What's the interest in a new heli on the market? - RC Groups
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Jan 07, 2005, 08:00 PM

What's the interest in a new heli on the market?

Hey Guys,

I have asked this question before. But, alot has changed over the last year or so. So I wanted to run this by you guys again.

How interested are you guys (and what do you think the rest of the market would think) about an entirely new heli to hit the market? I am not thinking about a competition 3D machine, but a high-end (yet simple and VERY durable) CP heli.

Now, cool your jets, I have no "Back room project" completed heli I am about to release. But, I have been working on (and am continuing to work on) various modular airframes, shaft assemblies, tail assemblies, and rotor heads.

I have a number of designs rolling around in my head that I am in the process of prototyping. Some of these items are general heli items that will not be compatible wih the Corona in any way. So, the only way to make them a reality is on an entirely new heli using standard symetrical main and tail blades.

A year ago I was looking into a radical 3D heli, and though that is still a possibility, I am leaning more toward an extremely high end heli that is more basic in overall design and easy to service, but most of all DURABLE! The heli I am considering will look like a traditional BT heli (carbon, titanium, anodized aluminum, very angular design) but will be a complete CP heli using absolutely no existing heli parts, with the possible exception of the swash. I may have to purchase a premade swash. I am currently looking into that.

Anyway, I am not looking for "Cool, go for it!" What I want from you is specifics. What do you feel the market is doing? What do you see as the marketting obstacles? I know about the technical hurdles. It is the market I am curious about.

So, give me input!


Oh, this would most likely be a limitted production heli that will be made a few at a time. Odds are, it will cost as much as a tricked out Eolo, but may not be as good in radical 3D. I am focusing on durability and overall quality of parts and flight along with simplicity.
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Jan 07, 2005, 08:44 PM
Registered User
I think this would be an excellent next step for the Corona owners. In reading all the different posts on this board, it seems there is one persistent theme, CP heli's are not durable. The helis I'm talking mostly about are the Voyagers and Eco 8's out there. ( I assume that the new heli would have comparable flight characteristics as these and thus the comparison). Then these pilots either find the love in the corona or just quit thinking it isn't worth it.

If this heli becomes reality, you will have to stress the TCO (total cost of ownership) to people looking into getting electric heli's. Coming from the RC car side, one of the things I learned about Helicopters is that your initial purchase is only the beginning.

I myself am still learning to fly helicopters and went through the mistake of going CP right off the bat. After the first couple of minor incidents (and the high repair costs), I was very gun shy. I had also heard people talk down about the corona so I didn't think it was a very good alternative. That was until I actually flew one.

Anyways, One thing you have to be able to do with a new heli is to have good parts support. The worse thing in the world is to have a broken heli and you can't get the parts.

I currently have the CP upgrade that Larry's has made but haven't done much with it due to the issues. CP is harder enough without having to fight design issues.

I would more than likely buy one.
Jan 07, 2005, 08:55 PM
Your attitude is your alt
Gary Morris's Avatar
I just bought and am in the process of building a new Eolo Pro with all the bells, buttons and whistles, talk about expensive....this baby has already set me back $1300.00 and I'm not finished yet. If you can build something in the same size range as a Eolo Pro but more durable and something that can fly well, is CP and not as tedious to setup or maintain then I'd be game!

Gary Morris
Jan 07, 2005, 09:12 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Heli Mod Man
What I want from you is specifics. What do you feel the market is doing? What do you see as the marketting obstacles? I know about the technical hurdles. It is the market I am curious about.

So, give me input!

The Corona is good for beginners, but it's a big step from the Corona to an ECO 8/Logo 10/Eolo. The average cost of a crash jumps from $0-$10 to $70+.

It would be nice if we had a better choice for a 2nd heli for intermediate flyers - hopefully this is what you're describing.

My guess is if you could produce a heli that's somewhere around the cost of a Logo 10 but where the average crash damage is half the cost, then you'd have a winner. There aren't any helis in that category and it would be a unique niche.

Jan 07, 2005, 09:26 PM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
I would think people will pay close to EOLO SE price, if the durability is there, and that the crash cost is minimized, and that flight characteristic is good. (I am thinking aerobatic, not 3D) should be able to roll/loop(without loss of altitude) and invert hover. Part availability is important, but frankly on my corona, I have replaced very little. (boom and main rotor blade is it) if you can maintain that kind of durability, even parts becomes less important. Blade cost is also an issue though. now, if this heli can also do FP with simple changes, it would be a great 1-2 heli. learn to fly using FP mode, then go to CP as you get better. otherwise, it would be perfect intermediate (which most people aspires to and no more) heli.
Jan 07, 2005, 10:12 PM
1ONkar, Satnaam
1satnaam's Avatar

Matt, CP heli durable I like it.

Quality and parts availability is the key here. No matter how good the heli is. If parts are not available heli will be dust. Matt you have a good name in the market and people trust you and your product. What ever you do do not loose that trust. Good Luck in your new adventure. I am on your side.

Jan 07, 2005, 10:14 PM
Registered User
r_coy's Avatar
My opinion is only a beginners view because I have never flown anything but an LMH. I purchased a 110 in 2000. The a appeal of an afordable, durable, beginners heli is what hooked me. So I fall inline with Askman on this one, a 1-2 heli covers a larger range of prospects looking for those aspects in a heli. Heck, most of you pros like a lazy day with a FP sometimes.
Jan 07, 2005, 10:56 PM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
One interesting thing I observed, is that people will find way to get peak performance out of a heli, even if it is not designed as such. I don't know what pitch range, but if you have -10 to 10, and as long as it is not real overweight, people will find power combo for it to do decent 3d. of course, it may end up with high rotor speed and thus it will more likely be damaged during crash. but frankly, very few aspires to that level of flying, and if they do, money is less of an object. I think I belong in that middle ground. I can't hardly imagine doing piro-flip or tic-toc . not for a long while. I am practicing small funnels, and started rearward flying. (that is tougher than it looks)
Jan 07, 2005, 11:08 PM
OK, good responses. this is something I have been considering and moving toward for over a year now. I have spoken to Toshi and Askman about it. A number of others have been tipped off to it and have given me input on it. A couple guys (you know who you are ) are helping me with some initial prototyping and what-not. I am months away from releasing anything definate. But, I can tell you that I will at least make a few complete CP helis for testing and if nothing else, they will be built on a per order basis. This will start as a very limited release heli that will not be advertised what-so-ever. That way I can grow with the demand. It may be that only a couple a week sell, or it could take off (pun intended ).

At any rate, I have a select few people, who I trust, working on various aspects of it. The rotor head is the first item to debug. Actually, once that is done, the rest is cake!

As for blades, I will start with a generic blade grip that will work with common symetrical blades. Woodies would be cheap to replace and carbons will perform better. I am NOT making any plans for Corona blade adaptors to be sold. This, in my opinion, would violate my agreement with Lite and Choppahedz. In any event, my volume on these will probably be so low that the presence of my heli in the industry should not affect much. It will be bought by the elite few who know about me and my products. At least, that is how it will start.

Jan 07, 2005, 11:08 PM
Parts support would be a key to making it work. A limited production heli that is on back order and the parts are on back order won't make it. I wouldn't buy something that I have to wait a long time to get parts for. It would take a large investment to keep heli's and parts in stock. I always see you doing something like this. You have built almost a complete helicopter based on the corona with so many changes that it almost isn't a corona any more. For you this would be the next step. Sounds like a full time job to do it right.

If you can keep the durability up you will not have as much of a problem with keeping parts in stock. If the size is the same as a corona it would be nice. I would much rather buy a corona size CP heli than a eco 8 size one. I may not spend much over $1000 on one unless it was really stable in flight and durable.

Jan 07, 2005, 11:20 PM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
one thing I learned from flying my corona and other CP heli is that if you keep a lower head speed, it goes a long way toward minimizing damage. (or use standard throttle curve instead of governor) if you are after scale flight or just getting into CP, keep the head speed at 1800-2000 with ability to shut it down quickly will help a lot in minimizing damage. (and frankly, I am beginning to think it is not a bad way to get into cp setup with fixed throttle with throttle curve that is close to standard) hot setup will be 2500rpm+ setup. I do think finding right power package will be very important. one for performance and one for economy. (partly due to available gear ratio) If the heli is based on current crutch style, I doubt there will be many part. fairly simple to keep stocked.
Jan 08, 2005, 12:03 AM
Registered User

I really appreciate when Askman suggested that you bring out something that can go from trainer to a solid CP. This is what I have been wanting for over 25 years.

My first entry to RC helis was in '86 and the cost of the gasser heli and radio exceeded $2,500. I quickly lost interest, even though I could fly it well, because even an occasional crash (once every 25 to 50 flights) ended up with a huge repair bill, usually hundreds of dollars. My next effort was when electric micros became popular and much cheaper than my original unit. However, the cash drain was still there and still at unacceptable levels.

With the Corona, repair costs are more in line with the cost of a meal - and acceptable to tight budgets. I can now let kids fly the Corona and not worry about breaking the bank. And they get to do something most Raptor or Picollo or Eolo owners would never permit them to do - fly a heli!

If you could design a unit at the CP entry level with the same initial setup cost as a Corona, (with low learning and maintenance costs), and would have a well defined upgrade path to match the skills of the pilot until it would become a true high end system (3D might show up one day), then I believe you would have an absolute winner!!! I know I would have purchased several of them over the last couple of decades!

And a thoughtful design would simplify parts inventory because of the generic platform base (Level A parts, Level B parts, etc.). And it would be great to see flyers at the field at different levels, helping the newbies with a durable craft that was basically the same platform as the one that the experts were flying!

How many times do we hear of those who made the same mistake I did...starting off with a good, but expensive heli and quickly grow disappointed with the high learning / operating costs? If you can build a bird that would help folks get in at a reasonable price, grow as finances and skills allow, and end up with an enjoyable heli that doesn't stress the finances when the brain goes numb, then it would be unbeatable and really help encourage more people to get involved in this great hobby.

Go Matt!


PS: Could you use an evangelist for the marketing? )
Jan 08, 2005, 12:07 AM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
Matt, that would fill a nitch.
Look what happened with the Zoom and Shogun. A resonably priced CP heli that doesn't break the bank. You can fly it stock or bling it out.
A wide cord will lift more at lower HS like AM says, keeping crach damage down.
Curves are not bad either as many have trouble with setting up a GOV.
Using lots of current parts would keep the load off production too.
Jan 08, 2005, 12:27 AM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
I guess reasonable is relative term though. I believe due to nature of matt's business, this item would be on the higher end, for connosieurs, if you will. Just looking at BT corona part, I can see $700+ for this heli for the full kit plus you still need to buy motor/electronics. but if repair cost and down time is minimum, I would be all for it. of course, if this is really successful, I can see it being redesigned and mass produced. Most people buy 2 heli, just to keep one flying. so if one would do, why not. Why do I love my BT corona. it is rarely ever down for repairs. if similiar thing can be done in CP, I would see good number of people jumping on the band wagon. I would rather pay upfront, rather than pay for repairs later. (I hate waiting for parts and spending time to rebuild) Yes, high initial investment may preclude some people(may be you can sell portion at a time as people have money) but people will figure out a way to get it, if they want it bad enough. I would sell my blingged out eolo to get it.
Last edited by askman; Jan 08, 2005 at 12:53 AM.
Jan 08, 2005, 02:27 AM
I plant balsa sticks too
luc's Avatar
Having got the Crazy and crooked from you, I find the crook indestructible, thx to its heavy duty carbon. The only part which can be broken (extensive tests, believe me) are the landing skids, which act as fuses.
If you could design a CP heli with a similar havy size carbon ( much thicker than on the crazy), that would certainly be a good point. Also , try to release it immediately with upgrades included so that we stop with permanent costly additions.

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