The MXR500E is nearing completion. I have to say I am honestly very very happy with the results. 50 class machines have a definite advantage in that they are less costly to operate and to repair after an accident with the ground. The problem in the past is that they did not tend to fly all that well and / or they wore out very fast. Many of the 50 size machines I flew felt like I was always chasing the machine around the sky and fighting bad flight tendencies. I am proud to say the MXR500 flies with the outstanding flight qualities of the larger machines offered by Miniature Aircraft USA. Plain and simple it hovers like a rock, yet is agile enough to put a smile on your face in any 3D maneuver.
Right now I have just over 100 flights on my Electric version of the MXR500 and the airframe has been bullet proof. Even after 100 flight the links, washout, and all moving parts are as solid as day 1. We have made some changes along the way to improve the design but the main design features have not changed. The airframe has been maintenance free mechanically and I have not suffered any type of failures or mechanical problems along the way.
My machine is currently equipped with:
Futaba R5014 G3 RX
Futaba 9252 cyclic servo’s
Futaba GY611 gyro
Radix 600mm main blades
Radix 95mm tail blades
FlightPower 2 – 5S 3700 mah packs for a total of 10S
Kontronik Jazz 55-10-32 speed control
We are also running the Actro 24-4, Kontronik Tango 45-06, Neu 1515-2Y, Hacker A50-10.
The Neu 1521 so far has had the best power followed closely by the 24-4 actro. I am going to be doing some more testing with the Neu 1515 and Hacker A50 very soon. With the high power setups we are getting 5 min of very hard 3D. With lower power setups (equal to a standard 50 nitro) we are seeing 6-8 min.
The Flight Power 3700 mah batteries have been outstanding delivering every bit of the performance promised by Flight Power. It is easy to see they have done their homework. Even with the Neu 1521 monster motor we are seeing 5 min flights with 3000 mah put back into the packs and temps on the packs of about 125-135F. Even on 100F + days we are not exceeding the max 140F for lipo packs.
Recently we flew at a Funfly at Clint’s place down in south GA. 2 MXR’s where flown all day back to back. 1 had the Actro 24-4 and mine had the Neu 1521. We flew a total of 12 flights on each bird with 2 sets of packs each! We flew and charged back to back the entire day with absolutely no problems.
I can not wait for the official release of the production models as I believe so many people will be very happy with the results. New machines are a lot of work in development but Tim at MA is willing to do the work necessary to make sure Miniature Aircraft models are always on the cutting edge of technology and performance.
As many of you probably already know, Miniature Aircraft USA is working on a .50 size line of helicopters to outclass the current highly competitive .50 size class of machines. The design goals are fairly straight forward. #1 make it fly better than any other .50 size machine available. #2 make it affordable to fly. #1 is sure a lot easier if you forget #2 but then that would defeat the purpose of a new machines in this class. Tim Schoonard has a knack for thinking outside of the box and developing machines that work very well using non standard methods. Though some may not consider the changes groundbreaking, any change from the norm in this hobby is a pretty big deal.
So how is it going you may ask? Very well is the simple answer. We are currently flying machines and doing prototype testing. You may see pictures posted of the model, but expect that model to change some. We are working hard to make this as good of a model as possible.
The MXR500 will be available in nitro and electric. Many ask if I think electric will replace glow, the answer is no. Electric has made huge advances in the last few years, but it is just another great part of our hobby. Most modelers that I know that fly electric also fly nitro. Electric has big advantages in sound levels and in the fact it is very clean. The disadvantage is the “cost of the knowledge” associated with operating high power electrics. You can not just say “I want a motor that has the same power as a .50 OS” at your local hobby shop. Electric is a bit more complex than that. Also you need to pay more attention to temps and flight times or you risk damaging your high dollar electronics and batteries.
I have flown an ION-X quite a bit and they are a real kick in the pants. I have setups that will push 4000 watts which is over 5HP! The problem with that is that you need to pay real close attention to your electronics and flight times if you are really pushing the machine as it is fairly easy to damage something flying with that much power. Heck that is well over 100 amps at 36 volts! Though I enjoy that power and the ability of the ION-X I really want a fun and cost practical machine to just fly on a daily basis without worry of damaging things.
We look to have found the answer in the MXR500E. I normally don’t like flying .50 size machines as they tend to be kind of cheap and don’t fly all that well. I can honestly say my MXR500E is flying nearly as well as my Stratus. On moderate cyclic the machine rolls and flips effortlessly. I have been very impressed with the stability and agility of the MXR model.
For power I am currently running a Kontronik 55-10-32 control and a Kontronik Tango 45-08 motor. I am also running Flight Powers new 5S 3700mah 20C continuous batteries in a series of 2 so I am getting 10S 3700mah. With this setup I am seeing better than .50 nitro performance and solid 3D performance for 6min. For sport flying I can expect 8 min of flying. In an aggressive 6 min 3D flight I am using an average of 30 amps. I am more than happy with the power and it feels very strong in the air. The best part is that after a hard flight my motor is 130F and my batteries are 120F-135F (depending on outside air temp.) So on solid .50+ power I can fly for 6 min worry free and know I am not risking any of my electronics.
There are many other motors and controls that will work. The reason I chose Kontronik is that they produce some of the highest quality electronics available to us and they are readily available from Tower Hobbies at www.Towerhobbies.com. The control runs about $270 which is at the higher end of the cost range for this size of control. What you get though is well worth the $. Setup is very simple and from softstart to normal operation the Kontronik control has worked flawlessly. I also have not had any RF problems I experienced with other brands of controls. It just works and works well. The motor is about $270 also. It is very high quality and it looks like it should cost what you paid for it. Again the motor has worked flawlessly and performance is excellent.
I am using FlightPower batteries. I have quite a few sets of these in different sizes and all have performed as advertised from FlightPower. I have been very impressed with the performance and quality of the batteries. The guys over in the UK also are hobbyist and really care about the hobby and the sport we are all involved in. They are very knowledgeable and really display a great desire to continuously improve their products and supply the best batteries possible. The performance of my packs has been excellent. I fully expect to see 150-200 cycles. The cost of the packs is about $200 each.
So in a nut shell I have a great flying mid size machine I can fly for 6 min with solid better than .50 power and I don’t have to worry about damaging anything. Charge and fly, charge and fly… that is the way it should be. Heck when I am charging I am out flying my nitro machines so it works out great! I hope you get a chance to check out the new MXR500 soon. Nitro or electric, it is shaping up to be one heck of a model.