My opinions on kits
Miniature Aircraft (X-Cell)-
Yes I do own one, so you may find this partially biased. Anyhow, compared to modern plastic machines, xl still uses a somewhat complex stacked frame design. Some people accuse xl kits of having far more pieces than others, and there is some truth to this, but it should not scare you. More pieces means you will be able to replace only what breaks in a crash, and it makes building a bit more fun (for me at least).
Likes: Lightweight helicopters fly and auto well, standard parts have been around for a long time, so even if you are flying an older model, chances are the newer models are still using a lot of the same components. High quality machined parts, lots of upgrades available should you want or need them, nice fiberglass canopies, made in the good old USA, tons of parts support, good instructions and plans, good support at fun flys, no crappy blades included with kits, updated parts quickly released if there is a problem, Fury finally available and is an excellent reasonably priced 60 kit with great features.
Dislikes: Parts and upgrades expensive, company has a bad habit of announcing new products way too early.
The shutttle line of helicopters is solid and has introduced many new pilots. New line of plastic fantastic helicopters good value for the money (Freyaa, Sceaduu). The models are somewhat heavy, so be sure to power them well.
Likes: Good parts support, nice machined parts if your kit includes any, resonably priced, easy to build, upgrades not needed.
Dislikes: US importer jacks prices, parts can usually be found for 20-40% less money overseas. Heavy, Lousy blades included in kits. Company won't even allow vendors to use their name (they are selling their products!!??!).
Inexpensive, good flying helis for the most part. The company makes some bad decisions however. Why did they move to california instead of their facility in the center of the country, slow down parts shipping to the east coast, as well as create a two month parts shortage?
Likes: Very easy to build, inexpensive, good flying, very easy to get help with, inexpensive parts, good selection of aftermarket and upgrade parts.
Dislikes: Many bugs in the kits, updated parts very slow to be released, instructions not good for beginners, parts supply not always dependable.
Decent helicopters, mfg is very concerned with "Curtis Youngblood" image, he flies one- you should too. I think this takes away from their overall market position. Expensive kits still contain a few cheap aspects.
Likes: Vigor uses a nice sturdy frame set, good parts availability, good support at fun flys.
Dislikes: Expensive kits, parts, and upgrades! Huge ugly plastic canopies, $700 vigor still includes a plastic ball on the tail control, head still comes assembled with no grease... what gives? Not always as much local field support, depends on your location. Slow to release new machines to contend with 30 and 50-class market. Standard Vigor too overpriced to compete with Fury/Freya market based on its features.
Once a strong force in the helicopter market, but dying off recently. This is due to no new machines to compete with Fury/Freya inexpensive 60 market. No 30 class machine offered. Very odd marketing decisions, obviously cares more about their r/c boats than helicopters.
Likes: Beefy German construction, excellent unique 45 degree offset swash system, simple but effective rocking servo setup, usually good parts availability from a few main shops, they fly well.
Dislikes: Parts and upgrades expensive, Futura and Conquest 50 discontinued while Millenium2 and Nova too expensive to compete with Fury/Freya market, No 30 size machine is a mistake, slow to release parts such as 80/90 conversion kits.
That's all for now.
email me: jbond007 at lycos.com