When I was a little, my dream was to become a fighter pilot. As I grew up, I realize that my weak body (I dunno if I can withstand several Gs without peeing in my pants:D), my bad eyesight, my bad teeth structure, and my ugly faces (:D) prevented me from becoming a pilot. Then, I decided to become a guy that make a fighter aircraft, so, here I am, taking aerospace engineering as my major.
Although I know I can’t fly a real aircraft, I’m still wondering what it feels like to fly an aircraft, So, out of nowhere, I decided to buy small RC helicopters and learn how to fly it. I know this is way far from the real pilot, but it still better than playing X-Plane all the time, so I thought I would give it a try.
The first RC Copter that caught my attention is SnowFox. It is a small RC with one main rotor and 2 channel controller. I knew this RC from one of my lecturer. He is offering a thesis on SnowFox’s flight performance. So, I, without looking for more details, bought SnowFox for 15o.000 rupiah, while the original price was only 95.000 rupiah at that time. Yeah, I was fooled:(.
After I bought SnowFox, I realize that it would be cheaper to use rechargeable AA batteries than to use the unrechargeable ones. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that rechargeable batteries are more expensive than the unrechargeable ones and so does the charger. So, I bought 6 rechargeable batteries and I have to wait 2/3 months before I could afford the charger.
Anyways, after three months leaving the Snowfox in the box, I finally can fly it. Yay! However, it was really hard to fly SnowFox. At first, I thought that for my first RC, I choose SnowFox because it is cheap so it doesn’t matter much if it crashed and wrecked. I am wrong. The problem with SnowFox is not its production quality, but its controlability.
SnowFox only has one main rotor with one sideways tail rotor and it only has two channel for control, throttle up/down and yaw left/right. As you throttle up, SnowFox fuselage begin to spin because of its main rotor rotation, so you need to trim it in order to make it steadily hover in the air and I can’t do it. Another problem is that SnowFox doesn’t have any controller channel for pitch up/down (which will cause backward/forward movement). So, to move forward, you have to yaw right (so you get acceleration while yawing right) and to move backwards, you have to yaw left (so you get deceleration while yawing left). So, all of its movement controls are coupled one with another and I can’t really control this aircraft
Nevertheless, I keep on my training with SnowFox (with Rocky Training Mode theme song playing to get me in the training mode). I flew, I crashed, I flew, I crashed, I flew, I crashed, but I keep training until one day SnowFox crashed very hard. Its main rotor connector to its motor was damaged and its left landing pad was out of place. Consequently, now SnowFox was a little inclined to the left when steady in ground and spins wildly from the first throttle that I give. And I gave up.
After I broke my SnowFox, I decided to buy new RC, the one that may be a little expensive but easily controlled. After some research on internet, I decided to buy VMax. VMax has almost the same size with SnowFox, however, it has two main rotor with 3 channel controls (Throttle up/down, Pitch up/down, and Yaw left/right). It is also said that it is equipped with gyroscope and advanced flight stability (although I didn’t believe it).
So, anyway, I bought it and I flew it. The good news is VMax is so much more controllable than SnowFox. I haven’t fully master it yet but I managed to get my VMax flying around my room well and I had much fewer crash frequency with VMax:D. I will keep on training with VMax (of course with Rocky Taining Mode theme song) and after I master it, I will buy a bigger RC helicopter. So, guys, please wish me luck in my training.
My SnowFox and My VMax
Note: If you also wish to start playing RC helicopter, I personally recommend that you buy RC Helicopter with 2 main rotor and 3 channel controls. It might be more expensive than the one with 2 channel controls but it is more suitable for beginner. Two channel controls RC helicopters are for expert only:D.