Fly better with flight modes

Aug 09, 2012 15 Comments by

Flight modes are used in many different disciplines of flying, such as jets, pattern, IMAC and scale, just to name a few.   But what exactly are they and how do you use them?  In this video, our West Coast Senior Editor John Reid will explain what they are and how you can use flight modes on your aircraft to make flying easier.

Featured News, John Reid

About the author

West Coast senior editor About me: I’ve been involved with RC aircraft since high school and have flown just about everything. I started my RC career with scratch-building, but now like many pilots I rely on ARFs to get me in the air. My main focus is on pylon racing, aerobats, combat and scale warbirds.

15 Responses to “Fly better with flight modes”

  1. Rich says:

    This is nice, but a little more discussion on how to change the rates and add them to one switch would be more helpful. I have a DX8 and am not very good with programming the radio. I am expanding to e-jets and would like to learn flaperons, spoilerons, and different wing configurations for different types of jets. Especially 3-ch jets. Thank god for Youtube tutorials.! LOL

  2. FHH says:

    Generally:

    Flaperons + 3 ch jet = crash. (if attempting to reduce landing speed)

    MAYBE slight spoileron can help with stability while on landing approach. This depends on aileron shape and if its full span or half span.

    Several pages could be devoted to when flaperon or spoileron is appropriate and why.

    If the DX8 manual is as useless as the DX18 manual… then most people will definitely need some more help figuring it out.

  3. Jim S says:

    Interesting for sure but a “how to” would be even better. I’m no novice at programming radios but don’t have a clue as to mix all of these to one switch..

  4. ChazM says:

    “But what exactly are they and how do you use them? ”

    Would have been nice if you answered your own question.

  5. KARL says:

    ON THE DX8, FOR EXAMPLE, TO SWITCH THE AILERONS TO THE ELEVATOR D/R, GO TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SCEEN WERE YOU WILL SEE Sw: CLICK ON THAT AND CHANGE IT TO (Sw: ELEV D/R). THEN BOTH WILL BE ON THE ELEVATOR SWITCH. LOL

  6. Terry Bolin says:

    “How to” Will be explained in your owner’s manual.. good aticle, I am just starting to fly a Midwest Sweet stick, scratch built from the original plans and it can benifit from variable rates.. Thanks !

  7. Carl says:

    I guess this instructional video is great if your an expert. This beginner is trying to learn. What is “High Rate” and “Low Rate”???

  8. Murray says:

    I don’t find videos nearly as useful as text and pictures that I can save for later review.

  9. KARL says:

    NOT SURE IF YOU’RE OUT FLYING ALONE, IF NOT, THERE MUST BE AN EXPERIENCE PILOT THAT COULD HELP YOU WITH YUR QUESTON. IF NOT, THE HOBBY SHOP YOU DO BUSINESS WITH SHOULD BE ABLE TO HELP YOU.

  10. Wayne says:

    Unfortunately, a lot of hobby shops don’t have the folks on hand to spend time teaching someone how to use a radio, etc. For me, I take my radio to a park or somewhere quiet and play with the programming. I actually figure out most of the stuff that way. All my planes have D/R on 3 position switches, DX8. Now I will try to put em on one switch, as I can see how that would be a lot easier when you are flying… Also, after having a few different radios, some menus are a lot easier to use than others.

  11. John Reid says:

    Good news all, I hear your needs and we are going to do a video on programing dual and triple rates, and then how to set them to flight modes. Right now we are gathering up a Spektrum, JR, Futaba and Airtronics radio to show how to program each one. Stay tune.
    If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments so we can try to incorporate them into the new video.

  12. Dan T says:

    I think a tutorial on transmitter for beginners = would be great. I have figured out almost everything by using the manual but i still don’t understand somethings like SUB TRIM and TRAVEL ADJUSTMENT

  13. John Sheehy says:

    This is not about flight modes, this is about rates. I have dual rates on my transmitter and three flight modes. Two different things.

    • John Reid says:

      John,
      You are correct, dual rates and flight modes are two different things. Flight modes allow you to add things like flaps, landing gears, elevator compensation and higher rates on the control surfaces if you were to set up a landing flight mode. So that when the switch is flipped all of those functions activate. Of course on pattern or aerobatic planes you don’t have those features.
      Flight modes can also be used to set up just high and low rates on one switch, if you want that. Or you can route all of your dual rates to one switch using the dual rates setting on your transmitter. Either way you will accomplish the same thing, and that is the purpose of this video is to let the viewer know they can also use flight modes to accomplish that.

  14. Josh says:

    Thanks for the tutorial Mr. Reid. I have a question about landing the sundowner 50 electric setup. I’m landing ok, but never consistently. As you know the landings require coming in hot and there had to be a better way. I was contemplating programming spoilerons, but I’m not sure if this will work.. What is your experience with this? Should I also mix with elevator up?

    Thanks,
    Josh

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