Walkera 52 Buyers guide and Review.

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*********Walkera Dragonfly 52*********

I have purchased several walkera helicopters, one of which being the 52. When I bought it I didnt realize just how small this little chopper actually was. Indeed it is sold with the claim that it is the worlds smallest collective pitch 3D helicopter. With this in mind, I just had to have one. Here's how I got on with mine.

Ok, the 52 is a fully collective pitch "MICRO" helicopter of tiny proportions. The main rotor blades are driven by a small brushed motor and the tail blades are driven by an even smaller geared, brushed motor. It uses the ever popular CCPM 120o swash plate control, which is basically 3 servo's connected directly to the swash plate for directional control. The swash plate servo's are about 3g each. The gyro and speed controller are built into the receiver and combines all electronics onto one little circuit board. The helicopter is powered by a little 3 cell ((11.1v) 270mah lipo battery.

  The helicopter comes in a rather nice presentation box and is RTF (ready to fly) with all radio gear and PCM transmitter. However it is almost certain that some amount of setting up of the controls will be necessary. It is important to read the supplied manual to understand the dip switches on the back of the transmitter, which are used to setup the controls, eg pitch range, servo rates, rudder sensitivity etc. I had to do a bit of fiddling on mine to get it how I expected it to be.

I must point out at this stage that I didn't expect this little nipper to be easy to fly because of it small size, and I wasn't wrong. When I powered mine up for the first time I found it a real handful , it was very sensitive on the controls, too sensitive. I had to reduce the rates on the cyclic controls quite a lot. Also that little brushed motor that drives the main rotor didn't seem quite powerful enough, it seemed real difficult getting it off the ground, as I increased the pitch the motor died off. Definately a lack of power. That little lipo does'nt last long at all either. A few minutes of hovering and it died too, in need of recharging. With a lot of practice I did get a lot better at it, but still I was disappointed at the lack of power and short fight time.

Right, my conclusion of this heli is :- A bit of fun for the intermediate / experienced flyer but underpowered and a lack of flight time spoils it. 

However, this little heli was crying out for a brushless motor and larger lithium battery, so I could'nt resist trying a conversion. I purchased a Feigao 12mm Thin Brushless and an  IPS Gearbox. I used the 10 tooth pinion that came with the Gearbox.  This fits nicely as a replacement motor and work well..

Also I fitted a tiny 10 amp brushless ESC and soldered the power connections directly onto the main PCB. It is important that the main receiver pcb on the heli  is powered directly from the battery and not via the BEC of the esc because the main pcb also powers the motor for the tail blades, so the BEC alone is not man enough for that. The receiver connector on the ESC goes into the spare slot on the receiver PCB, which is the throttle channel. I also removed the battery tray under the heli and velcro'd a 650mha 11.1v Lipo in place of the existing battery.

  With this new power plant in place I powered my 52 up again and the difference was quite amazing. The rotor speed was double that what it was before and the power was great. It easily lifted the extra weight of the bigger battery and was a lot more stable in the air. With a brushless motor this little heli is amazing fun to fly, but keep it close to you because you'll soon lose sight of it otherwise. And with a brushless motor those blades break real easy.

 

Walkera dragonfly 52 (marks out of 10)

Kit quality .................................6

Design/engineering .....................7           

Ease of assembly ........................9

Cost ...........................................9

Flight characteristics ..................7 (based on brushless motor and lipo battery,  

                                                      otherwise it would  have been 4)

OVERALL.............7 out of 10

Final words :  Great value for money, micro heli fun for the more experienced flyer.

                        Beware! I wouldn t recommend this for a beginner.

 

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