Note: This is only how I set up my aircraft. I realize multiple ways are possible and not necessarily wrong.
A common subject that continues to come up at events, forums, and the flying field is radio setup.
The major difference between a scale helicopter and a 3D helicopter is on a scale helicopter, you'll never need extreme amounts of negative pitch. On a 3D helicopter, this is a must to be able to maintain inverted flight.
A 3D pitch/collective stick has mid-stick set at 0 degrees of pitch. On my scale helicopters mid-stick is where, on a calm day, the helicopter should be hovering.
On the 3D setup, from mid-stick to max positive and max negative are the same (+13-15 degrees and -13-15 degrees from mid-stick). For scale, I look for -2-3 degrees at the bottom, mid is hover normally around +5-6 degrees, and a top end of +10-12 degrees of pitch. Every aircraft and blade setup is different, so this recipe sometimes need to be tweaked, but it will give you a great starting point. This also gives you a mechanical expo, as you are using the entire stick range to move the collective (unlike a 3D helicopter where you are only ever using half).
On the tail, it comes down to how you want it to feel and the rate at which it will rotate around the mast. Depending on the gyro/flybarless controller you are using, this may be down to the software for the fbl, or in the radio, or both.
Another choice you'll need to make is if you fly in rate mode or heading hold. In 3D helicopters, I usually fly in heading hold, while on scale birds it's a mixed bag. Either way, while doing setup flights, I would recommend at least hovering in rate mode to verify the tail is correctly set up.
A big one I see coming up a lot is throttle and using fixed RPM, throttle curve, or some other variation. For myself, I do a few things. I set up on one three-position switch, with position 0 as off, position 1 as a set RPM, and position 2 as a set RPM. So as you guessed, I use a set RPM. I normally fly in position 1, and reserve position 2 for high winds where I want the tail to be a little stronger. By setting up this way, I can move the collective and have no worry of the rotors spinning before moving to position 1. This is also how a turbine would be set up on a three-position switch (with 0 being off, 1 being idle, and position 2 as flight). I normally don't set up bailout or an auto-rotation feature (as I normally will not practice autos with a big scale helicopter). I do usually use a Lanier pitch curve though.
A lot of having a good setup is in having a good mechanical setup first. The Flybarless controller will cover a lot up, but why make it work harder than it has to? With so many different opinions, it can be hard to figure out what you should do. The above is just the route I take, and I have liked how my aircraft fly.
© 2022 by the Tyler Gray Models. All Rights Reserved