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Hobby Lobby Twister US Coast Guard RTF Co-Axial Electric Helicopter Review

Hobby Lobby's Twister Coast Guard Edition is all about replicating the great Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk in bright white and international orange with everything ready to fly right out of the box. The Lipo powered twin engine, twin rotor coaxial helicopter is the perfect first rotorcraft for beginners. Join Dr. Dave for some Coast Guard Flying.

Splash

Introduction


Rotorspan:340 mm / 13 3/8"
Weight:230 g / 8.25 oz.
Length:435 mm / 17 1/8"
Servos:micro
Transmitter:4 channel 72 MHz
Receiver:Piezo electric flight stabilization
Battery:7.4 volt 800 mAh LiPo
Motor:Twin brushed
ESC:4 in 1 with gain and portioning
Available from:Hobby Lobby
MSRP:$119.00

The big, colorful, easy to fly Coast Guard edition of the Twister Helicopter comes with everything you need to successfully fly a helicopter. The features donít stop there, though: it includes a downloadable flight simulator, low battery warning light, motor overload protection, a 4-in-1 on board 6 channel receiver with Piezo electric gyro, mixers and speed controllers, safe start and fail-safe plus all the extras.

Kit Contents

As soon as you receive the package you can tell this is a great quality product. There is a sticker on the outside of the box that clearly states that the helicopter has been flown and tested so it is ready to go.

Mine arrived with no damage, and refreshingly little or no plastic was used in the packaging. It appears to use recycled paper for the molded containers.

The kit is complete with many extras. First, the helicopter is fully assembled.

You also get all the necessary support items.

The kit includes

  • Fully assembled fuselage
  • 4-channel transmitter
  • 12 volt/120 volt LiPo balance charger
  • 7.4 volt 800 mAh LiPo
  • two extra sets of blades
  • Foam tape, zip ties and screw driver
  • 8 AA batteries
  • Downloadable flight simulator with USB cable provided
  • Configurable in both Mode 1 and Mode 2
  • 4-in-1 adjustable gain and yaw
  • Low battery warning
  • Motor overload protection
  • Well written instructions
  • DVD setup and training video

Kit requires

  • Nothing

Assembly

The only assembly is the addition of the tail, and this is more of a cosmetic addition. The tail rotor is attached, but I suggest you use some thread lock and lightly attach the rotor so it spins. A longer screw would allow more security. The elevator slips into place.

Wing

The rotors come off via two screws, one on each side of the rotor. The fly bar pops off with a slight twisting motion. In most accidents, this will come off so be on the lookout.

Fuselage

I thought I would take the body off and provide readers a better look inside. After removing the rotors you have to gingerly flex the body and spread the opening to get the chassis out.

The rotors are driven by two motors and their corresponding rotor gears from the underside of the chassis.

The rotor shaft swash plate is plastic and is connected to the servos in a 120 degree separation.

Once removed, the body is a very flexible and lightweight plastic. The interior uses the foam tape to secure wires to the sides of the fuselage.

Radio Installation

The receiver is ready to go.

Completion

To complete the Twister all that is needed is to make sure your controls are correct. The instructions provide all the details for recognizing the movements of the swashplate. There are also instructions for Mode 1 and Mode 2 transmitter setup. I suggest you read through the instructions as they provide some good advice for your first flights. The instructions begin with a discussion of how helicopters fly and familiarize you with the stick movements and associated helicopter responses.

Training is detailed and begins with one of the best pieces of advice I can think of: Find plenty of room to fly! To begin, you are instructed to keep the helicopter on the ground. You quickly understand that watching the nose of the helicopter helps to correct yaw movement with your control inputs. You also learn to realize that ground effect influences flight. Following the flight training, you learn to walk the helicopter around on the floor and then begin to transition to hopping prior to hovering. I thought the sequence was well written and will help any new helicopter pilot.

FMS Simulator

I struggled with the download of the FMS simulator. I was not sure of which version I needed, and I chose the version 2.0 Alpha 8.5. I was able to get the fixed wing aircraft to work, but not the rotorcraft. I also tried to download the Blackhawk from another listed site, but that was in a foreign language. I was redirected to another foreign site, but never got the download. A corrected and updated link should be provided on the Hobby Lobby website or the software should be included.

Flying

You begin the process by turning on your transmitter, placing the Twister on the ground and plugging in the battery. You will see I have the battery routed through the window so I could place the helicopter on the ground in the correct position for the gyro and heading fix. The video shows the helicopter on its side and plugged in from the bottom, but my experience has been to make sure the helicopter is sitting as you want to fly it when you plug it in.

I had no problem flying the Twister. I did need to dial in some yaw control as my trim for the rudder was maxed out, and I was still fighting the torque. A very slight adjustment moved the trim back to center so I had more control. You will be constantly adjusting your trims, and you will at times feel like it is perfectly dialed in and at other times using the same settings it will seem slightly off, so don't be afraid to make some trim adjustments. You may find it is easier to settle to the ground to make the adjustments.

This bird is very durable. On the maiden flight I thought I had the battery charged, and while in the pattern on the second trip around the battery gave out. The light was bright outside and I could not see the warning lamp lit on top of the canopy to tell me the battery was low, and out of the sky it fell maybe 40 feet right on the nose. Well I donít think you can see any of the damage in the video as it was slight even for such a long fall. The airframe, motor mounts, battery holder, rotor shaft and even the body faired really well. I did not even break a rotor.

Basics

The Twister is really easy to control. I found no tendencies for it to misbehave. Once I had it trimmed I could hover and fly the pattern with no problem. The gain adjustment on your 4-in-1 receiver is for stabilization, and you most likely will not need to make any adjustment here. The factory setting is at 90%.

Taking Off and Landing

The Twister lifts off at about one quarter throttle and has plenty of power to work with. Landing is much more difficult than taking off, which is as expected.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

This helicopter does not have any aerobatic capabilities.

Is This For a Beginner?

Yes it is! Practice will make you very proficient, and the extremely long flight times on the 7.4 volt LiPo will keep you flying long enough to learn.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

Having the opportunity to fly the Twister Coast Guard edition just reinforced my liking of helicopters and my desire to get better at flying them. I felt I was always in control and outside of ground effect, the Twister was very stable and consistent.

Pluses:

  • Great color scheme
  • Long flights
  • Stable
  • Adjustable 4 in 1 system
  • Stable on the ground

Minuses:

  • Battery is a little difficult to get into slot
  • Wish the balancing lead was longer
  • Figure out if the antennae works inside rolled up or out hanging out
  • FMS simulator was problematic
Last edited by Angela H; Aug 10, 2008 at 07:18 AM..

Discussion

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Old Aug 11, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Pittsburgh PA
Joined Dec 2004
2,365 Posts
looks like cx mechanics with a very nice body and paint job.

nevertheless, great review.
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 04:09 PM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
United States, NH
Joined May 2005
7,650 Posts
The CX is proving quite popular..thanks for the review!
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 05:35 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,461 Posts
Looks very like a CX mechanic. I wonder if a spektrum 6100 receiver could be installed so the heli flies on 2,4 ghz ? On the blade the receiver and the gyro are two units but in this one it seems they are one.

Has anyone tried ?

Carguy
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Old Aug 11, 2008, 06:11 PM
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Pittsburgh PA
Joined Dec 2004
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i think if you buy a nine eagles explorer you will fly more than post.. but that coastguard body is sweet. nine eagles is coming out with a 2.4ghz huey (so i hear). was told it would be a month and a half????
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 04:39 AM
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antenna

Hi,
this is my first thread
great review I own a twister coastgurad and love it!!!
your point of the antenna, not knowing where it should go, well i unwrdaped mine and pushed it threw the gap at the back where the elevator fin goes then just wedge the fin in and works GREAT, i get great range outside it keeps it away from the rotors, so theres no accidents!!!
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 05:28 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
With antennas the issue might be the necessary range you fly. My other heli's have the antenna wrapped around the landing gear. But as you get better you may start to fly the pattern and get the kind of range your fixed wing has and therefore the need to expose the antenna. Not sure though, but never wrapped up a fixed wing antenna.
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 06:44 PM
Flying low is expensive.
pdiddyg40's Avatar
United States, CO, Boulder
Joined Jul 2008
2,398 Posts
I have a similar heli, the Cocomanche, also from hobby lobby. This seems to be an updated version of the Comanche. I really like the low battery warning light on top. Does anyone have a comparison of the two? How does the twister handle the wind. I know that the Comanche gets pushed around fairly easily so i tend to fly it indoors more than anything.
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Old Aug 13, 2008, 06:27 AM
Dr. Dave
USA
Joined Nov 2005
1,316 Posts
The warning light is great but hard to see if the heli gets to far away. It will come on and then turn off and keep doing that until it. It handles wind well and is pretty heavy. The tail profile is not that large compared to the body so i only fly outdoors. Give it a try.
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 05:07 PM
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4 Posts
i might order this but im confused does the tail blade spin?
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Old Aug 26, 2008, 10:22 PM
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Newcastle Australia
Joined Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinmanuele
i might order this but im confused does the tail blade spin?
No.
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Joined Jan 2008
28 Posts
How does this stack up to the Blade cx2? It seems to be made by ESKY? if not... I wonder if parts from ESKY Dauphin and Blade cx2 will all work together. if so, for the price and great looks,that would be a great deal!!!
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Newcastle Australia
Joined Jan 2008
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All parts that you can get for the Blade CX2, including upgrades, will work on the Twister Coast Guard, so spares are not a problem.
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 11:19 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,461 Posts
Just bought a CX2 and looking at the pictures it is the same machine except for some aluminum part on the head and the 2.4 ghz ar6100 receiver on the blade. So I guess e-sky just makes all of them and they are sold under different names.

Anyway they are fun machines !

Carguy
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Joined Jan 2008
28 Posts
ok... I'm pretty convinced this bird seems to be a winner with part support from e-flight made easy. I would like to hear from those who have flown one what they thought about having it not come with a 2.4 GHz version. Does it remain steady as the Blade cx2? Any radio glitch?
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