Throttle hold is a flight mode for remote control (RC) aircraft. It is controlled by the throttle hold switch which, when activated, controls the throttle at a pre-set percentage of engine idle, regardless of the collective pitch stick position. It is used to practice autorotations, and as a safety measure to help prevent accidental spool up, wherein the rotors of the helicopter begin rotating unexpectedly. Throttle hold can also help minimize damage after a crash. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of throttle hold.
Most RC aircraft pilots practice a good amount of safety. Nevertheless, it is easy, even for seasoned pilots, to forget the importance of the throttle lock switch after landing your aircraft. For example, say you finish your flight and set down your transmitter. If your transmitter is out of reach, but your aircraft is still armed, ready to start, and pointing at you or someone else, this is a potentially very dangerous combination and could lead to a serious incident. This is the first reason you should always turn on your throttle switch as soon as you retrieve your aircraft. The next step is to unplug the aircraft’s battery, ensuring it is turned off and safe to handle. Lastly, turn off the radio - never turn off the radio with the flight battery still plugged in. To best program your throttle hold, refer to the aircraft’s instruction manual.
Many remote control aircraft are equipped with large propellers. These propellers come in a wide range of sizes and, though they are thin, can cut through a lot when given the chance. So, if your throttle switch is not on, and you accidentally interfere with the transmission, the aircraft could lift off the ground and fly in any direction. Make no mistake, these aircraft propellers are large enough and strong enough to do serious damage like deep cuts, removal of fingers, etc.
It is advisable to set your throttle hold at -5% engine idle. This will compensate for any throttle trim that may be set and achieve an effect 0%. If the aircraft features an electronic speed control with a soft-startup and governor mode, the throttle hold can be used to start and stop the motor just like an on/off switch. Throttle curves should be the same percentage for each value from low to high throttle stick for a given flight mode. Being diligent about using your aircraft’s throttle switch will ensure you avoid a perilous situation.
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