so I'm currently in ownership of two alz 420 product, one originally a 380 I modified to stretch it to 450mm blade capability and the other a 380 first converted and upgraded with about everything that could be done with it including dfc with the triblade link arms and grip arms. I modified and have been cross prototyping from them with self designed side frames, cog correcting side frames, servo mount change on one servo, my own shape canopy and boom, and a cf main plate as well as a few other not so significant expressions of my own view of the 380/420 sab product platform.
Ok, so when SAb came out with the 380 I so happened to be at a SAB distributor and saw the 380 resting on a table, I asked to see it up close and was granted that wish. I held it with a fondness and interest in purchasing. Asked the retailer the price which was more than a trex500 and most other pod and boom choices given the "kit" form it came in with no electronics.
Speed up to today and I bought two alz products in the long meantime for 150% of the cost of one sab product of lesser/same/ miss-engineered quality than the clone product, "LESSER QUALITY"? huh? yes in some respects absolutely. Details details, the devil is in the details.
Being acutely aware of economics and gluttony and the marketplace perhaps SAB got a special deal from ANVIETLONG in Vietnam to produce a run of say ten thousand units and a supply of parts . OK, now here's where things go sideways, suppose anvietlong submitted a quote while sourcing low grade metals = cheap? Suppose they signed a limited run contract with no liability to the manufacturer not to reproduce and rebrand the original line of 380s? Suppose alz went to avl and ordered a run which is what they now sell? just suppose these small things.
If you don't know about economics retail and manufacturing work like this, Product get produced for $100 on a limited run order, company who produces it doesn't bill for material cost of molds and has all the cnc programs after the order is filled. Original company charges $400 retail. Company 2 having the down payment for another run of the originators product with several upgrade and/or simplifications to the format says go ahead and re-brands it, one, is it the same? Yes and no. Aside from that clone company retails the improved/simplified product for $200, which would you buy?
Company 2 knows the business of economics and by western values does what it knows best MAKE MORE MONEY, and by saving the customer money better spent on electronics and upgrades they garner more SALES.
People making comparisons are reviled by the clone company saying it's fraud and theft of ip. To me it's a niche heli 500 size with a few shortcomings I am trying to alter and potentially make a business out of. Problem with that aspiration is that interest in rc helicopters has been waning in wake of the DRONES quadcopters, I don't like them not because they aren't helicopters but because helicopters are way more awesome and also difficult to learn to fly well. I've made the progression from crash king to seasoned rc heli flyer and my curiosity into the area of aviation at the modelers level has lent it's self to potential in much much more. I was able to get involved at an AFFORDABLE PRICE TO ME, economy by most standards.
Without the alz clone I would never have bought a 380/420 considering used 500's for less than a SAB unit, with electronics. I want to fly an rc helicopter not show off to my buddies what a great heli I have, put the heli at risk of total destruction and mourn the loss of many dollars and time working out SAB product shortcomings when I could buy the next best thing for half the cost and not bastardize the high dollar original iterations rendering them worthless in the process, one could argue.
This is one thing the east has over the west ECONOMICS, they will undersell you just to blow you out of the market when they get the chance, undercut even their own cost to move stock out of their hands like a hot potato. This is what they did with the coaxial helis of 2006, now ten years ago.
The come around for me is that I learned all my lessons on the clone while considering the market on the original. The new era 420 sab/alz product has helped me gain confidence in building the big badass 700 perhaps from ground up, why not? This is what the almighty has inspired in me, made for movies, kick butt style and performance, raw guts not much different than any cp heli out there but man can this be made to look like non other. This is what the clones have done for me, it's going too far for some to digest the fact that a perfectly good new era product such as the VTX blades I rounded the tips on were game for my "IMPROVEMENTS" They had it coming and my alteration was inspired by "INTUITIVE ENGINEERING" inspired by a higher source of knowledge NASA and GOD, that and almost loosing an eye to a blade with a very sharp trailing tip I accidentally walked into.
I say all this because I weigh the economics and ip protection I stand to deal with should I approach a far east company with an order of some kind. IS dealing with the far east worth the risk? Anyone in the world understanding the power of economics no matter the country of origins would behave no differently when the talk of MONEY is at hand, been there done that many years ago in another product area and with a manufacturer in north America.
Attitude and arrogance have no place in entertainment, people will go elsewhere the first sign of it regardless of the product offered
Can't take this all too seriously unless it's your only source of income, otherwise it's just a hobby, part time, fun. but take GMP's story, that is something
Helis have faded but are absolutely not dead and never will be, the future is just around the corner.
I did notice on another site how most of the reply participants were of the old crowd with a few exceptions
Remember people who are outside the hobby think flyers are somewhat dreamers and airheads, literally and figuratively, and maybe it's true, so what's a silly product anyway? To me, potential I had never imagined even when there's a risk of ip theft that is impossible to ignore but then even my ideas could be construed as borrowed, now what? nothing.
Economics at the end of the day..
lotta words, you understand, etc, etc, etc. inexpensive does not mean junk any more, it means someone else with opportunity has a better grip on economics of profit due to high turnover better than a company that holds out for more money but sales are slower over all, and what happens when you trust everyone at their word in light of the money to be made when your back is turned for even a minute.
nothing's written in stone folks, it's just BUSINESS,