How to Fly an RC Helicopter Inverted

Written by larry simmons
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How to Fly an RC Helicopter Inverted
Advanced flying techniques for your RC helicopter include inverted flight. (helicopter image by Edvin selimovic from

Flying an RC helicopter is a hobby that can take years to master. The learning curve can be a steep one, especially on more advanced models. However, once you reach the top of the curve you can enjoy the flight tricks that awe viewers and demonstrate your flying skill. One of the more visually exciting tricks to master is that of inverted flight. Flying a helicopter inverted requires you to flip the helicopter so that it flies upside down, performing as it would normally. It's not as difficult as it looks, but getting it to work does take practice and knowledge of the process.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 6-channel collective pitch helicopter
  • Radio transmitter

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  1. 1

    Place the helicopter onto a flat surface with a clear space of at least 250 feet for flight operations.

  2. 2

    Lift the helicopter from the ground by applying slight forward pressure to the throttle stick on your transmitter. Continue to gain altitude by increasing the throttle until you're in a hover about 5 feet from the ground. Hold the helicopter stable to get used to the little motions required to maintain the hover in local weather conditions. Continue to gain altitude, keeping the helicopter stable and pointed in a consistent direction.

  3. 3

    Move the cyclic stick on your radio transmitter forward to increase the angle forward of your helicopter and begin your forward motion. Increase the throttle to gain speed while angled forward and the helicopter begins to dip into a loop. Increase the angle and the helicopter will begin rolling forward while gaining altitude. Add more cyclic and the helicopter will flip, pointing the rotor downwards.

  4. 4

    As the helicopter flips, begin moving the throttle downward so that you hit mid-throttle at the same moment the blades are horizontal to the ground. Move the throttle stick downward, creating negative pitch to hold the helicopter in hover in the inverted mode. You'll need the throttle placed at the same level or slightly lower in inverted mode as it was placed in positive mode in the up-stick direction.

  5. 5

    Fly the helicopter in inverted mode by maintaining negative pitch on the throttle to reverse the normal airflow that keeps the helicopter flying in regular mode. All other controls work to the reverse of normal, so to turn right, push the cyclic to the left. Reverse the entire process to return your helicopter to the upright position.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice the procedure on a helicopter simulator to avoid crashing your helicopter on the first try.

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