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Help wanted choosing my next heli

#1
Hello everyone I'm in some need of advice. I'm a relatively new heli pilot and need some help in selecting my next bird. As of now i have a coax heli that i can fly pretty well, however i hate the fact that i have very little to no control with it outside in even the slightest of breezes. When is calm out its great to fly but other wise it gets pushed around too much. I'm looking for something i can fly in at least a little bit of wind. Any recommendations would be great.
 
#2
I should also note that the heli i have now is a 3ch and ive been thinking about moving up to a 4? maybe 6? like i said im pretty new to these so any advice helps
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#3
Anything less than a 6 channel heli is going to have trouble in wind. The collective pitch control gives the ability to cope with gusts that try to push the heli up. The problem is that collective pitch (6ch) brings complications and expense that you may not be ready for yet. If money is burning a hole in your pocket go and buy a Blade heli sized 300 or up that takes your fancy (that's a modified Blade 400 in my avatar). If you don't want to shell out $$$ on repairs find a larger sized fixed pitch heli and wait for calm weather.
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#5
Not necessarily harder (though the Blade MCPX is rather twitchy), just less durable. I trained my thumbs for many years on a GWS Dragonfly fixed pitch heli which could take a small crash and fly again. If it was a big hit, normally repair bill was around $5. A small hit on a 450 usually means new blades and feathering shaft. A big hit adds main shaft, tail boom and flybar to that list.

Please note these larger helis can inflict much damage to people and property. Be sure to fly safe.
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#6
Note there is also the HK450 option, though some assembly is required. The 450 size is quite economical because of the volume moved in this size, though it might be a bit more intimidating then, say, a Blade SR.
 

510thousandths

Just someone else.
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#7
I went from coax' to a Genius CP, mini collective pitch. Replacement parts are pretty much only available from china, (ebay). It has 2 types of gyro (3axis and 6axis). It can be had with a fairly decent radio, though I don't know if it is compatible with anything other than other Walkera stuff. There is a v2 and a Mini cp, which are both updates of what I currently have. I am sure if I would have had went the 300 class size, i would have spent a lot more on replacement parts. I've never flown a larger cp heli, so I cannot comment whether going larger is easier to fly or not, I am fairly certain that fixing the larger ones would be more expensive. I can loops and flip it over and fly inverted, but I currently have it set up to fly indoors.
 
#8
i Know that these can be very dangerous and i always fly in a wide open space away from people, even with my coax. i like HKs stuff but they are usually out of stock when i have money to spend. Would it be wise to start with a good sized fixed pitch heli then after im comfortable with that move up to the collective pitch?
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#9
Pick up an msr. Hone your skills on a good fixed pitch heli before trying to move into collective pitch. I would also stay away from the blade SR. I know a couple people that have them and they are problematic. I also fly a modified blade 400 and an mcpx. The mcpx is very durable in a crash and the blade 400 costs about 40 bucks per crash.

Blade msr or maybe an msr. That's my pick.
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#10
The Blade SR is one of the helis that I'm sad that I sold. Yes it is difficult sorting the tail, but once that is done it is a fine heli if you don't ask too much of it (like crosswind flips). The advantage of the SR over a 450 is that the 450 can be intimidating by its size and power.
 
#11
Thanks everyone for all your input. i ended up getting the blade mSR. i know that it doesnt solve and of my issues of flying in wind but i figured it was a reasonable step up from the coax that i have now. Does anybody have a blade mSR? if so how do you like it? whats your opinion?
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#12
Loved mine, but I kept having the board get damaged. No one else I know had this problem but I went through three. I found that it's cheaper to buy a whole new heli "aircraft only" and have some spare parts than just buy the board. It's a great little heli though. I still liked flying mine in the living room.

If you want to step up to bigger helis, you will do well to learn fast forward flight with the msr. Also, practice hovering in all directions.
 
#13
Just got it yesterday and I love it, I love having so much more control over it. One thing I did notice was that when I want to hover it, kind of rocks back and fourth. Is this normal? Besides that I love how durable it is.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#14
They will, very few helicopters will be rock steady, especially helis of that size. You always need to input some control to keep them in place. Think of flying a helicopter like balancing a basketball on the end of a pool cue. You have a very unstable platform by their nature, and you have to constantly balance it to keep it where you want it. This is also what makes them capable of doing all the amazing things they do.

Fixed Pitch and Coaxials are designed to be more beginner friendly. Coaxials are very forgiving and will try to pull themselves back into a hover naturally. That's partly a function of the twin rotors and partly a function of a very heavily weighted flybar. The problem is when you are trying to fly forward, if you get to much tilt with the rotor disc, the flybar will try to pull back into a hover and you end up with this rocking motion.
Fixed Pitch are much better for honing your skills as they will fly forward backwards or sideways very fast, similar to a CP heli. You can then work on banking and coordinated turns. They have to trade away that super stability of a coax to do it though. When you get up to a CP, you will find they trade most of their stability for extreme maneuverability. Once you start going bigger, like 550 and up, then you get back some stability due to the extra mass of the heli and the extra rotor mass. That's when it really gets fun. You get a heli that's easier to see, very stable in the wind, and still ultra maneuverable.

The durability is great in the mSR. The little ball links on the fly bar and swash plate are probably the first thing to go, after the landing gear. I went through a lot of landing gear. I tried upgrading to carbons but I ended up breaking other things after that. The first time my dad flew it, he hit the door frame to the kitchen and the tail motor came apart. The tail motor/boom is cheap though.
 
#15
The landing gear on mine seems pretty flexible and seems to be holding up every well, and ive crashed pretty hard a few times. Im more worried about that tail motor going out. I really am having a blast flying it around the house, just cant wait for the weather to clam down so I can get used to flying faster and working on circuts and patterns.

I know im no where near ready for a cp heli, but how much different are they to fly? When does the pitch control come in? And by the thanks again for all the info its helped a lot and I really appreciate it.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#16
Happy to help brother. CP is a whole different animal. They hover similarly, but when you start moving things happen so much faster it's not even funny. I wouldn't worry too much about the tail motor. I only went through the one motor in all my crashes, but I snapped the tail boom a few times. If you want to make it a stronger heli these guys have tons of cool stuff.
http://www.micro-flight.com/BLADE-MSR.htm

Pitch comes into play immediately when you fly CP's. The throttle and pitch are on the same lever. There's almost always going to be a couple different modes. Usually a normal mode and idle up (or stunt).

When you are in normal mode, your throttle works just like it does on your msr. As you raise the lever from the bottom the rotor speed increases. The pitch is set to a negative pitch at the bottom, but usually not as negative as in idle up. As you raise the stick to the mid point, your blades pitch towards zero degrees at mid stick. Your throttle will at half and the rotor will be spun up pretty fast. As you increase past the mid point, your pitch starts to change towards positive and your throttle increases up to 100% (depending on setup). This is the basic setup for taking off and landing, most people will take off like this and switch to idle up while in flight. It's impossible to do any inverted flight because as you pull the stick down to get negative pitch you are also lowering the throttle. When you lower the throttle on a larger heli, the additional mass of the rotor makes sudden changes nearly impossible. This is the mode that you start out in, and will fly similarly to your msr.

Normal mode would look like this:

0% stick = 0% throttle and -10 degrees blade pitch
25% stick = 25% throttle and -5 degrees pitch
50% stick = 50% throttle and 0 degrees pitch
75% stick = 75% throttle and +5 degrees pitch
100% stick = 100% throttle and +10 degrees pitch

That's basically a linear throttle with zero at the bottom and max throttle at the top with a straight (linear) pitch curve. Pretty much like flying your mSR. The more you push the stick up the faster it turns and the more it goes up.

****When in normal mode, you can cut the throttle by lowering the stick****

Some may set a linear throttle but use less negative pitch so it doesn't slam into the ground so hard when you chop the throttle. This is how I would set up a beginners heli. The thing happens where you get nervous and cut the throttle but with negative pitch and the blades still turning, instead of simply dropping to the ground, the helicopter is being firmly driven into the ground unintentionally.


In idle up mode, this is where things are really different. The throttle is set very differently but the pitch is close to the same.

Pitch in idle up is almost always going to be a linear curve, meaning that at the low point of the stick, you are going to have max negative pitch (say -10 degrees) and at mid stick the pitch is zero degrees and at high stick you have equal positive pitch (+10 degrees) It's a straight curve from bottom to top with equal ends and zero in the middle.

Throttle in idle up is going to be one of a few things, usually linear or a V curve.
Linear throttle means that the throttle is the same no matter the stick position, usually at 100%. You can set it at 80 or 90 etc.
Your pitch is almost always going to be linear, which means a straight line from bottom to top with zero pitch at mid stick.

Example:

0% stick = 90% throttle and -10 degrees blade pitch
25% stick = 90% throttle and -5 degrees pitch
50% stick = 90% throttle and 0 degrees pitch
75% stick = 90% throttle and +5 degrees pitch
100% stick = 90% throttle and +10 degrees pitch

A V curve is where the throttle is lower at mid stick and higher at each end to account for more throttle with the higher load from more blade pitch.

For example:

0% stick = 100% throttle and -10 pitch
25% stick = 90% throttle and -5 pitch
50% stick = 80% throttle and 0 pitch
75% stick = 90% throttle and +5 pitch
100% stick = 100% throttle and +10 pitch

Notice that the throttle is changed but you still have the linear pitch curve.

With this is mind, note that lowering the throttle to zero will actually increase the throttle to max

*****In IDLE UP you CANNOT cut the motor by lowering the stick*****

You must switch out of idle up and lower the stick, or program a switch to be throttle cut. The throttle cut method is the safest and fastest. I have throttle cut on every single one of my models and it's always on the same switch so at any time I can kill the motor and minimize damage to the heli/plane or whatever/whoever it's crashing into.

It's late so I'm probably rambling but I hope this clears up a thing or two. If it brings up tons more questions, by all means let me know and we'll get it straightened out.
 
#17
No that cleared up a lot of questions that i had and i cant wait till my skills are good enough to fly a cp heli. would you suggest buying something smaller like an mcpx as a first or something bigger? would it be a good idea to buy used and save some money, because i see some great deals on the rcgroups classifieds.

Oh and i was also thinking of getting a new transmitter, i was leaning to the spektrum dx8, is it a good radio? and can it fly both helis and planes?
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#18
First, find something with good product support. YOU WILL CRASH. You don't want to fly for two minutes and then wait for weeks to get parts because they have to come from Mars. If you can find a good deal on a used heli then take a good look at it. I bought my first CP heli (Blade 400) used but I didn't know what I was looking for and ended up having to fix a whole lot more than the seller let on. It was still a good deal but I had to learn how to fix and setup helis immediately. The problem with that is that there's doubt about setup then and it's hard to know if I caused the crash or the heli did. Turns out it's usually me. In fact, I can only blame two crashes on the heli that I can think of. One was a stripped gear and one was a stripped servo gear. The rest were my fault.

The mCPx is a great little heli, and I almost bought another one from craigslist because it was so cheap. The best part about the mCPx is that it's just as durable as the mSR. It's a great heli indoors, but for my money you just can't beat the size of the bigger ones. When you want to fly outside the mCPx and mSR become very difficult to see. That said, 450 class helis are notoriously hard to fly. The reason is that the 450's are full on max performance machines but they don't have the mass of the larger helis so they lack the natural stability you get from 550's and up.

Now, I learned on a 400, and my buddy flies his 450 just fine and he started with a nano. It's a great heli, just don't think that it's going to be any easier than an mCPx, but then again you wouldn't want it easier since the best part of flying helis is how challenging they are.

After looking at the nano cp and my mcpx, they aren't very different size wise, the mcpx is just a bit bigger. They fly almost the same, but the nano is usually about 50 bucks cheaper. I would probably get the nano if I were doing it again. It's about the same size as your msr but cp and will definitely fly upside down etc. If I could find a deal on the brushless mcpx that's what I would really like though.

As far as the DX8, I think it's a fantastic radio. I use one and I fly every single model I own with it plus I use it with my Pheonix simulator. I fly:

Ember 2, Champ, Ultra Micro 4Site, msr, mcpx, HZ Cub LP, Sig Four Star, Great Planes Cub .40, Blade 400, Hobbyking Hawk, Century Hawk Pro .32 heli, Hobbyking Galaxy and Pheonix sim.

It's got the full complement of features for planes and helis. I haven't found anything I don't like about it and I've never regretted paying the money and getting a quality radio that I have confidence in. Some of my friends bought the DX6i and now they're looking at getting DX8's as well.

If you want to get into bigger helis, especially nitro, then you need a minimum of 6 channels, 7 with a governor. The DX7s is a great radio and would be my minimum recommendation. The 8 is obviously better.
 
#19
If I could do it over again, I would start with a flybarless four channel heli. Something like the Blade msrx. Then quickly move to a micro six channel. The micros bounce when they crash, and are cheap to repair. I don't really like the Blade heli's, but spare parts are everywhere and affordable.
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
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#20
The micros are definitely more durable. The flybarless ones are great, but they aren't as stable for new pilots. If you read up on the msrx and the msr, Blade brought back the msr because it was easier to learn on than the msrx was. The msrx is sort of between the msr and mcpx in the way it flies.

There are more than blade heils for sure, but like aiidanwings stated, parts are everywhere. I would't say parts are cheap but they are competitively priced.