Align T-Rex 450XL Review

Align T-Rex 450XL Review

Author
  • Flying
  • Durability
  • Price

If you are dreaming of a small electric helicopter which is cheap and easy to fly, Align T-Rex 450XL is your best bet. Besides being smaller and cheaper than its cousins like T-Rex 600, 450XL offers you full functionality. Though it is small, its size is enough to carry the advanced electronics and it keeps its stability in moderate wind. Align also offers some of the most reasonably priced replacements and upgrades available in every decent hobby shop which keep RC helis (and this is important for beginners whose helis are prone to multiple crashes). Moreover the well-designed head of T-Rex 450XL allows you to do an unending 3D performance while still letting you tune down the rates to accomplish a stable training heli that can manage in a little wind. In short, it gives you a lot of room to experiment.

Assembly

Assembly of T-Rex 450XL is very simple and straightforward. Manual has less of written instructions but has enough diagrams given in steps. Nearly all the parts are attached together easily. Actually it comes largely preassembled as the build is so easy and it is the most modern version of T-Rex 450.

Advantage of Plastic Head

The XL version has a plastic head as told earlier which scores over the carbon frame and fully “blinged” metal head of the SE in that metal parts are quite rigid and not worth the cost for most pilots till they begin to fly aerobatics.

The head is the most important component of the heli. If there is no smooth and slop-free assembly of head, there won’t be an effective control of blades by the servos and the controls would be hard to trim and sluggish. There is a bit of mess of ball links being too tight but this is not a big issue. You can either ream them out a little with a ball link sizer or just leave them and they will adjust themselves to proper size after some flights.

Once you finish with the head assembly, other things are smooth.

Installation of Radio

For the servos you can choose any micro servos on the market, but the HS-56HB is a good choice though it is somewhat more expensive than others. They are stronger and faster with a nice, firm gear train. Another component to choose is Futaba 240 Gyro which complements the servo with its accurate unit.

Finishing

Regarding the power system, a three-cell Thunder Power battery is good. It has the light Neu 1105 motor along with Castle Creations Phoenix 35 ESC speed controller. This combination is quite mild as compared to the high voltage power systems used by the 3D fliers. It is lightweight and efficient, and also offers superb runtime and performance.

The manufacturer’s recommendations work perfectly if you follow them exactly.

Flying Performance

If you are a newbie, it is advisable to consult an experienced pilot to trim your heli for you, and check your setup, blade tracking, CG, etc. A simulator is also recommended because it will pay for itself at the cost of many parts, and also time and irritation. If it is your first flight, fly the heli in as large a space as you can.

The 450XL requires minimum trim input and has a very stable hover. Only a bit of cyclic input will be needed and if you have Futaba gyro, it will hold the tail firmly in place. Even if you are inexperienced you can hold the heli easily in a 1 cubic foot box which will make your backyard flights easy and fun later.

The bird has outstanding response on the collective and can climb pretty strongly. The light motor is easy on the batteries and can give you flight times nearly half an hour consecutively with use of conservative throttle.

Both collective as well tail responses are great – crisp and fast with full servo travel, but with the rates brought down to 60%, the bird is very smooth.

What’s more, the heli handles wind amazingly well. It is quite manageable than most popular micro helis. You can even fly T-Rex 450XL easily even in winds up to 10mph. Trying even in 15mph is also not a problem when air is smooth.

Pros

  • Incredible price
  • Superb quality
  • Spare part availability excellent
  • Handles winds amazingly well
  • Superior flights
  • Offers generous room to perform aerobatics

Cons

  • Manual has less of written instructions
  • Ball links come tight from factory

Conclusion

In short, T-Rex 450XL is perfect for learners. Besides it is quite inexpensive and gives superb flight performance. Spare part availability is equally important particularly for a newbie who crashes a lot. The heli offers great aerobatic ability too for a new enthusiast wishing to become an expert.

Enjoy this excellent video by Modelflight.

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