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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.

RC Pilot Magazine — Now Available! 03Jan12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Publications.
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RC Pilot MagazineA brand new RC magazine is now out. RC Pilot Magazine is the first tablet only RC magazine, there will be no print. Unlike the Zinio versions of RC Heli Mag, RC Pilot Magazine is a standalone app for Android and the iPad. We believe it is using the Adobe publishing engine that is also used by Wired magazine. There is a nice mix of content with heli coverage as well as planker stuff. The layout is very attractive and it is sprinkled with videos including video ads. The only downside to the videos is that they do make each issue rather large with the free trial issue weighing in at almost 500MB. Overall the trial issue looks good and we hope to see more.

The app is available in the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace. The trial issue is free.

Note: RC Pilot Magazine is now defunct.

Updated: 16NOV13

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]

Interview With Mike Velez From RC Heli Magazine 11Nov11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Publications.
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RCHeli Nation v2.0The boys over at RCHeliNation 2.0 have a nice interview with Mike Velez. Mike is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of RC Heli Magazine. RCHeli Mag has been having some tough times with the economy as of late. Mike gives the full details. We wish them well — RC Heli Mag has always been our favorite heli magazine. The interview is in Episode 8, forward to 00:23:00 to get right to the interview. Note, the interview itself is family friendly but the rest of the podcast most certainly is not.

Mike mentions Zinio in the interview. If you are not familiar with Zinio it is worth a look. Zinio is an electronic magazine hosting service. The file format served is not as useful as a PDF (no notes, search, etc) but the pages look great, you get the magazine as soon as it is published, and it is easy to have hundreds of issues without stacks of paper cluttering your space. You can read Zinio magazines on your computer via a Web browser or even better is via the Zinio App on the iPad. We gave up our physical subscriptions as soon as the iPad came out and haven’t looked back.

Heli pilots may be interested in the following publications on Zinio: RC Heli Mag, Cleared Hot, Heli News, Combat Aircraft Monthly, and Aviation Week.

Whiplash FBL Electric — Now Shipping 07Nov11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, News.
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Whiplash FBLMiniature Aircraft’s latest 700-sized heli, the Whiplash, is now shipping. The flybarless electric model is 52″ long and flies on 12S power. A nitro version is also available.


  • Length: 52.5″ (1333mm)
  • Height: Flybar-17″ (432mm), Flybarless – 16.5” (419mm)
  • Rotor Span: 1561-1601mm – 690-710mm blades
  • Tail Rotor Span: 286mm with 105mm T/R blades
  • Avg. Ready-to-Fly Weight: 7.5-8lbs – 3.4-3.62kg (less batts)
  • Main Drive Ratio: 8.85:1 (9.53:1, 8.26:1 options)
  • Tail Drive Ratio: 4.59:1
  • Main Rotor Blades: 690-710mm
  • Recommended Power: 500-560KV, 12S 5000mah

RealFlight 6 — Now Available 21Oct11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products.
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RealFlight 6A new version of our favorite heli sim is now available. RealFlight 6 is out and even comes with a free Heli Mega Pack. The new sim features improved physics and a rewind feature. The Heli Mega Pack includes over 45 heli models. Unfortunately the only T-Rex is still the 500. Where are the 550, 600 and 700? Although there is the KDE 700 which is a T-Rex 700 with all of the KDE upgrades. It is a very nice model and flies very much like a souped up T-Rex 700. Also the new Rave ENV 700 is included (not the new Ballistic but the original electric ENV). The full version with the Heli Mega Pack also includes a new Futaba transmitter that, finally, includes a smooth collective stick and a proper throttle hold switch!

[Updated: 23NOV11]

New Blade Helis — Available Soon 21Oct11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News.
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Blade mSR XHorizon Hobby now has the new Blade mCP X heli and mSR X heli up for pre-order. Both are the latest helis in the great ultra-micro heli line of Blade helis. They are similar to the original aircraft but now have a flybarless control unit!

Available now is the new Blade Scout CX. The Scout is basically the new low cost coax heli, but it is only three channel and should probably be avoided by heli fliers. We still recommend the mCX2 for a basic coax heli.

[Updated: 28OCT11]

Castle Recall — September 2011 26Sep11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products.
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Castle Creations has yet another recall on the ICE HV line of ESCs including both the HV120 and HV160. If your unit is not labeled ‘ICE 2’ return it to Castle.

Thanks to Casey McGinty for the heads-up.

E-flite Carbon-Z Scimitar 26Sep11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Fixed-Wing, News.
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ScimitarWhile man can live on helis alone he may not necessarily always want to. With things a tad slow on the heli front a new E-flite fixed-wing aircraft caught our eye. The new Carbon-Z Scimitar looks like a planker worthy of a heli pilot. It not only looks cool but it has a 2D rotating prop that gives it vectored yaw control to allow for some very un-planker like maneuvers. It even has optional electric retracts. Horizon has a nice video on the Scimitar.

Scimitar Knife Edge

The original Carbon-Z Yak 54 is a great little plane so we expect the Scimitar to be just as good. If you are not familiar with the new Carbon-Z line they are foam planes with carbon and plywood stiffeners that give them amazing performance and durability. They are almost ready to fly and one can get them in the air in under 30 minutes. If you want a divergence from helis with a minimum of fuss they are a great way to go.

Recall Updates — Aug 2011 27Aug11

Posted by tanker in General Heli.
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It’s been a slow month RC wise. I got my Castle Creations recall ICE HV120 and BEC Pro back in under two weeks. Oddly the BEC Pro is not marked in any way, that I can tell, to indicate it was fixed but the ICE HV120 is marked as Rev 3.0. I got my DX8 back in about two weeks and Castle sent a free Rx along for my trouble.

Update: Castle has recalled the ICE HV120 (and others), again! Thanks to Casey McGinty for the heads-up.

Update: As of 28FEB12 we got all of our items back. It took awhile but it looks like Castle has largely caught up with all of the recalls.

[Updated: 28FEB12]