I recently attended the HeliFreak funfly in California. It was a great event. Good weather, a great bunch of people and Goblins everywhere! I had the opportunity to try three different Goblins at the event, including Bert Kammerer's! Each time I flew it, I got a little more addicted to the uniquely powerful sound and performance. The machine was a blast. It was extremely different in design and there is nothing else on the market like it. So when I got back to my home town I started builiding one!
The kit was amazing. The attention to detail was top notch. Every part and screw in the kit was labeled and placed in very specific bags to match the instructions. Yes, even a cave man could build it! There were no parts missing. The CNC quality was great.
I used the following equipment: ProTek 250T servos on cyclic (New from A Main Hobbies), a Castle 120HV speed control, a 7200BX flybarless receiver, Edge 693 Flybar blades, a Scorpion Ultimate 520KV motor and (2) 6S Thunder Power 65C 5000 packs for power. I also ran a 2s 1800Mah pack direct to the receiver.
My kit included the latest upgrades including a 21T pulley for the motor, the new ball bearing one way and the new steel 20t drive pinion.
The build went quickly. The head and tail components were pre-built (always check for loc-tite & bolt tightness). The frames had a small number of screws and the tail boom was semi-completed as well. The belt tensions are easy to set and maintain. This is a great link to Bert Kammerer's tips video.
I decided to run 2200 head speed in my Idle 2 setting and put 15% expo on cyclic and 10% on tail.
So off I went to the field. The helicopter performed exceptionally well. It tracks very straight, it is very predictable, it smacks well and does precise maneuvers accurately. It is a lot of fun! It was so much fun, that I did 9 flights with it in one day!
The kit retails for $999.99 and includes tail and main blades. It does not include any electronics. Please click this link for more details from A Main Hobbies.
Please see my video section for my flight with the Goblin 700E and my photo gallery for some pics.
I am excited for the direct servo to swash design. The servos were moved higher in the frames and eliminated the extra linkage and setup.
The frames have been given some more space in the front for easier loading of the batteries.
The bearing blocks have been redesigned and a third one was added to increase rigidity and to give the servos a solid mount.
The head utilizes the new DFC (direct flight control) design. I have chosen to go with the KDE version of the head for even a more robust feel and a higher level of performance. See this link for more information KDE Direct.
My kit came complete with all the goodies: Servos, blades, speed control etc. Please see this link for a full listing of equipment and pricing A Main Hobbies.
The machine flies straight and true with a very crisp feel. It is sharp with no head bobble. This to date has been the most fun that i have ever had with a helicopter. Oh, I almost forgot. The machine also has mod 1 helical gears all around. It is super smooth and quite.
I really like it! See my video section for my test flight with the new heli...
I have waited a while to do my report on this heli and I still feel like it is brand new! My friend and I have now flown over two hundred flights on our helicopters with very little wear. The machine comes 80% built right out of the box. The components are built from high quality materials and the parts count is low. I was concerned a bit about the visual size of the canopy, but after I received my custom painted canopy from Insane Canopy my concerns went away. It looks really good.
The heli has a unique head design and the frames are well thought out. They are two part on each side which allows for a quick change on a lower half if broken in a crash. The layout of the electronics is awesome. There is plenty of room for each component and the wires run easily without having to be creative.
My only concern was with the tail. Just recently the chief designer redesigned the tail to be more robust. I saw the cad drawings and it looks quite impressive. I am excited to try it as soon as it comes available. The machine also has a belt system with an auto tensioner that keeps just the right tension on the belt (even through severe temp changes). The boom and tail case are grounded to the frame and I have not had any issues with static discharge.
A good high performance head speed is 2125 rpm. I like 2050 back at the home field for 4 minutes and 1950 for five minutes of practice. My friend Chris gets 7 minutes of flying at 1850-1950ish. Nice flight times!
In summary this is a easy to build, reliable, high quality helicopter that is suitable for the novice to advanced heli pilot. Nice job Compass!
The kit retails for $719.99.
See A Main Hobbies - 7HV for product listing...
Wow! What an incredible event. I have been down to this heli field many times, but have never seen the field laid out in such an amazing configuration. It had many characteristics of IRCHA. It had many pilots that traveled from many states, many sponsors supporting a good time, an awesome announcer (Yes, it was Big "D") and great weather.
i was amazed at the amount of crashes at the event. I heard there were approximately 18 or so during the noon time demos alone. I was impressed at the safety measures taken at this event. There was a high fence at center stage to protect the spectators and to allow for watching some hard core flying.
I was very impressed with Tim Jones. He flew some awesome 3D and his 120 YS Nitro was very powerful. He ran his motor on Byron Fuels 15% Nitro!
There also was some exciting new helicopters at the event including the Compass 7HV and the Synergy E6/7. I am excited that A Main Hobbies will be carrying both machines!
See my Photo section for some pics of the event. This is a link to one of Tim's flights. It was GREAT! Tim's Flight
EDGE high performance CF rotor blades are new premium blades that have been specifically designed for today's model helicopters. EDGE rotor blades have been optimized for use with today's light weight, high powered models with increased cyclic pitch. While these blades are ideal for aggressive Flybarless 3D performance, they can also be used for more precision FAI & FC3 flying on traditional flybar machines.Flybarless Edge blades may be flown on a traditional flybar helicopters for a smoother and less aggressive FAI/FC3 style cyclic response.
Courtesy of Revco RC and Readyheli.com
Key Features -
- Integrated BeastX 3-axis MEMS gyro
- 250 to 800 sized helicopters
- Designed for easy access for field adjustments
- Flight log telemetry compatible
- 11ms frame rate
- 2048 resolution
BeastX flybarless technology is the most powerful, easiest-to-use flybarless technology flying today. And now with the amazing AR7200BX, you can add it to your 250- to .90-size helicopter while saving space and reducing flying weight at the same time. The groundbreaking Spektrum innovation combines a 7-channel DSMX receiver with a BeastX, 3-axis MEMS stabilization system into a single, compact unit. Besides eliminating the mechanical complexity of a flybar, the BeastX technology built into the AR7200BX lets you quickly fine-tune stability, cyclic response and tail response without touching a single linkage or require special software, All you need is your DSM2/DSMX transmitter and this unit.
This is going to be very exciting! More integration and more simplicity from 2 brands that work exceptionally well. At a cost of $239.00. I had to look twice at the price. Yes, $239.00. That is great!
This was one of the best heli events that I have ever attended! The weather was awesome, the flying was awesome, the field was awesome and the people were awesome!
Not to mention that our guest pilot was Bruce Jenner! Yes, Bruce Jenner! What a great guy. He was friendly and fun and is an inspiration to the hobby! Bruce did a great job flying and has a fleet of really cool helicopters. The spectators were also great with Bruce. They took many pics, asked for autographs and asked questions about the show.
I put up some photos in the gallery and added some videos. Enjoy!
I recently attended the 2011 Phenom in Massachusetts. It was an awesome event! There were over 100 registered pilots. It was great to catch up with everyone. There was plenty of opportunities for everyone to fly and the flight stations were very large. The event gets better and better every year. Jason Krause flew around and landed on a car and the night flying by Tim Jones and Nick Maxwell was amazing!
Thank you to everyone who put together the event. It was extremely well organized and the food was great! I can't wait to next year!
See my photo gallery and video section for coverage.
What a great event! Team A Main really did a nice job! Way to go guys! Our new tent setup had plenty of room, we had a pretty high tech charging station with the new Protek 2000 watt power supply and introduced our new team shirts.
There were over 800 pilots at the event this year. There were the worlds top pilots, manufacturers, distributors and hobby stores represented. I found that there was a good mix of both electric and nitro helicopters. One of the new motors that got a lot of attention was the YS 120. Wow does that motor make power! It seemed like the tic-tocs could never end!
Scorpion has also showed itself to be a market leader with the Limited Edition 4525 motor. It showed tremendous power in a lot of really nice 90 electric helicopters.
Matt Botos was also on the scene with his new lineup of Synergy helicopters. They show a strong design with smooth and powerful performance.
I also noticed a lot of machines with KDE upgrades on their machines. The upgrades are not just bling. They increase the performance and rigity of the helicoipter. My favorites upgrades on my Trex 700 include the motor mount, third bearing block, HD gear and boom supports. Nice!
There was also mention of Beastx releasing version 3 of there firmware over the next couple of weeks. They continue to innovate and improve the features of the unit.
It was a great event with good people, good food, awesome demos and is an event not to be missed! See my photo gallery for pics of the event.
The XFC 2011! Wow what a great competition. I can't seem to get over the creativity that was brought to this year's event. I was so impressed by Bobby Watts. His routine that included "playing with his dog" was by far above and beyond. Way to go Bobby!
I am also very proud of Team A Main. Andrew Merlino keeps progressing very quickly and showed a strong 9th place. Ben Storick finished in 7th place. I could not be any happier to see him make it to the finals. He sure has some killer smack down on the deck! Great job guys! See my pics of the event in my photo gallery.
This is my favorite event of the year! I enjoy seeing all the pro pilots and all the new products that they are demonstrating.
This year, Matt Botos brought the new N5 Competition and his new 600 size electric. Both machines looked well engineered and fun to fly. Bobby Watts did demos with the new 90 size Whiplash. The machine has a unique one-way system that is located on the clutch stack. It looks like a low parts count and also very high quality. The Whiplash will be offered in both electric and nitro versions.
Team A Main was well represented with Wesley Griffith, Ben Storick, Andrew Merlino and myself. We had a really good time despite some pretty unusual weather this year. See my pics and video sections for coverage! See you at the next one!
Port Charlotte was a lot of fun! There were some new products at the event including the new Blade MCP-X, the SG 50 and the new Castle 120 speed control. I thought the Blade looked really cool and I am very excited to get one. I saw Bert Kammerer fly the heli inverted, do piro flips and some tic tocs! Take a look at my photo gallery for coverage.
This is one awesome power supply! It is a 1000 watt, 40 amp, 30 volt power supply. I am now able to charge (2) 6s TP 5000 packs at 2C with room to spare! What is unique about this power supply is that both the amperage and voltage is adjustable with dials. It has a digital readout for both amperage load and voltage and even has a USB charge port. Not to mention five banana charge receptacles! The unit retails for $299.00. See this link to A Main Hobbies for more details.
I am excited to announce that I am now a team pilot and team manager for A Main Hobbies!
A Main Hobbies is a leading internet retailer of radio controlled cars, trucks, helicopters and airplanes. Founded in early 2004, A Main Hobbies has rapidly become one of the largest Internet retailers in the country. A Main Hobbies prides itself on having the products customers' need, when they need it, and providing first class customer service and product support.
I look forward to supporting A Main Hobbies and appreciate the opportunity to be part of such a progressive company.
See you at the next event! www.AMainHobbies.com
What a great event! Nice weather, a lot of pilots and a good time for all! This was the first event where we had the 2011 A Main team together. There was Greggor McGrath, Tim Jones, Ben Storick, Andrew Merlino, Wesley Griffith and myself. We look forward to traveling as a team to some east and west coast events in 2011!
One thing that I had an awesome experience with was the new 65C Thunder Power batteries. They were powerful and ran cool. I am told that the cycle life will greatly be increased with the new formulation. There was also the preview of the new Thunder Power dual high power charger. Thunder power continues to innovate with new products!
I put up some pictures of the event in my photo gallery….
I have been flying the Microbeast for a couple of months now and have had excellent results…..
I have tried many units this season and was looking for a unit that provided excellent stability and consistent characteristics. I also did not want to bring a laptop to the field or use a handheld programmer. I wanted it simple. I also wanted a unit that could tolerate the vibrations of nitro without any special tapes or tie downs. After much testing, I was very happy to find the Microbeast by Beastx.
The setup was simple and I used a single piece of 2mm gyro tape to mount the unit to my Trex 550e, 700E and 700N. I had the same results with all the machines. They were consistent and fun to fly with no odd tendencies.
I left the pots on the units on my electric helicopters stock at 9 o'clock and I advanced pot 1 on my nitro 700n to 10 o'clock. I chose to have the flight characteristics set to "radio" and upped the gyro sensitivity to the "blue flashing" option.
I found this explanation of the parameters on RcHeliresource and hope they don't mind that I share it with you. I found it informative and easy to understand. Keep in mind that VERSION 2 is different and you should reference Version 2 to the new instructions, which can be found here at Beastx!
A. Operating mode- here you can pick between either a standalone tail gyro or the 3 axis flybarless system. I think this is a great feature for those of you that may want to explore flybarless in the future but may not be ready for it yet so this allows the option of just using the unit as a tail gyro.
B. Mounting Direction- this is where you pick between laying the unit flat or on edge, again very nice option for those tight to fit places.
C. Swashplate Frequency- in this parameter you select the swashplate frequency for the servos on your cyclic controls. This is a nice feature that ensure the most precise control possible. The Micro Beast manual includes a large spreadsheet at the back that has all the frequencies for 99% of the servos used today.
D. Tail Servo Neutral Impulse- here you set your tail servo’s neutral impulse. Options are 760us 960us or 1520us
E. Tail Servo Frequency- just like the cyclic servos here is where you tell the Micro Beast what frequency to operate the tail servo
F. Tail Rotor Limits- this parameter will have you set your neutral and max throws for your tail pitch slider in each direction
G. Tail Sensor Direction- here you set and correct the tail sensor direction
H. Swashplate Sub-trim- once you reach this parameter you can make sure you swashplate is level and all your head setup is correct. You need to be 0 degrees pitch on your main blades and have a level swashplate. If you are having trouble leveling the swashplate with the bell crank or servo linkage rods you can use the sub-trim and adjust each servo by toggling the rudder stick to show the corresponding led then moving the aileron control back and forth to raise or lower that part of the swashplate. Once this is complete the unit will memorize this as the center stick position.
I. Swashplate Mixing- here is where you tell the Micro Beast if your swashplate is 90, 120, or 140 degree swashplate
J. Cyclic Control Loop- this is a very important step, using the aileron control you can control the amount of cyclic and you must measure our exactly 6 degrees and set the unit at that point. This function does not set the maximum cyclic range but tells the unit the apposed ranges for a control loop.
K. Collective Pitch Range- here is where you will move the transmitter stick to the top position and using rudder you can further increase or decrease to your set max collective. I set mine to 13 degrees, you also lower the stick and do the same for the negative portion. You must make sure your pitch curves are linear.
L. Swashplate Limit- adjust using aileron and elevator the swasplate limit you want your cyclic to have
M. Sensor Direction- here you make sure the elevator and aileron corrections are correct
N. Pirouette Optimization- this parameter allows you to make sure the gyro is correcting the piro optimization in the correct way.
I recently switched to the New KDE Headblocks which are machined very well and eliminate having to set up any phasing.
The units are around $220 and can be found at A Main Hobbies. Click on the link that will take you to their web page. The guys at A Main are awesome and always willing to help. In my video section there are two videos of me flying the Microbeast. One was at the Heli Phenom in Mass. and the other was in Virginia. I am very impressed with the unit and the quality of the design.
I just put the new KDE headblock on my Trex 700E and 700N … It's awesome! ...
KDE has always produced top quality machined parts and this was no exception! The head is awesome and has a positive clamping system in addition to the stock setup. It eliminated the lower phasing ring and made the head setup simpler and faster. It looks awesome in the air and is a great upgrade! It is offered for $78.95.
It will be available at A Main Hobbies soon. This is a link to the KDE web site.
I am going to offer a local and traveling school for 2011. I can offer a class before your local funfly or do it one on one. Classes will include setup, orientation training and 3D maneuvers. It can be a lot of fun and help you progress to the next level. Click on the school button for more details.
Wow! This is a fun versatile heli. It seems that Align did it again. Just when I thought I had enough helicopters. They designed and released a 550E helicopter that seems to be three helicopters in one. It flies like a 450, 600 and 700! It can be fast, it can be slow, it can be precise, it can 3D and it can do it BIG!
I am really enjoying this heli. The design follows the new 700E with some very familiar parts. They include a fusion of adopted parts from the Trex 600 nitro/electric helis. The main gear , tail gear and some other bits share the same part #'s with the 550E! So, if you have some old parts from the 600 laying around you may have some spares for your 550!
The build was fast and easy. The parts count is low, the hardware is easy to work with and is moderate in size. The heli also comes with a lot of goodies including servos, speed control, blades, flybarless electronics and motor!
I chose to go with a Scorpion Motor (4025-1100) with the stock 16T pinion and some Edge 553 Flybarless blades. The machine is powerful, runs cool and has plenty of hang time for some fun autos. I run the speed control at fixed endpoints at 100% and the heli shows great power with very little blade speed loss throughout the flight. I am sure that it is attributable to the Thunder Power - Pro Power G4 6s 5000 Mah batteries. They really hold their voltage well.
Motor and battery temps are around 100 degrees and I am getting between 4.5 - 5.5 minute flights depending on flight style. I chose to also add the Castle Pro BEC and the Ice 100 speed control. I have used both the stock speed control and the Ice with the Castle Pro BEC. The data logging feature in the Ice is cooool. Not to mention the autorotation feature!
The kit comes in two configurations one flybarless and one with the flybar. I like the flybarless for the extra power and runtime.
See A Main Hobbies for kit availability and for faster service call Greggor at the store he would be happy to answer any questions and put together a "Package Deal" for you. He appreciates the business and does his best to match competitor pricing.
I added a Trex 550E video in my video section. Enjoy!
I am really enjoying my new JR 11X Radio. It has some really nice features including:
- A timer that can be assigned to the throttle.
- Gyro gain and governor gain.
- Model switching without shutting the radio.
- SD memory card slot for updating the radio, saving models and transferring models to other 11X radios.
- A favorites menu where you can put your most commonly used menu items.
The radio design is new and unique. It has a contour in the back of the radio that allows your hands to be properly placed and feels very ergonomic.
The gimbals are dual ball bearing are are very smooth and accurate. The battery is a 1500mah NIMH pack. The radio screen is backlit and is very clear. There is a second main screen that shows throttle input and output without having to go to a specific menu which helps during setup.
In the air the radio is very comfortable and predictable. The switches are placed well and are easy to access.
Horizon Hobby has put a software update that addresses a throttle trim issue in idle up conditions and can be downloaded from this site: http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=JRP1100#quickSupport
Choose "updating the 11X firmware via Sd card" and follow the instructions.
The Retail price for the radio is $749.00 This is a video by Horizon Hobby....Enjoy.....
The 2010 XFC
What a great event! The pilots were awesome!
We had all sorts of weather during the competition, but we were able to get all of our rounds in. There was an increase in electric helicopters at this years event. I flew my Trex 700E and enjoyed the simplicity and power. I was concerned about the heat and humidity, but neither had an effect on my heli.
I also wanted to say a special thank you to Dave and Kyle Dahl for letting me use their charging equipment and for the motor tuning tips. Also .... Congrats on 1st place! Nice flying.
I felt very privileged to fly with the best and to participate in this year's event!
See event coverage at:
Check out my pics section for some photos..
I am very excited to say that I am having a lot of fun
with my new 700E! I have about 40 flights on it and it is
performing excellent. The Edge 693 Flybarless Blades
make it smooth and provides for some great autos....
Trex 700E Flybarless, Castle Creations Ice80HV, Thunder Power 5000Mah 6S 45C Batteries, 8717HV Servos, Spektrum 7100R Receiver and Edge 693 Flybarless Blades.
Flight Report Temps- I find that the system is very well matched and nothing was stressed.
The Thunder Power 6s batteries are temping to 100 degrees after a 5.5 minute flight. I have been charging them at 8 amps and their performance is AWESOME! This new generation of battery can be charged at 5c and has a very high cycle life. The Castle Ice80HV read 120 degrees internally and the motor was about 165 degrees inside the can. I really like the new metal cooling case on the Ice and the new data logging features. Note that there is a data logger built right into the unit and can be accessed by a Castle Link. Cooool.
These are the data logs from a couple of flights :
Power - The machine is approximately putting out approximately 5.5 - 6 HP and the power is very strong (Just About 5000 Watt Peaks). I am pulling 100 amps at max spikes which seems to keep the controller very happy. As expected with running fixed endpoints, the power does trail off some later in the flight. In order to run well in govenor mode the stock pinion would have to be increased to a 13 or 14 tooth to allow some head room for the battery voltage change throughout the flight.
My Settings for the Castle 80HV: Heli Mode, Timing = 8, insensitive voltage detection, soft cutoff, medium spool up, outrunner motor . If activating the throttle hold special spool up function, I find that the setting of custom 16 worked best for me.
In Flight Summary: The machine handled smooth, predictable and precise. The head is lower on the E vs the nitro and the battery slide in tray made changing batteries a breeze. The new heli design also made running wires very easy and the new canopy is nice and bright. Many people asked if the e canopy will fit the 700 Nitro and unfortunately it will not. Overall this machine became another Align favorite of mine and is offered in two versions including Flybar and Flybarless. Check out A Main Hobbies for availability or call Greggor at the store, he would be happy to help with any questions.
Thanks for checking out my review... Check out my photo gallery and video section for some pics and a flight with the 700E.....
I just got back from the event and had a lot of fun. The field is big and well landscaped, there is a antique train in the background and the pilot turnout was awesome. I think there were over 140 registered pilots. The announcer did a great job, there were many cool giveaways and there was even a clinic by Castle Creations.
I enjoyed participating in an auto contest that had a cool twist. If you were able to land on a table that was 3' by 6' you could improve your score. Mike Fortin, Jason Krause and Jarred Granzow were actually able to do it!
There were also some really cool new products at the event including the Trex 700E. Alan Szabo flew some pretty hard 3D with it for 6 minutes. He was using a Castle Speed controller, Spektrum AR7600 receiver, some new V-Blades and Thunder Power 6S 5000mah packs that put out some awesome power. I am told that the 700E and the 550E could be out as soon as the end of this month.
I also tried the new Total G on Nick Maxwell's helicopter. I was very impressed how the machine handled.
Take a look at my event pics in my photo gallery to check out some of the new stuff.
I look forward to going back again next year!