500 EFL PRO Super Combo Build Thread (Vbar) - HeliFreak
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500 Pro Class Electric Helicopters 500 Pro Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default 500 EFL PRO Super Combo Build Thread (Vbar)

500 EFL Pro Super Combo Build Thread (Vbar)
Starting my build and will document. Stock super combo running mini vbar vs 3gx.

Scanned Manual...
500EFL Pro Manual on my Windows Live site

I added more 'Whats in the Box' photos to this post, trying to maintain some flow here and not get this thread out of order. So first post is basically unboxing minus tail parts, then second post starts the frame build, moving on from there into tail components with disassembly...more to come.

Here is a little start on the frame components. These will all be followed by disassembly and reassembly photos.

The new super stiff gyro/fbl sensor trays - see the bottom side cross bracing molded in.

New motor mount with grooves for better airflow and more cooling surface area.

New bearing blocks - nothing out of the norm here, just slightly narrower than the earlier 500 (35mm).

Bottom frame plate supports, the U shaped bracket is for the front. The other 2 are pinned for alignment.

New aluminum anti-rotation bracket.

New super stiff battery tray with cross bracing and also has some very nice molding on the sides that encourage a puzzle like fit into the frame.

Notice the location for a zip tie to slip into the recess and through for esc mounting on the backside.

All of the servo openings are roughly 36x16

The lower gyro mount is open ended in the rear and secured with a single screw per side. Its slotted so you can easliy remove the tray.

The upper gyro mount is a fixed design, sandwiched into the molded slots.

A few pics of how the anti rotation bracket will be attached, again more molded in slots and retained via a screw per side. I like it...

More of the battery tray and the INSIDE side of the frame to show the mating surfaces - again, I like the design and the fit is really nice.

More of whats in the box...

New 145 Tooth tail drive gear.

Helical main gear! 134 Tooth


70 Amp ESC

500MX 1600 kv

Nice aluminum horns!

3xDS510 Metal Gear Servos

The tail gets the usual DS520

Boom, Torque Tube, CF control rod and boom supports

Helical pinion 12 Tooth, dual set screws

Head ready for disassembly...

Washout (Phasing) arms attach directly to the lower head block now - Nice!

Nice socket cut for the M2.5 Nylon Locknut.

They brought the slot all the way to the through bolt hole location to give a much better clamping action.

The new blade grip follows suit with the newest 600 Pro and 700e design. I like it!

And the tail as it comes mocked up out of the box, soon to be torn down and rebuilt later in this thread.
Ok MUCH, MUCH more to come...

Last edited by rotaryguy; 09-16-2011 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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The frame assembly was straight forward as usual, everything fit together very well. Something I have learned in the past when it comes to threadlock and Align CF frames, if possible apply it to the inside surface of the threaded hole because the frame holes are so snug if you apply it to the bolt itself most will be swept off as you thread the bolt through the frame panel.

I like to use a sharp toothpick as an threadlock applicator

Bearing block install, the holes are so precise you can go ahead with snugging up the screws without being concerned with main shaft alignment.

Same goes for the rest, tightening as you go. Motor mount install - you can clearly see the threadlock compound against the silver mount in these pics.

Frame support and canopy mount base install.

Bottom CF plate installation, well partial that is as the front and rear will be fully joined with the landing gear installation.

The main bearing blocks are installed with the laser engraving facing inside, so top block text faces down and bottom block text faces up.

I was late installing the second frame brace - it was difficult to spot in the manual shown under the bearing.

Here you can see the open slot for the lower tray. I like this for easy wiring.

Set screw hole seemed a little small so I ran a 2.5mm drill bit through the holes first.

I really like the new mounting method, follows the the other new Align models. The old plastic plate with the break away tabs was dated.

The skid pipe end caps were borderline press fit so I went ahead with a very small amount of CA to secure them, pre-clean with isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip.

Dang! left the set screw a little deep when I pushed the skid pipe in and got a nasty scratch!

A great way to get your desired rotational angle on the skid pipes, for my liking setting the frame over on my wrench handle and pressing the skid pipe to the table gave just the right look then lock them down with the set screws.

I really like the new pinned bottom braces the landing gear attaches to. These will remain as pictured until the boom struts finish off those empty bolt holes.

Last edited by rotaryguy; 09-12-2011 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Moving into the tail, disassembly and reassembly of all components.

The front tail case.

The new mod .6 36T gearing in the front tail case.

The case split open for inspection.

The left inside front tail case, notice the elongated boom guide/antirotational pin molded in.

A drop of Tri-Flow to both of the unshielded bearings.

Molded in sockets for the M3 nylon locknuts.

Apply threadlock to the mounting holes

Fully secured - Dont forget to pop in the upper gyro tray (optional) I am installing mine as I am not 100% sure I will be using the bottom mount location for the mini Vbar.

Ahh....The beautiful new tail assembly.

Notice the hardware not fully seated, a good way to be sure the end user checks for proper installation.

The new aluminum bell crank with teflon insert at the control ball end. Nice!

Tail pitch slider disassembled. Good thing as the threaded portion is very oily and in need of a cleaning prior to the application of threadlocking compound.

Tail pitch slider connecting arms, notice they have moved away from the brass sleeve on the pitch slider side. The grip side still gets the sleeve.

The aluminum boom clamp for mounting up the horizontal fin and the boom support struts, also the torque tube bearing with the rubber support.

The rear tail case, with the umbrella gear. I leave this gear in unless I have a reason to pull it out and either replace the gear or bearings.

The tail case, or tail output gear bearing holders. The bearings were installed with bearing retainer but the lack of prior cleaning allowed one to be fairly easily pushed out. The other side will require a little help in the form of heat. Once removed a good cleaning of all bearing mating surfaces will be in order before reassembly.

The new tail hub and grip assembly is now equipped with dual radial bearings plus a thrust bearing in each grip, finally!

This part was fully threadlocked but its certainly worth the effort to confirm, notice the step in the hub end for the thrust bearing.

The 2 radial bearings visible here, I like the new clear anodized grips!

More to come...I will be moving on to the tail assembly process next.
I combined the tail assembly post with this one...

OK, now for reassembling the entire rear tail case, grip assembly, pitch slider, bell crank, torque
tube, boom, boom supports and the rudder control rod.

Tail hub/grup assembly clean and ready to go.

Hub and bolt, notice the slight shoulder and mating surface near the base of the bolt.

Grease the thrust bearings.

Apply threadlocking compound to the holes.

I build the bearing on a wrench shaft and tip up the assembly and allow the bearing to slide into place. Be sure you assemble as marked, in goes in first then the greased ball holder followed by the outside. You will also want to install the greased part so as it acts like a cup and retains the grease as it spins, so the bottom of the cup will be on the outside.

Thrust bearing in and grip slipped down onto hub. Install bolt with washer and repeat for the other side.

The completed tail hub.

Now reassemble the pitch slider. Be sure you have cleaned any oily residue and apply threadlock as shown.

Dont over tighten the forked section, snug it up and rotate checking for binding in the bearings. I had to replace both of mine as they were extremely notchy.

Reinstall the connecting rods, the gold screws with the non-sleeved ends go into the pitch slider. Be sure to apply threadlock.

Ready to go. Nice!

Time to reassemble the tail case.

I removed the bearings so a cleaning in is order. Notice the greenish tint from the old bearing retainer that never cured.

Apply bearing retainer.

Pop in the bearing and clean away the excess.

Prepare the case for the bearing holders...Threadlock the holes.

Install the side with the bell crank mounting post and the Align text first.

Apply a small amount of bearing retainer.

Slide in the tail drive output shaft and install the other half of the case.

Tail case built...I really like the new case design, similar yet different, refined - Beefier!

Install the ball onto the bell crank.

And the bell crank onto the tail case, again dont forget to apply threadlock!


Install the tail pitch slider, be sure you catch the ball on the bell crank as you slide it on.

And now the tail hub/grip assembly, notice the notch cut in the shaft for the set screw to bite into.

Line up the control arms with the blade grip attachment point that you already applied threadlock to and install the black screws.

Done! The complete tail assembly ready for action. I really like the changes made here and hope they play out well in flight.

Now lets get the torque tube installed.

First up is cleaning the surfaces with alcohol.

I use very thin CA and position the bearing on the tube then with a pin apply a very small drop and allow it to be wicked under the bearing. The only flaw is I do not have a precision tool to be sure the bearing is perfectly straight on the tube as you can feel for yourself there is a slight amount of twist or rock allowed so just do the best you can here. I also sometimes install an additional bearing and rubber guide.

Candy! I could not resist going with a CF boom, this is not what comes in the kit. The boom is a CF wrapped aluminum boom that I measured to be almost identical to the stock fully aluminum boom so all should be good here.


More grease! (Not too much)

Carefully guide the assembly in - give the rubber bearing holder a little pinch if needed to break the perimeter of the boom and it should slide all the in without much force.

Its in!

A quick look reveals the same syndrome all the Align helis seem to come with, the hole punched out of the boom for alignment seems give the tail case quite an angle. This has been the same for me on my last 3 or 4 builds. Maybe there is a purpose behind it? hmmm....

A needle file makes quick work of extending the hole just enough to get the alignment of the tail case I prefer.

All lined up and ready to be clamped down with the CF vertical fin.

Threadlocking compound installed!

The vertical fin prepped with the guide pin and bolts pre-loaded.

Problem! The supplied 2.5x19mm bolts are not fully threaded and the threaded portion is not deep enough. The result is they bottom out in the tail case before you get ANY clamping action at all.

Luckily, I had 2 spares, fully threaded and even then 19mm is a bit long so I added the 2 'specialty washers'

After tinkering a bit to get the angle I wanted, I clamped it down.

The new fully threaded bolts with washers are the perfect length, lets hope they fix this in future kits.

Next up is the boom clamp (threadlock) for the boom supports and the horizontal CF fin. I typically dont run the fin but will install it for now.

Snug it enough that will still allow some movement.

Installing the new CF rudder control rod.

I will be using CA to secure the metal tube onto the center of the cf rod.

The approximate location if you measure from the beginning of the carbon rod, not the very end.

Be sure to pre clean with alcohol the best you can. Again I use the pin with a drop of CA and it will wick it under. One drop on each end and its not going anywhere!

I clip the guide onto the boom with the rod installed and it ends up about ~197mm from the edge of the front tail case, the manual shows 190 so were good. The extra few MM back actually put the sleeve more centered on the CF rod.

Install the boom supports.

Level the fin and clamp it all down.

Last edited by rotaryguy; 09-22-2011 at 08:48 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #4
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Head tear down and rebuild, swashplate, main gear, tail gear installation.

Tearing down the head for cleaning, threadlock and reassembly.
Washout arm assembly teardown view of the components.

Blade grip arms.

Bare head block with basic dimensions noted.

Head block and grips, thrust bearings cleaned and ready for assembly. Blade grips have 2 radial bearings pre-installed.

The blade grip and arm are keyed and they fit very nicely together. Apply threadlock!

M3 socket cut into the grip for the blade bolt. Nice!

Grip ready to go. I leave the 2 radial bearings in the grips but check for smoothness, only then will I go to the trouble to pull the bearings for replacement if needed.

Insert the sleeve into the head block.

Apply a small amount of grease to the inside perimeter then slip the rubber grommet in.

A little grease now on the inside of the grommet you just installed, repeat the procedure on both sides.

The layout of the grip and feathering shaft, note the 2 radial bearings are already installed in the grip and not shown here.

Grease the thrust bearings.

Feathering shaft is the same as the existing 500.Before assembly I will revisit this part. Clean the bolts and holes well, you do not want these bolts coming out in flight! I use alcohol and soak the bolt, thread it in and out and repeat several times.

Give the bolt a squeeze with a clean rag or paper towel and twist, be sure its all oil free.

You can build one side of the shaft by itself, install the thrust bearing checking you have proper orientation, bearing half marked in goes on first, the ball assembly with the outside last. Install the bolt with washer (snug the bolt) and be certain you have applied threadlock to the part!

No need to really get it fully tight just yet.

Be sure you have the shim washer and slide the feathering shaft into the blade grip from the outside as shown.

Slip the brass collar on behind the blade grip.

Another view, ready now to push the one side through the head block.

Ok, first half is in.

On the other side insert the brass collar and slide on the grip.

Prepare the thrust bearing assembly together on an wrench shaft and guide it into place. Dont forget the shim washer, you can see it in the picture.

Installed and ready for the washer and bolt. Now with 2 wrenches tighten the bolts down.

Done! Moving on...

Washout arms or phasing arms.

Notice the proper orientation.

Apply threadlock.

I found the easiest way to get the arm installed was to place them as shown in the picture then rotate the piece and it will pop into place without much effort.

Install the screws.

Done. Repeat for the other arm.

Apply threadlock to the surface preparing to mount the washout arms to the head block. Both sides.

Install as shown and clamp them down. You can tighten these fully as they have no clamping action involved with the main shaft.

Install the balls onto each blade grip.

Be sure you have the grips rotated correctly before you install the second ball, otherwise you will have to remove one to flip the grips over.

Moving on to the swash plate...User 'davehour' pointed out an issue he found with the control ball stud length on the short blade grip balls that attach to the inner portion of the swash plate. I confirmed I had the same issue and remedied same as 'davehour'.
Basically the stud length is .5mm longer than the washout balls stud length and this causes a small but noteable binding on the swash ball itself because when you tighten them down they apply pressure to the plastic retainer in the center.
The fix is simple, grind off ~.5mm of the stud and reinstall. In the photo below you can clearly see the top ball (blade grip ball) has a longer stud or threaded portion and this needs to be cut down to match. It takes less than a minute with a dremel and cut off wheel.


Build up the 2 main blade grip links.

My link wrench!

I am first going with the manuals listed dimensions of 36mm exposed rod.

Install with the big 'A' on the outside.

Slide the swash and head assembly onto the main shaft and secure with the 2.5x16M bolt.

Be sure you use the longer balls for the washout arms.

Short balls for the blade grip links.

Main gear and casing. I already showed these components apart earlier.

Slide into position and drop the main shaft assembly down from the top.

You will want to experiment with the included shims for the best fit, the kit comes with 2 - an .3mm and .5mm. I ended up using the .3mm but not without a little work. For me the .5 was too think, the .3 was still just slightly thick but I could still get the bolt installed. Problem was then the auto gear was very tight so I tried no shim at all and that was way too loose. In the end I was able to file the lower main shaft hole just enough to get it all spinning freely without any slop, I think if my kit had an in between shim at .4mm that would have worked perfect.

2.5x19m bolt installed with the nylon lock nut.

Ok, head and gear assembly installed. I will likely pull this assembly out temporarily for wiring and also be pulling the head block to setup the swash later in the build.

Nice alignment of the autorotation tail drive gears.

Prepare the aluminum anti rotation bracket and canopy support studs for install. Apply threadlock to the mount and canopy posts.

Slide the bracket into place. Be sure you catch the guide pin on the swashplate!

Thread in the headless rods.

Finish up with the canopy posts. Looks great!

Swash alignment pin/ball locked in the guide.

Nice pre-motor shot of the installed helical main gear and new motor mount.

I will be starting the electronics install soon. Stay tuned!

Last edited by rotaryguy; 09-22-2011 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Prepare for motor and pinion install.
I apply threadlock and pre-install the set screws.

Notice the flat spot on the shaft, watch for in during the final part of motor install.

I had to leave the pinion off to easily guide the motor into position.

Motor screws installed with threadlock and just snug enough I can still slide the motor a little.

Slide the pinion down and watch for the set screw slot, for me catching the slot with the set screw then pushing it up as high as it would go set the perfect pinion height.

Set your mesh and lock it down!

The perfect height, just above the main gear.

From another angle again. Motor installed!

Servo hardware, well most of it as the rudder servo horn did not make the photo.

I removed the brass eyelets as I did not like them. Seemed to allow too much 'wiggle' .
Servo installs. OK, I typically dont install both the brass eyelets and the rubber grommets but the manual clearly shows them so I will give it a try. That said on larger electrics I usually do install the rubber grommets only.

Done, repeat the procedure on the other 3 servos.

Drop in the servo, I start with the aileron/pitch servos first.

Be easy with the installs when using the brass eyelets, you will feel them bite but dont over tighten or you just end up crushing them and damaging the rubber grommet as well.

Front 2 installed. Note that even with the narrower frame there is still a good ~5mm gap between the two servos.

Another view further out.

I prepared the elevator servo with some heat shrink for 2 reasons, looks and to mold it into the shape I wanted.

An easy method is to slide it in from the opposite side as shown.

Make the turn and pop it into place.

Go through the holes on the frame here for straight access to the screws.

As I am working the top portion of the frame I am moving to the esc and battery tray install because I plan to run the signal wire along the same path as my aileron servo and want to secure the wires together.

What I have done here is different from the way its shown in the manual. I have covered a small section of the wire with heat shrink and installed the esc on the extreme front edge of the battery tray with the capacitors and battery connection exiting the bottom front, the tip of the caps line up with the tip of the battery tray. My alternate reason for keeping the esc all the way forward is that I will be using slightly smaller 6S 2600 packs.

Secure the tray.

The rubber canopy stand offs go in the very top holes.

Starting to determine my wiring routing here, I will do more detailed pics as I go.

A small loop in the elevator wire brings it to the same length as its pitch servo companion.

After routing the 3 cyclic servo wires and the esc wire you can see they all ended up very close in length.

A view of the wiring from above the aileron/pitch servos.

The backside of the elevator servo, wiring method.

Some shots at different angles.

Rudder servo install. I did cheat a bit here and shortened the wire for a clean install. I then installed heat shrink at the base just like the elevator servo for the same purposes of looks and to mold it to shape. IMPORTANT - Mini Vbar users need to install the rudder servo on the right side otherwise you cut off your access to the usb port on the mini Vbar.

This one installs similar to the elevator servo, through the opposite side frame and into position. The big difference here are the holes dont go through the frame mounting points so a ball end allen wrench is VERY helpful here to get the angle you need to install the screws. Notice the mini vbar is staged, more to come on that!

Rudder servo installed!

A view from the rear showing the wiring come around the frame.

Preparing to install Mini Vbar onto the tray.

Done! And I must say it fits perfectly!

A test fit of the satellite wiring. This is an existing hole and although the mini vbar sits a tad high for alignment it still works out great.

Plug in the wires to the proper locations and slide the unit into place. Keep it NEAT! Please note that I installed the 2 zip ties here AFTER I installed the vbar otherwise there is not enough slack to work with the wiring. Notice the wires came in the perfect length with just enough for a nice loop at the end, no clutter here.

Looking down from the top.

I removed the lower CF tray and landing gear only for the pictures.

Here is one of each side with a colored line drawn to represent the path I took with with the wire.

Basically the wiring is done with the only outstanding item left is installing the 2 satellite RX's. I am also planning on installing an Hyperion phase sensor for use with the vbar governor.
More to come, stay tuned!

Last edited by rotaryguy; 09-22-2011 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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Does anyone need/wan't vbar setup screenshots for this??? Let me know!
Also, when using Vbar and the inner holes on the servo horns you will still be getting VERY low collective and cyclic setup numbers, I have a solution in mind and I am awaiting parts to test a new geometry. These will be retail parts from Align, nothing custom and if I have good results I will glady post the information at that time. Another change that will help are different servo horns with holes closer in but I dont think thats the solution, it will only help marginally. I will also be adding a custom DIY bluetooth module for the vbar as the usb cable is a pain to plug in.

Finish up the head...Install servo arms. If you use vbar or ubeast use the inner holes. Be sure to apply thread lock!

Mount the long balls on the insides of the horn and the short ball on the outer side as shown.

Before you install the horns be sure you have centered your servos as these are very difficult to remove - see my tip on removal here -
You will need to rely on the retaining screw to press the arm on the gear.

The elevator ball is only slightly off center, no real issue with this - move on.

I made up the rods per the manual, or within .5mm so 18-18.5mm

Get yourself a good swash level - I like the Trueblood best, I tried another brand and there was too much play in the main shaft hole so the savings was worthless in the end.

I picked up a set of "O1561" Da Vinci turnbuckles from ReadyHeli, a little too long I ended up cutting ~2mm off each end while still leaving plenty of thread ~7mm per side.

The level app for iPhone, I like to use it when the tops of the grips are flat to setup my vbar - I really need a digital pitch gauge but this has worked VERY nicely for me.

I shortened the leads and mounted 2 satellite receivers with the left hand side antenna (Active Element) opposite each other.

Here I am installing the Hyperion Phase Sensor for the vbar's governor - Awesome!

The sensor wire routed around the upper base of the motor, covered in heat shrink and molded to the curve.

Last edited by WillJames; 09-27-2011 at 10:02 AM.. Reason: Add Content
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:23 PM   #7
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Thank you very much for scanning the Manual!
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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Looking forward to it!

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Old 09-11-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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Does it come with 1600KV motor or other KV value?

Originally Posted by rotaryguy View Post
500 EFL Pro Super Combo Build Thread (Vbar)
Starting my build and will document. Stock super combo running mini vbar vs 3gx.

Scanned Manual...
500EFL Pro Manual on my Windows Live site

All Stolen...
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:16 AM   #10
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It comes with 500mx motor. Which I think is 1600kv.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:20 AM   #11
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All the Align 500 motors are 1600kv
Goblin 500, Vbar, BLS153, BLS251, Kontronic Jive & Piro
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #12
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Subscribe....x 1000000

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Old 09-11-2011, 03:35 AM   #13
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Waiting for build thread and pics so !
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:32 AM   #14
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for the manual
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:39 AM   #16
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Get us the skinny on this bad boy.
I've gone to the dark side....planks. For now....
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:08 AM   #17
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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Looking great!!!
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #19
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Wow looking great bro - excellent photos and commentary

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Old 09-11-2011, 02:33 PM   #20
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Is there a trick to getting the manual to show up. When I look at it all 43 pages are blank...
The art in flying RC Helicopters lies in learning how to throw it at the ground and miss.

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