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haegenschlatt's avatar

How to improve RC helicopter?

Asked by haegenschlatt (122points) October 25th, 2009

I got one of those small (about 6 in long) RC helicopters. I like it, but it doesn’t create enough lift, even with the battery fully charged. It can barely stay in the air for more than a few seconds. It’s a single rotor helicopter with a sideways (vertical) tail rotor. Can anyone give me some simple fixes for this?

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12 Answers

jackm's avatar

What kind of motor does it have? Did you try removing unnecessary things to make it lighter?

poisonedantidote's avatar

you got any pictures of it or its parts? some more speks.

my guess for now would be the motor needs more power, or that its not holding a change properly or something.

you could maybe try and replace some parts for lighter or more powerful parts.

CMaz's avatar

Sorry. Return it if you can. There are plenty of those that are really just garbage.
There is really not much you can do to it.

How much did you pay for it?

It is just toy, and some are better then others. Not worth trying to improve. Unless you just want to play.

I have had a couple of those. But spend most of my time flying my ALIGN TRex 600N.

haegenschlatt's avatar

@jackm It has a pager motor for the main rotor. I already removed the outer shell by tearing it out.

@poisonedantidote I do think that the battery may be faulty but if I were to replace it what sort of amperage, voltage etc. should I look for in the battery? I know next to nothing about electricity.

Shuttle128's avatar

Is this a homebuilt model?

Well I guess from the extended description it’s a store bought with modifications.

poisonedantidote's avatar

yea, im no electrical expert either. but i suspect it should say on the battery some place what all the details are. i would probably look through all my old mobile phone batteries and try to find one with the same output, but lighter or something.

plus, i live in spain with a totally different electrical system to most other places. specially USA. but from past experience most of these things tend to be 7.2 volts.

haegenschlatt's avatar

@Shuttle128 No, this is not homebuilt.

Shuttle128's avatar

There are several things you can do to increase the lift of a helicopter.

1. Increase the RPM of the motor. To increase this would require you to increase the power since V x I = Power raising either the current or the voltage could accomplish this (however the DC motor may or may not be able to take an increase in either). If it cannot take this increase, it may be necessary to use a larger or at least higher power motor.

2. Decrease the weight of the helicopter. It appears you’ve already tried a bit of this so it may not be enough.

3. Increase the lift provided by the blades. I’m not sure what model of helicopter you have so I don’t know whether or not yours has variable cyclic or not. You could change the curvature of the blades or (if variable pitch) increase the pitch of the blades.

All of these methods would require some toying with the actual mechanics of the helicopter. It may just be easier to return it for a different one.

As a side note: You said 6 inches long. That is a very small RC helicopter. Is it by any chance one of those quick charge capacitor powered mini RC’s?

haegenschlatt's avatar

@Shuttle128 It’s not a quick charge, it’s about the size as those Havoc Helis you see on infomercials.

The blades do not seem to be variable pitch but there is some sort of counterweight thing (it’s not a counterrotating blade, it’s single rotor) that is above the rotor and spins with it. Is this necessary?

Shuttle128's avatar

If you play with this counterweight it doesn’t alter the blade pitch at all?

To me the size of this helicopter seems far too small to be using real batteries. A helicopter of that size would need a fairly large diameter blade to lift a real battery.

On the Havoc Heli (which I actually have) the blades are variable pitch and change depending on the orientation of the counterweights. What the counterweights do is add a stability effect. When the helicopter “leans” to one side the weights want to stay traveling in the same direction. Since the weights are not attached to the hub of the rotor it stays upright due to gyroscopic forces. This alters the blade pitch because the blades are attached to the weights. The alteration of the blade pitch always causes the helicopter to fly in a stable configuration. This is pretty much how cyclic control works on a real helicopter except you can control what the pitch of the blades are.

If you can I’d love to see a picture or if you can find the name of the product I’d happily look it up to see if I can get some information on it.

haegenschlatt's avatar

@Shuttle128 Thank you very much for the lengthy answer. The counterweight does move the blade.

Yes, the helicopter is 6 inches long. It was bought in China (yes, I know what you’re thinking, shoddy manufacturing) and I got it from a friend. There is a small battery pack on the helicopter, it is about ½ inch by ¾ inch in diameter and about 1/8 inch in thickness.

Shuttle128's avatar

It seems like you may have a Havoc Heli clone. Without the super low weight capacitor (rather than battery) it is going to make much less positive lift with all other things being equal.

Something you might try is taking some plastic tape and sticking it to the trailing edge of the rotors and folding it under. This is to increase the blade area. A larger blade area will generally produce more lift. Make sure you use the exact same length of tape on both blades and place them equally distant along the blades. I’m not sure if this will work or not. Try to get the tape to follow the curvature of the blades. Then again this may cause more torque than your anti-torque can handle (it might spin around more). It’s worth a try since it doesn’t damage it. This would also increase the tendency of a higher angle of attack of the blades due to the blades being weighted towards the trailing edge.

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