Archive for June, 2008

King 2 onboard cam video

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Rc Helicopter

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Some time ago (back in september last year) I decided to try my skills as a helicopter pilot.  Having never flown any model, i knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge.

After looking at what sort of model i should buy, i settled on an E_Sky Honey bee king 2.  It’s a 6 channel CCPM helicopter.  It is capable of doing inverted flight and ‘3D’ monouvers so is a bit more advanced than the coaxial heli’s around the place.  I did not want something that i was going to outgrow in a hurry either.

There were a few reasons that i chose this model at the time but given the choice again i’m not sure that’s what i would have bought. It does have some distinct advantages however:

  •   It’s CHEAP – ~$150 can get you a complete working King II and about $100 can get you a ‘barebones’ kit which is basically the whole thing minus the electrics.  
  • Parts are plentiful and cheap in online stores like ebay.
  • It’s more like a real heli with propper swash and variable pitch on the blades.

The downsides are that it’s not as fine tuned as one would hope. 

  • The (brushed) motor that it comes with is useless.  It only lasts a few flights.  For me, that was about 10.  Luckily i had ordered a brushless motor and ESC when i bought it.  I really wonder why E_Sky even bother with the brushed motor as it is just not up to the task. 
  • The tail authority is quite dismal.  It requires some mods to the tail box to get full slider movement and is still not overly responsive without changing the belt drive gear to a higher tooth one from a 3rd party company.
  • The head develops slop quite quickly which makes it harder to fly.  Sure, you can replace parts but the design of the plastic head is not overly good to start with.  You do have the option for aluminium parts tho.
  • When the battery is in the battery compartment the heli is not properly balanced.  You need to hang the battery out the front a lot to get it to balance right.
  • The top frame is poorly designed and tends to be overly fragile.  There is a distinct weak point just behind the motor, this leads to flex in the frame which also affects gear mesh.  Not something you want
  • The tail belt has a habit of coming off it’s guide rollers mid flight.  This compunds the tail problems and can cause the heli to rotate on it’s pilot.  New pilots get disorientated and will soon crash a heli that is not ‘tail in’ to them.
  • The stock radio is ok but is not overly reliable.  I flew for some months with the stock radio but i found it to be ‘glitchy’.  Twice, it twitched causing the heli to rotate on me causing a crash.  Not expensive but annoying.

All of these problems can be overcome but not without spending some decent $$ to bring it up to scratch.  It makes the $150 pricetag sort of irrelevant since you would likely spend that again in upgrades and that is not including a new radio.

That said, i have found it to be a reasonable heli to learn with and i HAVE gone through most of these upgrades. It’s been shelved for a little while now since a blade exploded on me and ripped the heli to bits (darn wooden blades!),  then I got distracted with the boat but i’m hoping to have it in the air again soon.

Moving on from the King II i would be looking at a CopterX 450SE which is a copy of the more expensive Align T-rex 450SE.  It can be had for about $150-$200 off ebay, just add your own electrics.  It’s a much more stable and bigger heli.