RC Tricopters are one of the most amazing innovations in the world of RC Multi-Copters. Traditionally, there has been the RC helicopter that has been the only rotor-based RC model available in stores. Then came the whole world of RC Quadcopters and since then, the number of rotors has only been working its way up the number-scale. In almost all cases, the number of rotors on these RC models has been even, mainly because of the need to provide a counter-balance force for the work each rotor does.
Effectively, every rotor produces a certain force and for that force to drive your RC copter in a controlled way, you need an equal and opposite force to maintain balance. Without the tail-rotor, a helicopter will simply keep rotating about its vertical axis - solely running on the main rotor. Similarly, RC Quadcopters need those opposing pairs of rotors providing that balancing force. However, the entire concept of rotor-based technology is touching a new level with the introduction of a new range of RC Tricopters.
So how do RC Tricopters stay stable?
The RC Tricopter version of rotor-based aircraft was originally designed by many hobby enthusiasts in their own garages. Whether it was the product of a necessity-based project or an attempt to do something different, the world of rotor-based RC models completely changed the way we look at the science behind these RC models. Even today, most of the models you will see out there are based on things that people have developed in their own homes or garages.
Now, the concept on which these RC Tricopters are based is still the same of providing opposing forces, but there is a slight difference in the way these models work. The three rotors include a vector rotor that is, in a way, the tail-rotor for the RC Tricopter. The way it works is that there is a small rotational mechanism on the rotor-arm that is connected to the rotor. When required, this rotational mechanism can be used to slightly turn the tail rotor to one side or another.
The tail-rotor arm is also a bit longer than the other two rotors - all of which is a bid to counter the kind of force that the front two rotors generate. This, along with gyroscopes, is the main mechanism that allows these RC Tricopters to fly in straight lines, or give you exceptional control over them.
Building your own RC Tricopters
Right now, if you were to go out there and try to buy RC Tricopters, you would likely find yourself staring at the blank face of the store-owner. Very few stores carry these RC Tricopters while a few might not even know what they are. You might have to end up building something on your own and if you are accustomed to putting RC models together, you will find that these RC Tricopters run along the same lines.
The first thing to start with is the frame for the RC Tricopter body. You can buy these frames out at hobby stores while some hobbyists have been known to build their own frames using wood or metal. You can buy the main body frame as well as the arms in some form of hobby-grade metal or just use balsa wood to make the kind of shape you want.
What you need to keep in mind is the physics of the entire process and with your body in the middle, RC Tricopter arms need to extend out in such a way that two go out towards the front and one goes to the back such that the tips of each arm combine to form an equilateral triangle. The drive-system, which controls the increase or decrease of thrust, goes into the main body of the RC Tricopter while a 1000Kv motor should do the trick when it comes to producing enough power to turn your propellers. When it comes to propellers, you need to spend your money on trying to get the lightest propellers with the lowest pitch - these produce the most thrust, efficiently.
There are three Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC), one connected to each motor and each provides the right information, thrust and speed control for the propellers. Finally, you need about four gyroscopes to make sure that your model knows how to stay stable in flight. Three of these gyroscopes are involved in keeping the motors running in the right way while the fourth one is involved in working on the yaw motor.
This, along with the battery is all you need to make RC Tricopters in your own home. Finding detailed plans about these models is easy, online or through hobby stores, and you should also be able to find other interested hobbyists who are willing to help you out in your quest to build RC Tricopters.
Finding help in this department should be easy and with a little time on your hands, a bit of research and some money to buy the right materials, you can easily create your own RC Tricopters.