*****Walkera Dragonfly 60*****
I have purchased several walkera helicopters and indeed learned to fly with a walkera. The 60 boasts an aluminium frame, belt driven tail, full collective pitch and is capable of 3d flight. They feature the popular CCPM swash plate, where 3 servo's are connected directly to the swash plate. This system is good because it reduces any slop in the linkages.
The basic version comes with plastic rotor head and tail, Brushed motor and a NMH lump of a battery.. There are several other versions of the 60, some of which have a metal aloy head and tail plus brushless motor and Lipo battery. Most people seem to buy the basic version, so I decided to base my review on that one. (definately not because I was too tight to splash out the extra cash, lol.)
These helicopters come ready built, complete with 35mhz PCM radio gear, servo's and head lock AVCS gyro installed. They are indeed ready to fly (RTF). (if you are in the UK make sure you have 35mhz gear). My 60 I bought is the basic version with the standard brushed motor and 650 mah NMH battery. Ebay is awash with traders that supply spare parts at a reasonable price,which is great.
Looking more closely at the mechanics of the rotor head, although it is made from plastic parts its seems to be very good quality and shows virtually no slop at all in the linkages. I also think that it is rather a nice looking helicopter too. The 60 comes with an instruction manual which explains in detail how to set it up and general help. I recommend reading the manual even if you are fairly confident.
Don't expect to pull it out of the box and 5 minutes later be flying it around the garden inverted. They do require some setting up and checking. I had to adjust the flybar paddles on mine and also the pitch range too. Also the rudder was reversed and gyro setting was off. After reversing the rudder servo from the dip switches on the back of the tranny and setting up the blade pitch via the two twisty knobs on the front, I was ready to fire up the beast. As I spun it up to full rotor speed I realized as suspected that the gyro gain was too sensitive because the tail started to wag violently. This happens because the gyro was over compensating. On the side of the Walkera gyro there is a little adjustable pot called Gain, this is used to adjust the sensitivity. After a slight tweek of the gain pot I span up the rotor again and the tail held firm, I was ready to take off.
I had set the positive blade pitch to about 10o which is usually more than enough to get off the ground, but as I pushed the throttle stick forward and as such increased the pitch of the blades, the rotor head noticeably slowed down and I had real difficulty getting it off the ground to a hover. I managed to hover and complete a couple of small circuits at which time the motor slowed even more and I was unable to keep it airborne. Flight time about 3 minutes.
The reason for this lack of power and poor flight time is quite simple. "Standard brushed motor and useless 650mah battery". I find it quite bizzar why Walkera make a nice little heli like this and put in a totally underpowered motor and battery.
After realizing how underpowered it was I promptly removed the aforementioned motor, speed controller and NMH battery and promptly threw them in the bin. I then installed a 3500kv brushless outrunner, 30amp brushless speed controller and 2000mha 3 cell Lipo battery. Its worth noting that if you want to install the lipo inside the little shelf at the front of the heli, then an 1800-2000mah is about the limit otherwise you will have to strap the battery underneath.
With the new power plant installed the difference was incredible. There was plenty of power and I was soon zooming around my large garden looping and diving. I had a very respectable 16 minute flight time. Hovering with this helicopter was very stable and there was very little drift. Responses were a little slow & sluggish but this machine is hardly intended for the pro 3D flyer. I would regard the flight characteristics of this heli as steady and smooth, ideal for a beginner.
I have ordered the metal head and tail upgrade for my 60 and will review that when I have had chance to evaluate it.
Check out the video of my Walkera 60 at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1hf8KpYSdk
Walkera dragonfly 60 (marks out of 10)
Ease of assembly........................9
Flight characteristics..................7 (based on brushless motor and lipo battery,
otherwise it would have been 2)
OVERALL.............7 out of 10
Final words :
A great little heli offering superb value for money, but don't buy the standard version with brushed motor and useless 650 mah NMH battery unless you intend to upgrade to brushless+lipo. Better still, splash out the extra wonga for the brushless+lipo+ metal head and tail version.(You know you want to)
A great entry level helicopter, perfect as a first collective pitch heli and great RTF value for money. I'm pleased with mine.