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Hughes MD500 Fiberglass 450 Scale Fuselage
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Hughes MD500 Fiberglass 450 Scale Fuselage

Overview

KDS has definitely done a great job with the Hughes MD500 Fuselage. It manages to convert any 450 size helicopter into a beautiful work of art that will draw crowds whenever you fly it.

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Pros

  • Great Quality and Detail
  • Includes all Required Hardware
  • Magnetic Canopy Locks

Cons

  • Exposed Tail Unit
  • Lack of Scale Rotor Head

Ever since I started flying RC helicopters I’ve always wanted to have at least one scale model in my fleet. There is something about a scale helicopter that really gets me excited and I am sure I am not the only one. Up until now scale fuselage kits were very expensive and often too heavy for most electric powered RC helicopters.

Chinese manufacturers have recently started supplying some extremely good looking scale fuselage kits, for various size electric helicopters, but they seem to be concentrating their efforts on the very popular 450 size market. By far the most popular fuselage kit available is of the well known Hughes MD500.

KDS models have released 3 different color schemes for their Hughes MD500 Fuselage and I personally went for the Military variant. At under $50 dollars from HobbyKing it is hard to beat the price.

First Look

At first I was a bit apprehensive about getting it shipped via regular air mail but my Hughes MD500 Fuselage kit arrived very well packaged and without any damage to the contents. HobbyKing gets a big thumbs up for their packaging. Upen opening the box I was amazed by just how big the fuselage actually is; it more than doubles the visible size of a 450 size RC helicopter. The fuselage is made from very good quality fiber glass and is amazingly detailed. Included in the box is all hardware that you will require to install the fuselage on a T-Rex 450.

Kit Contents

  • Scale Hughes MD500 Fuselage
  • Transparent Canopy and Windows
  • Wooden Mounting Blocks
  • Horizontal and Vertical Stabilizer
  • Landing Gear Set
  • Screw Set
  • Carbon Fiber Tail Push Rod

Installation

Installing the fuselage on my HobbyKing HK-450 Electric Helicopter was extremely easy. The detailed instruction booklet goes over every step in a very easy to follow manner. Basicall what you have to do is remove the landing gear from your frame and replace it with the wooden mounting blocks. Then remove your tail unit and slide the helicopter into the fuselage. Attach the landing gear and tail unit and you are ready to go. All in all it took me about 2 hours to complete.

Flight Testing

The Hughes MD500 Fuselage is considerably heavier than the regular canopy, so I was expecting vastly reduced flight times and very different flight characteristics. I powered up in regular mode and I was surprised that the helicopter lifted off at about the same stick level as if I was using the regular canopy. The handling is a little bit more sluggish but that is to be expected with the added weight.

I recommend that you use regular mode, not idle up, when you are flying scale helicopters. This gives it much more realistic flying style and also helps extend the flight time by placing less requirements on the battery.

The Hughes MD500 Fuselage gave the helicopter a very attractive flight profile and even the simplest and most boring banks and turns took on a new attractive appearance. Within minutes I had half my neighborhood standing around gawking at the helicopter.

The landing was beautiful as I brought the helicopter close to the crowd and made a perfect soft landing.

Final Thoughts

KDS has definitely done a great job with the Hughes MD500 Fuselage. It manages to convert any 450 size helicopter into a beautiful work of art that will draw crowds whenever you fly it. I am extremely happy with my purchase and I will be buying the 2 other color schemes in the near future. A few things that bother me are the fact that to be true to scale, a Hughes MD500 should have 5 blades, and the tail unit on the fuselage is too exposed. If they start producing a scale 5 blade rotor head and cover the tail unit then I’m sure they will take the market by storm.

Positives

  • Great Quality and Detail
  • Includes all Required Hardware
  • Magnetic Canopy Locks

Negatives

  • Exposed Tail Unit
  • Lack of Scale Rotor Head

» Visit HobbyKing for more information or to order yours now! «

14 Comments

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  1. Tomas says
    June 6, 2012, 12:38 am

    Hey Will my KDS 450SV fit in it? thx!

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    • Rudie says
      June 6, 2012, 6:30 am

      Although this fuselage allows you some room for play, your KDS is about 50mm longer than the T-Rex 450, so the tail might stick out too far. It would be a bit of a gamble so I’m not sure if you will get a perfect fit.

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  2. Mark says
    April 17, 2011, 4:54 pm

    I have just fitted an Align EC135 fuselage to my KDS 450 with very bad results. The KDS 450 wants to climb out of the body during take off. Without the body though, it is smooth and behaves exceptionally good. The result is that due to the body now cracking, I have removed the machine from the body and restored it back to it’s original state!
    I will rebuild it if someone can please advise my how to overcome the “Shake me to Bits” problem please!!

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  3. Norb says
    October 23, 2010, 6:16 pm

    Any luck getting spare parts? I need the front half ( canopy). I have contacted us retailers, Align USA, hobbyking, etc. No success.
    Ps: price is great at under $50, but after adding the $30 plus intnl shipping charge, it might be worth getting it much quicker for a bit more from us retailers like I did.

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  4. October 22, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Very nice information.

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  5. miket65 says
    April 22, 2010, 9:37 am

    do you know KDS site ? or other to get some spares ?

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    • Rudie says
      April 22, 2010, 9:59 am

      I will check in my manual if there is a website address. What spares you you need ?

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      • Rudie says
        April 23, 2010, 7:39 pm

        http://www.kdsmodel.com, but they don’t sell to the public. Maybe you can ask them about spares and where to get:
        E-mail : kds@kdsmodel.com

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        • miket65 says
          May 17, 2010, 8:47 pm

          tks a lot , i will try to contact them

          bye

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  6. miket65 says
    April 22, 2010, 9:36 am

    where can we buy spare sparts ?

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  7. Rudie says
    April 21, 2010, 11:23 pm

    I also have this Hughes fuselage and agree that it is well made. I like the extra visibility that you get from the big body, and it flies well and very scale. The only thing that I don’t like about the body is the fact that the added weight shortens the flight times and I have too land too early for my liking. I get about 15 minutes flight time without the body and about 8 minutes with the body – 2200MaH battery. I am planning to experiment with a bigger battery – the big fuselage allows for this, but I don’t know if the added battery weight will cancel out my efforts for longer flight times. Will keep you posted on my battery experiments.

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    • miket65 says
      May 17, 2010, 8:55 pm

      hello

      i get a lot a warm pb on the eSC and i get also wrong radio link , and i had have a crash (rotor axis, case twisted, wood foot broken).

      my fuselage is a HK450 MT fropm Hobby king with a flymentor driving help and lights , to much courant i gues..

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    • jose says
      April 14, 2011, 7:47 am

      hey rudie, something i just learned when putting a new fuselage that adds weight. upgrade the battery and get longer blades for more lift. that should work for yah.. i have always been a fan for hughes fuselage do i know where i can find one for my model? i have a Axe 400 mini.. thanks. hope to hear from yah..happy flyin

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