|Nov 07, 2011, 01:27 PM|
Art-Tech Falcon 400 Beginner/Novice 3D CCPM Helicopter Review
Art-Tech Falcon 400 Beginner/Novice 3D CCPM Helicopter Review
The helicopter looks really nice with its red, white and blue canopy. This is a 400 size helicopter and is 24 inches long. Itís the largest helicopter with a 45 degree flybar that offers the agility of a CCPM helicopter. The landing gear is sturdy and attaches directly to the frame. The user manual is well written and isnít written in Chinglish!! Also included in the box is a CD containing simulator software. You also get a simulator cable that plugs into the transmitter. There is also a transmitter manual and simulator manual. The heli manual contains an exploded diagram and disassembly instructions as well as a full parts list. The battery tray is part of the frame and limits your battery choices to batteries that are 1 ľ inches wide or less. You can go taller and longer, but NO MORE WIDTH! The stock battery weighs 101 grams. I have a 25C 1500mah battery that fits in the tray and weighs 134 grams. Since the stock motor is brushed, Iíll have to stick with slightly shorter flights.
My actual first thought was, ďWowĒ! I mean, Iíve owned three or four 6 channel CCPM helicopters and I was always terrified to spool them up in the house and even attempt a hover. Without doing anything, I plugged in the battery and spooled the Falcon up. Seconds later it was floating in my small upstairs office. Donít get me wrong, I was fighting it. The helicopter was not at all trimmed out, so I only hovered it for about 20-30 seconds before bringing it down safely. Although the heli was nicely packaged and looked beautiful, I was expecting it to be setup right out of the box. It is, after all, a ďBeginner HeliĒ. It would be nice if the heli flew tamely, right out of the box. Not the case here. The first thing I noticed is a swing right in the tail. Even with full left trim I was constantly correcting the rudder. I had to adjust the rudder servo and tail slider length to get the tail to hold with no transmitter trim. There was also a slight backwards drift. The swashplate wasnít level. It was angled to the rear, which would explain the drift. I had to shorten the elevator linkage to level the swash in order to correct the drift. Only slightly disappointing, but this is an easy fix. At this point you have a great beginner setup and you could easily start with this heli instead of a fixed pitch helicopter. This may be a helicopter you can learn and grow with.
Tuning and Flying:
Besides the initial setup to trim out the helicopter, there really isnít much to tune. This heli has turned out to be pretty easy and I am really getting to like this heli very much.
You have the option to fly with dual rates on or off which can limit the travel of the servos making the helicopter movements more or less dramatic. With high rates the rotor disk has a lot of travel (and now we have good control too) but the weighted flybar tends to negate or counteract some of this, as is the purpose to provide a co ax like feel of stability where the rotor disk will recover on its own due to the centrifugal force of the flybar. However the weights on the flybar are heavy and prevent quick changes of direction and finer level of control. If some less heavy flybar weights can be found you may get more fine control back. This may be an excellent and cheap future mod. Nice quick forward flight is possible and the heli flies really well. One major drawback is that when making a left to right turn with the nose going away from you, you will lose altitude. A lot of altitude. When making this turn I have to give almost full power to keep the Falcon from dropping to the ground. From what I understand, this happens when you donít have enough power from the main motor. When the helicopter turns that way, the tail motor is requiring a large amount of power to make the turn. That takes power from the main and the result, in this helicopter, is altitude loss. The fix would be a more powerful motor that can handle the power loss when the tail needs it (see brushless upgrade below).
As for the 3D I canít say much as I donít fly 3D. The 3D mode works, but since I donít fly 3D, I only tested it out. The TX doesn't have a throttle hold switch so crashing could be an issue b/c it'd be quite a task to flip the 3D switch, then drop the throttle to zero before the Falcon hit the ground. For those that do fly 3D and are used to simply hitting a throttle hold, getting used to this may be difficult. While in 3D mode, placing the throttle at center does have zero pitch. The only thing I can do is bounce the heli up and down going below and above center stick. Thatís all Iím up for at the moment. This is a 3D trainer, so maybe Iíll give some light 3D a try soon.
Servos: The servos all seem good. At this point I really donít see a reason to upgrade.
Gyro: The gyro is huge! Iíve never seen such a large gyro. I donít think it needs to be replaced, but it can. It certainly wouldnít hurt to change it out.
Motor/ESC: Another modification you may want to think about is an upgrade to a brushless motor and ESC. As it sits, the Falcon 400 doesnít get light on the skids until Iíve applied about 40-50% throttle. If I can figure out how to adjust the blade pitch, this may change, but right now Iím flying at 50-85% throttle to keep the Falcon 400 in the air. The Falcon 3D includes a brushless motor and ESC and Iíve ordered both. The upgrade costs $37 shipped and looks like a direct drop-in replacement. I will keep you posted on that upgrade in this thread.
Blades: Another future modification may be different blades. The stock blades are cheap and they seem brittle or at least easily deformed. The blades are foam, wrapped in white plastic. They are short too. Usually a 400 size helicopter would use 275mm blades. The blades on the Falcon 400 are only 248mm root to tip. There are many options out there for upgraded blades. There are wooden, carbon fiber, and fiber reinforced blades that range in size from 255mm to 315mm. I wouldnít go more than 315mm. I ordered a number of blades, listed below with weights, lengths and results.
Stock 248mm (26.6g): You know the results if youíve read this review.
Xtreme 275mm (53.4g): Too heavy to use unless the brushless upgrade is in your future.
Carbon Fiber 288m (36.5g): Heli flies just the same, but the motor gets hot faster. Iím going to need more power!
Stealth 315mm (49.5g): With the stock motor, itís too much blade. The heli swings and the tail just canít keep up.
Canopy: Iíve contacted Fusuno about their custom canopies, but they donít make anything for Art-Tech helis and they offer no suggestions. The stock canopy is fine. It looks good and itís made of a thick and durable plastic. I removed the decals with some Goo Gone and I like it. Iím sure the other canopies from the Falcon Perfect 3D and the Falcon 3D will work. I do have a V400D02 canopy that after making the same small cut as the stock canopy, fits like a glove!! That means that a custom Fusuno Canopy can be made for this helicopter!
Durability and Spare Parts:
Overall the heli seems pretty durable. The frame seems really solid and the skids have held up great with a few bounced landings.
Blades unfortunately, as previously mentioned seem to be a sore spot for this heli. They are soft and deform easily. I havenít broken them yet, but I have had them deform after coming into contact with the blade grips and/or the ground. The tail blades are the same as the mains. No breakage yet and no deformity, but I can see it happening.
Right now it seems parts are easily available at Parkflyers.com. If you canít find them there, Xheli has parts for the Falcon 3D. I believe that some of those parts will work on this heli too.
While I have this heli setup to the point that I enjoy flying it, it still leaves you wanting more. It flies very much like a co-ax, and I would prefer the traditional head and flybar paddle setup as a trade off for the stability. It is still a good concept heli that fills a niche no other heli does. Itís easily setup to perform really well and will be a fun outdoor flyer that surpasses the performance of a co-ax and fixed pitch helicopter.
Where can you buy the Falcon 400 Beginner/Novice helicopter?
The only place Iím aware of in the US is that has this helicopter in stock is ParkFlyers.com. There are some places in China that sell them, but they are backordered or just not in stock.
I will be posting some videoís including some outdoor flight action next.
Hope this helps anyone considering this helicopter!
|Apr 23, 2012, 10:26 AM|
Joined Aug 2010
we want to see your mods it actions, how it goes with the brushless mod?
|Jan 20, 2013, 05:48 PM|
Joined Jan 2013
Motor/ESC: Another modification you may want to think about is an upgrade to a brushless motor and ESC. As it sits, the Falcon 400 doesnít get light on the skids until Iíve applied about 40-50% throttle. If I can figure out how to adjust the blade pitch, this may change, but right now Iím flying at 50-85% throttle to keep the Falcon 400 in the air. The Falcon 3D includes a brushless motor and ESC and Iíve ordered both. The upgrade costs $37 shipped and looks like a direct drop-in
replacement. I will keep you posted on that upgrade in this thread.
I dont really understand, what motor did you bought for the Falcon Beginner?
Did you bought the Falcon 400 3d motor?
|Jan 20, 2013, 08:27 PM|
|Feb 01, 2013, 06:10 AM|
Joined Feb 2013
channels on the art tech e-fly etb62 transmitter
Hi I recently bought the art tech falcon 400 and it can with the e-fly ETB62 - 2.4ghz transmitter with the channel dip swithches at the bottom im a bit of a novice and change the swithches as they did not match what the instruction book said they should be at ( i did not realize that they were guidlines and each helicopter has differnet set ups ) so now nothing works properly can anyone tell me what they shpuld be set at please help.
also I have purchased a better transmitter & reciever I am waiting for delivery.
so should i not bother to try and put the channels back on the old transmitter.
|Sep 12, 2013, 01:10 PM|
Joined Oct 2011
This reply is a bit late, but ...
Sounds like you were going to replace the TX anyway so this may no longer be of interest. Just seen your post today ...
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