Over the last two weeks I have been looking at my hobby and seeing if anything needs to change. This week I am looking at what it is I fly. Before that let’s dig deeper into the why. Over time we get deeper and deeper into a hobby and we don’t realize just how deep into we are. The we begin to fall away from it just to come back to it. That’s what hobbies do they have their own cyclic nature to them as our lives develop or as events happen. So let’s take a look at what I am think about with my hobby.
As I stated earlier the last 2 years have really been good and bad. I have had a lot of good change and a lot of bad change in my life. Most people would claim “That’s life”. When “life happens” and starts to eat away at your hobby then it’s an issue. This is where the investment made over the years comes into question. We invest time and money into this and we come to a point where you have to make a choice. For some folks it’s not as extreme as it is for others. When some people hit this point they will drop the hobby and others will dial it back. For me I am at the dialing it back point.
Let’s get to the real reason for the topic. If you follow me on the forum you know what I have but if you don’t I will explain it. My fleet consists of: S.A.B. Goblin 570, Gaui X3 and and a Blade 180CFX. Each kit has/had its reason. I got the Gaui first and do to money constraints and limited flying areas it fit the bill just nice. In 2016 I joined a flying club, I was single and I had the time and a place to fly so I got the Goblin. The Blade was a spur of the moment purchase but it did have a place. I was able to fly at work and at the apartment where I lived. I figured I had it made with this setup.
Lets begin with the Blade 180CFX and why I got it. Initially the reason for it was to fly at the house or at work. For the first few weeks this was fine. The courtyard I had was big enough and I was able to experiment with proficiency. I took it to work and I was able to fly some random corner and bother people. Again this was a great thing for me. After about 3 months with this heli I discovered just how expensive it is to own. I crashed it a few times and had to fix it just as many times. Every crash I had I needed a new aservo or gears, the boom would buckle every time and I lost just as many skids as I had crashes. Surprisingly I lost only one set of carbon blades. I know there is a good number up upgrades for this kit. Problem is that it defeats the purpose of having a cheap heli. As of right now I am considering on fixing this guy because right now its broke and needs some loving and a few batteries. Crash cost does make this a little restrictive to fly. This could be my beater heli because I could fly this little guy inside my work. We have a bit of open space that I can use.
My Gaui sits on a shelf these days. I currently do not have the money to replace the esc and motor on it. I have been having a bunch of heat issues with my hobbywing and scorpion motor. Not sure what the issue is other than maybe a bad esc. If I was to use this kit as my everyday beater I will need something bigger than my yard. I won’t be able to fly it at work unless it’s outside. We have some open dock space that will allow me to fly, just won’t be able to push myself. Crashing the X3 is not bad on cost. I have crashed it a few times and this thing is a tank. I have broke blades, I broke booms and skids and still I can keep this thing flying for under $70 USD per crash. If I keep it I will have to overhaul the kit. It has not been maintenanced in almost 2 years. This could be a way for me to just get the X3L and call it even steven. I don’t have to much to say that’s negative about the X3. It’s been reliable, resilient and is not overly expensive to fix.
My 570 is not going anywhere for sure. I really love flying this heli. It gives me the big bird experiance as I fly. If I had the skill I can do anything on this kit that one can do on a 700 size heli. It’s a great work horse thats reliable and mostly resilient. Crashing this kit can set one back $200 USD or more per crash. Yes it’s expensive for most to afford. If you look at the Goblin 500 and compare it to the 570 then its cheaper to fly than the 500. Most of the 570 parts come from the 500, so it has that going for it. Downside is I need a dedicated flying field that I can get to regularly. I don’t have the time right to just get out and fly. It sucks but it is what it is. At the end of the day this kit is going to stay. The 570 is just a great all around work hose that will fly day after day with question. I trust that it will do what i want it to do.
S.A.B. has made me take a double look at the new 280 helis. This could change my mind on the 180CFX. That mini comet has me thinking hard. I just don’t have the $500USD right now to get it. If I go this route I will take out two helis from the fleet; the 180 and the X3. I could in theory I could fly the comet indoors, backyard, street or where ever I wish. Its a smaller kit but I would forcast crash costs to be that of a 360/380 kit. I can transplant most of the electronics from the X3 over to it. All I would need to get extra are the batteries. The kit comes with the motor and esc already. I have lots to think of over winter if I want to fly next year.
In conclusion I am still at a loss as to which route to go. Keep what I have and spend the cash to get it flying; which would be cheaper than buying a new kit or just get the new kit and beat that up for the summer. Either way I have to get back to flying next year. I missed it this whole summer. I did not have the time, the funds or the mood due to what was going on. I believe that if I would have had the 180 up and going I would have been flying that to get me through till I could go to a field proper. What ever I chose the kit has to be affordable, reliable and resilient. Eventually I will find the best heli for me.
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- This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Reflecting on My Hobby.
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- This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Reflecting on My Hobby.