Rate, manual, horizon, angle, stability, stagility.
What does all this mean? This is what are called flight modes which provide different types of assistance to pilots. So what do they do? Well:
This mode is the most difficult flight mode to master, but it’s the one that you need to master right away if you don’t want to end up with any bad habits. It uses the gyroscopes from the flight controller and disables the accelerometer. The gyroscopes will prevent any disturbance from external factors, but won’t interfere with inputs from the pilot. When you see FPV videos of crazy stuff, this is what all pilots use. It allows the best control of your machine but requires a steep learning curve. But at the end of the day, it’s the most rewarding of all!
In this mode, the accelerometer is activated. This enables the quadcopter to self-level. If you don’t put in any input, the quadcopter will remain level. This is the mode that is used on the cheap beginner quads. This is a good mode to understand orientation and get a general feeling for flying.
This is a mix between manual and angle. It allows you to do some of the more manoeuvrable tricks, such as flips and rolls that manual enable, but also has self-levelling ability. When you move your sticks on the transmitter near the centre self-levelling will be engaged once the sticks move to the limit, manual mode will engage allowing flips and rolls to be performed. This means you can try a flip and if you freak out let go of the stick and the quad will level itself.
Now, it’s time to go out and fly! Practice makes perfect!
Flying a quad in manual is difficult……at the start.
I will admit flying in manual initially was a pain at the beginning… Crashes, so many crashes at first… Persevere though and you will be surprised at how quickly your flying improves and the things you can start to pull off.
Flying in manual allows you to have ultimate control over your multirotor. This is essential when flying acro and FPV. When initially learning manual, it just seems so much harder and it is tempting just to switch back to self-level and mash the sticks. Stick at it though and once you push through the initial difficulty curve, you will wonder why you ever flew self-level. The best time to learn manual is right from the start! This way you don’t know any different. I have seen from experience people put off this transition, and while they are faster initially, those who fly manual leave people who use self-level in the dust.
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