It does seem like a shame that nearly all the designs are very close to each other. As was mentioned, it seems like mankind has explored all the quirky ideas and decided the Align type rotorhead design was about as good as we could do.
Originally Posted by rotoraddict
Sounds like now would be a good time to consider going into something a little bigger like a 550 size.
I had considered that and ruled it out due to cost, but it seems like getting a "unique" 450 runs about the same cost as a 500/550 size bird.
If I were to go bigger, I think I'd stick with the 500 size though. 500's appear to be able to use 2x2200 3s batteries, which means I don't need new batteries since I already have a bunch of them. Upping to the 550 seems like it costs significantly more in all respects (just my observation though).
Of the 450's that Hirobo looks the most interesting. That servo/linkage layout for the cyclic looks nuts. Plus, I have a soft spot for Hirobo products, as a Hirobo shuttle circa 1985 is what got my addiction started. I flew it for all of 3 seconds before I freaked out, pancaked it, and had a boom strike. But the seed of interest had been planted...
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm all ears for further recommendations.