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Blade 300CFX – Even Better Yard Flier? 31Jan14

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Reviews.
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Blade 300CFXWe recently asked if the Blade 300X was the best yard flier yet. Well in our opinion the answer is a resounding, yes! We finally got the 300X into the air and we could not have been more impressed. The BeastX gives the heli a stability and agility that just isn’t there with the smaller helis. The power plant is no 450 but it has plenty of power for restricted yard flying and will satisfy all but the most hardcore 3D fliers. The size is just large enough to handle some wind and be easy to see but still small enough for relatively tight spaces. For gentle flying and basic hovering you will easily get 4:30mins of flying time. Take the headspeed down a tad and you can easily extend that to 5:00mins. Turn up the power and bang the heli around and you can still get 4:00mins of fun.

The bad news is that the Blade 300X is being discontinued. But fear not! Horizon just announced the all new Blade 300 CFX. This is basically the 300X with carbon fiber upgrades and new servo geometry. The tail is the same. The only unknown is whether the increased weight and headspeed will dramatically lower the flight times or not because it uses the same 3S 1350 lipo as the 300X. Horizon is listing 4:00mins run time but we suspect that’s at the lower pinion and headspeed. But if it at least gives 4:00mins with the option, for those wishing, to crank it up for 3:00mins of craziness this could be all good.

You can get a peek at the new 300CFX in action. Look for the 300CFX soon — If you fly helis you’ll want one.

Random Heli Skid Clamps 23Mar13

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, Products, Reviews.
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random-heli-logoIt’s amazing how long it has taken for someone to make such a thing but better late than never. The new Random Heli Skid Clamps provide a nice way to secure your heli. See the review on RC Groups. The only bummer is there are no options for the Goblin.

Align AH-1 Cobra Scale Fuselage 28Feb12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, Reviews, Scale Helis, TRex.
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Align AH-1 CobraWe picked up the new Align AH-1 Cobra Scale Fuselage for the T-Rex 500. The fuselage is fully painted and comes with a detailed cockpit and the necessary components to modify a stock T-Rex 500 helicopter to work in the scale fuselage. The fuselage and cockpit are extremely high quality and well detailed. We have finished the conversion and are about to test fly the mechanics and then complete the build. We will have more details on the project soon.

Below are a few pictures to give you a sense of the kit and its size.

SAB Goblin 700 22Dec11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, News, Reviews, SAB Goblin.
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Sab GoblinThe new SAB Goblin 700 heli from Goblin Helicopter certainly looks nice. Pre-orders are going well and the 3rd batch is already sold out. Next estimated ship date is late March 2012.

We normally do not like belts on our helis and generally avoid kits that have them if at all possible. The Goblin has two belts but it is such a unique design that it has captured our interest. One thing we like about larger helis is their visibility and the Goblin design has that in spades.

If you are in the market for a 700 class heli and want something innovative give it a look.

Note: There is a service announcement for the Goblin. Boom clearance should be minimum of 145mm from top of boom to blades. See Bert’s video for further information.

Note: There is also a second advisory on the main drive pulley. Best to cease flying and get a replacement. [We received our replacement on 11APR12]

Bert takes a look at the SAB Goblin in a SmackTalk episode. The manual V2.0 is now available. HeliFreak has a nice build thread on the Goblin. Luke Annelis has a very cool build video.

Bobby provides a great SAB Goblin 700 review and build notes.

Also see how to setup the belt on the Goblin 700.

Goblin Exploded ViewIncluded:

(1) SAB Goblin 700 – Kit Only

(1) SAB 700mm Carbon Fiber Main Rotor Blade Set

(1) SAB 110mm Carbon Fiber Tail Rotor Set

What’s Needed for Flight:

(3) Cyclic Servos – High Torque Recommended

(1) Tail Servo

(1) Brushless Main Motor

(1) Brushless ESC

(2) 6S 22.2V LiPo Battery – 12S 44.4V System

(1) Flybarless Gyro

(1) 7+ Channel Transmitter

(1) 7+ Channel Receiver

(1) LiPo Battery Charger


Tail Shaft Diameter: 6mm

Main Rotor Diameter: 1580mm / 62.20 in.

Tail Rotor Diameter: 296mm / 11.65 in.

Overall Length: 1360mm / 53.54 in.

Overall Height: 380mm / 14.96 in.

Main Shaft Diameter: 12mm

Feathering Shaft Diameter: 10mm

All Up Weight: 3290g / 7.25 lbs. (Batteries Not Included)

[Updated: 8AUG12]

The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8 — Review 20Apr11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, Products, Publications, Reviews, Transmitters.
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The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8Chuck Bassani wrote a nice guide to the new Spektrum DX8 transmitter. It is entitled, surprisingly, The Ultimate Guide to the Spektrum DX8.

The book is a small 95-page, black and white, soft-cover. It has plenty of well done photos and covers pretty much anything you need to know about the DX8. It covers both helicopter and fixed-wing functions.

Of course your first question might be, “You need to read a book to use the DX8?!” Well good question! But no you do not. We have found the DX8 much simpler to program overall than the DX7. But this does not make Chuck’s guide superfluous. There are a few advanced features in the DX8 that will be new to many flyers especially those coming from the DX7. The Guide explains all you will need to know. We found it helpful with our first heli setup on the DX8 to explain the various gyro options. Recommended.

Note: When moving from the DX7 to the DX8 be aware that the DX8 uses 0 to +100% for HH and 0 to -100% for rate mode. It also reads true values rather than having to multiply by 1.4 like previous JR/Spektrum radios.

[Updated: 22APR11]

SmackTalk RC 23Jan11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Reviews, TRex.
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SmackTalk RCIf you have not checked out SmackTalk RC yet you should. Bert and Bobby have been producing some very useful and entertaining shows. They are only a few dollars a pop and they provide multiple resolutions and formats so you can watch them on your device of choice.

If you are wondering where to start we found their Learning 3D episodes very useful as well as Episode #10 – Going Flybarless! but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

T-Rex 700E — Review 19Aug10

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, Products, Reviews, TRex.
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T-Rex 700E 3G Combo

T-Rex 700E 3G Combo

The T-Rex 700E is Align’s long awaited 700-class electric helicopter. Currently you can buy the heli in two forms. First is the traditional 700E flybar version that also includes the 700M motor and 105mm carbon fiber tail blades. The other option is the 700E 3G combo kit that includes not just the 700M motor and 105mm carbon fiber tail blades but also 690mm carbon fiber main blades, 3xDS610 servos, 1xDS650 tail servo, flybarless head and the Align 3G flybarless system. Both kits include both an aluminum tail boom and a carbon fiber tail boom. There are reports of a new 3G package that includes a Castle Creations ICE 120 ESC as well as the new 700MX motor and CNC main gear. (more…)

Align T-Rex 600CF — Review 07Mar08

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, Reviews, TRex.
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T-Rex 450v2 and 600CFAlso see the all new T-Rex 600E Pro and our T-Rex 700 Review.

The T-Rex 600 is currently Align’s flagship RC electric helicopter (there is also the newer 600N nitro version). The T-Rex 600 is a sizable bird, approximately .50 size, at 1200mm (47.25 in) long, 388/405mm (15.25 in/16 in) high and with main blades 600 mm (23.62in) long giving a total main rotor diameter of 1350 mm (53.15 in). Flying weight is around 7 pounds. The larger size and weight provide increased stability and the size also makes it easier to see at longer distances. (more…)

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. (more…)

RotoPod Training Gear 08Sep07

Posted by tanker in Beginner, Products, Reviews.
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An excellent way for new heli pilots to learn takeoffs, hovers, and landings is with training gear. The best choice in gear is without a doubt the RotoPod system.

The RotoPod comes in a number of models but for larger helis, such as the T-Rex 600, the large, carbon fiber version is the way to go. Smaller helis can probably get by with the smaller, wood legged version just fine.

RotoPod on TRex-600What makes the RotoPod gear special is that it has two modes. The initial mode looks a bit like a cone with the legs coming down from the central hub at an angle. The heli sits on a bracket attached to the central hub and is free to rotate and even pitch and roll a tad. This allows the new flier to check and get a feel for the heli controls before even lifting the heli off the ground. The wide, angled stance of the gear allows for less-than-perfect, but safe, landings. The RotoPod gear allows easy takeoffs and landings even in areas where the grass area is not very smooth and on conrete it provides some additional cushion for hard landings. The RotoPod allows for a safe landing at almost any spot. (more…)