Q: Why do I need multiple flight modes?

A: SAFE technology is an electronic flight protection system never before available in RC aircraft. The amount of flight envelope protection can be selected using a switch on the transmitter. You can switch back and forth between the protection levels any time you're flying. For example, you might takeoff and land with SAFE in the beginner mode for the most amount of protection, but up high you can choose another mode to play and explore the thrill of flying an agile aircraft. As your skills improve, you can choose a flight mode with less protection and experience more advanced flight capability. The benefit is that if you get into trouble, just flip the switch and instantly the protection features you need are back.

Q: What is a Flight Envelope?

A: A flight envelope defines a set of limits for roll and pitch attitude. For instance, in the beginner mode, SAFE sets the limits of pitch and roll tightly so you can't put the aircraft into a potentially dangerous attitude. The other flight modes allow you to experience steeper bank, climb and dive angles. A controlled envelope is especially helpful to beginners because the gentle flying characteristics of the aircraft in that envelope give the RC pilot more time to assess the flight conditions. In addition, because the flight angle of the aircraft is what's being limited instead of your control authority, the input you give to guide the aircraft feels crisp and natural. The result is a more relaxing form of flying that helps you better focus, learn more quickly and have more fun.

Q: Does SAFE technology protect me from crashing?

A: An aircraft equipped with SAFE technology can't prevent a crash. However, with SAFE technology you're risk of getting into a flight situation where a crash could occur is greatly reduced. SAFE technology makes the aircraft easier for you to keep in control. For instance, in the beginner mode it's simply not possible to put the airplane into an extreme or inverted condition. This gives you extra time to think and prevent harm to your model. The spatial awareness your model has allows it to know its attitude in the air and can level keep itself for you while you're flying, which is a very assuring feature especially during takeoff and landing. When your anxiety of crashing is dramatically reduced, your chances of success are greater.

Q: What makes SAFE equipped aircraft actually safe?

A: Flying an aircraft with SAFE technology increases your opportunity for success. By using a combination of multi-axis sensors and software, SAFE makes the aircraft spatially aware so that it knows its attitude in the air. But SAFE technology is more than a box of complex electronics. Using this advanced form of aircraft intelligence, SAFE technology delivers a revolutionary, feature rich system that helps you relax, stay in control and experience a great flying aircraft. The way in which SAFE technology is implemented is different for every SAFE technology equipped aircraft, so please be sure to read and understand your particular instruction manual in order to take every advantage SAFE technology has to offer.

Q: Will SAFE fly the airplane for me?

A: A SAFE technology equipped aircraft is not an autopilot or self-guiding robot. SAFE technology is a tool that's been engineered to offer revolutionary flight protection that makes RC flight as trouble-free as possible. The control you have with the airplane is very positive, as is the ability of the SAFE system to stop the aircraft at its preset limits. The effect gives you more time to think and understand what the aircraft needs to stay in control. Overall, the task of keeping the aircraft in sight, within a safe flying area and landing back on the ground is all you. When used properly SAFE technology substantially improves the rate and chances a beginner will become a solo pilot because the control experienced in addition to the flight envelope protection makes flight itself easier to understand and a more relaxing skill to learn.

Q: Will flying a SAFE technology equipped aircraft help me learn to fly?

A: Every aircraft with SAFE technology features a beginner flight mode that, when used properly, offers a high level of flight protection that helps you easily stay in control. The result is the ability to fly with less fear of an accident and at a comfort level that enables you learn more quickly. With SAFE technology, RC flight is more trouble-free than ever.

Q: Is it easier to fly a SAFE aircraft?

A: Flying an aircraft equipped with SAFE technology is easier relative to flying an aircraft without SAFE technology. Every Horizon Hobby RC aircraft equipped with SAFE technology delivers a system of flight envelope protection that helps keep the aircraft in a safe attitude yet does not interfere with your freedom of control. In addition, a SAFE technology equipped aircraft has the ability to fly smoother in wind and turbulence. Its incorporated multi-axis stability system works hard at making a multitude of corrections per second for you, which is a dramatic benefit you can use to better focus on aircraft guidance. And because making flight easier means different things to different people, SAFE technology equipped aircraft feature multiple flight modes you can choose from the transmitter. Each mode offers a different amount of assistance and protection so you can naturally progress and develop skills at a pace that's right for you.

Q: How well does a SAFE aircraft fly in the wind?

A: The short answer is: very well. Part of SAFE technology is its array of electronic sensors and accelerometers. Like a smart-phone that can detect its orientation and rotate its picture to offer you the best viewing angle, the engineers of SAFE technology have designed a sophisticated aircraft system that can detect influences outside, like wind and turbulence, and input the reactive controls necessary. As a result your flight looks rock-solid even though the wind might try to toss your aircraft around. It's a benefit that can help you relax and focus just on controlling your aircraft around the flying area. It's important to check your instruction manual and always fly within the recommended weather conditions.

Q: Does a SAFE aircraft make a good first aircraft?

A: A Horizon Hobby SAFE technology equipped aircraft offers the beginner assistance never available until now. Beyond the multi-axis stabilization system that makes flight super-solid, a SAFE technology equipped aircraft has the ability to monitor its own flight attitude over 45 times a second. That powerful capability has enabled Horizon Hobby engineers, who are experts in the field, to design a flight protection system specifically for the needs of the RC hobbyist. Every SAFE technology equipped aircraft has a different number of flight modes that feature varying levels of flight envelope protection. If you're new to the hobby or perhaps it's just the first flight of the day, then the beginner flight mode is how you'll want to start your flight because it features greatly reduce the chance the aircraft will get into a potentially dangerous attitude. A good idea is to takeoff and land in the beginner mode for the most protection when the model is closest to the ground. While you've gained some altitude or feel like you have enough experience, switch out of the beginner mode and enjoy an aircraft with more agility and develop your skills. Of course the flight modes are tools and they only work if they are understood and used properly. It's important that you read and understand the instruction manual regarding the flight modes and all of the capabilities SAFE technology offers before you head to the flying field.

Q: Can SAFE be turned off?

A: Every aircraft equipped with SAFE technology features multiple flight modes you can choose from the transmitter. The modes allow you to fly with more or less flight envelope protection. The Beginner flight mode includes the greatest level of protection and is where you'll find the aircraft easiest to fly. You can choose to perform an entire flight in beginner mode, or switch into other flight modes at any time to explore higher level of control agility. The ability to switch back and forth allows you to learn at your own pace and have more confidence because an easy-to-fly aircraft is just a switch flip away. The smooth flight capability, which battles wind gusts and turbulence for you, is the only part of SAFE technology that can't be turned off. Your awareness of what each flight mode offers is an important part of your success. Please consult the manual so that you understand and fly within those specific abilities properly.

Q: Is the radio range of a SAFE aircraft different from aircraft that don't have SAFE?

A: Not at all. Even though SAFE technology has been integrated into a Spektrum™ 2.4GHz DSMX® receiver as a single unit, range and radio signal quality is by no means affected. Sophisticated SAFE technology works independently so that you get great radio performance and state-of-the-art SAFE technology flight assistance features.

Q: Will SAFE prevent me from hitting the ground with my aircraft?

A: At this point, SAFE technology can only slow your approach. As the pilot in command of a high-quality RC aircraft, collision avoidance is totally up to you. What SAFE technology delivers is a quantum leap in flight control that makes it easier for you to guide the aircraft in a responsible manner with a level of protection that drastically reduces your chances of entering a flight condition where most accidents happen. Your instruction manual is filled with expert advice you can use to help keep your aircraft intact.

Q: Will a SAFE aircraft takeoff and land for me?

A: In beginner mode, SAFE technology will offer you the greatest level of assistance so that takeoff and landing can go more smoothly. While flying an airplane for example, SAFE technology in the beginner mode is designed to keep your wings level automatically which at low altitude is an enormous benefit. It will also adjust the pitch angle as you raise or lower the throttle so that your climb is at a comfortable rate and your decent to landing isn't too fast. Good throttle management and control guidance on your part is required to assure that takeoff and landing happens on the runway. With a helicopter or multi-rotor, the only input you need to make for takeoff is throttle control to half stick. SAFE technology will hold the aircraft in a hover and keep it steady in roll and pitch. Please consult the instruction manual for full details.

Q: How will SAFE help me hand launch an aircraft?

A: Should you find it necessary to hand launch your aircraft, SAFE technology can help tremendously. With an airplane, be sure to set the flight mode to beginner and right away SAFE technology can be seen working the aileron and elevator controls of the airplane in an effort to level the wings and establish a safe climb. Even if the hand launch is less than perfect, as long as there is relative airflow (full power), SAFE technology will level the wings and establish a steady climb as quickly as possible. Hand launching a helicopter or multi-rotor is not recommended. Please consult the instruction manual for recommended hand launch technique details specific to your SAFE technology equipped aircraft.

Q: How complicated is SAFE to use?

A: All SAFE technology equipped aircraft don't involve any electronic tuning or programming. To get the most out of SAFE technology, please read and understand the instruction manual included with your SAFE technology equipped aircraft. A thorough knowledge of how SAFE technology works will not only help you feel more at ease during your first flight, you will learn how to fly more quickly and enjoy your aircraft longer.

Q: How high should I fly my SAFE equipped aircraft?

A: It has long been taught that for safety you should learn to fly with the aircraft at an altitude where you could make three mistakes and still be high enough to save the model from a crash—the old "Three Mistakes High" rule. Although great in theory, our model aircraft can appear pretty small at those distances. When an aircraft is clearly visible, it is also much easier to control. We've learned that aircraft with SAFE technology make it possible to fly lower with confidence. Its flight envelope protection is so good at preventing dangerous aircraft attitudes that you can fly at a comfortable altitude comfortably. If you ever do lose orientation, SAFE technology can level the aircraft for you. In addition, you won't have the trouble of getting bumped around in moderate winds because the multi-axis sensors and special software that make SAFE technology possible also help stabilize the aircraft for you so that all you see is rock-solid flight. An aircraft that flies more smoothly is better at helping you learn to fly more quickly. Be sure to consult your instruction manual for range recommendations and safety guidelines.

Q: Why is SAFE technology different?

A: We call it a "fearless first flight" because an aircraft equipped with SAFE technology is designed to make RC flight as trouble-free as possible. The system is lightweight with state-of-the-art sensors, accelerometers and software that no impact on overall flight time, takes no skill to enjoy yet has the potential to improve the way RC flight will be taught and enjoyed for generations. That's because SAFE technology was developed by Horizon Hobby staff who are not only experts in their field, but passionate about modeling and want everyone to succeed with RC flight. With SAFE technology, an aircraft can understand its flight attitude in the air. That spatial awareness breakthrough makes it possible to set limits on bank and pitch angles where before the only way to prevent dangerous flight attitudes was to limit your control. With SAFE technology you enjoy full control freedom up to those limits which means performance is awesome even if you're just learning the basics. When you're ready, at the flip of a switch you can change those flight envelope limits, remove them all together or go back to them any time during a flight. Overall, you get a better flying aircraft with the power to help you protect your model investment better than ever.

Q: Is SAFE the same on all aircraft?

A: Every SAFE technology equipped aircraft (fixed wing and rotor craft) have three core features that qualify them as SAFE aircraft.

  • Flight envelope protection: Keeps the aircraft in a safe attitude without interfering with your freedom of control.
  • Smoother flight capability: Multi-axis stability works hard so that you can focus better on aircraft guidance.
  • Multiple modes: Progressive features the pilot can switch on or off to make the aircraft easy-to-fly or agile as possible.

SAFE technology comes installed and ready to use. Please consult the instruction manual to understand all the features SAFE technology delivers in your specific aircraft.