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Old 10-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
JWeber
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Default 500 size heli choices

So, I'm thinking about my next heli and would like one that swings 475-500mm blades. I'd like to keep it to one battery please.

Here is my current thinking.

Goblin 500
+ Beautiful design, good for hard smack (not that I do it yet), available now, seems like more and more out there every day, lot's of parts availability
- Crash prices, initial price

Gaui X5
+ Lot's of people rave about them, least expensive on my list, solid proven design, lot's of parts availability
- Torque tube tail (I'm wary of stripped gears, belts have always treated me well), maybe not as sexy as the others

HD Cell 500
+ Look's like a really cool and innovative design, probably not as expensive to crash as the Goblin, great flight videos
- Same kit price as the Goblin, unknown (to me) company

Mostro 500 (If I want to wait an unknown amount of time and possibly not fly one in 2014)
+ Avant has a great reputation for quality, really cool looks and design
- Unknown availability and no flight videos for even the 700 size

After reading my list above, I noticed that I put something about looks in every one. The two most important things to me are visibility in the air and ease of wrenching it. I'm a solid intermediate pilot who's just starting some basic 3D stuff. I don't need a 3D monster, just a solid flying machine.

Your thoughts are appreciated and if I missed any options, please let me know.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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X5, it's the best
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #3
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Stretched compass atom 500.

Very light heli. Can be oufitted with killer powerful motors. Low parts count. Dependable. Very good design and tough in case of unplanned landings. Great parts availability. Has been around for a few years with no specific changes and no plans for revision. Flies perfectly balanced on one 3300 mah 6s battery.

I have this heli and a Goblin 500. The goblin is a bit better in wind as it is heavier but takes bigger batteries and the canopy is a bit of a pain.

The compass atom is ballistic and is just a hoot to fly!!!
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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X5

Low part count, tough, great power to weight ratio, are some of the reasons.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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X5 on 12S, an unboggable beast of a machine. You really don't know the meaning of power until you've flown an X5 on 12S
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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I'm interested in the Mostro 500E too. But if it isn't in sight for a release when I'm ready to buy, I think I'd go with the Gaui X5.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: 500 size heli choices

+2 on the Compass Atom. It can be ran as a 500 with 420-430mm blades or can be stretched(with an inexpensive kit right from Compass) to a 5.5 with 470-515mm blades. It is a proven and time hardened design that is lighter weight then most of your other options, powerful, very low parts count and extremely tough(cheap to crash). Many give it the best 500 class heli honour. I have heard more then one review pitting it against some of your other choices and it beat them in flying characteristics and performance hands down. The funny thing is. they are new designs and the Atom is years old and still blows them away. It's just a great design that's why guys like Tony Whiteside still love them and fly them all the time. Compass's dealer network is great too. Good parts availability, friendly, helpful, and fast shipping. The guys over on the Compass forum are awesome too. Supper friendly and helpful. I have two Atom 's, one 500 and one 5.5. I bought another one cause I liked it so much. I was in the same place you were earlier this year and I chose the Atom over other 500's like the Goblin. I never regret my decision especially because I check all the brands forums everyday on here and the Atom forum is full of happy fliers with almost zero issues while over in the G500 forum, for instance, they deal with constant quality control issues, in flight part failures, and other problems. Just something to think about. Do you want to deal with problems or do you just wanna fly? If you wanna fly, go with the proven, simple, trouble free designs like the Atom and the X5.

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Old 10-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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If the two most important things are visibility and ease of wrenching then your choice is already made. Goblin 500 hands down.
That being said, an X5 is a wicked machine right out of the box, which flies like a much larger machine and crashes with the best of them.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #9
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+3 compass atom it's a great Heli. It also crashes well. Don't ask how I know lol.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seefest View Post
If the two most important things are visibility and ease of wrenching then your choice is already made. Goblin 500 hands down.
That being said, an X5 is a wicked machine right out of the box, which flies like a much larger machine and crashes with the best of them.
I agree and can expand on this personally. Im at the phase in my flying where I am starting to spend a lot more time flying in orientations that I am not used to such as inverted. Im not talking 3D out in front of me, but sport flying with multiple rolls and flips, Cuban eights, sustained inverted across the field both nose and tail in, etc and other smooth moves tied into each other.

A 500 sized heli can get pretty small, especially when you are trying new things and need to be three mistakes high at first. Many of these moves require that you are level when you enter or exit them, or the heli can drift off sideways on you and things can get really sloppy and scary while learning. The Goblin body design with the large canopy and square boom makes it much easier to see the helis orientation as you enter into them. Mine is a 630, but I still fly it very high where it can be hard to see like a 500. I have GPS on my Goblin and it tells me that I'm doing many of these moves 200 feet high, so a 630 can be pretty small that high up

I practice the moves first on my T Rex 500 in an effort to to learn how things feel on the sticks because its so much harder for me to see, and not always able to rely on visual cues completely. If I can do it well on my 500, then its 10 times easier on my Gobin with the better visual aspect
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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If I could only have one, it would be the Goblin500.

You may also want to consider the Gaui X4II.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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I was looking at the Protos 500 and Atom 500. Finally put together comparative pricing for an X5, I was surprised that the price wasn't much higher than how I'd configured the others, despite it swinging 520 blades vs 430.

I found a good deal on a used X5 locally, and went with that. I'm still getting comfortable with it (it's a lot bigger than my 450), but no complaints so far. It's significantly larger than either Protos configuration, and larger than a non-stretched Atom 500.

I admittedly did not do much research on the stretched Atom 500 (5.5). One thing that didn't thrill me was that the blade choices were somewhat limited, as I recall. The blade grips can only take a certain blade root thickness, and that thickness is apparently somewhat uncommon in the ~515mm range. That doesn't make it a bad choice in the slightest, of course. But more choices for parts is always nice, especially "consumables".

I did want to try a belted tail, coming from my TT 450 Pro. The X5 is a TT tail, for better or worse. So I'll just deal with that. But it has an excellent reputation, so I'm hoping it'll be a reliable platform I can grow into.

I'm sure the Goblin 500 is awesome, but I was looking to stay with something simple/cheaper, and the X5 seemed to fit that bill for me.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: 500 size heli choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by seefest View Post
If the two most important things are visibility and ease of wrenching then your choice is already made. Goblin 500 hands down.
That being said, an X5 is a wicked machine right out of the box, which flies like a much larger machine and crashes with the best of them.
No offense seefest but, ease of wrenching? The Goblin has a far more complicated design then the Atom or X5. The only annoying thing that the Goblin wins on is the servo mounting. The drive train on the Goblin is way more complicated with shims everywhere and far more parts. I can disassemble the drive train and put it all back together on my Atom in 5mins I bet. Try that on a Goblin with all its gears and shims. I don't own one but, from the parts breakdown I think it's easy to see which is a simpler design.

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Old 10-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
No offense seefest but, ease of wrenching? The Goblin has a far more complicated design then the Atom or X5. The only annoying thing that the Goblin wins on is the servo mounting. The drive train on the Goblin is way more complicated with shims everywhere and far more parts. I can disassemble the drive train and put it all back together on my Atom in 5mins I bet. Try that on a Goblin with all its gears and shims. I don't own one but, from the parts breakdown I think it's easy to see which is a simpler design.

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Honestly, the design is no harder to work on than any other heli I have owned......if anything much easier.

The frames are nonessential to the main components of the heli, and are self sacrificing in crash. A few bolts out, and you can swap another frame out without touching any of the main electronics or components. The gears, etc would only be damaged in a really bad powered crash.

Even then, I can have have any of the gears out of my heli within a few minutes. I agree on the higher parts count vs other designs, but that doesn't mean more complicated to work on in this case. Look at the upcoming Mostro whose main Marketing message is the the "monoblock" design and how crash resistant and simple it will be. Its pretty much a close copy of the Goblin design.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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I hadn't thought about a stretched Atom. I had heard that the Atom 500 is a great heli but feels heavy in the air. I guess it makes sense that a stretched one you feel lighter as the disk loading would go down.

For the Goblin, how do the self sacrificing pieces work? Do they really break before the more expensive parts? Replacing a tail boom on a Goblin is what scares me. In most of my other crashes, the tail boom bent. That's also my fear of TT tails from a crash cost perspective.

This is great input though, keep it coming.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:48 AM   #16
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i'm stretching my atom this week, so i'll report back in,

but X5 is still my fav heli i've owned.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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im in the same position as you only different skill level(im more into 3d).. the goblin 500 easily is the best to see in the air and has good part support, from the info ive seen could be 10 bucks to crash or a whole kit, really depends on the crash..

but for me im going with a jr e6 550 because its over a pound lighter which means better performance and longer flights. parts support is the downside currently but once jr america gets on its feet should be plenty of parts..

good luck on the choice
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWeber View Post
I hadn't thought about a stretched Atom. I had heard that the Atom 500 is a great heli but feels heavy in the air. I guess it makes sense that a stretched one you feel lighter as the disk loading would go down.

For the Goblin, how do the self sacrificing pieces work? Do they really break before the more expensive parts? Replacing a tail boom on a Goblin is what scares me. In most of my other crashes, the tail boom bent. That's also my fear of TT tails from a crash cost perspective.

This is great input though, keep it coming.
Heavy in the air? It is one of the lightest on the market. Very low disc loading. Here's the weights without battery and rtf... Atom 500-1750gr, X5-1850gr, Goblin 500-1900gr, Mostro 500 not released, Cell 500 not finalized due to design changes. The Atom also flys on 2600-3300mah lipos depending on 500 or 5.5 so it also uses quite a bit lighter and cheaper lipos then your other options. That will make the in air weight even lower. The stock Atom is a light heli with a very powerful stock motor and will take all power you can throw at it with its 700 size MOD1 main gear and overbuilt design. It will handle a 600 class motor at 4000rpm no problem if stupid powerful is your preference. The only popular heli that I know of that beats it in the weight department is the Protos 500/500 stretch which is also another model you should consider. I hear good things about them too.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
No offense seefest but, ease of wrenching? The Goblin has a far more complicated design then the Atom or X5. The only annoying thing that the Goblin wins on is the servo mounting. The drive train on the Goblin is way more complicated with shims everywhere and far more parts. I can disassemble the drive train and put it all back together on my Atom in 5mins I bet. Try that on a Goblin with all its gears and shims. I don't own one but, from the parts breakdown I think it's easy to see which is a simpler design.

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No offense taken. I've owned a Goblin 700(over 600 flights and one crash) and built and flown a Goblin 500. I've also owned and flown an X5(over 1000 flights and 10+ crashes)
I've never owned an Atom so I won't comment on one without actually having worked on one. I do own a 7HV(and like it a lot) and the G700 was WAY easier to work on.

The G700 is by far the easiest 700 I've ever worked on. The G500 is almost the exact same setup. Extremely easy to work on with very few parts. As mentioned, you change out a frame side in less than 10 minutes, without touching any servos/electronics/etc. The tail is also very simple with very few parts. Changing bearings in the motor? Four nuts and the whole assembly slides out, and is self tensioning when you go to put it back. No gear mesh to set. The X5 is a PIA to set gear mesh in comparison.

Not sure what abundance of shims you are talking about????

The X5 is my favorite heli and has been for awhile. Its not the easiest to work on(not the toughest either), but its flight characteristics really set it apart. It crashes very well also.
Quality is mediocre IMHO.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:34 PM   #20
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I know it's a little bit bigger than what you want, but have you considered a Synergy E5?

It runs great on 6S as a 550 and if you ever did want to move up in size, it's an easy stretch to 600 (either as a 6S or 12S) and there's a lot of flexibility with motors that will mount in the frame. It crashes really well and there's great customer support with Ralph from fblrotors.com and the Synergy reps on here and on synergy.com

I've had a Gaui X2, mini Protos, Protos 500, and a Warp 360 and it's my favorite heli out of all of them
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