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Old Nov 01, 2011, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by robster94gt View Post
I was just looking at the Leadershobby.com helis, and was wondering how those would compare with this HK one, and if anybody has any experience with them.
Thanks,
Rob
If you mean the ones I've been seeing in the banner ads, they look pretty much the same. I wouldn't be surprised if these were from the same manufacturer.

As for mine, I finally had a bit of time this afternoon to spend getting a feel for this thing. Ironic, since everyone but me has really put in stick time and I was the one doing all the writing!

Given the potential speed (it is incredibly fast, even without the idle-up engaged), a smallish field, a slight breeze and the sun on a really whacked-out azimuth, I kept the trial limited to some tail-in and side hovering both above and below the ground effects along with some slow forward flight.

It has a very "dialed-in" feel. Manny did one heck of a job setting it up. The tail held steady without twitching and doing a few spot landings was a cinch both with the throttle and some low-altitude autorotation. Next step is some fast forward flight without the idle-up engaged over at a larger venue.

I'll most assuredly check in.

Update: Perfect day for flying and yes, up went the 450TT. She is one sweet little eggbeater. No bad habits whatsoever in fast forward flight. She just tracks the way she's supposed to.

I'll tell you this: That chopper is going with me to the field whenever possible.
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 01:11 AM
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South Africa
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Recommended motor and pinion for scale setup.

Very nice review thanx!

I own and fly a trex 450s but are interested in one of these HK heli's to setup inside a scale fuselage. Airwolf or EC 135 or Augusta. What is the recommended Hobbyking motor and pinion for this setup? I was looking at the Turnigy H2223 (2900 kv) motor and a 50 A ESC. is that an over kill I am concerned about AUW. What would you guys recommend?

I intend to stick to scale-ish flying

regards

Thaba Raptor
South Africa
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 08:48 AM
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revised - see below
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Old Nov 10, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by civh View Post
I was just about to ask the same thing. Never thought I would see an Align compared to a Rolex.
Rolexes are expensive and cant keep time very well, so maybe he was referring to that ?
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Old Nov 12, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Quality?

Since buying my first helicopter, a Schluter Cobra, in about 1972, I've been aware that 'quality' is subjective. For example, all the gears from motor to tail were steel then. The torque drive was steel, 5mm diameter.

Now we have plastic gears and rubber belts.

But if they do the job, fine. And driving down costs is what makes it easier for more people to join us flying. More sales drives down cost for all.

As to the kit presented here, as with all kits, balsa ones included, a hobbyist will go through the contents of the box and replace pieces that don't look good, or perhaps not fit with a personal preference.

Inexperienced kit builders would be well advised to stick with what is offered, but tap into whatever knowledge is available, avoiding if possible, blind prejudice.

As for ridiculously overpriced watches and handbags (and our gear too), all I can say is that a fool and money are soon parted.
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 10:34 PM
Speed = spectacular potential
United States, TX, Austin
Joined Jan 2011
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Reading this review really sold me on the HK450 as a viable clone. Thus, I actually bought two kits, one to fly and the second for parts. Electronics wise, I went with your exact setup with one exception, I purchased HK 922MG servos for cyclic.

Though, for those considering this clone kit, let me shed some light on how my experience differed tremendously from this review:

To build:
* I removed every screw/bolt and added thread locker
* Carefully balanced rotor head and blades
* Visually inspected all parts

An here is what happened when this carefully setup heli flew:
* Multiple screws have stripped, requiring replacement
* During the second ever attempt to hover the feathering shaft threading gave way, shooting the rotor blades with grips still bolted across my yard at 2700RPM nearly injuring me
* The motor pinion was poorly milled, leaving sharp fins that ground down main gears until I finally replaced it with an Align pinion
* On 11th flight, the first Go-Teck tail sevo fried causing a minor crash
* Bearings in the tail box were so soft they deformed, caused vibration I blamed on the shaft, causing hours of trouble-shooting
* Eventually, the tailbox bearings sheered the raceway casing, wrapping up in the belt and destroying most of the tail parts
* A second Go-Teck servo fried and died within 1 hour of flight
* Two tailbooms have sheered in flight due to defective manufacturing, but aided by the bearing vibration
* Bearings in the main rotor head have worn out after about 80 mins of flight

Conclusion:
Total, this heli has flown no more than 80minutes, has never been in a serious crash, yet has now cost me well over $500 when you add in parts. Most importantly, I have spent nearly 100 hours assembling, repairing, tuning, and researching all the problems. In my experience at least, this HK450 has been a nightmare. As a result, I would certainly not recommend this product.
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 10:40 PM
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Thanks for your take. That does indeed sound like a bad experience. I've got a Leaderhobby clone on the way, and I know it's of even more dubious quality than the HK. I met someone flying once who had an HK and he was happy with it. I'm wondering if it's the quality control, bad luck or what that has lead to such varying, well completely opposite, experiences. Makes me leery for sure. I certainly don't want to pump that much money into my heli.
Thanks again for the detailed report.
Rob
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 11:29 PM
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kansas city
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I have had good and bad with HK products. Quality control is the largest problem. I got two HK450's two years ago and they had a part here and there that needed to be replaced, but after that they ended up just as good.

That brings me to today, I got a HK250. I once again went all over the kit and found some parts that needed attention.

After first flight blade holder bearings shot.
Third flight tail ball stripped out.
Tenth flight swash fell apart.
Fourteen tail bearings went.
and so on and so on. Heli has never been crashed!!

The money to replace the parts with Align or better clone I could of gotten the original and then some.

It gets bad when even the clone companies have poorer kits. You can get a 450pro Tarot bad kit (Tarot tells you it is) for $90 or their quality kit for $140

fyi If a company is selling the tarot and don't have both it's most likely the poor kit.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknoise View Post
Reading this review really sold me on the HK450 as a viable clone. Thus, I actually bought two kits, one to fly and the second for parts. Electronics wise, I went with your exact setup with one exception, I purchased HK 922MG servos for cyclic.

Though, for those considering this clone kit, let me shed some light on how my experience differed tremendously from this review:

To build:
* I removed every screw/bolt and added thread locker
* Carefully balanced rotor head and blades
* Visually inspected all parts

An here is what happened when this carefully setup heli flew:
* Multiple screws have stripped, requiring replacement
* During the second ever attempt to hover the feathering shaft threading gave way, shooting the rotor blades with grips still bolted across my yard at 2700RPM nearly injuring me
* The motor pinion was poorly milled, leaving sharp fins that ground down main gears until I finally replaced it with an Align pinion
* On 11th flight, the first Go-Teck tail sevo fried causing a minor crash
* Bearings in the tail box were so soft they deformed, caused vibration I blamed on the shaft, causing hours of trouble-shooting
* Eventually, the tailbox bearings sheered the raceway casing, wrapping up in the belt and destroying most of the tail parts
* A second Go-Teck servo fried and died within 1 hour of flight
* Two tailbooms have sheered in flight due to defective manufacturing, but aided by the bearing vibration
* Bearings in the main rotor head have worn out after about 80 mins of flight

Conclusion:
Total, this heli has flown no more than 80minutes, has never been in a serious crash, yet has now cost me well over $500 when you add in parts. Most importantly, I have spent nearly 100 hours assembling, repairing, tuning, and researching all the problems. In my experience at least, this HK450 has been a nightmare. As a result, I would certainly not recommend this product.
I've read some similar horror stories based on the belt-driven version. I went into this review fully expecting the same; I've been pleasantly surprised so far. However, mine went up again yesterday for some forward flight and still no problems. Everything's still holding together well. My assumption is the models either come from two different manufacturers or HK was growing leery of any product liability issues and either switched manufacturers or improved the QC.

However, should something fail, you will all be the first to know. I'm no cheerleader for any manufacturer or distributor. This is a review and not an advertisement and I have no qualms about posting something negative.
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Old Nov 14, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Thaba raptor View Post
Very nice review thanx!

I own and fly a trex 450s but are interested in one of these HK heli's to setup inside a scale fuselage. Airwolf or EC 135 or Augusta. What is the recommended Hobbyking motor and pinion for this setup? I was looking at the Turnigy H2223 (2900 kv) motor and a 50 A ESC. is that an over kill I am concerned about AUW. What would you guys recommend?

I intend to stick to scale-ish flying

regards

Thaba Raptor
South Africa
Hi, Thaba!

The power setup I used worked well and still does. The gyro is good for scale flight, but if you plan on getting aggressive, spend the money on a name-brand unit.

BTW, I have a lot of family out your way in Port Elizabeth. Bunch of old, retired folk from Italy.
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Romeo, MI
Joined Jul 2003
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DismayingObservation,

Thanks for the great review on the HK450 TT Pro. I've stayed away from Helicopters for years. Because they've always been WAY to expensive for me. But after reading your review, and seeing what's available for so little, I couldn't place my order fast enough!

I have one question concerning your gyro selection though. When you were deciding on a gyro did you ever consider using the HobbyKing GA-250 MINI-MEMS Gyro? Just wondering, because from the reviews I've read it seems more people prefer it to the Hobby King 401B AVCS Digital Head Lock Gyro that you used. It's also a couple dollars less.

Right now I just have the helicopter, and I'm trying to figure out what components to get for it. Since I'm no where near advanced maneuvers. I'll probably just use HXT-900's for the cyclic servos. I haven't decided on a tail servo yet. The specs on the HD servos look good. But I'm a little hesitant to use one of these based on things I've read in reviews. I plan on using the motor you used, and probably the ESC, too. Although I've grown fond of my Plush ESC's in my airplanes. Would the 40A Turnigy Plush ESC be a suitable replacement for the ESC you used? Because I already have one in stock, and wouldn't need to buy one if it is.

Anyway, the main thing I was wondering about was the gyro. I was just wondering if you considered the gyro I mentioned when you chose the one you used, and if so, what factors guided you to the one you ended up using?

Thank you,

Mark
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 10:03 AM
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United States, CA, Palm Springs
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I am going to revise my prior comments on this kit. After having bought one and raved about it initially I am now very unhappy with the heli. It flew great for about 10 flights and then everything started to fail within the rotating assemblies. First I noticed unusual noises coming from the gears and upon examination the gears are wearing out on me very quickly. Secondly the previously mentioned bearing failures are clearly an issue as mine have ALL failed now. Overall, aftre looking at everything that has failed and the cost to replace the parts with higher end reliable parts from Align I am of the opinion that a buyer is better off simply buying an Align product initially and saving all of the trouble that WILL happen with the HK heli eventually. I am dismayed that the heli failed mainly because I would imagine many newbies will buy this kit as opposed to an Align product due to the price and then become disenchanted with the hobby as the heli slowly falls apart on them. Rule of thumb here? You WILL get what you pay for. In my opinion the HK heli is just cheap knock off junk.
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossdogarr View Post
I am going to revise my prior comments on this kit. After having bought one and raved about it initially I am now very unhappy with the heli. It flew great for about 10 flights and then everything started to fail within the rotating assemblies. First I noticed unusual noises coming from the gears and upon examination the gears are wearing out on me very quickly. Secondly the previously mentioned bearing failures are clearly an issue as mine have ALL failed now. Overall, aftre looking at everything that has failed and the cost to replace the parts with higher end reliable parts from Align I am of the opinion that a buyer is better off simply buying an Align product initially and saving all of the trouble that WILL happen with the HK heli eventually. I am dismayed that the heli failed mainly because I would imagine many newbies will buy this kit as opposed to an Align product due to the price and then become disenchanted with the hobby as the heli slowly falls apart on them. Rule of thumb here? You WILL get what you pay for. In my opinion the HK heli is just cheap knock off junk.
You mentioned Bearings and Gears... You started with a $49 kit... HOW did you get to $500+ that an Align 450 kit would cost you?
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mrmj2u View Post
You mentioned Bearings and Gears... You started with a $49 kit... HOW did you get to $500+ that an Align 450 kit would cost you?

I started with an $80 kit and the HK machine needs full blue delrin main gears, auto rotation gears, tail drive gears, tail gearbox gears, and bearings on the main shaft, torque tube support shaft, tail drive assembly, and tail gearbox, as well as an auto rotation bearing on the main shaft. Not al of these have failed yet but I am sure they will with time as even after an hour of flight they feel a little gritty when turned. The $500 Align kit INCLUDES all electronics and servos. If you look around you can see that an Align kit without the electronics goes for about $250 so if you take my $80 kit and add up all the parts needed to make it reliable you will come very close to that $250 price for the Align kit. The other issue I did not mention in my other post is that the quality of the hardware in the HK kit is garbage. they work great when fastened ONCE but if you need to remove and re-install them you are surely going to see them strip on either the threads or the screw head. I should also include that in my "parts list" needed to make this a reliable machine.

The bottom line? My old Align Trex 450 SE V2 had almost 100 hours of flight time on it before being retired out of sheer boredom on my part. Nothing on the machine ever failed, ever. The HK kit gave me a mere hour and things went south and considering I am not the first one to mention the issues I had and that they are similar to everyone else's there is clearly a pattern of quality control here. In my opinion the HK helis are like a Ferrari with a VW bug motor in them. They look great, but they don't have it where it counts.
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Old Dec 04, 2011, 07:33 PM
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United States, DC, Washington
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Originally Posted by rossdogarr View Post
I started with an $80 kit and the HK machine needs full blue delrin main gears, auto rotation gears, tail drive gears, tail gearbox gears, and bearings on the main shaft, torque tube support shaft, tail drive assembly, and tail gearbox, as well as an auto rotation bearing on the main shaft. Not al of these have failed yet but I am sure they will with time as even after an hour of flight they feel a little gritty when turned. The $500 Align kit INCLUDES all electronics and servos. If you look around you can see that an Align kit without the electronics goes for about $250 so if you take my $80 kit and add up all the parts needed to make it reliable you will come very close to that $250 price for the Align kit. The other issue I did not mention in my other post is that the quality of the hardware in the HK kit is garbage. they work great when fastened ONCE but if you need to remove and re-install them you are surely going to see them strip on either the threads or the screw head. I should also include that in my "parts list" needed to make this a reliable machine.

The bottom line? My old Align Trex 450 SE V2 had almost 100 hours of flight time on it before being retired out of sheer boredom on my part. Nothing on the machine ever failed, ever. The HK kit gave me a mere hour and things went south and considering I am not the first one to mention the issues I had and that they are similar to everyone else's there is clearly a pattern of quality control here. In my opinion the HK helis are like a Ferrari with a VW bug motor in them. They look great, but they don't have it where it counts.
If you had any heli with over 100hrs on it, you should have replaced several parts just for safety. I believe that you were extremely fortunate.

Also, the kit that you mention has standard Align gears from the factory, so why are you comparing apples to oranges? Buy the normal white gears if you want to make the comparison. 450 Parts are extremely cheap, so there is no way that I will believe that you spent $170 for new screws, bearings, and four new gears... Nope not buying it.
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