10 comments on “Model Helicopter Flying

  1. Can i take a rc helicopter to mexico?
    Hi i fly model helicopter and airplanes but i have a question. Am I able to take my rc helicopter to mexico? I probably taking the bus to mazatlan sinaloa.

    • You most likely can, but I would NOT trust it to baggage handlers unless it was extremely well packaged.
      Ask the mexican embassy to be sure.

  2. Just curious how many cc in a engine would i need to obtain the speed of 100 mph.?
    Im trying to do an experiment and make a model helicopter fly it weights about 80 pounds i need to know how fast the engines on both the front and back would have to be. Do the exist in cc form or electric and what is the smallest and how much do they weigh.

    • I find this a frightening request. A model aircraft weighing 80 pounds needs special permission to fly in the UK, and I presume this will also be the case in the US. Clearly if you are asking how fast the engines front and back have to be you have no idea how a helicopter flies, and yet you want to fly it at 100 mph. In the interest of both your safety and that of other people, I suggest you find something else to do.

  3. Can you fly a model helicopter on a train?
    my friend and i at work have a bet.

    the question: can you take-off a model helicopter on a moving train and make it hover on the spot

    my answer is: yes because its in the train and everything in the train moves at the same speed.

    my friends answer is: that the helicopter will take off and smash into the back of the train

    who is right?
    please give your explenation


    • Fun question! As has been pointed out, there are a number of unspecified variables here, but I would have to say that you’re right in any case.

      *Case 1=Enclosed car. If you are in an enclosed train car, then you, your friend, and the seats, and the floor, and the model helicopter, and everything else in that car is moving at the same speed as the train. This includes the air in the train car. (It’s because you AND the air are moving along with the car that you don’t feel any wind so long as the car is enclosed.) In this case, the helicopter can lift off and hover just as it would in a no-wind situation outdoors at a park.

      (And, technically, even at the park you’re in a similar situation: The earth is rotating at something like 800 miles per hour–more or less, depending on location. So, if your friend were right, then as soon as the helicopter lifted off in the park, it would disappear at more than the speed of sound! This doesn’t happen, though, because the air in the atmosphere rotates through space along with the surface of the planet.)

      Case 2=Flatbed car. If you are on a flatbed train car, then you, your friend, and the “floor,” and the model helicopter are still moving at the same speed as the train, but you are ALSO moving forward through the air. In this case, if the helicopter lifts off without compensation for the “wind” created by the train’s movement, it will indeed seem to fly in the direction opposite the train’s movement. (It will be hovering over a single spot on the ground, but not a single spot over the train.) BUT, if the pilot of the helicopter compensates for the “wind” created by the train’s movement, then the helicopter will take off and hover over a single spot on the train–though someone standing beside the tracks would see the train moving foward and the helicopter flying forward above the train car at the same speed.

      (In reality, there are very few outdoor flying days with absolutely no wind, so most hovering actually requires compensating for wind. This means that technically most “hovering” helicopters are flying foward, or sideways, or backward, through wind in order to stay over a single spot on the ground.)

      To sum up, I think that you’re right in either case. In the first case, you would be right because in an enclosed car there would be no wind which would affect the helicopter. In the second case, you would also be right because on a open car, the helicopter wouldn’t be “hovering” if the pilot didn’t compensate for the wind in order to maintain position over a single spot.

  4. Why can’t real helicopters sustain inverted flight, like model ones?
    Although I’ve seen model helicopters flying upside down, I’ve often heard that real ones can’t sustain inverted flight. Are there any boffins who could explain all the reasons? I’ve heard that flexible blades or hinges would lift the blades too high and risk cutting off the tail boom. But are there other problems too? Wouldn’t the main fuesage be very wobbly, balancing on the rotor mast? And if you turned the blades upside down, wouldn’t the “lift” be downwards? I won’t sleep till I’ve found the answer! Thanks everyone.

    • Cost is the only thing preventing it.

      All you have to is design and certify a helicopter with a rigid head and enough negative pitch in the rotor. Then sell enough to recover the development costs.

      Rotor airfoils are symetrical so they will produce the same lift upward as downward at similar angles of attack. Since the rotor would cone downwards, the tailboom would have to be clear of it. A rigid head would prevent the fuselage from flopping abound. The tail rotor would need no modification since torque direction is the same. Put in inverted fuel and oil systems and you’re all set.

      BTW, most helicopters have hinge stops to prevent the rotor from contacting the tail boom, but these aren’t designed for flight loads.

      And the Jesus nut wouldn’t be supporting the weight of the helicopter, the mast would be in compression load. Just like propellers I work on that can go in forward or reverse with 4000SHP on the Hercules.

  5. How do helicopters fly upside down without crashing?
    I have seen it happen on TV, and my uncle assures me that his model helicopter can fly upside down. This does not make sense to me. I always thought that helicopters fly because the rotors pull them up through the sky much like a propeller pulls along. So if you turn the whole thing upside-down the thrust will be going in the opposite direction and sucking the whole helicopter downwards. Is there some trick the pilots use to fly upside-down, or do they spin the right way up again before they hit the ground?

    • Most helicopters are not designed to fly upside down as there is no reason for them to actually do this. But some have been modified to perform aerobatics. Saying that a helicopter cannot actually fly in a line constantly upside down only do a loop the loop. Their ability to be able to do this is basically a controlled free fall after the loop using the momentum to regain control. Only a skilled helicopter pilot is able to do this and it’s extremely dangerous!!

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