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Chaos 500 Pro Kit by RC Aerodyne - Write Up Review

Chris ReibertSenior Heliman - Rochester, NY -

I would like to thank Cliff and RCA for the most affordable and quality kits on the market

Review: Chaos 500 Pro Kit by RC Aerodyne

Written by: crmodels

Flying Weight: 1700g
Length: 840mm
Height: 310mm
Main Rotor Diameter: 970mm Tail Rotor Diameter: 200mm
Sport Flight Duration: 4 – 7 minutes
Manufacturer: RC Aerodyne
Available From: http://www.scaleflying.com
Price: MSRP: $329.95 You Pay: $289.95

About the Author Chris Reibert: crmodels

I have been in the hobby since I was just six years old back in 1986 when I started flying planes. I got into helicopters in the mid 90’s and have been hooked ever since. Once you set foot in this hobby it’s an addiction that never gets old with the rapidly changing technology. Not only will you advance in knowledge in the hobby but the people you meet along the way and the friendships you make are Priceless.

Introduction

Well I couldn’t pass up doing a review on the Chaos 500 Pro ESP. The other guys at the Chaos Lounge just got done doing some excellent reviews on RCA’s newest FBL Chaos 550 3D helicopter. Being a micro 3D guy at heart I figured this build was right up my alley. This is my 3rd Chaos build in the last month and a half. I just finished my 2nd Chaos 450 Pro for my father a few weeks ago. My end goal with this build and review is to point people in the right direction who might want something bigger than a 450, but don’t want to go as big as a 550 or above. If you are just starting out in the hobby and want something more stable than a 450 and just as easy to build and set up than this could be the bird for you. I will be reviewing the Chaos 500 Pro Kit, but it is also offered in a Ready to Fly version at http://www.scaleflying.com.

Opening The Box

Unlike the Chaos 450 Pro the 500 Pro comes in a plain white box. When you open the box, you are still greeted with everything packed well in individual bags with the canopy and frame wrapped in foam and bubble wrap. The subassemblies (rotor head, main frame, and tail) are all pre-built and packaged in their own air sealed bags. The boom, torque tube, fly bar, boom supports, and main blades are tucked away in the top portion of the box. There are also a number of some baggies full of different parts packed in tight next to the main frame.

Main Rotor Head

With almost 98% everything built in the head minus the flybar and paddles it left very little to assemble. If you like “Bling” shiny and metal parts this kit is full of them! Machined from 7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminum you don’t have to worry about this head ever coming apart in flight. It’s anodized black and silver finish compliment the carbon fiber frame well. Make sure you reassemble the head and apply loctite where needed. Make sure plenty of grease is used on the thrust bearings during installation when you reassembled the head.

Main Frame

Like the Chaos 450 Pro the 500 Pro comes with the main single stack frame already pre- assembled. I recommend check all screws for proper tightness. The Chaos 500 comes with a plastic battery tray, gyro/receiver shelf, and base plate. What sets the Chaos line of helicopters apart from the rest of the helicopters on the market is that their frames use extra thick carbon fiber thus allowing you to fit higher output motors in them without any modifications. A nice location is provided for a gyro right behind the anti rotation guide. For receiver location I choose inside the frame just like I did on my 450 to ensure a clean exterior look and protect wires. The Chaos 500 uses the standard “skid and pipe” design. I choose to use Aligns white skids so it would match the look of my Chaos 450’s. The motor mount uses two slots to slide the motor screws into. Access to the motor is easy on this model and can be accessed from above.

Canopy

Just like the rest of the Chaos helicopters the kit comes with a pre-painted fiberglass canopy. Not that cheapo “milk carton” canopy you get with most low end clone helicopters. This has a very nice finish and gives the helicopter a very professional look. I’ll say it again and I’ll continue to say it. I love the vibrant orange of the Chaos canopies! It would be even better if it came with stickers in the future. It is held in place by a small plastic clip on the bottom of the frame and two aluminum canopy mounts with grommets at the top of the frame. Due to past experiences with cracking my fiberglass canopies while taking canopies on and off between flights I decided to purchase the RC Booya simple canopy speed mounts. (They are Awesome)

Main Gear

The main gear comes pre-assembled by the factory. All that is required is to slot it into the main frames and then push the previously assembled rotor head down through the bearing blocks and through the hole in the center of the main gear. Then it is a simple case of lining up the holes in the main shaft and main gear and installing the supplied bolt and lock nut. *Make sure you do not over tighten the Jesus bolt. You don’t want to warp or stress any plastic parts.*

Tail Assembly

This is yet another major preassembled piece the Chaos kits have built for you at the factory. **Recommend checking all screws for proper tightness and loctite ** Black anodized 7075 machined aluminum tail blade grips should make the tail exceptionally smooth and crisp to the touch. My kit had zero slop or play in the tail slider and controls. Full carbon fiber tail fins are also included with the kit. The Chaos 500 Pro uses a torque tube tail drive system with bevel gears at both ends for clean crisp power to the tail drive system. Mine came out of the box with a full aluminum torque tube. A center rubber bushing with a ball bearing inside keeps the tube running true and smooth. Having a torque tube makes assembly/dis-assembly easier than with a belt drive for quick change of parts in the case of a crash or repair. NOTE * Torque tubes are more susceptible to damage than a belt drive, so keep that tail rotor off the ground *

Tail Boom & Tail Gearbox

Installing the tail boom is a simple matter of pushing it into the tail boom clamp inside the front gear box which has a slot to locate it correctly. With the boom in place thread the tail servo mount and the two tail push rod guides onto the boom as well as the horizontal fin. Once that is complete install pushrod guides and then the rear gear box. *Recommend pinning the tail boom into the frame. Just drill a small hole and insert screw* SEE PICTURE

Electronics Installation / Final Setup

COMPONENTS USED
• Cyclic Servos: Power HD DC-1240MG’s
• Tail Servo: Power HD Digital 3688HB
• Gyro: Spartan Quark
• Motor: Hyperion HS3026-1600kv
• ESC: CC Ice 75
• Battery: Voltz 35c 6s 2800mAh 22.2v pack
• Receiver: Spektrum AR6200

With all the servos mounted I installed my servo braided wire protector I install on all my builds. Once servos were tested and aligned to 90 degrees I opened one side of the frame to install all of my electronics. I decided to mount all the electronics including the gyro inside the frame to keep a clean external look and protect them in case of a crash or hard landing. I set the electronics up just like the manual says. I will be running a flat throttle curve of 0/80/80/80/80 for normal flight and 100/100/100/100/100 for Idle Up.

Build Review

The build was quite enjoyable and very easy, to the point that I didn't need the manual to do it (although beginners may well need it!), and the high quality of the helicopter overall is pretty obvious throughout. Very spacious and gives you plenty of options as where you can mount your electronics. The Chaos 500 has been one of the easiest helicopters I have ever had the pleasure of building. It went together just like my Chaos 450 Pros but with bigger parts. With 90% of the helicopter assembled and an easy to understand downloadable manual make it great for that “first time” builder. I have been impressed with the overall quality of the kit and had no problems with any of the parts fitting together. I understand not every kit can be flawless but people have to remember the factory can’t catch everything. If you ever have issues with the kits just contact Rob at RCA for their Prize Winning Customer Service and Care. RCA in known for using quality carbon fiber and metal components which in most kits you need to purchase as an upgrade but you find standard within all the Chaos kits.

Flight Test / Review

The first spool up of the helicopter was quite impressive. I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, but it sounded very powerful, and it was certainly humming nicely once the ESC had settled at the 75% head speed. I had initially set my normal curve at a flat 0/75/75/75/75/75. Everything ran smooth, no twitches and the gyro held the nose perfectly straight ahead. On a 6S Voltz 2600 pack, the power being delivered to the rotor head was perfect for that size bird. I could take my hands right off both sticks and still achieve a flat, almost motionless hover. Cyclic response both in high speed flight and in tight maneuvering was very crisp and precise.

As expected the Chaos 500 flies much more like a 600 instead of its smaller brother the Chaos 450 Pro. It is very stable in the hover and can handle wind much better than a smaller bird. Moving out of the hover the Chaos 500 is again very stable and tracks nicely in flight. It certainly has enough power to perform Tic Tocs and any of the other more power orientated 3D maneuvers without dropping lots of head speed. However, you do need to use the correct pack in order to get the best out of the motor. I have used different packs ranging from 2600mAh through to 3300mAh in 6S set-up. This is also where I ran into some problems as the most ideal pack size seems to have some problems in fitting inside the canopy. Pushing the model hard I found no lack of capability, this is an extremely agile and capable helicopter which can fly most all tricks when it comes to 3-D maneuvers. It is the perfect size for a 3-D practice machine both in terms of flight characteristics and the cost of batteries over a big 12s electric helicopter.

Comparison of the 500 to a 450

So how does this bird compare to its little brother? Well being a middle of the road size bird it is more stable than a 450 but has the feel of its bigger predecessors like the 550 and 600. Eve though you are flying a bigger size bird it can fly in smaller spaces the 450 can fly in. Anything bigger than the 550 and up should be flown at a field or a reasonable sized park clear of people and obstructions. It is definitely a scaled down version of the Chaos 600 but with the price point of a Trex 450 Pro.

Conclusion
For $289.95 this helicopter kit comes as upgraded as it gets with metal head, metal tail, and Real fiber carbon parts! Build quality on this helicopter is just good as Align and I certainly didn't hit any substantial problems in assembling the helicopter. I hope to get many flights on this bird as I have on my 450’s. I have flown a lot of flights on them now without any required maintenance, another sign of decent quality. A good rule of thumb on any machine is to do a quick once over on the bird before it enters the sky.

Overall the Chaos 500 is an extremely capable 3-D helicopter for fun or training purposes with lower costs to repair if you were to put it in. It has very good power to weight ratio and also a very light disc loading. This makes it very agile but also capable of handling a variety of different pack sizes. (More if you do the battery tray mod) The increase in size from the Chaos 450 Pro makes it much more stable and easy to see in flight. It is not too big to park fly and the packs for it are not overly expensive to buy.

The Chaos 500 certainly challenges the T-Rex in many areas as far as upgrades RCA have done to it. I feel it's a good reliable helicopter and something different for those who may not wish to follow the Align crowd like I once did.
If you are looking for a Performance 500 Size helicopter at a fraction of the competitors’ prices RCA has what you are looking for. The Chaos 500 Pro Kit is hard to beat in performance and value at the sticker price of just $289.95 I would urge anybody looking to get into a collective pitch helicopter to give the Chaos 500 Pro a try.

Pros

Excellent quality considering the price (Carbon Fiber parts and Upgrades INCLUDED)
Extremely easy to build, with a clear downloadable manual
Carbon Fiber frame, main blades, tail blades, and paddles
Flies like a 600 size bird and very 3D capable
Very strong and rigid frames
High Grade 7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminum Parts
High efficiency torque tube tail drive system
Extremely stable in a hover and great in forward flight

Cons

Some plastic parts used for the frame components
Not a huge amount of room in the canopy for bigger packs
Couple small screws and washers were missing in the kit
Really benefits from a standard tail servo to get the best out of the tail system
YOU DON’T HAVE ONE IN YOUR HANGER…

The Manual

40 page downloadable and is detailed in length and extremely comprehensive in describing both how to build the kit and also how to set it up. There are numerous exploded diagrams and parts diagrams with part numbers to aid with ordering spare parts.

Here is the kits manual http://www.rcaerodyne.com/Chaoshelicopter500A3.pdf

Videos
What’s in the Box:

Watch at YouTube

Build Video:

Watch at YouTube

First Maiden Flight:

Watch at YouTube

3D videos in weeks to come…. Waiting for better batteries and new connectors.

Don’t forget to visit the guys over at http://www.chaoslounge.net and http://www.rchelination.com

If you guys and gals are looking for a 450 Size pro please see my review of the Chaos 450 Pro

I only FLY on days that end in "Y"

03-18-2012 Over year old.
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