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Old Oct 19, 2009, 08:12 PM
Capt, USAF
Roswalt's Avatar
United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
922 Posts
Mini-Review
New T-Series All-Aluminum Coax Review

I just picked up the new "T-series" 3-channel aluminum coaxial helicopter from X-Heli, and thought I would share some thoughts about it because this chopper is special and I think a lot of people would really enjoy it.

First, it's important to note that I have never heard of a "T-Series" before last Tuesday, and I was reluctant to make a purchase without any brand awareness to speak of. I searched this site and many others to find someone who could tell me anything at all about this heli, but to no avail. After watching the video a few times I'll admit the catchy little LED's had me mesmerized, as did the forgiving flight performance.

I've been looking for a nice, simple approach to radio-controlled rotary wing flight, and this little deal is a steal at $59. It arrived safely in a clean-designed box with charger, battery and radio, ready to fly minus the 8 AA's for the TX. Even after pulling it from the box and seeing how pretty and shiny it looked, I remained skeptical regarding flight performance - 3 channel is often associated with a dinky toy, and I thought this thing had a snowball's chance of flying right out of the box. I'm here to tell you I touched nothing prior to the first liftoff except for the batteries, and it flew like a champ on the first pass.

Throttle is very responsive, almost rocket like, and the counter-rotating blades can be proportionally adjusted allowing for some really aerobatic flat spins. The lights look awesome at night, and the nose-mounted spotlight is dare I say - functional! I flew it outside tonight and actually found my neighbor's car keys on accident!

Forward flight was challenging at first. It uses a tail mounted motor that points skyward, working like an airplane's elevator to lower or raise the nose. I couldn't figure out why the wind was killing it's ability to move forward outside until I cracked the code - it has a "quick" and "slow" mode on the TX, allowing for increased motor output in the "quick" mode. Ideal for outdoors, that mode opened the doors for free flight. I'm sure a good 10 knot wind will still murder this heli due to size alone, but most days here at Columbus AFB are quite calm in the wind department.

One side note - Replacement parts are likely scarce- so try not to abuse it! I took mine up to around 100 ft. and got some radio interference from my comrades on the crosswind leg of the landing pattern- Apparently our jets screw with the radio - But it safely auto-gyro'd for a moment before the motors kicked back in for a parachute landing. Aluminum frame held strong!

Anyway, I have never written a review of any kind before, but I really felt compelled to share this story with everyone because of what a bargain it has turned out to be. If you are new to the hobby or know someone who may want to break into it, this is a fantastic starter heli. Please share your thoughts on this heli or similar offerings.

P.S.

Here is the original flight vid....
New T-Series Aluminum Alloy 3CH Metal Co-Axial Helicopter (0 min 57 sec)
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 09:48 PM
Pilot in Training
Monrovia, CA USA
Joined Nov 2005
90 Posts
Very cool Roswalt! Welcome to the fold. Before long, you will succumb to the darkside, and buy a 4ch Coaxial (or two)... And not long after, a 4ch Fixed-Pitch (or two)... And not long after that, you will begin to long for a 6ch Collective-Pitch (or four, or five). You are doomed. Muuahaahaahaa.

Erm, excuse me. The darkside clearly has the better of me today.

Dooom!
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 10:05 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
9,381 Posts
Handsome ship, congrats on a good find.

Ever get the feeling the recognized brands are holding prices a great deal higher than they need to be? Like $90-180 for all plastic?
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 08:37 AM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
922 Posts
Thanks guys, I'm really enjoying the T-Series. I've owned two different 4-channel helis before, a CX2 and a Lama V4, but I found those two a little prone to damage and not always consistent flyers without upgrading them... It's like arbilab said; kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some price gouging going on in the competition. With the mainstream offerings like CX2 and Lama they make more money off of replacement parts, so why engineer them to resist damage in the first place, right? I'm not saying the T-Series isn't ever going to break (I'm certain it will someday) but I feel much more comfortable with it than the old plastic offerings.

As for the 4-channel, 6-channel CP... I will admit I've been leaning a little bit now. I'm thinking about the little Walkera Mini-Cobra, I think it is the 4#3Q. I'm sure it would be a lot of fun, but a deal as good as the one I've already found isn't likely to present itself anytime soon. Anyone have one they'd like to deal?

Anyhow, I'm still loving the T. Is there anyone else out there who owns this heli?
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 12:28 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
9,381 Posts
The overall longevity is yet to be determined. I'm still flying Lama V4 after 10 months of running it into every conceivable obstacle, replacing one skid and a bag each of upper and lower blades. It's a good damage-mitigation design. Blades are 75 cents each, less than a bag of chips.

Also bear in mind that bashing 2 previous coaxes has made you less prone to destructive loss of control. I've got a boxful of Lama parts I initially swore I'd need, but as (little) time went by I never did.

Little question that the 'mainstream' brands are capitalizing upon their status, and that better craft can be made and sold for less. What's rather a wonder, is that this one satisfies your controllability expectations with 3 channels better than the previous ones did with 4. Not to mention looking a whole lot sharper.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 01:24 PM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
erdnuckel2's Avatar
Joined Mar 2009
9,135 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roswalt
Thanks guys, I'm really enjoying the T-Series. I've owned two different 4-channel helis before, a CX2 and a Lama V4, but I found those two a little prone to damage and not always consistent flyers without upgrading them... It's like arbilab said; kind of makes me wonder if there isn't some price gouging going on in the competition. With the mainstream offerings like CX2 and Lama they make more money off of replacement parts, so why engineer them to resist damage in the first place, right? I'm not saying the T-Series isn't ever going to break (I'm certain it will someday) but I feel much more comfortable with it than the old plastic offerings.

As for the 4-channel, 6-channel CP... I will admit I've been leaning a little bit now. I'm thinking about the little Walkera Mini-Cobra, I think it is the 4#3Q. I'm sure it would be a lot of fun, but a deal as good as the one I've already found isn't likely to present itself anytime soon. Anyone have one they'd like to deal?

Anyhow, I'm still loving the T. Is there anyone else out there who owns this heli?
Hello,

I would beg to differ - at least in some respect ... I do NOT have ANY heli I crashed as often and as brutal as my Lama4 over the past year - and it still flies. I flew it straight into walls (because I couldn't "break" ), I flew it sideways into a wall (thankfully only once) because one of the screws from the Xtreme lower rotor head jammed the blade grip and probly hundreds of other crashes (I live according to the motto "I fly so I will crash" - and just accept crashing as a part of the flying game)
But I am getting way OT again.
What I wanted to say is, I disagree that the money gets made with the spare parts, but mainly with the upgrade/tuning market. I would also like to say that a vendor once said to me that actually the rtf helis in the majority of cases are sold with barely any margin - so where else would the vendors get their margin to survive IF NOT from spare parts and tuning??
And I would like to throw another thought into the discussion that I always throw into discussions about tuning ... this bird is made in a country where the cost of living, the cost of labor, the wages and everything is way below US standards, so it is significantly easier to sell that cheap measured against those US standards.
One last point:
I bought two walkera 5#10 (all aluminum edition) exactly because the aluminum made such a sturdy impression - only to find out that the whole "all aluminum frame" thing was really not that resilient after all. It had the smoothest, most stable flight, but in a crash it got damaged even easier than the Lama4 ...

just my 2Cents

Sven
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 04:56 PM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
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I agree wholeheartedly that the reason this heli is so affordable is due in large part to the Chinese economic structure... But isn't E-sky a part of that same structure? I'm not an RC historian but it appears to me that most all of the RC electrics hail from that region.

I have to note one shortcoming of the T-Series that I observed today over a series of 50-foot falls/crashes... It operates on 49 mhz and frequently loses signal at altitude. Interference/signal loss is probably due in large part to my profession and location, but still a bit of a pain. Although it had radio problems, it shined in another area - crash resiliency. Zero damage after all those crashes! Not even so much as a crack, and these were serious drops we're talking about, not a little 10 foot spill. The blades hit each other a few times and created some dents, but the blade material is very solid.

As for the previous 4-ch coaxials, in truth I never really "crashed" either of mine. Standard scares and loss of control, but never any hard stuff just minor body breakage and flybar issues. I didn't particularly enjoy them as a matter of personal preference I suppose. It's probably because I got them both second-hand and they never flew quite right for me. I did happen across a 4-channel jump-jet (quad-rotor) that has been a blast to fly except for the fact that it seems to eat a motor every other week. I can see how that 4th channel aileron-type function would be useful on a traditional heli arrangement, but it could also get me into trouble quickly!
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 05:17 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
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Any leads on parts sources? Like, V4 is funky looking, but if a motor quits it's $10 rather than $60 that can't be practically fixed. Or even a $2 link.

Maybe the distribution network is what the major brands charge for. Eflite's is best, and guess what, they're also the most expensive.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 01:04 PM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
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No leads yet on parts sources... I wouldn't really expect them to show up without asking Xheli about them. I'm not sure how many units of this item they sell or whether it would be enough to justify a spare parts page for it. Let's hope so though!

Side question - I'm noticing a little bit of vibration in flight that I can't remember seeing before my T-6A Texan II radio induced crashes. The chopper still flies true and maneuvers as before, but the vibration looks different. Is that common on coaxials after a few bumps? Could it be the flybar or something else may have been whacked around a little during one of yesterday's crashes? I took it apart and couldn't find anything obvious wrong with it but as we've established before, I'm no toy heli mechanic. Ideas on what I may be missing?
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 07:46 PM
Hovering is Over-rated
Big Spring Tx
Joined Jan 2008
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You could have bent a shaft slightly or the stabilizer. A few crashes can cause the blades not to track properly and this can cause vibration as well. It does look like the blade tracking can be adjusted on this heli though.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 08:58 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
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The trouble with aluminum head parts is that they bend without outright breaking where you could readily see and fix it. To some extent you can bend them back. But not much before they crack.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 09:19 PM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
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Yeah, I looked it over a little closer and it is indeed a bent shaft. Still flies alright, but definitely not smoothly! I gave self-repair a shot and likely only exacerbated the problem. Emailed X-heli to see if they might have a replacement part (set) since I think I'll need the inner and outer shaft, plus maybe a plastic gear. I'm not liking the chances of a straight replacement, so I may need to get some measurements and see if there is a part I can "make fit".

Guess these are the problems you'll see with a bargain heli vs. an E-flite!
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 10:11 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
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Bent shaft stands a fair chance of being straightened.

I want 2 xhelis, this one and HBCP3. They're the only US vendor for both, but don't have specific parts for either. I'm holding off.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 07:00 AM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
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I thought it had a good chance of being straightened too, but it's a very slight, gradual bend, and the material is extremely strong. I'm pretty sure it's beyond my ability to repair - but like I said, the size of everything is pretty standard, and I'll bet I can reverse engineer a part from something else if Xheli can't help me out.
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 09:30 AM
Capt, USAF
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Feb 2009
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Update - Just wanted to let everyone know that if you ever need parts for this heli, visit RCDiscuss.com - It is the official help site for XHeli, and a guy named Andy monitors the spare parts forum. Seems like he can get you just about anything! I asked him about a new shaft and a few other assorted parts, and he got them all to me within three working days - It was a much better experience than I expected.

I put the new parts on - it really wasn't too difficult to disassemble the T-Series and put it back together again. It's built similarly to a CX2 or Lama. Once I had everything correctly placed, I took off again, good as new!

Now I just have to be a little more cautious about flying outside my home when there are T-6's overhead!
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