We'll review this, the new AS3X Beast in January's RCM&E
Unveiled in October, Horizon's new AS3X was the subject of a build-up video campaign over the previous weeks so flyers have been curious to know what it's all about.
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Well, it's all about a new control system developed to improve the performance of ultra micro models such as the UMX Beast – models that have, in many cases, been too uncomfortable to fly indoors.
An industry first, AS3X is an upgrade that provides "dramatically more control, plus more stability and agility", "AS3X offers a very natural feel, even in moderate winds".
Although specific details are awaited, this looks to be an gyro based auto stabilisation system (AS) that adds constant flight corrections to damp out turbulence and reduce the risk of tip stalls and torque effect. The company say that this will allow the production of models with more accurate scale outlines too.
The technology is built into the receiver/ESC units in ready-to-fly models with the first three subjects just announced in the form of a pretty 20" (510mm) span Gee Bee, the revised UMX Beast (above) and the 14.7" (373mm) span Hyper Taxi, a model that could be described as a mix of aircraft and helicopter.
With some of the Horizon's more powerful ultra micro models such as the Beast and SBach proving very tricky to fly in confined spaces, small model enthusiasts will be hoping this innovation will bring a safe degree of control indoors. Horizon have been quick to point out that AS3X technology doesn't come between the pilot and his model and, indeed, will make a wider range of manouevers possible and safer to peform including knife-edge and 3D flying.
AS3X hasn't been restricted to fixed wing, a new Blade mSR X helicopter has been announced too. Here Horizon say the system uses a "3-axis digital MEMS sensor and exclusive control software to give the pilot a sense of stability and positive control no other single-rotor, fixed pitch heli its size can match". They go on to say that "by eliminating the weight and complexity of a mechanical flybar the Blade mSR X is able to achieve lighter disc loading and higher head speed which also enhances manoeuvrability".
Expect a November release for the Beast (£99.99) and December for the Gee Bee and Hyper Taxi for which pricing has yet to be announced.
There's more info at www.horizonhobby.co.uk of course and we'll have a full review of the AS3X Beast 3D in the January 2012 issue of RCM&E on sale 16th December.