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American Adventure
JR Challenge 2004
How to setup your rotorhead
9Z for Dummies
3D Downunder
Victorian F3C Champs
Visit to Model Engines
Flying the Fury Tempest FAI
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Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
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Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Toolbox Essentials
Setup for F3C
Vigor Refit
Pilot Profile - Curtis Youngblood
JR Challenge 2003
Pilot Profile - Len Sabato
Helicopter Resources
Comparing the Webra 91AAR and the YS 91ST
Engine Tuning
Curtis Youngblood in New Zealand
Futaba GV-1 Governor
Pilot Profile - Malorie Zastrow
Scale: Flybarless Heads
Pilot Profile - Jason Krause
JR 10X
Pilot Profile - Mark Christy
Futaba 9Z WCII
Pilot Profile - Alan Szabo Jr
163km/h with a Vigor CS!
Raptor 60 V2
Low cost, high camera!
TSK & the Squirrel Part (V)
Follow up - Hirobo Freya
Follow up - Hirobo Shuttle RG
Sceadu 30 update
Hirobo Shuttle RG
Vigor CS - My thoughts
Bye bye little Ergo
Kyosho Caliber 30
OS 91
JR Voyager 50
Hirobo Sceadu
TSK & the Squirrel Part (III)
NZ Team Returns from Heli World Champs
Hirobo Freya
OS 50 Review
Millie vs CS (Part III)
Living with the CS
TSK & the Squirrel (Part II)
Promoting the Hobby
Ergo Z230 Gasser
Millie vs CS (Part II)
Millie vs CS (Part I)
TSK & the Squirrel
TSK & the Squirrel (Part IV)

Freya - Long term impressions.
David Deluria

David Deluria has been flying religiously for the past 18 months. In the real world, he is the Chief Technology Officer responsible for maintaining a fairly large Internet network in the Philippines comprised of some 20,000 users. David currently flies a Freya 80 as his main machine with a Shuttle RG as backup.

I bought the Freya around February of 2001. Back then, I was pretty much addicted to r/c helicopters so much that I got this heli even though I was only 4 months into the hobby and was still learning figure eights. Needless to say, the Freya has seen my best and worst flying having crashed and rebuilt it more times than I care to remember. I've suffered numerous boomstrikes, flameouts, even a mid-air collision during the first year of owning it. I can honestly say that out of the original kit, only a handful has remained, the rest have been replaced once or twice during rebuilds.

Initially, it was setup with a OS61SX (non-WC) ring engine with Futaba 9252 servos and a GY401/9253 combo for the tail. It was this setup that took me towards my first circuits. Later on, I was to upgrade the tail to use a GY502 as well as the current top of the line GY601 gyro with the matched 9251 servo. It was this setup that I learned stall turns, loops, rolls and the maneuver which most consider as the benchmark to graduating from beginner to intermediate flyer, autorotation.

I also had in my possession at the time a Vigor standard as well as a Shuttle RG. Both were basically made of metal so it was obvious to me what the difference was between a plastic 60 versus its metal counterpart. The Freya (in it's original setup with the OS61) was not as fast or as smooth as the Vigor in terms of straight line tracking. The Vigor with a similar engine would always seem better in fast forward flight compared to the Freya. The Freya requires constant input to keep it flying straight and level and continues to this day. The only thing the Freya would excell in was it's rolling capability, even with all the paddle weights still in, the Freya rolls easier and faster than anything else. Flipping this heli was also tighter and didn't require too much pitch to compensate. It seems the intent of a 3D capable learner heli has been successfully achieved.

Around 6 months owning it, I took a critical decision of selling the Vigor and flying the Freya exclusively. My 30 machine would serve purely as a backup. This is due to my intructors advice that I choose 1 and only 1 heli only to master so that I could focus my learning on ingraining skills rather than waste time trying to keep the entire fleet flying. The problem of having too many helicopters during the learning stage is each one flies differently, and if I choose to master them all, I would be average at flying them all instead of being a master of one so to say. He assured me that once I have ingrained all the skills (forward, backward, inverted) and reached a stage where nothing would disorient me, I could re-ignite my desire to build up the fleet again.

The Freya is an excellent choice for a learner for the obvious reason, it's low crash index. I knew it wasn't the best compared to the Vigor I sold, but more than once it has happened that I crash on a Saturday, yet be able to fly it the next day to the amazement of some of my other flying buddies. From the various rebuilds, I can honestly say it's a very durable kit, builds easy and requires little or no special treatment to put together aside from the usual loctite here and there. In the past, I have complained on the various r/c forums that the Freya's rotorhead wasn't as durable compared to other models I've flown, breaking 4 yokes, 1 pair of blade grips and 4 center hubs. But in hindsight, no heli is ever designed to survive a crash intact anyway. However, the stock radius block and guide does require constant attention unless you want slop to creep in. Once the stock units started to wear out, I made the decision to upgrade them with their Eagle EX counterparts. Sure, they were costly, but these upgrades directly affected the performance of the helicopter, unlike shiny bits that only add to aesthetics. The other essential upgrade which I feel compelled to instill to all Freya owners is the clunk line, the stock stuff is notoriously soft and has caused me 2 crashes when it would fold up while the Freya transitioned to inverted and would suffer a flameout. I tried all sorts of modifications, including header tanks and the only surefire way to prevent it is to look for some better tubing that would allow the clunk to move in the tank inverted without it crimping or folding in on itself.

By the time I was fairly good at loops, rolls and straight line autorotations I was starting to feel the Freya's limitations of low forward speed and the standard 61 engine was already giving me grief doing multiple rolls and loops. It seems I could do one roll fine, but doing 2 or 3 would always end up with the Freya loosing too much headspeed and altitude. I had a YS80 lying around in my parts bin for awhile but my instructor adviced me not to install it since stuffing extra power is no excuse for poor pitch management. Only when I graduated to doing low inverted nose-in hovers (6 feet or less) did he finally grant me permission to install it.

The impetus to using these bigger motors has been in place for quite some time. The reasons being the ability to add the needed muscle to do repeated high cyclic manuevers, and lower the noise level dramatically. The day I flew the Freya with the YS80, I knew it felt like it was made for it. Before, I needed to fly full throttle all the time during fast forward flight, nudging the elevator to keep the Freya moving forward. With the YS80, if I do this, the heli would keep climbing and I need to keep the nose pitched down a lot now to keep it flying the same altitude. My loops got bigger, and multiple rolls were no problem and the engine would no longer sag.

I am now in the enviable position of possessing the skills to fly this heli and guarantee (stave for a mechanical problem) that each flight will end with a successful autorotation. It's been ages since my last unplanned visit to the hobby shop for parts and it's holding up very well. You have to pay attention to belt tension once every 2 weeks to make sure the tailboom is not slipping and that's it. As long as the tailblades do not hit the ground, you should have a vibration free Freya. I have changed the stock vertical fin to the MA carbon fiber fin sold for the Fury to avoid this, it's inexpensive and will save you tail blades and damage to the tail shaft during hard landings or mistimed autos.

Also, if you break the landing gears, I advice you replace it with the EX landing gear set, it's metal and absorbs damage. I figure it's better to dork landing gears than break the lower frame. Before the change, it was normal to have intact landing gears but broken lower frames. Now, I have very beat up metal landing gears, but have not replaced the lower frame since it is spared from the brunt of the impact during a hard landing. Another useful upgrade is the tail rudder control rod, the stock aluminum is good, but converting it to a carbon fiber rod will last a lot longer and survives better in a crash or boomstrike.

Hirobo is to be commended on the Freya, it has introduced lots of flyers to 60 size, yet kept for the most part the cost of ownership and maintenance low. Later, when I get that top dollar metal or carbon fiber kit, I know my skills learned from the Freya will carry to them, and I have earned the bragging rights to fly them to their potential.

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