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07-31-2007 02:11 AM  13 years ago
pertti

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deltona,FL

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I like it. When is this available?
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07-31-2007 02:24 AM  13 years ago
uragem

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Indianapolis, IN - USA

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You've got some nice size balls - to play in Align's sandbox!!Indy Jeweler
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07-31-2007 06:11 AM  13 years ago
bigmeamy

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gainesville,fl

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Hi John; First- nice to see you in this areana.I wanted a pantera but discovered I needed a small electric for travel & budget only allows one bird.(I spend all week in my truck)typical JB work on the working parts-nice.Good reply from someone else on color-make sure if its not plastic it shows(bling sells)i.e. any color BUT black for alum. parts/ even bare.NOT my personal feelings (I like the "gotcha" stealth approach myself.) Also second the direct linkage.On moving C/G up- isn't motor heavier than servo's??put mtr up?? Just my 2 cents.Will now monitor release to see in person.Thanks for letting us in on it John.How can you not love something that depends on headspeed for its life??!!
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07-31-2007 02:42 PM  13 years ago
RonHill

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FLL, FL

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I like it.

I personally like subdued "bling" since I am more into what it does, not how it looks. But others have correctly pointed out that some buy bling since it is shinny and pretty.
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07-31-2007 03:51 PM  13 years ago
ProModeler

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Sanford, FL (Orlando area)

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Shinny and pretty . . . essentially why a large mouth bass strikes a lure, right? Hmmm, my Daddy taught me that to catch a bass I had to be both smarter than the bass and I had to think like the bass.

Probably extending the analogy too far means my being an engineer by education may make me smarter than the bass, but being a marketing type by accident basically means I am not too good at thinking like the bass, which is why I solicit feedback from folks!

I'm personally into stealthy (pretty much the reason the only tip off that my old 240Z Datsun sports car is not to be messed with due to the 400 foot-pound small block Chevy lurking under the hood is the single very large exhaust tip protruding from the rear), and hence, I like the classic look, i.e. black. But thinking like the bass these days really means loud colors, i.e. blue, gold, or red anodizing for the aluminum. Guys, I really don't know if I can bring myself to this, but I will seriously ponder this most carefully. More as it develops.

John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745
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07-31-2007 03:55 PM  13 years ago
enahs

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Rapid City, SD

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I like the black colors. The only other color that I am partial to is silver.---------
Shane
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07-31-2007 07:54 PM  13 years ago
MJWS

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Airdrie, AB - Canada

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Not LOUD. Just a shade off cheap black plastic. So we can appreciate the quality. Perhaps your pictures didn't do the metal parts justice, some of it looked cast or molded. There are a few that like the wild colors, but a lot of us appreciate understated quality. In car terms take a black on black M5, tint it a shade darker, drop it an inch or less. Might look like a sedan coming up on you, but it'll give pretty much anything a run for its money. And if you look at it close the quality just oozes from it. If you're the engineering type you start looking at the design and what's inside then you really start to appreciate it.

Don't underestimate the importance of what it looks like. We buy what we like. For example: I take an SE V2, I sit it on my bench with a Stratus, a Synergy, an Aurora, even a 600N (think heli's people aspire to own) it looks perfectly at home. It has metal in the right places, carbon in the right places, the lines are great, and it will do every trick in the book. In fact when I crank on it it is ballistic, far better power to weight (double) than many of the most sought after ships.

Just shiny won't cut it. The market is far too mature and the heli's out there already in this class perform brilliantly. Performance is a given. The latest birds to capture mind share are both technical marvels as well as works of art.

From a business guy (and a technical guy). What makes this thing unique? (Your Unique Selling Proposition) Why on earth would I buy from an unknown when there is such a strong and well proven product in this space? Why take that risk? In fact I already have 2 SE's, and a MT (the hardcore guys with money are here). I have a wall of parts, the LHS stocks almost everything, there are a dozen huge vendors online so I never have to wait. Why would I add this bird? I'm not adding an Axe, Helimax, or any other clone POS even when they are metal. I might consider one of the metal 3DNT type birds simply because they are different and as close as I'll get to owning a Henseleit in the near term. Can this generate that same interest? If I dislike the looks it's over. If my buddies will give me grief because they think it looks like a pile. It's over. Technical wizardry can mitigate that as can an aftermarket canopy... but it's an uphill battle.

I'd caution you on selling directly against the SE as well. The user base is so large that if you alienate them you've probably dumped half or more of your potential customers. These little guys are like candy to many of us. Kits are cheap, we have gear and batteries already adding one more is quick, painless, and pretty much an impulse buy.

I think you have a pretty decent focus group in the forum. But a lot of posts just tend to blow the smoke up your behind or troll. I've run two business in mature industries another in the ultra competitive tech sector. Margins are razor thin, competition is fierce, it ain't no picnic. Not too mention the 800lb gorilla in your space. Sadly it isn't the best product or design that wins. It's often a combination of deep pockets and marketing. Heh. That sounded a little jaded . But as an owner I know you've been there.

Just two more bits, worth what you paid for em. I'm sure I'll get the chance to build and fly one when they are released. Looking forward to it.

Mike
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07-31-2007 08:50 PM  13 years ago
702nitro

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Las Vegas, NV

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my .02 cents
I agree with MJWS. Although the Wildcat does look like a nice bird, the markets just to congested and competition is fierce;Its like a featherweight stepping into the ring with a heavyweight. If this Wildcat heli ever goes through production, you will still be able to sell it, but your customers will again be loyal Audacity followers, who appreciate the technicial and engineering aspects of a heli, which brings you back to the same situation you were desperately questioning, what can I do better with my .50 line of products?
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08-02-2007 01:21 AM  13 years ago
tat2wallace

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Spring Lake, NC

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I left the nitro scene because it wasent for me, (tiger 50) smaller birds are better in small parks... but this looks really really good John... If you could put this in the copier, and go 120%, to a lepton ex type bird i think you would have a huge jump in that market that we all know is coming... using a 4s battery pack...

thanks john
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08-02-2007 05:30 PM  13 years ago
ProModeler

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Sanford, FL (Orlando area)

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Dear 702nitro,

I understand your viewpoint, but I don't agree with your basic premise because growing up in Alabama led to me viscerally understand that when it really counts, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Look folks, that we are the underdog in this fray is a given, but does anybody seriously think we don't bring something to the table? I.e. should we just roll over for Align? I don't think so - and to prove it - eyeball some of the details of just the Wildcat's tail assembly and ponder whether we really can play in this league!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're not in this simply to offer a "me to" product; this is a truly a gem of a miniature helicopter and the pictures simply don't do it justice. Furthermore, I have decided against cheesy anodized colors largely because it's not in my nature, but also in part because the time it takes to produce these models means they'll be mainly of interest to the discerning amongst you, i.e. those of you who know quality when they see it. Hence, I'm betting there are enough discriminating buyers to keep us busy making them because I basically can't build them this good and produce them as fast as Align. I like making tasteful products, so why should I lower my standards and resort to flashy colors in order to attract more people if I can't make them fast enough in the first place?

Frankly, these models will take quite a bit longer for us to fabricate than a similar plastic model. We're dealing with a comparitively huge number of subcontactors, and thus, coordinating everything is a job! This is largely due both to the miniaturization of the parts and the highly specialized fabrication techniques required. In fact, two of the parts subcontractors are watchmaking specialists, which explains some of the gorgeous fit and finish! Add to this the partial assembly we're engaging in to make your life simpler (because as with the Pantera and Tiger, the Wildcat is now a real RTF, and it boils down to she isn't going to be a run of the mill mass production miniature despite a great price!

Further to this, and as a consequence, I think supplies will be somewhat limited at $400. I'm led to believe this because amazingly, we've got preorders for almost 1/3 of the production run already (and we've not even advertised), which bodes well for us! I anticipate delivery in about 8-10 weeks (updated 2/20/2008) so if you would like to get on the delivery list please contact me.

Regards,

John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745
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08-02-2007 05:54 PM  13 years ago
heli_headcase

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Hovering around Atlanta

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Put me on the list!
Hey John,

I like it! I'm a little strange anyway so I'm not so sure my opinion counts here but the black finish is perfect. I can't think of any other micro heli's (made from CNC metal) in black. If others see it at first sight as plastic, that's their problem. Those who know, will know...

The tail looks very strong and durable. Very precise. Are the bolts holding the tail case together M3 or M2.6? Regardless, it's a little overbuilt (read that as heavy) and something smaller would still have plenty of reserve strength.

One other simple modification: To allow for a shorter tail output shaft (less overhang, less bearing load and lower whipping action), you can shorten the radius of the pitch arms on the tail grips. This will allow a full pitch range with less total travel of the pitch slider and less geometry issues at extremes of movement. While the grips are being changed, you may want to consider having the only microheli with tail blade counterweights. These take as much as 90% load off the tail servo and remove the necessity of having to use one of the oversized digitals (S9650 Futaba for example) to control the tail and survive hard 3D for a while. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

To address the main frames - If the servo location isn't set in stone, and vertical mass location a consideration, why not look at a way to mount the motor on top with its shaft pointing down? And instead of providing a battery tray down low, at least provide a high-mount with a downward slant for a higher battery point? The pack can follow the inner contour of the windshield section of the canopy.

Regardless of how the final design looks, I definitely want one.

Thanks!

HHC

So many heli's - too little time...
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08-02-2007 05:57 PM  13 years ago
rsalazar

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Florida, USA

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Very nice John!!

I like the design of the tail.

As I said before, I want one yesterday!!
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08-02-2007 06:09 PM  13 years ago
Machinehead01

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Lower Michigan

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Mass Production
It's always been my experience that to mass produce you usually have to sacrifice something, be it quality or asthetics. I have been part of the machining world for about 20 years both manual and cnc. Although cnc will turn out a part faster and usually with a decent quality(and I say decent because in my past you usually have to open the tolerances up the faster you run the parts to account for machine shift and operator loading error) it's hard to beat hand made. So the question isn't really about colors but whether you want a Chevy cobalt or a Lamborgini Diablo?

Just my 2 cents worth.
Thomas
"You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone."
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08-02-2007 06:33 PM  13 years ago
JuanRodriguez

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The Villages, Florida

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John,
What will the price of the gem be ??

I know you said Trex vs "el cheapo" but what does that translate to in dollars and cents ??

Also, what will be included with your kits ?? (such as blades, motor, esc, etc...)

Thanx
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08-02-2007 09:32 PM  13 years ago
TYREE

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Sonoma county

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John......
You're not just going to be fighting the Align dog....which is big
in both size and fight....but you're going up against every off world
Asian manufacture...and they can put the 'Bling' out there very cheaply.

And all of those dogs....are not only big and full of fight and know how to copy...copy....copy(some do it quite well) they're also....

VERY...VERY....HUNGRY!!

Good luck John,

Ty
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08-02-2007 09:34 PM  13 years ago
ProModeler

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Sanford, FL (Orlando area)

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$400 shipping is what I'm doing on them as an introductory offer. I anticipate they're going to go very briskly.

We may offe a heavy duty 40A controller, a 3700KV motor, and a in order to turn the head at well over 3000RPM (150T main gear 1 and 13T pinion, or 11.54:1 gear ratio).

I like Hitec HS65MG servos for the swashpate and a Futaba S9650 mini servo for the GY401 gyro but this inepnsive stuff works pretty well. There are lots of choices in blades, I use our SWE325 carbon blades, naturally.

John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745
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08-02-2007 09:41 PM  13 years ago
tat2wallace

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Spring Lake, NC

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is that with a motor, or without???
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08-02-2007 09:51 PM  13 years ago
702nitro

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Las Vegas, NV

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Dear Jbeech,

Like i said the Wildcat looks good, and I never said anything about the Wildcat not bringing anything to the table. Hmm! Wouldn't it be nice if the Pantera had all that bling from the Wildcat?
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08-02-2007 09:58 PM  13 years ago
ProModeler

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Sanford, FL (Orlando area)

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Yeah after I wrote that I was wondering if I'd be offending you - I assure you I meant no disrespect - and I'm glad you didn't take it the wrong way. Meanwhile, I very well may make more bling available for the Pantera, but that will be a winter project because my plate's full right now.
John Beech
AMA # 47381
IRCHA #745
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08-02-2007 11:19 PM  13 years ago
slo_dave

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Kingsport, TN

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Is there enough room to mount the gyro under the boom block?
Having it on top is just waiting for the paddle to wipe it out in a crash.

also
$300 seems about right to me.. and could you post a pic of the starboard side
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