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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:35 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Heli Pad Review Series: HiSKY HFP100 4CH FBL 3 Axis Gyro Helicopter (aka FBL90, V944)


Introduction

If your experiences in RC flying have been limited to coaxial or single rotors with flybar, you would understand the frustrations of flying in any kind of wind. While offering great stability with low cost head holding gyro, the spinning stabilizing bar and the head design cripples the helicopter’s ability to fly in wind. If you desire better wind penetration, you need to consider FlyBarLess (FBL) helicopters.

HiSKY specializes in Flybarless (FBL) helicopters. Some of them have Fixed Pitch (FP) rotors. Others have Collective Pitch (CP) rotors, suitable for 3D flying. Currently, there are two FP helicopters, the HFP80 and the HFP100. Both of these are 4CH with 3-axis gyro. This review will be focused on the HFP100.

HFP100 was originally named FBL90, indicating that it is a FBL helicopter. But as the product line grows, HiSKY quickly recognize the limitation of that naming convention. They need something to separate the FP line from the CP line of products. Subsequently, FBL90 was renamed to HFP100. The leading H signifies that it is a HiSKY product. The FP denotes the fixed pitch rotors, and the last number indicates the size.



WL-Toys also sells a rebrand version of HFP100 under the name of V944. It comes with a different Tx and a different canopy. But otherwise, it is the same helicopter.

Why HiSKY?

As you know there are many helicopter manufacturers in the playing field. IMHO, there are several reasons to pay attention to HiSKY products.
1. First, the price is right.
HiSKY helicopters and their replacement parts are very affordable.
2. “HiSKY Official” is an active member of this forum.
Your comments, feedback, and ideas are directly fed into the company. They closely monitor your wish list to make their next line of products.
3. One word, MassiveRC.
If you’ve been around here, you must have heard about the unparalleled customer service from MassiveRC, a US based vendor. MRC is an authorized dealer of HiSKY in the US. These reasons combined really gives HiSKY an edge above its competitions.



What’s in the Package?

The HCP100 RTF Kit comes complete with:
• 1 x HiSKY HFP100 RC Helicopter
• 1 x H-4Q Transmitter (comes in Black or White)
• 1 x Replacement Main Blade set
• 1 x Replacement Tail Rotor
• 1 x Replacement Rotor Head Hardware Set and Tools
• 1 x USB Charger
• 2 x 3.7V 300mAh 15C Lipo Battery
• 1 x Manual

The HCP100 Upgraded RTF Kit comes with everything above, but instead of the 4 CH H-4Q radio, you get the upgraded 6CH X-6S radio.



Meet the HFP100

The HFP100 is a very well made micro helicopter. Its attention to details is quite impressive. Rotor Blades and swivel mounted to the head and meant to break away on impact, or just folded back during travel. The blades are long and skinny (110x15mm). They look like the ones you see in typical CP helicopters. The blades themselves are flat and zero pitch. The pitch and thrust come from the fixed angle that they are mounted to the head. Underneath the head assembly is a precision swash plate with metal fisheye center for smooth operations. Linear Servos are mounted on individual boards for easy maintenance and replacement. Rx board has plugs for servos, motors and battery leads. Tail boom is hollowed square 2mm carbon fiber rod, with angled support struts. The tail motor mount encases the tail motor and does not expose any motor wires for protection. Battery is inserted forward and into the canopy for better weight distribution. The landing skids are light weight and flexible, yet reinforced in strategic areas for strength. The canopy is light (1.75g) and nicely painted with shiny black and red over white. The overall weight of the HFP100 is 38g. The 300mAh Lipo adds 7.6g.



The H-4Q Transmitter

In the RTF kit, the HFP100 is paired with the 4CH H-4Q transmitter. The H-4Q is a compact radio. It takes 4 AA batteries to operate. Although it is a toy radio, it is a nice toy radio. HiSKY gives you a choice of the basic matte black color, or the white. The white looks very sharp, but the basic black hides dirt better. In addition to basic stick and trim control, the H-4Q has a dedicated dual rate switch and a back lit 45mm LCD screen. The brightness of the LCD is uneven. Fortunately, I don’t look at it too often while I’m flying. There are 3 buttons on the right of the LCD. They have all the appearance and clicking feel of real buttons, but they don’t perform any functions. The H-4Q comes with a neck strap hole that is placed in a balanced location. The sticks look aluminum, but they are still plastics. The sticks do have a good feel. The H-4Q also comes with a carrying handle on the back. Like I said, for a toy radio, the attention to details is impressive.

The unfortunate part of my H-4Q is that it is probably defective. While using it, I have encountered random signal loss. I have contacted HiSKY about it, and they are going to replace the radio. Meanwhile, I am able to bind the HFP100 to my modded Devo 7E with Deviation, which allows me to fly the HFP100 without any problem. In the long run, I would recommend every owner to put the stock radio down and bind it with a better radio that offers you programmable Expo curves and Limits.



The X-6S Transmitter

If you opted for the upgraded X-6S radio, you step up from 4CH to 6CH. This radio usually comes with HiSKY’s CP helicopters. It is a full size radio with very good stick movements. It also offers you some mixing functions. If you start with this radio, you could get the next CP helicopter in the BNF package and save some money.

Flight Characteristics

With the advanced 3-axis gyro, the FBL HFP100 could fly as stable as a helicopter with FB. However, it doesn’t auto level like a FB helicopter and it does require the pilot to actively fly the helicopter. It really takes very little stick movement to get the HFP100 going. For that reason, it is fast and it could handle quite a bit more wind than any FB helicopter. I ran my HFP100 through a full battery of crash tests. I managed to pop the skids and one of the tail struts. But they are re-inserted into place. I also cracked the canopy near the battery holder. But when I got home, I taped it back up with clear tape and it looked like new again. The HFP100 is a little tough guy. It could take quite a bit of abuses.



Summary

The HFP100 is the larger of the two 4CH FP FBL 3-axis gyro helicopters. The helicopter is very well built. No detail was overlooked and no corner was cut. The RTF kit is really a nice complete package, with extra battery and a handful of replacement parts. The HFP100 is durable, stable, fast, and capable. It does not auto level and it requires the pilot to fly it. Here are lists of its pros and cons.

Pros
• Excellent price
• Very affordable replacement parts
• Very capable and stable helicopter
• Made of quality parts
• Very durable
• Pivoted rotor blades
• Maintenance made easy with plugs
• Upgrade path to programmable radio
• Excellent support from manufacturer and stateside dealer

Cons
• LCD visibility
• Random signal loss with my radio (replacement pending)

What’s next?

HiSKY is already working on the next generation of FP FBL helicopters. They have announced the coming of the Version 2 of HFP100 and HFP80, both sport the 6-axis gyro with accelerometers. This will make the helicopters even more stable and easier to fly, which is great for beginning pilots. But if you are a seasoned pilot, HiSKY says that you might enjoy the 3-axis gyro more than the 6-axis gyro, cause it would be more agile and less self correction.

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Last edited by Heli Pad; Jun 11, 2014 at 07:31 PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:36 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:36 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Last edited by Heli Pad; Jun 11, 2014 at 07:30 PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 06:53 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Last edited by Heli Pad; Jun 11, 2014 at 07:30 PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 07:58 PM
Mod it like you stole it!
katoace's Avatar
Joined Jul 2009
532 Posts
Ha! Good stuff Helipad. There are already a couple threads on the hfp100, but, this one is quite good. Nice parts reference. Good review......I have one of these (and another on the slow boat) and love it. Very capable little heli with good power/torque and responsiveness. I'll probably own one for as long as hisky choses to make them.......Again nice write-up............................Kato
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 08:04 PM
Bash crash hopefully no splash
Flyingboats's Avatar
New Zealand, Auckland
Joined Apr 2012
541 Posts
Hi Helipad,

Nice to see your review. Have you got a V2 coming as a comparison? Ordered one last night as I'm curious.

I've found it interesting to compare the V1 with the HCP100/V922. I prefer the CP's in the wind, as they are heavier, plus the higher headspeed and controllable pitch give you much better control. The HFP is really nice when the wind is lighter, as the lower weight provides better a "glide", greater maneuverability, and longer flight times.

I'm really sold on the Hisky birds as I've been super impressed with the HCP after a year flying (well crashing mostly!) the V922. They make a great product. Really hanging out for the new HCP130S though..... Go Hisky!
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