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View Poll Results: Which Heli Next?
Blade 450x 1 7.69%
Blade 450 0 0%
Other 12 92.31%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
Thursday
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Default What's the next step?

Hey guys,


I'm new to RC helicopters. My goal in flying is to eventually fly a professional cinematography rig like someone of you are flying, I know it take years of practice and I don't expect anything short of that. I'm not interested in the 3D stuff, filming is much more attractive to me.

I have been flying my Blade 120 SR for about a month now, and I've also got quite a few hours logged on my PheonixV3 simulator. I finally feel like I'm ready to graduate to a more advanced Heli (collective pitch, bigger size, belt/shaft driven tail etc...). I understand it's going to be a whole new world compared to my 120 SR, and I will be taking the baby steps needed.

So which heli is next?

With my limited knowledge I think the next step for me is a Blade 450 or 450x. However I'm always open to any suggestions you guys have in knowing where I'm coming from and where I want to end up.

450

Cost: $300
Parts: Relatively cheap, Available almost everywhere
Older model, Older technology, Flybar

450X

Cost: $410
Parts: I imagine most should be interchangeable with 450
Brand new, Flybarless, Beast technology(whatever that means)


The major differences between the two seem to be flybar vs. flybarless and the accompanying technology plus a few other goodies.

I've been lurking enough on these forums to know that much of the aerial community prefers flybar over the flybarless, and have a limited elementary understanding as to why. My situation is a little different because I'm talking about flybar vs flybarless in a training sense.

I guess the reason I want the 450x is because in my mind it seems to be the successor to the 450. I don't want to outgrow the 450 and wish I'd bought the 450x with some more growing room for only $100 more.

Again any other suggestions besides the blade 450 line is fine.

EDIT: Those of you voting for 'other' could you please elaborate.

Thanks for the help,

Matt

Last edited by Thursday; 02-24-2012 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
s_linste
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I would recommend a 450 (perhaps a T-rex) with a Skookum SK-720. Keep the self-leveling on full time. That thing is a game changer and it will SAVE you a LOT of heartache -- particularly given how you have been enjoying the self-leveling inherent in the fixed pitch 120SR. Sure, the SK will cost almost as much as the bird, but DO IT. I was a once a week crasher when I started out and slapped the SK on there and there were no incidents for months and months...
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_linste View Post
I would recommend a 450 (perhaps a T-rex) with a Skookum SK-720. Keep the self-leveling on full time. That thing is a game changer and it will SAVE you a LOT of heartache -- particularly given how you have been enjoying the self-leveling inherent in the fixed pitch 120SR. Sure, the SK will cost almost as much as the bird, but DO IT. I was a once a week crasher when I started out and slapped the SK on there and there were no incidents for months and months...
Thanks for the reply. Why do you suggest the Trex 450 over the Blade 450?

I've never heard of Skookum I'll look into it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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Mostly because the T-Rex is a better build overall and hence is easier to repair and holds up better in crashes. I remember having gone through a few Blade 400s and then I built a T-Rex 450 Pro. Just moving the swash around manually felt like the difference between a Kia and a Mercedez.

The Skookum SK-720 is a flybarless module that also has a self-leveling feature.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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The e325 mini titan is a great 450 flyer and easy to work on. With the sk720 its fantastic and will save you with the bailout feature.

Nick
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Mini Titan E325 V1 FBL, SK720BE, T-Tube,Scorpion 2221-8, Ice Lite 50, CC 10amp BEC, MKS DS95 ,DS95i , Align 325mm Mains and Kbdd 61mm Tail Blades, . DX7 . Sport Flyer.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_linste View Post
Mostly because the T-Rex is a better build overall and hence is easier to repair and holds up better in crashes. I remember having gone through a few Blade 400s and then I built a T-Rex 450 Pro. Just moving the swash around manually felt like the difference between a Kia and a Mercedez.

The Skookum SK-720 is a flybarless module that also has a self-leveling feature.
I understand the Trex is a superior machine with better components across the board. However my LHS recommends against getting the Trex as a beginner because the superior components are not only more expensive to replace, but also because crashing aluminum sometimes gives it just a miniscule tweak that can cause the bird to never fly right. They told me the plastic on the blade 450s will be cheaper to repair and more forgiving when crashing.

I am surprised at the poll no one has voted for the blades.

What model Trex 450 would you recommend and how much do they go for, are they BNF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickyd View Post
The e325 mini titan is a great 450 flyer and easy to work on. With the sk720 its fantastic and will save you with the bailout feature.

Nick
Appreciate the input never heard of the e325 mini titan. Why do you prefer it to the Blades?

What's the bailout feature?
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Why not just get an mcpx and learn the CP basics. It's cheap, crashes well and will allow you to put a lot of stick time in. After that if you still are interested in pursuing an AP heli you'll need to build one. The biggest difference between the tiny mcpx and a 600-800 is the pucker factor and the expense of running one. Read up more and follow the folks doing this as there is a lot of information around. You then can decide based on your budget how big you can go and maybe what it is ( single rotor, multirotor, 450, 600, 700 etc ).

Lastly... buying a ARF or BNF Horizon Blade 450 is just a waste of money for your purpose. If you must get something a little larger then a mcpx, at least go with an Align 450 pro or sport kit which would teach you some building and setup techniques which you'll need running a larger AP rig.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:35 AM   #8
hellafilming
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Default If your serious

If you are serious you need to build all of your birds from the ground up. This way you know how to fix your crashes. which will happen. get a trex and stop *****footin around with plastic parst and BnF, BnF is only for park flyers that dont have cameras on them.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brad_M View Post
Why not just get an mcpx and learn the CP basics. It's cheap, crashes well and will allow you to put a lot of stick time in. After that if you still are interested in pursuing an AP heli you'll need to build one. The biggest difference between the tiny mcpx and a 600-800 is the pucker factor and the expense of running one. Read up more and follow the folks doing this as there is a lot of information around. You then can decide based on your budget how big you can go and maybe what it is ( single rotor, multirotor, 450, 600, 700 etc ).

Lastly... buying a ARF or BNF Horizon Blade 450 is just a waste of money for your purpose. If you must get something a little larger then a mcpx, at least go with an Align 450 pro or sport kit which would teach you some building and setup techniques which you'll need running a larger AP rig.
Thanks for the reply Brad, lots of great points I missed with my oversight. Building is an essential part in AP heli and I know I would enjoy piecing one together.

To be honest the Mcpx doesn't get me too excited, but I can understand your reasoning behind going in that direction. When you say the only difference between the mcpx and 700-800 is the pucker factor it makes me want to scrap the 450 learning idea and jump right into building a 700, but maybe that's a little much. Which would you recommend between the 450 pro and sport?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellafilming View Post
If you are serious you need to build all of your birds from the ground up. This way you know how to fix your crashes. which will happen. get a trex and stop *****footin around with plastic parst and BnF, BnF is only for park flyers that dont have cameras on them.
lol, appreciate the input.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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Yeah, there is definitely value in building a kit from the ground up. Funny thing that the LHS would suggest that. I found that a crashed Blade 400 never seemed right afterward. But the T-Rex450 (i used the Pro, BTW) seemed right as rain after a rebuild. On the other hand, rebuilding the the T-Rex might have taught me how to get the Blade going right. However, I never went back to the Blades (still plenty of small Blade products around the house, though).

There are few AP rigs that are flown "au naturel" i.e. without stabilization of some sort. Maybe someone with more experience can correct me on this.

Here's a bunch of stills shot with a T-Rex 450 and GoPro camera and the Skookum SK-720.

http://scottyphotography.blogspot.co...otography.html
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday View Post
I understand the Trex is a superior machine with better components across the board. However my LHS recommends against getting the Trex as a beginner because the superior components are not only more expensive to replace, but also because crashing aluminum sometimes gives it just a miniscule tweak that can cause the bird to never fly right. They told me the plastic on the blade 450s will be cheaper to repair and more forgiving when crashing.

I am surprised at the poll no one has voted for the blades.

What model Trex 450 would you recommend and how much do they go for, are they BNF?


What's the bailout feature?
The T-Rex's come as kits, but they're not that tough to get put together. I just religiously followed Finless Bob's videos (on this site) and then every other heli you ever build or repair will be an extension of what you learn during that first build. The price of a T-rex 450 kit is roughly the price of a BNF Blade 400 or 450. Then you need a Rx, Tx and batteries. I'm not a fanboy of any particulr product, but the T-Rex 450 is like the Toyota Camry of RC helis. Parts are available and lots of problems have been clearly documented on forums.

The bail-out feature is a different way of setting up the self-leveling -- basically turning it on in a panic rather than leaving it on all the time like I do. Go to the Skookum website and look at their self-leveling videos -- it will clarify what i am talking about. It basically keeps the heli from tipping over. It's a lot like flying a coaxial.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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Of course your LHS told you to go with the Blade line...Probably because they carry a shelf full of parts, and not one part for the T-Rex. I have found most HS to be this way.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_linste View Post
The T-Rex's come as kits, but they're not that tough to get put together. I just religiously followed Finless Bob's videos (on this site) and then every other heli you ever build or repair will be an extension of what you learn during that first build. The price of a T-rex 450 kit is roughly the price of a BNF Blade 400 or 450. Then you need a Rx, Tx and batteries. I'm not a fanboy of any particulr product, but the T-Rex 450 is like the Toyota Camry of RC helis. Parts are available and lots of problems have been clearly documented on forums.

The bail-out feature is a different way of setting up the self-leveling -- basically turning it on in a panic rather than leaving it on all the time like I do. Go to the Skookum website and look at their self-leveling videos -- it will clarify what i am talking about. It basically keeps the heli from tipping over. It's a lot like flying a coaxial.
I already have a spektrum DX6i. I'll need to figure out what kind of RX I need. I plan on building a server based charging case that I can grow into. Then I'll need to buy some lipos. The skookum sounds nice but it seems like a luxury, once I master the basics I might look into it more.

Is this the align 450 model you're thinking of?
http://www.amazon.com/Align-T-REX-45...EK/ref=lh_ni_t

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerialSkyCam View Post
Of course your LHS told you to go with the Blade line...Probably because they carry a shelf full of parts, and not one part for the T-Rex. I have found most HS to be this way.
I think you're right about this, though I've never inquired about T-Rex parts to know for sure.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:02 PM   #14
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For a beginner I would suggest a 450 size heli with a flybar and belt driven tail.

The flybar is the most natural way of learning to fly a heli without spending hours tinkering and adjusting gains and what not on an FBL unit.

The belt driven tail will save you $$ on hard landings wherein you land tail first - as torque tube gears strip quite easily and beginners tend to do this type of landing frequently.

Align is the best bang for your buck at least in my opinion.

Something like this:
http://www.align.com.tw/shop/product...oducts_id=2886

or the newer version:
http://www.align.com.tw/shop/product...oducts_id=4089

Either way you're gonna need support in assembling and setting up the heli. So it's a good idea to find a LHS or better yet a supportive club that can help you get your bird flying in the air.

Cheers.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heliaddx View Post
For a beginner I would suggest a 450 size heli with a flybar and belt driven tail.

The flybar is the most natural way of learning to fly a heli without spending hours tinkering and adjusting gains and what not on an FBL unit.

The belt driven tail will save you $$ on hard landings wherein you land tail first - as torque tube gears strip quite easily and beginners tend to do this type of landing frequently.

Align is the best bang for your buck at least in my opinion.

Something like this:
http://www.align.com.tw/shop/product...oducts_id=2886

or the newer version:
http://www.align.com.tw/shop/product...oducts_id=4089

Either way you're gonna need support in assembling and setting up the heli. So it's a good idea to find a LHS or better yet a supportive club that can help you get your bird flying in the air.

Cheers.
Appreciate the input!

I think I'm going to go with the torque tube though. This looks like the one for me

http://www.align.com.tw/shop/product...oducts_id=4138

My LHS has it for $500, but I think I can do better online. Which online retailers do you guys recommend? any to avoid?

EDIT: Case in point, this guy is selling them for $405 are they legitimate or knockoffs?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALIGN-T-REX-...ht_7509wt_1059
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