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Old 08-25-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
Grok
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Default The Siren Call of Nitro

Hi,

So this last weekend I was out flying with friends. Several of them have Raptor 50s which I enjoyed watching immensely. Somewhere along the line the Siren call of nitro got to me. I've been looking into it ever since. The first thing I've realized is nitro is *way* more expensive than electrics. Oh my gosh, it's a night and day difference. No more will I complain about how much I'm spending on batteries. It just doesn't compare to nitro. Still, I'm going to move forward and get a nitro.

I've done a little research. I'm considering helis primarily based on weight because my flying field is at 4200 ft and nitros don't perform nearly as well at that altitude as they do at sea level. Weight and power are the only ways for me to optimize performance. With that in mind, there are 4 helis I'm considering at the moment. A Compass Knight 50 (to complement my 600e), the not yet available Thunder Tiger X50, the Outrage Velocity 50 and the Compass 3D Plus. I'm wondering if those of you who fly the 3D Plus would share your setups and empty (no fuel) weights in this thread or point me to another thread with that information.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hi,

So this last weekend I was out flying with friends. Several of them have Raptor 50s which I enjoyed watching immensely. Somewhere along the line the Siren call of nitro got to me. I've been looking into it ever since. The first thing I've realized is nitro is *way* more expensive than electrics. Oh my gosh, it's a night and day difference. No more will I complain about how much I'm spending batteries. It just doesn't compare to nitro. Still, I'm going to move forward and get a nitro.

I've done a little research. I'm considering helis primarily based on weight because my flying field is at 4200 ft and nitros don't perform nearly as well at that altitude as they do at sea level. Weight and power are the only ways for me to optimize performance. With that in mind, there are 4 helis I'm considering at the moment. A Compass Knight 50 (to complement my 600e), the not yet available Thunder Tiger X50, the Outrage Velocity 50 and the Compass 3D Plus. I'm wondering if those of you who fly the 3D Plus would share your setups and empty (no fuel) weights in this thread or point me to another thread with that information.
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It's definitely personal choice.

Personally I had almost no fun with nitro. Constantly dealing with tuning, $33USD/Gallon for nitro, cleaning up after every trip to the field and even then the heli is always covered in oil and the oil sucks up other dirt, dealing with getting to the field and finding out you have a dead glow plug, etc etc... NO thanks. I sold my Velocity and bought a 6hv and couldn't be happier

I get to field, I plug in the battery, it flies like it did the last time. Amen!!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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I know exactly what you mean. However, what I don't really enjoy about electrics is the battery babysitting I have to do after a day at the field. Not too bad when I only fly a single heli, but if I fly 2 or more then it becomes a bit of a slog.

Just looking for a different experience.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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Compass 3D+: 3.15kg
Outrage Velocity: 3.6kg
Thunder Tiger X50: 3.1kg
Compass Knight 3D: 3.3kg
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Compass 3D+: 3.15kg
Outrage Velocity: 3.6kg
Thunder Tiger X50: 3.1kg
Compass Knight 3D: 3.3kg
Those are manufacturer's figures, right? I'd rather have actual setups and weights. For instance, the Outrage Velocity review heli in RC Heli mag was 3288 grams empty with 325 grams in servos. I can't really tell what the 3.6kg figure means without setup details.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:22 PM   #6
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I know exactly what you mean. However, what I don't really enjoy about electrics is the battery babysitting I have to do after a day at the field. Not too bad when I only fly a single heli, but if I fly 2 or more then it becomes a bit of a slog.

Just looking for a different experience.
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Very true, I guess I just prefer the work after the field rather than AT the field .
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
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Yea the manufacturers weights. I wasn't sure if they would be of much help because of that reason. Some may list with or without fuel and electronics etc.
If you were to go for a compass go for the 3D+. Wouldn't bother getting and older model like the knight 50.
Shoot JagNZ a PM, he owns both the 3D+ and the Velocity so he can give a decent comparison. Not sure about the X50 though, only been out a short time.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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Yea the manufacturers weights. I wasn't sure if they would be of much help because of that reason. Some may list with or without fuel and electronics etc.
If you were to go for a compass go for the 3D+. Wouldn't bother getting and older model like the knight 50.
Shoot JagNZ a PM, he owns both the 3D+ and the Velocity so he can give a decent comparison. Not sure about the X50 though, only been out a short time.
I actually currently own the Knight 3D (K3D), 3D+ and the Velocity 50. First off, all have their pro's and con's to be honest - like ALL helis. If you can get a good deal on a K3D - do it! It's a great heli and since it is being discontinued by Compass there are some smoking deals on them out there plus the heli will be fully parts supported for a long time.

The 3D+ is better than the K3D however. It has Carbon frames, more bling and is lighter. It has more pop (greater pitch range) and tracks even better than the K3D does, I THINK because of it's higher CofG. It also supports the new crop of longer (620mm+) blades paired with the new 50 sized engines (OS55, YS56 etc). It really is the best 50 Nitro Compass has ever made. Easy to build, maintain and own. The one issue about soft engine mounts has been fixed with new mounts and that was about the only issue people had with the heli at release time. Oh and breaking clutches. This was a function of the clutch/engine mount design and is fixed now. The clutch has been beefed up and engine mounts changed as mentioned. I personally prefer belts over TT's every time so the 3D+ gets the nod over the V50 there for me. Others prefer the TT of the V50. Horses for courses.

The Velocity. What can I say - sex on a stick. Best looking 50 out there IMHO. Flies VERY well too but ownership and maintenance are harder on this heli. It is light, super fast and has a very adjustable head. I personally think that Compass' quality is higher than Outrage but Outrage are also very proactive in responding to customer concerns with specific parts so that ticks the box for a lot of owners. I had one of the first kits ever released and had some issues with the one-way, head block, rear TT Gear and some other niggles. All were replaced promptly by Outrage/HD but it was still a hassle. I assume their newer kits address these issues?

New V50 kits have the new fuel tank with the bung outside the frames for clunk maintenance. That is a good thing because it requires the removal of 16 screws to get the tank out of the heli. With the K3D/3D+ it only requires the removal of 2. The Outrage frames are seriously weak in a crash and the radio tray design SUCKS. But, the heli has a super long boom for massive blades and the tail design is incredible (if a bit complex).

It all depends on what you want in a heli really. I don't think you can go wrong with ANY of the new crop of helis out there to be honest. Most pilots will never notice the (maybe) 2% performance difference between them. If you think you can then you are a better pilot than me. Parts prices for most helis are now in the Align ballpark so that is not really part of the equation. Buy the heli you like the look of and never look back. If you like a super reliable and well designed heli that is easy to maintain, you cannot beat a Compass IMHO.

BTW - I have good gear in all 3 helis and I'm sorry, Nitro is NOT way more expensive than electric. Do the math, you'll soon see what I mean. YES, cheap Turnigy packs have made electrics more attractive than ever but a lot cheaper than Nitro, NO way, especially once you take flight times and decreasing performance during the flight into account with electric. With electric you buy your fuel up front, with Nitro you pay as you go. Plus you aren't going to 'taco' 20-40l of Nitro if you stack your nitro heli either. Again, pros/cons of both and I OWN both, lol. Love my little Atom 500 to bits.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Personally I had almost no fun with nitro. Constantly dealing with tuning, $33USD/Gallon for nitro, cleaning up after every trip to the field and even then the heli is always covered in oil and the oil sucks up other dirt, dealing with getting to the field and finding out you have a dead glow plug, etc etc... NO thanks. I sold my Velocity and bought a 6hv and couldn't be happier

I get to field, I plug in the battery, it flies like it did the last time. Amen!!!
+1. When I went into nitro, it was cheaper to fly than electric by a large margin. Now that electric has dropped below nitro in operating cost, I have no regrets about dumping my nitro, especially with the fast-charging batteries we have these days.

I can understand nitro being attractive to people who like to constantly tinker with their helis. At this point in my life, I just want to fly and then do quick repairs when the need arises, which is why I'm also starting to dump my flybars.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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It's definitely personal choice.

Personally I had almost no fun with nitro. Constantly dealing with tuning, $33USD/Gallon for nitro, cleaning up after every trip to the field and even then the heli is always covered in oil and the oil sucks up other dirt, dealing with getting to the field and finding out you have a dead glow plug, etc etc... NO thanks. I sold my Velocity and bought a 6hv and couldn't be happier

I get to field, I plug in the battery, it flies like it did the last time. Amen!!!
Ok, let's deal with these one by one:

"$33USD/Gallon for nitro" - LOL, seriously? Well then you didn't buy at the right place and got screwed. It's like buying name brand LiPo's vs. Turnigy's.

"cleaning up after every trip to the field and even then the heli is always covered in oil" - Oil is a lubricant and is actually good for your heli in a lot of instances. Besides, cleaning your heli gives you a chance for a post flight inspection, which you should do anyway.

"dealing with getting to the field and finding out you have a dead glow plug" - now this is just funny. Do you not take ANY tools with you to the field? You should. And in my tool box are glow plugs, along with my other tools. All helis require maintenance, electric does not alleviate proper maintenance. It's not Nitros' fault you don't plan ahead.

Admittedly the 6HV is an AWESOME heli (ballistic on 12s) but your cons above don't convince me that Nitro is done just yet. I will always have a Nitro in my fleet, until the day it is simply un-affordable for me to own one. I PREFER the sound, smell and visceral appeal of Nitro myself. Electric can NEVER duplicate this.

To each their own of course.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #11
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Sorry guys if this is kinda turning into one of those nitro vs electric threads.

My math worked out like this:

On the electric side I typically get 6 batteries for a heli. On the Logo 500, that cost $400. If the batteries last 100 flights, that's 600 flights for $0.67 per flight. Admittedly, that's optimistic, but you gotta start someplace.

To get 600 flights out of nitro at 9 flights per gallon, I would need 67 gallons. I didn't look around too much, but I was finding cases (4 gallons) for between $105 to $110 per case. That works out to between $1758.75 to $1842.50 and that's $2.93 to $3.07 per flight.

Perhaps it would have been more realistic to start with 9 batteries for 600 flights or find a better deal for nitro or both, but again that is where I started.

BTW, JagNZ would you mind posting your setups and empty (no fuel) weights for your helis (Knight 50 and 3D+)?
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:19 PM   #12
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ive had my 3D+ for 6 months now and i have been loving it, i havnt flow it in a bit dew to little time to fly, so i always keep my 6HV on hand so when i do have a couple spare minutes i ca get some flight time. my 3D+ weighed 6.95 pounds with no fuel. i had a pretty light setup and it will vary for everyone depending on RX pack or electronics choice. but i will tell you that i am still in love with my 3D+, its so quick, but really stable at the same time. i would highly recommend it for a nitro.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:27 PM   #13
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Wow! That's really low Cessna. What servos are you using?
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:49 PM   #14
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my setup was align 610 cyclic servos, bls251 on tail, spartan gyro, AR7100r, 9257 throttle and a 1500mah li-po
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Grok View Post
Sorry guys if this is kinda turning into one of those nitro vs electric threads.

My math worked out like this:

On the electric side I typically get 6 batteries for a heli. On the Logo 500, that cost $400. If the batteries last 100 flights, that's 600 flights for $0.67 per flight. Admittedly, that's optimistic, but you gotta start someplace.

To get 600 flights out of nitro at 9 flights per gallon, I would need 67 gallons. I didn't look around too much, but I was finding cases (4 gallons) for between $105 to $110 per case. That works out to between $1758.75 to $1842.50 and that's $2.93 to $3.07 per flight.

Perhaps it would have been more realistic to start with 9 batteries for 600 flights or find a better deal for nitro or both, but again that is where I started.

BTW, JagNZ would you mind posting your setups and empty (no fuel) weights for your helis (Knight 50 and 3D+)?
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You CANNOT just look at the # of flights. You have to look at MINUTES of flight time per charge/tank of fuel....that is the only accurate gauge IMHO. Work out your cost/minute of flight time for a fair comparison.

I have not weighed my helis, sorry.

Setup K3D: 9351's, 9451 Throttle. Hyper 50 with GP55 Pipe. Multigov (Spek Backplate Sensor), Align 1900 LiPo, LogicTech 6100 Gyro/6100 servo, AR9000Rx. SAB Red Devil 600mm Blades, KBDD tails.

Setup 3D+: Hyper 55, GP57 Pipe, DS610's all around. Align GP780/DS650. Align Gov w/Backplate Sensor. AR9000Rx. Compass 615mm Mains, Carbon tails, LiPo.

V50: 9351's with 9451 Throttle, Hyper 50/Hatori, Align Gov, Spek sensor, Lightmax LiPo. LogicTech 6100 Gyro/6100 servo, AR9000 Radix 600's Carbon tails.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You CANNOT just look at the # of flights. You have to look at MINUTES of flight time per charge/tank of fuel....that is the only accurate gauge IMHO. Work out your cost/minute of flight time for a fair comparison.
Can't eliminate flights by simply talking minutes. I mean it is still minutes per flight or tank. I'll do some calcs anyway. With electric I get 7.5 min per flight, so that's 4500 min for 600 flights. Cost is then 8 cents per minute. Don't have a nitro so don't know how much time I'll get. I'll arbitrarily choose 7, 8, 9 and 10 minute lengths. For 600 flights, that's 4200, 4800, 5400 and 6000 minutes. Cost is then 42, 36, 33 and 30 cents per minute. I don't think anything has changed here.

Let's look at it another way. Last year I flew every day, helis and weather permitting. I had ten batteries. That's ten flights a day. There's no way I could keep up with that using a nitro. Suppose I had banner year and flew every day, all 365 days in the year. Even if I had to replace all ten batteries over the course of the year, it still would not come close to the cost of flying a nitro heli that often. This upcoming nitro purchase will more than likely be limited to weekend flying. If I fly it every weekend, and use up a gallon. That's 52 gallons per year. To make the numbers easier, suppose I manage to find someone selling nitro for $25 per gallon. That's $1300 per year. Even if I reduce the number of flights to 6 per weekend, it still costs me $900 per year to fly a nitro. Nitro *is* far far more expensive than electrics.

That being said, I just know I'm going to enjoy every minute of whatever nitro heli I end up getting.

Thanks for the specs and observations, much appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:46 AM   #17
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Can't eliminate flights by simply talking minutes. I mean it is still minutes per flight or tank. I'll do some calcs anyway. With electric I get 7.5 min per flight, so that's 4500 min for 600 flights. Cost is then 8 cents per minute. Don't have a nitro so don't know how much time I'll get. I'll arbitrarily choose 7, 8, 9 and 10 minute lengths. For 600 flights, that's 4200, 4800, 5400 and 6000 minutes. Cost is then 42, 36, 33 and 30 cents per minute. I don't think anything has changed here.

Let's look at it another way. Last year I flew every day, helis and weather permitting. I had ten batteries. That's ten flights a day. There's no way I could keep up with that using a nitro. Suppose I had banner year and flew every day, all 365 days in the year. Even if I had to replace all ten batteries over the course of the year, it still would not come close to the cost of flying a nitro heli that often. This upcoming nitro purchase will more than likely be limited to weekend flying. If I fly it every weekend, and use up a gallon. That's 52 gallons per year. To make the numbers easier, suppose I manage to find someone selling nitro for $25 per gallon. That's $1300 per year. Even if I reduce the number of flights to 6 per weekend, it still costs me $900 per year to fly a nitro. Nitro *is* far far more expensive than electrics.

That being said, I just know I'm going to enjoy every minute of whatever nitro heli I end up getting.

Thanks for the specs and observations, much appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:37 AM   #18
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BTW - I have good gear in all 3 helis and I'm sorry, Nitro is NOT way more expensive than electric. Do the math, you'll soon see what I mean. YES, cheap Turnigy packs have made electrics more attractive than ever but a lot cheaper than Nitro, NO way, especially once you take flight times and decreasing performance during the flight into account with electric. With electric you buy your fuel up front, with Nitro you pay as you go. Plus you aren't going to 'taco' 20-40l of Nitro if you stack your nitro heli either. Again, pros/cons of both and I OWN both, lol. Love my little Atom 500 to bits.

Enjoy!
I have 5 packs for my 6hv which cost me $110 x 4 (Hyperion 35c 2600's) and 6 Voltz 3300mah 35c which were $500 total for a grand total of $940 at 100 cycles each that's 500 flights. (easily achievable if you treat the packs right)

Up here fuel is $110 if you buy it by the case (for 30% Cool Power). So for the same money I would get ~34 gallons of fuel. 238 Flights give or take (That would be at best for the YS56 I had in my Velocity). So less than half the flights for the same money.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:48 AM   #19
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Gassers!! Unless you are a screaming 3D stick banging maniac on the verge of gracing the covers of the RC Magazines...You are just throwing your money away with nitros and electrics. I still have a nitro, but it hasn't seen any flight time in quite a while.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #20
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Comparing the cost of batteries for a Logo 500 versus a nitro .50 isn't fair! The 500 is a smaller heli!

Here's the 6HV comparison:

1 set batts = ~$200 = 150 flights * 6 minutes
or
$0.22 a minute

Nitro 50:

Gallon of 30% fuel = $20 = 11 flights at 8 minutes
or
$0.23 a minute

Of course, with nitro, you will need a glow plug every other case or so, so add about $0.09 per minute for glow plugs.

So it's $0.32 a minute for a 50 nitro and $0.22 a minute for electric. I would say they're both in the same ballpark.
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