's the AOA that controls lift.

-Martin
What??? I regularly fly in wind with my 450 that my mates wouldnt fly their nitros in... Iv'e never seen the heli flinch on the ground even in gusts and i run 100 flat throttle curve..... The only time it even looks like moving is when i want it to...
You've still got the plank mentality, sorry but it shines through in this post.. Trust me it takes some getting rid of. Helis are a completely different kettle of fish.. And need to be treated as such.. Help yourself and get into some reading..
Rotor speed has everything to do with lift.. no rotor speed no lift. plain and simple. Please re-read M40a3's post again, you may learn something.

The reason your heli fell is because of you pulling back hard on the stick, you lost the little bit of headspeed you had and theres no coming back from there. You can have all the positive pitch in the world if you dont have headspeed all you'll do is bog the motor while its biting the dust.

-1 -2 pitch is at full down stick. I rarely needed this while i was in normal mode, certainly not full down stick. Mid stick always brought the heli down, wind or not. The only time the stick was right down was to put the heli down from carrying it to takeoff zone or picking it up to change batteries.

Martin you should be concentrating on small gradual inputs. It is hard when first starting but more time on the sim will help, practice, practice then for something different practice some more...

As has been previously said, idle up is more beginner friendly because of the higher headspeed. The sooner you start using this the better for you..
Try not to bog yourself down with the technical mumbo jumbo, IDLE UP..

Hope this helps... Darren
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:08 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Jaiwill View Post
What???
I think you misunderstood my post.

Of course rotor speed matters.

However, once you achieve enough speed for the airfoil to produce enough lift to counter the weight of the craft then the correct angle of attack will deliver the lift.

More RPM's matter. Within certain limits you'll get more lift for a given angle of attack.

What I was refering to was the difference between idle-up and having the throttle stick ramp-up your throttle to the same idle-up setting. This, I believe, is a mental block. The heli doesn't lift because of rotor RPM's it lifts because of the angle of attack of the airfoil at a given rotor RPM.

If we lived in a perfect world where limits did not exist you could have a rotor spinning at a million RPM and so long as your angle of attack was zero and the airfoil was perfectly symetrical you would not lift off.

In a non-perfect world local changes in airflow direction will affect the effective AOA and you might get some lift or bursts of lift at AOA's close to zero.

The only way you heli is nailed down to the ground in windy situations is if you have downward lift. This can only happen with negative pitch (or really weird airflow).

Sorry, I can't help to get lost in the science of it. I'm an engineer, for better or worst.

And, BTW, planks and helis fly using the same principle: airflow over an airfoil. The fact that one is rotating and the other one isn't does not
change the laws of physics.

By "knee-jerk" pulling the throttle stick all the way down a newbie (such as myself) engages negative pitch, which generates immediate and powerful downward lift, thereby slamming the heli into the ground with a lot more force if they just brought the stick down to mid range for slightly positive or zero pitch.

As I said, I spent a lot of time on the simulator to train myself not to chop the pitch control and induce negative pitch. Doing much better now.

-Martin
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
I think the ESC on the 500 has a really gentle soft start. If I take the stick and slam it hard to full throttle it still takes its time to spool-up. But I'll check. I understand.

-Martin
Yes, The 500's esc does have a very nice soft start that will spool the heli up in normal, however, if you kick it into idle up from no throttle, it will still go WHAM, and strip the gears.... (I found this one out the hard way...LOL)


SK
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
Yes, The 500's esc does have a very nice soft start that will spool the heli up in normal, however, if you kick it into idle up from no throttle, it will still go WHAM, and strip the gears.... (I found this one out the hard way...LOL)
I'm glad I didn't try it then. Thanks!

Since you have a 500, can you take a look at this and tell me if it is normal? I've tightened it up a little since the video but it still wiggles. Some have told me that it needs to be rock solid.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywtqz8kaVsI[/media]

Thank you,

-Martin
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
I'm glad I didn't try it then. Thanks!

Since you have a 500, can you take a look at this and tell me if it is normal? I've tightened it up a little since the video but it still wiggles. Some have told me that it needs to be rock solid.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywtqz8kaVsI[/media]

Thank you,

-Martin
No, Mine does not have near that much slop in it...., looks like a mainshaft that's a little too thin, or maybe the head isn't pushed down all the way... or the gear itself is out of spec...?

SK

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Old 06-09-2009, 08:08 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
No, Mine does not have near that much slop in it...., looks like a mainshaft that's a little too thin, or maybe the head isn't pushed down all the way... or the gear itself is out of spec...?
It used to wiggle about twice as much. I took it apart and discovered that the center of the gear assembly could be pushed in further. I heard a distinct "click" as I did so.

I have no way of knowing if the gear is out of spec other than buying another gear set. I am sure that the LHS will want nothing to do with this problem (they might not even understand it as most of the kids there are RC car folk).

Another question: This being my first heli I don't know a few things...are you supposed to be able to spin the rotor backwards at all? In other words, how good are these one-way bearings supposed to be? In machinery I've dealt with in the past with one-way bearings it is an abolute lock in one direction and complete freedom in the other, I don't know if this is how they design hobby helis or not.

Thanks,

-Martin
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:04 PM
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I'm prob not the guy to ask... seeing as I still don't know all the names of the parts, and have like maybe 30minutes actual stick time (lot of sim time though)...

If I turn the blades one way, they rotate smoothly, if i try turning them the other way with minor force it skips (like the belt skipping...)

If I hold the tail rotor and do the same in either direction.... it doesn't want to move... however, if I give it a little pressure (not much) it skips, making a clack sound...(not a nice sound)

SK
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:08 PM
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Ps, here's a video of me flying my Cheap as hell trex knockoff ($160 for everything including battery, except rx) this video was like the 4th flight...LOL

at the begining you'll see the tail kick out (didn't have it set good) but It's now fixed....

[media]http://www.vimeo.com/4837241[/media]

SK
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:37 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
The RPM's of the rotor as almost of no consequence, it's the AOA that controls lift.
-Martin
Sorry to harp martin but i don't think i misunderstood.... You'll learn about rotor speed when your scratching your head with the old "tail not holding"?? syndrome..
Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
The only way you heli is nailed down to the ground in windy situations is if you have downward lift. This can only happen with negative pitch (or really weird airflow).
This is just weird ive never seen a heli takeoff at 0 pitch because of wind??

Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
Sorry, I can't help to get lost in the science of it. I'm an engineer, for better or worst.
LOL, i knew there was a certificate in there somewhere. Please dont let this rule the way you fly... or think of a heli. Because you are "over" thinking it..

The mentality i was talking about is hard to describe, but i felt a definite (Oh right) when the heli thing clicked for me... I heard a lot of others talk of the plank mentality aswell and didn't know what they meant...until then...

2 degrees negative is nothing, try 11.. As i said before its not the pitch that killed you its the rotor speed. You must have been 2 foot of the ground then. I cant believe you held 0 throttle all the way down from "too high"... My summary would be from that height you would have had time to see what was happening and tried to go positive pitch with very little headspeed and the rest is history.. You really need to get your head around the negative pitch thing. 1 to 2 degrees is minimum for a beginner to bring down their heli. I certainly wouldn't be going backward and running 0 pitch at 0 throttle.. You originally said you need negative pitch to hold it on the ground???

That's way too much slop in your gears too Martin, i have a 500 at home i can double check things when i get home tomorrow for possible causes and let you know if you like... The one way bearing is just that, it doesn't go the other way...
If you remove the main and autorotation gears hold them in your hands one hand main and the other auto gear they should move freely in one direction and not the other even with some force... if they do move either way the shim which your Jesus bolt goes through is moving inside the auto gear, which it will do under force, check this as it is normal because the bolt is not in place to stop it. If the shim isnt slipping and you can move it in both directions your up for a one way bearing.

Cheers Darren
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:51 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ministeve2003 View Post
Yes, The 500's esc does have a very nice soft start that will spool the heli up in normal, however, if you kick it into idle up from no throttle, it will still go WHAM, and strip the gears.... (I found this one out the hard way...LOL)


SK
Mine doesn't... the way I start mine up is to put the throttle hold on, put it on the pad, put it in idle-up mode, and disengage the throttle hold - it spools up very slowly.

My take on this issue - don't bother with trying to do "beginner setup" - it teaches bad habits and does not help you learn to fly the helicopter at maximum performance. Simulator and RL practice is the only thing you need.

I have made long posts about that on "other sites" but the basic idea is that when you try to do a beginner setup, what you are really doing is crippling the helicopter so it can't perform to its full potential, and this will more than likely get you into trouble, and in its crippled state, the helicopter will not be able to escape the trouble no matter what you do. I have seen a buddy of mine save his helicopter numerous times "the proper way" by leveling it out and punching the collective, and if he didn't have full throttle and collective available, he would be crashing a lot more. In fact, he does it in this video...

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuAee6DZuhc[/media]
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