|Going Electric - With Electro Flyer!|
Here we are again. I can't believe this is my 20th article for "Flying Sites". (A big thank you too, Mark! Ed.)
A big thanks to everyone who have read my articles and provided feedback over the last couple of years. I hope that these are still of interest and help inspire people, young and old to enter the field of clean, easy electric flight.
Hopefully this month's offering will continue to build on this as I have just so much to cover - I just hope the ED can spare the space on the site.
Just imagine if you could get hold of every bit of newsreel that had ever been taken by the good old "British Pathe News". Well, you can! Everything they ever did has been digitally transformed as well as every film having been screen captured throughout so that you can get photos too.
medium quality with "preview" written across it is all-free!
If you really want something then you can buy a film clip in high quality
for £25 or a picture for £15, but for general interest it
is all free. Browse around, add what you fancy to your basket and when
done go to the checkout. Fill in all of your details and your purchase
- costing £00.00 ! - is confirmed. The links to download are supplied
and e-mailed to you giving you 7 days to download. It will even save a
cookie for you so that next time all your details are filled in ready
for you. So, what ever you are researching through 3,500 hours of video,
12 million still images and 75 years of history then go take a look at:
Sounded great too! Even based on this one short flight it is obvious that she is a super little model with no vices. She doesn't need much in the way of control movements. As set I felt there was too much so I used the computer on the radio to reduce the movement and use the rates, this gave me a throw of the switch if I did need more.
problem with this is that the trim doesn't obey rates, so when I needed
to add a little "up" and used the trim, it moved too much causing
a stall which combined with the turbulence over a garden terrace ended
in a bump. No great damage though and as soon as I get time she will be
straight back into the air - lovely!
First of all, the Helicopters. I have a GWS Mini Dragonfly, a Smartech Aerohawk and a Coloco Thunderbird.
I have read Steve Broughton's article on the Piccolo and it surprised me to find that his model came as a box of bits with a foam canopy, so costing him extra to get an ABS one.
I am new to the electric helicopter market and so wasn't aware at just how complete the kits that had arrived on my doorstep really were. All of them come almost ready to fly. The Dragonfly and Thunderbird just need the counter-balance arm pushing across and tightening with the supplied Allen key and they are ready. The Aerohawk also needs the rotor blades fixing with two screws - again with screwdriver and Allen key supplied!
All have ABS canopies, mains 2-hour chargers with UK adapter included. If you have a standard ni-cad fast charger then you can be flying any of these within 10 minutes of opening the box.
The Dragonfly and Smartech come with 4-channel radio - mine came with a Futaba SkySport 4 Transmitter (optional). The Thunderbird came with a 6-channel transmitter though I am told the 5th and 6th channels are not enabled (Haven't checked yet). They all use mini servos, have receiver, speed controllers and gyros.
The Dragonfly and Thunderbird have all parts as separates (The Dragonfly is all GWS radio), the Aerohawk has an all-in-one receiver/gyro.
They are all available with "Crash Kits" which include spare battery pack, tail rotor motor, tail and main rotor blades, counterbalance bar and rotor head parts. Training undercarriage and Flight Simulator lead for the FMS Flight Simulator are also available.
All the models are fixed pitch at the moment, although I am working on this with the suppliers for the future.
The GWS Dragonfly is the highest performing and smoothest model, so for those with some helicopter experience (or the adventurous) this is ideal choice. Very high performance rotor blades get this quickly off the ground to good heights with excellent gyro stabilisation. Everything about this model is excellent from the quality to the performance, but what else would you expect from GWS?
The Aerohawk uses the same size 7.2 V power but is a little larger and so gives the impression of less power. This however makes it that bit steadier and less inclined to zoom off into the sky. This makes it a perfect first model and can carry the weight of the training undercarriage with ease. Lovely build quality and very smooth, a real treat. It also has Military and Police Hughes body shells available - these look fantastic and fit perfectly.
Finally, the Thunderbird. The odd one of the bunch this. It is obviously based on the Dragonfly but uses a different motor and an 8.4 V battery pack. I expected this to be the most powerful but due to the extra weight of the batteries and lower quality of the plastics used in the rotor head it did not perform as well as the other two and struggled to carry the extra weight of training undercarriage. I am working on this with the suppliers but I suppose as this is the cheapest one that lower performance is to be expected.
so, on to the price! This is where it gets really good! All models are
shipped directly from the Far East to your door so you may have to pay
VAT and a small handling charge from the carrier, but even so I think
they are all pretty good value, especially considering they are ARTF with
all the radio (including transmitter), gyro, batteries and charger - basically
everything you need. The price also includes the postage!
It comes complete with 3 channel 27 MHz radio including transmitter, receiver, servos, battery pack, mains charger and speed controller - again everything you need apart from the transmitter batteries. The motor and radio is pre-mounted and connected up along with the speed controller. Even a spare folding prop and optional undercarriage is included, so just join the wings with the plastic plates and screws (screwdriver included), fix them to the fuselage, charge the battery pack and off you go. The transmitter has a rotary knob for proportional motor control and includes servos reverse.
She flies very smoothly and easily - the perfect first model for those who fancy getting into the hobby. Shipping is on the same basis as with the helicopters but at the introductory price of just £80 including postage that should still work out pretty good.
The model is all moulded plastic and foam and is very ARTF, so it should take only minutes to assemble. A single servo is mounted in the strengthened almost symmetrical full profile open cored foam wings. Elevator and rudder servos pre-mounted in the fuselage along with the motor and pre-wired speed controller. The canopy needs cutting from its vac formed sheet and screwed to the fuselage, screw the undercarriage on, connect the elevator and rudder linkages to the pre mounted horns, screw them both in place and there you go.
The battery pack is supplied, along with a mains charger and spare prop of course, so charge her up and you are ready to go.
This model is due for release around Christmas time and we are working on the decals at the moment. Two sets have come to me so far. These are being adjusted in size for a better fit so I will have to do an update on the final look but the ones I had put on her are not the way I would normally finish this type of model but I have to say she looks great!
I have yet to fly this one so again will have to do a follow up on this but with everything happening at the moment I just don't know where I will find the time to do everything - but at least it should keep the article coming for a few months.
introductory prices on this one, on the same shipping basis as the others,
Well that's it for another month - have a great Christmas everyone, and an electric New Year.