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Posted by RobK | Mar 05, 2012 @ 12:12 AM | 2,758 Views
So, after a few helis sold / given away / retired, the fleet now basically looks like this. Three flybarless electrics, and Enter the Raptor... My buddy AJ gave me a great deal on his very seasoned Raptor 50 SE, nicely-equipped. So that's my first nitro heli... has a YS 50 in it. First glow engine I've ever had period, actually. I like my electrics, but I really want to learn how to deal with nitro as well. So, big learning experience ahead of me. It was also an easy path to getting a larger heli at a great price, that is set up well from someone I know and trust. And... it came accompanied by a Futaba 12Z radio. Provided I can get time to fly... it should be a fun season! Now... time to get in on a group order of some fuel!
Posted by RobK | Feb 02, 2012 @ 05:50 PM | 2,456 Views
So I find, like most, that a T-Rex 250 is somewhat of a handful with a flybarred head. I think to myself, "hey, this would be way more fun if it were flybarless!" But, I don't want to spend a lot to do it... Enter the Tarot ZYX. Cheap, easy, and works great! See the thread linked below, where I heard of it.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1512179

At a small fraction of the cost of just about any other good FBL system out there, it was hard not to try it out. I think I spent like $79 for the head and the FBL unit together. Mind you, the head is not the greatest quality, but it works fine. (It seems to be very soft aluminum, and has poor machining tolerances on the grips where the bearings fit in. Green bearing retainer compound solves this though.)

As to be expected with a FBL conversion, it is faster, more agile, more stable, and has all the authority to get out of any trouble I've gotten it into. Flight time is boosted as well. I get a solid 6 minutes of flying from a 3-cell 850mAh 35C pack, and the packs end up right around 11.1 volts. I put about an average of 600mAh back in when charging.

As far as I've heard/read, 250 size tails seem to be challenging to get just right, so the tail performance is its Achilles heel right now. Upgraded tail mechanics and better servo might do it, but for now it's good enough for how I'm flying it so far. (I.e., still pretty much sport aerobatics, not 3D yet.)

So this upgraded bird, even with the usual challenges of a 250 tail, is overall a tremendous improvement, and provides good smiles per dollar! Obviously way beyond the capabilities of my stock mCPX for example, but with a size that is still comfortable in the smaller spaces where I might be hesitant to fly my Rave 450 quite as aggressively... so, it's perfect for aerobatics in my backyard. Just what I was looking for.
Posted by RobK | Nov 02, 2011 @ 12:51 AM | 2,117 Views
Not to mention, in parallel to all this, the Heli bug bit, and bit hard.

From the HoneyBee FP (which taught me to hover) a few years ago, moved on to an Esky Co-Comanche for fun. Somewhere along the line, decided to get finally into CP helis and grabbed a Blade 400. Re-learned to hover. Then when the Blade mSR came out, that actually got me comfortable with forward flight, ironically, since it rather resists forward flight. But I worked that puppy! Near-indestructibility has its learning benefits. Skills transferred right back into the B400, and then I was off and running for sport flight. From there, made a huge upgrade to a Next-D Rave 450 flybarless with Total-G. Bought it used here as my first RCG purchase. That thing totally rocks. Exquisite quality and precision, designed and engineered in the USA by Curtis Youngblood Enterprises. Setup expertly for me by AJ Jaffe (also a CYE field rep), who along with Nate Rice (the local pros!) were my inspiration for pursuing CP helis and (slowly) making headway into 3D. Thanks guys!

Not pictured here, but also had, enjoyed (and sold) a Novus 125 CP, currently have a Blade mCP X (which I highly recommend) and most recently a T-rex 250 clone... soon to get converted to flybarless probably.
Posted by RobK | Nov 02, 2011 @ 12:09 AM | 2,064 Views
Been a couple years I guess since I made an update... so here's a couple more planes I've had... a scratch-built VTO, and a New Power "Fury". Also had, but not pictured: Eflite ultra micro 4-Site, and ultra micro Su-26 XP. The 4-Site, upon its rapid demise, had it's Spektrum guts transferred to a Dynamic Foamy "DYNEX 2.4". Had a ball with that... might need to grab another for indoor season this year.