Aaron Williams is the current F3C Champion here in New Zealand. He recently
represented New Zealand at the World Champs in Muncie, Indiana.
It arrived 2 days before Christmas and what a surprise. The caliber 30 is an
amazing helicopter. Right out of the box it has all the aspects of it's big
brother the Caliber 60. The all most ready to fly kit took 8 hours to assemble.
Kyosho have designed this chopper for entry to advanced level pilots. If you
put the blade grips on with trailing side inputs you make the caliber 30 70%
more stable for the learner pilot. If you, as I have done, put the blade grips
on with leading side inputs the Caliber is 3D capable. This means there is no
need to buy upgrade parts at extra cost. The good thing about the servo arrangement
is it can be mechanical or electronic CCPM control. So no mater what radio you
have Skysport 6 to a 9ZHP WC2 you can fly this Caliber 30 with ease.
The tail rotor
control is slop free like the 60 with a constant drive belt system for total
control in autos. It comes standard with rear mount servo on the tail boom so
there is no need to buy parts for this either. The side frames are blow molded
plastic different from the VR model and very rigid. It also has a two piece
engine mount that drops out the bottom so you can remove the motor complete
with clutch,fan and muffler. That is a very quick and easy thing to do and the
clutch is an improvement too it is the same size as the Concept 60 SR2. The
muffler is a die-cast one that comes in the kit and it doesn't seem to hinder
the performance in any way. The OS 32 motor combined with 340cc tank gives about
25 min flight times.
So after putting the model together and fitting servos gyro the transmitter
was programmed and it was out to the field for a fly. A small adjustment to
the tracking was done and we are away. After two tanks of hovering around temptation
got the better of me and did some aerobatics, F3C two loops, two rolls and a
rolling stall turn. The spectators I had remarked how good the chopper performed.
The engine mount is a die cast arrangement L shaped with 3 cross members. This
links it together to provide a heat sink and bottom support for the frame. Without
taking the muffler off or removing the motor from its mount you can undo 6 screws
and drop out the motor and clutch unit as one. The clutch is as big as the 60
size models witch means that a learner pilot is less likely to wear it out trying
to hover. The output from the motor is two stage belt reduction the same as
the Caliber 60 so it is very quiet in flight. The gear ratio is 9.615 to 1 with
tail at 5 to 1 of motor so it can swing the factory wooden 550 main blades with
The frames are blow molded plastic which is different from the other Kyosho
plastic frames as in the 46 VR and Concept 30, it is also very rigid and light.
The fuel tank is mounted at the back under the main gear, for high visibility.
The main frames incorporate the fan shroud mast mount and tail mounts. The servo
tray has 6 screws that hold it onto the front of the main frame. The servo tray
supports the battery, receiver and the gyro sensor as well. The servos used
for cyclic and pitch have a small tray that they fit into. If you use the sliding
one it is mechanical mixing system, if you use the fixed tray it is electronic
mixing. All the rods are non-adjustable factory made so just fit and fly. You
can however adjust the blade links for tracking. The good thing abut the Caliber
design is you do not have to split the frames to get the main gear or the auto
gear out which means very easy maintenance.
The control system comes complete. The links from the servos to levers to swashplate
are all factory complete. So once you have fitted the servos and the horn is
fitted with the ball link it all just clips together. Now before you fit the
servos you have to decide which type of swashplate mixing to use. EMS (electrical
mixing system)or MMS (mechanical mixing system)Because both types of radios
can be used with a change of servo plate no screwing or adjusting necessary
due to the fixed rods. This makes it so easy to setup and get flying as soon
as possible. All of the servo leads and other wires fit neatly away under the
servos and the tail servo lead has factory made clips on the frames. In flight
the controls are positive and has no unwanted twitches or sudden pitch changes
and was found to be very smooth.
The head and mast is all pre-assembled and has many new features. It comes with
a 10mm mast not seen in many other 30 size helicopters. It also has two rotor
set ups to choose from. RRS (rear grip-rink system) and FRS (front grip-rink
system). With the FRS system the Caliber 30 is ideal for training and learning
to fly because it is 70% more stable. In the RRS mode the Caliber 30 is more
suited for the intermediate to advanced pilots. Even in this mode I found is
to be stable in the hover and has a nice roll rate in the aerobatics. It also
does 3D stuff smoothly as well and that was with the factory wooden blades.
The rudder servo is mounted directly onto the tail boom from factory so no need
for upgrade here. The tail pitch is controlled by a 2mm rod from the servo to
a L lever which goes though the centre of the gear box. Then it has two bolt
sliders on the pitch ring which makes for slop free and positive control. Just
like the Caliber 60. The tail rotor grips are 60 size like what is on the Concept
SR,SR2, Caliber 60 and Concept 46 VR. The Caliber 30 has a belt drive tail rotor
witch is not new but it is the only 30 size chopper I have seen that comes standard
with a constant drive tail rotor.
Gear ratio: 9.615 to 1 to 5.0
Main rotor: 1230mm
Tail rotor: 240mm
Engine: 32 to 38 class
Fuel tank capacity: 340cc
I have been flying the Caliber 30 for 3 weeks now and it has done every thing
that I ask it to do with no problems. It has the ability to do entry level competition
and go on to Sportsman keeping you on top and in the game. For the beginner
pilot this Caliber 30 is ideal because of the ease of assembly and in flight
stability. When you get into the loops, rolls and stall turns I had to upgrade
my 46 VR to achieve what this chopper can do out of the box with all standard
parts! Lately Kyosho have not had that in (first helicopter) market machine.
You could buy a 46 VR or Nexus 30 but after a year or so you will need to upgrade
it or sell it to get a better chopper. Where as this Caliber 30 you will not
out fly it. The only thing you may want to do is put some glass main blades
on it. This chopper can do most things that my Concept 60 SR2 does in 3D.
But there is still no substitute for the more cc's as in 10cc and now my new
15cc motor in the Caliber 60.
As I was saying the market was getting flooded with what I call a cheap disposable
helicopter (Raptor) if you crash it you just go and buy another one. With the
Caliber 30 you have a chopper at the same price and the parts are cheap as well.
This helicopter has been the most high spec beginners helicopter I have put
together and flown.
I think Kyosho have hit the nail on the head in putting out an excellent beginners
helicopter that you will not out fly and get bored with.