ESky Honey Bee RC Helicopters
The ESky range of helicopters includes the very poular HoneyBee series: Honey Bee v2, CP3 and King 3. These are small electric powered radio control model helicopters. Micro electronics and battery developments have allowed for these small lightweight helis to become affordable to anyone wanting to get into the hobby.
The 2009 Honey Bee CP3 - the latest version of ESky's entry level six channel helicopter now comes with re-inforced landing gear, stronger tailboom with flexible tail fins - plus uprated mechanics and electronics. While retaining the low weight/high power setup of the original it now becomes a much less fragile and more stable flyer.
The new Honey Bee helicopter is a transformation from its predecessor. With updated styling, more robust frame and tail its sure to build on the original model's success. Aimed at the beginner RC helicopter flyer, it still offers great fun flying for more experienced pilots. Ready-to-fly straight from the box it provides a minimal setup before you're buzzing it around the garden (or available indoor space).
The new Honey Bee King 3 now comes fitted with an uprated 6-channel radio control system and advanced head locking gyro. As before it's suppliead 'ready-to-fly' and is capable of very exciting aerobatic flight. Styling will also please - available with either blue or red/yellow graphic liveries.
Of the three designs of Honey Bee helicopters available, you'll find some are more suited to a beginner than others. The more maneuverable designs are often harder to fly, but benefit from greater aerobatic capabilities. When making your choice its important not to over-estimate your own skill levels.
If you are a complete novice, its best to start with the fixed pitch Honey Bee model as this will require less set-up and be less sensitive to control inputs (or over-inputs!). This will allow you to become familiar with the helicopter's behaviour and avoid the frustrations of the more advanced Collective Pitch (6 channel) models.
The basic controls of these model helicopters follows the standard layout. The two main control sticks operating the servos and speed controller, allowing full forward, backward, left, right (the cyclic controls), turning about itaxis (rudder/tail) up and down movement. In addition the 6 channel models allow you to alter the pitch of the main rotor blades - this can be done by mixing the motor control and blade pitch control together - giving a much more dynamic response from the helicopter.This type of control is known as 'collective pitch' or 'CP'.
The various helicopter controls are effected by means of small servos. A gyro is used on the tail rotor control to counter wind and torque reaction induced tail movement. This adjusts the control signal to the tail rotor motor or servo - preventing spinning about the axis and leaving the pilot to control the direction the model moves.
Power is provided by electric brushed or brushless motor. This is connected through the speed controller to a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery which is both powerful and lighweight.
Micro helicopters can range in price from as little as £69 to several hundred pounds or more. The ESKY Honey Bee is an ideal fixed pitch beginners helicopter - and it shouldn't break the bank. The CP3 version, althogh still reasonably priced for a 6ch helicopter, be prepared to spend some money on spares as you get to grips with its more responsive performance. The larger Honey Bee King 3 model may be more expensive initially but comes with more advanced features and complex build offering greater control and stability. This is the model to go for if its within your budget.
Another great thing about the Honey Bees is the scope to upgrade the component parts. All models have upgrades available both from the ESky factory and from specialist suppliers like Xtreme. Parts available include blades, cnc aluminium, and carbon fibre. With the King 3 its also possible to attach a digital video camera like the FlyCamOne - great for aerial footatage or just spying on the neighbours!