Hello ! My name is Eric and I live in the USA. I am a self-taught R/C helicopter pilot, outside of the countless email messages from/to Helmut. I fit flying in whenever I can between work, travel, and the home life. I have several hobbies but R/C helicopter flying has retained my interest due to the technical and piloting challenges. There is always room for helicopter and flying performance improvements. Doesnít every helicopter pilot look forward to their first 540 stall turn ???
The following are some of my experiences in regard to the Kyosho EP Concept R/C helicopter:
CHOICE: I was looking for a complete package in an electric power (EP) helicopter where I could minimize costs. I wanted something quiet and convenient so I could fly in my backyard at my leisure. I chose the Concept EP Sports because it came with the motor, autorotation bearing (very important for many reasons), and accepted standard servos. As well, I knew I could get parts quickly in the event of a crash, which is likely, if you are teaching yourself. I ordered the NON-collective version to get started, which I learned to hover with the assistance of a very lightweight training gear. I made an "X" type training gear out of very thin dowel rods with foam balls on each end (4). After a while I ordered the collective upgrade kit and I turned my EP Sports to an EP Concept SR collective model. I believe the model only comes in a collective version now. All the better.
CHARACTERISTICS: I havenít flown many other helicopters, so, I canít comment on how well the EP Concept flies comparatively. My guess is that it is a bit lazy. My intent is to fly a robust and no nonsense machine. The EP Concept will fly with standard servos and 8 cells (9.6V). My Concept EP has 2/ea. standard size HiTec servos and 2/ea. Cirrus CS-26 servos. In hover, I get about 5 minutes of flying time. In combined hover and forward flight (FF), I can get a few minutes more. I use 8 cell RC 2000 battery packs, Futaba speed control (MC144H), K-Speed Heli motor, and Helimax gyro. My helicopter has room for weight improvements. I intend to experiment with different motors like a 16 turn Trinity motor that I have read really gives the EP some pep.
- Add a drop of light oil to the top bearing of the motor every 6 flights or so. I also add a drop of oil to the lower autorotation bearing (the only one you can get to) from time to time. DO NOT OVEROIL. A drop will do. These parts seem to work better if they get some lubrication. The lower bearing will get very warm. As well, I have applied VCR grease (white lithium, I believe) to the pinion and spur gears. This helps keep friction down and flight time up. Donít use to much, a thin coating is all you need. You should notice a difference.
- Use quality electrical connectors, specifically between the battery and the speed control. The "standard" battery connectors will fail eventually or not provide good contact. I use Deanís style connectors. My flight time increased a bit since I started using these connectors as they provide better conductivity (lower loss) than the standard connectors do. EP helicopters pull an amazing amount of current. The less power you lose in your connections, the more flight time you will enjoy!
- Keep the tail drive belt tight. Once I tightened up the tail drive belt, I solved many slipping problems.
- Try to keep it light, every gram counts.
- Try to avoid high wind conditions with the EP Concept
Overall, I have found the EP Concept to be an enjoyable and low maintenance helicopter. It isnít a great performer but mild. It will do the job if you need a challenge and want to hover and fly a low maintenance helicopter that is small and quiet. Unless a mishap occurs, I am usually able to charge the battery, take a quick flight, and put the helicopter back on the shelf when I am done. Periodic maintenance of course is very important as well as is keeping a flight record but things donít break often unless mishaps occur. If you are looking for a high performance helicopter, this isnít the helicopter for you; Helmut can point you to many of those high performance helicopters for sure. This EP helicopter though is robust, can take some abuse, and can be a lot of fun.