If you keep up with our blog here at RemoteControlHelicopterDeals.com, you’ve probably seen some of the flight tutorials we’ve posted. We’ve talked about inverted flight, hovering, and more. Something that we haven’t discussed, however, is advanced techniques like the funnel.
What is The Funnel?
The Funnel is sometimes called a pie dish. You basically fly in a circle sideways, either nose-up or nose-down. You maintain this position while performing a complete circle.
With a name like the “funnel,” you may assume this technique is simple, but it’s actually one of the more advanced maneuvers. However, if you have mastered flying forwards and backwards, you just need to practice and learn inverted forward and backwards flight.
In order for a RC helicopter to fly in a funnel, the downward thrust force must equal the weight of the helicopter; otherwise, the helicopter will fall to the ground rather than hovering sideways.
There are several different ways to fly an RC helicopter in a funnel, one of which is to start by hovering it about 40 feet in the air – in a wide open field (that’s especially important for this maneuver). Next, fly to the left at normal speed, and when it passes the center field, make it bank by pulling back on the elevator. After you’ve created a bank, maintain the current altitude with the cyclic while keeping the tail fixated towards the center of the circle in which you are flying. When done correctly, the RC helicopter will begin to turn sideways on its own, at which point you’ll be flying in a funnel.
If you want to exit the funnel without crashing (always a good idea), let go of the cyclic roll and rudder while pushing the nose to level.
In the video below you see a RC helicopter flying in a funnel maneuver. You’ll notice the helicopter begins in a normal, upright position. As it begins to pick up speed, though, it naturally turns sideways until it’s flying completely sideways.
You can watch the joystick controls at the bottom left to see which way they are moving while this maneuver is being done. It shows how to do a Tail Down funnel as well as a Nose Down funnel. It also shows how to do “Fast Funnels” (both tail-down and nose-down), where you spin in a tight circle:
Performing a funnel is one of the more advanced RC flight maneuvers. It requires an understanding of flight mechanics, controls, and most importantly, skill. If you don’t get it the first time, keep trying. Through practice and determination, you’ll eventually learn the ropes of the funnel.