have owned both....Loved both of them. I will say the Evo feels more stable in some areas. I also feel it's plastic is much more brittle. I also prefer the TT construction of the main frame with the self tapping screw assembly.
The Evo has a bit longer tail boom thus giving it more tail authority. Haven't noticed any thing negative about the longer tail, just noticed that it holds better in highspeed inverted backwards flight.
The Raptor to me seemed easier to assemble, the Evo manual can be a bit confusing at times trying to trace the lines drawn to indicate mounting locations.
The Raptor is MUCH friendlier if you ever have to replace a mainframe half or servo tray, don't have to disassemble it in it's entirety....the Evo you do.
The Evo seems to have less drag in the tail drive system, both are belt driven but the evo does seem a bit free-er. Maybe it's the different belt make up. The Evo has a cool feature that you can take advantage of, if you want more tail authority than it already has. You can just drop the Freya tail gear drive assembly in place of the Evo one and it will speed up the tail "headspeed".
Both autoed very very well, but the Evo did seem to keep the energy in the blades better, again, I think it's because of the free-er easier moving belt.
Both were MORE than capable of FULL out 3D assault. No complaints from either here.
The main skid struts on the Raptor are much beefier and a bit stiffer, that I liked.
The main shaft on the Evo is a solid shaft vs the Raptor have a hollow shaft. Raptor beats it hands down here. The Raptor main shaft is much stiffer and resistant to bending since it's hollow. I have bent 2 main shafts on my Evo already doing death spirals from 200'-5' into FF flips. Not severly bent, but definately tweaked.
All in all, it's really just a matter of what you want. Both will be MORE than capable of anything you want to do, ANYTHING. They even both crash well, lol.
Repair on both is not expensive, fairly close to same repair costs.
My real only complains with the Evo is the plastic, it doesn't take threading very well and is much more prone to snapping under stress. Where as the Raptor plastic has some give before snapping, but both will break, this I know.
The Evo manual can be alarming at first with all the lines tracing mounting locations for the heli. The Evo has to be completely torn down pretty much to replace a frame half.
Only complaints with the Raptor, not as much tail authority as the Evo. Autos are great, but not quite the same energy storage due to the belt system. Some things weren't clear enough in the manual and had to rely on http://www.raptortechnique.com
for guidance. No pull pull control system out of the box for the 50, the Evo is pull pull on both cyclic and collective. This gives a much more positive and consistant feel to the heli through all control motions. The gear ratio on the Raptor seemed a bit too high geared at 8.56:1. The 8.7:1 ratio on the Evo seemed much more suitable for my engine. The one-way bearing on the Raptor mainshaft is very finicky. If you even slightly overtighten the Jesus bolt it adds drag and binding to the bearing. The Evo one-way bearing systems was VERY free and smooth, this also helps drastically for autos.
Again, both helis are awsome, both have very readily available parts. Both perform VERY well. Both are slightly different than each other but not enough to say, no question, get this one.
It will really boil down to this, either get the model of heli that most folks at your club are flying. This way you can get easy assistance on hand for most any problem you encounter on that heli. Or, get the one YOU want and you can still get help. Just some folks may not be familiar with the craft you have.
The only alarm to raise right off is this, if you are sure you are going to like heli's, don't cut corners cause you will be buying it later any ways. Meaning, go ahead and get that super awsome 9 channel radio, may not need it all now, but you will eventually. If you are sure you are going to like heli's, go with a 50 right away, cost is not much more but once you learn to fly it you will be much more satisfied. You wont need all digital servos, but they are nice to have. If anything try to atleast have one on the tail. Run the same type of servo for your cyclic controls, and same type of servo for your collective/throttle controls, prevents any strange interactions you could have. Plastic geared servos are fine, just make sure to get servos that can put out 50-100oz of torque for all but the throttle. Read your GYRO instructions, if it says not for 6v reciever packs, don't run 6v, run 4.8v.
Ignore all the jargon my heli is better than yours, craptor this and that. It's all brand loyalty that you are hearing.
Build it, fuel it, learn it, fly it, have fun.
Both heli's setup and run with:
Hitech HS-645 Ultra torque servos on cyclic
Cool Power 30% heli
JR 4.8v sub-c reciever pack
Both put through:
Piro stall turns
'normal' stuff like loops and such
and just basically flinging it sometimes