gas or electric heli????????? - Page 2 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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General RC Heli Discussion Discuss general topics on rotary wing aircraft, including construction, Servo's, Gryo's and Stabilizer discussions. Heli Pro Shop

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Old 01-16-2006, 08:28 PM   #11
Phil Noel
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I have built and flown many brands and models of helicopters since I started in 1985. I have to wonder of your claim to have built a Century Hawk Pro because you said "Yes I have owned one. Just to take the engine out you have to take half of the heli apart. This heli is a four piece frame design, and there is alot to line up and adjust."

I am sorry but you do not have to take "half the heli apart" to remove the engine. In fact I can remove and reinstall the engine in a Hawk Pro very quickly after removing only 9 bolts - 4 from the engine mount and 2 from the landing gear on one side and three from the lower mainframes.

Furthermore, the only reason one would have to remove the engine on any heli would be to replace the clutches and or clutch bell parts, which are proven issues with the Rappy. On the other hand, the clutch bell bearings and clutch on the Hawk Pro seem to last forever. You will probably find that one would be dropping the engine on a more regular basis on the Rappy then on the Hawk.

Also relative to alignment and adjustment. I find there is a lot more critical alignment and adjustement required in aligning the engine/clutch assembly in the lower part of the frame to the clutch bell in the upper part of the frame on the Rappy then the simple system used on the Hawk Pro. Here the clutch/clutch bell and cooling fan all mount directly to one shaft - the engines crankshaft. So they all automatically align.

And the $100.00 or so difference in price means that I can afford a better radio, or a better engine or a better gyro for my first heli when purchasine the Hawk Pro. To me, these are a lot more important items for a beginner then the airframe.

As for maintenance, IMHO one of the major strength of the Hawk is its very low maintenance.

As for electric or nitro. if we are to compare apples to apples, e.g. the 30 class nitro or to a 20 volt electric, it will boil down to the cost of getting airborn and remaining so over a few years of saturday/sunday afternoons of flying.

As both will require similar radios and gyros, you will find the difference will be in the cost of the heli and their respective power systems.

A Hawk Pro with an OS 37 will run about $400.00. On a saturday afternoon one could get 8 x 12 minute flights out of it and still have a half gallon of fuel left over. So one would have to spend about $1.25 per flight for fuel. So after 160 flights one would have spent an additional $200.00 for fuel.

A similar electric would be a Century Swift 16. These with a brushless motor & 50/55 A ESC that would get them to perform like the Hawk Pro with the OS32, would cost about $475.00. And two Li-Po battey packs and a charger that would be required to allow you to get 8 x 12 minute flights in a saturday afternoon would cost another $450 to $500 (for the two battery packs) and about $200.00 for the charger (about what you would spend on starter, etc. for the nitro heli).

Each battery pack would be able to be recharged about 80 to 100 times before being over the hill. So you may not have to buy batteries as often as you would have to buy fuel. But the cost of these two packs devided by the 160 flights you would get out of them would be over $3.00 per flight. So when the battery technology will have to get to the point that one could get 400 or so recharges out of each Lithium battery pack in order to get the cost per flight and performance on an equal footing.

That is just analysing from the real cost angle. But there are other advantages of electric power that, to many, still make it worth the extra cost. e.g. low noise, the heli stays clean through all types of flight, no starter etc. required, in scale they sound more like a turbine etc.

So as you can see it is not as cut and dried as it may seem.

But whatever way you go, you will find it a very worthy and absorbing challenge.
Phil Noel
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:48 AM   #12
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Furthermore, the only reason one would have to remove the engine on any heli would be to replace the clutches and or clutch bell parts, which are proven issues with the Rappy.
You may have to remove the engine for various reasons. Such as changing the engine bearing (I do this once yearly), or changing a piston ring. Also installing a governor magnet (on the raptor 30/50 you don't have to take the fan off to drill a hole as it's already molded in from the factory).

As you can see, there is more that one reason to pull an engine

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Old 01-17-2006, 11:30 AM   #13
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You need to compare apples to apples my friends
The Rappy is almost twice the cost, You can buy a Century Pro kit with a metal/composite swashplate and an OS engine for the cost of the 30 size Rappy with no engine. That's a lot of fuel or a few bucks to sock away for the 50/60 size heli's.

Not sure why anyone would want to spend so much on a small 30 size ship.....
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:56 AM   #14
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At GAFF and at the GH Heli School, it seemed like pretty well everyone was either running TT or JR. It might have to do with the fact that Colin is one heck of a pilot and people want to fly what he's flying. People like to buy what they can see fly. On the east coast, it's TT followed by JR and then everything else. Things are probably different out in your neck of the woods.

What's the point of a "mine is better than yours" argument? Helis are fun, period.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:08 PM   #15
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Get the Blade CP and spend the $300... see if you like helis or not. Fly it around, hover it, crash it, rebuild it. When you're ready and most likely have read more and spoke to hobbyists more, you will know exactly what you'll want to get. Most likely you'll have both nitro and electric anyway... each has its own advantage and use.... But remember, when you go all-in $1,500 will be on the low-end for you to start off with. A decent radio gear would be $500, $200 for a gyro, $300-500 for the heli, $200-300 for starting equipment/power supply and miscellaneous stuff, sim $200 (BTW, no sim can match the real thing). By this time you probably haven't even hovered your heli yet... you'll need to get MAAC and join a heli club (for your nitro ). And if after 6 months you've only spent $5,000... you'll probably be a very conservative hobbyist. As I've mentioned, get the Blade, learn collective pitch flight, see if you like it.... if not, you're only down $300.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:20 PM   #16
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If you are afriad of tearing down your heli for maintenance then maybe this is not the hobby for you. The Rappy's open bottom design is a great feature, but it would never be the reson I buy the heli.

I have owned both a Hawk SE II and a Raptor 50. You can't go wrong with either brand right now. They both fly great. FInd the one that is more popular with your LHS and local fliers. This way you will not have far to go for support.

As for the nitro/electric question, I would say nitro hands down. When you just want to fly the fuel and go capability is a huge bonus.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:02 PM   #17
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I agree with you tech, engine access for maintenance should be the least of your concern when buying a heli. There are other guiding lights (performance, price, availabilty and support). I myself opted for the Raptor V2 versus the Hawk Pro and paid the extra bucks for the much raved-about quality and performance. The only hurdle now is that my skills aren't yet up to par with my Rappy.

I started with the hobby in June 2005 and picked myself up a GWS mini Dragonfly. RTF was perfect for me coz I had not one single RC equipment. I offer the same solution to those who inquire about NITRO OR ELECTRIC. If you don't have any flying skill or rc equipment or just want to try it out to see if you'll like it, get an RTF. Taught me alot in one month. By that time, I was getting together all the equipment I'd need for a nitro heli... A Shuttle. Then went for the Raptor. Then Hornet CP. Now waiting for my Ark X400 to arrive. And maybe Trex next......or maybe TURBINE...yeah lolol.

Ask me NITRO OR ELECTRIC... I'll say sure, get both, you wouldn't want to be doing this during winter:
DynaX/OS91 : 9303/S649pcm : GY601/9251 : CSMRL10/9254 : 7.4VLipos/5.1vReg : KO2123s(ai/el/pi)
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:00 AM   #18
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I have both nitro and e-heli. If you can afford it go all electric baby! If not then go the nitro way man! Thats it....
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