CPO Raptor E550 23 Sep 14


So this is a pretty uneventful video in terms of what you might normally see posted as RC Heli flight vids. I actually struggled with whether or not to even share it. There are a few things going on here.

1. This is pretty much where I am at from a skills perspective. You see I have a long ways to go. The good news is that every time I fly, I get more and more comfortable and start to try new things. You can see some rough attempts at something loosely defined as tic-tocs. It’s the first time I have ever tried them on a real heli. While the sim is great to learn on…there is a difference in how each heli will respond to the sticks. Even after just these few attempts, I am starting to get a feel for how much collective needs to be mixed into the maneuver. It was more than I first expected (at that head speed — which of course has a big impact). My new plan is to start putting some focus on getting stick time in on a regular basis. It’s funny that over a year and a half in the hobby…90% of my time has been spent building and video editing, with only maybe 10% actually flying. My progress has been slow as a result. I am going to keep building, but I am going to be putting some focus on getting flights in regularly…even if just a couple of packs before the sun goes down like in this video. Having a cache of batteries and a hot rod charger helps immensely.

This particular video helps me see the areas I need to work on…and helps me think about the maneuvers I want to try (or need) to learn. I think making and watching a video of your own flights can be a great learning tool. Don’t worry about how you compare to other pilots…but look at your own technique and form…and use it to tailor your own practice time. It’s much different to watch your flight after the fact than what you experience when it is happening real time.

2. This is the the first time to record one of my flights with a GoPro. I have it mounted on my baseball cap. It’s set up for Narrow field of view, 1080P and 60 fps. It still seems like the heli is a mile away in the video…even after I zoomed it to 720P in size for this upload. Using a GoPro is great for a learning aid..but I am fearful that unless I am up close and on the deck, it’s not going to be my favorite option for recording flights to share with others. Who knows. Any tips are appreciated.

3. The last thing is that I am playing with the YouTube stabilization option for this video. You can see my logo in the lower right moving around…that’s how much the original video moves (and is what YouTube has stabilized for me). I am usually unimpressed with YouTube stabilization, but in a video like this where the vantage point remains consistent and there is enough background content to use for the reference points (clouds, ground, etc), I think it works well.

4. Okay, one more thing. Flying in front of a sunset is beautiful. I remember thinking how amazing it was. You can see it in the last minute or 30 seconds of the video. Okay, I need to clarify. Flying right before sunset sucks, actually. Everything is gray. The colors on the heli are muted, and it’s actually quite a bit more difficult to keep up with orientation. Of course, flying in front of the sun is worse….until it gets to that point where the sun is gone…and it’s just that beautiful glow. Then, I found that flying in front of that is amazing. There are shimmers of light reflecting from the heli, and it was nicely silhouetted and quite easy to see. That only lasts for a few minutes tho.

5. Last last thing. Make sure your GoPro battery is charged. I thought for sure I had plenty of battery…but as you can see the video abruptly ends. Yep…battery died. 😉