Lesson 4: Invert Flying

Lesson 4: Invert Flying
 

Introduction

Do not stress out over inverted flying. Now with simulators, learning inverted hovering and flight is easier than ever before. It is just a matter of going out to the field and doing it. Also, a heading hold gyro will make inverted flying a lot simpler because you don't have to worry about the tail drifting.

Some prerequisites are required to "safely" hover inverted. You should have mastered nose-in by now. I have heard about people who have learned inverted flight not knowing nose-in, but if they ever got in trouble they might make a bad situation worse.

Also, nose-in is fun! ;o) Also, maybe some rolls, loops and stall turns should probably be in your arsenal.( This only my opinion) You should be able to fly the helicopter all over the sky in forward flight comfortably.

It will make you more confident in your skills to tackle the demon that is inverted flying.

Setup

The helicopter should be setup 3D. This means that at half stick on throttle/collective, pitch is 0 degrees and 50% throttle. At 3/4 stick is hovering pitch(+5 or +6) throttle should be about 55% to 60%. At full stick the pitch should be + 9 or +10 and full throttle. At 1/4 stick should be your inverted hovering pitch( -5 or -6) and 55% or 60% throttle.

At full bottom stick the pitch should be at -9 or -10 and full throttle. Now the pitch and throttle curve looks like a "V". This should be setup on an Idle up 1 or 2 switch on the transmitter.

The Big Day

Now, there are two different techniques to getting into inverted flight. One technique is to do a loop and "hang" it at the top. Gradually, you can hold it up there longer and longer. This method seems better if you don't have a simulator.

Otherwise, you can practice hovering inverted on the simulator and you will be able to hover inverted on your real helicopter very easily.

I learned tail-in inverted hovering on the simulator and then I went out to the field and got some altitude and took a deep breath and flipped the heli over. It was a piece of cake.

In a matter of three flights I was tail-in hovering inverted 5 feet off the ground in front of me.

Controls for inverted hovering.

Tail-in inverted hovering

  • Left and right cyclic is normal.
  • Forward and aft cyclic is reversed.
  • Collective is reversed ( moving throttle/collective stick down, the helicopter climbs)
  • Rudder is reversed (move the rudder to the left, the nose goes right.)

Nose-in inverted hovering

  • Left and right cyclic is reversed.
  • Forward and aft cyclic is normal.
  • Collective is still reversed.
  • Rudder is normal ( move the rudder to the left, the nose goes left.)

To this date there is no sure way how to learn inverted hovering and flight, but these are the two best methods.

Also, always have an escape plan. My escape plan was to give full throttle inverted and pull back on the cyclic. It is an easy escape route because you don't loose much altitude and timing of cyclic to roll rate is less critical.

Remember altitude is your friend, but don't go so high that the helicopter looks like a dot in the sky.

Do it at a comfortable altitude and Have fun.