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13 Dec, 2013 | News

Ask An Air Hogs Engineer - Part 2

Once again we asked people to post their questions about RC technology on the Air Hogs Facebook page for our Air Hogs engineers to answer. Here are some of the best!  . 

Question: What is the longest range on you remote controls? Can it be increased in any way?

The longest range radios we currently use are 27MHz FM with a range up to 100m (333’) which can be found in the Sky Stunt RC plane.

Our RC products can be divided into two categories of controls – IR and RF:

  • IR (Infrared) control is similar to most TV remote controls. Range is approximately 20 feet (6m) and is limited by line of sight since you are controlling it with light. Because the sun emits a very wide spectrum of light it can cause issues controlling IR products outside because it is too bright for the sensor to see the controller's signal.
  • RF (Radio Frequency) controls use radio waves to communicate. Range can vary from 30 feet (9m) up to over 330 feet (100m) depending on the power and type of RF. Our products use AM, FM, or 2.4GHz radios depending on the cost and required range. AM is typically used for shorter range where FM and 2.4GHz are generally longer range, but there are exceptions.

The range of our products is regulated by the maximum power allowed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the United States. They regulate which frequencies are allowed for which purpose, and what the maximum signal strength can be.

Question: I live in Colorado Springs, elevation 6,000 feet above sea level. I feel control and performance is diminished considerably. Is there a solution to compensate for this?

The high elevation in Colorado Springs makes it very difficult for flying products to function properly. At higher elevations the air becomes thinner – this is known as rarefied air – which means that propellers have less to push against. The best thing that can be done to improve flight performance is to reduce the total weight of the product (which is not always possible).

Most standard RC helicopters should function reasonably well aside from a shorter flight time. Other items, such as the Helix X4 Stunt, have been tested and function very well at higher altitudes.


Question: How do you make the controllers transmit signal as the heli's receives them and performs them?

Most of our helicopters use Infrared control (IR) which is essentially controlling the helicopter using light. The controller pulses the light (sort of like a very fast version of Morse code) which tells the helicopter what to do. The helicopter has a sensor that can see these signals and uses a microprocessor to verify that the signal was correct before executing the commands.

Question: Can you make a power pack for my pet dog? He weighs 25 pounds. Loves to fly.

Technically we could - so long as we knew your dog would be safe!

For a fixed wing vehicle, such as a plane, you need a minimum of 30% thrust to weight.  For a vertical lifting vehicle like a jet pack, you need at least 150% thrust to make sure it would fly and still have enough thrust to control direction and stabilize. That means for a 25-pound dog to have a really good jet pack flight, we’d need a lot of power!  

On second thought, we’ll stick to RC vehicles!

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Helix X4 Stunt

The Helix X4 Stunt is a high-performance Remote Control stunt quad-copter. Perform 3 incredible stunts with the push of a button. Nothing moves like a Helix!

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