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Old Feb 28, 2006, 02:42 PM
Intermediate Pilot
preston_brown's Avatar
Chapel Hill, NC
Joined Dec 2005
338 Posts
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Revo CP is a GREAT 2nd helicopter!

OK, in my case, it's my 3rd. Here's how it goes.

I got a Lama 2 for Christmas, and learned to fly it around my garage. Very very fun after I got the hang of it, but I quickly learned that to do "real maneuvers," some other type of helicopter would be needed. It was just too easy to get it into a stall when doing tight turns at high speed. Not enough power. Still, if you want to learn helicopters, this is a great machine!

Thinking things were going to be easy after the Lama 2, I jumped in head first and ordered an X-400 CCPM kit to build up. Outfitted it with a 450TH motor, futaba PCM receiver, 2100mah lipo, you know...the recommended stuff for a fast mini helicopter. Spent a couple of days figuring out how to set it up properly, this was my first RC build in years (my previous building experience was limited to RC cars in the early 1990s).

Out of the box, the plastic head was warped, the tail had a good deal of slop, and I felt like it was too twitchy. WAY different than the Lama 2 (of course!). But still, I (re-)learned to hover the X-400 after swapping to an aluminum head and upgrading to the microheli all metal tail setup. Nice machine, definitely, but I was (and still am a bit) SCARED of it! I mean, you bump the collective on this thing, and it SHOOTS into the air. It will be great for 3D and tricks, but it is overpowered as a helicopter to learn on. I mean it. Maybe other people feel differently (or maybe they just dial out a bunch of cyclic pitch to calm things down) but I think that moving down the scale a bit is a good idea.

At this point I still want a "real" (i.e. non coaxial) heli to learn on, so I got a E-sky Honey Bee FP2. Not bad really for learning on! First of all, no frustrations of building. It pretty much flew straight from the box. The tail wants to drift even after adjusting, and the 4-in-1 wants to glitch like crazy even after making sure the antenna was straight and isolated from the frame, but at least it feels more "real" than the Lama and it was way gentler to control than the X-400. Problem was, it was TOO gentle. Serious lag-time between cyclic input and response. That's what you get for a gentle fixed-pitch helicopter, I guess. Flying it outside in even a light breeze is next to impossible; in forward flight it starts to pitch up and gets tough to control, or the 4-in-1 acts up and glitches and sends the little bird down to the ground. The upside? It hardly ever breaks, you usually just walk over, pick it up, and start flying again.

The Hobby-Lobby crash sale on the Revo comes up. $50 bucks for a collective pitch heli without a tail motor, and brushless motor for another $30? Maybe thsi is just what I need, I think. So I order it. When it comes, I note that it certainly is a bit flimsier than the X-400, but not too much. For the price, wow! Slap on some Naro servos and a CC25, and I'm in business. Let's fly.

First thing I notice? I need to move in the control rods on the servo arms. The helicopter is getting WAY overcontrolled with even short throws. I do that, and then for good measure, dial in -30% exponential. This is when I realize that the X-400 really is more stable compared to the Revo (I learned hovering with NO exponential on the X-400) but because of the motor set-up and the slightly larger size, and the EXPENSE of it all, I'm more scared of it. After I get the Revo trimmed out and calmed down ab it by setting things up on my radio, I find it to be slightly more "twitchy" than the X-400, but in other ways, more stable. Mainly because of the less insane motor, I would tend to think. I mean, if you put in pitch on the "red" motor it came with, it rises at a nice clip, but it doesn't shoot for the ceiling like the X-400 with the 450TH.

The best part? I'm not freaking out as bad about taking minor risks with it, and I'm finally comfortable moving into forward flight outside. I feel like I'm not overcorrecting as much with the throttle as I do with the X-400 (probably again because of the lower power output) but I'm sure its also a mental thing. I think my learning is starting to progress at a faster pace because of this helicopter. And I haven't crashed it yet, or stripped any gears! Be careful, advance slowly, and you too can learn without wrecking everything!

What's the point? Learn on something that isn't too near and dear to you, and that isn't more than you can handle. Perhaps for some that can be a "mild" T-rex or X-400, and I can probably calm my X-400 down by taking out some positive pitch in the upper half of the stick or changing motors, but I think a simpler helicopter like the Revo or even a Walkera with decent electronics fitted is a good way to go. Less fear, more enjoyment, faster learning.

Now I just ordered bits to put together a GWS Slow Stick. What have I done?

Here's the fleet.
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Joined May 2005
1,051 Posts
whoa, that's like an $800 table and you seem to have more to the set than just that .
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