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Discussion-My first heli- What should it be

Old 09-09-2008, 10:04 PM
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theecoop
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info Discussion-My first heli- What should it be

Lets see if we can get the most common question we get for beginners on what to get in this thread.

Note everyone will have their own opinon, So let make sure we explain why we suggest a certain heli to begin with and what advantages they will gain from it.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:00 PM
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HeliG
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I think that the purchase of you first heli is based on two things - stability (size) and cost. If you have the coin to drop for a larger heli, then that's the way I would go. BUT, you must remember that when you buy the heli, you are buying the starter package. YOU WILL NEED PARTS. If you have a total of $500 to spend then don't buy a heli, radio equip, batteries, and charger that costs $500. Save some of that money because you have to buy the parts for when you crash (it will happen!).

I love my T-rex 450SE V2. It is stable, flies great, and is loads of fun. But that cost me about $1200 for everything including some parts. If you want to learn on something cheaper, you can look into something like a CP Pro. They are much cheaper, and if you want, you can pick one up used that has parts included. (In fact, I've got one for sale ). The smaller helis aren't the easiest to fly but when you've learned to fly it, you can really fly helis.

I hope I've given some food for thought. If you have questions about buying something, ask here first. WattFlyer is a community that welcomes questions and tries to give the best and most honest answers possible. We can often prevent someone from making a BIG mistake BEFORE they make it!

Happy shopping and happy flying.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:09 PM
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I'm learning on a Belt CP, essentially a trex copy. Flys great, really stable and its a great deal for 199$ RTF .
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:26 AM
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i tought myself to fly on a cp pro. which was upgraded tonight with a longer tailboom, 325mm mains, and a HH gyro (g110). waiting to fly it tomorrow to see if the larger blades on the smaller airframe make a difference in the stablility of the heli. there are alot of great heli's out there that are suitable for the beginner either coaxial, fp, or collective pitch. some of which are easy to work on, others are not. some are cheap to fix (esky, walkera, e-flite, century)... the best piece of advice i can give a beginner though, is buy more batteries... the faster you get through the learning curve the faster you'll start actually enjoying this hobby.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:50 PM
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I think you need to determine if they want to 'taste' the heli experiance with something like a coax/FP, or to just 'take a bite', with a CP machine. I'm all about the 450 class 325 size. very nice compromise without costing a mint.
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:03 PM
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I'm liking this thread guys! Thanks for starting this coop. As a beginner myself (already mastered the 4ch fixed pitched bird), it gives us something to think about and consider after hearing it from the pros. Thanks guys. I hope it keeps coming.

Mike
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:29 PM
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i always recommend the trex 450sev2 or even one of the copies as long as its the full metal head and tail. it costs a bit more upfront but i've never had a crash in which more than blades, shafts, flybar and boom have broken. i've never broken a single part on the head or the tail. if it was a plastic head, i would've probably rebuilt the entire head 5 times over with the way i fly.
i also recommend them because nothing is more important to a beginner than a proper set up and stick time. the plethora of setup videos for the trex is never ending and parts can be had from almost any online shop and at your door in a couple of days and its rare that a part is out of stock at every shop.

the 450/325 heli's arent easy to fly, the 500 class and larger will be more stable but the cost per crash is higher so i feel the trex450 is a good compromise.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:01 AM
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if your aim is a CP heli -- and you don't want to spend $100 on a co-axial to learn on a little (u could learn on realflight or some other sim) -- then buy a ESKY Belt CP, $200 RTF.... its bigger than the king2 so its better in wind, plus brushless... its the same size as a trex but 1/2 the cost.....

the reality with helis, espec when you are learning, is that YOU ARE GOING TO CRASH.... not a matter of if, its a matter of when... I have the belt cp and its RTF and imho the quality for the cost is excellent. The $100-$200 you'll save on the purchase price can go towards spare parts for repairs... thats what I did... and I'm glad I did cause you'd be amazed how even a little wind gust for a newbie can cause havoc.... 3 times i've dumped it since getting it in the summer and the spare parts allowed immediate repair.... i'be got hovering down & moving it around in all directions... now i'm working on real forward flight.

for a newbie you will not know the difference between an esky and a trex imho, you're just paying for the name.... yah, the radio u will buy will be better than the stock but the stock works fine for the belt cp and learning... and like I said, you will crash... so beat the crap out the belt cp for awhile and once your skills progress to being a decent flyer then invest in a better heli if you are hooked & want a fancy one.... thats just my opinion.... cause spare parts are a necessity and CPs are much more breakable than a co-axial due to all the CP parts
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:57 PM
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Great thread.

I have the Blade CX2 and love it. I'm now looking at a Blade 400 or the Belt CP.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mysterious View Post
if your aim is a CP heli -- and you don't want to spend $100 on a co-axial to learn on a little (u could learn on realflight or some other sim) -- then buy a ESKY Belt CP, $200 RTF.... its bigger than the king2 so its better in wind, plus brushless... its the same size as a trex but 1/2 the cost.....

the reality with helis, espec when you are learning, is that YOU ARE GOING TO CRASH.... not a matter of if, its a matter of when... I have the belt cp and its RTF and imho the quality for the cost is excellent. The $100-$200 you'll save on the purchase price can go towards spare parts for repairs... thats what I did... and I'm glad I did cause you'd be amazed how even a little wind gust for a newbie can cause havoc.... 3 times i've dumped it since getting it in the summer and the spare parts allowed immediate repair.... i'be got hovering down & moving it around in all directions... now i'm working on real forward flight.

for a newbie you will not know the difference between an esky and a trex imho, you're just paying for the name.... yah, the radio u will buy will be better than the stock but the stock works fine for the belt cp and learning... and like I said, you will crash... so beat the crap out the belt cp for awhile and once your skills progress to being a decent flyer then invest in a better heli if you are hooked & want a fancy one.... thats just my opinion.... cause spare parts are a necessity and CPs are much more breakable than a co-axial due to all the CP parts
i have both a belt cp and a trex450sev2 and i didnt really learn how to fly until i got the trex. the radio programming as well as servos that center perfectly and quickly everytime, as well a proper gyro really are the best tools to learn on. not to mention the slightest knock will break something on the full plastic belt cp meanwhile the cnc parts on the trex head can take A LOT of crashes. i actually have i'd say 20-30 crashes with it and not once has the head been damaged in anyway. normally i just replace blades, flybar, and boom and i'm ready to go again.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by theecoop View Post
Lets see if we can get the most common question we get for beginners on what to get in this thread.

Note everyone will have their own opinon, So let make sure we explain why we suggest a certain heli to begin with and what advantages they will gain from it.
I recommend based on experience.

I've spent lots of money on my 4 previous helis, and did not even manage to learn simple tail-in hover. When I tried the SBB Quark, I was able to do all hovering orientations on my very first day with it.

The Quark price tag is surely high for a fixed pitch. But if you're a beginner still learning how to hover, it's the cheapest and fastest way to learn flying an rc heli.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:59 PM
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Default my beginning experience recommendations

I started with a $29 toy heli while on vacation. It was fun and intrigued me. Lasted about one crash.

I ended up trading in antique plane stuff for $60 off on a CX2. It is a bit overpriced..but well worth it and I'm really cheap. It is great for getting the hand-eye coordination and hand movements for orienting it. Mine has been flown into and rested for a while in trees.. knocked it out of the trees and kept flying it. It flies well and is durable. I think being durable is very important to keep away trauma from crashes and down time with no flying. I flew mine so much.. and all outdoors in the wind I had to replace a motor (local hobby only charges cost of parts for repairs on the CX) . Finally gave in and purchased a new body. Only thing fragile is the blades.. guess I should have purchased some 3rd party more durable. At aa $1.00 a piece.. well worth it.

Next I purchased the HoneyBee fixed pitch. They are fantastic, very durable and easy to work on with cheap replacement parts available. They don't generally "fly out of the box" They need adjusting and some CA (super glue). Once they are adjusted they fly very stable inside or on very calm days. After you get use to fixing and trimming them.. they are easy to work on and practically no parts.

I have my original one that has been totally once and slowly destroyed many time. I read up and decided I wanted to mod something to keep me busy and out of trouble.(and boy does my wife support that idea). I put a slo-max engine in and m-24 blades and the GW tail replacement mod. I also put on the Heli Direct landing gear.. boy was that junk and directions confusing.. but after using some crazy glue and putting on original battery holder from HB, works fine and looks great. It now flies in a lot more windy conditions and flies much better.

I had some tail boom brakes on 3 different Honey Bees. I now believe this is because if you have to bring the heli down quickly (like when a huge gust of wind hits iit) the tail boom tends to hit and sometime it cracks and sometimes messes other things up as it does cartwheels. I have found all of my honeybees fly better since I took off the ping pong balls. I had them on 7 helis .. down to 2 and they are getting cut off.

I think the Honeybee progression works great and what a bargain. The fixed pitch was $75 for RTF with radio. Then the next up is the HB CP@ which was about $100 and more like a real heli control. Then I got a HB Belt CP with brushless motor and radio ... seems to fly good, hope it will again when I get done rebuilding it from crash.. once again the boom hit due to the training gear.. I think it is going once I get it working again.

the CP2 is a bit squirely.

I did buy a used T-rex 450 with JR radio. Finding it has some flaws and while hovering it hit the dirt.. just went biserk. I am learning a lot about rebuilding it.. have the tail boom replaced and the main shaft.. pretty easy. Found one of the servos went south and probably caused the crash.. Have to learn how to program the radio.. there are some great how to videos on liine.. One worked me thru rebuilding the servo and one is on setting up the tail and gyro.

Geoffro
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffmgold@hotmail.com View Post
I did buy a used T-rex 450,... there are some great how to videos on liine.. One worked me thru rebuilding the servo and one is on setting up the tail and gyro.

Geoffro
Hi, I just bought the T-rex 450SE V2 could you tell me were the links are to those video's. I think I might be needing them. I am new to this although I do have a Ikerus Picollo(FP), hummingbird V4(FP). I have not crashed ether yet but I am having trouble getting them to trim out. The bug has bitten me bad. But I have always loved Heli's all my life I was an Army Crew chief on the UH-1H. the reason I am going to the 450 is because of the problems with getting the other one's to set up correctly, they seem to change daily



FP=Fixed Pitch
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:53 AM
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Default Bob White Vids

Here is the video link:
http://www.helitown.com/VedeoInstruc...yBobWhite.html

As far as set up goes: the t-rex is has many more set up steps than a fixed pitch. Once you realize what is going on with a FP (or at least my Honeybees) it is really easy and you only need to set up after a crash that messes something up. Even after many of my crashes I usually am able to straighten out the blades and keep going. There are parts I had to glue on the frame with one drop of crazy glue. The link like ends sometimes pop to the back and you just snap them back. They are very easy to mod and fix.

I am fairly mechanically declined. I can fix things once I understand them. Not too quick on mechanical understanding. Good thing is once you get it all of them are not too bad.

Bob White's videos are great. I had a bad servo and crashed my t-rex. Was going to pay the local shop to fix it.. would have been more than $100. The tail was all bent and other things broken. I luckily found the bad servo.. was un-rebuildable (I watched the video on how to rebuild). the local shop could't get the servo working so sent it for warranty replacement. Have the rest of the heli ready to go except for getting the servo set and rechecking the HH gyro. THe gyro was never set up, as I found out from Bob's video.

good luch.. don't give up on the fixed pitch.. they are a great way to learn and lots less expensive to un-crash

Geoffro
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:31 PM
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Thanks for the advice, Great website. I guess my problem with the FP heli's is that I bought the Ikerus kit from lhs who nows nothing about helicopters except how to sell them and a crashed Hummingbird on E-Bay. I have read many web sites on the Ikerus but it just does not want to hover. I am suspecting the swash from what I read on setting up the T-rex. I understand the fp are simpler that is why I wanted to learn on them. It's just very difficult to find sites that are clear on how to set them up. they all seem to miss something or other. The Hummingbird I was going to fix and give to my nephew who is constantly asking me to fly my piccolo. I bought new landing gear and a tail boom and tail rotor motor for it but again I can't seem to be ably to trim it out. I think my biggest problem is not coming to one of these sites first. Thanks again.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:19 PM
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Default Blade cx2

My best suggestion for a first time pilot is to buy the Blade cx2 it cost about $189.99 at a hobby shop but you could get one on ebay for $60.00 Bucks or cheaper. It payed off now im fling a T-Rex 700 Nitro i love.

Happy helicopter Flying to yoy all.

James,
Pro helicopter pilot.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:38 PM
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I had a bub here (Liquidity) sent my RC youth group a Sky-Fly coaxial and They (and I) love it, It's flys better than the CX for beginners and has Blade grips so it's take blade strikes an Boo-Boo's that would send a CX to the work-shop quick! this thing survived a Mid-Air with a plane and flew the next day with a 5 Min, glue job and the same blades! bub, steve
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:14 AM
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ive got my indoor heli lightly modded mcx and ive got my really modded cx-2 im now about to buy the blade 400 for my scale cobra body ive all set up
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:38 AM
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My vote has to be for the Trex 450SE. As others here have said this heli with the blinged head and tail is tuff. I have only crashed mine a couple of times but all that needed to be replaced was the norm, blades, main shaft and tail boom. I learned to fly on the sim last winter and started with the Trex this summer. I love planes but Heli's........ooooooooooh yea baby there is something special about helis!!

CTD
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:15 PM
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Just some thoughts from a newbie...

I'm now leaning towards the more expensive models because...

I'm currently going thru the headaches of going from the coaxial to the FP to CP helis...love the low price on the FP Honey Bee but its so fragile, lots of down time just learning to hover and sure my trimmings on it are far from correct, but I look at it and ouch something gives....

So I'm currently looking at the more expensive Quark, appears alot less fragile, yep an investment but gads at least a better chance for success here...likely loads more airtime instead of fixes...

But yes I have the heli fever, a Honey Bee King 2 still boxed as well as Eflites newer CP Pro 2...so I'm in for it now...

Innovator just might be the upcoming newer helis, latest tech, but cost over $650, pricy..

BEST ..<>..
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
I think you need to determine if they want to 'taste' the heli experiance with something like a coax/FP, or to just 'take a bite', with a CP machine. I'm all about the 450 class 325 size. very nice compromise without costing a mint.
I've thought a lot about this question since I orignially posted, and I'd like to expand:

The best postulate; "Buy the biggest and best you can afford"
-Biggest, because they are more stable, easier to see, and easier to work on.
-Best, because learning RC helicopters (maintenance and flying) can be very frustrating and poor equipment really multiplies that.
-Afford, This is start up as well as maintenance cost. You have to plan.

okay, so that's nice, but what would I recommend? I'll break it into four levels:

1 - you can afford to go big:
  • 700mm-800mm main blade size machine (Joker II, IonX, etc)
  • 12Ch radio (you don't need the channels, but the features are worth the long term investment)
  • 3-4 sets of batteries - LiPo or A123 plus the ability to charge them at 1C
  • a good sim - Phoenix, RF, etc.
This gives you a FANTASTIC setup to learn on - provided you can afford it in the first place, and you can afford the crashes

2 - go big, but 'affordable':

  • 550mm-600mm main blades ("30-50" size) - Logo 600, Mini Joker, E-Raptor, Trex600E, etc, etc...
  • 9+ch radio - X9303, Futaba 10C, etc - it's WORTH it!!!
  • 2-3 sets of batteries AND the ability to charge them
  • a good sim - Phoenix, RF, etc.
This gives you a GREAT setup to learn on, and IMHO the most bang for the buck. These are very common machines so it's easy to get help. They're small enough to transport easily and there's huge competition so the prices are good. LiPo are just now starting coming down in price and new technology to make this worth going over nitro (assuming we're in an E forum, let's not debate pros/cons for electric/nitro)

3 - Basic, but still pretty good
  • 325mm - 450mm main blade (the huge 450 class and upcoming 500s) - Trex450, Beam, Blade, minititan, Axe400, Furion, etc
  • 7-9ch radio
  • 3-6 sets of batteries AND the ability to charge
  • a good sim - Phoenix, RF, etc.
Great little helis, still can be made pretty stable, but the initial outlay and and maintenance costs can be a lot cheaper. Really the 500 class bridges right into the 600 class for costs, so it may be more fair to put them up a level.

4 - As cheap as I would recommend
  • 325mm clone
  • 6ch-7ch radio
  • 2-3 sets of batteries AND the ability to charge
  • ANY sim, even free
Basicly go cheap on #4.

I think CoAx and FP can be fun, and if you want to mess with them before comitment, great. But if you want to jump in to heli's, than I think the money is better spent FIRST on a good training set up, then on a FP or CoAx.

And truisms that can not be repeated enough:
  1. Invest in a good radio, it will last far longer than a model
  2. Invest in a good charger that's more capable than you think you need
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:14 AM
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EXCELLENT ...

Very good advice, have to agree on the larger models for better handling etc, the smaller ones are attractive for repairs...I may post on my experience with these, far from an authority, but other newcomers may make the better decision on how to start, yep bigger is the winner, no question...<>..

I'm cheapo on the simulator tho at least use one, the FMS, 3 heli's on this one and really has helped, infact I need loads more simulation practice, definitely....

I perhaps incorrectly thought the FP was the way to start after the coaxial, now I'm not so sure, broke open the box on the Honey Bee King 2 and to my amazement was able to bunnie hop it inside the double garage, nothing broken, have these trainer pods on it, strongly suggest to use these, even my friend complete newbie other than a coaxial, also able to make some short hops, not as easy to fly but the King 2 is going to be fun, Hover, we're certainly along way from that, small steps at a time...so much to learn...<>..

Note on take off things go to the left, read posts where this is likely normal, anyway I counter stick for a brief time till making a minimal height, seems to work, if I corrected for the take off, sure it wouldn't be flying right after lift off, so some correction stick is in order...now I'm a newbie take this as a grain of salt....

BEST Tnx for great info...<>..

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:38 PM
  #23  
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Pains of going from coaxial to FP or CP, better performance ahead worth the attempts

Honey Bee King is abit advanced at least for this newbie, will be back at it on a later date, needs a main rotor blade, hi hi....

Were off and flying now for the very first time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did just receive the Hirobo SRB Quark, this is an overpriced FP heli that gets loads of praise, can see a lengthy thread on rcgroups...anyway only minutes so far with busy sked today and only flown the Quark for few minutes still needs slight tuning but out of the box made a near 30 second hover to my amazement in extremely tight under 5 foot indoor area, note even this stable guy takes some stick to fly, not near a coaxial, but certainly alot more fun to fly...Quark is off the charts, if you can afford it, get this puppie, you won't regret it, I've had zero hovering with the Honey Bee MK 3 and too strong King 2 for the starter pilot, save it for later.....so found the little guy that can do it for you, will need some simulator, infact lots of simulation before making any progress, it takes time, patience..I'm finally having fun....

Honey Bee Mk3, good ship not out of the box performance, limited success todate
Honey Bee King 2, for future, way above my level at this time
Eflite Pro 2, keeping it on the shelf for now
Innovator, waiting for later shipment, looks promising indeed
Hirobo SRB Quark, this one will do it for you, my busy sked yet to even trim it out, this one flys provided you at least have some succes on simulation even the Free FMS Fight Simulator, its a treat, Loving This One, Happy Days..<>..

BEST..<>..

Pssst hints for succes, get the QUARK !!!, do the simulation even the free FMS
Takes minor inputs to keep things steady, don't overcontrol, micro touches on the controls its solid as a rock with the right stick...

The Blades on this Quark look like really thin foam, will break easily, but did nip the edge of the wall area but motor off and no damage...my tail blade was broken upon reciept, but they give you 4 extra spares, might want to order more tho, hi hi...
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:51 PM
  #24  
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My advice as a newbie female heli pilot is as follows.

Get a decent simulator first...very important. Then buy a 600 size heli, far more stable than the tiny 450 size stuff.

Kirsty xx
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:15 AM
  #25  
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Certainly have to agree with all that, decent size improves things tremendously...unfortunately most including myself are drawn into these indoor mini flyers, so issue if we follow that dubious path is whats out there that works, my Honey Bee Mk 3 has yet to hover for me, the Quark hovered immediately now only third trial and hovering well over a minute of stability..its that good..

Simulation is really a must for any chance of heli success, more decent simulator the better, but at least download the FMS, amazingly responded very close to the Quark, I wouldn't have a chance of flying without it...<>..takes loads of simulation, practice, practice, practice...BEST ..<>..
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