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Heli for a Beginner

Old 06-12-2008, 10:58 PM
  #1  
chuckaug
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Default Heli for a Beginner

I am new to helis and may not be able to locate an instructor until the fall.
I would like to purchase an entry level micro-heli that I could try teaching myself to fly. I have experience with fixed wing aircraft but have never flown a helicoptor.
Any suggestions about a good starter?
Is it true that a dual rotor (counter-rotating) model might be very easy to fly initially but make to transition to single rotor/tail rotor more difficult?
Thanks in advance.
Any help is appreciated.
Chuck
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:29 PM
  #2  
Heli Jim
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I believe that counter rotating helis are a GREAT way to start because they are very
stable and you learn a lot of orientation and basic skills. I started with a CX2 and I still
fly it even though I now have a Blade 400 too.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:05 AM
  #3  
HeliG
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I agree that a CX2 is a great place to start. BUT, it is true that although you can work on orientation, flying a regular heli with tail rotor is a big, BIG jump from the CX2. A starter heli is going to be one that you can afford (you need to account for parts as well). A eFlite Blade 400 is a nice way to go but that is about $400 plus parts. A eFlite Blade CP Pro is about $200 plus parts. So, you need to figure out what you want to do. Parts is truly a big portion of your costs. I bought a T-rex 450SE V2 and my first parts order was over $200!!!

Consider going with a used heli that has extra parts included. Usually, you will get a good deal because someone has already done the ground work for you. You may find a CP Pro on WattFlyer that could get you going with all you would need for quite some time?!?

There's my 2 cents.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:38 AM
  #4  
Grimsleeper
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Got my ten year bonus from work. My wife took me too a hobby shop. They had some lama’s and robins. They also had starter Belt CP’s.

The shop owner told me. “If you want to start this hobby, start with a lama or robins. Jumping in the deep end with a bigger heli like a Belt CP or King bee 2 will take you longer to learn too fly and the chances of crashing it is great.” He was right. He then took a lama outside and did a demo for us.
Can you guess what happened next?

We bought a Robins 22 (with un-breakable blades) and a second hand Belt CP with JR propo radio. I started with the robins (did not have a charger for the belt yet) Flew every night. If it gets out of hand, falls over or it is about to hit something you just cut the throttle and the blades will be fine.

I just thought to myself. If I had crashed the same amount of times with my Belt as I did with the robins I would have had to replace about 20 sets of blades, feathering shafts and possibly the same amount of main shafts on the Belt CP.

So far the robins cost me nothing( except for more batteries). It taught me how to fly tail in and out. I can now do figure of eights and other maneuvers. The only breakage I did have with my robins was a motor that packed up while flying it at work. Was showing off to my co-workers when the top rotor stopped dead. Luckily I was about 3 feet off the ground at the time.

I just stood there and said “Mayday, mayday…….I’m going down!’ Managed to set it down safely. They didn’t realize that I had a failure.

I took it back and they replaced the motor under warranty. I appears that the motors tend to over heat a bit. I would suggest the if you get a Robins or a lama to get the hardened blades and two motor heat sinks (one for each motor).

So in my opinion you can start training with a bigger heli. The chances that it my cost you more is also a possibility. Do yourself a favor and do RADD’s training for rotary flight (Google it) when you start with a bigger heli, even if you can fly a lama or robins.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:18 PM
  #5  
chuckaug
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I will start with a counterrotating heli as it seems like I will get to the fun stuff more quickly.

My LHS has the blade cx2 available for 189 -- I think the Robins 22 is available over the internet for much less. Is there a difference between the 2 helis that justifies the price difference?

Thanks again
Chuck
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:34 PM
  #6  
GCK
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I think you are making a good decision in starting with a coaxial helicopter. I started with the Esky Lama V4. I went this way over the CX2 as my closest hobby shop is over 20 miles away. At the price of gas the shipping costs are insignificant to me. The Lama V4 costs around $83.00 plus shipping. And in my opinion is just as good as the CX2. I spent a few months playing with the Lama and practicing on the flight simulator. I then ordered the Belt CP. By my 6th Battery pack through the Belt CP I had a controlled hover going. I have over 30 flights on the Belt CP with out any crashes (knock on wood). Iím convinced that had I started with the Belt CP and skipped the Lama that I would have crashed several times and probably given up. Instead Iíve now become hopelessly addicted to this hobby.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:47 PM
  #7  
RyuuChi
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well, personally, i was rather cocky when i started and went with a blade cp pro, and i have to say that it lead to lots of crashes (to the heli and my ego), but i got a g4 simulator and a blade 400 relatively quickly thereafter, simmed for prolly 80 hours over the course of a month, and then started again. still crashed a lot, but i'm decent now. all in all, i kinda think i shoulda gone with the cx2 to begin with, it woulda been a lot cheaper, but i think the entire setup forced me to learn quicker...
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:41 PM
  #8  
Balil
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ive got a heli-max ez which is basically the same as every other counter rotater out there. its very stable and easy to fly. but i learned the hard way.... as we speak ive got a totalled cp pro, a hbfp, walkera 4-3 *fun little thing*, and a blade 400. so far the only one that i could get in the air and KEEP it there is the HM EZ, so far all ive bought for it was a set of blades and 2 extra batteries. im loving this bird
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:00 AM
  #9  
vortex05
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I started with the blade CP almost everyone has told me this was going to discourage me and make me not want to get into the hobby.

A year and a bit later I'm doing high speed circuits hovering in 25km/h winds.

there were numerous crashes in the earily days but I finally wore out my 2nd main motor (without crashes) and my 1st dual tail (it would seem they only last 2 main motors).

Total cost in the bank for crashes is $60 so i just managed to save on not having a CX or another coaxial.

As for the fun factor, nothing beats a full on CP machine. now I'm working on holding a nose in for the whole pack, seems like I can only hold nose in for about 30 sec as I drift too much yes I can hover nose in on a dime in 3 different sims real life is still something else.

Anyways I finally reached the point where coming back home with a crashed bird is actually rather rare even in extremely bad 20-30km/h wind weather. Still working on sustained nose in hover without forward flight movement for more than 30 sec though I want to get it to full pack like tail and side ins which I can hover until the heli is empty. For some reason I don't drift in those 2.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:24 AM
  #10  
HeliG
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vortex05,
Isn't "not crashing" a great feeling? The pucker factor is still there and gets pretty high when I'm doing higher intensity stuff but my heli comes home in one piece far more often than in pieces. If the winds are fierce then I don't do all the same stuff but I'm at the point where Rex treats me well and I'm treating her well too!

Now if I can just conquer the inverted...
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:17 AM
  #11  
Balil
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so far today ive put 8 packs through my EZ and other than breaking the little nubs that hold the bottom blades on *drilled em out and replaced w/ pieces of toothpicks which worked* she's a great little bird. hopefully when i learn to stop over controlling it i'll put that blade 400 back together and be able to hover it... i trimmed my EZ so im having to fly it instead of it being able to hands off hover which will hopefully help w/ the transition
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:15 PM
  #12  
RyuuChi
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Originally Posted by HeliG View Post
vortex05,
Isn't "not crashing" a great feeling? The pucker factor is still there and gets pretty high when I'm doing higher intensity stuff but my heli comes home in one piece far more often than in pieces. If the winds are fierce then I don't do all the same stuff but I'm at the point where Rex treats me well and I'm treating her well too!

Now if I can just conquer the inverted...

i love it when i don't crash!
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:18 PM
  #13  
HeliG
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I'm starting to think that not crashing is the norm. I've gotten quite used to it but that makes me a little afraid too. I don't want to fly it with the confidence that I'm going to have a stellar flight and then find that Murphy was hiding around the corner (or worse yet, maybe he is hiding in my Trex cockpit).
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:51 PM
  #14  
vortex05
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Murphy's always there I got too confident one day and Murphy decided my tail motors were suddenly and completely going to fail. Luckily I was in tall foliage the heli never hit the ground but had Murphy been mean to me anywhere else it would've been a fast piro to the ground.

The fact is even when your starting to be a good pilot you'll still have mechanical failures.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:54 AM
  #15  
WD2O
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Default Beginer Helo

Here is the straight skinny. Most coaxials are great begginer helos. Now I am going to save you a ton of money take it from someone who found out the hard way. THE BEST is the Coco Lama. First it is only $69.95 from NitroPlanes. A CX 2 runs about $189.95 from most sites. Right now I have one with a broken 3 in 1 and gosh I only need to spend $39.95 = shipping for a new one (not worth it.) The CoCo Lama can be made indestructable here is what you do. After purchasing for $69.95 go to BoomTown Hobbies. They have 340mm unbreakable main blades in ther extreme section for I believe $3.95 each you'll need two. Than in the same section they have the Unbreakable Tail Truss for $9.95. Voila an unbreakable Helo. Make sure your swashplate is level by extending and decreasing the servo arms. Take it to a shiny floor not carpeted and bring up the throttle slowly. See which way the helo wants to slide. Unthrottle and make very slight adjustment to you transmitter controller trim sliders. When satisfied slowly bring up the throttle until the helo hovers. Keep doing this until your confidence builds to actual flight. Now here is the important part don't do this outside in breeze. First flights should be indoors or a garage. There you have it. Anunbreakable helo that flys great for under a $100 bucks! How good is that?
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