|You have probably noticed that almost every article on helicopters recommends getting an expert to help check out your model and walk through your first few flights with you if you are new to the game. That is great advice, and given with the best of intentions, but what if you don’t have, or can’t find, a local expert? Fortunately there is an expert readily available to us all, and his name is Ray Hostetler. Hostetler started building and flying model helis in 1974, and has been writing about them for over three decades now. In addition over 7,000 of the 12,000 hours in his logbook have been flying full-scale helicopters as part of his day job. His countless articles and product reviews in the modeling press have him uniquely prepared to discuss the most intricate details of heli design and setup. Lucky for the rest of us, he has generously made that information available through his articles, books, and most recently, his DVD series. These DVDs thoroughly examine helicopter setup and programming step by step, and through them Hostetler gives you the knowledge needed to do it yourself and thus gain that critical experience to insure success.
SUCCESS FROM WHY AND HOW
| Volume 6 covers blade assembly and balance, as well as balancing the entire rotor head. Your helicopter must run as smoothly a possible to maximize performance and longevity of each component, and the precise balance of the main and tail rotor systems is the foundation of a smooth running helicopter. With the information Hostetler provides in Volume 6, there is no excuse for any imbalance in your helicopter. Volumes 7-9 cover Spektrum’s DX6 and DX7 transmitters, and the T-Rex 450S. Hostetler walks through the programming and setup of these very popular products, giving specific details on every menu option of both radios, and well as the set up of your T-Rex. As evidenced by the flying footage, his pitch and throttle curve setup give near seamless transitions between normal and stunt modes, and very smooth handling. T-REX AUTOS? For me, one of the most interesting aspects of this series was realizing that shooting autorotations with a T-Rex 450 is not only possible, but even quite practical. I have seen numerous online videos of 450 autos, and truth be told, they usually don’t look like fun. Most show the heli plummeting out of the sky like a greased anvil, with only a precisely timed pitch input standing between another flight and imminent destruction. Hostetler shows how to modify the main and tail rotor drive gears to disconnect the tail rotor during autorotations. The increase in energy retention within the rotor head is remarkable. He then convincingly demonstrates several autorotations, showing that a T-Rex is very capable of executing this challenging maneuver in a controlled manner. While I haven’t modified my helicopter yet, it is definitely on my short list.