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Choices, choices!

Posted 11-22-2009 at 12:13 AM by ted_wears_a_hat

Once again I've neglected to post here for awhile.

I haven't been flying much due to other commitments but have now gone over 250 packs (261 to be precise, 243 on the B400, 18 on the Protos).

My targets for this season was to get comfortable inverted and have all four inverted hovering orientations down by the start of next season. I have met the first goal and my inverted hovering in all orientations on the sim pretty but I have still only done nose in during a real flight.

Here are a couple of videos shot since last time.





Getting meaningful flight time during the winter is going to be difficult due to it getting dark long before I am home for work. I am thinking of turning the Blade 400 into a dedicated night rig so I can at least do some basic flying during the evenings. It should increase the number of flying spots available as well as there are less ramblers and dog walkers about after dark.

To get the most effective night rig I think the install with the exception of the canopy will be pretty permanent as such I think it's time to get a new 325-350 swinging heli for the daytime.

I'm currently looking at the options and was hoping MSH would have a smaller Protos sibling on the market by now. Time marches on though so I may need to select from the current offerings.

5 options for now after removing those where I cannot get the kit or parts from preferred retailers:

Thunder Tiger E325
Align TRex 450 Sport
Align TRex 450 Pro
MA Furion
CYE Rave 450

I'm toying with the idea of making 350 stretch with either a 4s or 6s power system but may end up staying simple with 3s 325.

To make the decision I have been compiling some pros and cons.

Thunder Tiger E325

Pros
- Tried and tested
- Easy to work on frame
- Cheap to buy initially
- Cheap to stock spares
- Flown one and it flew great
- Good online community
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer


Cons
- Tried and tested
- Some difficulty getting rx in frame
- Haven't found a 350 stretch solution yet
- Relatively heavy

Align TRex 450 Sport

Pros
- Cheap to buy initially
- Cheap to stock spares
- Good online community
- Possibly could be stretched to 350
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer

Cons
- Stacked frames
- Limited manufacturer customer service
- Relatively heavy
- Some reported hardware (screws) issues

Align TRex 450 Pro

Pros
- Good initial reviews
- Good online community
- Cheap to stock spares (with some exceptions)
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer

Cons
- Tight frame
- Can't get kit without motor and ESC at preferred retailer
- Limited manufacturer customer service
- Torque tube makes a stretch solution hard
- Some reported hardware (screws) issues
- Relatively heavy

MA Furion

Pros
- Perceived quality
- Relatively light
- Good manufacturer customer service
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer
- 350 stretch possible
- Very few reported issues

Cons
- Limited online community
- Niche product
- Expensive kit and parts

CYE Rave 450

Pros
- Perceived quality
- A little larger
- Good manufacturer customer service
- 350 available OEM
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer

Cons
- Tight frame
- Expensive kit and parts
- Reported fragile frame
- Some reported issues
- Heavy (but larger)

There's also a left field choice... another Protos.

Pros
- Known quantity
- Shared parts
- Awesome heli
- Bigger heli
- Kit and parts available at preferred retailer

Cons
- Known quantity, would be nice to try something different.
- I promised my other half I would get another small heli that would fit in a case
- More expensive initial outlay on cyclic servos
- More expensive initial outlay on ESC
- More expensive batteries (and would need to get another charger to manage more 6s packs)
- More expensive blades
- Other crash costs similar to a 450 (lower in the case of some 450s and some parts)
- Less places to fly than a 450

Arghhh, so many choices!
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