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Old 01-15-2010, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: A good starter heli?

I actually have the HK450 links and figures saved into a Word document because the subject of cheap helis for beginners comes up often. I've used it about 3-4 times this past week alone. It's not a great heli, but will suffice for someone looking to get into the hobby for as cheap as possible as well as include a good radio that will last and work for several models down the road instead of a cheap radio that will only work with the one aircraft (like the ones included in most RTF packages). The DX6i is the one that's included in the e-Flite Blade 400. The B400 is not a bad heli, but could use some better servos and a better gyro. Unfortunately, though, that would partially defeat the purpose of the B400, as it would put the cost of the heli in that $600-$800 range. The B400 new is about $500 RTF, then you're looking at about $80 for decent cyclic servos and another $130+ for a good gyro and tail servo (using the Logictec 2100T gyro and Futaba, S9257 if I remember correctly, tail servo as an example). That puts the whole shebang at about $710. That's almost T-Rex price territory.

That HK450 listing has everything included but tools. If the charger used to charge the car's batteries is capable of charging a 3S 11.4V LiPo, then a new charger is not needed and will keep the total cost of the heli and stuff needed to get it flying under $300+ shipping.

Since you say you're looking for one that's 3D capable for later, you need to look at upping your budget to at least $300-$400 + a good sim. Think NIB RTR Savage XL on up to Baja 5B (maybe used Baja 5T) price range. You may find some CP helis advertised as "3D capable" in the under $250 price range, but they are merely aerobatic in the right hands (very experienced pilots). Those are the motor driven tail CP helis. Stay away from those. I had one for my first CP and NEVER could fly it right. I think out of about 20+ packs between 2 CP helis (even after flying a sim for 2 years and having a bit of experience on the B400) I may have only hovered about 3 packs on those helis.

If you want one 3D capable for later on your first heli (though 3D is going to be quite a few flights away, and you may have already moved on to another heli), avoid any FP (fixed pitch) heli.

Here's a few helicopters (by no means a complete listing, just some of the more common helis) to look for used to help you stay in your price range if you don't want to go the HK450 route.

Electric (Partial listing of Align T-Rex 450 clones)
-EXI 450
-Exceed BlueRay 450
-Hobby King HK450 (listed in my previous post)

Electric (Really good helis, just a tip of the barrell listing)
-Align T-Rex 450 (any model)
-Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325
-Miniature Aircraft Furion 450
-Next D Rave

Glow (if you choose to go that route, as they will run quite a bit more)
-Thunder Tiger Raptor 30 V2
-Thunder Tiger Raptor 50 (any version)
-Hirobo Shuttle Z, ZX, ZXX, Plus, or Plus 2 (.30 size)
-Hirobo Sceadu Evo 50
-Hirobo SDX
-Align T-Rex 600N (any version)

There are a few that may sound enticing, but you'll want to stay away from (again, not a complete listing).
-Align T-Rex 250 (good heli, but not for beginners)
-Gaui Hurricane 200 (again, good heli, but not for beginners)
-Heli Max AXE CP (any version, motor driven tail CP. avoid at all costs)
-e-Flite Blade CP (any version, motor driven tail CP. avoid at all costs)

Enjoy your hunt for your first heli.