I always look forward to Align’s new kit introductions and am excited to review their new flybarless T-Rex 600EFL Pro kit, which includes the brushless motor and 600 3G carbon-fiber rotor blades. It is also available in various combo packages. The aerodynamics of the new 600EFL is vastly improved over the flybar-equipped version, and this results in even greater performance. There are many other improvements that enhance performance and control as well as make maintenance and repairs easier.
The helicopter kit features high-quality carbon-fiber frames with an innovative system of carbon-fiber plates and engineered plastic spacers that result in a very rigid yet lightweight chassis. One feature that I find really useful is the sliding battery tray; this makes battery pack changes super fast and simple with no extra straps required. The included 600-class motor is also new, and it is powered by 12S high-voltage LiPo batteries for tremendous torque and power. Also, to simplify matters, the included pinion is optimized for the motor, guaranteeing top performance.
Having had great success with the Mikado V-Bar 5.2 flybarless system, I chose to use it along with two Spektrum satellite receivers and was very happy with its performance. I found the Outrage Torq BL9080 high-voltage, brushless cyclic servos fast and accurate as well as the Torq BL9088 high-speed, high-voltage tail servo. Two Thunder Power 6S 3300mAh 65C packs (in series for 12S) and a Castle Ice2 120HC speed control round out the power package.
The T-Rex 600EFL went together very quickly with no issues whatsoever. thanks to the excellent quality and design. Typical of Align products, the kit is well-packaged and includes excellent illustrated instructions. The frames required minimal sanding and the molded-in battery rails and aileron and pitch servo mounts are a great feature. The metal flybarless rotor head has some unique features, such as detachable pitch arms for easier maintenance. The included CNC-machined servo arms not only look cool, but are very strong. The Mikado V-Bar 5.2 flybarless system is very easy to set up and, after I used it on several models, it became my favorite. Combined with the excellent Align rotor head, the heli’s handling is superb. I am also impressed with the Castle Ice2 120HC speed control, which is able to handle the 12-cell pack. I used a separate 2-cell LiPo pack to power the airborne flight pack.
The motor mount for the 600-class motor has a heat sink and is top mounted. The mount also has a third bearing block to support the motor shaft, which should add to the gear train’s longevity. The main gear is a CNC-machined helical gear. Well-made helical gears such as the one are superior to straight-cut gears. They are quieter, transmit the power more efficiently and are more durable. Another feature is the additional radial bearing in the one-way bearing block for smoother operation. The main frames are well-thought-out and it’s easy to get a neat electronics installation without having a rat’s nest of wiring.
Improvements in the tail section are also evident. The heavy-duty 5mm carbon tail rotor pushrod with metal sleeve provides clean crisp tail inputs with near zero flex. An updated L-lever on the tail incorporates a plastic bushing that also adds to stiffness to the tail control system. The torque-tube drive combined with the high-speed thrust bearings in the tail rotor ensure that the tail will hold in the most demanding maneuvers. The machined, all-metal tail gearbox further improves the looks and performance of the model.
The unique frame makes servo installation and setup a snap as there is a place for the speed control and receiver. After all the equipment is installed, the model looks very attractive and professional. The sleek, fiberglass canopy has a first-rate paint job and uses a four point, quick-release attachment system to hold it securely.
The Align T-Rex 600EFL is an ideal size for serious RC flying. It has a very high power-to-weight ratio for unlimited aerobatics and has a commanding presence in the air. It is also compact enough for easy transport. A novice with some helicopter flying time will find the 600EFL to be a very stable platform if the flybarless control system is properly set up for docile flying characteristics. Experienced pilots will enjoy the versatility of the model with the only limitation being the pilot himself.
Model: T-Rex 600EFL Pro kit
Manufacturer: Align RC
Distributor: Assurance RC (alignrcusa.com)
Main Rotor Diameter: 53 in.
Power incl’d: brushless 600
Radio req’d: 6-channel with CCPM mixing
Don’t miss Klaus Ronge’s full review in the July issue of Model Airplane News!