XL Power 520 Build Log - RC Groups
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Jun 07, 2017, 04:41 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Build Log

XL Power 520 Build Log


I can only assume that Banggood have got me mixed up with someone who can actually fly helis worth a damn, because they seem to be making a habit of sending be helis for review. I'm not about to tell them that they have the wrong guy!

The new helis is the XLPower XL520


And someone far better than me putting an XL520 through it's paces:
XLPower 520 XL520 6CH FBL RC Helicopter Kit Spirit Version (Flight 1) (2 min 50 sec)


XLPower are new kids on the block when it comes to helis but they have good credentials. The company is the brain child of a genuine heli enthusiast and ace 3D flyer called LouJiaWen (aka 'Raka') and it's he who designes their helis. So far the 520 is the only heli in their lineup, but it seems to be a good one judging from first impressions of the kit and initial build. The XL520 is a 'true' 500 class heli that will swing blades between 480mm and 520mm. It also has a stretch kit available to take it out to 550.

The kit comes with a 1100Kv motor for operation with a 6S LiPo but the battery bay is large enough to take 12S if you used a suitable motor. The heli is quite conventional in design, pod and boom, single stage gear primary drive and direct belt driven tail. Overall it looks quite Logo 480 like, but it's not a clone.

The spares for the heli aren't yet listed on Banggood but they are available direct from XLPower web site. Technical support and after sales is also provided by XLPower and I have to say it's the best I've ever experienced. I had one minor problem with the kit (a titanium turnbuckle was not threaded) and within half an hour of me dropping them a note they had a new turnbuckle set on it's way, no quibbles. I also had a query on setup and got straight through to Raka (the designer of the heli).. There aren't many heli manufacturers where you could get that level of service!

So on with the unboxing:

Here's the box once I removed the outer protection that Banggood added for shipping:


And inside are three seperate boxes which gives good protection for shipping:


Contents of the big box. Quality is top notch, the supplied tail blades are Fun-Key Rotor Tech, not some no-name generic brand:


The paint job on the canopy is spot on:


The smaller box is packed full of the metal parts, there is almost no plastic on this heli, it's all CNC machined alloy.


The motor comes with the kit and is XLPower branded, size 4020 with 1100Kv. Windings look nice and neat:


Swash is fully rebuildable and perfectly finished:


Tail box is a real highlight, beautifully machined from a single piece of alloy!


All alloy head comes assembled:


Tail design is another stand-out feature, it's designed similar to a Goblin tail with floating feathering shaft on rubber dampers and Delta-3 geometry, this shows a lot of attention to detail in my opinion:


Tail belt guide pulleys and tail mounting brackets, all CNC alloy, as is all the rest of the frame hardware:


Kit comes with two booms, one fluorescent yellow, the other black. bother are the same length.


Main blades again are Fun-Key Rotor Tech brand, 480mm


I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the build. The spec i have planned is:

Motor: XLPower 4020 1100Kv
ESC: Hobbywing Platinum 100A V3
FBL: Spirit Pro
Servos: KST mini size (still deciding on exact model)
Last edited by JetPlaneFlyer; Jun 30, 2017 at 10:18 AM.
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Jun 08, 2017, 08:32 AM
Registered User
Damn nice!! Ive not heard of that model.

Wish bangood would send me a heli to review, but then i probably couldnt afford to buy the electorniccs and batteries to finish the build LOL
Jun 08, 2017, 02:34 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
It's a good point Alex, while I'm really lucky to have bagged this heli kit for free it will end up costing me a few hundred quid, by the time I've kitted it out. Still a great bargain though!

When i first saw this one on line i wasn't very inspired to be honest but pics dont do it justice, in the flesh it's really very very nice. I've noticed that XLPower are already doing a few options such as a 550 stretch kit and helical gears. Mine will be build bog standard to start off with.
Jun 11, 2017, 01:50 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Too windy and/or raining to fly this weekend (yet again) so i had plenty of time for building. The airframe is basically complete. The build was straightforward helped by the fact that the sub-assemblies are loosely pre-assembled which saves a lot of time searching for the right bits. You do need to be careful though because every screw is only finger tight and dry, so each and every one needs to be removed Loctited and tightened.

The manual is a download from the XLPower web site and is a series of assembly diagrams with no written instructions. This is perfectly ok for the experienced builder but might leave a novice scratching their head.

The quality of the parts and the fit really is absolute top class, it's very obvious that there was a lot of attention to detail in the design of this heli.

I still havent got the servos or ESC so the build will stall for the next couple of weeks but here is how it looks today:










But I have to admit that I've had some help on this build, here's my helper checking the swash for level (he's my daughter's ten week old Wire Hair Dachshund called Oscar):


And relaxing after all the hard work:
Last edited by JetPlaneFlyer; Jun 30, 2017 at 10:19 AM.
Jun 11, 2017, 04:55 PM
Registered User
wow thats a nice looking heli!
Jun 11, 2017, 06:06 PM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer

Tail design is another stand-out feature, it's designed similar to a Goblin tail with floating feathering shaft on rubber dampers and Delta-3 geometry, this shows a lot of attention to detail in my opinion:
How does this compare in size with a 600/700 sized tail? Size of grips, bearings etc. It looks as if it fixes with a setscrew like a standard tail hub which sets it apart from the Goblin and Logo tails that require specially designed tail shafts or have the hub welded on. If so and if the bearings and size of the grips are comparable it could be used as an upgrade on 550-700 helis that have solid tail hubs.
Jun 13, 2017, 07:24 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Yes, it's retained by a set screw that locates into a dimple in the tail shaft.

The tail might be a bit small for a 700 but it would be ok for up to 600 size. The shaft is 5mm and the centres between grip bolts are 65mm. It should be quite easy to ream it out to take a 6mm shaft, there is ample 'meat' in the hub, but overall it looks quite a bit lighter than a typical 700 tail assembly.
Jun 14, 2017, 05:05 AM
Registered User
Whens the test flight :-)

This could be my inbetween 450 and 600 heli. just need to start raking in the cash on my non existant youtube content LOL.

have fun with the built and flying the heli!
Jun 14, 2017, 02:04 PM
Registered User
https://www.banggood.com/search/xlpower.html

IMO 499 US$ is a little bit to high for a no name kit...

Love the puppie...
Jun 14, 2017, 04:16 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRC2
https://www.banggood.com/search/xlpower.html

IMO 499 US$ is a little bit to high for a no name kit...

Love the puppie...
Yeah, I understand what you mean on price. When you see the quality of the heli first hand it's easy to see where the money goes. XLPower is obviously tying to sell a top quality product and once you factor in that the kit comes withj a motor it's a good deal. If it's good enough to tempt people away from more established brands that have local dealer support I'm less sure of. Hopefully they do make a go of it because the XLPower deserve to have great success with this heli.
Last edited by JetPlaneFlyer; Jun 17, 2017 at 11:28 AM.
Jun 15, 2017, 02:55 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer
Yeah, I understand what you mean on price. When you see the quality of the heli first hand it's easy to see where the money goes but the fact that there are no local dealers and the lack of a known and trusted brand name is sure to be a factor in many peoples buying decision. Despite the impeccable quality I think they might struggle to sell very many at the price unless they can establish a local dealer network. Hopefully they do make a go of it because the XLPower deserve to have great success with this heli.
Yes, no doubt about the quality but, for example, the Mikado Logo 550 is about 565 US$.
And great review JPF!
Last edited by DanielRC2; Jun 15, 2017 at 03:26 PM.
Jun 15, 2017, 03:51 PM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRC2
Yes, no doubt about the quality but, for example, the Mikado Logo 550 is about 565 US$.
And great review JPN!
Dont forget that this one comes with quality blades and a very nice motor. But I do take your point. Maybe if XLPower could bundle in servos and an ESC at a really competitive price they would shift a lot of units?

Talking of ESC and servos I've had a change of build spec. Banggood have gone a bit quiet on the discount code that was mentioned for servos and ESC so in the interest of keeping the price down without sacrificing anything in performance I've gone for the following:

Cyclic servos: GDW DS590MG


Tail servo: GDW DS595MG


ESC: Align RCE-BL100A (Hobbywing Platinum 120A V4 re-labelled)


The servos are coming from China so it will be a while before I get it finished off unfortunately:
Jun 16, 2017, 08:11 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer
Dont forget that this one comes with quality blades and a very nice motor. But I do take your point. Maybe if XLPower could bundle in servos and an ESC at a really competitive price they would shift a lot of units?

Talking of ESC and servos I've had a change of build spec. Banggood have gone a bit quiet on the discount code that was mentioned for servos and ESC so in the interest of keeping the price down without sacrificing anything in performance I've gone for the following:

Cyclic servos: GDW DS590MG


Tail servo: GDW DS595MG


ESC: Align RCE-BL100A (Hobbywing Platinum 120A V4 re-labelled)


The servos are coming from China so it will be a while before I get it finished off unfortunately:
Very nice, and... out of curiosity, who is the typical delay for a order from China? Typical 20 - 25 days to my country...
Jun 16, 2017, 10:14 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Shipping time can vary a lot, and obviously it depends on the service. Small items that go by letter post are often here in about 4 days but small parcels are more line 14-25 days by regular 'China Post' or similar. The quickest I've had was within three days by DHL.

I got shipping notification for the servos this morning so the clock is ticking, they went by China Post EMS so hopefully will be reasonably quick..
Jun 17, 2017, 04:43 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
The last small job I could do before the servos arrive was to make up the tail pushrod. It consists of the usual paltruded carbon tube with threaded rods which are inserted and glued into each end of the tube. I had a small problem with this because when I screwed the rods in the end the tube began to split. This is how I got around the problem:

First I bound the end of the tube with thread. I used Kevlar thread which is ideal but any strong thread will do. Once securely bound I coated the thread in CA glue so it looks like this:


Now add a piece of heat-shrink and you have a pretty neat job with no chance of the rod splitting:


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