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Old Aug 18, 2009, 01:22 AM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
Discussion
450 or 500 size heli

I am planning to build a 3d heli from a kit , i am unable to decide on a 450 or 500 size . I can fly comfortably with my hbfp now , can do forward flight, spin it around , circles, figure 8s. I am planning to start building the kit so it will be ready by the time i can fly a CP heli. I saw the size of the 500 size and instantly wanted it , i just love how big it is. But I realize i will need 80A esc ? and a more powerful motor which will be expensive ? The difference in the HK450 or 500 kits doesn't seem much ( about $20) but how much more would the electronics cost. I dont want to spend too much money on this as I am still in college and have limited funds. I plan on buying a decent used tx, rx. I have one hitec digital servo for the tail but will need to either buy 3 servos or can I use the servos from the HBFP on either the 450 or 500 ? Also does the 500 one require more expensive servos to handle the load ?
Does the GY401 clone gyro work with both 450 and 500 ?
one thing about the hbfp i did not like was that is a micro heli. I want a heli that feels big, does the 450 or does it still feel like a mini. I will be flying it in the open space on campus that is quite grassy ( about 5 ft tall) , there is a cemented section for take off and landing. I am not afraid about crashing it cause if invert it over the grass and even turn off the throttle it doesn't break anything and lands softly on the grass. Also i live in central illinois so it can get quite windy.

What do you think i should get ?

thanks for reading, lots of questions
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 04:39 AM
trex 500esp msh protos
henryd123's Avatar
south west uk
Joined Apr 2008
1,391 Posts
it comes down to choice and cost,the 500 size heli's need beefier electronics and lipo's.I have both 450 and 500 size and enjoy both but the 500 is the most visible and stable in flight.the clone gyro will work on both sizes,don't be thinking that landing in long grass inverted will not damage the heli,the extra weight and high headspeed carry a lot of inertia and most crashes wherever they take place will cause damage so factor in spares costs as well
good luck with wharever you choose

henry
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 08:10 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,348 Posts
A 450 is not that much bigger than an HBFP. It's a lot heavier and feels it, though. My experience is a nice 450 costs about $300 - $350 to build, by the time you replace all the junk clone components with good stuff, buy decent electronics, a good programmable Tx, batteries and charger. Add another $150 to that for a 500.

There are going to be people tell you they built a complete HK450 for $125 or something like that. I'd say that takes incredible luck finding components and not having anything break before even getting it off the ground. Follow the threads GlassWalker has started in this forum. That will give you a much more realistic idea of what building one of those HK clones is going to be like.
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Last edited by Balr14; Aug 18, 2009 at 08:20 AM.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 11:07 AM
Rocket Programmer
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
25,354 Posts
My Trex 500 came to about $800 not counting radio and batteries... the batteries are $100 each and get about 6 minutes of flying time - and I needed a $200 charger to properly charge them. It's a big price jump when you go to 500 class... I could have easily spent another $200 if I got digital cyclic servos and paid full price for the kit (I got a big discount on the kit).

However, the 500 flies way better in a lot of ways, than the 450. It has lots more power, is more stable, can be thrown around a lot harder, easier to see, etc...
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 11:25 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,348 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine2501
My Trex 500 came to about $800 not counting radio and batteries... the batteries are $100 each and get about 6 minutes of flying time - and I needed a $200 charger to properly charge them. It's a big price jump when you go to 500 class... I could have easily spent another $200 if I got digital cyclic servos and paid full price for the kit (I got a big discount on the kit).

However, the 500 flies way better in a lot of ways, than the 450. It has lots more power, is more stable, can be thrown around a lot harder, easier to see, etc...
I was being very conservative, considering the number of people likely to say how cheap they can build one for. The last 450 I built, using quality components, cost about $600. But, I'm not going to trust $4 servos or a $20 gyro.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 11:56 AM
Rocket Programmer
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
25,354 Posts
I think you're about right, considering the 450 size is a lot more popular - economies of scale coming into play there. The 500 is a big price jump though - mine is probably near the low end since I got discounts, used cheap cyclics ($50 each), and used the smaller of the two tail servo choices. You could easily spend a lot more on a 500, but I would say it would be pretty hard to get it under $600 unless you used really cheap stuff, and I wouldn't risk my baby to cheap stuff. Part of the reason it flies so nice is because I used good stuff... but if it didn't fly very well, the mechanical parts can be pretty expensive.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:15 PM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
Thanks for your replies!!

How different does the 500 feel from the 450. This will probably be the last heli i get until I graduate and get a job. The lipos required for 500 scare me now. How much do batteries for the 450 cost ? not the expensive ones but decent.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:39 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,348 Posts
I really, really want a Swift 16 (500/550 size). A nephew has one that I've flown a number of times. Him and his dad (my brother-in-law) have probably $100k in RC planes and helis, so I'll fly the cheap stuff sometimes. They have offered to let my fly some of the good stuff, but that idea scares the crap out of me. He also has a couple good 450s, a Quark and an Innovator in a price range I don't mind flying.

Anyway, I could not believe the difference between the Swift and a good Trex 450 clone. I'm not a great flyer, so I'm not going to fly inverted or do any 3D tricks. But, I'm confident enough to try a loop or a roll with a heli I'm familiar with. The Swift is totally unaffected by wind or air currents and does exactly what you tell it to do. It's very precise and completely predictable. It's really stable and not prone to roll. There's no hint of unwanted tail movement. It's punchout performance is outstanding, not a hint of wag or instability.

By comparison, the Trex clone is pretty stable, but it does want to roll some. The tail requires a little more attention. It is somewhat affected by air currents; you can feel it in the controls as it is not quite as precise and sometimes it's a little unpredictable. It also slides more. Punchout can get exciting, as it wags and rocks some. That could be the setup and components used, but I don't think you could improve much on these.

I think to duplicate my nephew's Swift would cost about $1300. I need to get a job!

From what I have been told, a comparably equipped Trex 500/600 handles much like a Swift 16.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 01:22 PM
Mildly Confused
Paul 1968's Avatar
UK
Joined Oct 2008
1,375 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14
I really, really want a Swift 16 (500/550 size).

Pity you're not here in the U.K you could have had mine cheap. Back onto the thread though. I've always advised novices against smaller models, however with the advent of better affordable electronics I think a 450 would be a better choice if you (O/P) are on a student budget. Crash costs alone tend to make larger models less accessible to those on restricted funds.

Paul.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 01:25 PM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
I decided to build a 450 for now, the 500 seems a little dangerous to be flying on a college campus and more expensive as well. I dont have access to a flying field so i will get a 450 instead.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 01:40 PM
Still a n00b.
grnbrg's Avatar
Winnipeg, Canada
Joined Jan 2008
1,624 Posts
Don't get the idea that a 450 is significantly safer than a 500... The tips of the main rotor of a 450 are moving at around 200 mph (300+ km/h) and have a not insignificant mass. Hitting someone (hopefully yourself) with a 450 will cause some serious damage.

I fly in a soccer field near my house, but only when it's empty, and any people who wander through get a wide berth.


grnbrg.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 01:52 PM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
i am more concerned that people walking nearby get scared if I am flying the 500 on the field, the 450 wouldn't seem so intimidating. I will fly it safe.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 02:08 PM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
Another question: I was looking at the electronics needed for the 450, i will need to buy a 3s 2200 mah lipo. Can i charge this one using the esky balance charger that comes with the hbfp ? or will it overwork the balance charger ? i am guessing it will take about 4.5 hrs to charge it , which is not bad.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 12:47 AM
QiW
Registered User
south east asia
Joined Mar 2009
956 Posts
the esky charger will work at the expense of maybe 3-4hours of charging per 2200mah lipo .. imagine if u have more than a couple of packs to charge
and it is not safe to charge your lipos unattended .. dont leave your lipo charging and then go out to the store or something

since u have decided u want a 450 .. the trex450pro comes with digital servos powerful motor and ESC and an excellent gyro .. its as stable as a 450 can get (i have one) .. and its just over $400
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 01:39 AM
AE
Champaign, IL
Joined Jul 2009
60 Posts
I cannot afford to spend $400 , that is why I am going the cheap electronics and the clone route. Based on my calculations I might be spending $200-230 initially including a used decent computer tx and then may be more for parts.
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