The perfect bird for moving beyond the coaxial group of helicopters
Here is my instructor, Joe Aguilar demonstrating the Chronos FP 110 stability.
Model: Chronos FP 110
Distributor: HobbyTown (hobbytown.com)
Type: Beginner helicopter
Length: 11.6 in.
Height: 4.3 in.
Main Rotor: 11.6 in.
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Motor req'd: Included
Radio req'd: Included
⊕ Easy to get into the air
⊕ Very easy to fly
Radio: 4-channel (included)
Motor: N40 (installed)
Battery: 500mAh 1S 3.7V LiPo
Getting into flying helicopters can be rather intimidating. There are all kinds of moving parts and your thumbs have to master a whole new learning curve. I have some experience with quadcopters and I know that they have just about the same control setup as helicopters, so that should cut down the time it takes me to learn. When I got the Ares Chronos FP110 in for review, I knew that this was the helicopter for me. It is an ultra-micro size bird, which I can fly in the house, and because it's so small, it will bounce and not get destroyed when it crashes. As a newbie helicopter pilot, I am sure there will be a number of crashes in my future. The Chronos'box read, “The ideal helicopter for pilots looking to advance from coaxial helis or quadcopters!” This described me and my abilities perfectly, so I knew it was meant to be.
Another advantage of the Chronos is the advanced fixed-pitch and self-stabilizing rotor head design. This bird offers the agility of a single-rotor heli along with the stability of a coaxial platform, which should make it easier for me to learn the more advance flight that is associated with most helicopters. The packaging is designed for store shelves and all the parts are encased inside a Styrofoam case. The Chronos FP110 comes with the helicopter fully assembled, a transmitter, battery pack, battery charger, small Phillips screwdriver, extra main blades and tail rotor, six AA batteries for the transmitter, and a nice 29-page manual. It is very clear that this design is made for the beginner helicopter pilot.
This bird comes complete and fully assembled, and according to the manual, it is flight-tested at the factory. So, the first thing I did was get the battery on the charger, and because it comes partially charged, it should only take 30 to 40 minutes. This gave me some time to read the manual, which includes a good amount of information for the new pilot.
The first part of the manual covers an overview of the Ares M4LPH transmitter that comes with the helicopter. After checking out the switches, I discovered it had a proportional mix trimmer knob, something I never had to worry about on plane transmitters. On the other side of the transmitter was a dual-rate button, something I was familiar with. The rest of the layout on the transmitter was identical to the plane transmitters I'm used to. The proportional mix trimmer knob is used to adjust the amount of mixing between the main and tail motors. This allows fine-tuning the rudder trim to help prevent the nose of the helicopter from drifting to the left or right when in a hover or while climbing or descending.
Learning to Fly
One of the tools I like to use when learning a new maneuver, or in this case learning to fly a new type of aircraft, is a flight simulator. The RealFlight simulators have a number of helicopters in the lineup of aircraft available, and it is easy to find one that closely resembles the Chronos FP110. Before flying my Chronos, I picked a small helicopter from the group of helicopters available and practiced hovering with it on the simulator. Once I felt comfortable hovering with the nose out, I tried it on the real helicopter, and to my surprise, it was remarkably similar. So much so that I could easily keep the helicopter hovering in one spot for the entire length of the battery charge. While the battery was recharging, I went back to the simulator and practiced flying the helicopter by moving it from side to side while still keeping the nose out. Again, when I got to the real machine, it duplicated exactly what I learned on the simulator. I found it rather easy to hover and move the helicopter to the right, then hover again and move the helicopter back over to the left, and hover again. Once the helicopter was back on the charger, I was again practicing on the simulator — this time forward flight. By continuing to practice this way, within an hour I was able to fly my Chronos FP 110 around the living room without running into anything and my flying skills improved rather quickly. The next time you want to learn a new maneuver, master a new type of plane, or just learn how to fly helicopters or quads, start on a flight simulator.
The next section covered the control sticks and their effects on the helicopter when moved. Much of the controls are the same as flying an airplane That least once it gets moving. During hovering mode, the helicopter reacts just like the quadcopters I have been playing with, so it should be no problem. By the time I was done reading about the controls, the battery charging was finished. Now the fun can begin!
The transmitter is turned on first. I set the throttle to low stick and made sure all of the trims were centered so there would not be any surprises at takeoff. The battery is held in the front with some hook-and-loop fastener, and a strip of this is wrapped around the battery and battery bracket for added support. Once connected, you need to leave the Chronos FP110 alone and not move it until the gyro has calibrated. Once calibrated, the gyro will now know when the helicopter is level and will try to keep the helicopter in this position during the flight. An LED light blinks during the initialization process, and when that LED glow is a solid red, the control unit is initialized, armed, and ready for flight. Now I can lock the canopy onto the frame at its three contact points, which provide very good support for the canopy. The Chronos is now ready to be moved to an open area where I can start my first helicopter flight.
What I like about the Chronos FP110 is that there is really no assembly, except installing the battery and canopy, which doesn't take long at all. Once I got it in the air, it was very easy to control and I found it to be the perfect first choice for my introduction to the world of helicopters. If you want to step into the rotor world like I did, this bird is a good choice for your first flight.
In the Air
I took my Chronos FP110 out to my local flying field for my first flight with it, but I could have just done it in my backyard. I chose the flying field so I could solicit one of our helicopter experts to help me and watch over me during my first flight. I was able to fly from and land back on our paved runway, but you can take off from any smooth surface. I found out later that the Chronos would get snagged on carpet indoors (even short ones), but flying off of wood or tile floors was no problem.
Before taking off, I performed the motor control test to make sure everything was turning in the correct direction. I just raised the throttle stick high enough to get the rotor and tail rotor spinning. I made sure they were both spinning in the correct directions and then confirmed that the tail rotor responded to the proper rudder stick inputs. Next, I took the helicopter up to about eye level and kept the tail toward myself so all of the stick movements would move the helicopter in the same direction. Once there, I used the trim tab to keep the heli from drifting. If it went left or right, I trimmed with the ailerons, and if it drifted forward or backward, I used the elevator trim. If it wanted to yaw left or right, that was taken out with the proportional mix trimmer knob.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: Because this is a beginner helicopter, it needs to be stable—and it is. When I ran into a problem, all I did was center the sticks, and if there was enough altitude, it would level out into a flat hover.
Tracking: Once the Chronos is moving along in forward flight, you can get it to track rather well. I was able to consistently duplicate figure 8s and have the crossing point right in front of me at the same height.
Aerobatics: This is really more of a trainer helicopter and isn't really set up for aerobatics, but you can get it to do pirouettes, horizontal figure 8s, and other simple maneuvers.
This is a great learning helicopter because it can bounce off things it hits without suffering any damage. It is also small enough to fly in the house and the battery lasts a good 6 to 7 minutes. For beginners like myself, the Chronos FP 110 is a good helicopter that can be used in conjunction with a larger helicopter for flying at the field. I use the Chronos so I can fly indoors everyday and outside on nice days with little or no wind. Give one a try.