My first Helicopter - I need help, no really! - RC Groups
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Aug 11, 2005, 09:31 PM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar

My first Helicopter - I need help, no really!

Okay, I am looking for my first helicopter. It seems to me like that T-Rex 450xl would be a great choice, but I don't know for sure. They have the 450x ep v.2, the 450xl cde and the 450xl hde. I only have two questions right now (and a bunch more to follow later). 1) Which one of these would be best for me? 2) What would the ideal setup be for a great flying 1st heli? I appreciate any help you guys can give me. I am really looking forward to doing this. BTW, I will have to do all of this on my own since absolutely nobody around here (I think in the entire country) flies helicopters. I will also need a list of spare parts that I need to keep on hand since it takes a while to get orders from the states. Thanks again guys for your help.
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Aug 11, 2005, 09:58 PM
It wasn't my fault!!
Headspin's Avatar
No sweat.. most people learn on their own.. Except most people learn on something easier on the pocket.. if yours are filled with cash then there should be no problem
Otherwise get a fixed pitch heli and get the basic handling down to instinc. I ended up with 5 (3 Aerohawks and 2 Skylarks) parts were pretty interchangeable and I was able to fly most days while spares were being ordered for the others. (We have a small house)

I eventually got a Shogun (got 2 now) and I just got a T-rex but I'm sure glad I cut my teeth on something less expensive to repair.

Actually I just got a new battery for the Aerohawk and was flying it outside this evening... remember, a CP heli is not really an indoor flyer unless you live in a palace and there is always the windy winters day when you need a quick fix *lol*

It won't go to wast so I would pick up a cheapo off ebay and get stuck in!

Just my say so take it as ya like.

Aug 11, 2005, 10:08 PM
What power line?
PoudreDerf's Avatar
Good luck. Still working on my first "controlled drift". Got the drift part down pat. Gotta work more on the control part.
Aug 11, 2005, 10:37 PM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar
Headspin, thanks for the information. If that is the case and I shouldn't start out with a T-Rex, what would be the best starter heli and setup. There are so many choices that are out there and modifications to these things. I would like to start with a brushless motor and lipos since that is what I have done with my airplanes also. I'm not interested in doing the 3d stuff right now and just need a good solid helicopter setup to start out with. I don't have unlimited funds, but I don't want a substandard heli that I won't want to keep. In other words, I don't want to see it in the trash within a year. What about a Dragonfly? If you think this is the best choice, what would be the ideal setup? From what I have read, I would need a good gyro for this one. Any help would be appreciated for a heli/motor/battery/spare parts.
PoudreDerf, it is a slow painful process, isn't it. I'll be there soon enough!
Aug 11, 2005, 10:44 PM
Registered User
look for something in the classifieds. a used trex or ark as that will be the cheapest to fix when you crash and itll probably take you a while to outgrow it. if it comes with CNC parts, then great. those parts will be less likely to break as long as you take it easy while learning to minimize damage. mainblades, F&M shafts, servo gears, and tail booms will be nice to have handy.
Aug 11, 2005, 10:44 PM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar
One more thing. I should probably practice on a flight sim before I go fire up the real thing. Is the fms flightsim good enough for practice with helis? If so, which model would you suggest I work with the most? If not, which flight sim would you suggest that is pretty realistic?
Aug 11, 2005, 10:50 PM
Registered User
I use the stock Hughes Helicopter in FMS & seems to work just fine. I just bought a Serial PIC cable from & now can use my stock Esky Radio to fly with. So far I like FMS & think it's a pretty good Simulator for getting the hang of the sticks, many have said it's not realistic but I would disagree, it seems like a pretty good Sim to me.

Aug 11, 2005, 10:55 PM
Old new guy
TheX's Avatar
Buying a used heli, especially something as complicated as a T-Rex to learn on is a BAD idea unless you know the owner or a very good heli flyer that can help. A fixed pitch bird is good but the Blade CP is a very forgiving heli and seems to me that for ~$200.00 new complete it's a hell of a deal.
Aug 11, 2005, 11:11 PM
Registered User
I have to concur with the x
especially when you'r talking about 500 easy for a ready to fly trex If you build it your self.
whatever you end up with opt for a trainig kit (a must)..
Aug 11, 2005, 11:17 PM
Its all fun
Tonystott's Avatar
Keep it simple, use the sim until you are bored with sending the virtual heli wherever you want (that might take a while). DON't buy second-hand -chances are the previous owner is selling because they can't get it to work. It might be fine, but as a newbie, you might never find out.

get a brand new package deal - under $200, read the EHBG at the top of the forum, and Google "RADD" for good advice on learning to fly.

and most of all, savour every minute, as you have stumbled into the best segment of radio control!
Aug 11, 2005, 11:34 PM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar
Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I may just go with the Blade cp. I can't believe that it even comes with the Tx. I have a Tx that I was going to use, but man, what a deal!
Tony, I'll be sure to check out the info at EHBG and thanks for the tip for the google search. I knew that I could count on you guys for help. If I go with the Blade CP, what type of spare parts will I want to keep on hand? Remember that it takes me a while to get what I need from the states, so I need to be prepared or be prepared to wait a month to fly again.
Aug 11, 2005, 11:48 PM
John 3:16
Daddy-O's Avatar
Well, I have been reading the Blade CP Owners thread and it seems like a lot of guys are starting out on this heli and are very pleased with it. I still have a lot of reading since it is currently at 16 pages and I am only up to page 3, but it does seem to be a winner. I am getting excited! You guys know the feeling. BTW, here is the link to the thread:
Aug 12, 2005, 12:52 AM
Heli Headcase
Orion_V's Avatar
I saw a blade fly and thought it was a nice stable heli for a micro....however i have to disagree with you guys saying the Trex is expensive to repair. The parts are VERY cheap! What vendors have you guys been dealing with? If you have the cash I would say just jump right into the trex...but before that just get an FMA simulator to get yourself familiar with the controls...if you dont want to learn CCPM just go with the HDE version. I think you will be pretty happy with the Trex. Cheap to repair, very stable, and best of all rugged. A bunch of vendors carry parts for them and i'm sure they will ship internationally. Whatever you decide to do, good luck! I'm sure you'll have fun with either heli.
Aug 12, 2005, 02:44 AM
Powered by laimness.
Riot-Pilot~'s Avatar
A Trex is a cheap to repair helicopter when you have to repair
something. The problem is that with a T-rex you have a high
rpm rotor blade and a slightly heavy heli. When it wrecks it is
most likely to break. When learning you are going to wreck alot
with or without a flightsim. Everyone gets cocky and **** always
happens. Stick with a smaller heli like a blade or dragonfly and
take youre time. I personaly recomend a FP heli like the dragon
fly or Piccolo. The Blade is probably nice but I think they may
have a fairly small aftermarket and they are a CP which means
they have a high headspeed and are still more likely to break
than a F/P heli. F/P helis will do everything you want for atleast
a good year or two and certain ones can be upgraded to CP
when you want to learn the craftier flight moves.

My combo for a beginer would be a dragon fly kit with aftermarket
electronics and a few aftermarket parts to make her bullet proof.
Go aftermarket right out of the box and get a metal swash, metal
hub, a few spare tail blades and rotorblades, a extra boom, and more
than one flight battery. Also I recomend getting one or two extra
flybars. That combo should keep you in the air and fairly bullet proof.
I myself am learning on a Piccolo and it seems to be decent. I think
the dragonfly may be a more stable design out of the box but the
Piccolo has proven to be a champ when tuned right. Tuning is going
to be the hardest part of learning to fly. Read as much as you can
about setting the heli up for flight. ITs hard to tune one in perfect
but the closer to perfection the easier it will fly. Also get a heading
hold module! They help so much in flight for a beginer!

Oh and just for an idea of what breaks and lasts. I feel you can
fly a piccolo or dragonfly sideways into the ground with a hard
hit and 9 out of 10 times you will be fine. A Trex on the other
hand is going to be in a world of pain. The Trex however is
better in the performance catagory and is made for a more
seriouse pilot with the long learned skills to handle it.

Anyhow best of luck to you. Enjoy the hobby and feel the rush!~

Last edited by Riot-Pilot~; Aug 12, 2005 at 02:55 AM.
Aug 12, 2005, 02:44 AM
Registered User
Tintin's Avatar
I started out with an eSKy/Twister FP moved via sim to T-Rex.
You can buy a lot of spares for a Rex for the price of a small FP/CP heli.

If you are patient and not on a limited budget and expect to keep flying I'd start with the sim and then go for a HDE Rex. It seems the CDE is more popular but it's harder to set up when you haven't flown any heli before.
I have as I said the small Esky/Twister FP in addition I have a Rex V2 and a CDE.
The HDE/CDE are clearly better versions out of the box than any previous Rex and price difference is small. Building yourself might give useful insight on mechanics.

If you are sure about the 3 criteria I'd go directly to the HDE (or CDE) no doubt. The FMS will give you very useful training but Realflight etc are better (and much harder to use) The Huey in FMS is too simple, the T-Rex model you can find at Trextuning for FMS is not far from mine. Lot's of good tips at Trextuning.

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