Raptor Comparison page

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The choice of which helicopter to get is very much a personal choice. You need to go with the one you really want. The one that excites you the most. If you go with one just because someone says to, then you may keep thinking 'what-if' I had the other one. If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a very 'mental' hobby and if you can't look forward to flying the helicopter you have, then it won't be as fun. With that in mind, I have listed my opinions of choosing between the Raptor 30, 50, and 60 helicopters:

Raptor 60
If you do bang-the-sticks type flying that needs a lot of power then the 60 is the helicopter for you. The larger engines are not only more powerful but are also a lot easier to adjust then the 30 class. They also tend to keep their settings better from one enviroment to the other (cold, hot, dry, humid weather). The extra weight of the 60 helps a lot in windy conditions. It does not get kicked around compared to the 30's. It also penetrates the air much better. For example on the vertical part of a stall turn I can go much higher then on my 30's. Also forward flight conditions are the smoothest of the three Raptors (30/50/60). And auto's are a lot better, you actually have enough reserve at the bottom to get a few seconds hang time. Another advantage is that it's bigger in sky, a little easier to see. Also features such as the constant tail drive give the ability to do some kewel auto tricks. The frameset has a very stiff and strong design. I have heard of some hard crashes that did not damage warp the frames. The design shares the same ease of maintance as the 30. Engine drops out from the bottom easily. The kit was easy to put together. There were some reported problems in the first kit, but since have been corrected in the new Version II kits.
Disadvantages: Cost more (kit is around $490 compared to $250 for the 30/50), the longer blades used on 60 class helicopters are more expensive, the engine/muffler is more expensive, you can't use cheap servos on the cyclic and collective, fuel consumption is a lot more then the 30 and a little more the the 50, and it smokes a lot compared to the 30/50. If you do like to do ground maneuvers at the end of the tank like I do, then if you have no wind blowing be prepared to stand in a cloud of smoke :) Also you have to spend time on getting things balanced good, especially the blades. The 60 class will show up balance problems more then the 30. The 30 is almost plug-n-play. Other then the smoke issue and the cost the 60 fly's great and is capable of any trick you can do.

Raptor 50
If you are at the stage where you can do 3D with the 30 but starting some tricks that need a little more power like tic-toc's and such then the 50 is for you. You can run some different configurations (gear ratios and blade size) to get it the way you like. I run 8.5 to 1 with 600mm blades to give a smooth flight and the OS 50 gives great power. I have heard that if you run the stock gear ratio with 550mm and OS 50, then it will run like a rocket. If you need excess power then this is for you, but this is not to say the 8.5/600mm/OS50 does not have power, it does great! I like the larger blades because it gives the helicopter a great feel. With this configuration it puts it right in the middle of the 30 and the 60. For example, in the 30 class the engines tend to be touchy, as in you can have good power but bad idle and you have to run it right on the edge of being too lean to get the power you want. The OS 50sx shares the excellent properties of the 60. Another thing is the larger blades give a more tracked-in feel in forward flight, not as good as the 60, but better then the 30. And the power is right in between also, the 30 does not always have enough power for some of the more demanding moves while the 60 has excess power, this 50 is just right. One of the advantages of going with the 50 over the 60 is a much lower starting cost. The kit is $225 plus the conversion kit ($80) which is a lot cheaper then the $490 for a 60 kit. And if you have a 30 also, then most of the parts you stocked up for it will also fit the 50. The blades and muffler also cost less then the 60 class.

Raptor 30
If you are just getting into the hobby then this is the one to start out on. Also a lot of pilots that have expensive 60 machines have been getting the Raptor 30 to learn 3D because this is a lot cheaper to repair if you happen to crash. I have heard of repair cost of $400 or more to repair some brands of 60 helicopters (ouch!). The Raptor 30 will carry you from learning to hover all the way to learning 3D. It flys great for a 30. My impression of this helicopter the first time I flew one was that it was very stable and handled the wind great. I also really like how easy it is to work on. Price is a big plus for this helicopter, parts are cheap (and readily available), it has lower fuel cost, is a light enough machine you can use less expensive servos (I have hundreds of flights on my $26 Hitec servos, in fact Ron Lund setup a machine with JR 517's even on the gyro and it worked great... I'm not a fan of the 507 or 517 so use that info at your own risk :), engine and muffler are also cheaper, and the stock wood blades ($20-$25) do an adequate job even for some 3D. Being a plastic helicopter and 30 size, it does not seem to be as picky as the 60's about things being perfectly in balance. Balancing things is a good thing for helicopters, the mechanics and electronics will like you for that, but honestly I tend to bolt things together and fly. If I see vibration, then I will take it apart and check things out. So for the begginer or someone that just wants to increase their skills on a cheap machine, this helicopter is the best buy.