First foray into R/C helicopters - long

This fall, I picked up a HobbyZone ultra-micro Champ to try out at my club's winter indoor flying sessions. It was a ball, so I later purchased the
ParkZone ultra-micro T-28. Both are excellent flyers that I think offer tremendous fun for the money.
They both came with unique chargers that could operate using AA batteries, but I purchased an optional A/C adapter to fit them. I saw that Horizon offered another charger that would charge four of the ultra-micros' little 1S LiPos at once, and I decided it would be very handy.
But it cost $39.95, and another A/C adapter for it would be an additional $14.95... about $55 total. Hmm.... I thought that was kind of steep. I could just buy a six-place parallel charging adapter for my iCharger 106B for ten or fifteen bucks. While doing some product searching on Horizon's website, I found that the four-port charger and A/C adapter I was interested in were included with the Blade mSR ultra-micro helicopter. The bind-and-fly version of that little heli was $99, and all the stuff was fitted into a nice reusable transport box like the ultra-micro airplanes come in (except more compact!)... that would be a lot more convenient than lugging around my iCharger, the heavy power supply, and charging cables. Hmm....
While I was considering all this, a friend's new neighbor told me he had purchased a top-of-the-line Align T-REX 450SE V2 helicopter a few years back with all the trimmings, including the RealFlight G4.5 flight simulator and a Spektrum DX7 radio, and realized it required more time and commitment than he was willing to put into it. He told me he would GIVE me the whole set-up the next time he visited. (Which he did.) That clinched it; I ordered the Blade mSR.
The thing has its quirks, but I'm thinking that since I bought a Zagi electric flying wing when I first got into R/C, it may be the most fun for the buck I've ever enjoyed in this hobby! I always had a passing interest in R/C helis but never seriously considered one. But during the long Adirondack winters, I was always desperate for some indoor R/C action at home. I even tried a couple of micro indoor R/C cars one winter (Kyosho Mini-Zs). They didn't do much for me, but the little Blade mSR really scratches the itch!
It's challenging enough to keep me interested, while not nearly so difficult to learn as a collective pitch heli. It's a good "live" trainer to use in my progression toward the T-REX. I liked it so much I also picked up the slightly larger Blade 120sr, which is capable of outdoor use in the back yard, while still being plenty small enough to enjoy in the gymnasium during our winter indoor flying sessions (and only cost $20 more than the mSR).
I'll always be a fixed wing guy first, but the helis have captured my interest. I'm intrigued by the fine mechanical workings and technology of the T-REX and have hovered it a few times, but I have a lot of hours to go on the simulator before I can comfortably fly it. In the mean time, the micro helis will keep me smiling!
Good flying, desmobob
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On Sun, 06 Mar 2011 07:34:15 -0500, Robert Scott wrote:

Hello Bob, That is a good progression. The mSR 120 is a good machine to get used to nose in hovering with. I found that the T-Rex 450 was way too twitchy to learn on thus it sits on a shelf in the basement. Even with expo turned way up it was too twitchy. I now have a T-Rex 500 and what a difference. I was able to soften and slow it up sufficiently to make it easy to fly. I am progressing with it fine and when I am ready to try a faster machine, the T-Rex 450 is available.
Have fun and good luck. Vance
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To reply by email: vhoward12 at frontier dot com


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Those are all good helis to learn on. Don't underestimate the usefulness of a good sim though if helis become a true passion. Worth every penny in the long run. Can't go wrong with Realflight or Phoenix. :-)
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dcbbusdriver
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i agree your on the right track to progress to bigger things , the sims will help a lot on your learning curve as you go threw the steps , just remember to have fun and enjoy it !
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diggin4grouper
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Sims are great for learning and reducing crashes. They easily pay for themselves. Of the guys I help with helis, it is easy to see which ones have been trying to get it right with a sim. Mixing the sim with the real thing gets you there much faster than constantly buying heli parts because you are making the same mistakes. Having an experienced heli guy set up your machine and trim it is also a large part of the formula for success. You don't want to be trying to learn something new and difficult while you are also fighting (and don't even realize it) an improperly set up machine. To me, a sim is even more useful once you have mastered the basics of flying a heli. Sims are great for learning what to do with the sticks in aerobatic and 3D maneuvers. I know when I can consistently do something 3Dish on the sim, I have a good chance of not busting up the heli when trying it for real.

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Well said Tom. Additionaly if you can buddy box with an experienced guy you can save even more on crash costs. You can fly the real thing and be much more relaxed since someone's got your back. I have 2 students that are doing very well for only having been flying for six months one is already doing forward flight figure 8's and he has zero crashes except for one cause by an electrical switch failure. I get the credit for that crash since I took over in attempt to regain control from losing control over the tail after the gyro restting from power cycling on/off during flight. But even that was minimal damage. This is a far cry from the way I learned teaching myself and crashing EVERY time I went out to fly.
:-)
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dcbbusdriver
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dcbbusdriver;4377 Wrote: > Well said Tom. Additionaly if you can buddy box with an experienced guy > you can save even more on crash costs. You can fly the real thing and be > much more relaxed since someone's got your back. I have 2 students that > are doing very well for only having been flying for six months one is > already doing forward flight figure 8's and he has zero crashes except > for one cause by an electrical switch failure. I get the credit for that > crash since I took over in attempt to regain control from losing control > over the tail after the gyro restting from power cycling on/off during > flight. But even that was minimal damage. This is a far cry from the way > I learned teaching myself and crashing EVERY time I went out to fly.

+1 on the buddy box. Beats the way I learned to fly R/C. I was a kid, so I would be between Dad's arms with his thumbs hovering over mine. Only had to let him take control a few times. To say we were close and bonded during the training sessions is an understatement!
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rcdude07
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+1 on the sim advice. Saves tons of money in the long run.
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rcdude07
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I never learned heli's on a sim. Don't know if it would have helped me or not.
But, I've toyed with the sims in hobby stores and I can't fly the heli's worth crap. Granted, I'm not that good in real life, but I can fly much better in real life than on the sim. I can't even hover in the sims.
Maybe it's just me.
Brian
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http://www.skywise711.com - Lasers, Seismology, Astronomy, Skepticism
Seismic FAQ: http://www.skywise711.com/SeismicFAQ/SeismicFAQ.html
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Skywise;4318 Wrote:
>

The reason why the sim helps so much is it helps with hand/eye coordination and orientation. No sim is going to fly 100% like real life.
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rcdude07
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