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Posted by Quagga | Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:31 PM | 25,722 Views
Nine Eagles coaxial disassembly: Bravo III

Remove fuselage by undoing screws and separating halves
Some joints are glued. I opened mine the fun way - crashing!
Remove LED wires from circuit board (cut or solder)

Undo screws to remove lower gear, inner shaft and upper rotor .
Pry off press-fitted upper gear.
Pull outer shaft upwards to free from bearings.
Pull press-fitted landing gear off frame.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Quagga | Feb 16, 2011 @ 06:25 AM | 24,743 Views

Christmas in February!

After a long impatient wait, two packages arrived on the 5th of February: The RFT Bravo III, including battery charger, ordered on the 14th of January (5 working days for PayPal to process the cash payment, plus another 10 for shipping). The S300 kit was faster: Ordered on the 27th of January and it arrived within 7 working days. Everything arrived in good order.

The Bravo was well-packed and survived its longest flight unscathed.

First impressions

I was first struck by how light/insubstantial the Bravo III (30g) felt, cetainly in comparison to the S107 (38g). Picking it up by the side windows, I could feel the thin plastic "give". Both the upper and lower halves of the flexible tail fin were slightly wonky. The landing gear is highly elastic, bending under the slightest pressure. The scale-look MD500 fuselage looks good, with a tight fit between the two halves, except for a rather larger gap on the underside of the tail boom, just aft of the "turbine exhaust". Nine Eagles saw fit to include nice little details like steps on the landing gear and "hinges" on the doors. Less impressive was the flame-pattern paint-job's smudgy edges.

The 2.4GHz Tx felt like a DX8i in comparison to the IR controller of the Syma, but with similar weighting on the control sticks. Both the battery and charger were smaller than I expected, and they met as soon as the useless battery cover was removed. Meanwhile I...Continue Reading
Posted by Quagga | Feb 14, 2011 @ 03:09 AM | 27,150 Views

A friend introduced me to R/C helicopters in November of 2010, when he brought me a 2-channel Execuheli clone from Dubai. I was mildly surprised that the little bird actually flew and I was instantly hooked. The heli was quite powerful, and after trimming it held its course pretty well. Removing the throttle spring made maintaining altitude a lot easier. After some practise I could take off, fly from room to room and land. Basic control. Unfortunately the transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) often lost communication, resulting in a runaway heli. Frantically chasing the little red chicken-dancing "Airwolf" was an unfortunate aspect of the ownership experience. Soon the blades were split and the fly-bar broken, and finding spares has proved difficult. Another drawback was that it charged off the Tx, giving 40mins of flight per 6 AA batteries. Not financially or environmentally responsible.

My research then brought me here to RCGroups.com, where I learnt about the 3-channel Syma S107 which turned out to be my next step up. The S107 was a totally different ball-game: It could HOVER for crying out loud, and actually went where I wanted it to go. The quality feel of the model was impressive, and it has survived over 16 hours of n00b abuse, requiring only replacement of lower rotor blades and a lost fly-bar linkage. Amazing, considering the countless (throttle-off!) crashes it has suffered.

My first two radio controlled helicopters. 20...Continue Reading