Can’t seem to perform a bank turn with your RC helicopter no matter how hard you try? It’s downright frustrating when you spend hours – or even days – attempting a particular maneuver such as this, to no avail. You may read through each and every page of your RC helicopter’s owner’s manual, try nearly every control combination possible, and even ask other hobbyists for help.
What is a Banked Turn?
The term “banked turn” is used to describe the act of turning in which the RC helicopter banks (inclines) towards the inside. The angle at which the helicopter is inclined on its longitudinal axis is referred to as the bank angle.
Performing a banked turn with an RC helicopter is a fun maneuver since the helicopter rotates naturally – similar to that of a barrel roll. Now for the million-dollar question: how do I perform a bank turn with an RC helicopter? The good news is that it can be done, but like most tricks and flight maneuvers it requires skill and precision.
Banked Turn: The Basics
In terms of skill level, banked turns can be classified as “moderate difficulty.” It’s not something that most beginners can pick up and do without any guidance, but it’s also something that’s relatively easy to accomplish once you get the hang of it.
To perform a banked turn, start by achieving stable flight with your RC helicopter (note: there should be minimal wind/turbulence when performing this maneuver) and gently roll over while pulling back on the elevator and following the nose with the tail. Here’s where it gets tricky: as you approach the first turn, keep your RC helicopter shallow to ensure it turns properly. This often requires trial-and-error through the use of the aileron, in an effort to balance the elevator out. As you leave the turn, ease off the elevator and rudder, followed by rolling out. Sorry if you were expecting more, but that’s all it takes to perform a banked turn!
Problems With Banked Turns
Do you constantly slide out of the turn rather than going around it? This all-too-common problem is usually caused by insufficient rudder power, at which point the RC helicopter will simply slide out the corner.
Also, it’s important to note that speed plays a direct role in the “tightness” of your banked turns. Generally speaking, the faster your RC helicopter is flying, the steeper the bank. Try experimenting with different speeds to see what works for your particular RC helicopter and what doesn’t.
Practice with a Flight Simulator
You should practice these turns with a flight simulator first to really know what you’re doing, and get your confidence level up. The simulator comes with joystick controls that you can move any way you want. You can even “crash” without worrying about damage. This will save you a lot of money, because these aren’t real crashes.
You should also practice to prevent your RC heli from flying towards you – learn to not let the helicopter hit you! You can also adjust turbulence and practice flight at different wind speeds.
A simulator is definitely worth the investment, both to prevent damage/repair/replacement of RC helicopters, and to avoid property damage and injury to yourself or other people. Even experience RC heli pilots, still practice on their simulators often.