Learning how to jump and land an RC car is a very rewarding feeling. If you master it, you can greatly affect your chances of winning a race. Jumping an RC car is the easy part getting it to land correctly is the hard part. In simple terms use throttle and steering control while the car is in the air. Add a little throttle to bring the nose up and dab the breaks to bring the nose down.
From my experience it is far easier to control 4 wheel drive cars over different types of jumps than 2 wheel drive rc cars. A 4 wheel drive car responds much quicker in the air to fine adjustments. Once you are airborne you don’t have much time to react and nail the landing. When your bashing rc cars landing a jump in the local park is much easier than on the race track. The more time you spend in the air the slower your lap time will be.
Types of Jumps.
Table top – these jumps have a smooth linear take off and a smooth landing. These are great when you are starting to learn control in the air. Start slow if you don’t land correctly you will most likely land on the flat top part of the jump.
Humps – these are designed to slow you down and unbalance the car. You can have a section of humps which requires a different technique to single humps. You want the car to stay flat and land flat.
Singles not that common on tracks these are like a large hump and can have a different angle of take off. You will want you car to land flat or very slightly nose first.
Doubles, Tripples & quads – Its very rewarding feeling when you land a double or tipple jump. On these types of jumps you want to land your car on the down slope of the landing ramp.
Vertical – you tend to see these jumps more in regional or national events. These are designed to slow the car down. If you continue all full speed and you will fly to the moon. Slow down too much and you won’t get up the ramp. You want your car to get slightly airborne just above the ramp and then quickly pivot and land as high up the down ramp as possible.
Step up’s & Step Down’s – you want your car to stay as flat as possible on the landings. Step up’s can have a different angle of take off some smooth, some steep so watch out. Step down’s are also sometimes referred to as a drop off. These are quite easy to master you want to land flat.
Corner Jump – these can be quite tricky they are similar to a table top jump. The main difference is the take off and landing are either a 45 degree or 90 degree angle from each other. In some instances you can jump from the edge of the take off ramp closest to the corner. However you can be penalized for cutting the track so be careful.
Techniques for jumping and landing.
You have more control over an RC car in the air than you might think. A jump can last a fraction of a second and it may seem all is lost, if your car doesn’t look stable in the air. However you are able to use the throttle, breaks and steering to maneuver the car to land the way you need.
- The breaks – when you take off from a jump your car could be in a wide range of positions. If the nose of your car is pointing up in the air you can apply the breaks and it will bring the nose down. This is especially useful for landing on a flat surfaces, jumps like humps or drop offs. Double’s and table top jumps are best approached landing on the down slope. Just like landing flat holding the break for longer will bring the nose down further. Applying the breaks more aggressively will have a greater affect on how the car reacts.
- The throttle – this has the opposite effect to the breaks. The only time you would use throttle in the air is to maintain a level on a jump like a hump, step up or to correct a car which is about to land nose first.
- The steering – not may people talk about the steering. When your car is in the air turning the wheels in one direction will result in the car tilting in the other direction. When you turn right the car will lean to the left and vice versa. This is a skill used on corner jumps. You can jump the car and turn it in the air so it lands already turned in the direction of the corner or on the down slope of a corner jump. When you take off from a jump your car can sometimes be leaning left or right. A quick turn left then right can stabilize the car for landing.
- The landing – controlling the car in the air is only half the skill. When you land your car you want to make sure you don’t land with the breaks on full or the throttle still pinned. This puts unwanted stress on your drive system and is known for breaking gears, shafts and other components. From my experience landing on the down slopes or flat surfaces is better landing nose first ever so slightly. Most common differential oil setups (775, 773 & 10,7,5) include a thicker oil in the front. If you land nose first your car can get better acceleration and stability. When you land rear first in brings the front of your car down too aggressively this can result in traction loss and an unstable car. Landing flat of humps and small jumps is OK. If you land flat off a large jump you will bottom out and send all that energy through your car. It can bounce and flip over or damage components inside.
- The take off – plan ahead the way your car is setup to land depends greatly on how you approach the jump. Hitting the breaks hard at the take off is known as scrubbing speed. This skill is hard to master, get it right and you can approach jumps much faster. It sets the car pointing nose down while in the air great position for landing on the down slope. Letting off throttle on the take off often gives your car a nice arch through the air. This is great for table tops and large jumps. Holding throttle over a jump leaves the nose pointing up great for distance but you will need to hit the breaks to bring the nose down for landing. Holding 1/4 throttle over large hump sections helps the car stay stable. Blipping the throttle over small humps and jumps is great for helping the car land flat.
There is allot of information to take in from this article. These skills become second nature with time, practice makes perfect. Set yourself up for the landing by taking the best action on the take off. Try to land the jump with the car pointing slightly nose first. You can control the car in the air with the throttle, breaks and steering. Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below.
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I’m the owner of racingrccar.com. I am currently 29 years of age, and enjoy racing remote control cars. My favorite classes are 1/8th & 1/10th off road electric. I do also like to dabble with 1/10th touring cars and 1/12th pan cars.