There has been a fair bit of interest, which is ongoing, in the upcoming carbon 50 we're working on. Here's an update for your perusal.
Right side of the newest iteration of the carbon 50 frame layout.
Left side of the carbon 50 prototype
Close up of the tail drive gear - yup, there isn't one - it's a pulley, around which the tail drive belt wraps! In fact, it's similar to the old Raptor 50 design, but because the main shaft is supported by bearings on both top "and" bottom it doesn't have the support or tension issues of that design. Eliminating the tail pinion drive gear means fewer parts. The downside is replacing a belt is something of a pain, but we build them for performance and belts don't break so often that pulling a bearing block is really that big a deal. Ultimately, fewer parts means it'll be lighter. Yup, we're not proud, we swipe (and improve on) good ideas wherever we find them!
Aft view showing the pieces, which support the tailboom. We've already got these! Things are happening quickly.
Cooling shroud of course. Yup, the oval is where you trim to insert the snorkle for the air filter - you didn't think we'd leave out this neat little idea did you? Maybe the mold gets finished today!
With a little luck, we fly a prototype in a few weeks - yup, it's happening slowly but surely! How long before it's a product? Frankly, I don't know because this is untrod upon territory. As you surely must realize, we don't even know what, if any, issues we'll find. Then we'll have to resolve them - and we will.
When will it be available? I don't really know, pretty much anything I say will be a WAG (wild assed guess). Here's my best WAG - maybe it's a springtime product, maybe it's early summer, I'm sorry but it's just too soon to tell. One thing is certain, come Hell or high water, we'll work our tails off to ensure it's ready for the next flying season!
What will it cost? I don't know that yet either, but it's going to be our flagship 50-class product, which means it ain't gonna be made in China. Unfortunately, this means it's not gonna be cheap either. I do think it'll be the best 50 class carbon 50 available - period.
Naturally, this bring up the obvious question, i.e. how well will it compete with the Trex 600N? Pretty well we think, but it's too soon to tell for sure. Anyway, we've picked over and reverse engineered the 600N . . . basically looking to see what works and what sucks. In fact, we're trying real hard to not stumble in their missteps, but the fact is they make one heck of a good product. That said, we really think ours will be better but the way things works, this just means we'll find our own unique problems. Truth be told, we're trying really hard to not step in a cow patty. How are we planning to not doing this?
Well, the way I figure it, unlike other companies that work in secret, by showing you how things are coming along it results in your being able to share "your" thoughts and experiences with us! Consequently, if you look at previous photos/images you'll see some interesting changes already - and frankly, they're based in part on "your" input!
Finally, bear in mind we're not a behemoth Oriental company. We're just a Mom and Pop operation down here in Florida, which means we just don't have vast amounts of money. This means we can't buy the services of top pilots and thus because we're ordinary folks we have to work harder. This also means we have to be really careful in what we do.
Anyway, one nice thing about this process is you can reach out and touch us. Yup, whether it via Ma Bell, email, or PM you can share your thoughts and influence this product! Of course, part and parcel with being a small company is our customers are very valuable to us, and thus you have a real effect on what we do . . . so look these images over carefully. Finally, please don't shoot from the hip. Instead mull your thoughts over carefully, and "then" participate in the design stage by sharing your thoughts!
Anyway, I believe this is a unique opportunity in the field of model helicopters. Has any other company asked regular folks for your opinion and solicited your ideas? I sure hope you participate and share your thoughts because good, bad, or indifferent, your thoughts and input are welcome!
Finally, who should buy this? Frankly, I continue to think the plastic Pantera 50 is the finest 50-class model you can buy, period. The very spirit of a 50 is, in my opinion, something cheap to buy and build. It should be quick to assemble (and fix), fly great, and most importanly be something you can throw around with reckless abandon resulting from an untter lack of concern over the time and money it takes to fix when you have an oops moment. The Pantera fits the bill perfectly.
However, as has been well proven by Align with their 600N, there are always a few customers who want something more, be it higher performance because it's a little bit lighter, or more exclusive, or whatever, they've established there is a market for a higher end 50. Anyway, we're working on our answer to their model and we think this is it.
AMA # 47381