The Walkera SUPER FP review (4 Channel Flybarless fixed pitch helicopter)
I was contacted not long ago by one of Lightake.com's staff, Mr. Zhou, who asked me to do a review and possibly select products for them to sell (They are starting to focus their efforts on hobby grade products). I picked the Mini CP, the QR Ladybird and the star of this review, the Super FP. Not much needs to be said about the Mini CP and the Ladybird... They are well known and have their own dedicated threads which provide great info for owners and shoppers alike.
This review was written on May 7th, 2012. Information regarding this helicopter may change as Walkera improves the receiver and parts... but you can trust that, although this sample was provided by a company, I am completely honest in the review and I am receiving no financial compensation (besides the sample itself.) So feel free to discuss every aspect (Good and bad) of this helicopter in this thread. Still feel unsure if this helicopter is right for you? PM me and I'll try to analyze your situation for you, if I have time.
FROM THE SHOWROOM
The Walkera Super FP is the newest member of a new generation of Micro flybarless fixed-pitch helicopters, like the Blade MsrX and the Walkera V120D01. Utilizing 3 axis gyros, these helicopters are great for beginners because of their simple rotor structure, efficiency and stable-yet-maneuverable flight performance. These flybarless fixed pitched birds sure have come a long way since the still relatively recent Solo Pro, MSR, Trex 100, V911 and 9958 helicopters (Which are also fixed pitched but aren't as maneuverable.) Flybar strikes and the toilet bowl effect are things of the past.
Now onto the Super FP itself.
The Super FP is a fixed pitch helicopter built on the popular Mini CP platform. It is marketed at beginners stepping up from coaxial or fixed pitch helicopters with flybars. Parts are mostly interchangeable with those of the Mini CP or the Genius CP...though there are parts that are unique to this helicopter. (namely the rotorhead, the RX board, the servo holder frame and the servos themselves.)
Inside the package that I received is the RTF version of the Super FP. Contents of the box include the following:
1x Super FP helicopter
1x 3.7V 240mah battery
1x GA006 battery charger
1x 2402D (Devention 4 channel) Transmitter
2x Instruction manual CDs
1x Instruction manual booklet
and some spare parts.
The Ready-to-fly (RTF) package includes the 2402D transmitter, which is the most basic transmitter available from Walkera's Devention line. I like that it is 2.4Ghz, meaning that the signals are stable and interference is rare. However, the transmitter does lack features that are helpful to beginners- things like dual rates and the telemetry function that the helicopter itself features. I hope that revisions would be made in the future for these features to be added onto the TX. That said, the transmitter's performance is more than adequate for this 4 channel bird. If you are a beginner and you like this hobby, then try to invest in something like the Devention 6S or 8S. That way, you'll be able to fly your Walkera helicopters/muticopters to their full potential.
At first glance, the Super FP may look a lot like the Mini CP with a different canopy... That is mostly due to the shared structure between the two helicopters. Under the canopy, the differences are clear- different board, servos, rotor-head, servo holders etc. But this commonality with the Mini CP (which in turn shares a lot of parts with the Genius CP) is great because most parts are readily available. Meaning you won't be grounded due to a lack of parts.
The servos are precise and responsive. They are controlled by the board though, so these are 5 wire servos instead of the standard 3 wire servos. I hope that this means servos are cheaper, but we'll have to see about that.
I do love the look of the new canopy. It looks great just sitting on my table. Let's hope it fly's as well as it looks!
It's great weather for flying here in Beijing. There's barely any wind during the day and so I put 6 AA batteries in the stock transmitter and charged the 240mah battery.
With the trims centered, the Super FP lifted off the ground with ease. It was perfectly trimmed out of the factory and I took it up for some FFF testing. Previously, my only experience with FBL FP helis was with the V200D01. It was great but had some odd flying characteristics that I just couldn't tune out. I was expecting the same thing with the Super FP but found that it tracks straight in forward flight, doesn't have the V200's tendency of bobbing up during fast forward flight...and is surprisingly fast. I'd describe it's flying characteristics as “Similar to the Mini CP under normal mode.” The only difference being that there's a slight wobble if you bring the RPMs down real low...which seems to be a common characteristic of all flybarless FP helicopters.
The tail holds true and the rudder responds very well. Some said that the servos might be a little sluggish since they are controlled by the main board.. they seem to respond slower than my Mini CP's servos, but that wasn't an issue at all during flight. I did find that there wasn't enough throw on the ailerons when I did fast turns... so I might change the settings on my 8S... but in my opinion, the Super FP RTF package is more than enough to teach beginners the basics
All in all, the FP is a joy to fly and I think it'll be replacing my Mini CP for most flights from now on. The only complaint I have with this heli is of it's short flight time. I got around 2-3 minutes with the stock 240mah battery (beeps at 3.5 volts). Hope my 400mah batteries (on their way!) would provide longer flights.
In flight pics courtesy of the gf!
Here's the first VIDEO!
Flew it in my apartment complex so the heli blends into the background somewhat...I'll post more videos when I have time but hope this gives you an idea of what this helicopter's flight performance is like. Special thanks goes to the gf for doing such a great job of video-taping.
(Please click the link...can't embed the video for some reason...)
Super FP Review
The Super FP performed better than I expected. In my opinion, it would be great for those stepping up from coaxials or those that have flown fixed pitch helicopters but still need a little more confidence before stepping up to CP helicopters. It's fun to fly even for those with experience and looks stunning in the air. The flight characteristics are better than any FP I've flown so far.
I suggest purchasing 350 or 400 mah batteries (it's so much fun to fly that 3 minutes won't be enough)
Other than the flight time, I have nothing bad to say about the Super FP. It will enjoy it's new home on my desk while the others stay on the shelf.
SPECIAL THANKS GOES TO LIGHTAKE.COM FOR PROVIDING ME WITH THIS GREAT HELICOPTER AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE IT TO YOU GUYS!
So here's a pros and cons list if you don't want to read through it all.
-Flybarless head (less parts to fix in a crash, more efficient etc)
-Stable but responsive, able to fly circuits and FFF with ease.
-2.4Ghz with well designed TX
-Individual servos that aren't exposed to the elements
-Tail holds rock solid
- Short flight time (solved with GCP main motor+400mah battery)
- Stock tx doesn't have dual rates on any axis
- Servos may be a little tame for advanced users (I believe this was designed so beginners wouldn't over-correct)
WOW! I LIKE IT! WHERE CAN I BUY THIS THING!?
Mr. Zhou provided me with a coupon code for those that see this review. 5% off the BNF Super FP!
The RTF Package, as reviewed here, is available here:
For those with Devention radios, the BNF version is available here:
If you are interested, click the link and scroll down to the "frequently bought together" option to take a look (the link itself is to the tx and not the package)
Super FP+ Devo 6 package
Super FP+ Devo 7 package
Super FP+ Devo 8S package
Super FP+ Devo 12S package
He also told me that if you see the BNF Super FP, it's RTF packages with the 2402D transmitter or the RTF packages with other Devention radios (available soon!) for a lower price* than theirs, they will ,in most cases, be able to match the price...
just email him with the link: email@example.com
*From reputable sellers
-----------------FAQ BELOW-----------------FAQ BELOW-----------------FAQ BELOW-----------------FAQ BELOW------------------------FAQ BELOW-----------------
I'M A BEGINNER PILOT, IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?
Always a hard question to answer. In my 10 years of r/c flying experience..I've seen people who can fly advanced aircraft with little experience and vice versa. BUT if you can fly coaxials or other 4 channel flybarred helicopters, you shouldn't have too many problems with the Super FP. I think it's wide range of flying characteristics (from gentle to aggressive) means that it suits a wide range of pilots.. and it won't be phased out too quickly as your skills grow.
WHAT IS THIS TELEMETRY FEATURE THAT YOU SPEAK OF?
On almost all new Walkera helicopters (Genius CP, Mini CP, Super FP, QR Ladybird etc.), there is a feature called telemetry. It sends signals from the helicopter back to the transmitter that tell the transmitter different information. The most basic being battery voltage and motor temperature (both of which are present on the Super FP). Some of their more advanced products such as the UX400 quadcopter features GPS information as well. This is great for flyers because knowing the exact voltage prevents over-discharging the battery. Only Devention transmitters with the affix "S" have this function. It is not a feature on the RTF 2402D radio. For more information, refer to the next segment on this FAQ.
WHICH TRANSMITTER SHOULD I BUY THIS HELICOPTER WITH?
Regarding the selection of transmitters: Walkera makes a line of transmitters from the 4 channel 2403D transmitter seen in this review, to the 6 channel Devo 6, the 7 channel Devo 7, the 8 channel Devo 8S with telemetry and their top-of-the-line Devo 12S with telemetry. If you are new to this hobby or are just testing the water with Walkera, then you should get the RTF package as reviewed. However, if you are thinking about buying future products from Walkera and eventually stepping up to fixed wing aircraft or CP helicopters, then buying the 6,7,8 or 12 would be a good investment. I do recommend the 8S in particular. It's very user friendly, very well built and features the telemetry function which is found on almost all new Walkera products. I own the 8S myself and enjoy using it with many of my helis. As far as I know, the Devo 7 is difficult to program and the 12 is very expensive. The 6 is great but lacks the telemetry function.
OK, I GOT THE HELICOPTER, GOT MY TRANSMITTER...NOW HOW DO I SET IT UP?
Thanks to Tom (TomZ) for providing this very comprehensive setting guide for most Walkera helicopters. The settings for the Super FP are attached here.. If you want to see the settings for other Walkera helicopters, please click the link at the bottom of this post.. it will link you to his excellent sticky.
Setup for the Walkera Super FP - RX2456V-D - Devo 7 Transmitter.
These settings should also work for the Devo 6, Devo 8, Devo 10, and Devo 12 transmitters.
TYPE - HELI
SWASH - 1 Servo Normal (1-NRM)
STMOD - MODE2 if you want the throttle on the left stick
REVERS - None, all normal
SUBTR - ALL 0.0%
TRVAD - All including Pitch L & H are 100%. These are the defaults so you don't need to program them.
If you want more servo throw you can increase the ALIE and ELEV travel.
Try 100 -125% on each or even higher as long as the servos don't bind.
AILE - U & D 125%
ELEV - L & R 125%
Pitch Curves - All Linear. These are the defaults so you don't need to program them.
Throttle Curves - All Linear. These are the defaults so you don't need to program them
THHLD - STATE - ACT
POSIT - 0.0%
Set throttle trim to center.
Gyro Sensor - These are what Walkera recommends in the user manual.
Mode - Manual
Switch - Mix SW
Pos 0 = 50.0%
Pos 1 = 50.0%
Pos 2 = 50.0%
Here are some other settings you can try if you want. Adjust these to meet your needs.
Pos 0 = 50.0%
Pos 1 = 78%
Pos 2 = 88%
Set D/R and EXPO to your personal needs/preference. These should be good for beginners.
You can set more or less than 70% D/R if you want and more or less than +30% EXPO if you want.
ELEV D/R - 70% EXP +30%
AILE D/R - 70%, EXP +30%
RUDD D/R - 100%, EXP LIN *
* If you want quicker tail response try negative expo on the rudder. Start with -6% and work your way down to -70%
until you find what setting you like. You can also increase the RUDD D/R.
For aggressive flying you can try these settings. Adjust them to meet your needs.
ELEV D/R - 110% % EXP LIN
AILE D/R - 110%, EXP LIN
RUDD D/R - 110%, EXP -70 % *
* Start with -6% and work your way down to -70% until you find what setting you like.
You can try more than 110% for Rudder D/R if you want.
Link to the setup guide in TomZ's sticky.
Yes, I was really waiting forward to read a review of this baby.
Thanks also for the great pictures.
There is a bit of confusion between the Super FP and the Genius FP though, as I have tried to explain here.
Maybe do you have more information about the Genius FP as well?
The differences between the two helis are much like the differences between the Genius CP and the Mini CP...where the GCP and the GFP don't have removable skids and the SFP and MCP have removable skids that allow easier maintenance.
So even though the website says Genius FP in stock, you should check to see if you can get the Super FP instead... because it's going to be much easier to fly and maintain.
I think it's quite ironic that the Genius' design isn't as smart as it's name would suggest...
@cgpirre, Unfortunately, Walkera and WLToys use different coding in their 2.4ghz systems so you won't be able to find something compatible with both...the larger batteries are available at various places online so it really depends on your location (I got them on Taobao, the Chinese equivalent of ebay).
@TFMeouch, I've suggested that they carry a set like that but I guess they haven't done so yet. I'll contact them when it's morning here and try to work something out. The Ladybird is one of Walkera's best products in my opinion... Stable yet nimble..and quite fast too. I don't think you'll be disappointed in either of these helis.
I think I'm gonna order the brushless version (pity Mr. Zhou doesn't sell it!).
I've fount it here and I just have to wait a few days for my wife not to kill me (my brand new Devo 6S is on its way from China already...!) before I'll press the paypal button!
@kosem, my opinion is that a brushless motor on this heli won't provide much benefit... as the heli has plenty of power in its stock configuration. Many have reported that the stock genius Cp motors can provide long flight times for the mini Cp and so I've ordered a gcp motor for it. But if you do get the brushless motored version, please report back and tell us if it's worth the investment!
@cgpirre, yeah it's a shame that there's no universal transmitter... but if you intend on flying more than one walkera in the future, I'd suggest buying a devo 6 or 8. It's programmable and you'll be able to use it when you eventually get to Cp helicopters.
@Proud Infidel, yup, it's a 7 channel transmitter and I'm guessing that TFMeouch wants to use it for future helis too. Which is a good idea. I've heard scattered reviews that the 7 is hard to program though.. have the 8s myself and think it's perfect.
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