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Old 02-09-2007, 09:32 PM   #1
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first heli to learn on.

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hi there.i,m new to heli,s and i need to know what is the best heli to start out with.i have a walmart havoc which is a blast to fly,but i need something that flies like the real thing.i also picked up a gws dragonfly and it seems pretty crappy for a beginers heli.

i got a smoking deal on a miniature aircraft 60 size xl pro2 complete heli ready to fly. it,s all blinged out,so i want to start out right and get a heli to learn on then move on up to my larger heli.any info is appreciated.thanks.

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Old 02-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #2
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Before risking the crash of your big heli. I strongly suggest buy a Realflight G3 to practice on. It has many helicopters on there to get the basic of the control. Crashing on Simulator doesn't cost you , but crashing the real thing can be costly and disappointing not to mention endangering yourself or others.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:56 AM   #3
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If you are planning on flying outside then a nitro machine would be the way to go. Thunder Tiger Raptors are very popular. The parts can be found almost everywhere or mailordered within a week. The Raptors are cheap to repair and easy to repair. The Raptor 50 with a Hyper OS 50 engine can outperform a 90 if set up correctly and could also be set up to fly nice and smooth for learning. The sim is also a good tool, however when the weather is nice you will want to be outside flying the real thing. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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I agree with Heli-Gal - dont buy anything except a Sim for now. When you are 100% comfortable in all orientations, go spend your hard earned cash on a heli - there are a lot to choose from. I like to ask myself the following before buying a heli im interested in.

(1).Do i know anyone who already flys it & what's their opinion.
(2). How much will it cost to set up for flight.
(3). Are parts easily available to me locally, or online. (nothing worse than waiting for parts)
(6). How much are the parts, especially the more common ones damaged in crashes - Blades, feathering shaft, tail boom, flybar, landing struts etc.
And finally (7). Research the heli yourt interested in online - has anyone had any issues with build quality, support, part failures etc.

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Old 02-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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Yes sim is the first thing to buy!

If you can hover the dragon through a battery pack then flying/hovering the x-cell when properly set up will be a breeze .

Keep in mind the Average cost of a x-cell crash is $500.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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I agree on the sim as well.

Get at the very minimum the ability to constantly fly in a controlled manner in all directions ...

1) Start with tail in (facing you) and hover... then with the tail in, move forward and backwards until you're comfortable ... then side to side ... all while in a hover 3-5 feet off the ground.

2) Once you've accomplished that and can do it with your eyes closed, then try a figure eight ... while hovering and keeping the tail facing you at all times ...

3) Then try to take off and land in different, marked areas. This will help later down the road.

Once you've mastered hovering and moving around with tail in, then hover in one spot and turn the heli to the left side facing you.

Repeat steps 1-3 with the heli facing back, left, right and front (nose towards you).

Once you have done all of this and can do it comfortably (which takes patience and time), then get your large heli and have another experienced heli flyer go over your machine... mechanics, electronics and make sure that everything is fitted properly, well maintained and setup.

Once your heli is setup, have another experienced heli pilot guide you through the inspection/startup and flight/landing.

Start slow and you will enjoy it.

Learning on a larger heli can be intimidating, however it will provide you with a much more stable platform when compared to a micro/mini such as a Dragonfly/Trex.

Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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thanks for the replies.i forgot to mention that i have a flight has helli,s on it.i sold my g 3 and bought a afpd deluxe sim.i will defenitly practice on a sim.i,m going to barrie in the spring and i,m going to hook up with a instructor to learn how to fly and obtain my heli wings.

life begins under 10ft and ends at ground zero.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:03 PM   #8
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Well personally I think the only heli to learn on would be Trex 450.
Very cheap to fix and stable as the big guys when learning how to hover.
Average crash cost $40.00.
Blades $15.00
Main Shafts x3 $15.00
Spindles x5 $15.00

$15.00 + $5.00 + $3.00 + $6.00 = less then any set of blades for any nitro.

These are the most common parts you will replace and the upper main gear. $12.00 for two of them.
In winter the snow pretty much absorbs any low hover crash with no breaks.
Dust it of and go again.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #9
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As others have said, a sim is essential and bigger is generally easier.

The sim is for wiring your brain for the orientations.

The standard answer used to be a 30 nitro heli, but times have changed and now there are other good platforms you can consider. Mini electrics can be a good option, particularly those for which proven configurations are well known.

A Trex S/SA or SE($) or the new TT E325 properly set up with flybar weights, 70% cylic throws, 40% exponential, only positive pitch and training skids would make a good trainer. It's convenient, stable (if set up properly - much more so than a micro) and is cheap to fix. It will teach you about setting up and maintaining a CCPM heli and will give you plenty of flight time.

The problem with this class of electrics is that you need to know about lipo battery handling from the get go; otherwise you risk an explosive fire or premature death of your expensive batteries. This may make them a poor choice for some.

If your background is nitro or gas airplanes and electrics are alien to you, then you will probably be better off with a 30 or 50 nitro heli.

Starting out, helis are half about learing flying and half about learning setup and maintenance. You can't learn setup and maintenance on a sim and a heli won't fly well unless you have the skills to set it up properly (the cruel irony of helis).

In all cases, an instructor is a good idea.

When considering electric, be sure to read the Electric Helicopter Beginner's Guide - it contains lots of useful information to help you make an informed choice.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:09 AM   #10
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Yes the sim is mandatory. Get one, get good on it, and the rest is easy.

The next thing to do is decide if you want nitro or gas. If you want nitro, a 30 size machine is great. Easy to fly, cheap to maintain and fix. The Hawk pro with an OS37 or Toki 40 works great for that.

If you want electric. The minumum size I would go for is a 450 size. The rex is pretty good, but they can be a bit of a handleful compared to the slightly larger ones. But the batteries and power plant are much cheaper.

You could go something larger like the swift, and run an economical 4S setup or an A123 or emoli setup. This will serve you very well by having a nice stable platform to learn on that you can fly outdoors easily.

Anyhow, whatever you get you will have a blast!

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