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A Good Quality $50 Rc Helicopter! (Review)

Old 12-09-2016, 11:37 AM
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Default A Good Quality $50 Rc Helicopter! (Review)

I was looking for a relatively cheap (Under $100) Rc Helicopter for my nephew as a present. I found one that I liked the look of, and it is just $50. I picked up two, and this is my review of it. It is the ShuangMa 9131, and I'm guessing it is a clone of some sort. Here is where I got it from:http://m.gearbest.com/rc-helicopters...kid=10255158So, to start off, I'd like to clarify that this helicopter is not, and is not attempting to be, a hobby class aerial vehicle. So, I set my expectations pretty low, and I'm pretty happy that it ended up exceeding them. First of all, the box was pretty banged up from the shipping, but nothing was broken or anything like that. The package is huge, but so is the helicopter. One other strange aspect of the helicopter, and some other similar products as well, is the strange choice of names. My heli was branded as the 'Double Horse.'After pulling open the box, there was a huge styrofoam protective covering over all the items. Although the product is advertised to come with an instruction manual, I did not find one in my package. It didn't really matter to me, as the setup and flight of the helicopter is quite intuitive. Here's a quick list of what it included: - A charger- Rechargeable helicopter battery- Spare propellers- Users manual?- Controller- Helicopter itselfI guess I will just go down the list and talk about each component. So, the charger came with a US plug head, so for those of you in different parts of the world, you will need to request an adapter. I'm assuming they will send you it for free, since I have seen them online for dirt cheap. On the head of the charger, there is an LED light that stays red when the battery is charging, and then turns green to let you know that the battery is full. I found a full charge to take about two and a half hours, and this gave flight times of a little under 6 minutes. The battery is a 1500 mAh 2 cell, but I was not able to tell what chemistry it is, although I am assuming it is a Lipo. The battery was built in to the head of the copter, which I was kind of disappointed to see, since it has the same balance charging and power plugs as my A959 rc car, not to mention the same capacity and cell count. I was also a little annoyed that the balance lead kind of hung out the side, and you have to stuff it into the canopy every time you are done charging and want to go for a flight. The power cable is a standard JST connector. Subsequently, you cannot use spare batteries with this chopper, unless you can pull the battery off the body without damaging it. That said, I found the flight time to be sufficient, especially indoors. I assume that the battery lasts a little shorter outdoors because most of the time, more throttle is being applied to help fly in the wind.Going down the list, there is also a few spare propellers. So, there is one spare main blade for each pitch type, as well as a spare tail rotor. You will need a couple of screwdrivers if you want to replace a damaged rotor, but that's not really a big deal. They did not include a spare fly bar, but I did not really see a need for one anyways. One thing I would have liked to see is a couple of spare linkages, since in my experience, choppers usually tend to break that part of the fly bar first. I haven't had any issues with durability, so I can't complain on that front.Next is the controller. It is pretty basic, and has the standard throttle control on the left and forward to backward and yaw left and right on the right stick. There is an on/off switch on the middle of the remote, and a small red indicator right on top of it. All of the trim buttons are inactive, except for the knob on the top of the remote, which is a nice analog fine tuning adjuster. One cool touch is the dual rates that are incorporated on the top left of the transmitter, which give you flexibility. I found flying outside to be impossible on low rates, so I always had it switched to high rates. However, when it is on expert, it can fight a decent amount of wind, especially compared to other large helicopters I have flown. Keeping that in mind, I would recommend flying it in low winds, as you will struggle to keep it under control in heavier breezes. The radio is obviously 2.4 Ghz, and it requires 6 AA batteries to operate. If you are giving it as a gift, it would be really cool to include the transmitter batteries, as the manufacturer does not include them. I use rechargeable batteries in all of my Rc products, as they keep costs down. There is also a collapsible antenna on the top, which makes the radio look kind of funny. The transmitter feels quite good in the hands, and it gives ranges of a little under two hundred feet, which is good enough. Obviously, this wouldn't be a review without talking about the helicopter itself. First of all, this thing is pretty huge. It is over two feet long, so as a matter of course, it is geared more towards outdoor flying. The canopy clips into the sides, and is easily removable to access the gearing. The motor is a 370 sized brushed can, and all of the gears are plastic. This is coaxial, and has a fly bar on the top. The blades are huge, and I could see someone getting hurt if they came in contact. When flying indoors, you need to very precise when flying through doorways. The fly bar is so flexible that it kind of takes away from the looks of the copter by drooping when it is stationary. That same flexibility saves it when you smack into the ceiling, which I did a couple of times The tail rotor is pretty big as well, and comes into play when applying pitch. There is one bright white LED on the nose, and another blue one under the tail. These are not quite sufficient for flying in absolute darkness, but they do look pretty neat. Most of the frame is plastic, although a couple of the important support rods are metal. The landing gear is pretty flexible, so hopefully it will not crack if you drop from some distance up. This helicopter is only available in orange, but there are a couple of variations. It is a 3.5 channel helicopter. I believe the .5 is for the different rates. It also has the standard helicopter balancing gyros. Overall, the helicopter looks pretty scale. I think that is a subtle hint that this vehicle is geared more towards scale flying then actual performance. If you are a beginner, I would really recommend this, because it is very easy to fly. If you have a decent amount of experience, this probably isn't the one for you. However, I'm pretty good with copters, and I still enjoyed this docile flier. For $50, I would say this is a pretty good value for your money. It looks good, flys well, and is pretty durable. It doesn't do any fancy tricks or stunts, like the more expensive helicopters. Anyways, you can check it out here:http://m.gearbest.com/rc-helicopters...?lkid=10255158
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