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Take a look around, you will find out some info about me, the helicopters that I fly and some of the great experiences that I have had.
2021 - The Kraken 580 "Review"
The build… I recently put together the SAB Kraken 580. I cannot stop thinking about how carefully and organized everything was placed in the kit. The manual was clear and easy to understand. The pictures and descriptions were accurate. I really liked that the parts bags were clearly labeled and had the proper screws in them. I must say the build was great.
Next was setup… I installed the stock SAB 570mm blades, a Mikado Vbar Neo, ProTek RC 170SBL full size servos (note that full size servo mounts and servo arms have to be purchased separately), Hobbywing 130V4 Speed Control, X-Nova 4025-560 Lightning Motor, two 6s Gens-Ace 3300mah batteries for a 12 cell setup and utilized the stock 22 tooth pinion in the box. I pitched the machine to 13/13 and leveled the swash with the SAB swash leveler (great tool).
The flying…Awesome… The helicopter fills the void between my Logo 200 and my Kraken 700. It is stable, nimble, predictable, visible and just plain fun! I generally run moderate head speeds (2000 RPM) to get the balance between performance and flight time. I get between 4.5 and 5 minutes per charge. I was thinking about the battery options that were available for the setup including 6 cell, 7 cell and the setup that I chose, which was 12 cell. I have flown all three battery setups at moderate head speeds all got the job done really well. I did really like the 7 cell setup with mini servos for a lighter machine and sport-plus flying. But interestingly enough, I did not feel a weight issue with full size servos and the 12 cell setup in flight. If I was to try a 600 sized blade on the machine, I would stick with the 12s setup. Overall, this is a great heli that is built with SAB precision and strength and I am excited to bring it with me to events this year. Click here for the "Intro" video.
As I look forward to the new year, I recently came across the newest and the most exciting offering from SAB Helicopters. The SAB "RAW". It is a 700 electric helicopter with many new innovations. It is a lighter, faster, more agile heli with a classic pod and boom design with a twist. The canopy is integrated, which means that there is better air flow. The batteries will load from the front while the canopy is attached! The boom is strong and is big enough for larger pulleys/gearing allowing superior tail authority. The gearbox has new smooth helical gears for quite operation. The heli has a wide RPM range of approximately 1100 to 2700. In addition, the tail belt can be tensioned quickly with the new tool that comes with the kit (nice). The kit comes with main and tail blades and looks accurate, stable and precise. My preferred setup will include Gens-Ace Batteries, Xnova 4525-530 Lightning motor, Kontronik Kosmic Cool 250HV Speed Controller, Rotortech 690 Blades and a Mikado Vbar NEO flight control system. This is a link to a recent introduction video. This is the link to Amain Hobbies so that you can get in your pre-orders. I look forward to seeing you at events with the all new SAB RAW this upcoming Heli season.
When setting up my helicopters I don't think twice about the batteries that I use for my power system. It always includes Gens-Ace batteries. They are strong and reliable. They include sturdy balance connectors and EC style battery leads. I am always impressed as to how well they balance before and after flying. My packs last for years. I don't charge them more than 2c and storage charge my packs at the end of the flying session. I also feel that it helps not to over discharge the packs either. Although bringing down the state of charge to 20% while flying would be perfect, I leave a little extra in them for a safer margin. There has been some great technology improvements over the years, but one of the advancements that I enjoy most is the battery telemetry and warning that the newest Hobbywing and Kontronik speed controls offer. The speed controllers communicate flawlessly with my Vbar radio. This technology prevents me from over discharging my packs and accurately tells me when to land beyond using the timer. Awesome.
This is an exciting year and it just started. Yes, this is the year of the Kraken. I recently built two SAB Goblin Kraken 700 Helicopters. I must say that the build was awesome. The directions were clear and accurate. The parts were well machined and each screw bag had just the right amount of parts where you did not have to sort out many sizes. Did I mention Innovation? Yes, this helicopter is full of new features. First, the main gear has been replaced with an efficient transmission. The CG has been raised, the batteries slide straight in, the speed controller is mounted on top for easy access and there are new lower frame halves which create great visibility. The servo geometry has been improved, the head has been lightened and the list goes on! The boom can now be removed by unscrewing six screws, the tail case four and the head three. Sounds good to me when I travel or need some repair. In the air, the heli is predictable and agile. It flies with precision and authority. It covers flying styles from mild to to hard core 3D. It is a true 2019 modern all around versatile helicopter. I'm currently using some of my favorite components from amain hobbies including a Mikado VControl, Xnova 4525 530KV Lightning Motor, Gens Ace 12s 60C Lipo Stick Pack, ProTek 270TBL Cyclic Servos, ProTek 270SBL Tail Servo, Kontronik Kosmik Cool 200 Brushless ESC and 690/710 Rotortech Blades. I used a 23 tooth pinion that is geared at a 9.5:1 ratio for approx 2200 head speed. At 1850 headspeed the flight time is over 5 minutes of smooth 3D. I am excited to fly this new machine and to have it with me at all the upcoming events. Please look at my gallery to see some Pics. Look forward to seeing you at the next funfly....
Over the years there have been great improvements in helicopter electronics and equipment. The Xnova Lightning series of motors in no exception. I recently installed a Lightning 4525-530KV Motor (Shaft A) in my SAB Goblin Kraken 700. The motor is powerful and efficient. It runs cooler and has a wide torque band. At all my pre-programmed headspeeds, the motor performs flawlessly. The motor is available at Amain Hobbies for $399.99. You should check it out!
Who said Virginia is for Lovers? I think Virginia rocks an awesome heli event. Not once, but twice a year. There are two flight lines, great food, an awesome paved roadway (that cuts down dust), bathrooms(with air conditioning), showers and plugs to give our chargers some juice. The excitement runs all day and and into the evening! Seems to be a bit of extra carnage at night as well. Those poor heli's. This is a must attend on my event list and should be yours as well. Thank you to everyone who hosted the event for making us feel right at home. See you in the fall.......
Over the river and through the woods.. ok wrong story.. ok over the pond with a Logo 600 and a little luck. This is one of my favorite venues. The Joe Nall field in South Carolina is one of the best fields in the US. The grass is green and lush, the property is spacious and the facilities are all inclusive. It feels more like a resort. So, I decided to take the plunge (or not) and take a flight over the water. Click this link for the video. Enjoy!
2018....Yes 2018! So the season started this year with Amain at the Las Vegas Funfly. Everyone on the team is excited to "Share the Fun". Jason has been building and testing new machines. He has a stretched Oxy 4 and a the new XLPower Specter 700. I am also excited about the new Mikado transmitter coming out this year. It offers a new multi touch color display and wireless updates! Yes, the future is here.
Heli's Over Apache Pass. Great people, an awesome field, a great steakhouse and a bit of wind. Ok, a lot of wind. It made high speed passes very high speed. It also was great sharing some air time with Jason Bell, when we flew together during an afternoon demo. Leon Luke came all the way from Canada. He has been constantly upping his game and is flying great. Team Amain Ralph Stutes was great to share time with as well. The shorter member of our Team (Ashley) always brings her smiles, cartwheels and excitement. I wonder if she will ever get to old to pull the raffles? Our next event is coming up on May 3-6 which is the Spring Fling in Virginia. Please come and spend some time with Jason Bell, Josh, Andrew (Anger Management), Paul and myself. We look forward to seeing you there!
HOD 2017! Awesome! What a great opportunity to gather with the team and share some heli fun. We had Leon, Josh, Chris, Andrew, Paul, Jason and myself at this event. I want to start by welcoming Paul Andreoli to the Amain family. We are excited to have him on the team and look forward to him giving some great demos with his LOGO 700. He is excited to help his fellow pilots and please feel free to stop by and say hi to him when visiting our tent at future events.
This event had some great demo pilots that demonstrated great control and excitement. It was great to see Team Align's Alan Szabo Jr. with his Trex 700X along with Darrick Chekas and Rob Negri. There was also Jesse Kavros flying his Protos 700. Great flights, great people and great food. Let's do it again!
One highlight that I was talked into was doing some night flying and cutting some cat tails. The cat tails were hand transplanted tall stalks that needed some heli trimming! It was actually harder than you think to cut the stalks, but it was great fun trying! The good news is that I kept Josh's heli in one piece. Please see my photo gallery for some pics and my video section for some of the action. Thank you for visiting my site. PS. Here's a link to one of Andrew's and Jason's Flights.
Has it been another great year you ask? Absolutely! The because comes from the innovation in the hobby, the creativity and the great people that share the passion. There were many exciting and memorable moments that get me excited for 2017.
So what's new you ask? It seems that Mikado has created some serious interest in their NEW 700E helicopter. I saw a bunch of their newest design at the event. It was light and sleek and really well organized. There were the right upgrades in the right places and a home for all your electronics. I recently started building one for myself. So far, I got the frames together and have the machine standing on its skids. I plan to try the new Vbar Radio and outfit the helicopter with a Scorpion 4525 Motor, the NEW Scorpion 200amp Speed Control, Amain's new ProTek RC 270TBL Cyclic Servos and a ProTek RC 270SBL on tail. I will my use my Beastx for my flybarless system and will use a set of Gens Ace 5000 packs to power the bird. I am pretty excited to get this machine in the air, but will take my time and enjoy the build.
OHB put on another great event. I felt right at home. The organizers did a spectacular job once again! A well laid out field, good food and an AMAZING solar powered charging station. Yes, solar powered to give everyone the power they needed to quick charge their packs! It worked awesome. The Amain team had no worries about having to share or rent a generator. It would be great if more fields could have these "solar stations". There was also an incredible mid-air of two 700's that rained down some serious carnage. This was one event not to miss. Click here for the carnage video. Click here for some pics of the event. I look forward to updating you on my build and to seeing everyone in the 2017 season. Happy New Year!
OMG this helicopter is fun! I can't stop flying it. Ok, let me back up. Once upon a time...ok scratch that. I was recently at an event when I saw the Oxy 3 being flown by Jason Bell. I was curious about the heli. It looked solid, but I always remember small helicopters being twitchy and unpredictable. Those days are over! Jason let me try his heli and I immediately felt locked in. It has the full predictability of a larger machine with the ability to fly in a small area. I love it!
I built one of my own right away. I chose KST Servos, a Thunder Power 4s 1350mah battery, a Spectrum 7210 BX Flybarless System and the motor and speed control that came with the kit. The kit was easy to build and has all high quality parts. It has a slant main gear and a belt driven tail. I really like the tail boom design. It is rounded on the top and bottom and is flat on the sides. It has a great positive lock for the tail case and its rigidity does not require boom supports. I personally like the 4s setup over the 3s setup. It uses 255 main blades and the parts are very reasonably priced. I have my head speed setup at moderate in idle one and over 4k rpm in idle two. As awesome as 4k headspeed is, the machine still performs great. The kit also comes with a really cool swash leveling tool and uses a 1.5 driver for the hardware. No unusual mini tools required! I must also mention the battery hold down straps. They are rubber and have a really great positive lock. They are easy to get on and off. Even the small details counted when this machine was designed.
Overall, this was a terrifically designed helicopter for the builder and pilot alike. It is affordable and easy to get parts for and maintain. I'm a huge fan. Needless to say its my go to machine for the front of my house and when I take trips. It fits in my backpack with no disassembly required.
OHB 2015! Is this really the end of the year or is this a setup for another great year in 2016? I think the latter. First and foremost, Bert and the guys put on a well organized, safe and fun event. There was something for everyone. There were helicopters, quadcopters and FPV's. I wasn't really sure about FPV's until I witnessed FPV racing. About one third of the event, was setup as a FPV racing area. It also was well organized, structured and safe. There was tons of video and tech talk going on between a really nice set of guys. The quads were personalized by each pilot. Each quad seemed to have a unique style and performance features. I learned about Fat Shark goggles really fast. Team Pilot Jason Bell was involved in the races and enjoyed participating in the new and exciting event. I see him as a great resource for amain and its customers. If you are thinking of trying out or building on your setup amain is the place to go.
I also was looking for some new and exciting products. One that seemed interesting was the new servos offered by Xpert. I looked at the R1's. They are over 400 oz. of torque and .06 sec at 6v. I have not tested them yet but Team Pilot Leon Luke seems to be very excited about their performance and reliability. I spoke with an Xpert rep that said a large amount of R&D went into the design, programming and testing to reach very high levels of quality and performance. The price for the R1 is $179 at amain. If you would like to learn more click here.
I also test flew the newest generation of the Protos 700. The layout looked clean and I am interested to do some testing on it in the future. I also tried the new Jeti BK-Edition DS 14. Although the radio felt larger than usual, it had a solid and capable feel. The gimbals felt smooth and precise. I also here that the technology and programability is some of the most advanced on the market.
Last, I have to mention how exciting it was to watch Andrew Merlino do his noon-time demo. The man known for his "anger management" while flying was superb. If you haven't seen him fly in person please come see him at one of the events that team amain attends... it's awesome! Thank you again to all of our customers, supporters and friends. We have enjoyed "Sharing the Fun" with all of you this year and look forward to 2016. Stay tuned for our upcoming event calendar we may be coming to a town near you! If you would like to check out some pictures from the event click here.
IRCHA did not disappoint in 2015! There were awesome pilots, awesome demos and lots of new and interesting products. Amain was in full force at the event. We spent time and met with a lot of great people. I even met with a pilot that travelled all the way from Colombia!
The weather was not that great on Thursday but from that afternoon on the weather turned around and made for some really good flying. The One Competition included pilots launching their heli's into the air from exploding boxes, colored smoke and ribbon cutting limbo. You had to see it to believe it. Our own Andrew Merlino finished second in the night fly competition. Way to go Andrew (AKA Anger Management)!
BEASTX displayed the Microbeast Plus and the Microbeast Plus HD. Both included 6 axis MEMS sensors with a 32 bit processor and can be upgraded to include a bailout feature. I will be doing a review on them in the future so stay tuned. Horizon Hobby was showing the new Blade 270 pre built heli which is due in October 2015, It looked very similar to the blade 360 which I have really been enjoying. In addition, I had the opportunity to fly the OXY 3 from OXY Heli Division and that was just a blast. It ran high headspeeds that made the heli really snappy. I flew the standard and the stretch kit. My favorite was the standard machine on 4s... but that could change. :-) There was also the introduction of the new Matt Botos Synergy 766. What a good looking heli. It looks like it was modeled after the KTM dirt bike that it was sitting next to.
I will be testing some of BK Servos in my 700 over the next couple of weeks. My interest was peaked because they seem fast, efficient, high torque and reasonably priced at Amain for $100 each. Click on the highlighted links to see all of the products discussed.
Last, I need to mention that we enjoyed all the great experiences that we had with our customers and potential customers. We received a lot of valuable feedback and appreciated the time that everyone spent at the tent and on the flight line. We also enjoyed giving out discount coupons, shirts, water bottles, sunglasses and helping with customer service inquiries. We appreciate all the support and business and look forward to flying together and "Sharing the Fun" at future events. Please click here to see some photos...
What a great start to the heli season! Big D is a force in the hobby. He is a dedicated icon and legend. He makes everyone feel welcome and like they are right at home.
The amain team arrived at the field early Friday morning with some clear goals in mind. They were focused on helping pilots, building new relationships and doing some fun demos! (PS. We had some special discount coupons that we handed out but, don't tell anyone ;-) The weather was good on Friday along the very long flight line. There was a carnival right next to the field and a high performance exotic car track experience for some quick adrenaline! I guess you can call Big D's a destination. We had a change in weather on Saturday that included some rain in the afternoon. BUT, that did not stop the fun.
The amain team left the event to get some lunch between the raindrops and went to a local chain restaurant. As we were leaving we noticed on the weather radar that we had about 20 minutes before the next band of rain. Coincidentally, there was a small open field with some really TALL grass behind the restaurant. We saw that as an awesome opportunity to take a couple of quick flights! The grass must have been 10-15 feet tall and made things quite interesting. Check out my video section for some links.
Lastly, I really enjoyed checking out all the different machines and equipment at the event. The Goblins were tearing it up. It was awesome watching Kyle Stacey with the new 3 bladed 500 and 700 Goblins. They were ultra smooth, fast and sounded like formula one race cars. I saw more quad copters that are capable of some high speed stunt flying. Andrew Merlino aka anger management flew hard core and Jason Bell was crisp and on the deck. Leon Luke was tearing it up with some new maneuvers that were impressive and our new addition Josh Goudreault did an awesome job with his TSA Nitro 700. Josh showed his talent and was a lot of fun to watch.He was using the YS 91 Tareq Edition motor that gave some great torque and power to his machine. His Byron Fuels Rotor Rage 30% kept his motor running powerfully smooth throughout the event.
I want to thank the team for a great effort....We are looking forward to sharing the fun at IRCHA in August....Click here for some pics from the event...
2014 IRCHA was a spectacular event! There were the worlds best pilots and lots of new products being introduced. First, AMain was sporting the "New Look". AMain is now performances sports and hobbies. That means that they added a whole new dimension to their company which includes bicycles and accessories. That was very exciting news to me being that I love to ride my road bike!
I saw some interesting new helicopters including the JR Forza 700E and the Avant Mostro. What I liked about the new designs is that they were built to compliment the newest technologies available including the new larger speed controls. It seems as though the new trend is to follow the enclosed boom design of SAB and remove the boom supports and allow a visually and aerodynamically better design and appearance.
All the best vendors were on hand as well. They included some of my favorite brands including Scorpion, Thunder Power, Byron Fuels, KDE and Castle. The bar keeps going up each year for these vendors when it comes to performance and reliability.
This is and always has been a "must see" event. The pro pilot demos including the night flying are truly exciting and memorable. See my photo gallery for some shots of the event and the helicopters mentioned above.
This was a great local event. I met a lot of interesting people and saw a bunch of familiar faces. It was a breezy day, but also sunny and nice. What was really interesting to me was meeting a retired helicopter test pilot. I asked him lots of questions about full scale helicopters and their characteristics. He confirmed that vibration and blade balance was critical. He also told a story of a crash landing that he experienced that included him being upside down when hitting the pavement. Luckily he walked away. It is always awesome to meet so many interesting people when visiting different events. I look forward to being invited again next year. See my photo gallery for pics.
This was one of the most well organized events of the season. There was a great blend of pilots that came in from all over the country. We had Todd Bennet, Jason Krause, Art Hughes, Nick Maxwell, Jamie Robertson, Ben Storick, Andrew Merlino, Tim Jones, Devon Lablanc, Leon Luke, Wesley Griffith and many more! Mark Ryder took a bunch a pics and videos that came out awesome. Click this link to see them.
The weather was great. The food was excellent and all the volunteers made the event unforgettable.
I really enjoyed the three way demo with Andrew and Art. I have a different flight video than what was posted on Runryder as well as additional pics in my video section. I was amazed at how long Nick Maxwell can hang an auto and how many blade stops that Devon Connors was able to do in one auto (six in think)! To top it off, the NEHC tried to top the Guinness Book of World records for the most helicopters in the air at once. This was truly a fantastic event to be a part of and what a powerful sound to have all of those helicopters in the air at the same time. This is an event that should not be missed! I am excited to go back next year. Awesome job NEHC!
IRCHA never disappoints! The weather was great, the flying was awesome and the new products were exciting. This year was a year of evolution. There were new main blade designs that were more efficient, quieter, tracked exceptionally well and were just plain cool looking. Some that really stick out include the new Tim Jones line of blades that are called Cyclone Blades and Nick Maxwell's/V-Blade's new line called Helix Blades. I am looking forward to seeing what Edge Blades comes out with over the next couple of months.
The second most unique thing that I saw was the continued introduction of the Tri/Quad Copters. They are getting more refined and user friendly. The Sky-Hero brand looked exceptionally strong and has very low parts count. I think there are approximately 13 part types to the whole machine. Tops and bottoms are interchangeable as well as left and rights and so on. Horizon Hobby is also introducing a quad copter called the Blade 350 QX that practically flies itself. It has three modes of flight from being the most stable utilizing a GPS, to a more agile setting that allows the machine complete flips and rolls. Click this link to see a video of the QX. Click this link for more info and to purchase one!
Last, I was amazed that Curtis Youngblood was offering demos on his new Quad Copter. The trainee was wearing a pair of 1st person goggles to fly the machine. Yes they were looking down when the machine was in the air. Amazing. I think I'm starting to get old! Lol.
There were also new heli introductions. They include a mock up of Avant's new heli the Mostro, the Goblin Competition Series, the Thunder Tigre E700 (Nick Maxwell Edition) and the new Protos. The Goblin was upgraded with a new tail, a new boom, a battery tray, a taller frame to fit bigger batteries/speed controllers and I'm sure I'm missing some more goodies! I need some upgrades! The second machine that caught my eye was the Thunder Tigre E700. Scorpion Motors released a Nick Maxwell Signature Series motor called the HKII-4235-520KV that was specifically designed for the heli. It has a unique screw at the top of the motor that prohibits the motor shaft from moving up and down. The machine looks well designed, it is exceptionally light, has a double helical main gear and flies with power and accuracy. The kit is going to retail for $699.00. Click this link for more info.
I can't stop writing about IRCHA until I mention the night fly. OMG! There was a helicopter with the disk that turned into a computer screen of sorts. It displayed words and pictures on the disk throughout the flight to coordinate with the music! I have never seen anything like it. Second, Bobby Watts had his first baby. Well, not a real baby but, none the less his helicopter gave birth to a quad copter! His creativity is unmatched! Great Job Bobby! Last, I must say that Andrew Merlino's night flight was really exciting. He definitely is one of the most entertaining pilots to watch.
Please see my photo gallery for some pics from the event.
Dominance! That is the word used to describe the Goblin 500. Everywhere I go, I see this helicopter and a smile on the face of the pilot flying it. The heli seems to have two personalities. One that is controlled, fluid and precise and a second that is a beast! I currently have my high head speed set to 2800rpm and my lower idle one head speed set to 2600rpm.
The build of the helicopter was great. All parts were present, the manual is highly detailed, accurate and easy to follow. I really like the "quick load" battery tray and the convenience of only having to use one battery. The machine also utilizes a unique tail dampening system that give a smooth and consistent feel. I am currently flying a 6s 4400 mah pack. I get 3.5 minutes at 2800rpm and 4 minutes at 2600rpm.
I am using the Scorpion HKIII 4020-1350 motor and a 17 tooth pinion that has to be purchased separately. The motor performs flawlessly with gobs of power. I also am using a SAB "High Performance" main gear that has very robust characteristics. I suggest considering the main gear upgrade if flying in high heat/stress/head speed conditions.
As far as the speed control, I recommend the Castle Edge 100. I have heard that the heli can spike up to 140 amps. So far, the speed control is handling like a champ. The BEC that I have chosen is the Western Robotics Hercules Super Mini G2. I chose it for its reputation of reliability and consistency and have chosen to run the heli at 6 volts.
The only servos available for the cyclic at this time for me were the Align 515m's. It is important to follow the manual for the correct spacing/installation of the servos. This allows for accurate geometry and handling.
I am extremely impressed with this model! Great Job SAB and Bert Kammerer!
The heli is priced at $648.99 which includes the kit and main/tail blades. You can purchase all the items I mentioned at A Main Hobbies.com.
This is a link to the SAB Goblin 500 build videos. Please see my video section for a demo flight.
This was my first time to this event and it won't be my last! Wow, Big D put on a great event. The forecast was for rain all weekend and amazingly we had nice weather. The event was extremely well organized. There was a flight line that was huge, a carnival, a high speed driving experience and fireworks that were spectacular.
The night flying was awesome. Low, fast and aggressive along with some carnage.
I am proud of the A Main Team. They made some good personal connections with the pilots/spectators and put on some great demos.
The event was dominated by Goblin Helicopters. They were performing exceptionally well. I recently built a Goblin 500 and I am really enjoying it. I will be doing a review in the near future….stay tooned...
See photo gallery for pics...
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
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.
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.
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.