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Helizone RC Combat Fighter Helicopter 3.5 CH Review

Helizone has a 3.5 channel coaxial helicopter. The special feature is the .5 channel which lets you remotely fire two missiles from the helicopter.

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Introduction


Main Rotor:7"
Width:1.96"
Height:4.1"
Length:8.66"
Tail Rotor:1"
Weight:oz
Transmitter:Infrared 3.5 CH
Receiver:Infrared
Battery:3.7V LiPo
Missile Launchers:Two, left & right
Stabilization:Built in gyroscope for stability & precision
Turbo Mode:Allows increased speed
Available From:Helizone
Price:$49.99

This new Helizone Combat Fighter helicopter is advertised at 3.5 channels. It has infrared control and is promoted as having a strong direction controlling gyro for holding a heading. No reference is made to the model of the helicopter but to me it looks like a stand-off scale Cobra helicopter. It is stand-off scale as the real Cobra doesn't have internal spring missile launchers. Those two missile launchers are the most interesting aspect of this helicopter and the reason I wanted to review it. They are the .5 of the 3.5 channel system. (I don't know how they arrived at that.) They are independently controlled by two bottoms on the top/front of the transmitter depending the angle at which you are holding it. The left button fires the left missile, and the right button fires the right missile. They can be fired together or separately. I prefer to fire them separately so I can go on two attack runs before returning to base to rearm. The helicopters come in two colors; gray and dessert camo. Both come with Marine markings. I supplied 6 AA batteries for the transmitter but everything else was included in the kit including two paper tank targets for the missiles.

Kit Contents

Kit Includes

  • 3.5 Channel Gyro Helizone Combat Fighter Helicopter
  • Remote control infrared 3.5 channel transmitter
  • 6 missiles
  • Instruction manual
  • Spare tail blade
  • USB charge cord
  • 2 Paper target tanks











Items I supplied

  • 6 AA Alkaline batteries for the transmitter

Assembly

No assembly was required. The Helicopter came fully assembled and ready to fly. I only had to install the AA batteries that I supplied into the back of the transmitter.

Charging the Combat Fighter's Flight Battery

There are two ways to charge the battery that is inside the helicopter and powers it. The first is with a USB connector that plugs into my computer and the helicopter's battery socket. I can charge the battery from my computer and save the batteries in my transmitter for more operation time. When away from my computer there is a charge plug hidden in one side of the transmitter handle that allows me to charge the helicopter using the transmitter and the 6 AA batteries in the transmitter. This was used at our recent indoor fun fly at the county fairgrounds. When I am home I use the USB connector and charge from my computer. Charging time depends on how depleted the flight battery is and how fresh the batteries in the transmitter are. So far my longest charging time was just under 20 minutes using the transmitter while at the fairgrounds with fresh batteries in the transmitter but I am not sure how drained the helicopter battery was at the time.

Completion

The only other preparation that I had to perform was loading two missiles into the copter at the start of every mission. They slide right in and snap into place with what sounds and feels like a spring launch system. If the missile doesn't snap into position I just press the fire button and then the missile launchers are ready to receive the missiles.

Flying

Transmitter Controls

Basics

There are three control channels for flight operation on the Combat Fighter Helicopter. The left stick is throttle only, and the right stick is rudder and forward and backward flight. The gyro does a very good job of holding direction, and in forward flight the helicopter went where directed. Backward flight was pretty straight but a little correction was needed. The rudder control worked well, and I was able to turn in place in either direction, fly in a circle or do other basic turns. There is no side to side flight but that is only a limitation for me when trying to land on a precise spot. The control is infrared, and there are the standard concerns that come with that: It doesn't work in direct sunlight, or if it does, the range is extremely limited. You must remember to point the transmitter at the helicopter or you might fly out of the infrared's control path (Depends on the room as the rays will bounce off of the walls and ceiling making pointing the transmitter less important in those rooms.). When sitting at a table, if the helicopter flies below the table I had to put the transmitter below the table or out over the edge of the table to maintain control. The main thing I noticed is that there is a very short lag time between giving a command and the response of the helicopter. This lag time took some adjustment to get used to but after awhile I was able to plan for it and do my maneuvers accordingly.

Taking Off and Landing

Power up and take off in a climb. Power down just a bit to get in a hover. Power down to much due to the lag discussed above and the helicopter falls back to earth. After a couple of crashes from powering down too much I got the feel for the throttle and was pretty good at getting into a hover and flying around the room. Landings I found were best performed from a hover and slowly powering down. I was able to make some landings on the carrier at an indoor fun fly and land from forward flight where I wanted to on the carrier's deck but it took some practice to land during forward flight as I had to adjust for the slide.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Turbo Power

The transmitter has a turbo button shown earlier in this report. When it is pressed you can get faster forward speed. I found the best speed was obtained when pressing the button and applying full forward and some additional throttle on the left stick. There was climb as well as forward flight but that gave me the greatest forward speed.

Missile Launch

The missiles are the reason I wanted this helicopter. I have to say they work very well. They are spring powered with a separate remote control release for each rocket. I do not leave the rockets in place for long periods of time as I don't want to weaken the springs. I load two missiles before a mission and go out and normally make two runs on targets and come back to base to reload. Six missiles come with the helicopter and I still have all six thanks in chief to their bright red color. From level flight or a hover the missiles have a slight drop in the first five feet of flight and then drop to the ground somewhat quickly after they get past five feet or so. It is hard to hit the tank targets directly from very far away but sliding across the table top and scoring hits that way is pretty easy. I have not shot at any pets and the people I have shot at were mid section shots staying away from the eyes except for one shot where I hit my own glasses. The missiles are easily the most interesting part of this helicopter to me and they have not disappointed. They fire at the press of their individual buttons on the top of the transmitter. I have had no rockets fail to fire and the range has been pretty consistent to allow me to plan my attacks. Hitting full forward with turbo and starting a climb I sometimes get a rocking of the helicopter and can shoot higher than normal for greater distance but less accuracy.

Is This For a Beginner?

YES! This is a good helicopter for a beginner. A pilot used to four channel helicopters will have to adjust to the rudder being on the right stick and not the left stick as is the case with four channel helicopters. The experienced pilot should have little trouble to adjusting to the rudder on the right but the lag time is slightly harder to adjust to for those used to flying more responsive helicopters. The novices that flew my Combat Fighter didn't notice any lag and they got the hang of controlling this copter during the first flight.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery






Downloads

Conclusion

The Combat Fighter helicopter looks very nice and is solidly built as it is screwed together. With a multitude of pilots flying my Combat Fighters as part of this review they have suffered a variety of crashes with no damage to date. I very much enjoy the USB charger connector so that I can spare the transmitter batteries from drain when flying at home but was able to charge from the transmitter when at the fairgrounds. The missile launchers continue to work well and my attacks are the highlights of each flight. I have fired at and hit an Air Swimmer Shark and two other helicopters. I have the fun of scoring hits yet so far the missiles have harmlessly bounced off. The slight lag in response time from giving a command to the helicopter response is not noticed by beginners and takes about half a flight for experts to adjust to but I feel it is a challenge and not a problem. The gyro works very well and it holds direction well. The Combat Fighter turns equally well to the left or the right. The missile launching is the most interesting function of this helicopter and has proven to be a lot of fun to try and hit targets. Getting the proper altitude to distance is the critical element to success targeting. Trigonometry used in combat operation

Pluses

  • Two ways to charge the helicopter
  • Holds a heading very well
  • Missile launchers work well
  • Has held up well to multiple accidents in this review
  • I like both color schemes and markings

Minuses

  • Doesn't operate well in direct sunlight
  • Slight time lag which experience pilots notice but beginners haven't noticed

Note: Do not shoot at people or pets. If shooting at people they should have safety glasses on and shots should be at the body and not the face. Never shoot at an animal.

I want to thank Helizone for supplying the helicopters for this review and the many friends who have helped with the flying and videotaping for this review.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Dec 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 27, 2011, 10:54 AM
Air Cooled VW mechanic
THX-181's Avatar
USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jul 2008
202 Posts
Nicely written review.

Garbage product.

What I ask next is not directed at you...

Now, can RC Groups please stop reviewing "toys"?

What's next, an in depth test/review of the latest 2 channel flyer from Airhogs?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 03:08 PM
Capt, USAF
Roswalt's Avatar
United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Feb 2009
922 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by THX-181 View Post
Nicely written review.

Garbage product.

What I ask next is not directed at you...

Now, can RC Groups please stop reviewing "toys"?

What's next, an in depth test/review of the latest 2 channel flyer from Airhogs?
Hey now, I think this thing is pretty cool and I'm happy that RCG covers it in some capacity. I'm sure it won't catch the eye of the "hardcore" types out there, but I find stuff like this to be a great "gateway drug" to all things RC!

I've been into it for a while now, and have got some pretty cool stuff in "the hangar" - EDF jets, warbirds, and 550-size stunt choppers, yet my friends and colleagues who don't know much about RC think this missile-launching helicopter is the pinnacle of RC performance. You and I know better, but things like this are easy to fly, accessible to the masses, compact and most importantly affordable to nearly everyone. You can hand this off to a kid and feel pretty confident that it will not immediately crash. They generate interest in the hobby from a grass-roots level and that is definitely a good thing!

Great review, BTW. I got one over the holidays and really do enjoy it. You don't have to think while flying it, so it is much more fun that many other 6-channel helicopters that don't really like it when you look away to watch the game or have a beer. This little attack helo doesn't mind a bit!
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 03:52 PM
Different fly 4 different guy
gordonzo's Avatar
Canada, BC, Salmon Arm
Joined Jan 2011
1,892 Posts
That is a very detailed review.

I almost ordered a couple of these for Christmas presents and they do look like a lot of fun. They are also very inexpensive as I was able to find them for $28 shipped. My grandkids would love these if they have enough long-term durability to last in their hands. And IMO that is what is missing in so many reviews, you get first impressions and some comments about crash worthiness, but rarely any followup after 20-30 cycles or so. I am also interested in what is most likely to break or wear out, and where to get parts.

I do have a question about the videos - some show the heli constantly being corrected for rudder drift. Is that the way they fly, or is that related to the control lag, or was this simply not trimmed out before the videos were shot?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 04:26 PM
Capt, USAF
Roswalt's Avatar
United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Feb 2009
922 Posts
Mine has a lot of flight time, and nothing to report about any worn out parts. The best I can tell you is that the missiles tend to wander away - I have lost them many times, but they usually turn up after you stop looking for them, and only one has yet to be recovered to date. They do include 6 to account for this though. Spare blades are included too, should you happen to need them.

The rudder drift has been a small issue for me too - It tends to wander as the battery is used up, so I find myself trimming it out once or twice per flight. No big deal, and after you've done it a dozen or so times like me, you do it without even realizing you did it!
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 07:29 PM
Bypass Ratio = Infinity
scatsob's Avatar
United States, NC, Jacksonville
Joined Apr 2006
1,653 Posts
I got the SYMA equivalent for my son for Christmas (s108g). It’s ridiculously easy to fly and actually very fun. We probably have 15 flights on it since Sunday with many crashes and it’s still going strong. The best part...it was $15 at Nitroplanes on Black Friday.
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 08:03 AM
Registered User
Pavelow's Avatar
United States, FL, Mary Esther
Joined Jun 2008
276 Posts
I sell these, and just had my first one back for repair. The symptom was low power. The cause was the small gear that's press fitted onto the motor shaft coming loose. The solution is high strength threadlock. Just take off the screws from ONE side of the helicopter, remove the landing gear, and make sure there's no missiles loaded. Split the fuselage in two, and you will see the two main motors. One of the small gears pressed on to the motor shaft is easily to get off, for the other you will have to remove the other side of the fuselage. Remove the gear from the motor shaft, put a SMALL amount of threadlock in the gears' hole, then put the gear back on the shaft. Reassemble the helicopter, and it should be as good as new.

As long as these "toys" are being bought by forum members, they are OK to post threads on this forum. I've often heard my TRex 500 based scale Apache as a "toy", and almost any foam ARF $400 kit is also considered "toys" by most of the public. Let's not take ourselves too seriously.
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,377 Posts
Two of the videos were first flights by experienced pilots and the lag was catching them off guard. I included those videos and discussed the lag issue. For the first half of the flight I had little to no rudder correction once I used the trim to dial it in for straight flight. However, I seldom fly in a straight line at home except for review purposes. "Toy" is in the eye of the beholder. To many people everything we fly RC is a toy. Since this a "family friendly" website I think reviewing less expensive RC products is appropriate. Besides if we review something that doesn't interest a person they don't have to read it. Unlike a print magazine we are not limited in space so these reviews don't prevent any other reviews from being shared. Mike Heer
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 11:54 AM
Air Cooled VW mechanic
THX-181's Avatar
USA, CO, Longmont
Joined Jul 2008
202 Posts
I do realize everything contained in this website is a toy.
Really I do.

Here's my take on this particular "Toy"... and others like it...
First, let me set the stage, I work at a hobby shop and I have a child of my own.
Now, some say these 3 channel tail rotor, non-swashplate helis are a gateway into RC aircraft.
I say that for some that is true, but for most, my son and lots of customers included, these toy helis fly so badly that they are nothing but frustrating and actually drive folks away.
I picked up a toy heli like this for my kiddo, who was itching to fly something like Dad's 450 Airwolf. After several failed attempts I realized we had the curtains open and the bright summer sun was confusing the IR signal. Really??? So curtains closed now but either because of crashes from the sunlight interference or because of a faulty product it never would trim correctly, either for straight line flight or for holding a simple stable hover.
Long story short, we replaced a couple of parts with lots of waiting and to no avail. I tried a different brand with similar results. Only now my Son is totally frustrated with this endeavor.
I decide to spend the cash on an Eflight MCX. What an awesome flying little heli, with a little practice, but he wants nothing to do with it because "flying helicopters is too hard".
To sum up, I've heard similar stories from dozens of parents this holiday season. While some I can "convert" others ended up buying RC cars or scale models, because "Flying helicopters is too hard" simply because they started with an inferior product.

My advice, if anyone cares, buy your child or yourself a nice Blade/Eflight Scout or better yet the MCX or perhaps the Nine Eagles/Revel coax or Axe CX.
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Old Dec 31, 2011, 03:11 PM
Pan Pan Pan
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Arizona
Joined Feb 2003
393 Posts
I bought one for my 12 year old son for Christmas and it is his favorite gift. I hesistated buying it because I figured it wouldn't last a day before being broken plus, I bought a small helicopter years ago that barely flew when fully charged. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well this copter flies. It's taken a beating from the floor and ceiling but there has been no damage and it and it still flies great.

Michael, thanks for the review...only wish I had seen it before I bought the helicopter.

Kim
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Old Dec 31, 2011, 04:51 PM
Fledgling Aviator
Joined Oct 2011
31 Posts
I think if someone is having a good time it's a bad idea to step on their fun. Disregarding anyone's opinion of the product being discussed, it's in rather poor taste to slam someone for sharing information of any kind.
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Old Dec 31, 2011, 09:18 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Joined Aug 2011
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^^^ +1
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Old Jan 01, 2012, 09:21 AM
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum!
Doubletap's Avatar
PRC (People's Republic of Commiefornia)
Joined Jul 2005
9,602 Posts
Yes I agree^^^^^^++2 Unfortunately, it's the toy heli/airplane etc. forums that seems to bring out the snobbery and elitism like no other forums really don't see much of this in my gun forums..wonder why?? only in the forums with grown men discussing toy planes and toy helis. maybe because an environment where everyone is armed to the teeth and skilled at the use of arms, garners a certain level of respect and caution BTW I love all of my toy helis/planes and literally fly everything under the sun, it's all fun!!
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Old Jan 01, 2012, 10:40 AM
Hovering is Over-rated
Big Spring Tx
Joined Jan 2008
382 Posts
Good review. Personaly I think all my heli's are fun to fly. It's a hobby and it's supposed to be fun. There isn't any real point to arguing which are toys and which ones are hobby level if you enjoy flying them. I think their all toys that bring alot of people enjoyment. Any information or reviews are appreciated
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Old Jan 03, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,377 Posts
My Combat Fighter's missile hit another helicopter in flight tonight. Bounced off and hit a glass Christmas ornament knocking it off the tree branch. It bounced off tree branches like a Pachinko ball. It stopped on the bottom branch and the 80 year old ornament wasn't damaged and that is why I am still alive to report the incident. Mike H
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