In the class of "05" sized electric helis, I put it at the top. Only just
below the JR Voyager E.
I used to own 2 ECO 8s....one flew with an "economy" power system, with only
the upgrades I felt it needed.....ther other had EVERY upgrade and a brushless
Firstly, how much heli experience do you have? If this is your first heli, I
dont suggest the ECO 8. Its flimsier than other helis of the like, harder and
more expensive to get parts for than say the JR Voyager. HOWEVER, if youve
flown helis before and are a proficient pilot, it is a good choice. The
Voyager E is more stable, and rock solid in hover. Its more robust and
cheaper/easier to get parts for. But, it is heavier than the ECO 8, requiring
more "juice" to get it to fly well, and flight times are shorter with the
Voyager than the ECO 8. Those are the tradeoffs...
If you go for the ECO 8, I suggest a few things. You MUST buy the $45
autorotation hub otherwise youll strip the main gears without it and crash
almost every flights. Also, you will break the stock swash in the first crash,
at which point you need to upgrade to the aluminum swashplate for about
$80-$90. I also suggest the carbon fiber tail boom mount for the tail rotor
servom as well as the carbon boom supports. These are all options I feel are
"must" have for this heli to perform the best for not much spent. You can fly
without them, but trust me, they do fly the heli much better!
Next is radio gear. First, I must say it is almost no questions asked you MUST
use a helicopter radio capable of CCPM. No, dont even try to use a 4 channel
airplane radio. Also, I highly suggest CCPM over stnadard mixing because the
heli flies smoother, and weighs less....the mechanical mixer supplied works,
but CCPM is a world of different! I suggest 3 Hitec HS85 micros with metal
gears for the cyclics. For the tail rotor, I suggest the Hitec HS81 metal
geared (Slightly faster than the 85s, less torque...better for the tail rotor).
For a gyro, I suggest the Futaba GY240 heading hold....coupled to the 81
servo, this is an excellent heading hold set up. YOu can also use cheaper
piezo gyros, just make sure theyre lightweight...under 1 ounce. You can get
the Futaba 240 for about $99 at ***heli.com though.....cant beat it for that
Next is your choice for motors. "Economy" set up is a 16 turn modified RC car
motor ($30) and the Jeti 30 amp heli ESC ($50). On 8 cells, this will fly the
heli for up to 7.5 minutes on 2400 cells, with power for basic loops, rolls and
inverted. If you have $300 to spend, go brushless. Your flight times will be
10+ minutes, with more power than the above set up. I suggest the Ikarus
X-250-H motor...I used it with excellent results on 10 and 12 cells. It has a
built in fan to stay very cool.
Use 8 cells for the "brushed" set up. I suggest 2400RC Sanyo cells, about $52
a pack. For brushless, get some 10 or 12 cell packs of 2400RC cells...about
$65-$90 depending where you find em. You do of course then also need a good
quality peak charger. The best for the money right now is the Dymond RC Super
Smart charger. For $109, it can do up to 25 cells (You can charge 3 identical
8 cell 2400 packs at once...you have 3 charged packs in the time it takes to do
1), NiCad and NiMH cells, PLUS it also can discharge packs to keep them up to
full potential longer. See it here:
If you have experience flying helis, go for it. On 12 cells and brushless
(Youll need to buy the $100 carbon frames and the upgrade carbon blades though)
you can do full 3D. Still there's a lot of flex, but itll fly just like the
"biggees." If this is you first heli, you might consider the Voyager. For $399
from ***heli.com you get the heli, motor, ESC AND a JR 460 heading hold gyro.
Use 8 cell 2400 packs fdor the Voyager, 4 Hitec HS225 metal geared mini
servos, and the same 240 or the 401 Futaba gyro (The 401 is best if used with
an 8 channel or better radio so you can adjust gain from your Tx).
If you need anything else, feel free to write!
Check out my Electric R/C Helicopter Column "Vertical Charge" here: