|Main Rotor Diameter:||635mm|
|Tail Rotor Diameter:||130mm|
|Weight:||approx 530 g|
|Head Type:||Bell-Hiller Collective Pitch|
|Servos:||Cirrus CS-10 (4)|
|Gyro:||Cirrus MPG-6 rate gyro, non HH|
|Battery:||EF 1600 mAh, 11.1 volt Li-ion|
|Motor Size:||S400 (incl)|
|Available From:||Global Hobby Distributors|
Up to the 19th century, the Shoguns were the military dictators that ruled feudal Japan. As the leaders of the Samurai and domineer of their subjects, Shoguns controled with an iron fist and ruthless, absolute dominance. Planning to rule the micro heli market, comes a 21st century warrior that, while small, packs a big punch.
The Shogun, from Global Hobby's EF Helicopters brand, is a speed-400 class micro heli designed to get beginners and experts alike into the air quickly. While still primarily an indoor capable machine, the Shogun is a bit larger and more sturdily built than many of the typical micro models. This larger size and heavier weight makes flying out doors easier, especially if there is a bit of wind.
|Shaft Drive Tail|
|Brushed Motor Included|
|Ball Bearing Supported Shafts|
|Glass-filled Nylon Main Frame|
Opening the box (which also doubles as a carrying case with handle), I was presented with a nearly 100 percent complete model helicopter, sans any electronics. “Wow!” I thought, “It’s an instant helicopter!” Everything was completely assembled, except for the main rotor blades which were neatly strapped to the innards of the box. It was quite a culture shock for someone used to starting with a box of parts.
Removing the Shogun from its “castle”, I placed it on a scale and measured the empty weight (with motor) at 9 oz. (254g). It was time to look it over and see if anything was out of order. Besides a main blade nut that had come loose, everything seemed to be very well assembled and bolted together. Only some minor tweaking needing to be done. (see below)
Its Bell-Hiller rotor head features an under slung flybar, with metal flybar arms, and flybar weights (the weights do double duty as mounts for the flybar paddles). The blade grips have leading edge pitch control with a few degrees of delta offset. The one sided mixer arm design has a ratio of approximately 2:1. Pitch control is accomplished via an internal 2mm rod that slides within the hollow and slotted 5mm aluminum main shaft.
The pre-installed motor is a plain bushing Mabuchi RS-380PH with an attached ring for improved motor performance. To prolong motor life and improve its performance, a good idea would be to take out the motor and drop it in a cup of water while running it off of a couple “D” size batteries. This is called a water break-in and lots of info can be found about it in RCGroups. What’s interesting is that the longish pinion gear drives both the main gear and tail output gears at the same time. Because of this, the motor mount is not adjustable. The tail drive is shaft drive type and is supported on both ends by ball bearings. Tail control is a flex cable type that snakes slightly up to the mid frame point.
I did notice that the top and bottom shaft collars are installed the reverse as to how I would have installed them, but it was not important enough to take apart the machine to flip them and was certainly not problem for flying. As recommended in the manual, I slid the tail boom out a little further so as to slacken the gear mesh to the pinion. The only real changes I made were to add one additional tie wrap to the tail pitch control rod as I felt just one would probably allow too much play for my likening and I also elected to trim the plastic of the frame around the main gear (near the tail control servo) as both seemed to be rubbing a little once the tail control servo was mounted.
Also of note is that the swash plate has extra balls for 120 degree CCPM-type control setup, even though I saw no obvious means for providing such a control. The Shogun uses non-electronic mixing so non-CCPM radios can be used. In fact, you could even use a simple four channel radio, with a Y-harness between the collective servo and throttle, if you wanted to just learn basic flying and didn’t have a fancy helicopter radio.
A prominent feature of the Shogun is the rather narrow landing gear. It has a high offset and appears very durable. I think it is actually pretty cool looking, but beginners should definitely invest in a set of micro training gear.
The 15 page manual offers numerous black and white installation photos with clear instructions. Recommended equipment, exploded diagrams, and replacement part photos are all integrated into the manual as well. As the model comes completely built, the manual mainly covers installation of the servos and flight electronics. Of course a parts breakdown and listing of spare parts is included.
For the servos, Global supplied their Cirrus CS-10 ball bearing micro servos for this review (not included in the stock package). These servos are just under 10 grams (0.35 oz.) and are rated for a hefty 19 oz./in. of torque. All the servos fit nicely into the frame but the tail rotor servo had minimal clearance from the main gear, so that servo must be no wider than 11mm (0.43”) if you chose another brand.
Cirrus also makes a very small and light weight (only 6 grams) rate gyro called the MPG-6. While not a heading hold gyro, it is very inexpensive and fine for beginners. There is a nice flat part on the frame exactly where the instructions suggests to mount the gyro. It is very important to mount the gyro correctly. The manual explains this; however, I found that the gyro I received needed to be mounted 180 degrees around from what is shown in the manual (probably due to a different model of servo used).
The receiver I chose to use is the Hitec Electron-6. I’ve been a big fan of this little receiver for quite some time as it is a full 6-channel dual conversion receiver. While it is a nice and very small receiver, it is not quite small enough to mount at the recommended location (its profile interferes with the canopy window). Instead, I elected to mount it within the frame, just ahead of the collective servo. Because of this, the main battery pack is mounted about an inch more forward than shown in the manual. However, this actually helped the balance by moving the center of gravity forward.
The electronic speed controller (ESC) used is a basic 20 amp airplane controller, made by E-Flight, which I purchased from the local hobby store. While it doesn’t have fancy heli-friendly features like breaking and low voltage cutoff disable, it is just fine for the Shogun as it has a one way hub to prevent stripping of the gears. As for the voltage cut-off, that is not a problem as micro helis are not efficient enough to stay airborne when the battery gets low enough for it to trigger. The connector on the motor was removed and the speed controller was simply soldered directly to the motor. Using double sided tape, I mounted the ESC to the underside of the Shogun’s frame. Throttle curves were basically setup as outlined in the manual with the throttle set at 90% or so while in stunt mode (idle up).
The manual made good points by warning the user to check screw tightness, gear meshes, and tail alignment. This was a very good idea as while I generally didn’t find any problems, I did find the collar under the pitch control lever needed tightening and the gear mesh between the pinion and tail output gear was a little tight.
Included in the kit was a simple but workable pitch gauge made from heavy card stock. Just by how it is slid onto the main rotor blades set the blade angles to 0, 3, or 7 degrees in each direction. Since most off-the-shelf pitch gauges don’t work for micro helis, this was a nice addition. As I happened to have a pitch gauge for small helis, I was curious to see the true pitch range. Hitting the stops at both positive and negative pitch, I measured +15/-5 degrees. This was a bit excessive on the top end and not enough for aerobatic flying on the low end. By adjusting the blade grip links, a +10/-10 degrees of blade pitch was obtained.
The blades themselves appeared to be plastic laminated foam core and weighed about 12 g each. I couldn’t tell if they had any type of tip weights, but there is a fiberglass spar in them. Their airfoil appeared symmetrical (best I can tell). The battery supplied was an EF-labeled 1600 mAh, 11.1 volt Lithium Polymer type, with an extra connector for balancing the cells (if they ever become un-balanced). Weight of the pack scaled in at 4.25 oz. (120 g.).
Out of the box, the canopy came completely assembled and trimmed with only the decals needing to be applied. Its weight was only ½ an ounce (16 g) before the decals were applied; after which it gained another 2 grams. After liberally applying the numerous other decals (which took almost as long as building the heli), I had an attractive little heli with a ready to fly weight of 522 grams (18 oz.).
With everything all wired up and ready to go, I tached the maximum speed of the rotor at about 2300 rpm, which seem quite good. But to really see the Shogun’s fighting style I would have to take a short trip to my local park.
Quite a bit of wind marked the otherwise sunny day of the first test flight. After some micro hops to fine tune the gyro (the gain was set too high initially), the Shogun warrior was up in the air and into a very stable hover. With about 25% exponential dialed into the cyclic controls, the little Shogun exhibited very grownup like flight stability and preciseness of control. This showed that the recommended servo arm lengths were dead-on for general flying. In fact, I later reduced the amount of expo in order to make the controls more sensitive (this is admittedly a subjective setting). The blade tracking out of the box was just fine and any meddling with it on my part just threw it out of whack.
Despite the wind gusts, the Shogun did not balloon and sink as much as I thought it would, being such a small heli. The winds were really picking up at this point so I decided to wait for a better day to get a baseline on flying performance.
Picking a less windy day, it was time to test the Shogun’s basic flying qualities. This also gave me an opportunity to fine tune the radio’s anti-torque mixing as well. Since the Shogun was using a standard rate gyro and not a heading hold one, sudden changes in collective pitch caused the tail rotor to swing in one direction or the other. To compensate for this, I chose to use the transmitter’s electronic revo. mixing. On my Futaba transmitter, I set the revolution mixing at around 0%-30%-50% (positive and negative) and that seemed about right to keep the tail steady with changes in collective. The rotor speed seemed to settle in at about 2100 rpm, which of course varied a bit depending on flight loads.
Forward flying showed really good stability with just a little pitching up tendency when flying fast into the wind. Once set in motion, it stayed pretty locked in until told to change. The bright colors and blade stripes made the heli easy to see, yet it could get small pretty fast. Forward speed was also quite quick, if I really nosed it over and “gunned it.” Circuits were a joy to perform, especially low passes and turns. Stall turns (regular and 540 degree) can be done without problem, I just took care to enter the climb after building up a good bit of forward speed.
Because of the solid tail fins and non-heading hold gyro, high speed sideways and backward flight caused the tail to whip around and weather-vane into the direction of flight. Otherwise, the gyro worked fine, even though I wouldn’t consider the tail servo used very high speed.
Runs times with the 1600mAh pack typically were just at 10 minutes of mixed flying. The charger showed about 1400mAh used to replenish the charge on the pack. This calculated to about an average amp draw of 8.5 amps (about 90 watts or so). Motor temps were in the range of 95 F (35 C) after 10 minutes of flying on a 75 F (24 C) day.
Out at a nice wide open space, I had great fun throwing the Shogun around the sky to see what it was capable of. The brushed motor and non-heading hold gyro show their limitations when you really get aggressive on the sticks. The motor RPM drops drops significantly under heavy loads which, in turn, causes the tail to break loose. With that said, the stock motor the included motor is pretty impressive in its performance and does have enough power for basic aerobatics including loops, rolls, and sustained inverted (just be easy on the collective controls if you use a non heading hold gyro). I have no doubt a brushless motor and heading hold gyro would turn the Shogun into a full 3D machine. With that said, the included motor is pretty impressive in its performance.
Another pleasant surprise is that the Shogun does autorotations quite well, while it certainly doesn’t have the hang time during the flair you get with larger machines, it was very controllable during the descent and the best of any micro heli I’ve flown.
The shogun is an impressive micro heli that offers the convenience of a small field heli with the performance of larger machines. All this in a wonderfully pre-built package that is easy to setup for flight. For someone who wants a great performing micro heli and in the air quickly, it is hard to beat the masterful Shogun.
|Dec 12, 2004, 11:30 PM|
Joined Dec 2003
It was mentioned that the Heli had Ball Links for 120 Degree Mixing, though its not possible to hook up?
I take it this means it does not use 120CCPM then?
From the marketing I thought it was 120 capable.
I have a PCM9x Radio, and I am looking for a cheaper electric helicopter which I can use some of the Heli mixing functions with.
|Dec 13, 2004, 08:34 PM|
The Shogun in not equiped for 120 ccpm. Only the swashplate has the extra connections. Sorry if that was not clear.
I'm not sure why, it could have been a design change or provisions for another model. However, The PCM9X you have is just fine and you will still need to use its heli mixing functions such as throttle and pitch curves, and etc. Even larger helis like the Raptor and X-Cell don't use CCPM. The Shogun's system works fine.
|Sep 21, 2005, 05:31 PM|
I know this is an older review but I just bought the helicopter... The motor temp in the review seems WAY off.... I'm curious if the author used a non-contact temp probe and pointed it at the silver motor casing. If so, the measurement will be grossly under reported (IR temp probe assumes black body radiator).
A comment I hear on the forum is how hot this motor gets, and my own experience has been the same, so I just thought I'd mention it on this review thread.
|Sep 25, 2008, 07:23 PM|
Joined Feb 2007
i wanted to buy the fma co-pilot cpd4 but it controls only pitch and roll fma said they saidalso their system wont work because the shogun is ccpm
my question is are they wrong? i see 2 servos moving fo pitch and 1 for roll then i guess th cpd4 will work? if u could email me fitz walker
email@example.com asap please
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