Tag Archive: lama v3


I wasn’t flying too much during this year, had some issues of private matter that took my energy from flying.

Now I am back, trying to catch up. It seems that part of my club is already flying multicopters at an advanced level. And there are also some news about our flying field. Unfortunately bad news, the local council is taking it away from us, we are no longer welcome there from 1st of January 2013. So rather interesting flow of events.

The multicopter issue is worth covering in more detail. I am learning the important notions about multicopter flight, will try to get more advanced in this matter during the Spring. I plan to build one beginner model actually, that will teach me the basics.

The flying field issue is more complicated. There is a motocross track in the vicinity, it is quite loud and dirty. But hey, dirt biking is so. Anyhow the council wants to move them and also us. First they did not give anything in return, then the club protested. Now they consider to offer another field somewhere close to the city. It is not so easy to just pick an empty land. We have to process the land, make it smooth, plant quality grass, cultivate it to be smooth and also transport our tools and containers there. And build up the fences, the benches and the basic club facilities. So a huge piece of work that the council does not want to help with. Very awkward way of handling this issue.

Update. End of 2012 we received some great news, we can stay on our flying field for some time. The council changed its mind.

My 12th flight from week 17 you can look at here:

My 13th flight is also recorded:

I just had my 14th flight with the Easystar, please find the video here:

During my summer holiday we were taking care of the house of our friends. They live in the countryside, close to a lake in the forest. Very nice location, calm and peaceful. I could not resist to explore their garden with my Lama v3 helicopter. So I did. I came up with some challenges that I pursued. Some hovering, then some flying around the garden. Also some precision landing on our car.

Then my fantasy got cranked up and I came up with even more exciting plans. Why not try to fly through the car? I mean, how hard can it be? 🙂

And while I am at it. While not fly into the baggage compartment, land there? Then take off from the baggage compartment and land outside the car? It is really that hard? 🙂

During the winter I had very few flights. Two of them were recorded, these were indoor flights in Mölndal school sports hall.

I am getting more flights now. This Spring I am stepping up from the Lama v3 and will start with multicopter action. On last flight 13w07 I crashed the Lama and I do not intend to repair it any more. I had a lot of practice on it, it helped with orientation skills. Hovering nose-in and orienting at low speeds. However I am getting tired of the stupid limitations of Lama v3. It cannot fly beyond a lean angle, otherwise its control system just locks up and the heli gets in an unstoppable dive. It is very sensitive to wind and at the same time does not have the power to cope with it. Even its own turbulence disturbs the flight, so I am happy to consider it part of my past.

I am looking at a tiny multicopter called Ladybird. It is from Walkera. Helipal.com has a nice description to it, you can read it on their page.

There is a v1 version of the Ladybird. That has a much bigger radio controller with some programming possibility. And it has a 6-axis gyro system (gyro and accelerometer) instead of a 3-axis system (only gyro) of the v2. As I understand the v1 is slightly more stable, but the v2 is still very stable so if you are not looking for the nicer radio you might just as well like the v2.
Hobbyking has a detailed review of the v2 Ladybird, where they tell about the differences.

I have another project, will tell about it later.

Thank you,

Sir Crash a Lot


I had some flying at last! This winter wasn’t really rich in flying. I haven’t got any plane that can be flown indoors, although I started to practice at least in simulator. I received a car as a present from my mother-in-law, now it is registered in Sweden, so I can drive it. This makes transportation to the flying field much-much easier. Carrying my plane on public transport was always a mess, people stare at you and you have to be extra careful to not break the model on the bus/tramway. Every grab handle or door is hazardous for the integrity of the airplane.

I took my Lama v3 to the club, Friday night we met at Mölndal in the sports hall of a school. The others had various slowflyers and multicopters even.

My flying skills got rather rusty (or dusty?), so I took caution. Practiced some rounds and 8 figures. Had to be careful to not fly too high, since the others were flying airplanes there. Was fun after all.

I wanted to spice up my recording, so had my hat cam and a mini camera on Lama even. The mini camera influenced flight characteristics of Lama, it became nose-heavy. So I had to fight with cyclic to maintain constant speed. If I sped up Lama lost control and dived into the floor. Lama cannot fly fast at all.

I have seen a clip on Youtube that explains how much difference it makes to have the music of Inception in a clip.



So I just put Inception music into my clip, the effect is dramatic 🙂



You can even see another recording from a club member. At 3:12 you can see me with hat cam and full concentration on the face. Quite amazing to see myself flying, now I understand why the others laugh at me when I have my hat cam on 🙂



With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


In my last post I described how I managed with simple hovering and landing on table. This post is also the past, what you see happened in February 2010.

Now it is time to do some figure flight. It is a major step in my helicopter career, I shall explain what is so important here.

As you can see I fly in living room, same location as previously. What is different is how I fly. The heli does an “eight” and some rounds. This is a big step forward.

When you start learning heli flying you will start with hovering and basic flight. This is rather easy as long as the tail of the heli is pointing at you. Why? Because when you push the joystick to the left on the controller the heli will move left. As long as the tail points at you the nose of the heli will look the same direction as you (the pilot) are looking. Easy.

To get some science into this let’s talk about coordinate systems.

In a 3D system you have 3 coordinates, or 3 axis if you shall say so. X, Y and Z. You can have these as you want but for easier understanding we consider:

– X is forward,

– Y is to the sides

– Z is vertical

On your transmitter these will correspond to various stick inputs.

On a Mode 2 transmitter left joystick will control Z-axis, right joystick will control X- and Y-axis. (I made it simple now, on left stick you also have yaw that will interfere with both X- and Y-axis.)

How will this look like if we apply our coordinates to the heli?

Now let’s try to imagine these two coordinate systems in relevance to each other.

When you do tail-in hovering (nose of heli pointing where your nose is pointing) X of heli will match X of transmitter. Same with Y and Z.

If you do side-in hovering (nose of heli pointing 90-degrees left or right) X of heli will correspond to X of transmitter. Where is the catch then? You will percieve that when heli moves “to the left” that you need to add stick input corresponding right. But this will not work well, since heli is actually traveling forward (its own X coordinate) and you need to add backwards input (transmitters X coordinate), not side (transmitters Y axis). If you take a look at my first flight you can see that I was fouled by this. The heli kept rotating, it went all over the place, I had not a single clue how to gain control. I could not keep track of the helicopters coordinate system in short.

What is the solution? You need to keep track of the nose of your heli, this will give you correct control.

Mikey’sRC has a great tutorial on side-in hovering. Please check it out, this will give you a nice explanation.

He has another tutorial about nose-in hovering, a good explanation in graphic nature.

What is to be told of my flight? I crash at the end of it. Several times. You can see for instance that I get close to the lamp and then crash. I got into turbulence there. What is turbulence?

Turbulence is like a vortex. Depending on what produces turbulence it can be all sort. In the case of helicopters you get a downstream flow generated by the rotor (rotors). As air is lazy it wants to get calm again and escapes to the side. Since this downstream flow is like a cylinder it escapes in all directions.

As the rotors suck air from above and push them down some air recirculates at the tip of the rotors and creates a torus-like flow. Like a donut cake without sugar glazing.

As you get near objects this flow will interact with them and create a suction force. It was long time ago that I studied fluid dynamics, I hope that I don’t get it wrong. According to Bernoulli’s principle as you compress the flow speed will increase and pressure will drop.

So as you get closer with your rotor to the lamp the heli will actually suck itself onto the lamp. As Lama is not a power-house it has limited resources for manoeuvres and after a while you cannot get away from the lamp. It is better to close throttle and let it fall. That is what you can see in the video. I do the same with the sofa once. And once it is just pilot error and crash into the table.

After a while my poor piloting showed traces of destruction on the rotor blades.

So I replaced them. The difference was noticable. New blades track better. This reduces vibration, gives smoother flight and provides better overall control.

As I described in my post earlier you will need some basic tooling for changing blades.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot