3.2. Clones

Some of the helicopters today are either nearly exact copies of other helicopters, or have nearly exact copies of some major pieces.

Table 3.1. Helicopter size summary sorted by AUW

OriginalClone
Feda Dragonfly/GWS Dragonfly/Century Hummingbird V1/V2Smartech Skylark, Smartech Aerohawk, Evoflight Sabre, Esky Honey Bee Mark 2, Venom Night Ranger II, Walkera Dragonfly #4
Hornet IIEflight Blade CP (cloned head), E-sky Honey Bee CP (cloned head), E-sky Honey Bee King (cloned head), Venom Night Ranger 3D (cloned head), Walkera Dragonfly 22D and 22E
Zoom 400/Zap 400/Shogun v1Revo CP, Walkera Dragonfly 35
Zoom 400/Zap 400/Shogun v2Walkera Dragonfly 36
T-rex 450XLWalkera Dragonfly 39
Quick Japan EP8Quick Worldwide Little Quickie 8
Quick Japan 16Quick Worldwide Sweet 16

Many of the Chinese clones are attractive to beginners due to their low cost, however, they often have many problems. The problems most often seen in Chinese clones are:

3.2.1. Design problems

Some Chinese clones are direct or nearly-direct clones of other helicopters, but with a few changes (probably to avoid patent issues).

Sometimes these small changes cause serious problems, such as the Eflight Blade CP/Esky Honey Bee CP problems with abrupt bouncing problems in flight. Search the RCgroups Micro Helis forum for "sticky collective" or "yoyo" for more information.

3.2.2. Cheap plastic used for critical parts

The Chinese clones typically use cheap plastic for the main rotor hub, main blade grips, frames and other critical parts. The better helicopters use glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) for these parts which minimizes crash damage.

3.2.3. Low quality electronics

Many of the Chinese clones have problems with:

3.2.3.3. Low quality transmitter joysticks

The potentiometers in many low quality transmitters are not accurate and will cause the heli to jump around.

3.2.4. Nonstandard electronics

The Walkera transmitters and receivers are not compatible with standard negative and positive shift equipment from other manufacturer such as JR, Futaba, Hitec, Airtronics, etc.

3.2.5. Sloppy tolerances on molded and/or CNC milled parts

People have complained about Quick Heli kits (not to be confused with Quick Japan or Quick UK) having manufacturing problems.

Also seen on Walkera helicopters: