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AirdeckRc Lighted Helipad Review

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AirdeckRc Lighted Helipad Review

Old 03-20-2008, 03:56 PM
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Default AirdeckRc Lighted Helipad Review

AirDeck Rc is a new and upcoming RC manufacturing company that specializes in designing and manufacturing RC products that aren't boring or knock offs. These individuals are fellow RC Heli folks like us that have the manufacturing capabilities to bring their ideas to fruition in a high quality way.

I stumbled across the Air Deck Boss II on RCUniverse in the new product for sale ads while surfing the Heli forums looking for cool scale ideas. As a scale electric heli flyer, I'm always looking for the newest innovations in the hobby and the Air Deck series of helipads are exactly that. The advertisement immediately caught my eye and the link posted there brought me to their extensive website which had numerous videos of the AirDeck Boss II in action. Many RC Heli flyers have built plywood bases and thrown some paint on them in an attempt to create a landing and takeoff platform to operate from instead of long grass. This concept is increasingly important for the micro to 450 class of helis which dont have a lot of ground clearance. The folks at AirDeck RC have taken that idea to a whole new level and then made it better, and more fun I might add, by incorporating strobe and constant on lights into the helipad.

After seeing the initial helipad for sale, I contacted the owner of the new company, Carey, and threw some twists into the mix by incorporating a new light pattern that I came up with onto a custom pad. Since I do a lot of real flying for the USCG, landing on helipads at night is one of our more difficult operations and I wanted an AirDeck that replicated our local trauma center's lighting. Carey was more than happy to oblige and developed a custom pad for me in record time and decided to negate the cost in exchange for me reviewing the AirDeck and putting it through its paces while doing a little advertising.

The AirDeck Night Pro II as this custom pad was named (It is now a special board for sale on their site) was received via UPS and was received in excellent condition thanks to the bubble wrap protecting the pad. My initial impression was "Wow" this thing is huge! The Boss II model spans 30x40x45 inches and you need to measure that out to appreciate the size. The quality of this helipad is something you would expect from a major manufacturing company that had been producing these things for years. I immediately began to inspect all aspects of the unit and was impressed to find not one single blemish or defect on the entire pad. The LED lights were installed flawlessly, the silk screening is professionally done, and the physical makeup of the board is very sturdy. After looking over the helipad for a bit, I noticed that the board has a little bit of flex to it. At first I was a little curious but this appeared to be intentionally done to mitigate this pad from cracking in transit to and from the field and during shipping. It has just enough flex to prevent cracking and damage, yet is very heavy duty for every day usage. The secondary purpose for the flex is to enable it to sit flat on terrain that isn't quite level. The lighting is wired through the inside of the board, this is a very professional job, and the lights protrude only about 2mm from the surface. They are just high enough to be very visible, but not high enough to get your skids hung up on when sliding around. The LED lighting system is very power conscious and will run for 2-3 hours on just a spare Blade CP Pro 11.1 volt battery. It will run on anything from 10-14 volts and Tower Hobbies sells a great 650mah Lipo for just 19.99 that will be a perfect match for this setup. The lighting setup ends in a male end Deans connector which is pretty much the industry standard for these batteries. My AirDeck Night Pro consisted of 16 perimeter lights and 7 lights that circle the perimeter of the center H. These are high quality LED lights and are plenty bright to see at night from at least 50 feet away, while they don't ruin your night vision. The AirDeck really shines at night, however it is impressive in the day time as well. The yellow perimeter lines and green/yellow H in the center are visually stimulating any time and this helipad just looks impressive, and big.

The standard AirDeck Boss II with the extra lights and 6 different strobing patterns retails for $159.99 currently on their website and is well worth the price for all of us night flyers and scale flyers that want a professional looking Landing Zone. But if your strapped for cash AirDeck RC offers numerous options from the huge, lighted Boss II model that I have, to AirDeck Micro for only $35.00. They also have just about every option in between the two in several different sizes with and without lights. If you want to go with some cost saving methods on your pad you can even buy the board, light sets, and the strobing controller unit from them and build it yourself. And if they don't have what you want exactly, give them a call or email and I'm sure they'd be happy to work with you to tailor one to your needs. They have a new website out now that is quite a bit more comprehensive than their previous site and definitely check it out to see all of their products and all of the new concept projects they'll be coming out with. www.shop.airdeckrc.com or airdeckrc.com

I am very pleased with the overall outcome of this product and it should provide years of day and night flying fun. Initial flight testing went well and the pad has stood up to many hard landings without even a scratch from the skids. This is a must have for night and scale flyers and is great to display your helis on at the field as well. This helipad is sure to attract a lot of attention anywhere you fly.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: AirdeckRc Lighted Helipad Review

I have seen another lighted heli pad out there I like even more. It can be found here at rc universe or you can go to http://www.anything-rc.com /heli-pads.html to check them out. There must be 6 or more pads there that look really cool and at a good price. I highly recommend you check these out.

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