Rc helicopters are model aircraft distinct from remote controlled airplanes from the differences in their build, flight training and aerodynamics. There are several designs that exist of remote controlled helicopters of which include pitch design which means the blades rotate in longitudinal axis to reverse lift with benefits from greater aerobatic capabilities. The flight controls enables pilots to control the throttle and collective, tail rotor and cyclic controls (pitch and roll). When these are controlled in unison, the helicopter performs many of the same maneuvers as real huge sized airplanes including backwards flights and hovering and others that full-sized helicopters cannot do.
The various flight controls for rc helicopters are affected using small servo motors popularly known as servos. A piezoelectric-gyroscope is normally used on the tail rotor control (yaw control) for counter of torque-reaction-induced tail movement and wind. The “gyro” doesn’t itself apply mechanical force but adjusts electronically the control signal for the tail rotor servo. The engines for rc choppers have been methanol powered for quite a while and use two stroke motors or electric brushless motors in combination with high performance battery, which is of more common use today. This can be attributed to improved efficiency, lifespan and performance compared to brushed motors. Furthermore, their decreased prices bring them within reach of rc helicopters hobbyists. The engines typically used are the turbine and gasoline engines.
What are the types of remote controlled helicopters?
Rc choppers are categorized according to power sources and these include nitro fuel (Nitromethane-methanol internal combustion), gas turbines, gasoline, petrol and electric batteries. In these categorizations come their mechanical layouts which include cyclic/collective pitch mixing (CCPM) for all power sources, coaxial electric rotors, and fixed-pitch electric rotors. Recent developments have seen the production of practical electric helicopters which are rapidly becoming a common phenomenon overtaking nitro rc helicopter. Others are gas-turbine helicopters which are becoming increasingly popular but their high costs put them out of reach of most hobbyists. The nitro rc helicopters are available in different sizes such as 15, 30, 50, 60 and 90 size. These size numbers are associated with the size of engine used in various models including 0.30 cu in, 0.50 cu in etc. when the engine is bigger and powerful, the main rotor blade is made more larger hence the bigger the remote controlled helicopter.
Recent developments in battery technology are making electric rc choppers flying to be more feasible in the manner of flying time. The Lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries offer high current needed for high performance aerobatics and at the same time are very light weight. Electric rc choppers in the past were used indoors but today, there are larger electric helicopters with more advanced aerobics for outdoor flight. Because of the quietness of their engines, rc helicopters are suitable for flying in residential areas. Remote controlled helicopters can be converted into electric helicopters using home made and commercial kits. The Picooz Extreme MX-1 is the smallest remote controlled helicopter in production according to the Guinness World Records of 2006.
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