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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › I dont understand why people hate Align
11-16-2014 05:51 PM  4 years agoPost 81
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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Richard, I have great respect for your building and flying skills. An example being that I know you can can tweak a CC to perfection. I am not as skilled with the CC or Align Helis. I am still a little put off by months of tweeks to get my last Align Heli right. It flies great now but I did have to upgrade a lot.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-16-2014 05:58 PM  4 years agoPost 82
Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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Interesting, which align heli and what did you have to upgrade?

60% of the time, it works every time!

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11-16-2014 06:04 PM  4 years agoPost 83
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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450L. 10 flights in after a very smooth build. It shut down due to a motor failure. The pinion mesh was right I promis. I replaced the esc thinking a motor could not fail in that short of a time. Then I replaced the motor finding it was not the ESC. I also changed to HV servos for better performance, that required new bearing blocks. It flies much better than stock IMO. I wanted a cheap Heli now I have an expensive one. It was all my choice and 450s are hard to get right.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-16-2014 06:17 PM  4 years agoPost 84
WBFAir

rrApprentice

Stamford, CT - USA

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Why should a Heli need upgrades or improvements over time? Why not research,innovate, test, improve, repeat and then release? If only there was a German company willing to do that.
I won't disagree with you in principle on that, but I would guess there is a balance point of cost ver price that probably would just put something perfect out of reach of most of us.

I don't know every product out there, but I think there are helos other then Align that if you are in the market for pure or as close to perfection as you can get, then there are products out there for you.

Also as well I can kinda remember back in the old days when for Align an I think a lot of other makers, they just knew some of their stuff was just not up to par, an kinda didn't care as the competition by dedicated makers for that stuff was either just too divers or just too good. Did seem to be the standard of the day back then.

Kinda reminds me of how when I bought my first set of drums, that even for the huge money spent, the heads on them were just pure junk as they knew people would buy other.

Actually to some degree, this kind of thing can help keep the cost down while keeping the quality up as since they know you are going to probably replace it anyway, then they can put that money into other parts.

Anyway, I will agree the progress has had mixed results, but for the cost, personally, I'm pretty happy with a lot of what comes with their current kits.

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11-16-2014 07:17 PM  4 years agoPost 85
rexxigpilot

rrProfessor

Florida

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What impact does cheap labor from China or Taiwan (Chinese Taipei or ROC) have on the price of an RC heli? Not much IMO. However, I keep hearing and reading how China's cheap labor is killing US jobs. Wake the F up folks. Manufacturing and distribution has almost no human involvement anymore. It's all done by machines. If the typical RC helicopter had more than 2 hours of human labor in it I'd be very surprised.

Taxes, lax environmental laws and direct Chinese government subsidies are the reason for the lower prices from those two countries (really just one country with the illusion of two to allow capitalism in a communist country).

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11-16-2014 07:29 PM  4 years agoPost 86
Keymaker

rrNovice

Nj

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One thing is for sure though, when you pay pennies to anyone for hours of work you can't demand quality.

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11-16-2014 08:22 PM  4 years agoPost 87
dkshema

rrMaster

Cedar Rapids, IA

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I personally don't trust anyone flying anything Align around me, but that's just me.
Irrational fear, unfounded, and a bit paranoid to boot.

Worldwide, Align helicopters have flown tens of millions of failure free flights, by users new and old. Inexperienced, experienced and wild/crazy 3D flyers from all walks of life. Align helicopters simply perform day after day, year after year.
I hate they put Miniature Aircraft out of business.
Align has destroyed quite a few fledgling heli companies over the years.
Well, no, they didn't put MA out of business, and they didn't destroy other companies. The market place figures out who survives and who doesn't, not a single company. We don't really know WHAT drove MA out of business. There were rumors of a nasty divorce settlement (neither confirmed nor denied), and then there are the "other" things no one actually thinks about. Taxes, government regulations, shipping, labor costs, keeping and maintaining a distribution network, etc. FlyCo, the people responsible for MA, HeliProz, and a few other modeling based endeavors is undergoing restructuring itself. Maybe MA just didn't fit the business plan anymore.

If MA were that successful, it would seem there would have been an effort by someone out there to buy it out, and perhaps revive the name.

As for the Shogun/Dolphin/Zoom...whatever name it was marketed under, it simply was inferior in design and execution when compared to the "new" Align 450 when it was first introduced. It just didn't compare and could not hold its own in the market.
There's tons of companies out there that actually do all kinds of research and testing and then there's others who just build helis that fly and look beefy.
Do you really believe Align does no research, design, and/or testing? Step back and take a look at helicopter development since Dieter Schluter first started successfully selling his "System 80" mechanics. Overall, helicopter design has not really changed. Materials have and technology has changed, but the basic design, layout, and execution of today's RC helis is not all that different from the early Schluter designs. As popular as they were, Schluter, too, has come and gone. Align had nothing to do with their demise, nor did they kill off Heim, Gorham Model Products, DuBro, Morley, Graupner or Kavan.

Hirobo used to have a large presence here in the states. Their Freya, Shuttles, and Sceadu models were quite popular. Hirobo, in spite of its reputation for quality, is seldom heard of anywhere in the states these days. How many of you rushed out to buy the Lepton when it was released? Hirobo heli designs are long in the tooth, with no real design updates or manufacturing changes to keep them relevant in the market.

Kyosho, too was one of the biggies in the US heli market. Their Concept models were well received, the Nexus was not, and their Caliber series, though pretty good, just didn't keep them in the game for the long haul. Kyosho, though now selling under a different name, under a different manufacturer, is no longer a force in the US. That is not Align's fault.

JR has attempted to remain relevant in the US market, but has the reputation for being pricey, with a high cost of repair and maintenance. They seemingly rolled out a new heli about every other year, trying to capture a piece of the US market. Perhaps with their Forza 700 and Forza 450, they will finally succeed. Time will only tell. But if they don't make it, it's not Align's fault.

How Walkera manages to hang on and sell, should be the real mystery here.

Over the years, I've owned many of the makes from many of the manufacturers listed -- Kavan, American RC Helicopters, MA, GMP, Kyosho, and Hirobo.

My current fleet includes a large percentage of Align helis, a Mikado Logo 550SX, a couple of Gauis -- NX4 and X3, some hobby king stuff, and a JR Forza 450. Perhaps with the exception of the hobby king stuff, the others all exhibit similar quality, manufacturing techniques, and designs. The hobby king stuff is "cheaper", but still quite serviceable, especially if you take crashes as an opportunity to replace their parts with Align parts.

-----
Dave

* Making the World Better -- One Helicopter at a time! *

Team Heliproz

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11-16-2014 08:33 PM  4 years agoPost 88
AgentOrange

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Jacksonville, Florida

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Well said bro. That is so true.

Trying not to put them in the dirt.

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11-17-2014 10:09 AM  4 years agoPost 89
Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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450L. 10 flights in after a very smooth build. It shut down due to a motor failure. The pinion mesh was right I promis. I replaced the esc thinking a motor could not fail in that short of a time. Then I replaced the motor finding it was not the ESC. I also changed to HV servos for better performance, that required new bearing blocks. It flies much better than stock IMO. I wanted a cheap Heli now I have an expensive one. It was all my choice and 450s are hard to get right.
OK, so you could have simply sent the motor back to the shop you bought it from for a replacement. As for upgrading the servos, you didn't actually NEED to do that and I don't believe simply going to HV servos made it fly 'much better'.

60% of the time, it works every time!

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11-17-2014 12:52 PM  4 years agoPost 90
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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Richard, you are correct. My issue is once a component fails I lose faith in it. Align agreed without issue to replace the motor after they test it. The ESC did work but I wanted a smoother start and a governor that works. I will stand by the difference in the way that the KST servos fly.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-17-2014 01:07 PM  4 years agoPost 91
dkshema

rrMaster

Cedar Rapids, IA

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My issue is once a component fails I lose faith in it.
I guess you have no light bulbs in your house and don't use batteries in your helis.

I, too, had an Align ESC fail after 11 flights. It didn't turn me off to everything Align.

You wanted a cheap heli but voluntarily put a lot of money into it in unnecessary upgrades. And that is not Align's fault.

-----
Dave

* Making the World Better -- One Helicopter at a time! *

Team Heliproz

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11-17-2014 02:29 PM  4 years agoPost 92
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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You guys are right in the fact that I upgrade when I could send in the unit wait for turn around and then get a fixed or refurbished part back. My SOP is to replace parts that fail or could potentially fail. Batteries and light bulbs don't result in hundreds of dollars if they fail. Here are some of my issues.

450 Pro V1 upgraded to FBL so had to buy the DFC head, I also bought a slant gear which was an upgrade and upgraded to the metal tail pitch slider. The motor bearings went quite fast and so I had to change them

450 Pro V2 3GX was a huge pain for me to figure out, but I did. I then upgraded to a Beastx which told me that due to the servo layout optimal geometry could not be achieved due to frame design.

600EFL great heli but also did not have optimal frame design for FBL. I upgraded the blade grips to fix this. They came out with a new tail due to failures of the original design, which I also upgraded. I also had to change the tail blades to bigger ones due to the fact the heli was only designed for high head speed flight. I also changed the ESC because the CC that came with the combo is not able to govern at the designed headspeed. Then I upgraded the tail pitch slider too due to an Align improvement.

These were my first three Align helis and the list goes on. I do not hate them but I plan on having to tweak one to get it to fly as well as the competition. I know that other guys could live with a heli that flies OK but not as well as possible, but I prefer not to.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-17-2014 02:44 PM  4 years agoPost 93
Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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So the upgrades you added were simply Align's newer better versions! They are simply improving their products all the time, how is that a bad thing?

The beastx works fine with any helis geometry, the blue light thing at 6 degrees is not essential!

The parts about esc's and tail blades are just you tweaking the heli to your specific needs which you have to do with a lot of helis and is part of the hobby.

60% of the time, it works every time!

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11-17-2014 02:59 PM  4 years agoPost 94
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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600 Pro had tail hub that can sheer=Design flaw
600 Pro super combo came with an ICE80 and you could not use the gov to fly the heli at the recomended headspeed=Oversite
These issues had to have been known and accepted prior to release?

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-17-2014 03:15 PM  4 years agoPost 95
Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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Did you have a tail hub sheer? Tail hubs/bolts can sheer on any heli, of course you only hear about the Align failures because there are so many flying out there compared to any other manufacturer!

The CC governor worked fine on the 600e Pro upto 2400 rpm with the 530kv motor, they did a 510kv motor for lower head speeds.

60% of the time, it works every time!

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11-17-2014 03:18 PM  4 years agoPost 96
es1co2bar3

rrKey Veteran

winnetka california

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I, too, had an Align ESC fail after 11 flights.
Align has side effect lot of it,

Now on 2 facts, they can't design and build ESC, the department where they made the ESC those guy need to go back
to school and learn Algebra basic.

They've made a smart move when they start Adding castle ESC
to their model.

I was waiting on some honey but there aren't no Queen bee,

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11-17-2014 03:38 PM  4 years agoPost 97
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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A friend I know first had had a hub sheer. I know that running above the recommended head speed in the CC is required for 2400. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on the fact that Align Super Combos are perfect out of the box due to personal experience.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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11-17-2014 05:27 PM  4 years agoPost 98
Mahu

rrApprentice

Panhandle , FL

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Wow!!
I get a chuckle after reading some of you guys comments. Some of you really need to take a minute and read a few things before you just post from your expert armchair.
I really haad to laugh at the one where he does not like to be around align helis when flying or anyone that flies them.

Oh my!

Really? Do you actually go back and reread what you have typed in from the night before when you were sleepy or irritated at the wife/kids and vent all over how crappy an Align heli is?

Another armchair expert sez the Align presence was out numbered at IRCHA? Really? I must have missed one end of the field where they were keeping all the other vendors and helis? Really really?

I have to say Align is not perfect nor are any of the other helicopter manufacturers. Heck, folks like Lynx, MicroHeli, Extreme, HeliOption, KDE and all the other after market vendors would have to close their doors if they were all perfect.

I think after nearly 40 years in the hobby and seeing a number of new helis come and go you will find a group of people that will swear by Align and praise them to the fullest and then a group that does not like Align as much. THis is a natural thing, we like what we like and poo on what we don't like. Opinions are like Ar$holes we all have one.

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11-17-2014 06:18 PM  4 years agoPost 99
Ladymagic

rrKey Veteran

South Korea

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dkshema says it best. +1 for his statements.

While I understand that Align may not meet all of everyone's individual expectations, they certainly do not warrent some of the distain they have recieved over the years.

My personal experience with Align has been quite pleasant. I currently own and fly 6 Align helis. From the 500 all the way up to the 700N. I've even owned 2 450XLs before I sold them. All of my kits were either first or second generation kits when many pilots claimed that these helis were "junk" the first of which was purchased new back in 2007. You know what? I've had not one failure in hunderds of flights on any one of these machies. In fact, I am still flying all of the original parts. No one-way failures, no bearing problems, no seperated swashes and no clutch issues. I have, however had problems with another MFG that is widely considered "premium" that has given me nothing but problems from the first screw I installed on the frame. I could bash them, but I also know that others have had great experiences with them.

Before I went with Align, I'd flown Kyosho (Nexus30), Hirobo, and JR. JR was well built and smooth, but pricey, Hirobo was also great, but way too much plastic for my tastes and expensive also. The Nexus was cheaper but kept breaking clutch shoes, but got the job done.

When I saw extreme 3D for the first time I spent thousands of dollars trying to make my already expensive helis fly like the pros, but only after buying flying Align was I able to taste 3D without having to buy a bunch of expensive upgrades. Now, I realize that without Align, the market would still probably be trying to sell $1200 kits and $600 for upgrades just to do 3D. Whether you like them or not, you have to give them credit for changing up the market in favor of the average pilot's budget.

In the end, I think it really just comes down to brand affiliation which I've noticed happens alot in this hobby. Typically, you like to support what YOU own as best for everyone and flaws are usually blindly ignored while faults from other companys you don't like are quickly expressed and exaggerated. I wouldn't doubt that there are pilots out there who've never owned or flown an Align heli simply based on others unfounded/biased opinions(most of which can be attribuited to poor building habits). I bet that many of those guys would probably find that even Align's earliest models aren't as bad as rumors say. Did they get it all perfect the first time? Not always. Have they improved over their tenure? Definately. And most pilots can't say that they didn't benefit from Align in some way in the years since the very first 450 hit the US market.

Mellisa

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11-17-2014 07:04 PM  4 years agoPost 100
gmcullan

rrKey Veteran

Southbridge, MA

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While owning 9 Align helis. I'm going to use my original 450 SA as an example. Originally built and flown with Eflite S75 servos all the way around and using a Futaba 401 gyro, this unit had hundreds of flights on it before I "upgraded" it to the Align Sport FBL head, BeastX, and Align 410/415 servos. Long story short, I rekitted this heli after 1600+ flights due to the failure of the elevator servo arm. Politely stated, the crash was spectacular!

Other than the previously mentioned modifications, the only maintenance performed on this heli was to replace the pinion and main gears as well as the tail drive belt when it started to fray.

In fairness, my flying style is very benign, what I jokingly refer to as "Old Fart". So even though the heli was not highly stressed over the term of its service life, with 1600+ flights, it didn't owe me anything. It was still flying with its OEM motor and ESC.

Is Align the height of perfection? No. But "bang for the buck"? Definitely.

Gerry Cullan,
Gaui 200, 255; T-Rex 250, 450 SE & SA, Mini-Titan, Blade 450

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