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Old 05-04-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
JoeTex
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Default Middle School RC Helicopter Competition, Need Advice

Hello Pilots,

I will be coordinating an RC Helicopter Competition for my University that will be geared towards Middle School students. I've been reading up on RC Helicopters, but I need the expertise of this board to help purchase the right RC Helicopter model.

The competition theme is a rescue mission, and will take place indoors. The Middle School teams need to build a contraption that will be attached to their helicopter to scoop up a tiny object. The helicopters need to be able to handle this added weight of the contraption and objects, totaling about 10 grams. The team captain will man the remote control, and they will have to fly the helicopter 30-40 feet to the destination, scoop an object up, and fly back to the starting location. The price range we can afford is between $100 - $230.

If anyone can help me choose a fitting RC Helicopter model for this style of competition, it would be greatly appreciated!! If you would like more information, please let me know!

Thanks,
JoeTex
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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Hi Joe
Welcome aboard
Im pleased to meet you
I would go with a 4 channel coaxial heli, the easiest to control for the novice
http://www.bladehelis.com/Products/D...rodId=EFLH1250
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...rodID=EFLH1250
I have the first version and can vouch for there durability and ease of operation
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Hank's suggestion is great. It was my first heli. Very easy to fly.

Here's one I just found recently that might just fit the bill as well.

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/twister_s...35076_prd1.htm

I think it might be a little better suited as it already has a winch and magnet to carry stuff, and it has circuitry built in to protect the motors and speed controllers in case of a crash or bad landing, which would be a big plus with a group of high-schoolers. Only drawback I could see would be the 3 wheels may not be as stable on the ground as the CX2 skids. I'd search around for customer reviews.

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
Hank's suggestion is great. It was my first heli. Very easy to fly.

Here's one I just found recently that might just fit the bill as well.

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/twister_s...35076_prd1.htm

I think it might be a little better suited as it already has a winch and magnet to carry stuff, and it has circuitry built in to protect the motors and speed controllers in case of a crash or bad landing, which would be a big plus with a group of high-schoolers. Only drawback I could see would be the 3 wheels may not be as stable on the ground as the CX2 skids. I'd search around for customer reviews.

Good luck!
Hi
How did i miss this one
Looks very good and i worked on the real Sea Kings while in the navy
Got to have one
Thanks for the heads up
Just wish they had US Navy marking instead of UK ones still very cool though
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kenchiroalpha View Post
Hi
How did i miss this one
Looks very good and i worked on the real Sea Kings while in the navy
Got to have one
Thanks for the heads up
Just wish they had US Navy marking instead of UK ones still very cool though
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank
I'm on their mailing list and it was in the last one. Too bad life's equation is "Amount of toys i'd like" > "Amount of toys I can afford" !

And as I was corrected at our field, it's not a 'real' one, it's a 'full scale' one!

Ditto on the paint schemes, but I guess it shouldn't be a big issue to a motivated modeller!

JoeTex, plz let us know what you choose and how it goes. Have fun!
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
I'm on their mailing list and it was in the last one. Too bad life's equation is "Amount of toys i'd like" > "Amount of toys I can afford" !

And as I was corrected at our field, it's not a 'real' one, it's a 'full scale' one!

Ditto on the paint schemes, but I guess it shouldn't be a big issue to a motivated modeller!

JoeTex, plz let us know what you choose and how it goes. Have fun!
Hi
At least for me they have a very different meaning
Imho there are full "scale models" such as my three warbirds and then there are the "real full size or 100 % scale aircraft" that you fly inon which they are modeled after
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kenchiroalpha View Post
Hi Joe
Welcome aboard
Im pleased to meet you
I would go with a 4 channel coaxial heli, the easiest to control for the novice
I have the first version and can vouch for there durability and ease of operation
Take care
Yours Hank
I was told about the Blade CX2 and it is currently my favorite choice! Another model I was informed about was the Walkera 5#10 model. I'm mostly worried that they would destroy their entire helicopter in a crash. The Blade CX2 does look like it can handle a crash fairly well, so I'm opting more for that model. The price difference between the models is about $80, so I'm not sure what is the "big" difference between the 2.

The competition will be for Middle School students, and they will have about 4 weeks of practice for the competition. We are still discussing the competition format and hope to have something concrete that is doable by all teams for maximum competitiveness. I did some quick searches and haven't found any RC Helicopter competitions using smaller models rather than the scale versions. If you have any competition ideas, I'd be glad to hear them as well!
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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Hey there Joe,
Question from the outside.... does it have to be a Helicopter?

I ask because the new Quadcopters out have many times more the lifting power, as well as the ease of construction, and SUPER SIMPLE flying, and DUREABLE construction.

You cant flip a helicopter over under power, and NOT cause damage. Quad's take abuse MUCH more effortlessly.

Quads are simpler to build, cheaper, and are inherently stable, whereas Helis are the opposite all three points.

Plus, quads are HIGH TECH, new school stuff, not a collection of nuts and bolts designed to vibrate itself to death.

Check out the GAUI 330X quadcopter, I have one and its awesome.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nitro Blast View Post
Hey there Joe,
Question from the outside.... does it have to be a Helicopter?

I ask because the new Quadcopters out have many times more the lifting power, as well as the ease of construction, and SUPER SIMPLE flying, and DUREABLE construction.

You cant flip a helicopter over under power, and NOT cause damage. Quad's take abuse MUCH more effortlessly.

Quads are simpler to build, cheaper, and are inherently stable, whereas Helis are the opposite all three points.

Plus, quads are HIGH TECH, new school stuff, not a collection of nuts and bolts designed to vibrate itself to death.
Hi Jim
Thats an excellent idea, only problem i see is the budget they have to spend on the vehicle
Most if not all of the quads exceed there spending limit by a fair amount of cash
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nitro Blast View Post
Hey there Joe,
Question from the outside.... does it have to be a Helicopter?

I ask because the new Quadcopters out have many times more the lifting power, as well as the ease of construction, and SUPER SIMPLE flying, and DUREABLE construction.

You cant flip a helicopter over under power, and NOT cause damage. Quad's take abuse MUCH more effortlessly.

Quads are simpler to build, cheaper, and are inherently stable, whereas Helis are the opposite all three points.

Plus, quads are HIGH TECH, new school stuff, not a collection of nuts and bolts designed to vibrate itself to death.

Check out the GAUI 330X quadcopter, I have one and its awesome.
The cheapest quadcopter I found is the AR.Drone Quadricopter at $299. This is definitely a possibility. It might be a little too easy to fly though, and the only downside is that it requires an iPhone,iPod Touch, or iPad. The ease of flying though, could allow for a more complicated competition format.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #11
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Hi Joe
So sorry i forgot to mention the RTF Walkera UFO 8
http://www.helipal.com/walkera-ufo-8...FYLc4Aod-2jegA
Shes within your price range and is a fine entry level quad
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:10 PM   #12
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NitroBlast has a good point. The blades on the CX2 are prone to breaking if you hit stuff, not to mention possibly bending at least the upper rotor shaft in a crash, or breaking the upper hub . Can't speak for that Sea King I suggested, as I've never even seen one other than that ad. I have crashed my CX2 quite a few times and the blades took the worst of it.

Those quadcopters could be great, if they're in the budget.

The CX2 and similar would depend on how seriously the kids take it and avoid crashing.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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Home made quads are on the rise, there are a multitude of ways to build a frame.

I would say that over the long haul, the quad will be DRAMATICALLY cheaper.
One little dink will take the Heli out of service, where the quad would shrug it off.

That, combined with the inherent dangers of a spinning rotor helicopter (VERY DANGEROUS) would make it a no brainer for me.
If I was going to fly it inside, around others, and compete with tasks, I'd not want to add to the stress of worrying about cutting someone's knee off.

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nitro Blast View Post
Home made quads are on the rise, there are a multitude of ways to build a frame.

I would say that over the long haul, the quad will be DRAMATICALLY cheaper.
One little dink will take the Heli out of service, where the quad would shrug it off.

That, combined with the inherent dangers of a spinning rotor helicopter (VERY DANGEROUS) would make it a no brainer for me.
If I was going to fly it inside, around others, and compete with tasks, I'd not want to add to the stress of worrying about cutting someone's knee off.
Hi Jim
Thats a bit of exaggeration dont ya think?
I have the Blade CX and have found her to be quite rugged you would have to crash her really hard to damage her
And i have a very large collection of helis and imho am a fine pilot so think im qualified to questions these points you have made
These coaxs are not like a CP heli, i wouldnt want to fly one into me but they would not cut some ones knee off like say a 600 size TREX
There forward speed is not that great as well giving you plenty of time to react whether on the controls or as a bystander They are in fact setup to hover more anything
And i hate to say it but Quads have 4 spinning blades and could injure you just as easily as an RC helicopter could if not operated with care
Just my 2 cents
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:25 PM   #15
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Hank,

Maybe so, but it still scares me. I've seen indoor heli's hurt people before.
Yes, the examples given are suitable, I would just personally stay clear of spinning main rotor helicopter configurations for a number of reasons, including my own personal fears!

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:32 PM   #16
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2 co-workers got CX2's along with me, and we had plenty of flight time in a big open area indoors, and we've crashed into lots of stuff, including each other, or ourselves! The blades are too slow and too flexible and light to do damage.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:07 AM   #17
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It looks like we're going with the AR Drone Quadricopter. Do you guys have anything against quadcopters?
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JoeTex View Post
It looks like we're going with the AR Drone Quadricopter. Do you guys have anything against quadcopters?
Hi Joe
No way i love all rc vehicles and operate them all land, sea and air
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...45&postcount=4
In fact the Parrot is on my wish list
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...3&postcount=17
Hope to get one by summer
Followed by a Gaui 330 shortly after
http://www.heliflightcenter.com/2100...r_p/210001.htm
Take care dear friend
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:55 AM   #19
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I'd just learn what I could. I don't have any experience with these, so learn what you can. Depending on how your competition works, can it carry as much as you like, can you physically remove the batteries for charging while you put in a fresh set, will the motors heat up requiring cooling off time between events? Stuff like that. Otherwise, looks like a good choice with the prop guards in place.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #20
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Hi Joe, First I'd like to commend you on getting kids started into RC "Anything." Just to keep the kids off the streets and they will be learning something that they can take with them through out life. I too wanted to start an indoor flying club (not so much a competition) at my VFW Post. One of the factors that met the demise of this club was that many of the Guys worried about kids getting hurt. I suggested the parents sign waivers to protect our organization from any law suits. Unfortunately the idea of a waiver did not fly (no pun intended) because many felt that would not be enough to protect us in this "sue happy society." Long story short....my idea got shot down because of budget and law suit issues.

What am I trying to say? Try and get a waiver in place to protect all involved

Again, I commend you Sir and wish you and those involved the best of luck. Have fun.

Mike.
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