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View Full Version : Beam E4 or Trex 450 Pro


aksy2002
06-07-2009, 07:51 AM
Having been thinking of getting a 450 class. I can't do 3D yet but can do sport flying.

I want a heli that I can move on to 3D in the near future so have narrowed down to 2 helis in mind one is the Beam E4 and the other is the Trex 450 Pro. Any views and suggestions?

BennyTRD
06-07-2009, 11:02 AM
The Beam will cost you more in the end getting it setup where as the 450 Pro is a complete kit. Either Heli will do good for you. But I really like the overall design of the Beam over the Pro. The Pro has some nice features as well, but for a 450 I think the Furion or Beam is the Heli to get.

The 450 will be easier to get parts for as well. I still have to order all of my parts online as there is no local support as of yet.

aksy2002
06-07-2009, 10:36 PM
The Beam will cost you more in the end getting it setup where as the 450 Pro is a complete kit. Either Heli will do good for you. But I really like the overall design of the Beam over the Pro. The Pro has some nice features as well, but for a 450 I think the Furion or Beam is the Heli to get.

The 450 will be easier to get parts for as well. I still have to order all of my parts online as there is no local support as of yet.


Thanks for the reply.:thumbup:

In terms of stability in flight, can I say that Beam E4 would be better?

BennyTRD
06-07-2009, 10:47 PM
Thanks for the reply.:thumbup:

In terms of stability in flight, can I say that Beam E4 would be better?

Hard to say really. I have not flown a 450 Pro yet. Those I know who have say that they are really stable with the new wider head block. But I find the Beam very stable as is.

I have installed the V3 head block on my 450 V2 but have not flown it yet after the upgrade. It should fly a little more stable due to having a 10mm wider rotor disc.

BenHeli
06-08-2009, 01:49 PM
Flight time:

Pro w/stock motor - 4 mins doing 3D
Beam w/Align 430xl motor - 5 mins during 3D
Beam w/Scorpion 6 motor - 4 mins doing 3D
Beam w/Neu Motor 1107H - 4 mins doing 3D

For sport flying, add may be another minute or two, depending on the motor and battery

Stability:

Pro w/stock motor - very stable swinging 325mm blades.
Beam w/Scorpion 8 or New Motor - very stable swinging 325mm blades.
Beam w/ Align 430xl Idle1 flat 100% curve - not as stable or quick.

Out of the box, the Pro is a great heli, even if the servos are a bit suspect. I'd to switch over to the Hitec 65MGs when one of the stock servo failed 15 seconds into the maiden flight. The LHS gave me a new one and I've been flying the Align 410M servos in the Beam w/New Motor the last 20 flights without problem.

As for the Beam, to get it to perform similar to the out-of-the-box Pro, you would need speed control (such as the Castle 35 or 45 ESC) and Scorpion 8 motor.

Pro - $500.

Beam $250 plus $90 for ESC, $55 for motor, $107 for 3 65MG servos for the cyclic; $56 for the Futaba 9257 tail servo; $130 for the Align GP 750 gyro or $195 for the combo (750 plus DS520 servo). Add more money for better gyro and tail servo such as the Spartan or Jr 3500G.

Beam w/Aling esc and 430Xl motor and one 2200mAh battery for $450 plus servo & gyro.

Parts:

Pro - readily available.
Beam - readily available, except for the one-way sleeve which is out-of-stock until late June and if you are just learning you don't want to have the heli down while waiting for parts.

Ease of Repair:

I found the Pro much easier to repair. I crashed both the Pro and Beam within 30 minutes of each other a few days ago so I'm speaking from experience. Also, I found that removing the grip bearings and thrust bearings on the Beam to be a pain in the @$$.

Replacement Parts Cost:

Same or similar for both.

I'd recommend the Pro over the Beam.

aksy2002
06-09-2009, 01:36 AM
Flight time:

Pro w/stock motor - 4 mins doing 3D
Beam w/Align 430xl motor - 5 mins during 3D
Beam w/Scorpion 6 motor - 4 mins doing 3D
Beam w/Neu Motor 1107H - 4 mins doing 3D

For sport flying, add may be another minute or two, depending on the motor and battery

Stability:

Pro w/stock motor - very stable swinging 325mm blades.
Beam w/Scorpion 8 or New Motor - very stable swinging 325mm blades.
Beam w/ Align 430xl Idle1 flat 100% curve - not as stable or quick.

Out of the box, the Pro is a great heli, even if the servos are a bit suspect. I'd to switch over to the Hitec 65MGs when one of the stock servo failed 15 seconds into the maiden flight. The LHS gave me a new one and I've been flying the Align 410M servos in the Beam w/New Motor the last 20 flights without problem.

As for the Beam, to get it to perform similar to the out-of-the-box Pro, you would need speed control (such as the Castle 35 or 45 ESC) and Scorpion 8 motor.

Pro - $500.

Beam $250 plus $90 for ESC, $55 for motor, $107 for 3 65MG servos for the cyclic; $56 for the Futaba 9257 tail servo; $130 for the Align GP 750 gyro or $195 for the combo (750 plus DS520 servo). Add more money for better gyro and tail servo such as the Spartan or Jr 3500G.

Beam w/Aling esc and 430Xl motor and one 2200mAh battery for $450 plus servo & gyro.

Parts:

Pro - readily available.
Beam - readily available, except for the one-way sleeve which is out-of-stock until late June and if you are just learning you don't want to have the heli down while waiting for parts.

Ease of Repair:

I found the Pro much easier to repair. I crashed both the Pro and Beam within 30 minutes of each other a few days ago so I'm speaking from experience. Also, I found that removing the grip bearings and thrust bearings on the Beam to be a pain in the @$$.

Replacement Parts Cost:

Same or similar for both.

I'd recommend the Pro over the Beam.



What a fantastic Review! Thanks.

:clappp

oteskate
06-09-2009, 12:39 PM
Great review Ben!

Well, I can't fully say which is definitively better due to the fact that I haven't flown the new Align with the updates, but being that I have had a few of the Align 450's SE's (which I started on), since flying the Beam, I have been completely satisfied with everything it has to offer and have not personally gone back to my Align 450s since.

It may cost a bit more in the beginning, as we've established... but what I love about the Beam is that it is one solid flying machine in every way. There are no upgrades to have to think about and the design is, IMO, much better than the Align. It is very easy to work on and the frame design and size is a bit "roomier" I feel, so it definitely helps with placement of RX and wires. I like that all parts are serviceable... the swashplate is easily disassembled and all parts are available seprately, so you don't have to spend $$ on an entire new swashplate and also maintenance is much better for that reason as well. I must say, one thing that many have made comments on is the durability of the machine in crashes, especially the canopy. I'll admit... I have dumped it pretty hard a few times and I have yet to replace my canopy. It is so durable and really protects the core of the machine. The Align canopies crack and break off, which I never liked. I also like the aggressive stance and look of the machine, too.

In the air, I feel that both machines will be good choices, but the Beam is more agile, I feel. It is a quick flying machine that seems to track well and slices through the air very smoothly. You can dial the Beam to be VERY quick and agile or you can tame it down to be very docile. That's what makes this machine a great choice for new pilots that are wanting to grow over time or for advanced pilots that really push the envelope.

Parts are going to be easier to find for the Align machines, for sure. Many people are not taking the opportunity to jump on the Beam bandwagon as of yet because I feel that most people at the clubs have Align products and for the parts accessibility, Align is the winner there. Advantage Hobby generally has all parts in stock and shipping is pretty quick.

All-in-all, I think that both machines will give you great performance, but I just prefer the Beam over the Align for design, ease of build and maintenance, overall flight performance and quality of the product in general. It is a very quality machine. :) Best of luck in deciding which one to get and keep us all updated on how things go!

mongenix
06-09-2009, 02:18 PM
I agree with oteskate.
A friend and I both have Beams and love them!
After reading this thread, I went to several sites and looked up parts prices. Prices are about the same for many components. However, if I understand the tail of the Align, it will cost quite a bit more to fix a hard tail strike than it will to fix the Beam. I have replaced 6 tail booms and tail pullys (shafts).
My abilities are limited and I push the envelope which results in too many blade strikes and other more serious crashes.
So far I have had countless blade strikes, tail strikes and hard landings. I have had one full power inverted pile-driver from 30+ feet (stupid pitch curve setup error on my part), and two (in one day) just plain fly the d&*m thing into the ground crashes. I have not replaced the canopy, electronics or servos but many main shafts, feathering shafts, tail booms, tail rotor shafts...etc. The last crash sheared off the bolt holding the head block and, because I did not hit throttle kill fast enough, the main shaft spun in the head block which ruined it.
Because I crash so much, I can attest to the durability of this bird. I would not have believed how tough the Beam is had I not experienced it first hand.
I could go on and on but you get the point.
Does anyone have crash experience with the Align 450 Pro?

BenHeli
06-09-2009, 03:22 PM
Does anyone have crash experience with the Align 450 Pro?


Me. Three crashes in one day. The results are: one stripped 65MG, one broken tt, three bent tail booms, three main shafts, three feathering shafts, main and tail blades, one skid and the canopy is still good for flying. :thumbup: The jesus bolt snapped in half and stuck in the main shaft. After punching it out and removed the head, I'd to use a portable dremmel to smooth out the shaft before I can remove swash plate and the washout base.

BTW, the anti-taco device (ATD) from K2heli rocks. I broke one of the taps that the bottom of the canopy goes into and the ATD saved me from eating taco! :YeaBaby:

aksy2002
06-09-2009, 10:38 PM
You can dial the Beam to be VERY quick and agile or you can tame it down to be very docile. That's what makes this machine a great choice for new pilots that are wanting to grow over time or for advanced pilots that really push the envelope.



Hi Oteskate,

Nice review..Thanks

When you say that it can be tamed down to be doctile, does it mean that for normal sport flying for instance, I can base it on a throttle curve of 75% flat and pitch curve of -4,4,11. Then I add some expo let's say around 30% (to be fine tuned) on the cyclics. Will that tame it down enough?

Reason I ask is because I have a Gaui 200 now and I have learnt to do forward fig 8s in both directions. I am moving on to backward flights now with the simulator first. The Gaui moves too fast to learn backward flights easily so I am thought of a 450. If I get the Beam and tame it down by the method that I mentioned above, will I be able to practice my backward flights without as much difficulty as I would experience with my Gaui 200?

oteskate
06-10-2009, 10:48 AM
Hey Aksy2002,

Yeah.. to tame it down, just like any heli, you can minimize the AIL and ELE pitch in the swash mix. Maybe only have 5 or 6-degrees instead of 8 or 9, like many 3D guys have. Running a smaller pinion will give you a lower headspeed so it won't be so quick and "aggressive" in flight. Add expo so that it "slows" everything down for ya. I flew one guy's Trex that was VERY docile and he had like 60% expo. That's alot, but the machine was very calm and yet he could do very smooth maneuvers and his flights were very impressive! Adding weights to the flybar will also help calm things down for ya on the cyclic response.

As you know, these 450's are definitely "squirrely" machines sometimes and just due to their size/weight, can be all over the place sometimes, but if you make some of the above changes, you can help increase their stability and make 'em easier to handle.

Glad to hear that you've got your fig.8's down and are moving on to backward flight. I'm sure you'll pick it up in no time. Let us know how you're progressing. :)

BenHeli
06-10-2009, 10:52 AM
Backward inverted or backward upright? You don't need to tame the heli down. Just do it slow at first and once comfortable, doing a bit faster and increase the speed as you go.

I found backward circuit much easier to do when the heli is flying with medium to fast speed (flying the Beam and Pro) and slow to medium speed in larger helis. Taming it down MAY cause problem as you may need the proper pitch and head speed to get out of bad situations.

oteskate
06-10-2009, 02:16 PM
I agree with Benheli in that "calming" a heli down may cause issues in the event of a bad situation. However, you just don't want the thing so twitchy that you can't even breathe on the sticks without the thing going everywhere.... that's the "calmness" I was referring to in my previous reply.

When attempting flying maneuvers, momentum is a key component to creating a smooth, controlled motion, so speed will help in many maneuvers, but you just don't want to overcontrol the heli, which is why on my Beam, I prefer a bit more expo than most, because I don't want that twitchiness that a low expo gives me. I like to have to actually move my sticks a bit to get a reaction... not just touch them.

BenHeli
06-10-2009, 02:36 PM
Me too on the expo and the Beam. Ail & Elev 20% and rudder is at 30% using the 770D and 3500G, especially with the neu motor. BTW, I'm working on stretching the Beam to run 350mm blades. I think at 350mm it would even be better!

aksy2002
06-10-2009, 09:12 PM
Backward inverted or backward upright?

Backwards upright. Tried it on the sim first and I crashed almost immediately.
It's really tough.

It took me almost 6 weeks (practice schedule: everyday 40 minutes on sim and 20 battery packs per week) to be able to do upright fig 8s in both direction. Of course I can't do it at the same altitude and with symmetry at all times but my goal whenever i practice is to come close to that. I will need to practice on the field a lot to achieve that.

I am transiting on to backwards upright and wow, I can't even move a feet on the simulator without the heli moving all over the place and then crashing. Harder than I thought, can't get the orientation in my head yet. Well, practice practice and practice again on the simulator.

jdesa3
06-11-2009, 03:06 AM
yes anyway back to the question. if you have flown both the BEAM and the TREX, you will only fly the BEAM. this machine is the ultimate 450 heli.

akshaw
06-12-2009, 02:37 AM
I talked with a sponsored pilot at our local flying field about the trex pro and he said what he likes about it is that it has a locked in feel to it, like the other trex models. I was going to let him try my BEAM, but I had already run out of packs, he had forgot to bring his pro, and his packs had the opposite side velcro on them. I did however let him try my Ricco. He said "it has potential". My opinion about the BEAM is that it has one of the best designed rotor heads out there which is one of the reasons it flys so smoothly. Even he was amazed at how slop free and tight it was, and his friend, who also has a trex, mentioned that he had replaced the stock trex swash plate with a BEAM swash and it had made an improvement.

akshaw
06-12-2009, 04:09 AM
Backwards upright. Tried it on the sim first and I crashed almost immediately.
It's really tough.

It took me almost 6 weeks (practice schedule: everyday 40 minutes on sim and 20 battery packs per week) to be able to do upright fig 8s in both direction. Of course I can't do it at the same altitude and with symmetry at all times but my goal whenever i practice is to come close to that. I will need to practice on the field a lot to achieve that.

I am transiting on to backwards upright and wow, I can't even move a feet on the simulator without the heli moving all over the place and then crashing. Harder than I thought, can't get the orientation in my head yet. Well, practice practice and practice again on the simulator.

It's starting to come natural to me though I have to admit my last crash was loosing orientation going upright backwards, but that was likely because I was flying in a boxed in area and I panicked. Something that has helped me to improve is practicing on the sim in a given orientation using only collective and cyclic (no rudder).