This sticky post is here to get you started with your Ikarus Piccolo. Use it as a jumping off point.... and then introduce yourself. We are a friendly bunch!
These days, the Ikarus Piccolo is a family of helicopters starting with the Fun Piccolo and ending with the Piccolo Pro. This post will deal with the Fun Piccolo and the regular Piccolo. Both are fixed pitch electric helicopters, and differ only in the type of bearings used and the weight of some of the components like the mainshaft and tail rotor shaft. In totally stock form, they are capable of stable hovering and slow forward flight indoors or outdoors in calm or near calm conditions. With some simple modifications, they can achieve fast forward flight and fly in gentle winds of 5MPH or less.
With the standard battery pack (below) they will fly for between 4 and 5 minutes. However, to achieve that level of performance you MUST pay attention to the overall weight, since in electric helicopter flight weight is everything.
In addition to the Piccolo kit, you will need a micro receiver, two micro servos, a battery pack and charger, and either the Piccoboard or two speed controllers and a gyro. If you are just starting out, stick with the Ikarus Piccoboard for the two speed controllers and the gyro. This board also contains a mixer that varies the tail power as you vary the throttle and allows you to use any four channel basic transmitter. The Piccoboard is usually sold without the receiver. Use a good quality single conversion receiver. Do not use ultra lightweight sub-micro receivers unless you never plan on flying near other transmitters since the very smallest receivers are susceptible to adjacent channel interference.
Your servos should weigh under 7 grams each, and the receiver should weigh under 12 grams.
The Piccolo without battery should end up weighing around 160 grams. The battery will add another 80 grams, for a total "all up weight" (AUW) of about 240 grams. More than that and you will be sacrificing flight time and performance.
These days there are many battery choices. If you are just starting out, stick with a pack made from tried and true 250 mAH AAA NiCd cells. Sanyos are OK and Panasonic is better. Before you try something other than that, do some reading here on this BBS and at some of the web sites below. Not all cells are created equal and you can waste a lot of time and money if you depart from the tried and true path before you gather some experience. There are also other considerations if you use packs made from more than seven cells.
While inexpensive chargers can work just fine, please do not try to economize when selecting a charger. Your charger and your pack(s) are the heart of your electric aircraft and money spent on a good charger that charges, discharges, and gives you information about the charge delivered and the capacity removed will be money well spent the first time you try to troubleshoot a poor performance situation. Consult the inhabitants of this BBS to find out what the current favorite is.
These days there are lots of aftermarket modifications for the Piccolo. Nearly all of them will make some improvement to your Piccolo. But NONE of them are required to fly. The Piccolo will hover indoors just fine without any modifications. Unless you are particularly keen on making modifications before you learn to fly, stick to a stock machine for now. You will be much better able to judge what is necessary and that is not after you learn to fly and gain some experience.
Well, for starters... this BBS is absolutely the best place to be. We are all here to help and we are all here to answer questions.
That said, there are some web sites that provide additional Piccolo resources:
<ul type="square"> [*] www.pgoelz.com: Comprehensive resource for most things[/list]
If you have a comprehensive website with good information on the Piccolo model and would like to be listed here, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your site and decide if we will publish it here. We reserve the right not to publish certain websites.