How a Radio Controlled Helicopter Works
Posted 2011-10-26How does a Remote Control Helicopter fly? How does it work? Just looking at a remote machine fly up to the sky is simply fascinating. How much more mesmerizing is it when one actually takes full control of it as it flies and takes over the clear blue skies? The main function and performance of a RC Helicopter can be categorized into five different parts. The first part would be the main rotor. It is made of two or more rotor blades. This is what gives the RC helicopter its lifting force, which makes it fly. Without this, the RC helicopter will not lift off or take off from the ground. They are shaped like the airfoils that airplanes have. Except they differ in certain ways such as their width and size. The speed of the rotor blades are what determines how fast the RC helicopter is going to go. Second is the Tail Rotor. This is what stops the RC helicopter from spinning around in circles once its lifts off from the ground. It counter acts the force of the main rotor in order to stop it from spinning. It has a gyro, which measures the difference of the force between the main rotor and the tail rotor, and it automatically adjusts so the RC helicopter will be steady. The sideways thrust of the tail rotor that goes against the force, makes it spin in circles, holding it steady in a straight position. The third thing that makes an Electric RC Helicopter work and fly is the Swash Plate Assembly. This is the part that translates the command of the pilot on the controller into the main rotor blades. It consists of two different disks. One rotating, and one non-rotating disk. The swash plate can tilt to any direction. This is what allows the pilot to control the RC helicopter in a 3-dimensional area. The fourth is the Collective Control. This is what raises the entire swash plate assembly. Whether the swash plate assembly is rising or falling, it changes the angle of all the rotor blades and adjusts it to the same degree. Since it changes the angle of all the blades together, the change in the lift stays constant all throughout the full turns of the blades. Finally, there is the Cyclic Control. It tilts the swash plate up or down, and increases the angle of the rotor blades individually. Whichever side has a higher pitch angle, that is where the weight shifts too and tilts to, and this is what allows the RC helicopter to move in a 360-degree circle, forwards, backwards, left, right, or a combination of any of the four. With all these different functions put together, you have a RC Helicopter that flies in the direction you want it to and does what your controller tells it to do. Amazingly, you are the master and commander of the flight. Do what it takes to let it overcome the heights! The satisfaction of a successful flight with all its twists and turns is something that most hobbyists cling on to.