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maximum payload for RC helicopter


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xterx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:41 am
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Hi, I am trying to attach a camera, transmitter, and power source to both on a RC helicopter. Being new to this hobby, I have a couple of simple questions.

1. The lightest configuration of the camera, transmitter, and battery is about 90 grams, and possible up to 130 grams . I know this is very heavy for an electric, let alone an RC. Realistically, is this achievable when flying my first helicopter? Can I remove extra components on the helicopter, such as the plastic cockpit, to reduce the weight?

2. I have heard that larger helicopters are easier to fly for beginners due to its size making it more stable. Therefore, adding extra weight to a larger helicopter (and flying it) is easier than a smaller one? Am I somewhat correct on this theory?

3. Lastly, I know that people switch from a 7.1v lipos to 11.1v to increase flight time. Are there any other benefits as well? Would it increase the helicopters ability to carry more payload?

Thanks for the help guys. I appreciate your time.
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:37 pm
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As usual the easy questions have difficult answers.

Payload: Depends on the sort of performance that you want. For gentle crusing and aerial photography, my Blade 400 will lift 150g, but the battery run time is halved. If you want a mild 3D performance, then your 90g payload is probably tops and should not be more than 12% of the normal gross weight.

Ease of Flight: No RC heli is easy to fly - it gets easier as you progress. The larger helicopters are normally easier to fly than the smaller, but this often depends on how it is set up. Make sure that there is an "Easy Fly" set up on the web for the model that you are getting.

Finally battery: Possibly little increase in payload capacity, you need to upgrade the ESC, battery C rating and motor for a real increase in carrying capacity. As you need a higher head speed to generate the extra lift, you will be best using carbon blades, as woodies/GF may snap at the root under the strain. A loose blade at 3,000+rpm is dangerous to people and the heli will certainly crash badly.
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T-R-E-V
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:53 pm
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Good technical advice from tombo,

Battery and blades, are very important, to lift the extra weight,

There is not a lot else you can do to reduce the weight without affecting the performance,

My advice would be get the FLYCAM ONE/2 weight 37g and increases the batteryís mAh.

Good luck.
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:48 am
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Good advice from T-R-E-V on the FlyCamOne2, a great cam for use in flying models. You can see it on this site.

I don't think they come any lighter than this at the moment.
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xterx
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:18 pm
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Wow... thank you guys, I really appreciate the replies.

Tombo, I have looked at the Blade 400, and did not think the capacity was that high! I will reconsider getting the Blade then. If time is not an issue for me, would you recommend the Blade 400 as a beginner helicopter? If not, would u recommend any other helicopters for me? I know coaxials are the easiest to start out with, however, do they have the payload capacity as high as the blade? Cost is not a factor, but I would like to stay under 800$. Thank you

Also, about the FlyCamOne2, does it only have recording capabilities? I would really like to have a camera that can feed the image to a TV or computer screen. I have been looking at this.
http://www.xheli.com/hemiwivica.html
I am favoring this because it can feed the image to a monitor and it is only 9 grams for the camera and transmitter. Do you guys have any experience with this? Cost is not a problem for me as well.

Again, thank you tombo and T-R-E-V, your responses mean a lot to me.
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:09 pm
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Hi xterx,

As I said in an earlier post "No helicopter is easy to fly, it gets easier with practise." Take a look at Radd's School of Rotary Flight. This is one excellent way to get off the ground without crashing, but you will be very lucky not to cause any damage to your heli in the learning process.

Do you have an RC simulator? That is the best way to save a few crashes and get you used to relating the movement of the sticks to the flight of the helicopter. (See T-R-E-Vs' "Flight Simulator Test Results" on this forum for an unbiased view of the range available.)

Regarding co-axials, definately best for beginners, have a look at the Walkera D400 Lama. That should have the lifting power you reguire, coupled with the ease of flight that a co-axial has. It's also about 1/2 the Blade price and 2.4gHz. Seems to fly well outdoors and will have the stability for distant shots. At 650mm long it is the same size as the Blade 400.

Regarding the Blade 400, if you must have a single rotor heli and do not want to build, then it is a good choice, and does have the lifting capacity, especially if you do not want onboard recording and can use the lighter equipment that you suggest. However, it is not known for its stability, but can be tamed. A possibly better solution if you do not object to building would be a T-rex 450 kit. You could then set it up specifically for the type of flight that you require. You will probably need some help for this, ideally not your local hobby shop saleman who has some gear to shift.

The FlyCam2 does not transmit to ground. I have only experience with onboard recording, so any advice on air to ground links would be in theory only.
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xterx
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:01 am
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tombo,

Is the Walkera 400D the most powerful (biggest) helicopter in the co-axial market? Does it fly well in light winds?

I also noticed in one of your post, you said that the payload added should not be anymore than 12% of the gross weight. Is this like a rule of thumb that can be used for most helicopters, if not all?

Again, I appreciate your time. Thank you
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:16 pm
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I do not own one, so I cannot say for certain about the wind. I have searched for videos of it where you can see trees moving in the background but to no avail. People say that it will handle light winds with no problems. A rough guide would be that to be on the safe side, the wind should not be over 1/2 the co-axial models' flying speed. You have to consider getting it back if it drifts down wind! There is certainly not a bigger one at this time, the E-sky Big Lama is about the same size but would not appear to be of the same quality or power.

Regarding its' lifting capacity, I found this on another forum. It comes from Hong Kong so the English is not brilliant (but heaps better than my Chinese!)
Quote:
I taped two 430L motor to the bottom of the 400D (weight 119.8g). To my surprise I can hardly feel the weight different. It climb slightly slower and the cyclic input is slower as well. But I still got it up to around 8-10M high and it would climb higher if I wants to. I am really suprise for the small effect of additional 120g to a 640g helicopter.

It would seem that payload will not be a problem with this machine. The 12% I quoted was just a rough guide. As you can see from the above quote, our Chinese friend achieved an 18.75% payload with no problems. The actual lifting capability depends on the motor and battery power.

Nice to be appreciated Very Happy
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merlin703
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:57 am
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RC helicopter flying doesn't come to all of us the same way. Some people spend 2-3 years just learning to hover. Others are doing 3D after a couple of months. Which category do you think you would be in? The simulator will give you an idea.

If you do really well with the sim from the beginning, then flying a Blade 400 shouldn't be too much of a problem.

If you are not in that category, I would say get a bigger helicopter. At least a 450 size. It's more stable and it handles the wind better.

Bigger helicopters, generally speaking, are more expensive but more stable. Assuming that you are not going too big either, they can also be easier to repair because the parts can more more "solid" so they can take more punishment and your hands and tools will go in between parts easier to take care of the fixing part.

You mentioned AP. If you want to carry a camera around a 450 will be able to lift a bit more. Also, from there you might want to adventure yourself in to FPV so you can fly it through a monitor and stuff. In short a larger heli, even a 450 size will give you more options than a smaller one.... even a 500 is no longer than expensive. Oh, make sure you get a decent radio as well.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
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xterx
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:40 pm
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Wow Tombo, that is excellent news! The payload capacity of the Walkera 400D is exactly what I need. Therefore, I will definitely get one. However, just one last question. Based on the experience on our friend in Hong Kong, the 400D can carry 120g with somewhat ease. But this was done in the vertical motion. Do you think helicopter's ability to travel in the forward direction will be severely hindered? For now, I am not too concerned if it travels at a snail's pace.
Again, thank you tombo.

Thank you for the advice merlin. I had no idea it took some people that long to just hover.
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tombo242
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:36 pm
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Hi Xterx,

Sorry for the delay in answering, but I've been out of the country for a few days. Our chinese friend seemed to be amazed at how easily it climbed with the extra load, but a little slower than usual. He also says that the cyclic control was slower too. That would give you easier control.

Only my opinion based on limited experience with load carrying, but I think that the forward speed would not be affected by the extra weight although the acceleration will be slower, but the stability in wind should increase with the load.
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