Helicopters are probably one of the most versatile forms of transportation in the world today, making it one of the most difficult vehicles to control. This difficulty can be attributed to the fact that helicopters are able to move in 6 directions: forward, backward, up, down, left, and right. It can even rotate 360 degrees in either direction, and still be able to do just that even when inverted.
The flight of remote control helicopters can be broken down into 5 components and their functions: the main rotor, tail rotor, swash plate assembly, collective control, and cyclic control.
Conventional remote control helicopters have a main rotor above its body that consists of two or more rotor blades extending from a central rotor head. This rotor body is what generates the lift force, which in turn will allow the helicopter to fly. On the other hand, a tail rotor is employed in order to stop the spinning of the body. This tail rotor is what controls the yaw or the rotation of the helicopter. The presence of these two rotors is what gives it relative stability because they produce equal and opposite reaction forces that will be cancelled out.
A gyro is also employed in order to measure the difference in the rotational force between the helicopter and the tail rotor, and also adjusts the pitch of the tail rotor in order to stabilize the remote control helicopters while it is in the air.
The presence of a collective control on the other hand, is responsible for the entire swash plate assembly as a whole. As this swash plate rises or falls, it changes the pitch of all rotor blades at the same time, and to the same degree. When the collective control is increased, the entire swash plate assembly is increased together with the angle of the attack. With this increase, the lift generated by the main rotor is also increased, which leads to an increase in the altitude that will be attained by the remote control helicopters.
The cyclic controls are responsible for the tilting of the swash plate up and down, and are also responsible for the increase of the pitch angle of a rotor blade as it revolves. The consequence of this is that the angle of attack on one side of the helicopter is made greater than the other.
As the pitch angle of the helicopter is changed, the lift generated by each blade changes and this causes an unbalanced lift, resulting in the tilting of the tip of the helicopter towards whichever side has the lesser amount of lift.
The presence of both the cyclic and collective pitch controls of the main rotor blades together with the pitch control of the tail rotor increases the maneuverability of the remote control helicopters as well as its response time.
Finally, the radio transmitter handles all the translations and mixes between the cyclic and collective movements of the helicopter, so that all you will need to do is to mind the direction of your helicopter’s flight.