Thanks for the tip on the 11T Pinion. I will try to get one soon.
I am using the standard Align 4400 pack and from the test flight last week, it seemed to feel a tad on the Richly tuned Raptor 50.
Bar the fact that I was in the hurry to the my Rex in the air and did not spend enough time to get it properly set up. This I will do over the week.
Guess I was too eager as well as being put under pressure by my buddies to get her up in the air.
Overall the 600 flys quite stable and looks great too.
The quality issues are pretty minor in the scheme of things and since for the price I paid for my 600 is only slightly higher than what I paid for my 450SE so I cant really complain at all. I must admit that I did consider looking at other electric helis before deciding on the Trex 600 because its relatively affordable comparison to the Logo or Fury ion. A Furyion owner once boasted to me that the cost of his battery pack is more than my fully equipped Trex 600.
True, if one wants a high quality heli, they need to looks elsewhere and it's not going to be cheap either, so in the case of the Furyion, I rather spend the money on a heli complete with a 6S2P pack rather than just the pack! So from a point of economics, I would say the 600 represents the best bang for the buck.
In fact the 600 is far cheaper than the fully blinged out brushless equipped, MS Composite Hornet V1 I bought from Heli Hobbies, three years ago so from that perspective, the TREX 600 to me IS a bargain. I paid about close to a grand for the Hornet at that time. My Hornet had problems from the start ranging from servos detaching in flight (since most of the parts had to be CA in place) to the gears wearing out and was a great dissappointment and a confidence buster. I had to retire my Hornet after only 5 flights due to my shaken confidence it it. A very expensive lesson indeed especially when I also bought the Hornet 2 upgrade parts too!
I subsequently bought a Zap 400 (a Shogun variant) which was fully assembled and that bird had it's tail rotor bearing explode on the second flight. Again I had a lot of problems on the tail gears and the handling was sluggish inspite outfitting a BL motor. So I made it a point to never buy a heli with a shaft driven tail. It was Stirke 2 for shaft driven tail! After so much agro with tailshafts, I was convinced tail belt is the way to go, since both my Raptors never had an issue with the tail.
When the T-Rex V1 first came out, I got one of the early production models. (Belt driven tail, Oh yeah!) At that time the V1 had what seemed to be dodgy plastic parts and believe me I got an earful from my peers for buying one especially when being produced by a Vacuum cleaner company at that and the fact the V1 resembled a cheap looking, poor copy of a scaledown Raptor. The Disney logo on their website further fueled the radicule too! Yeah a heli suited for Goofy
Since I already bought it, there was no turning back and I built and flew it with the stock Align 430L motor. The power was pretty poor at the time since the airframe was relatively heavy especially with the short 315 woodies. Flying under this condition sure made the V1 looking more and more like a heli suited for Goofy. And the Goofy in question was me!
Most of my friends who had the V1 quickly summized that the V1 was unflyable due to its weight and there were looking at trimming the weight down or just retiring it alltogether. At that point I must admit that I was pretty dis-pleased with Align as their videos showed the V1 performing 3D with the early 430L motors and mine could only muster mild forward flight at best. Dang...something's not right.
Not to be deterred, I was determined to make it fly well and I ran some numbers in motorcalc over a few months to compare the Align 430L with other popular BL motors at the time and found the Hacker B40-12S to be a suitable candidate and bought one. With the lightweight Kokams 1250 15C (finally arrived) the V1 flew great. I was blown away by the stability of the V1 (over the Zap 400 and Hornet) and was now fonally very happy with it. I flew the V1 regularly for the following two years and never bothered upgrading. Besides, I could not break the frame to justify upgrading to a lighter one.
In fact my V1 has been the longest surviving T-Rex of its time and up to the time I sold it last month it still spotted about 70% of its original grey plastic parts. Man, the V1 was robust and survived 7 crashes over the course of two years. Guess the "cheap toy like plastic" made the difference after all.
When the fully blinged T-Rex 450SE (silver) came out, I finally succumbed to the temptation and bought one in January this year and was really impressed by it. It is lighter, rigid and much more stable than the V1 with sexy blings to boast too. It was a wetdream come true!
Now the T-rex could 3D well and I finally manage to sucesslfully hold a stable inverted hover at waist height and at arm's length with full confidence. Though there were minor issues with the softness of the SE's metal parts, that usually results in stripped screw threads, it was never a big issue as there are ways around the problem, i.e. by replacing the stock bolts with longer bolts and installing a captive nuts. All the orignal metal parts (except the main shaft and spindle) are still there to date.
My 450SE has had 5 crashes since January. The first was when I snapped the tail belt during a low level inverted hover and the cause was attributed to the belt rubbing on a wongly installed cable tie and finally failed. The second and third crashes were really minor, having the ESC cut out at high level (100 plus feet), where the rotor stopped and the bird dropped out of the air with the aerodynamics of a rock. Damage was surprisingly minimal with the usual boom, blade main shaft, blade and spindle damage, which was pretty amazing considering the height and the dreaded "thud" on the hard ground. The carbon frame even survived. WOW! Now I am impressed!
The fourth crash also atributed to ESC cutting out (bad Lipo pack) and only then that it cracked the frame which was easily repaired with CA.
The last crash happend last Saturday when two Hitec HS55 CCPM servos finally stripped putting the bird into a full down collective right into the ground on idle up. It was an ugly sight seeing it trash itself to death. Aaagggh! Spindle, main mast, main gear, main and tail blades, boom and double link. Hmmm....carbon frame intact!
After recovering from my depression (like about 2 minutes), I was having way too much fun with it and this crash is not going to dampen anything except making my wallet feel like its made of carbon after leaving the hobbyshop! Certainly this Phonenix will rise from it ashes again.
Anyway the 450SE is now fixed and all three HS55s have been replaced with HS65HB and the Align 430L replaced by the Hacker B40-12S and CC35. Yeah mama, this is going to be one heck of a weekend coming up!
As you can see, most of the mishaps were not attributed to the heli itself but other factors affecting it....mostly me and the ground!
The 450SE is simply a superb machine that is very sweet to fly and from what I have observed since its inception, Align has been constantly improving on their design. I love their spare parts. I mean where else can you buy spare parts where the manufacturer sometimes bundles several pieces of the item in the bag or even include spares and even a blad holder in their kit? That's a very nice touch by Align. In fact I have also noticed that the itmes included in the spares have also improved over the period. Notice that the latest 450 SE spindles now includes the 3D spacers too?
Although I now since acquired the 600, I am pretty certain that the 450SE will still continue to fly along side the 600. I am just having too much fun with it.
I must take my hat off to Align, a Vacuum cleaner company that has managed to pull it off. The may have designed their Vacuum Cleaners to SUCK but thier TREXses sure BLOW!
I am certainly looking forward to the next generation of TRex 600. Who knows, maybe the TRex 600SE?