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Old Oct 27, 2004, 11:51 PM
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United States, MA, Webster
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Hirobo Xrb/rc Mini Lama Report ... With Photos

I was somewhat amazed at the tethered Hirobo XRB demos at the W.R.A.M. show in New York last winter. And then hearing through these wonderful forums that an RC version was in the works, as well as they were arriving in the US. UK and Europe in the last few weeks, I just couln't resist the urge to add one to my hangar. So here is a brief description of the resulting events:

After online searches and forum searches, I found that
www.fxaeromodels.com had some in stock, "but they were selling fast"! So .... I did what any law abiding heli hobbiest would do, and ordered one for A.S.A.P. delivery. David at FXA was very quick to answer my e-mails, and the package , to my absolute amazement, arrived in 3 days ( Ca to Ma USA) via USPS Priority Mail, and it was over a weekend to boot!! Cost was US $330.00 plus $12.00 freight and handling. Mfg. List Prices I've seen are $350.00 to $379.00

Some spec's are:

Rotor Span 13.25 in.
Fuselage Length 14.75 in.
Weight 6.9 oz,
Flight Time 18 min. Pure Hover, Forward Flight Time Would Be More

After 18 Min. of Hover, The Main Motors Measured 108 Degrees, and the
LiPo Pack Measured 84 Degrees.

Following are a few photos for your viewing pleasure, and more comments will follow:
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 11:53 PM
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Here Are A Few More:
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Last edited by MiniBoy; Oct 27, 2004 at 11:56 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 12:02 AM
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And Here Are Some With In-flight views:
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Some Important tips:

While this highly detailed and high quality machine WILL fly "right out of the box", you would be wise to spend an hour (or two) reading the very detailed manual. There are many "tweaking" adjustments that you can do to save yourself both grief and $$$. This little machine is cleverly designed to NOT strip gears, crack skids, smash the fuselage, or destroy the canopy. BUT ... the trade-off is that it eats main rotor blades for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, before bed snack .... get the picture?? So ... be aware that the blade BALANCE and TRACKING are VERY important to making this little 7 oz. machine stable in the air. If you lose track of that important factor, this little heli will frustrate you!! READ THE MANUAL, particularly pages 19 thru 22.

For example, none of the blades had balancing tape on them from the factory. All the ones I replaced needed some sort of minor balancing. Once this was done, along with tracking adjustments, and then a tad of yaw adjustment, rock solid, hands-off hovering was a snap.

The little machine is not very happy on carpeted surfaces. You will have better results on a smooth wood, cement or linoleum floor, especially one with no major seams to trip up the landing skids, particularly while landing. I broke most of my blades on landing tipovers.

If you order a Hirobo XRB "Sky Robo" ( I don't like that name ), Be sure to order EXTRA MAIN BLADES!!. They are packed 8 blades to a package for $ 9.00, but the uppers and lowers are different, as this is a co-axial machine, so the rotors are counter-rotating, so you can probably guess why the blades are not the same? So... Get a couple of packs of each ... 2 packs of uppers, and 2 packs of lowers ... that'll be $ 36.00 for probably every crash part you'll ever need ?!?

An extra LiPo pack or two ( US $ 24.00 ea. ) would be really helpful to minimize waiting an hour and a quarter for the next flight. Bear in mind though that Hirobo suggests a 15 to 20 minute motor cooldown to prevent motor damage, so continuous battery swapping / flight time is not recommended.

EDIT .... The price for the LiPo pack was a quote for a Tanic pack, before it was discovered that the Hirobo charger utilizes 3 leads and a Molex connector. The Hirobo LiPo pack is US $80.00 (WOW!).

Be careful to push the LiPo pack ALL THE WAY forward into the battery holder ... it is MOST important to keep the Center of Gravity in the correct location! (I'm NOT going to tell you how I know!!!)

Lastly, you must always be aware that Lithium Polymer battery chemistry can be very dangerous!!! While this Hirobo model seems to have a very well designed and well thought out charging system, you MUST be aware that these LiPo batteries could cause minor explosion, fire and other inconvenient concequences .... READ THE MANUAL, be cautious, take your time, and Happy Hovering!!

Hope this info is helpful,

Russ
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Last edited by MiniBoy; Oct 29, 2004 at 06:47 AM.
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 03:45 AM
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Some great info there Russ- thanks!

Nice to see that they have upgraded to brass motor pinions- I think they are a weak point on the tethered version as I've replaced mine numourous times as they crack.

Nathan
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 06:04 AM
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Nice job on the pics and review!


Joe
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickyfingers
Some great info there Russ- thanks!

Thank You.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickyfingers
Nice to see that they have upgraded to brass motor pinions- I think they are a weak point on the tethered version as I've replaced mine numourous times as they crack.

Nathan
Yes, I guess plastic pinions could be a real pain. As I see it so far, the only thing breaking are the blades, lots of them! My highest fall was from about 6 feet, and no other damage. Oh, the flybar popped off, but that just snaps back together.

Russ
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humveeflyer
Nice job on the pics and review!


Joe
Thanks Joe

Russ
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Thanks Russ, nice write up and pics! I look forward to getting mine

- Felix
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Great work Russ

Looks like it could have a damn hard landing from 6 foot up onto a concrete floor.
I'm surprised myself that none of the little scale detail sticky-out bits have broken off - does look very fragile but the UC seems v.flexible and would you say the main shaft is carbon fibre? Not sure, certainly looks like it.

You still got that order for the rotofly? Micros/Sub-micros are a bit more robust (certainly the blades are anyway) and they're easier to upgrade to seperates and brushless but not in the same league as far as stability and ease of flying is concerned. You might be disappointed after your experience of the SR.
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Last edited by tikaboo; Oct 28, 2004 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikaboo
Great work Russ

You still got that order for the rotofly? Micros/Sub-micros are a bit more robust (certainly the blades are anyway) and they're easier to upgrade to seperates and brushless but not in the same league as far as stability and ease of flying is concerned.

TIK:

Thanks for the kind words!

Yes, I still have the Rotofly on order, along with spare main & tail blades, and 2 extra battery packs. I should ( MAY ) be shipping in the next 2 weeks to 4 years!

As far as robustness goes, I hear you. I have a 1-1/2 year old Corona with the ORIGINAL blades ... a bit chewed up, but still balance and track well. Of course It's had a few crown gears, TR pinion gears etc., too.

Russ
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Last edited by MiniBoy; Oct 28, 2004 at 12:44 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 12:07 PM
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Great post! I have been looking into this craft and especially wanted to hear about the details. I think you covered it nicely!
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 01:35 PM
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GoFaster,

Velocity-8:

Thanks ... I hope the article is helpful to you and others.

Russ
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 02:08 PM
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Excellent review. You covered all the bases. Great pics. Thanks for your efforts. Altech Marketing should send you another RC Lama in payment because I'm sure your thread will sell a lot of Sky Robo's.

Cheers - Boyd
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Old Oct 28, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoverup
Excellent review. You covered all the bases. Great pics. Thanks for your efforts. Altech Marketing should send you another RC Lama in payment because I'm sure your thread will sell a lot of Sky Robo's.

Cheers - Boyd
...or a crate full of blades!
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