How to fly your RC drone

All of our remote control drones have something in common; they’re really easy to fly once you’ve got the hang of it! It can seem a little overwhelming at first though, so we’ll go through the basics in the video above, as well as re-cap them in the guide below. Even though we have drones of a few different makes, they generally stick to the same control layout for basic flight. Happy flying!

Take-off and landing
Probably the most important control is the left stick, as pushing this up and down controls the elevation of your drone, as well as the speed at which it zips into the air. Whilst it might be tempting to flick the stick right up into full throttle, this will make the drone gain altitude very quickly and in an uncontrolled manner.

Syma X8WThe best way to take-off is to gradually push the stick upwards until the drone starts to fly and reaches the height you want. When at the desired altitude, keep the stick where it is to maintain a steady hover. To increase or decrease your hovering height, gradually push or pull back on the control stick and the drone will adjust itself in the air accordingly. It’s the same with landing, as pushing the stick back to its lowest setting will instantly cut the motors and make the drone fall out of the sky. Just bring it to the ground as gently as possible before pulling back on the stick for a smooth landing. Remember, gradually increase and decrease the input on the sticks for greater control.

Turning and strafing
To turn your drone on the spot as it hovers, tilt the left stick to either side and the drone will spin in the desired direction. Likewise, if you want the drone to strafe to either side, tilt the right stick to the left or right and the drone will move in that direction. Both of these manoeuvres are ideal for setting your drone’s flight path or correcting it on the fly.

Forward and back
Now you’ve got the basics sorted it’s time to go somewhere! Push forward on the right stick and the drone will fly in a straight line in whichever direction it’s pointed. Pull back on the stick and the drone will fly in reverse. As before, use gradual motions when using the stick to stay in complete control of the drone as it flies.

Once you’ve mastered basic forwards and backwards movement, combine it with mid-flight turns and strafing to pull off some impress moves in the air! You’ll be darting between trees or flying through doorways in no time at all.

RC drone fine tuning

Switches used to correct and fine tune your drone’s movement

Fine tuning
Very occasionally, you may notice that your drone will move to the side or turn by itself whilst hovering with no input from the controller. It’s nothing to worry about and is incredibly easy to correct. Simply find the little switch underneath or to the side of the lever that corresponds with the control axis on which the turning error is occurring. For example, if the drone is turning on the spot to the right or left, it will be the switch underneath the left stick.

Flick the switch in the opposite direction to that which the drone is turning in error to balance out the movement and return it to normal. It might require two or three presses to completely correct, but eventually the drone will return to a neutral hover again that is free from errors. More details on trimming and fine tuning can be found in your drone’s instruction manual.

Control modes
A lot of our Syma drone models actually include a second control mode that flips the turning and strafing controls to the opposite stick. Mode 2 will mean that the left stick now controls elevation and strafing, whereas the right stick controls forward movement and turning.

To activate mode 2 on your controller, simply turn it off, then hold the tuning switch underneath the right stick to the right whilst you turn on the controller again. The controller should switch on with a long beep sound to indicate the mode switch has been successful. To change the mode back, just do exactly the same thing again.

Why switch control modes? It’s completely down to personal preference. The majority of our pilots prefer to fly in control mode 1, which is the default setting, but you may have more success with mode 2. Take a test flight in both modes and you’ll soon decide on a favourite.

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