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Old 02-14-2010, 09:08 AM   #1
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Getting micro-duped?

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Our club is somewhat new to the indoor sessions as is my experience, but my observations to date are that we seem to be getting sucked in on some of the off the shelf stuff coming out.

First the things I seen fly, in a med sized gym, that actually work as advertised. Parkzone Vapour has proven itself to be the best RTF for any size indoor facility and is simply fun for it's capabilities for all levels of experience. Ember is not bad, but of course not as gentle.

The Parkzone Citabrias are decent, but not as forgiving but acceptable if you want something that looks like an airplane.

Where i see us getting sucked in by "buzz" and mass advertising has been with the Parkzone Sukhio and the latest cub . . . look great, but I have flown both and they really do fly like crap and didn't live up the hype from what i see.... and although, i didn't by one, i was left with the feeling that those who did kinda got ripped? I have not seen or flown the warbirds yet, but have heard they are somewhat of a disappointment in the flying area?

The last that i have any experience with is the e-flite micro Blade CX heli which is a tremendous flyer for it's size.

As you can see, my experience is limited to our small club and what we have been using so I am interested to know everyone else's experience with the micro RTF stuff and what actually works as opposed to what the advertising says.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

I'd have to agree that some of the submicro offerings out there are poor buys, although I think that the same can be said of the larger sizes as well. There are good models and poor ones and it pays to wait and see; being an early adopter has it's price.

I was really eyeing the new PZ Cub, but the urge has passed based on what I've seen so far.

We have a large number of Vapours and a couple of Embers in our club this Winter and they're excellent models. The more experienced pilots find them unexciting to watch and fly, but they're helping give stick time to the newer fellas.

I do find that as the smaller models become available and more prevalent, that my perception of what is appropriate for indoor is changing. The smaller models are safer in smaller venues and that's a good thing.

So far it seems that smaller models are either frustratingly difficult to pilot or they're very easy to fly. There's doesn't seem to be much in the middle (good flight characteristics and decent performance for aerobatics).

I wouldn't say we're getting duped, at least not all the time. There are good models and it points to even more options in the future. It's very exicting to see the technology advance to the point where submicro models are a viable option. It wasn't too long ago where models in the submicro size were truly toys - that's all changed.

I'm a heli pilot and my indoor model of choice is currently a Trex 250, but that size model still can do a lot of damage if something goes wrong. Our gym starts to feel pretty confined at times. Still, the 250 is an excellent performer (but it's more than $200 - not comparable to a $150 vapour).

In helis, the Walkera 4G6 with their 2801 TX looks intetesting, but the videos I've seen and $400 price tag have put me off. The E-Flite Blade MSR fixed-pitch doesn't offer enough capability.

It pays to do research and resist the urge to be amongst the first to own a new model.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

I only have one year of flying under my belt so I am hardly an expert. But I just got and flew the PKZ ultra micro BNF cub and I thought it flew quite well in a golf dome. Especially once I got used to flying it at lower throttle settings. I haven't tried it in a gym yet. It does still seem a little fast.

Certainly my ultra micro P51 is too fast for me in a gym and I found it a little fast for a very crowded golf dome. But it does handle light breezes well so it is a much better outdoor flyer than many of the micros.

I must say that I saw the Vapor flyiing at both high and low speed at the golf dome and other than the scale looks of the ultra micro cub the Vapor seemed to be better suited for the small, windless spaces.

I like the mSR as a next step up from the mCX. And the fact I can fly them in my kitchen or living room. Maybe for a real CP heli pilot they may be tame. But the mSR is still more than enough for my flying ability.

I guess it is hard to be everything for everybody. Some are too much for some people yet some are not enough for others.
• Blade mCX, mSR • E-Flite Apprentice 15e • Parkzone T28D, Extra 300, um P51D, um J-3 Cub, um T28, night Vapor •
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #4
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

I agree with regards to the Sukhoi, it didn't perform as well as I expected. If all you do is fly around in circles it is fine, but its ability to do any 3d aerobatics is poor. Those who have flown it successfully are either very accomplished pilots or they are flying in large indoor facilities.
I would place the little blade MSR in the same category. I bought it in the hopes of improving my skills at flying a blade 400, but found it really didn’t perform up to my expectations.
The little P51s seem to do well and we have had several pylon type races with them, but they are not much use for aerobatics either.
The ultra slow planes like the Vapor are popular and easy to fly in a facility the size of a double gym, but you are limited to just flying around in circles.
Being old doesn’t help much either .. I need time to think and react, and in the confines of a gym you need instantaneous ( and correct ) reactions ..
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

Having tried many of the Parkzone / EFlite micro offerings, I really don't have anything bad to say about them.


The Vapor is extremely crash resilient and would make an excelellent indoor trainer while still providing some fun for more experienced thumbs.

Micro 4-site

The E-Flite ultra micro 4-site is just a blast and simply bounces off the floor when your thumbs just can't keep up with your eyes. Mine can hover easily for the first 3-4 minutes, but then again I don't store my lipos fully charged and I don't charge them at more than 2C.

Even a fingernail scratch on these small lipos will severely hamper their ability to put out power.


The Sukhoi is not adverstised as a 3D machine, it's advertised as
will thrill experienced pilots with its amazing aerobatic capabilities
and as such flies really well in a basketball court or larger space. It can also be flown outside in very light winds.

Micro P-51

The P-51 I find is more of an outdoor light wind flyer or requires a very large indoor venue (golf dome, indoor running track, double basketball court) as it is quite fast. It does not seem to be as resilient as some of the other micro flyers out there.

Blade MSR

The smaller the heli, the more difficult it is to fly, so it's not surprising that one would find the MSR more difficult to fly than the Blade 400.

I have let total beginners hover my TRex 450 indoors but I wouldn't let the same person hover an MSR. For what it is, it is remarkable in it's handling and speed. It is advertised for intermediate to advanced heli flyers, not beginners. That being said, if you can fly the MSR well, anything larger will be a breeze!


For the most part, it's all about setting your expectations correctly. Keep in mind that the people you see in the advertising videos are highly accomplished pilots and probably have a lot of time on the machine prior to the video being recorded. Of course, any crash or mishaps gets edited out and a backup heli/plane pulled out to continue the filming.

It's not because you see the ultra micro 4-site doing a perfect torque roll that you also will be able to do the same on your 5th flight.

Practice makes perfect.

When all you've got is a hammer, every problem starts looking like nail!

Last edited by marcham; 02-14-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

The new micro 4-site is an excellent gym aerobatic flyer for advanced flyers. not for the novice however. as with some of the micro models it is not as powerful as the promotoional videos lead you to believe. quite fragile to handle and fly and indeed if you're flying in a busy gym with some of the larger foamies, you'd better be on your toes. a collision will mean a foam snowstorm.

both my son and I have had motors go bad in this plane very quickly. about 20 flights on mine and only four on my son's. not good.

I just picked up the new cub and flew it at one indoor last week. far faster than I expected in a gymnasium. almost not suited for a gym. it will fly slower however, but too slow and it snaps instantly. the throws mentioned in the instructions would not even turn mine. I had to double the amount recommended to get things where I liked it.

I have the msr as well and have fun using it. Not very challenging but several of us have fun flying them together.

My son bought a sukhoi and I flew his and one from another modeller. stock, they're very disappointing. with a GWS 4/3 prop they're much better although I doubt they'd do anything 3d.

I've seen the mustang fly in the gymnasium and it's a little pylon racer in stock configuration. needs a good pilot for consistent flying in a gym. newcomers will be into the walls repeatedly with this one in a gymnasium. IMHO the only performance micro where the stock power seems to be fine.

the original cessna is not to bad a flyer, easily gymnasium capable. but just circuits and a loop the odd time if you try it early on in the battery. ditto for the citabria.

the vapor and ember are very similar, slow easy flyers, not very demanding but can be fun under the right conditions.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

The vapours are limited, but even as an experienced flyer, I do love the relaxing puttering, touch and goes, spot landing, little racing. Kinda the same feeling you have when flying a good o'l kadet senior with a 4-stroke putting on a windless evening.

That said, you can go beyond simple flying with it, kinda hovering, tail slides, loops, wingovers...... even some limited inverted flight, which can challenge if desired.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

I'm with Sharpy on the Vapour...simple and slow but still lots of fun. Even experienced pilots can challenge themselves by trying spot landings. I fly mine in the parkade...trying to land it on the roof of my car keeps my thumbs in practice!
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

Marc the off the shelf, ready to fly units are at best an average compromise. The true indoor high performance are made from depron and are very fragile and will be a disappointment to learn indoor with. The best and most durable indoor we have come up with are the ones made from that blue foam from the US Lowes. If you build them using the Hobby King motors, servos, esc and receivers you can put them together for well under $100. In fact the airframe is dirt cheep you should be able to build couple of spares for the same price.

The electronics and batteries from Hobby King can be bought and mailed direct the foam has to come from the US. I can do the same I did when Gaston started out and mail a bundle to you. Cost is somewhere around $40 to $50 plus shipping unless you know someone who will be in the Windsor area and is willing to pick it up. I go to my US mail box every week let me know if you want some picked up. If I rememer correctly there is 10 two foot by 4 foot sheets in a bundle.


Last edited by PurgatorY; 02-14-2010 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:19 PM   #10
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Re: Getting micro-duped?

I just started indoor flying last winter. Instead of the small, slow puttering around planes I decided that the aerobatic stuff interested me a lot more.

I invested about $400 x2 for a few Fancy Foam models, with eflight/maxi/etc all name brand gear and lipos, etc.

Well, they flew great but are not very resiliant to crashing. I bought more lipos at $20+ each, and then I opened my eyes...

Most of the guys here in Northern Ontario are flying planes based on the indoor aerobatic stuff like the offerings from FF... however, we are making them from blue fan fold foam, some carbon rod and flight gear (motor, esc, servos and lipos) from Hobby KIng.

I can put a complete plane together in a few hours, for about $30, plus a receiver (I am using the SPektrum indoor ones) and the flight performance is AWESOME! Easy to do almost any aerobatic maneuver you want to try, with easy hovering capability and ability to punch out... flying size is big enough to see, yet light enough to go from very very slow to hot out aerobatics. The blue foam is amazingly resiliant. I have trashed 4 or 5 depron store bought planes by now, and wont waste my $$ on another. Its blue foam for me - that stuff is crazy tough!

I just got an order from Hobby King last week. 4 motors, 4 speed controls, 10 servos, 4 packs of props, a number of wheels, and 30 sticks of various carbon rod, and 10 more lipo packs (2 cell 500 mah). All for $200 US!

See the thread in the indoor forum on the blue foamy... it will change the whole idea of indoor flying if you care to try it. Cheap, tough and you can fly amazing aerobatics. And for cheap!

Just to compare, I have flown back to back, a $4 Turnigy motor against my AXI I Paid $70 for! (I feellike a sucker now) and there was absolutely no benefit to the AXI. Same power/performance, same duration, etc.

A $4 lipo pack I bought from HK looks the exact same as the $23 packs I bought from Great Hobbies... again, they perform the same. I am all for keeping my $$ here in Canada, but the indoor stuff can be done so cheaply, its not an option anymore to pay crazy $$.

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