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Night Flying an RC Helicopter

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Night Flying an RC Helicopter can be fun and those who are avid night flyers often describe the experience as being better than day flying. The good news is that night flying can be done with both larger helis and micro helis.

The basics requirement is that the setup needs to be appropriate and everything is to be done properly. Even for rookies, night flying is possible provided they have a bit of experience with day flying.

Here are some very important and valuable tips for those who are looking forward to having a night flying experience with their RC Helicopter:

For flying an RC Helicopter at night, it is very important to have proper night-flying gear. One very important aspect is that you have a fairly dark environment with limited backlights. Night flying your heli in cities or bus neighborhoods can be more challenging with the distraction of background lights etc.

Light up the RC Helicopter with different types of light. This is very important. Never use one single light. There are a few reasons for this. They are mentioned below:

  • Using multiple light systems will ensure that if one light system malfunctions for some reason, there will be other lights to keep the heli visible so that it can be safely landed.
  • In case of one light system going down, the heli still remains visible and can be located easily and the pilot will know exactly what the heli is doing.
  • Finally, using multiple light systems will actually make the heli look cool and you can create quite a look with various setups.

Night blades are essential if you are planning on night flying your RC helicopter. There are a variety of options available, some have reflective stickers that will light up off the main copter lighting, and the higher-end blades actually have LED lights in place along each blade. This provides a very cool circle of light above your copter as it takes off into the night.

Canopy lighting is yet another important factor. Glow wires can be used for this purpose. Holes are drilled on the canopy in a pattern in which the pilot wants the layout. Wire strands are secured to the canopy using zip ties or some other anchoring system.

The wire connecter needs to reach the driver. The driver is to be mounted in a place so that any kind of interference to the receiver can be avoided.

You need to make sure that the glow wires are not near the rear or top prop, and that they will not impede the radio frequency to your controls.

Another cool option that main RC Heli operators are using is mounting glow sticks on the skids using zip ties. Glow sticks are chemical lights in plastic containers which are made to glow by cracking and shaking.

Once you have decided what method you want to use and have them all mounted safely. Test-fly your heli during the day, this way you will be sure that the additional weight and setup will not change the controls and operation of your heli.

If everything is working properly, select a dark open spot, such as an open park or field. It is important that you limit the secondary source lighting such as, home or business lighting, street lights, etc.

Night-flying your heli is extremely fun. Invite some friends or neighbors to come along to watch the show. The styles and options for lighting are endless and you can create some pretty cool looks. Some expert fliers are utilizing laser lighting systems on their helis which provides even more imagery.

So the big question then becomes, where do I get this stuff? Well if you do not have a hobby store or access to an RC outlet you can always head to the internet.

by Alton Grau

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