RC helicopters use a powerplant to turn a gear train, driving the main rotor system and tail rotors. They are capable of maneuvers that full-scale helicopter pilots only dream about. Each class has an established set of maneuvers that pilots must accomplish, and judges grade each maneuver. Class I includes primarily hovering-type maneuvers; Class II adds some forward flight, including a loop and stall turn; Class III adds even more aerobatic maneuvers and includes a power-off autorotation landing; and F3C adds a number of aerobatic maneuvers to test pilots and machines. The flight ends in a power-off autorotation landing that must be on a small spot for maximum points. (Not many miss it.) Helicopters also have a Scale competition.
By Mike Unger
Muncie, Indiana, gave us another awesome day of weather at the AMA Site 5 for Day 3 of the AMA Helicopter Nats.
High temps of 78°, a sunny sky, and low wind made it idea for flying. Just like the day before, we picked up again Tuesday with the first flight at 8 a.m.
By Mike Unger
Day 2 of the Heli Nats was one of the best days weather wise we have had in years at the Nats. Temps in the mid-70s, low humidity, nearly clear skies, and low wind.
We started at 8:02 a.m. with the first flight of the Sportsman class and ended about 6:15 p.m. with the fourth round of the F3C class.
Day 2 also brought in the Scale helicopters, with one round of static judging and two rounds of flights. The Scale pilots put on quite a show with some very impressive craftmanship and impressive flying.
By Mike Unger
Well, it's the beginning of August and that means it's Heli Nats time again.
With COVID turning everything upside down last year, it is nice to have a more normal Nats competition this year.
The 2020 Outdoor Nats took place July 12-August 5 at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Indiana. Although the pandemic made for an interesting and complicated year, several events still took place safely, allowing competitors and AMA members to continue to enjoy our hobby.
We have created a photo gallery for this year's event. Please feel free to like, share, download, and print a few!
By Mike Unger Tuesday: Day 2 and the final day of the Heli Nats is now in the books. We arrived at the field to low cloud cover and cooler temps than expected, so we delayed the start of the final rounds of competition a few hours. This gave everyone time to charge batteries, tweak helicopter settings, and mentally prepare for the final three competition flights of the 2020 Nats. Once the clouds burned off, we started with F3C flying the F schedule. The F schedule is not only another set of maneuvers to learn, but it is also more difficult than the P schedule.