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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Chapter 1: Introduction to Quadcopter Drones

Multicopters, drones, quadcopters. These little aircraft are all a new breed of radio control (RC) fun that is rapidly gaining in popularity. But with newness, there is limited  information available on these systems. This is particularly true for beginners who wish to participate, but do not understand how to get started. But first be forewarned, this is a very addicting hobby.  Once you start... eh, you'll find out.

Challenge taken.  You will know my capacity!
I'm sorry, but I had to include the above.  My goodeness it is a fun commercial :)

In the early days of PC's, hobbyists focused on building their own computers (many still do). Such is the case with quadcopters. But it wasn't until low-cost mass produced PC's hit the market that the average person took interest and PC's really took off.  Mass produced quadcopters are just starting to hit the market.  Get ready, they're about to "take off"!

There are some hobby sites already out there that do provide a good source of information.  But many of these sites focus on the RC hobbyist.  The information is usually more advanced than what the average person may need to know.  Also, some sites will try to sell very advanced (and costly) quadcopters to people who do not even know how to fly.  The end result of such irresponsible sites is this guy:



or this guy


Don't be those guys.  You really don't need a DJI Phantom just yet. With no RC experience, trying to learn to fly with one will likely be a costly mistake. A cheap $40 imported toy quadcopter will do just fine in teaching you the basics of flight. Don't let the low price fool you, they actually fly amazingly well (see the first video above). Once you master flight, then you can become one of those guys.

This site is intended to specifically help beginners learn how to fly a quadcopter. The majority of the articles are intended to help beginners take to the air. First you'll be introduced to a description of a quadcopter, how it works, and how it's controlled. Terminology of this hobby will also be described. Following that will be a discussion on the selection of your first quadcopter. The first steps of flight are then discussed and demonstrated. You'll start with basic hovering, then eventually transition through intermediate and advanced flight tutorials.

31 comments:

  1. Great introduction to Quadcopters. I love the little Hubsan X4's and the Walkera Ladybird are a great way to learn to fly. Then you could move up to the fantastic DJI Phantom FC40. Enjoy your flying!
    http://droneflyers.wordpress.com/introduction-toquadcopters/

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  2. Thanks for your immense effort in putting this together. It is the best place to start if you want to seriously pursue a hobby in Quads.

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  3. Great tutorials ! Truly the best place on the web for both beginners and experienced flyers. Many thanks for your efforts in presenting them.

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  4. Thanks for the great work you're doing. I am still in the phase of selecting a quad. But due to your advice I surely will not start with a high-end model. I already thought of starting with a small one for the flat and may be balcony and another for "real ourdoor" in order to make some videos.

    thanks once more

    regards from Belgrade

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  5. In just about 5 minutes you convinced me too. I will definitely start small and work up to a more expensive rig. I have lots of flying time (26,000 hrs.), but I firmly believe in learning first and safety first.

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  6. Nice site - so helpful and interesting. Thank you so much!

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  7. Being new to Drones, I have found your blog to be the most informative yet. I've
    seen that there are direct drive and gear driven Dornes. Could you shed some
    light on the pro's and con's of each type of drive?

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  8. Thanks for doing this. I have played a bit with RC helicopters but never really got serious about it. I recently (last fall) stumbled across the Banggood web site and became intrigued with their selection of RC quads. That's when I hit the web and found your review on the JJRC H8C. I ordered it and have not been disapointed. That's one tough little copter. It actually survived a winter's night hung in a tree before being blown down into a snowbank by frigid winds. I have flown it since and it is working just fine! The lessons you have posted here have been extremely well presented, are easy to understand and very enlightening. I will be purchasing other RC quads in the future. As you say, this stuff is very addicting. But in the meantime I plan on doing all the lessons with my tough little JJRC before graduating to the more expensive and complicated quads. Once again, Thank you.

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  9. HI i'm new to this hobby. I just ordered the Syma X5C-1 for my first quad I can't wait for it o get here. This is a great site for beginners Im already learning before I even take my first flight. Thanks

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  10. Where would the jjrc v686 fit into the picture?Is it for new pilots or experts?

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  11. My name is Anyshitt on yt. anyway I certainly will be spending time hear.. however seeing the video with the girl who took her first flight, left me feeling more UN-capable than ever, Not once did she crash land that thing, and she was able to just hover and turn around like that? with ease.. Hell it's starting to look like this is another one of those things? where you either get it, or you dont.. 10 - 20 flights in and I cant ffffnnnnn go 30 second's without flying off the chart or into the ground or some other object. so I take my toy to an RC store. and have a guy look at my 686 and he is impressed as hell.. so i ask him to fly it to see if I damaged it or anything? And he just nonchalantly make's my drone glide smoothly around the store.. then he brings the thing back to us and i ask him, How the hell do you get it to just hover and rotate like that? For the life of me what ever his reply was in a language from a place other than Earth because not piece of info he gave me after that able to penetrate my thick head.. God please dont make this like Dancing, Rubeck's Cube's, whistling, Slam Dunking Basketball's, summer salt's, Algebra. round house spinning heel kick's, remembering Spanish, reading guitar tab's, bare metal foil on models, ect.. please let this be something that even I, (with practice) can learn to do...

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  12. That's funny!I am learning to fly a quad and have problems with orientation and getting fidgety on the sticks Some people seem to have a natural ability and coordination but that's not me!

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  13. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this blog. I found your space by googling "quadcopter flight school online" because I figured somebody had to have done this. I have learned so much over the last few evenings, reading and watching videos. I just got my UDI R/C U818A quadcopter, and have been fooling around with it a bit, but now look forward to becoming much more proficient with enough practice. Thanks!

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  14. hi, watching a few of your videos and you mentioned the runcam hd and mobius cameras, i was wondering if youve tried anything with image stabilization? seaching amazon i found this cheap one http://www.amazon.com/Midland-XTC280VP1080p-Stabilization-Submersible-Universal/dp/B00ECHDV4O/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1443859582&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=mini+sportscam+image+stabilization

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  15. Just purchased my first quadcopter (v686G) and I'm really looking forward to learning the basics (once it arrives through the mail), so thanks heaps for setting this blog up. I want to start indoors first and master just the very basics, such as turning and hovering, before I even think of taking it outdoors (I think it'll be a while before I upgrade to a Walkera racing model!). Hopefully I could start adding the videos to my Youtube channel (but I don't know how relevant it would be for a cooking channel! ;-) ). Do you have any quadcopter simulators you'd recommend?
    Anyway, I'm sure I'll have heaps of questions as time goes by, but thanks again for putting all these videos up

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  16. I have three quads, Hubsan H108, D1, Syma XC-1, and two on the way (U807 and FQ777-124, mostly thanks to Quadcopter 101 - he's a great salesman : )
    Now I need to learn how to fly them! ...and that's why I'm at this terrific flight school.
    Long live Quadcopter 101!

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  17. I got a Syma X5SW, can someone enlighten me on headless mode

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  18. HI There, I requeres some assistance please - if possible? I bought a JJRC h26d, it would seem that the motors are not spinning up all the props at the same revs... is there anything y9u could recommend I try that would get the props to spin up at the same revs please? thanks for the help!! :-)

    Andre

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  19. Hello:

    Just wanted to say Thanks So Much for the great work you are doing instructing "Old Guys" on how to fly these quads!

    Sadly, the weather in Pa. is very poor and I am itching to get outside and see if in fact I have learned anything!

    Thanks to your wife and the Dog as well! Keep up the good work

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  20. Hi,
    I would like to make a Spanish Quadcopter Flight School website. Because you have so much and good stuff on your blog, I would like to use your material for translation. I will update the material with new models of quadcopter (mostly will be MJX, because they are so good and cheap, ideal for beginners) for my website. Do you give me permission to use your material from this Flight School blog to use it on my website, please? It is so good. I even am learning from your blog.

    Regards,

    Marten.

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  21. Just bought a Parrot 2.0 drone, and am waiting on it. Now I am flying a Odyssey flying machine Quad-copter and love it! What is your opinion of the Parrot 2.0 drone??

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  22. Greetings and Salutations !!!

    This 55 year old father of 2 is looking to buy his FIRST drone. Unfortunately, I've never operated anything that is RC so I know I need something easy. I'd like something with FPV so that when I DO master flying one, I can then start using FPV. Also, nothing mini or really small.

    That being said, I really like the Holy Stone brand (based on Amazon ratings)- X400C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone with Wifi Camera Live Video One Key Return Function Headless Mode 2.4GHz - but no one seems to mention Holy Stone. Also, nothing small or mini and up to $200

    I am also leaning towards the JXD 510G or the JXD 510W.

    What do you think of these?

    Lastly, where do you recommend I buy it from? All of the websites seem to indicate they come from China, take weeks to arrive and have poor customer support, if any.

    Your thoughts ???

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  23. Greetings and Salutations !!!

    This 55 year old father of 2 is looking to buy his FIRST drone. Unfortunately, I've never operated anything that is RC so I know I need something easy. I'd like something with FPV so that when I DO master flying one, I can then start using FPV. Also, nothing mini or really small.

    That being said, I really like the Holy Stone brand (based on Amazon ratings) but no one seems to mention them. Also, nothing small or mini and up to $200

    Holy Stone X400C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone with Wifi Camera Live Video One Key Return Function Headless Mode 2.4GHz looks REALLY good !!!!

    Maybe even the JXD 510G or the JXD 510W. What do you think of these?

    Lastly, where do you recommend I buy it from? All of the websites seem to indicate they come from China, take weeks to arrive and have poor customer support, if any.


    Your thoughts ???

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  24. I purchase a Sky Hawkeye 1315 and on reception it had a bent propeller which I replaced. The quad was flying backward and sideway.

    I realized that the rear propellers were inverted... After reversing them, it worked perfectly.

    If not already somewhere... Could you add a section on how to recognize a cw and a ccw propeller and where they are supposed to be. This would be appreciated if someone breaks a propeller (lol, we all do, even pros). Thank you for this great School website, I love it.

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  25. So impressive blog! I read it and can't deny facts you explained here. Good one!
    drones for sale

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  26. I have been reading a lot of stuff about it but it is differently presented, i loved to read this. Keep it up.
    top drones

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  27. Hi people,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to learn more about Drones for everyone I think this is the right place for you!

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  28. Drone photography business name ideas?
    drones

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  29. I'm glad I found your page, I will be learning how flying drones something I've been interested in for a while, right now I'm waiting for a mini copter I ordered from Allie Express, can't.

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  30. Nice Article! Today drones are affordable for everyone. Good thing is we can buy them for less then 20$.

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