I was reading my RC Heli Pilot magazine on the plane to SFO today, saw an ad for 'new' Raptor 50S and a full review of it. This is a 50 size nitro heli (about same size as my Fusion) with everything except RX and RX battery for $630
Wow, how are they doing that? Airframe, 600mm blades, 5 MG servos, 50 size engine, muffler, governor, gyro for $630? Plus a lot of the assembly work is done.
The answer is old school (proven) technology: flybar, wooden main blades, mechanical collective pitch mixing, and lots of plastic (frame, canopy, blade grips, and so forth).
Its being marketed as a beginner's heli, capable of aerobatics, and even some 3D. I think its a great idea. I think this old school 600 size heli would be better for learning to fly a heli than the twitchy micros or even 450 park flyer size helis; particularly if one is comfortable with nitro.