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E-Sky Honey Bee- Lama- Belt CP- E-Smart
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New Esky D550 (300 size) heli

rotornoggin

Heliman

Florida

Just ordered one. I've owned a King 3 and an e-flight SR a while back. I really like/miss that size of heli. The e-flight blade 300x was tempting except for the price and the SR style frame, which I don't like. I ran across the D550 by accident. Looks like they've improved the frame quite a bit compared to the V3 - that was my main beef with it. The D550 ships without a flybarless controller and I just happened to have an extra beast-x lying around so I decided to roll the dice.

T-Rex 550, E-Sky D550

01-09-2013 Over year old.
Gregor99

Elite Veteran

Western Wa

Nice to see Esky is still around putting out new stuff. Looks like a nice upgrade to the HBK2/3 platform. What fbl controller are you going with?

01-10-2013 Over year old.
rotornoggin

Heliman

Florida

I have an extra BeastX currently unemployed so I'll use that.

OK, just unboxed my new D550. First impression: a mixed bag, but mostly good.

The good:
It's a good looking design - nothing sticks out as odd or out of place. Exudes more quality than I expected actually.
The frame has a more standard (usable) layout than the King 3, with a good place to mount the battery.
When I checked the usual places for slop, I was surprised how little there was (with the exceptions noted below).
It has a 4mm main shaft (perfect for 300 size heli).
The canopy is nice and light and not brittle.

The not so good:
There's no way this tail servo is fast or powerful enough for a solid tail - not for 3D anyway.
The overall balance is a little tail heavy, even with the battery all the way fwd. A heavier tail servo, plus the Beast X and receiver mounted in the available frame real estate will make that worse. There's room for a bigger battery but I don't think this is a good model to add weight to. Lighter tail fins are probably the solution.
The swash plate has a ton of slop.
The servos have quite a bit of gear lash.
The head dampening is really soft - not great for 3D.
The frame has a lot of lateral flex (between rotor head and frame bottom in roll direction) - I don't think it will be a factor though.

The not so sure:
It has 245mm main blades. I think the e-flight 300x has 275mm blades. The King 3 did as well.
I'm interested to see how well the cyclic servos handle fbl. They seem a little under-spec to me.

More to follow after it flies...

T-Rex 550, E-Sky D550

01-11-2013 Over year old.
rotornoggin

Heliman

Florida

Well, the fbl setup and the hover test both went much better than I expected. The tail belt tension, blade balance, linkage lengths, tail servo adjustment, and cyclic servo arms were just about perfect right out of the box - no mechanical adjustment needed, just a little BeastX adjustment. The blade grips were all too tight and the gear mesh was a little tight (but easy to adjust with the sliding motor mount). Oh and I forgot to mention that this heli arrived with the autorotation bearing locked up. I'm going to wait and fix that later.

BeastX setup was easy since there is plenty of swash travel and the ratios between all the arm lengths (servo, swash, and blade grips) are well matched. I was able to get the blue light for cyclic travel during BeastX setup (meaning there's enough cyclic throw available) with 12 deg positive and negative collective pitch.

First hover (70deg outside with gusty winds): Tail hold was solid with the tiny tail servo even with gusty winds and some pitch pumps in the 80% throttle range. Blade tracking was perfect out of the box. The heli was calm, quiet and sat solidly in the hover. It was obvious it had enough power on tap to try some flips next time.

These seem like good quality wood blades. I thought they would be too short, but to my surprise it didn't feel heavy at all, based on stick position in the hover and some mild pitch pumps. They've geared this for a pretty high head speed.

Post-fight: Battery was the warmest part of the power system after 5 min. hover at 80%. (That's a good sign) The ESC and tail servo had just barely warmed up and the motor and cyclic servos were cold. And nothing came loose. So far so good.

T-Rex 550, E-Sky D550

01-12-2013 Over year old.
Gregor99

Elite Veteran

Western Wa

Thanks for the detailed report. I was thinking about putting the head on my K3. Guess that will not work. I'm very surprised they dropped to shorter blades.

The rest of it sounds like typical stuff from Esky. The frame flex shouldn't be a huge issue since the pack was moved the upper position. On my K2, the pack was in the lower position and I could get about 3 degrees of movement at the head with the frame flex. You could definitely feel it in the air.

Hope it works, keep us posted.

01-12-2013 Over year old.
rotornoggin

Heliman

Florida

2nd flight went really well. Inverted hover was fine. Flips and rolls were fine. Checked the piro stops in both directions. Could hear the tail blades dig in and get the job done. That really surprised me with the tiny tail servo. Worked up to full collective climb outs upright and inverted: The rpm dropped quite a bit at 12 deg of pitch (of course) but it stabilized and didn't keep dropping and the tail stayed locked thru it all! Same thing inverted. Did some ticktocks and those were uneventful. Lastly I tried some medium speed backwards flight with an eye on the tail. Didn't go real fast with it this flight, but it never looked or sounded like it was anywhere near the limit.

Cyclic wasn't as locked in as the tail. I'm thinking it's from all the slop from the swashplate, servo gears and link-ends (which are on the loose side).

The ESC seems to think 80% throttle from my Futaba is 100%, so the heli isn't geared too high after all.

Only used 800mah during the 5 min. flight. So you could do a mellow 6 minutes with the stock battery. Aggressive 3D would need a more powerful battery 'cause this one doesn't have enough current on tap. The temps were all like yesterday. No loose fasteners or issues.

I was curious about the stuck autorotation bearing so I read the manual and ....it doesn't have an autorotation bearing!

T-Rex 550, E-Sky D550

01-12-2013 Over year old.
rotornoggin

Heliman

Florida

Well, after 20 3D flights here's the progress:

After the 2nd flight I wasn't happy with the soft main blade dampening. Back in the CP Pro days I used to replace the dampeners with some extra blade grip bearings with great results. Tried that on the D550 and... Huge improvement! Brought the cyclic response and stability from being crummy to pretty decent. It would take better servos and a tighter swash to make it perfect.

Haven't had to change anything else after that. I lubricated all the bearings every half dozen flights or so, but haven't had to fix anything. So far nothing shows any additional slop or wear. Haven't even had to tighten the tail belt. End play in the main and tail shafts is still non-existant.

For batteries I went with Thunder Tiger G4 1350 30C. They're great.

T-Rex 550, E-Sky D550

01-25-2013 Over year old.
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New Esky D550 (300 size) heli

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