Dec 2010, that’s when it was decided that I reward myself with a Trex 550E and boy has it been the best decision ever! Not only and I totally enjoying this chopper, it’s the best chopper I’ve flown in ages, not that I have that many choppers to boast about and not that I have choppers of this class or even bigger. My closest chopper to this size is my trusty Mini Titan 325 from Thunder Tiger.
So why do I enjoy this chopper like countless others who are also doing so? Basically it flies like a big bird (very stable), and it has tonnes of power available at your finger tips. When first building the heli, I opted for the advanced settings, i.e. Full 14/15 degrees pitch and 14 degrees cyclic. However after test flying the bird, I decided to tuned down the cyclic to 11/12 degrees coz it was simple too responsive for my liking. The FBL system also made the chopper really sensitive to cyclic inputs. Even so, I only fly in idle up 1 80% midpoint throttle coz I also fine the 90% midpoint throttle a little too sensitive with the increased headspeed.
Since mid January, I’ve had approximately close to 30 flights and each one with growing confidence. I’m not sure what it is but with the increased size, power, stability, precision and perhaps ease of flight with the 3G FBL system, I have bend able to learn maneuvers faster and try them out in real life instead of just trying them out on the simulator. It is no wonder why they say a well tuned helicopter is so important in speeding up the learning curve. I found that after flying the 550E, I have also increased my handling capability of my Trex 250 (which is inherently unstable esp due to lack of tail authority).
From the simple maneuvers of front and back flips, tictocs, loops, tail slides, rolls, stall turns, funnels and etc, I am currently able to have flight times of up to 8 minutes on a 5000 mAH 30C Turnigy pack. More conservatively I think I should dial down to 7.5 minutes to stay within and clear of the 80% battery consumption rule.