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Old Oct 07, 2009, 08:46 AM
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USA, KY, Florence
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Training Helicopter- wish list

A lot of people who want to fly a helicopter go to the hobbyshop and buy one because it looks neat and will do 3D- it must be good right?-- Wrong.
The first heli should be Tough as nails and fly really stable. so the beginner can build up a lot of hours flying instead of fixing.

I started this thread as a sounding board to come up with a bullet proof training helicopter that could be crashed, and flown within 30 min.

1. Weak points in a crash - main shaft, feathering shaft, flybar mechanism.

How about a flybarless head swinging 325mm FRP blades(now $3.50 each at Hobbypartz) with a 5MM main shaft(short as possible) and a 4MM feathering shaft. the weak part would be the blades that would snap off and could be easily replaced.
Heavy duty blade grips with big bearings that wont get "notchy" Plastic parts to keep weight / cost down.

2.Frame- aluminum(softer Alloy). it can be bent back into shape after a crash.
made with large servo cutouts to accept mid or full size servos with metal gears (flybarless head is rough on servos)

3. Tail boom / pick off. Absolutely a belt drive- much more user friendly. The whole assy is self contained like a E-smart or T-rex 600 can be quickly replace in its entirety. Thick tail rotor shaft too.

4. 600 size landing gear for those quick dumps and tip over prevention.

5. Polypropylene canopy that can take a licking. GF canopies look neat, but they crack if you put them on roughly.

6. 6S 1300 batteries for more efficient operation and longer flight times.

7. Standard radio gear 2.4ghz, (HH gyro Flybarless gyro in one). Easily reprogrammed to do sport flying after training

8. High resale value- so the beginner can pass it on when he graduates to a higher performance machine. Maybe clubs could have them . The beginner could "rent" them from the club while learning.


Please chime in. I would like the manufacturers to see this.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 08:34 AM
Born to fly, crash and burn.
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Surrey, UK
Joined Feb 2009
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Heli comes as a "buy one get one free"
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 08:53 AM
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Germantown, WI.
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I think your definition of a trainer is considerably more "high end" than most of us envision, or can afford. Most beginners are looking to spend under $200. Even something like an SRB Quark ($335) is considered much too expensive by most, and it's a great trainer.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 09:11 AM
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For years Airplane flyers have recomending a 40 size high wing trainer for beginners(about $300 with pumps batteries ETC.).Sure you could buy a screaming foamie RTF for $100, but if you were a newbie it would crash and burn shortly after take-off,and you would be discouraged and leave the Hobby.

We need the equilalent of that 40 size trainer. Tough, crash worthy and affordable.

If you build it with flybarless electronics, massive shafts, and large servos I think the weight difference would be a wash.

The goal is to have a beginner heli that can tip over while hovering on grass, set back up and continue to fly. My Axe CP had a 5mm main shaft, and I never bent it in 2 years of crashes.I was hell on Feathering shafts though.

The electronics -Radio,Flybarless module, esc,battery, motor, servos cant be counted. just like the 40 trainer they can be transfered to the high performance heli when training is over.

Most beginners who want to fly Helis will spend a lot more. My $200 Axe CP ended up costing me $800. If I would have bought a better heli in the beginning the cost would have been the same after 3 years.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 09:20 AM
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I might try to build something like this with commercially available parts.

I am thinking a T-rex 500 clone head block and swash, and blade grips that will hold 325mm blades. Gaui 3in 1 flybarless control, Outrage 1600KV motor 1300mah 6s battery. I could cut out the frame from sheet aluminum, use full size servos. It might be a little heavy, but it would be strong where it counts.

It might be a good build log with a BOM, so other people could build one too.

Publish the sideframe templates in PDF so people could cut their own out with hand tools.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpainter3
....Most beginners who want to fly Helis will spend a lot more. My $200 Axe CP ended up costing me $800. If I would have bought a better heli in the beginning the cost would have been the same after 3 years.
You bet! But it's a very tough sell. It's also a lot easier for most people to spend $50 - $100 at a time, than $800. You need to come up with an $800 trainer package that you can finance for a year!
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 03:39 PM
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I have heard great things about the Thunder Tiger Inovator. Allthough at a high price tag of $550 reviews have said quote "easyest REAL heli you will ever fly". It has anti crash features shuch as rubber coated blades that can survice a scrape on concreet or hard objects. It also has a rubber like flybar that wont bend. And supposedly has "coaxal like hovering capability" But again at a price. Just thought id chime in. Consider those rubber coated blade.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 07:44 PM
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San Carlos, California, United States
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The closest heli to an ideal training heli I've seen is the LMH Corona, which is now the Multiplex Funcopter.

See this thread:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=996072

Toshi
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 09:00 PM
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That is closer to what I had in mind. Those unbreakable blades are a must have on the wish list, however the $3.50 Blades from hobby partz are awfully cheap.
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Old Oct 09, 2009, 09:00 PM
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The days of the standard trainer being $1000 are over. Cheap electrics are where it's at - the average idiot walking into a hobby shop does not see the advantage of an expensive, but proper trainer, when there's $100-$200 options out there. The logic is "I can't possibly crash that one enough times to equal the cost of the other" - and they are probably right - or at least, they would be right if they got proper training and put the appropriate amount of work into learning.

I think the Corona/Funcopter and the Blade mSR or Hirobo Quark are getting about as close as currently possible with available technology, to being the perfect trainers. I think many people would agree they are very good trainers. However, they are all fixed-pitch, and so they don't train you for the behavior of a proper CCPM machine.

This is the problem I am trying to address with a design I've been working on.

- It would be (possibly) flybar-less, but would definitely include computer stabilization.
- It would have a durable body and internal structure - the body similar to the FunCopter will absorb the force of most crashes.
- It would run on 3-cell Lipo - this is the most money people want to spend on batteries. When I tell people my Trex 500 batteries are $100, they freak... and a couple years ago they were $200-$300. It needs to fly on cheap batteries.
- Ideally, it would be larger than 400-class, but this is negotiable.
It must be 3D capable, but should be able to be set up to fly like a coaxial.
- Needs to be easy to set up and easy to adjust - the settings program in the Innovator is great, but people see more than 2 things to set, and they freak.
- Not everyone is a computer programmer or wants to be a helicopter mechanic - it needs to be easy to set up, and settings should not require a computer.
- Can not be more than $300 all up - including radio and one battery. I believe this is the magic number that prevents people from getting a Trex or something, and pushes people to the Honey Bee, Belt-CP, and others in that quality range.
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Old Oct 10, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Sounds like the perfect heli to me!
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Old Oct 10, 2009, 11:29 AM
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I disagree about 3D. My contention was a hover trainer-sport model that has a high resale value and is really tough(a little heavy) it could be sold to another beginner(without electronics) when it was outgrown.

I think that all RC helicopters will be flybarless within 2 years. The cost of the multi-axis controllers is bound to come down, The Gaui unit is already around $200.

http://www.enjoyhobbies.biz/rc-helis...lizer-for-gaui

thick shafts, flexi blades, flexi tail boom?
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Old Oct 10, 2009, 06:52 PM
Axes & Blades-Cutlery & Helis
West Monroe NY
Joined Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpainter3
A lot of people who want to fly a helicopter go to the hobbyshop and buy one because it looks neat and will do 3D- it must be good right?-- Wrong.
The first heli should be Tough as nails and fly really stable. so the beginner can build up a lot of hours flying instead of fixing.

I started this thread as a sounding board to come up with a bullet proof training helicopter that could be crashed, and flown within 30 min.

1. Weak points in a crash - main shaft, feathering shaft, flybar mechanism.

How about a flybarless head swinging 325mm FRP blades(now $3.50 each at Hobbypartz) with a 5MM main shaft(short as possible) and a 4MM feathering shaft. the weak part would be the blades that would snap off and could be easily replaced.
Heavy duty blade grips with big bearings that wont get "notchy" Plastic parts to keep weight / cost down.

2.Frame- aluminum(softer Alloy). it can be bent back into shape after a crash.
made with large servo cutouts to accept mid or full size servos with metal gears (flybarless head is rough on servos)

3. Tail boom / pick off. Absolutely a belt drive- much more user friendly. The whole assy is self contained like a E-smart or T-rex 600 can be quickly replace in its entirety. Thick tail rotor shaft too.

4. 600 size landing gear for those quick dumps and tip over prevention.

5. Polypropylene canopy that can take a licking. GF canopies look neat, but they crack if you put them on roughly.

6. 6S 1300 batteries for more efficient operation and longer flight times.

7. Standard radio gear 2.4ghz, (HH gyro Flybarless gyro in one). Easily reprogrammed to do sport flying after training

8. High resale value- so the beginner can pass it on when he graduates to a higher performance machine. Maybe clubs could have them . The beginner could "rent" them from the club while learning.


Please chime in. I would like the manufacturers to see this.
Doubt I could afford such a creation, guess, if you want a hover trainer...???...I would just buy a Belt CP, it is cheap to buy and repair. Then I would install this into it:

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...isation_System

What you need is a training system, mCX or mSR, Belt CP with stabilisation system, and real flight 4.5. No worries about resale value, all this stuff is worth keeping even after you learn to fly....except the stabilisation system. Although, for $110 I am thinking about getting one just to play with.

Oh, BTW, cost will ALWAYS he a primary concern.
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Old Oct 10, 2009, 08:29 PM
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No- We dont want to trick people into buying a cheap heli that they may crash once, get frustrated and quit. We want to make a robust primary trainer that can take a beating, and flies really well with no bad habits- drifting tail etc.
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Old Oct 11, 2009, 04:33 AM
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Charlotte Douglas, NC
Joined Sep 2003
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Let me tell you how I have felt over the last 15 years trying to fly helicopters.

Started off with a nexus 30. Spent several hundred hours on the dos wire frame sim, spent at least a half hour every day hovering it in my back yard. After about 1 1/2 months I decided it was time to play with it in a bigger area. Took 2 friends with me (bad idea) and went to a baseball field. Hovering was easy, at least tail in, as that was all I had learned so far. One of the friends I guess was bored and asked if I was actually going to fly the thing. So, I did. My first forward flight. Trying to take it around in circles and to my surprise, was doing ok. Long story short, got it to high, white heli, white clouds, lost visability of heli and down it came. Spent roughly $1300 to get all this started.

Next day, bought a replacement, built it, never flew it. Still sits ontop of my bed today lol.

Went from that to airplanes several years later. Learned to fly on a pico tiger moth. Great investment and absolutely recommend that little plane for anyone first starting out. Built a dandy sport (balsa), flew it for an hour or so before it crashed. Due to my build faults, not my flying faults.

Quit flying for a few years, then decided on heli again. I got a couple of the toy ($50 or less) things but never liked them. Went for a falcon 40 ($90) and hovered it around. Had a tip over on take off once and had to replace several parts. Never learned how to do anything but tail in hover.

Bought a Coaxial ADAC which looked great but you couldn't even hold a steady hover. $100 bucks down the drain as 10-15 hovers in, the 5-1 fried. No help from the place I bought it.

See a theme here? After my initial phase 15+ years ago, I refused to spend a lot of money on heli's because of my bad experiences with them. Was it me or was it that I bought crappy products? I am going to go with crappy products as I finally took a chance and bought the MSR the day it came out (well, had to wait for it to be shipped to me). Bind and fly version $150 bucks, dx6i radio, $150 bucks. This was simply put, the best investment I have ever made in a helicopter.

I have 65 flights on mine now. I can nose in hover with no problems, I can side in hover, I can do forward flight, I can do backward flight but really dont like that. I am also on the expert setting now and have been for 20+ flights.

Now, dont get me wrong, I am no where near an expert in flying this heli, but I have made more advancement with a good quality product than I ever had with those cheap things. I have also had more than 20 crashes with this thing and you can pick it up and take it right off again.

Now, the reason I saying all this is that I feel that while I do have RC flight experience under my belt, I always felt that paying more than $100 for an rc heli was just crazy. Why would you do that when a little crash and your spending 25 bucks or more in parts to fix it. I feel that is probably what the average person also thinks. The difference is, I must be a sadistic bastard because I kept coming back for more. I dont think the average person would keep buying those cheap things and just give up on even trying.

I hate to say it, but unless you can get that trainer down into the sub $150 range, it is going to be hard to compete against these companies that make these crap sub $100 helis. While the MSR is $180, I was very scared to pay that for a 1 ounce helicopter but I have to say it was worth it, but I feel that price still turns off many who could become a rc pilot.

My only major gripe I have with the MSR is that you really need calm conditions to fly it outside and I REALLY enjoy flying it outside much more than I do in the house. But I can't really blame the company for it, I mean, it is only an ounce! Anyways, enough jabbering, I hope that I have been able to impart some things to think about with something like this, coming from what I consider, an average joe.
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