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Posted by Steph280 | Jun 21, 2014 @ 09:44 PM | 2,083 Views
I've always loved the way Christan Eagle looks. When I first learned how to fly back in the late 80's, I've always wanted to build one. But due to limited budget that never came into fruition. I never thought I had the patience (nor the skill) to recreate the beautiful color scheme. But now with the advancement of ARF kits, there are several choices available that comes with the hard work already done. And with my compulsive nature, they started to multiply!

My collection consists of the Hangar 9 90 size, Great Planes 40 size, Seagull 480 size, and recently I acquired a discontinued Great Planes giant scale ARF kit which will be my next project.
Posted by Steph280 | Jan 16, 2013 @ 12:22 PM | 8,171 Views
Multicopters have always been an intriguing aircraft to me. My first knowledge of such device was a RC micro-saucer device from a company called Keyence which I saw at Akihabara in Japan back in the early 1990's. Few years later I was excited to learn about a company called Area51 that manufacturers a larger quadcopter called Roswell Flyer, which was able to fly outdoor in gusty conditions. Then my collection started to grow, everytime a new multicopter comes out, it goes on my most wanted list. Yeah I guess you can call it a fetish.
Here are some of the copters that I took photos of over the years....Continue Reading
Posted by Steph280 | Nov 15, 2012 @ 12:36 PM | 23,933 Views
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Description: Not only is T-Rex 550 one of the best T-Rex, now it is also one of the most beautiful!

The T-Rex 550E DFC is Alignís latest edition of its very successful 550 series of electric helicopters. When I learned about the availability of these kits, I knew I had to add one to my fleet, as the previous T-Rex 550 was already one of my favorite. I had high expectations on what Align did to improve upon an already excellent design, and the new features certainly did not disappoint:
  • DFC flybarless head with matching DFC swashplate. DFC (Direct Flight Control) system is a design which streamlines the rotor head assembly by eliminating the washout mixer, allowing blade grips to connect directly to swashplate. This allows for a lower head that is not only aerodynamically efficient, but also brings the head closer to helicopterís lateral CG line. The DFC system results in noticeably faster forward flight, as well as quicker control response, yet is supposed to reduce energy consumption at the same time.
  • The frame is constructed with 2mm thick 3K carbon plates, along with CNC metal reinforcement plate and mounting blocks. Together these pieces form an extremely rigid, yet light weight frame system.
  • The new 550E DFC kits now come standard with T-Rex 600 tailboom and torque tube drive train. This allows the use of 600mm blades on this helicopter without interfering with tail blades. The included stock carbon blade is 520mm.
  • Tail control is through a 5mm carbon tail pushrod with metal tail control arm, and a precision CNC dual pivot tail pitch slider assembly. This
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Posted by Steph280 | May 23, 2012 @ 01:26 PM | 8,769 Views
There was talk about Align's autopilot system since last year, but not much information was available until the recent release of this video. It demonstrates features such as semi-autonomous takeoff/landings, position hold, altitude hold, emergency bailout, waypoint navigation, and return home. This should be a valuable tool not just for aerial photography, but also for those learning to hover, or expert pilots trying new maneuvers. Pretty slick system!

ALIGN APS GYRO VIDEO (3 min 12 sec)

Posted by Steph280 | May 22, 2012 @ 11:56 AM | 8,616 Views
Getting used to tray style radio for use with the autonomous multicopters, since they require very little user inputs. Plan to incorporate video monitor onto the transmitter, still deciding on how it should be done.

By the way this Futaba FX-20 runs the same exact software as the more common 8FG. They are basically the same transmitter with different form factor.
Posted by Steph280 | Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:25 AM | 12,525 Views
Last September I was fortunate enough to attend the 2010 Align Fun Fly in Taichung, Taiwan. This is the third year of my attendance and it once again topped the previous year. The crew at Align managed to elevate the event even higher by introducing new shows, new demonstrations, and of course new friends from all over the world. In addition to making the most well know RC helicopters around, I think the team at Align has also become the most efficient RC event organizer. They got this event planning business down to the T. Kudos to the teams at Align! Hope to see you guys again next year!

Here is a great summary video produced by Derrick Threatt from RCHeliresource.com:
2010 Align FunFly and World Invitational Movie by RCHeliResource.Com (13 min 42 sec)

Posted by Steph280 | Apr 05, 2010 @ 01:49 PM | 14,707 Views
I have always been fascinated by how the quad-rotor helicopter works. Have experimented with this design from various manufacturers such as Keyence UFO, Area 51 Roswell Flyer, Draganfly, etc. Although they are all capable of decent flying manuevers, some recent videos of the Mikrokopters (MK) from Holger Buss and Ingo Busker of Germany has caught my attention. Not only can the Mikrokopters achieve some never before seen flight agility and stability, they are also one of the few (if not the only one) hobby grade quadcopter with fully functional GPS waypoint and position hold capability. This video demonstrates some of these features.
MikroKopter - HexaKopter (11 min 28 sec)

...Continue Reading
Posted by Steph280 | Jan 14, 2010 @ 11:05 PM | 22,021 Views
The folks at Align never rests! With first prototype only seen a few months ago, the long awaited flybarless system is already on the way to all the dealers. Mind you, this was not a rushed product at all. Extensive testings and tunings were performed in this very short period of time. Unlike the other flybarless system that costs more than most helicopters themselves, Align designed the FL760 to be extremely user friendly. 5 setup steps and 2 gain adjustments is all it takes to get your helicopter up in the air. And to make the installation easier, they come prepackaged with all necessary hardware to convert your T-Rex 600 and 700 (500/450 soon), including a brand new CNC metal head, mixing base, and even pre-drilled servo horns. There is even a neat setup tool where you slide your old flybar through, so it can be used as reference to setup pitch. Talk about forward thinking!
Posted by Steph280 | Sep 24, 2009 @ 02:57 PM | 17,143 Views
After my memorable trip to the Align fun fly last year, I was happy to attend this year's event earlier this month. The 6th annual Align Fun Fly and World Invitational happened over the Labor day weekend 9/5 to 9/6. This year Align managed to secure the decommissioned Taichung airport facility to host the event, and what a nice field it is. The huge space allowed for some spectacular flying by some of the top pilots. And being that this field is within easy access to major freeway, the spectator turnout was probably doubled of last year. There were food vendors and hobby shop setups in the vendor tent area, adding the festive carnival atmosphere to the intense competition at the flight line. Align also invited all T-Rex owners to bring their helicopters for display at the event. This resulted in probably the largest gathering of T-Rex helicopter ever.

Here are some of the photos I took and borrowed from the event. Enjoy!...Continue Reading
Posted by Steph280 | Nov 03, 2008 @ 06:55 PM | 57,831 Views
The Align GP-750 heading lock gyro that is included in the new T-Rex 250 super combo kits has setup steps that differ with most other gyros on the market. In order to take advantage of its capabilities, correct options must be set according to the specific application. I will try to walk through the setup steps and explain each setting.

Similar to other gyros, when it is powered up, the LED will flash rapidly indicating initialization is in progress. Do not touch the gyro or helicopter at this point. Once the initialization process completes, the status LED will remain lit in green or red. Green indicates gyro is in heading lock mode, red means itís in normal rate mode.

Before you start, itís best to understand what each option means.
ē 1520/760: This represents the frame rate of the rudder servo used. Most commonly used analog or digital servos use the 1520us frame rate. 760us rate is used specifically for high frequency servos such as Futaba 9256 and BLS251. If unsure, always set this option to 1520us to avoid burning out your servo. 1520us is also the factory default settings.
ē DS/AS: This sets the gyro for either Digital Servo or Analog Servo. DS is the factory default setting.
ē NOR/REV: This sets the compensating direction for the gyro.
ē Limit: This setting limits the rudder servo travel and is used to avoid binding in the tail linkage.
ē Delay: This is the setting used to dampen the gyro compensating speed for slower servos that are unable to keep
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Posted by Steph280 | Sep 09, 2008 @ 11:51 PM | 29,076 Views
In the few short years Align has been producing RC helicopters, they have cranked out more models than any helicopter manufacturers. While most are familiar with their T-Rex line of helicopters, few are aware of the annual fun fly they organize every year in Taiwan. The Align Fun Fly and 3D Invitational has become the premier 3D helicopter event in Asia, attracting contestants from all over the world. This year was no exception.

The 5th annual event took place on September 6-7 2008, at the Align company field 25 minutes away from their headquarter based in Taichung, central Taiwan. This year we saw top contestants and guests from all over the world including USA, Canada, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, etc. Unlike other fun flies, Align was generously enough to cover all board, meals, ground transportation, and even a full day city tour for all contestants plus one guest. So basically all you have to do is buy a plane ticket for yourself and your significant other, and you are covered for 5 days and 4 nights! Even the funfly itself is free to enter. How is that for a nice heli vacation? And this Funfly is an open invitation to anybody who wishes to enter any one of the contests. So you don't have to be one of the top dogs to enjoy Align's hospitality.

Day 1 - Friday September 5: Arrival
Since there are guests arriving throughout the day, Align has constant shuttle...Continue Reading