Something I didn’t realise about gas-powered RC offroaders (until I got my own recently) was the amount of control one has when they are airborne. I’ve seen many examples of them in action, and I thought jumping was all about the speed and angle of entry. Not so. Here’s what I’ve worked out through trial-and error (including a broken front suspension wishbone) at the local BMX track:
- Speed of entry is critical for distance.
- Angle of the ramp is critical for height.
- Landing attitude is controlled by throttle (or lack of) and brake in the air. And possibly a tiny bit by how you leave the ramp (under power or not).
Here’s how throttle control works for me. Imagine a tabletop jump (or a long double). Assuming I have the speed to carry the truck across the top and onto the downslope, here’s what happens:
- If I back off the throttle in the air, the nose drops way down, resulting in a heavy nose landing and often a crash (rollover or cartwheel)
- If I keep the throttle pegged in the air, it flies flat or slightly nose up, resulting in a rear-wheel landing. Better, but still rough and sometimes resulting in a rebound which causes a rollover.
- If however I keep the throttle on just long enough, and back off as I clear the ‘table’, the nose drops nicely and the truck lands perfectly parallel with the downslope. Very smooth.
I seem to have got the grip of this fairly well, such that I can adjust the landing attitude for most jumps. Short triples are still a hassle because it’s hard to judge the entry speed and decide whether to clear one or two of the jumps.