The Trex 450 series of helicopters perform well and are easy to find parts for. Are they really as good as you have heard? Maybe you wonder if a Trex is worth the price. The answer is yes on both counts.
The Trex 450 SE, 450 Sport, and 450 Pro are bigger, faster, more stable and more maneuverable than other models described on this web site. The Trex's are products of lengthy development by the Align Corporation of Taiwan. Align's engineers have studied the results of extensive testing by some of the world's best RC helicopter pilots to produce a heli that is a joy to fly and an aerobatic tiger in the hands of an expert. The Trex's smoothness, precision, and responsiveness, is generally acknowledged as excellent for intricate and demanding flight maneuvers.
Trex 450's have fiberglas laminate or carbon fiber frames and tail fins and CNC-machined aluminum main rotor head and tail mechanisms. When properly set-up and adjusted a Trex is accurate and precise in its responses to flight commands from the transmitter (Tx).
A Trex needs more room to fly and more care than a co-axial or micro-size single rotor heli. Don't fly it in your living room—you will only crash it needlessly. Since this helicopter's head speed (RPM of the main rotor) is very high and the rotor is larger than a micro heli, safety is a paramount concern. Place it well away from you and others when you take off and keep it entirely away from people, animals, buildings, trees, and electrical lines when you fly it. Do use your transmitter's throttle hold switch and make sure it is activated before you plug in the flight battery and before you unplug the battery after each flight.
If you have not flown RC before a Trex will be easier to hover tail-in than other single rotor helicopters. The Trex's feasibilty as a beginner's heli depends on the beginner. Even though it hovers easily it is heavier than a micro heli, so when you reduce power you really need to let it down easily. If you react with fear to an unanticipated flight situation by slamming the throttle down it will drop like a brick.
If you tell it to go right or forward it does, pronto! If your stick movement is large the response is immediate and pronounced. So the first flights are an interesting amalgam of pleasure and nervousness. Within your personal envelope of flying ability a Trex 450 is pilot-friendly. The moment you depart from your tried-and-true skills it still does whatever you tell it to whether it is a good idea or not!
If you become a serious helicopter nut you will want a Trex as soon as you realize that it makes up for deficiencies you will encounter in other models. Once you start flying it you will see its challenges and promises and want to explore both.
There is a world of enhancements, modifications, and set-up options for the Trex. Too many to begin to list here. Tuning in to technical and flying issues is what Internet resources like HeliTown.com and RCgroups.com are for. But you must know the on-line resource for Trex pilots is Finless Bob's Tech Room on HeliFreak.com. Finless is an expert RC pilot who has devoted untold hours to produce a series of free videos that cover nearly every aspect of assembling, setting up, and maintaining your Trex. He also shows you how to correctly solder Dean's connectors to batteries and bullet connectors to motors and electronic speed controllers (ESC's), how to program the Align ESC, re-build servo gears, how to balance rotors blades, and more.
Did you catch that about 'assembling' the Trex? This helicopter is more commonly seen as a kit that you build than 'ready to fly' (RTF) or 'almost ready to fly' (ARF), although it is also available in these forms too for more money.
I am a pretty vanilla Trex pilot so my SE is stock. The Align 430L motor with a 3s 15C 2100 mah lithium-polymer (li-po) battery gives me as much performance as I can handle and long enough flights. I use 325 mm Align Pro Wood main blades for the same reason I use balsa blades on my Blade CP Pro: to avoid needless damage in case it crashes. The other reason I like wood blades on the Trex is that they are less dangerous than plastic or carbon fiber in the event of accidental contact with a person, animal, or fragile object.
Trex parts are surprisingly reasonable and easy to come by, both in retail hobby shops and on-line. For example, the retail price of wood blades for the Blade CP Pro is 16.99. A set of 325 mm Align Pro Woods goes for 12.99.
A Trex in the air is a beautiful sight and a joy to fly. Take your time, go slow, and enjoy!
A new Trex 450 SE on the first flight.
Some time later I get bit by the aerobatic bug.....