3.4. Overview of selected machines

3.4.1. Lite Machines Corona

  • A very good trainer

  • Moderately inexpensive (retail about $180-$199)

  • Very durable

  • Manufacturer is in the US. Parts availability is very good.

  • 1250-1500 grams AUW, 610mm rotor diameter, 6-8 cells

  • large, moderate headspeed, easy to learn hovering - not indoors in small venues (gym ok)

  • Backyard flyer, maybe in gyms

3.4.2. Ikarus Fixed Pitch Piccolos (Fun or ECO)

  • Trainer, but harder to learn (probably 50% harder than Corona)

  • Inexpensive (Fun retail ~$90, ECO retail ~$140)

  • Fairly durable but landing gear is flimsy; requires reinforcement for beginners.

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability is good.

  • 280 grams AUW, 500mm main rotor diameter, 6-8 cells

  • Small, low headspeed, hard to learn hovering, but can be flown indoors

  • Living room/Gym flyer

The main differences between an ECO Piccolo and a Fun Piccolo are:

  • The ECO Piccolo includes six ball bearings for the rotor head, the main shaft, and the tail shaft. The Fun Piccolo includes bushings instead.

  • The ECO Piccolo has CF main and tail rotor shafts. The Fun Piccolo has steel main and tail rotor shafts. The steel shafts run smoother than the CF shafts but they are somewhat heavier.

  • The ECO Piccolo includes tail motor connectors. The Fun Piccolo includes with no tail motor connectors, and the tail motor wires must be soldered directly to the Piccoboard or the ESC wires.

  • The ECO Piccolo has a very lightweight tail boom. The Fun Piccolo has a slightly heavier tail boom

3.4.3. Ikarus Collective Pitch Piccolos (CP upgrade/Pro)

  • Medium to advanced flyers

  • Inexpensive (CP upgrade ~$99, Pro retail ~$199)

  • Fairly durable except for balsa main rotor blades (68213) pitch arm base(68211) and landing gear.

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability is good.

  • 330 grams AUW,540mm rotor diameter, 8-9 AAA cells

  • Small, high headspeed. hard to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer

3.4.4. Ikarus ECO Lite

  • Only for experienced pilots - only does forward flight

  • Inexpensive (retail about $140)

  • Somewhat fragile, same weakness as ECO 8.

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability spotty,

  • 1150 grams AUW, 760mm rotor diameter, 6-8 SubC cells

  • Doesn't hover. Forward flight only.

  • Backyard flyer.

3.4.5. Ikarus ECO 8

  • Duration flying/slope soaring/moderate aerobatics capable

  • Moderately inexpensive (retail about $180)

  • Somewhat fragile - stock (non-hardened) main rotor shaft, feathering shaft and tail rotor shafts bend easily, frame and landing gear not very strong

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability spotty, up to 4 weeks wait time for some parts.

  • 1300-1500 grams AUW, 1060mm rotor diameter, 6-12 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.6. Ikarus ECO 16

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Moderately inexpensive(retail about $250)

  • Somewhat fragile- a little more than ECO 8 because using the same parts for heavier helicopter

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability spotty, up to 4 weeks wait time for some parts.

  • 2000 grams AUW, 1200mm rotor diameter, 12-20 SubC cells

  • Large,high headspeed, easy to learn hovering

  • Large field flyer

3.4.7. Ikarus Viper 70/MS Composit Stinger 3

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Moderately inexpensive (retail ahout $250)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Germany

  • 700-900 grams AUW, 750mm rotor diameter, 3-5s lipo

  • Small, high headspeed, difficult to learn hovering

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.8. Ikarus Viper 90/MS Composit Stinger 6

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Moderate (retail ahout $300)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Germany

  • 1000-1200 grams AUW, 900mm rotor diameter, 3-5s lipo

  • Medium, high headspeed, hard to learn hovering

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.9. Feda Skylark/Century Hummingbird/GWS Dragonfly

  • Trainer, but harder to learn (probably 50% harder than Corona)

  • Inexpensive - $80 for bare heli kit

  • Fairly durable, but rotor blades are stiffer? than Piccolo and are more easily destroyed.

  • Manufacturer in Taiwan?. Parts availability is good.

  • 280 grams AUW, 8 AAA cells

  • Small, low headspeed, hard to learn hovering, but can be flown indoors

  • Living room, Gym flyer

3.4.10. JR Voyager E

  • Trainer/light aerobatics capable

  • Expensive (retail about $400 incl. motor, cannot buy without motor)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Japan. Parts availability very good.

  • 1500 grams AUW, 965mm rotor diameter, 7 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.11. Kyosho Concept EP - discontinued?

  • Trainer/light aerobatics

  • Expensive (retail about $380 incl motor, cannot buy without motor)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Japan. Parts availability ?

  • 1500 grams AUW , 912mm rotor diameter, 7 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed. Has weak power due to high disc loading. Flapping head version is very prone to boom strikes.

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.12. Mikado Logo 10

  • Trainer/moderate aerobatics capable

  • Expensive (retail about $340)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability okay.

  • ~2500 grams AUW, 1150mm rotor diameter, 10-14 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering. Outdoors only

  • Large field flyer

3.4.13. Mikado Logo 20

  • Serious aerobatics capable

  • Expensive (retail about $470)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability okay.

  • >3000 grams AUW, 1340mm rotor diameter, 20-24 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering. Outdoors only

  • Large field flyer

3.4.14. MS Composit Hornet FP

  • Moderate aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $150)

  • Fragile

  • Manufacturer in Czech Republic. Parts availability okay.

  • 280 grams AUW, 490mm rotor diameter, AAA 7-8 cells

  • Small, low headspeed, hard to learn hovering,- but can be flown indoors

  • Gym flyer

3.4.15. MS Composit Hornet CP

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $200)

  • Fairly

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability okay.

  • 280 grams AUW, 490mm rotor diameter, 7-8 AAA cells

  • Small, high headspeed, hard to learn hovering,- but can be flown indoors

  • Gym flyer

3.4.16. MS Composit Hornet II

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $250)

  • Fragile, but more durable than Hornet FP/CP

  • Manufacturer in Germany. Parts availability okay.

  • 330 grams AUW, 560mm rotor diameter, 7-8 AAA cells

  • Small, high headspeed, hard to learn hovering,- but can be flown indoors

  • Gym flyer

3.4.17. Maxir SE

  • Moderate to serious aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $240)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Czech Republic. Not many dealers.

  • 350-420 grams AUW, 620mm rotor diameter, 3S LiPo

  • Small, high headspeed, hard to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer

3.4.18. Robbe Spirit L-8/Eolo R22

  • Moderate aerobatics capable

  • Expensive (retail about $300)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in Germany?, parts availability okay

  • 1280g AUW, 810mm rotor diameter, 8 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering, outdoors only

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.19. Quick Quick EP 10

  • Moderate aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $250)

  • About average durability

  • Manufacturer in USA. Parts availability good?

  • ??? grams AUW, 880-950mm rotor diameter, 10-14 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering, outdoors only

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.20. Quick Quick EP 16

  • Moderate to advanced aerobatics capable

  • Expensive (retail about $400)

  • About average durability.

  • Manufacturer in USA. Parts availability good?.

  • ??? grams AUW, 1060-1080mm rotor diameter, 16-24 SubC cells

  • Large, high headspeed, easy to learn hovering, outdoors only.

  • Backyard flyer

3.4.21. Zoom 400/Shogun 400/Zap 400

  • Moderate to advanced aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $200)

  • About average durability.

  • Manufacturer in Taiwan. Parts availability good.

  • 500 grams AUW, 635mm rotor diameter, 3s1p lipos

  • Small, high headspeed, moderate to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer, Backyard flyer

3.4.22. Align T-Rex 450X

  • Moderate to advanced aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $160)

  • About average durability.

  • Manufacturer in Taiwan. Parts availability good.

  • 650 grams AUW, 640mm rotor diameter, 3s1p lipos

  • Small , high headspeed, moderate to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer, Backyard flyer

3.4.23. Align T-Rex 450XL HDE/CDE

(Note: HDE version is mechanical mixing; CDE is eCCPM)

  • Moderate to advanced aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $200)

  • About average durability, low priced replacement parts

  • Manufacturer in Taiwan. Parts availability good

  • 620-670 grams AUW, 640mm rotor diameter, 3s1p lipos

  • Small , high headspeed, moderate to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer, Backyard flyer

3.4.24. ARK X-400

  • Moderate to advanced aerobatics capable

  • Inexpensive (retail about $200)

  • About average durability.

  • Manufacturer in ?. Parts availability fair

  • 580-620 grams AUW, 588mm rotor diameter, 3s1p lipos

  • Small , high headspeed, moderate to learn hovering

  • Gym flyer, Backyard flyer

3.4.25. Hirobo XRB SR (Sky Robo)

  • A good trainer for beginners learning to hover

  • Expensive (~$300)

  • Fairly durable except for foam rotor blades. (Parts 0301001 and 0301002)

  • Manufacturer in Japan. Parts availability is good.

  • 195 grams AUW,350 mm rotor diameter, 2s LiPo cells

  • Small, low headspeed. Perfect to learn hovering orientations. Not suitable to learn FFF.

  • Living room flyer