Photos John Reid
Fly fast with authority
With the X2 out of ground effect, it steeled into a very stable hover with little stick movement needed.
This is the high-performance X2 helicopter from Hobby People, which is a coaxial helicopter that is ready to fly out of the box. The only thing you will need to add are four AA batteries into the included 2.4GHz transmitter. The LiPo flight pack and AC charger are included and will take a few minutes to charge before getting into the air. Out of the box, everything is installed – even the main rotor blades and canopy. The 2.4GHz radio system has switchable sensitivity depending on whether you're flying indoors or outdoors and your skill level.
You can also make it an extreme performer by adding brushless motors, aileron power assist, video housing with extended landing gear, a flight height limiter, or LED lights. All of these options plug into existing wiring (be sure to read the sidebar and learn how we added all the above accessories to showcase the stock and fully modified versions!). Along with global service and support, this is a very nice package for someone wanting to get into the 350 class of helicopters with little to no flying experience. The height limiter is intended for beginners and the aileron assist is designed for advanced pilots, so you can buy the accessories to fit your intended flying skills. With the video camera mounted under the heli, the optional foam and Velcro housing will protect your camera from the hardest of landings.
With everything installed, it looks like quite a different machine the camera mount shown below it is a foam box suitable for the Go Pro or other sized video camera.
This 100% factory assembled model can be flown in a large indoor space or outdoors in wind up to 8mph. The transmitter also has a switch to vary the amount of authority on the sticks so you can tailor the responsiveness to your surroundings or match the performance to your flying skills.
The automatic yaw gyro adds stable flight characteristics, and with composite plastic main and metal mainframe components, this bird comes out light and durable. An aluminum tail boom holds an Extreme Flyer's patented Anti-Wind Tail Control System so that it makes contact with the chassis.
Adding the brushless motor package will increase the flight range from 109 yards to 328 yards. The fixed-pitch coaxial rotor system stability is a given and this larger model is even more forgiving than some smaller helicopters. This RTF model comes with a charger, a LiPo flight pack, and a transmitter that is already bound to the receiver. It's suggested that you first charge the flight pack with the included charger, and that first charge took 15 minutes. During that time, I added the four AA batteries to the transmitter and read the manual. Within minutes, it was time to test fly the X2. The LiPo battery can only fit into the helicopter one way. There were no straps to hold it in place, and just a firm push is needed to seat it in the cradle and allow the canopy to fit. When connecting the large power connectors, the helicopter has to be on a level surface to let the gyro set properly.
With the transmitter switched on, it takes a stick movement to full power and back down to low power to arm the speed controls. A beep comes from the transmitter when it is ready to fly. A quick test hop on the bench confirmed it was really ready to fly, but using the least sensitive settings proved to be a little less control than I like. I found that setting three suited me better indoors.
Distributor: Hobby People (hobbypeople.net)
Rotor dia.: 18.75 in.
Length: 20.2 in.
Weight: 16.6 oz.
Radio: Extreme Flyers FHSS 5-channel 2.4GHz (included)
Power: 180 brushed (two)
Price: $219.99 (accessories shown: $239.95)
⊕ Fully assembled and trimmed out of the box
⊕ Durable materials used for rotor blades and skids
⊕ Flight battery fits without any hold-down straps or Velcro
⊕ Box can be used for transportation
Radio: Extreme Flyers 5-channel 2.4GHz (included)
Motors: 180 brushed (two included)
Battery: 3S 11.1V 850mAh 22C LiPo (included)
Main rotors: Molded composite plastic fixed-pitch sets A and B are mirror opposites (included)
In the Air
With the nose pointed in the wind, the X2 took o like any other helicopter, and what happened next was a nice surprise – it hovered hands o with little input. Sure, I threw the sticks around and it stabilized itself every time despite my efforts to do otherwise.
In no wind, it was able to fly around me with ease and as the wind came up, it needed more forward stick to keep its spot over the landing zone or achieve forward flight. I did a few takeo s and landings and each time, the little X2 impressed me with its stability and self-righting tendencies. As I watched it hover overhead, I noticed that the tail rotor was turning at times and at other times it was not.
Being a fixed-pitch heli, the X2 wanted to stay aloft even as the rotor speed slowed to a visible rotation, and its light weight and ample power allowed it to float back into a nice landing every time. This helicopter is a first pilot's dream.
On initial setup of the brushless motor installation I had reversed the motor control wires going into the receiver and that rendered the gyro useless, causing the helicopter to spin like a top. If you have a similar problem, just swap the two leads into the receiver and everything will be resolved.
If you are just starting out, it's suggested to add the height limiter. The number on the display has no actual measurement, so some experimentation will be required to find the best number to keep this bird from hitting your ceiling (if flying indoors). For you advanced pilots, the recommendation is to have aileron assist.
Here is the height limiter installed the numbers light up a bright red that can be seen in flight when it gets overhead.
It would probably take a beginner a few lessons with an experienced pilot by their side to feel comfortable flying this helicopter. For the experienced pilot, this bird has so much lift ability that carrying a 2-ounce Gopro camera would be fun and easy. On a first flight, I would recommend that you resist the temptation to hover a few inches off the deck and get at least 24 inches high before attempting any trim adjustments.
POWER & PERFORMANCE ADD-ONS
We got all of the optional parts for the X2 to try out, including the brushless motors. It was a fast swap out with only four screws on the main frame holding the landing gear in place, and the provided screwdrivers are a perfect fit for the screws holding the motors to the aluminum plate. The upper motor requires the cage to also be removed with two more screws and the lower motor with the fiberglass spacer fit perfectly from the bottom.
After replacing the motors, I then attached the speed controls to the skids. Since the brushed motors unplug from the receiver, the new speed controls had to plug into the marked servo plug in locations.
The next accessories installed were the aileron assist fans. This went together a lot faster than I expected due to only one of them needing to be wired. The next accessories were the lights, so after plugging them into the matching red plug and powering it up, I was able to see which lights were which color. Placing solid lights and blinking lights in different locations is recommended, which I followed. But you can install them to suit what you like because there is enough slack in the wires to go either way. I used black electrical tape to secure the wiring but you could also use hot glue or zip-ties.
The next optional item I installed was the height limiter and again, the different plug was already wired in so getting them mixed up is next to impossible. The last optional item I added was the camera mount with a pre-cutout foam housing designed for a GoPro-type camera. An extended wire landing gear is included to keep the camera from getting damaged due to any rough landings. All of these optional add-ons make this helicopter a fun bird for the experienced pilot.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: Stability is one thing you can count on with the X2 coaxial helicopter. With indoor flight becoming more popular, this is sure to be the helicopter that people will want to try indoors.
Tracking: on the X2, tracking it was very good, and the nose stayed where I wanted it to be at all times. The helicopter would buck and shutter at some of my control inputs, but just relaxing the sticks made these tendencies disappear.
Aerobatics: This might not be one of the X2's strongest points. This is due to the fixed-pitch and stable flight, which is what it was designed for. That being said, an experienced pilot can push the envelope to find this bird's limitations.
You will have such fun with this helicopter that you will need at least a second or third lipo battery pack. Overall, I enjoyed flying the X2 from Hobby people and look forward to seeing what's next.
For the experienced pilot, this bird has so much lift ability that carrying a 2-ounce GoPro camera would be fun and easy.
The wicked good looks are evident here with all rotors spinning it is quite impressive up close.