RCU Review: Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S


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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: March 2013 | Views: 25927 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S FBL ARF
    • Complete package available as ARF or ARF combo
    • Charger and 3S2200mAh battery included in Combo package.
    • Direct to swash servo connections.
    • Great new canopy
    • Includes the touch controlled GT5.1 3-axis gyro
    • Belt driven tail with easy access to changing tube and belt
    • Metal motor mount with easy access to setting proper gear mesh.
    • Use of Phillips head self-tapping screws in various locations.
    The Mini Titan E325S FBL is a new version of the already popular Mini Titan from Thunder Tiger. The E325S is a 450 size flybarless helicopter which arrives in ARF form and seems to be marketed towards people that want to open the box and fly without having to worry much about assembling the helicopter. The Mini Titan is available as an ARF or ARF combo.

    The ARF arrives almost fully assembled and includes the helicopter, main and tail blades, the unique touch controlled GT5.1 3-axis gyro, a 40A ESC, a brushless motor and four micro servos. The ARF combo adds the 3S2200mAh battery and a wall charger to the package making this a very complete offering for those who may not have all the required components to get the Mini Titan in the air.

    Even though the Mini Titan is marketed as an ARF, I would classify this as more towards the ready to fly category as the required assembly to get the Mini Titan in the air is very minimal and probably due to shipping constraints. The frame arrives fully assembled and all that remains to do is to attach the blades and the tail. The Mini Titan does not ship with an included receiver or transmitter. The GT5.1 3-axis gyro can be controlled using your favorite radio brand or alternatively it can directly accept Spektrum satellite receivers. 

    One of the biggest things that drew me to this helicopter is the aggresive styling of the new canopy and the touch controlled GT5.1 3-axis gyro unit so lets put one together, get it in the air and see what it can do.

    This article will look at the ARF combo version of the Mini Titan. The Helicopter is shipped in a small box which does a good job of protecting the contents and showcasing the features of the helicopter.


    Included in the box is the semi assembled helicopter, the main blades and tail components, a battery and wall charger and some assembly tools.

    Even though the box claims it is an ARF, you can see that the Mini Titan E325S FBL is mostly ready to fly and to get this in the air should not take much time. Note that with the Combo package, a wall charger and the pictured main flight battery (3S2200mAh LiPo) are included as well.

    Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S

    Price: $449.97

    Key Features

    • Flybarless design with preassembled two-piece main grips
    • GT5.1 3 axis gyro with touch interface
    • 120 CCPM Control
    • OBL 29/35-10H outrunner motor included
    • BLC-40 40A ESC Included
    • 3S 2200mAh battery and charger included
    • 325mm Carbon Fiber blades
    • Molded plastic canopy
    • One piece molded skids

    Overview

    From beginners to experts, the Mini Titan E325 Sport is the ideal machine. It?s 95% assembled, with a low parts count and 95% compatibility with all E325 models. The price is surprisingly low for a heli as fully 3D capable as this ARF is, and the combo includes a LiPo battery and charger.

    Specs

    Main Rotor Blade Length: 325 mm 
    Main Rotor Diameter: 29.3 in (745mm) 
    Tail Rotor Diameter: 6.1 in  (156mm)
    Length: 25.2 in (640mm)
    Height: 8.2 in (208mm)
    RTF Weight: 25.6 oz (726g)






    At first look, the plastic frame of the E325S seems identical to the previous generations of the Mini Titan. I have always liked the Mini Titan frame as it makes it easy to access your components and is very easy to work on. What is new is the new single piece skids and the inclusion of the GT5.1 3-axis gyro. The cyclic servo placement looks to be identical to the previous generations maintaining the direct to swash connections and utilizing the ACE DC0915 digital plastic gear micro servos. Oddly, the same servo type is utilized on the tail and I believe these servo specifications are 20.8 - 26.4 oz-in with 0.10 - 0.08 sec/60 degrees at 4.8V and 6.0V respectively. Replacement gear sets are available for these servos with stock number LXAUSJ.

    One of the best features of the Mini Titan series is the large battery mount plate. I think Thunder Tiger wants you to mount your battery with rubber bands as they provide a few in the box and there are ears on the side of the mount plate to attach them to. I will most likely stick to using a Velcro strap. You can see the 40A ESC has been attached under the battery mount and supplied with  Deans connector.





    Another nice feature of the Mini Titan E325S is the motor mount. Notice that the motor mount can easily slide along the CNC cut channel to allow you to adjust main gear mesh. Out of the box, the motor is not in contact with the gear and you are required to set the mesh. The auto rotation gear is placed on top of the main gear, The main shaft is captured on the bottom of the frame with a collar which will make replacing the shaft an easy task.





    The tail assembly has been put together for you and all that remains is to attach it to the frame. The tail blades are fairly stiff and look pretty good in white. The belt is driven by a plastic gear which is easily accessible by removing a few screws. The boom supports have to be assembled and added to the tail and I was glad to see that Thunder Tiger did not include a horizontal stabilizer which is essentially useless in 3D helicopters. The tail pitch control rod is securely held in place with two guides that are easy to position to keep the rod straight.





    A set of black carbon fiber blades are included in the box along with blade holders, a set of Allen wrenches, some Locktite and servo leads to make the connection to your receiver. If you are wondering what the transparent plastic pieces are, they are blade spacers and in my opinion a great feature which makes easy work of attaching the main blades. The connections from the swash plate to the main grips is direct and supported by plastic guides. I did notice that these guides when spooling up do contact the canopy but once spooled up, this is no longer an issue during flight.





    There is a plastic L shaped component that is provided which can be used to mount your receiver on the side of the fuselage. You can also mount your receiver under the battery tray however making the connections to the GT5.1 3-axis gyro will require longer extensions. With the canopy attached, the Mini Titan looks menacing and ready for action. 



    I think the GT5.1 3-axis Gyro could benefit from its own review as it seems to be a great product on its own and to cover all of its features in this review would be out of scope. I have included links to videos from the manufacturer on how to setup the gyro for reference.

    The unit is touch controller via a sensor on its side. All inputs are given by sliding your finger up and down to select an item and double tapping your finger to commit an action. The first course of action in setting up the E325S is to of course select which receiver you will be using. I decided to use my DX18 and two DSM2 satellite receivers. I mounted one on the side where the receiver is supposed to go and another under the battery tray and routed the wires accordingly. After that, you need to enter the receiver sub menu and tell the GT5.1 which setup you want. You can also place the receivers in bind mode from this sub menu.

    Once you have established communications between your transmitter and receiver you will need to make sure your swash plate is moving and correcting in the proper direction. I started by centering the servos from the servo sub menus at center stick and reversing the appropriate channels on the gyro to establish correct collective movement of the swash plate. 

    After the collective has been set, you can reverse channels on your receiver to obtain proper cyclic movement of the swash plate. Once your servos are moving in the correct directions, you will need to double check if the gyro is compensating the cyclic correctly by tilting the helicopter and making the necessary adjustments to achieve opposite compensation. You will also need to double check the piro compensation especially after reversing any servos.  

    Lastly, I setup the full positive and negative swash plate movement to achieve +12/-12 degrees of pitch on the main blades. You will need a suitable pitch gauge to achieve this. I double checked the tail movement and correction and left all the other settings at their default settings which I believe have been programmed by the factory already to match the Mini Titan.

    The steps required to setups may seem daunting to a beginner at first but are actually very easy to perform. Watch the videos to get a better understanding of what is required or bring out your heli to the field to have an experience pilot check it out before you attempt your first flight if you are not comfortable with the procedure. While most of the icons on the GT5.1 are easy to interpret as to what they control, make sure you bring out the manual to the field as well as it is always good to have a reference as to which icon performs what action.


    ACE RC Gyro Class Videos Reference














    After setting up the helicopter, I could  not wait to go out to the field so I took it out for its maiden flight in front of my house. I placed the heli on the ground, stepped back and started to spool up the main blades. I immediately noticed a sound coming as if something was hitting the canopy. As I mentioned before, the flybar control rod guides can come in contact with the canopy as you spool up but once they achieve their center position, this no longer becomes an issue.

    I setup my normal mode to 0-85-85-85-85 and it did not take long to reach the proper head speed for takeoff. Once the heli got light on its feet, I double checked that the tail was moving in the correct direction and off we went. I should note even this is a FBL helicopter which are notoriously known for not liking to stay on the ground with the blades spooled up, I was able to sit on the ground with the skids getting light for a good while without any unexpected tip overs. 

    For IDLE1, I  set 85-85-85-85-85 throughout so transitioning from normal to IDLE1 was not even noticeable. In IDLE1, I flew a couple of basic circuits and could immediately tell the Mini Titan was flying fairly well. The power that is available at %85 is sufficient to perform most maneuvers you can think of that do not require massive amounts of head speed. Flipping the E325S inverted, I was pleased to see the roll rate and tail authority was solid. I performed a few stall turns and simple backwards circuits and the tail was holding steady.

    I setup my IDLE2 as %100 across the board and the transition from IDLE1 to IDLE2 was a quick jump in head speed without any major effect on the yaw. With the higher head speed, I tried a couple of full throttle climb outs both upright and inverted to see if the rate of climb was in identical and was pleased to see that the motor did not really bog down and the heli climbed out straight and almost at the same rate. The higher head speed allows you to perform tic-tocs in any orientation that you are capable of without major bogging of the head speed. 

    I tried a couple of tumbles and was surprised to see how fast the little E325S could tumble and roll. I actually had to set the controls on low rates as the cyclic inputs were a bit too fast to what I am used to. I flew a couple of hurricanes, funnels and tail slides and did not see a single instance where the tail gave out or was hunting which told me I had the heli setup correctly and I could immediately tell I was on my way to finding my new favorite 450 size helicopter.

    I did not attempt any autos with the E325S but I am sure an accomplished pilot can achieve a respectable auto. I kept my flights to 4 minutes and noticed that the electronics, motor and battery came down warm but not hot to the touch. After running several batteries, I can say overall, the E325S is a great little heli.







    Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S FBL
























    The Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S FBL is a great little helicopter. Even though its name is denoted as 'sport' it is capable of performing any 3D maneuver your fingers will allow you to fly. The provided brushless power system is not lacking for power and the GT5.1 3-axis gyro is easy to setup and works quite well. The only quirk about using this gyro as mounted on the Mini Titan is that the placement of the touch sensor on the back makes it a bit hard to double tap since the rear cyclic servo is very close to the unit especially if you have big fingers. The new canopy is just awesome and to me makes the Mini Titan the best looking 450 size helicopter that is out there. 

    The inclusion of the tail servo that is the same as the cyclic servos was a little odd but it seems to work great as the tail holding power was not an issue even though aggressive hurricanes and tail slides under windy conditions. Lastly most of the components of the Mini Titan are plastic which is fine as they are durable and inexpensive to replace. However, I was not super happy with the use of Phillips head self-tapping screws to fasten several components. Overall, Thunder Tiger has done a great job with their latest revision of the Mini Titan and the E325S FBL is definitely a keeper and will remain in my fleet for the forseeable future.




    Distributed by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    www.ttamerica.com


    17260 Westheimer Parkway
    Houston, TX 77082

    http://www.bcflyers.com/


    Comments on RCU Review: Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325S

    Posted by: Rob2160 on 05/10/2013
    Nice review and great flying. Thanks for the information
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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