My Arducopter is built and flying, but I'm crashing on most my flights. Here are the issues:
1. When I slowly increase the throttle to take off, the front and back props spin, but the side props usually don't. If I move the stick left/right, I can sort of trick the sides props into spinning, and then once they're spinning, I keep moving the throttle up with increased power to get them all spinning. Sometimes while trying to do this, I'll get the sides spinning, but front and back will stop spinning. Eventually, after playing around with it enough, and giving it quite a bit of throttle, I can get them all spinning. I then have the confidence to increase throttle and take off. Is this normal? (It could be that I just need to push the throttle hard with confidence and take off, but I don't like seeing propellers that aren't spinning).
2. Once I'm airborne, the unit is stable, flat, and responsive, but actually far too responsive. The slightest movement of the throttle stick makes it go up or down very fast, which makes hovering and flying very difficult. When trying to hover or land, I usually crash.
3. In a previous forum topic, "jasonshort" said, "You can tell it's in Acro mode because the motors only spin at low throttle while the model is moving. In stable, they spin continuously." I'm not sure If I understand the full context of what he was talking about. I'm also not sure if he's talking about the "Acro" (airplaine) mode on the Futaba Transmitter or "Acrobatic" mode in the ArduCopter software. I assume I'm in "Stable" mode. When I arm the motors, the green light blinks slowly, not fast, so I assume it's in "Stable" mode. However, if it's not, that would certainly explain it's hypersensitivity. Is it possible I'm in Acrobatic mode even though my green light is blinking slowly?
4. When trying to land, or if I make a half-hearted attempt at launching (because I'm worried about the fact that not all the propellers are spinning), the Arducopter usually flips very fast and crashes.
5. In my last outing, I was hovering around pretty nicely about 10' off the ground, but then the Arducopter suddenly shot straight up into the air really fast to about 200'. I brought the throttle down to reverse its upward climb, and I was trying to be careful not to over-react and slam the throttle down. I was able to reverse the climb, it started coming down, then it rocketed toward the ground very fast, did an instantaneous perfect flip about four feet off the ground, and slammed top down into the ground. (Replacement arms and propellers are now on order).
So, my theories are...
1. I'm new to flying RC aircraft. Maybe I just need more practice on using the transmitter, and in particular the throttle. I'm trying to be very, very careful, but it's not working.
2. Perhaps the Futaba transmitter isn't setup properly and is sending the wrong instructions to the Arudcoputer.
3. Perhaps the ArduCopter software has a problem (This seems very unlikely, since others are flying without these problems).
Although I'm sure #1 is part of it, I'm thinking it's probably more #2. In a previous forum topic "jasonshort" mentioned that he uses H1 Heli mode with his Futaba rather than using Airplane mode, and that he adjusted the throttle curve so that it's not so sensitive, so perhaps that's an option.
I would really appreciate any advice people could give me on what I can do to resolve my problem(s). Although I'm having fun, my poor Arducopter is taking a serious beating while I try to figure this out.
In case any of these details matter, here is my configuration:
RC: Futaba T10CHG Tx (in airplane mode) & 8-channel Rx.
ESCs: Turnigy Basic 18A
Front/Back Props: APC 10x4.7 Pushers, lettering facing up
Side Props: APC 10x4.7-P Pullers, lettering facing up
Frame Arms: aluminum arms from beta kit
Frame center: several thin sheets of perforated aluminum, same size as beta kit
Battery: zippy 2200 3 cell lipo
Total Weight: 967 grams
I've used the Configurator as indicated in the Arducopter manual, and I've also done the pre-flight test, all of which checks out fine as far as I can tell. Please note that I can fly the arducopter, and it flies quite nicely and flat, it's just very hard to control the altitude (and then there's the sudden flipping issue).