Trex 500 FBL conversion guide - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:41 AM   #1
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I am: Faisal A
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Trex 500 FBL conversion guide

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If you are here, you're either converting to FBL or considering it. You made the right choice. FBL is just easier to setup and flies better(In my opinion).

Before I get started I want to state out that the most important thing in this process is the FBL UNIT. If you get a good one, you'll fly with a smile, a crappy one will just waste your time to get it flying right.

Now, after choosing a proper unit, you need to choose FBL head. There is plenty to choose from. However, I will narrow it down to two main categories:
1. Align
2. Other brands. ( I won't be talking about them).

My choice was Align in my conversion, I believe they has pretty decent quality and there is no need to buy from the other brands.

If you choose Align, or other manufacturers, there to two very important categories to choose from: 1. DFC Head
2. Driverless Head( traditional FBL with washout arms)

The thing is, Even the driverless head is actually a DFC(direct flight control). How? Because they both have direct contact from blade grips to Swashplate.

Whats the difference?
The difference is basically the existence of washout arms(broadly speaking).

I would not recommend DFC to anyone. For the fact that it puts too much load on the dampeners, you will need to change them more often, and in case of a crash, chances of damaging the servos are higher. Moreover, DFC heads are lower and closer to the helicopter body, its been largely debated that it may result in the boom being struck by the main blades under high flex.
Take a look at both DFC and FBL, you will notice the linkage from blade grip to swash in traditional FBL is very thin. This means that in that case of a crash, it would tend to pop off, break, or bend, instead of putting all the load on the swashplate. Moreover, in the conversion, you would not need to change your swashplate to DFC swashplate(Necessary for DFC head), nor change your main shaft.

The decision is yours to make. But here are the part count for both conversions:

Driverless Head

1. 500L/Pro EFL Washout

2. 500 pro/ ESP/ Dominator Swashplate (any of them would work, I believe Dominator is best option if the budget is expandable)

3. 500L linkage rod set

4.500L Main Rotor Housing

5. 500 Pro Blade grips 6. 500L/Pro Blade Grip Arms

Spindle shaft, thrust bearings are not required to be changed, however, it wouldn't hurt to get new bearings, or sock in alcohol, then re-grease them.

This would be the best conversion in my opinion, its very solid, that's why Align's new model, Trex 500L Dominator uses this kind of FBL, not the DFC.

If you Decide to go with DFC, there are two other options:
Option 1: Get the DFC conversion Kit: Includes -Main Rotor housing-DFC arms-DFC Main Shaft- All screws needed
Note: This kit DOES NOT INCLUDE BLADE GRIPS, so if you have the old 500ESP you are required to get the PRO Blade grips. THIS KIT DOES NOT INCLUDE DFC SWASHPLATE

Option 2:

Buy the same parts listed above in the kit, except for the DFC Arms, I would highly recommend getting HeliOptions Ti Turnbuckles. Reason being is that while doing the setup, taking the ball link out from the DFC swashplate is difficult, and also in most cases damaging to both ball link, and swashplate(it would get some scratches nothing serious). However, with the turnbuckles its a lot easier to make adjustments.
Do not forget that DFC requires the DFC main shaft which is shorter than the standard main shaft.

I hope this turns helpful for anyone considering this conversion, I speak to you from my own experience, hoping it could help others and make things clear.
If there are any mistakes, unlisted parts, please do inform me in order to modify it. However I believe I listed everything as far as I can tell.

Best regards,


Last edited by FaisalHeli's; 07-15-2015 at 08:44 PM.
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