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Old Aug 19, 2005, 01:26 PM
Carboy
ZiariM's Avatar
Yokohama Japan
Joined Jul 2005
185 Posts
Piccolo V2 vs. Rotofly - from a beginner's point of view

I am a total n00b to the electic heli world. After building and running RC cars for the last 6 years, I got quite bored and wanted to try something new. I initially was going to try building and flying planes, but being in Japan and being very limited on space, I don't have enough space to fly planes. So I thought I would try heli's instead.

I just recently bought 2 heli's: a Helimax Rotofly and an Ikarus Eco Piccolo V2. The Piccolo is brand new and I built it myself.

Piccolo impressions:

Building it was quite straight forward. Maybe even easier than building cars; as they have far less parts to deal with. I think I spent more time trimming and balancing the Piccolo than the actual build itself. I immediatly ran into a few snags when I found out that the Piccoboard plus that came with the kit to be defective. I immmediate contacted Fred Boyce at Ikarus USA and he was able to deduce quite quickly that the board was damages, so I sent it back to be replaced. Again, being in Japan, this delayed my maiden flight considerably.

Ikarus USA was very helpful in that they were able to send me a replacement in about a week.

I plugged the new piccoboard plus and the heli fired up quite nicely.

Being a complete beginner, I didn't expect to be able to have the piccolo in the air anytime soon, but after only 3 days or so, I am able to scoot the heli across the floor without losing too much control. I did run into some furniture a few times, which did no damage. At most, the landing gear popped off and the rotor blades popped off a few times. But controllability is there and I have a feeling that if I practice enough, I can have this thing in a controlled hover within a few weeks or so.

Overall impression:

pros:
-controllable
-powerful
-tough, pretty tough to break
-well made; easy to build for those who have basic model building skills
-Ikarus service department is very helpful

cons:
-the heli seems big in my small living room. Rotor wash can be felt from 5 feet away
-somewhat pricey
-hard to get parts (in Japan)
-instruction book illustrations aren't too great, but adequate

Comments: I am glad I bought it and I can't wait until I am able to fly it like the big boys. This is definatley good for beginners and experts.

Helimax Rotofly impressions:

I bought my Rotofly on ebay for about $120 (not bad eh). I think it retails for about $280 brand new. I bought the Rotofly relizing how big that the piccolo was. It was cheap, in very good condition, and small enough to fly around in my small living room...so I thought.

Ironically, it arrived ont eh very same day my replacememt piccooard plus arrived. It was in good shape and the seller included toms of extra parts including an extra 2S LiPo battery which I use on my Piccolo.

I must say that the Rotofly is MUCH more harder to control! Its twitchy, unresponsive (as if it had a mind of its own), and the rotor bearings are damn annoying! Everytime I crash it the rotor pops off and the bearings go scattering all over the place. I eventually lost one of the two bearings and had to but a new one today. I was so annoyed hat wound up CA'ing onto to the rotor head (being carful not to seize the bearing themselves. That seemed to have worked.

I spent a lot of time balancing the flybar paddled and trim (almost twice the time I spent on the Piccolo) and it still seems to be a very nervous machine.

My conclusion is so far is, this is not for the novice. Its more for the intermediate to advanced pilot.

My imprssions:

-nice compact palm sized heli
-RTF out of the box, needs very few adjustmens (unless its used like mine was)
-quiet
-nice indoor machine (even in Japan)
-comes with 2s LiPo and charger

Cons

-temperamental, not too user friendly
-annoying bearings that don't seem to want to stay on.
-flimsy saran wrap canopy
-definately not for the novice!

Comments: Iwould learn to hover on a bigger heli before trying this one. Its too susceptable to even the slightest distubance ( a sneeze, or wing wash from a fly etc.). But it looks cool and will be a fun on once I get a hang of it.
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