How to Do RC Helicopter Tricks

Updated July 20, 2017

While most enthusiasts consider the radio-controlled (RC) helicopter the most difficult vehicle to navigate with precision, many pilots soon find the task of flight a rather bland challenge. As you gain experience piloting your RC helicopter through the skies, you may want to learn tricks or stunts to measure your growing skills. Learning how to do RC helicopter tricks correctly will minimise the risk of damaging your vehicle and injuring yourself or members of your audience.

Raise the throttle on your helicopter to gain some altitude. Usually, a few feet off the ground is a good place to practice.

Reduce the throttle to decrease the upward thrust gradually. Watch closely as the helicopter begins to settle at a steady altitude. Continue to reduce the thrust until the aircraft hangs in the air.

Maintain the hover by either decreasing the throttle to prevent the helicopter from climbing higher or increasing the throttle to stop a gradual descent.

Increase the throttle to lift the helicopter out of the hover, or decrease it to land the helicopter.

Raise the throttle to increase altitude to about 30 feet. That height gives you enough time to "bail out" in case something goes wrong.

Apply either right or left aileron 1/4 in either direction to position the helicopter in knife-edge position. In that position, the tip of the helicopter's rotor blade points vertically, rather than the normal horizontal orientation of standard flight.

Apply full forward or back elevator to commence the spiralling motion of the manoeuvre. Watch as the helicopter descends, and then apply the opposite aileron that you applied earlier to start the manoeuvre. If you applied 1/4 aileron right to start the stunt, then apply left aileron to complete the trick.

Fly your helicopter to a comfortable altitude, about 30 to 50 feet, and then gradually move the cyclic control to the right. Make this a gentle, fluid movement to prevent catapulting the aircraft forward or backward.

Release the cyclic control to reduce the risk of applying unwanted elevator. Watch as the helicopter roll approaches "knife edge," meaning that it is on its side with the rotors oriented in a vertical position. Reduce the collective pitch to change the direction of thrust from down to up because the helicopter will fly upside down soon.

Move the collective pitch slowly to negative 3 degrees while the helicopter is upside down. As it again approaches knife edge, slowly move the collective pitch back into positive degrees to continue the full roll, returning the helicopter to its upright position.

Things You'll Need

  • Transmitter
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About the Author

Matthew Cote started writing professionally in 2008. He has contributed to, as well as numerous Web sites with Collective Clicks, including Cote holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in language, writing and rhetoric from North Carolina State University.