Rapier 450

Rapier 450

Originally Graham asked if I would be kind enough to fly this heli for a few photographs, I agreed and a few days later the heli turned up in its well packaged box. The box doubles for storage and transportation and has a small carry handle.

The helicopter is pre-built and comes complete with a 2.4GHz radio (6ch), 3S 2200mAh and charger. The transmitter is a budget item but does the job, personally I think the sticks are a little loose but this is a low to mid priced RTF machine so it is selected for its ability to meet demand and price levels. Other than that the radio does a good job and fits the hands well. It requires eight AA size batteries.

An instruction manual is included along with an amendment sheet covering binding, gyro gain, gear switch as the correct positions for the dip switches on the transmitter in the manual have been found to have been written incorrectly (Distributor CML was very quick to correct this). Armed with this sheet the new owner should successfully bind and fly his new helicopter without any issues.

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There seems little point in going into the finer points of this little heli – it is as it is, a well priced ready to fly helicopter, capable of basic 3D moves in the right hands. The helicopter is plastic framed with a CNC metal head, swash and tail including metal tail blade holders. Its simple and compact frame provides a rigid core where the main shaft is supported through three bearing blocks. It comes complete with fibre-glass main blades, blade holder and plastic tail blades and the aforementioned tail is belt driven. The model sports a pre-painted fibre-glass canopy that's easy to see.

This machine did as it says on the box – it was ready to fly and I made no adjustments at all for the first few flights. Immediately into the hover it was very stable. It has flybar weights, these I left as it arrived with them in their outermost position to slow down the fly bar response and gives it more stability. Later one can move these inwards until such a time as the helicopter is as responsive as the pilot wishes (making sure both are moved in exactly the same amount so as not to unbalance the head.)

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Obviously one must bear in mind the cost of this helicopter when analyzing the kit and for the money it represents good value. I've flown it a number of times now and nothing has fallen off and very good flight times have been achieved. The servos have stood up to 3D. The gyro is a of basic heading hold type and for the beginner is satisfactory. With some skill one can fly around the limits of the gyro in 3D moves and indeed someone could always change the gyro – a cheap secondhand high quality gyro would help in this area.
Backwards flight is ok as long as one doesn’t allow to much speed to build as the tail will try to weather-cock and return the heli to forward flight. Backwards loops and piro flips are all possible.

 

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There is ample warning that the battery voltage is fading and landings have no drama as there is relatively good ground clearance for the tail blades even on this small helicopter. All in all this helicopter flies well, the blades worked well and for the money I think the majority of people would be happy with this purchase.

DATAFILE
Length: 25.8in (655mm)
Blades: 325mm carbon main blades
Main rotor diameter: 28.3in (720mm)
Tail rotor diameter: 5.3in (135mm)
All-up weight: 670g
Power system: 40 amp ESC, 3S 2200mAh 20c Li-Po battery, 2750Kv brushless motor
Swash plate control / mixing: 120-Degree CCPM system
UK distributor: CML Distribution, www.cmldistribution.co.uk
Manufacturer: Top Gun
RRP: £204.99 (without Tx / Rx), £245.99 (with 2.4GHz radio)

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