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Align T-Rex 450SE v2 — Review 08Nov07

Posted by tanker in Beginner, Reviews, TRex.
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Align’s T-Rex 450SE v2 is an outstanding helicopter. The beginner may wish to start with the cheaper SE model or even the pre-built SA ARF, but the 450SE v2 includes every optional upgrade part you could ever want and getting it means you will not have to bother upgrading your helicopter later.T-Rex450SE V2

The kit includes almost everything you will need, including a single Align 3S 2100mAh 22c LiPo, except for servos, gyro, and a receiver, all packaged in a nice padded aluminum case that you can use later to carry equipment to the field (do not confuse this with the much larger aluminum 450 heli case you can purchase separately). Building the v2 is very straightforward; It comes mostly pre-assembled in major sub assemblies. You should remove any screws that go into metal and apply thread lock to them.

The only two tricky areas are the servos and the belt. The servos are a tight fit and it is best to use either Shoe-Goo or CA to glue the servo back nuts onto the servos before installing. This will make it easy to secure the servos onto the frame. Otherwise it is very hard to get the nuts on once everything is together. Be careful to follow the diagram of the belt orientation. The belt tension should be tight but not too tight. If you cannot spin the head and have it go around a few times on its own then the belt is too tight (do this with the motor pinion disengaged). Conversely you do not want the belt to skip either.

Lastly, make sure you have proper spacing on your motor pinion and main gear — Too tight and you will burn up your motor and too loose and you will strip your main gear or lose power. You can set proper gear spacing by placing a couple strips of paper in between the pinion and the main gear and then tighten them up. This should give you just a tiny bit of play when you move the main gear. If there is no play it is too tight. It can sometimes be easier to set them tight and then back the motor off a bit to get the play.

If you are somewhat new to helis and decide to splurge on the v2 there are a number of things you can do to tame it a bit. Flybar weights are provided and you should place them all the way out. Two pinions, a 12 and 13 tooth, are provided and the 12 tooth will lower the head speed a bit. Lastly, the kit includes two sets of blades, a nice carbon set and a fiberglass set. Unfortunately the fiberglass set does not fit in the metal blade grips (well they fit but are much too tight). Beginners should get a set of the Align 325mm PRO symmetrical wooden main blades (and you may still need to shave a bit of the plastic off the root end of the blade to loosen them up a bit). If well set up, the 450SE v2 is rock stable and can practically be hovered hands off.

Once you are comfortable flying the T-Rex 450 in the beginner configuration you can move the flybar weights all the way in (or remove them), move up a pinion, and put on the carbon blades and you will have a great high performance machine. The motor and speed control will support up to a 4S battery (but you will need to change the pinion) if you want even more head speed. The 450 v2 has a number of improvements over previous models with an improved main head with thicker feathering shaft, more dampers, and thrust bearings for the blade grips. The tail also has an improved slider. All of these changes were done to improve performance with maneuvers at high head speeds.

Overall the T-Rex 450SE v2 is a high quality heli and will handle any maneuver you can throw at it. It is also very stable and thus also good for beginners if setup appropriately. On a 3S 2100mAh LiPo you can expect between 4-8 minutes of flight time depending on if you are doing very hard 3D or just hovering. The 450 size helis are somewhat small (only about 24″ from nose to tail) and thus are great for flying at sites without a lot of room. Of course the small size also means you cannot really fly them very far away either as it is easy to lose orientation. But if you want to spend less than you would on a T-Rex 600, or do not have the space to fly something so large, the T-Rex 450SE v2 is about as good as you can get.

Also see Finless Bob’s excellent T-Rex 450 build and setup videos on the HeliFreak Forums. You will need to register but it is well worth it. TRex Tuning also has an excellent v2 build article.

Also see our Upgrading the T-Rex 450 v2 article and setups page.

Length: 660mm
Height: 230mm
Main Blade Length: 325mm
Main Rotor Diameter: 700mm
Tail Rotor Diameter: 150mm
Motor Pinion Gear: 12T/13T
Main Drive Gear: 150T
Autorotation Tail Drive Gear: 106T
Tail Drive Gear: 25T
Drive Gear Ratio: 1:12.5:4.24/1:11.5:4.24
Weight(w/o main blade): 450g
Flying Weight: Approx.730~760g

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