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Old 06-22-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
BadVad
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Default Which "first heli" for my neighbor?

My neighbor was outside last night while I was flying a couple packs through my mcpX. He came over and said that he always wanted to get into the hobby but never seen any helis in person except the airhogs at Walmart. I told him I would help him pick one out this Saturday at our LHS. IMO, It needs to be a 4 channel coax that crashes very lightly. lol So which one is a good "first heli"? Try to keep choices in the 4 Channel category that he can fly outside.

I entered the hobby last July in this order. Blade SR, 120sr, Phoenix Sim, 450 3D, mcpX. I had no mentors, never heard of Helifreak, and after realizing that the SR was not a good "first" I learned orientations on the 120 then got the phoenix sim. 450 was a Christmas gift and this mcpX that I finally got this week is probably my new favorite bird. Wish I would've got one a lot sooner. Never messed with any coax's. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Honestly I think its better to start out with a sim and a cp helicopter....

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Old 06-23-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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My very first RC aircraft was an mCPX. That was about a year ago. Yes it was a big challenge, and learning was slow. However a year later, I'm very comfortable with it, and my blade 450.

I did end up fabricating a bit of training gear for it which I used for about a week or so which allowed me to learn to hover. That was the only time I few over concrete, to allow the TG to slide a bit.

It depends on the personality. I did crash a lot but I knew this would be the case. I only flew over grass which minimized my damage and costs.

You mention you want to fly outside, and in my experience, none of the flybarred fixed pitch helis really did all that well outside.
Maybe an mSRX would do better outside than its flybarred counterpart, in which case I think that would be the best 'first' heli.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Honestly I think its better to start out with a sim and a cp helicopter....

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While I would tend to agree...this doesn't always work for everyone. The learning curve is still quite high, so it really depends on the person.

A DX6i is a must, please don't let him get a cheap remote from a RTF package! I also wouldn't get a co-axial because in my opinion they just promote bad habits and in the long run hurt progression in the hobby. Those things are impossible to get into trouble with and fly themselves.

The two real options I would consider are the mSRx and mCPx. Both are beginner suitable with a DX6i and rates turned down significantly. This is where you should explain the pros and cons of both. The SR can't handle wind the same way a CP can, but it's MUCH more suitable for cruising around the house with. The CP should really only be flown out doors by a beginner. There's more room to grow with the CP, but in exchange the learning curve and repair costs are higher.

I'd let him try both out on your sim with the rates set to 30%ish and see which one he likes the most or flys the easiest.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
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While I would tend to agree...this doesn't always work for everyone. The learning curve is still quite high, so it really depends on the person.

A DX6i is a must, please don't let him get a cheap remote from a RTF package! I also wouldn't get a co-axial because in my opinion they just promote bad habits and in the long run hurt progression in the hobby. Those things are impossible to get into trouble with and fly themselves.

The two real options I would consider are the mSRx and mCPx. Both are beginner suitable with a DX6i and rates turned down significantly. This is where you should explain the pros and cons of both. The SR can't handle wind the same way a CP can, but it's MUCH more suitable for cruising around the house with. The CP should really only be flown out doors by a beginner. There's more room to grow with the CP, but in exchange the learning curve and repair costs are higher.

I'd let him try both out on your sim with the rates set to 30%ish and see which one he likes the most or flys the easiest.
Great answer, I would sure ask him to try the sim for a few minutes just to get a sense on how easy he can assimilate the sticks vs orientation.

Just one more thing, I would also let him try a big bird on the sim not just the mCPX or mSR. I think the big birds on the sim are more realistic.




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Old 06-25-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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In my opinion, part of really enjoying the hobby is having successes. Starting with a small Coaxial model, from what I have found is the fastest way for a new hobbyist to have a successful rc helicopter flight. They will usually enjoy it right away, and master all the stick movements with a gentle flying model with positive stability. Success = fun.

There is a possible exception to my general recommendations... If someone were to express an interest in learning 3d flying as soon as possible, a CP heli, and a Phoenix (Sim) might then be my recommendation, however I would explain to the user that there is a high liklihood of crashing, and it will cost money, and there will be frustration regardless of how well prepared they are for the inevitable crashes. With this scenario, I have seen only a handful of successes, and numerous times the person gives it up and leaves the hobby. Occasionally they go back and purchase a coaxial model and have success with it after learning how difficult a more advanced model can be to learn on.

For what it's worth, I have formed these opinions of the "best" ways to get started in RC helicopters from years of working in the RC helicopter businesses, and witnessed first hand many people succeed and enjoy the hobby, or fail in frustration and walk away.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:24 PM   #7
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The first heli for your neighbor should be whichever one you crash in his yard. LOL! Right folks?
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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I had a blade cx2 (coax) and it flew like garbage outside. It had no ability to fight the wind and when you finally got it up to speed the blades would strike into each other. So steer clear of that. I bet the mcx would not do so well outside either. I picked up the MSR (the old one with the 45 degree flybar) and loved it. I slammed into the side of the house at warp 9 and just picked it up and it was fine. Very durable. It's also pretty predictable, even with it's famous pendulum effect, which isn't so terrible. People also complain about toiled bowl effect but that's only happening when you hover so you forget all about it once you start moving around a bit.

The only problem with the MSR is they don't sell it anymore! The MSRX is where they have gone now and that heli has a bunch of new quirks that require your thumbs to be pre trained to compensate for and are hard to learn. Going from the MSR which I felt I was pretty good at to the MSRX was a bit of a shock because when you yaw left or right the heli has a tendency to move either forward right or backwards left which can disorient you very quickly. I love it now though, and it's much better in the wind than the MSR, but it just took some learning,

I also picked up a DX6i and phoenix and have been working my way to a MCPX but I'm not quite there yet.

SO without the MSR, maybe the SR120 is a good idea, though I've never flown one before. If you can find an MSR I'd recommend that in a second.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Undef;4052836]I had a blade cx2 (coax) and it flew like garbage outside. It had no ability to fight the wind and when you finally got it up to speed the blades would strike into each other. So steer clear of that.=QUOTE]

Oh how I wish I would've known this when we made our LHS trip last Saturday. Like I said, I have no experience with coax's. So I figured with the CX2 being a bigger bird it would do well in a light wind. WRONG! He flew about 5 packs Saturday but when the 10mph wind gusts came, we usually had to just land it wherever it was and go get it. Meanwhile, my mcpX was slicing and dicing through the wind like it was flying on rails! I was very impressed! It is my first FBL bird and I'm pretty sure I'm sold on the whole FBL thing. Anyways, I did put him on the sim for a half hour before we flew and he learned pretty fast. He probably flew about 20 packs through the whole weekend and he's now to the point of holding a hover in all orientations and flying circles/figure 8's. I am an intermediate pilot at best but I showed him the do's and don'ts before and during his flights. I noticed that my coaching him really made him progress a lot faster than I did in the beginning. I just wish I would've had a mentor to show me the ropes right off the bat. Probably would've saved a lot of $$ in crash costs. Anyways, my neighbor is already planing a second heli. IMO, the best bet would be an mcpX BNF, with some light training gear and a DX6i. That way I can set it up mild and let him progress at his own pace without big crash costs. Thanks for all of the input guys!
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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MCPX bind and fly all the way. DX6i is a fantastic transmitter, I'm glad I didn't settle for the piece of crap RTF version. If you fly over grass and kill the throttle before it hits the ground there's about a 90% chance you will have no damage. I'm sure you know that already though. My Trex-450 costs 20-50 dollars per crash, and I mean light crashes. The MCPX has been crashed about 30 times and I replaced 2 ball links and had to pop the bearing back into the swash plate.

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Old 07-03-2012, 12:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
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.....it really depends on the person.
I could not agree more-the question is which heli is right for that person.

I also think for most of us a bit of early success is a good thing.

With that I'll toss the mqx in as a possibility. As i see it, the mqx covers most of the bases from mcx to msr to 120SR to msrx. It is almost as easy to hover as the mcx2 and it handles almost as much wind as my mcpx. The mqx flies well tame and it flies well going fast and quick.

I've flown the msrx only once and at my LHS and did not like it at all. Especially with the RTF version of the msrx I thought it was more challenging to fly indoors than my mcpx is with the DX8.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:03 AM   #12
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I started with a sim and mcx (Co-axial) like most just to see if I'd like stick with it. Soon as I could hover tail in I bought a mcpx and dx8. Hind sight I could have skipped the mcx and just gone with the Sim and mcpx.

How ever I think a Co axial is a good gateway heli (haha start the addiction) not so much for what it can teach you (you can learn that on the Sim) but for the feel of actually flying something, now if you already fly RC planes it may not be as exciting. But for the average joe who's never flown RC it's like being a kid all over again.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:53 PM   #13
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Sim , mcpx , dx7, 7i, 8 etc and this :
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