OverviewThe HK-450 has opened the door to this exciting hobby. While I wouldn't recommend it as a beginner helicopter, it definitely can be flown by those with very little skill. For pilots looking for extreme 3D thrills, HobbyKing does supply some upgrade parts. They have also just released the full alloy version for a few dollars extra. Overall, considering the cost, I highly recommend this great all round 450 class helicopter.
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When HobbyKing released the HobbyKing HK-450 Electric Helicopter, they broke all precedents regarding the affordability of a 450 Class helicopter. At only $30 for the kit, they suddenly opened up the hobby to everyone. They also set in motion a price war which has seen other brands, such as CopterX and EXI, releasing some of their models at a much lower price.
I missed the initial launch unfortunately as stocks were sold out in a matter of hours, but I was quick to jump in when the second batch arrived. The HobbyKing HK-450 was my first 450 class helicopter and I have not been disappointed.
The kit arrived well packed and with most of the parts pre-assembled at the factory. Unfortunately there are no instructions included. But, because the kit is a direct clone of the popular Align Trex 450SA, the Align manual can be used as a guide when putting everything together.
All the parts come in nicely sorted individual packaging and there are a few extra screws and frame washers included. The included screws are very soft and strip quite easily, so the spares come in very handy.
What You Will Need
The kit does not include any electronics, so you will need your own:
- Radio and Receiver
- Brushless Motor and ESC
My aim was to put together the kit as cheaply as possible, so I used the following electronics when constructing mine:
- Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Transmitter and Receiver
- Turnigy Typhoon 2215H 3550kv Brushless Heli Motor
- TowerPro H40A Brushless Speed Controller
- HobbyKing 401B AVCS Digital Head Lock
- 4 x HXT900 9g Micro Servos
- Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack
If you follow my suggestions then you will have a decent 450 class helicopter capable of mild 3D flight for a little over $100.
You will also need a good quality 1.5mm Hex Driver for the screws. Do not use an Allen Key as you will strip the screws.
Because most of the time consuming components come pre-assembled, the actual assembly is very easy and straightforward. All you have to do is put the main components together and install your electronics.
I will not go into too much detail about the actual construction but I will list the main steps.
- Install the Main Rotor Head to the Frame through the mounting brackets.
- Install the Tail Assembly to the boom and pass the belt through the boom.
- Install the Tail Boom to Boom Mount on the Frame.
- Install your Electronic Equipment.
- Install the lower bracket and landing gear.
Whether you are a novice or a complete newbie, developing the habit of giving your helicopter a thorough pre-flight before each flight is a good idea. A thorough pre-flight can mean the difference between coming home with a big smile or your helicopter in a shoebox. This is even more important before your helicopters maiden flight.
Things to check:
- Make sure everything is secure and check for any loose links.
- Check the center of gravity.
- Check for any binding on the main and tail shafts.
Spool up the helicopter with the main blades attached for final checks.
Once I was happy that everything was operating as expected, it was time to get the bird in the air.
Bangkok probably has some of the greatest flying weather a RC enthusiast can hope for. There is practically no wind and the air is thick and humid.
After checking all the control surfaces I slowly spooled up. The HobbyKing HK-450 lifted of its skids at about 1/3rd throttle. After a few small trim setting I was able to hover hands off. Most of my first flight consisted of a few figures of eights and some pitch pumps. Everything operated smoothly and as expected. On the second pack I started to get braver and put the HobbyKing HK-450 through some mild 3D which it handled with ease.
The HK-450 has opened the door to this exciting hobby. While I wouldn’t recommend it as a beginner helicopter, it definitely can be flown by those with very little skill. For pilots looking for extreme 3D thrills, HobbyKing does supply some upgrade parts. They have also just released the full alloy version for a few dollars extra. Overall, considering the cost, I highly recommend this great all round 450 class helicopter.
- Great price
- Great quality
- Great parts support/pricing/availability
- Good performance
- No manual included
- Would be better with some more alloy parts