Hi guys, just got a huge box from UPS packed with heli stuff, the Octane Dominator 20cc from QWW is here. This is a heli sent to me for free from QWW as part of their challenge to let people see what their stuff is actually like. They sent it on their dime, and didn't charge me anything for it, when I'm done getting it together and seeing how it flies, I can either send it back, or buy it. I've got to commend them on that, it takes huge balls to send your stuff out for review like this, especially to someone like me who doesn't pull punches and has had problems with QWW in the past. I hope it turns out as well as they hope, I'll give it a fair shot here.
I'm going to update this thread with pics and text as I go through the build, and after I'm done, I will edit everything together into a single post that will help people searching for info on the machine without having to dig through a long thread.
First impressions are good. This is not the nicest heli I've seen, but it certainly isn't the trash that many of the bashers would lead you to believe (and much better than the old EP10 I had years ago). I thought I was getting a full kit, but the mainframes are already assembled with the engine installed. However, the rest of the heli is in kit form, and looking at the preassembled parts, nothing is tightened down or locktited. so I will be going through the preassembled frames as well.
The carbon frames look to be well done, and the quality of the metal parts also looks good at first glance. The machining on the metal isn't the best, there are tool marks on them (you can see them in some of the pictures), and the anodizing isn't perfect, but if they function well, then I don't have any real issue with the machining and anodizing. It does look like the parts are well thought out, with lightening holes where appropriate.
I took some pics of the highlights and lowlights, here's what I see at first glance that I like:
Nice swash, tight, no slop, with nice smooth action. There are some mounting options on the rear balls, perhaps another mixing system? I can tell you that the swash out of the box is better than the one that came with my $600 RJX Xtreme, or any T-Rex I've owned.
I love that the fasteners come in a little plastic toolbox. Nice touch. Unfortunately, it'll make assembly more time consuming than the standard bagged screw sets that come with most helis, where all the sizes are grouped together and with each step. It would have been better if QWW had grouped the fasteners according to size instead of how it is, which appears to be according to type (socket heads together, button heads together etc).
It has a very interesting flybar cage design, as you can see in the pics. I've never encountered it before, instead of using set screws, it clamps onto the flybar. It's probably been done before, I just don't remember seeing it, and I like it. Simple, and it won't put burrs in the flybar that make it hard to adjust or remove.
The CCPM levers all come off of a single shaft, which I've read makes the geometry better. It's very similar to the 600N.
There's tons of room for components. There's no way you'd ever see a "Where do I mount" type post on one of these.
Split collars on the mainshaft - Why do heli manufacturers do it any different? These are by far the best way of making a collar.
Nice exhaust! It's a KS, I've used KS on my giant scale gas planes, very nice exhausts.
Not so good:
Machining isn't the best. There are tool marks on every part, I remember a thread a while back about "sweatshop" quality on the finish of a YS50. Those guys would have a field day on these parts. Like I said above, they appear to be good quality, just not finished very well.
Open bearings, there's no seals/shields on the seesaw bearings in the head. I don't anticipate these lasting long, junk is going to get into them. Don't know about the bearings in the rest of the heli, just what I see from a quick inspection.
Fan shroud doesn't center up, this may be just that it needs to be adjusted, but the preassembled main frame/engine/shroud has the plug way off center. I'll see what can be done when I go through it, may just need to be adjusted.
Main gear/pinion/tail drive assembly isn't smooth at all, there's a ton of drag and it feels very rough. Maybe the mesh just isn't set, as it sits the bottom gear that drives the tail is a fraction of a mm from fouling on the tapered part of the pinion, so it may be able to be adjusted.
Solid tank mounting - as you can see in the pic below, the tank sits right on the edge of the carbon frames with no padding or isolation. I'll go through the manual and see if there's anything suggested, if not I'll take it apart and cut some fuel tubing to buffer between the frames and the tank, if for no other reason than vibration and the sharp edges of the carbon will eventually cut through that tank.
Nice looking canopy, but it's HUGE! I took a picture next to a Fury canopy of comparison.
The fins are TSK fins. If that doesn't make you laugh, you need a history lesson.
That's about it for the preliminary report. In all, it looks like a nice machine. I'll build it according to the instructions, I'm not going to modify things, I won't be filing, grinding, or adapting any parts. If I come across something I can't find the immediate answer to in the instructions, I'll see what QWW has to say before proceeding.