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Product Reviews

I will be posting comments on the products which I have used, where they are still relevent as up-to-date items.

Originally the first reviews covered the following items;
Futaba 9Z 1024 WC2 Heli radio,
Robbe Cuatro, 90 size 3d/F3C helicopter
Webra 91AAR engine
Futaba GY601 gyro with S9251 servo
Futaba S9252 and S9350 servos
Futaba GV1 governor

Futuba FF9c Heli Radio or Hitech Eclipse
Thunder Tiger Raptor v2, with TT39 engine
TT Carbob Blades, 55cm, 120g
Futuba GY401 gyro with S9253 or CSM
Futuba S9202 and S9001 servos or Hitech

To date I have owned the following helicopters, excluding my first heli which was 'borrowed' from my father. An electric SkyLark EH-1 dating from early 1980's.

1. Original Shuttle 1985, with OS28, JR Apex 7, Morley Pilot Authority Gyro
    Learnt hovering, including nose in, tight hovering figure 8's in the front and back
    garden, plus Stall Turns. I can remeber my first circuits like it was yesterday.

2. Concept 30 SE 1989, with JR X347 Radio, Futuba 153BB gyro
    Learnt faster circuits, spiral dives - got my first scale body (Hughs 500E).

3. Kalt Space Baron 30 S, 1994, with SC engine, Futaba 153BB gyro
    Learnt to hover upside down, and my first auto when the SC needle fell out. Did my
    first inverted hovering, using 1989 Futaba 153BB gyro (mechanical gyro).

4. Shuttle ZXX, with OS32SX, 1994
    Learnt backward loops, rolling auto's, flips etc. Plus started crazy club competitions,
    like slowest auto down wins, and first auto to 'slam-on-the-pad' wins, losers finds
    an alternative spot to land. Always ran with a Futaba 153BB, with modified springs
    which were reduced by 2 loops, and the damping increased by using tiny foam
    inserts placed inside the springs - even today these gyro's still work a treat.

5. X-Cell 60, OS61SX, Bergen Frames and Upgrades, JR 120BB Gyro, JR PCM 10 S
    Learnt pirouetting flips and loops, first demo'ed May 1995 after Sandown at club field,
    then at Scottish Nationals that year, and later at Charmouth. I beleive it was
    another 6 months before another UK pilot performed them. To this day I wonder
    if I was only second person to do them in the World, the first being Curtis.
    The JR 120BB gyro was a mechanical gyro, and it was unmodified.

6. Shuttle ZXX, with OS32SX, 1994
    Bought as a backup when working to get the XL going reliably. To give the XL it's due
    once I'd sorted the quality and design issues it was my most reliable heli, doing
    over 50 hours without a crash. Did some backwards auto's but the slipper clutch
    was a waste of space and hindered auto's unless set to slip excessively.

7. Robbe Futura SE, with Rossi (modified by Bob Johnson), using JR 1000 gyro
    Performed Chaos with this, in May 1996 between 4 and 10 foot altitude.
    This was on the Sunday evening of Sandown, at my local Portsmouth club, what
    I would give to get a copy of the video taken by a Southampton Model Boater. It
    was my best flight, as everything had come together by then. Shortly after I retired
    from flying with a brief return in 1999 but I still wasn't fully motivated and didn't get
back to my level in 1996 - however the 3d Masters in 2002 was a turning point, as
    I got the urge big time!

8. What's came next - some of the following;
    Caliber 30 or Raptor 30 v2
    Sceadu 50, OS50sx, Hirobo 3rd bearing block, DTDS gear set, SAB 600 carbon
    Vigor CS, OS91sx or,
    X-Cell Fury Extreme, OS91sx or,
    Robbe Futura SE, Millenium or Nova, OS91sx, Webra 91.
    I still have a number of routines planned, dating back to 1996. I had
    intended to show some at Sandown that year, but alas it wasn't to be - a shame really
    as the weather was perfect the weekend of '96, light winds and blue sky ;-)

I'll keep you posted along with a full review and details of my next model. Prior to this I'd covered a top of the range 60, aimed at 3d, f3c and artisitc aerobatics, as well as general fun flying and hot dogging down at the local field. I'll was re-learning with this, a number of skills with lots of practise to regain my former level. Simple things like remebering to put more fuel in after a flight were high on the list.

Reviews of my next helicopter will appear here, along with articles submitted by others on their helicopter projects.

I have also been flying many of the latest models, including Align Trex's, Blade, Mikado, Gaui. My thoughts on these will be a future article.

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