Hello there, please login! Home | Why R/C Heli's? | Getting Started | Set up | Flying Lessons | Articles | Newsletter Archive
Product Reviews | Links | Glossary | Buy/Sell Market | Find a pilot in your area | Login
Articles
Asia Pacific F3C Open
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
Pilot Profile - Pete (Panos) Niotis
Australian Trip 03
Introduction to the Century Predator
Building the Fury Tempest FAI
Professional Aerial Photography
Pilot Profile - Dwight Schilling
Pilot Profile - Russ Deakin
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
Fury-ous!
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)

Introduction to the Predator
Mark Grant

The Century Predator is one of the latest helicopters to hit the market, with it's competitive pricing and outstanding performance, it's bound to give the current market leaders (Fury, Raptor, Freya and Vigor) a run for their money!

Century representative, Mark Grant, was able to answer a few quick questions for me on this exciting new machine. Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to arrange a full kit review.

Predator Frame set
Predator Head
In action
Predator Tail box
First pictures of the upcoming Predator Gasser

Package contents:
· Package presentation - nice packaging, clearly labelled.
The external packaging is really nice. On the box there are several great shots of the Predator and a few shots of recommended hardware such as the gyro and engine.
· Completeness - all components present and in good condition?
The components that make up the Predator are of very high quality. The CNC machine work is spot on and the plastics (very little) are some of the best I have seen.

Instructions:
· Clearly marked instructions?
If you are new to building the Predator instructions will offer a bit of a challenge. Although the manual has great pictures and include enough detail to finish the project it would be nice if more detail was included, especially in sections that refer to the eCCPM setup.
· Comprehensive photographs?
The saving grace for the Predator manual is the pictures. They are of high quality and provide great visual aid during the building process.
· Comprehensive exploded diagrams?
The Predator kit does not include any exploded diagrams
· Detailed step-by-step instructions in sections that correspond to packages in the box?
The bags them selves are not numbered but the bags are for the most part packaged per step, however, I have found some parts packaged with parts that are needed in later steps.
· Comprehensive instructions - ie not left wondering what is supposed to happen?
There are some parts of the manual that will require a bit more thinking for the beginner.

Assembly:
· Parts count, simple low parts count or lots of different bits and pieces?
The parts count for such a robust helicopter is very low.
· Logical assembly method? Ie pieces come together easily.
The majority of the building process is well thought out and all the parts fit very well. There have been reports of some kits having holes drilled incorrectly but for the most part the Predator goes together well.
· Requirement of special tools to construct?
If you have built a couple of helicopters before you more than likely have everything you need to build the Predator. It requires the same tools as any other 60-90 size eCCPM machine.
· Length of time to assemble.
The Predator builds really quick and easy. The builder can have the main mechanics built within eight hours. However, I would stress that extra time is taken to ensure a smooth and great flying machine.
· Any difficult sections?
The only conceivable difficulty would be in the eCCPM setup. If you are new to ECCPM it may be a little confusing at first.

Construction:
· Describe the construction features, ie CCPM, single piece frames, split gear drive, shaft drive, o-ring dampeners, etc.
The Predator is a stack framed aluminium heli that offers eCCPM, constant driven tail (SE & MAX), Torque tube, rear mounted engine for easy glow plug access, full ball bearing, O-ring head dampeners.
· Canopy construction and mounting?
The canopy on the Predator is one of the best in the industry. It has a very nice pre-cut fibreglass gel coated canopy.
· Carbon/plastic/metal fittings etc?
The Predator features carbon fibre, boom supports, carbon fiber torque tube, and carbon fibre rudder pushrod.
· Head setup? Paddles, adjustable flybar ratio?, leading blade grips, pitch range etc.
The Predator head is fully adjustable and comes with 20g or 30g paddles, and is fully ball raced.

Initial flights:
· Initial impressions.
i. When you first open the box you will be amazed at the quality of the parts. You will find yourself wondering how can they provide such high quality parts for so little money.
· Adjustments made after initial flights.
i. I did not have to make any adjustments after the first few initial flights.
· Hovering performance.
i. The hovering characteristics of the Predator are right on par with the big named FAI machines.
· Initial fast forward flight/aerobatics.
i. The Predator track exceptionally well during FF flight with no pitchy tendencies.
· 3D performance.
i. 3D is where the Predator shines. I have flown many on the current 3D machines that are out on the market and I cannot name one that 3Ds better than the Predator.

Crash costs:
· Extent of damage (ie more or less damage that 'usual' in a crash).
i. Since the Predator is of a metal stacked frames design. It may encounter more frame damage that a two framed heli. However, that does not mean that the Predator does not hold up well in a crash.
· Weak points (parts that just about always break etc)
i. I have well over 100 plus flight on my original Predator and she appears to be wearing well. The only items I have replaced due to wear and tear were a few canopy grommets
· Cost of 'usual suspects' - boom, spindle, blade grips, mainshaft etc.
i. Compared to all other 60/90 size machines the Predator is very affordable when considering crash cost. Here are a few parts prices.
ii. Boom 10.95
iii. Spindle 8.95
iv. Main blade grips 12.95
v. Main shaft 8.95
Ease of repair etc.
i. The Predator is very easy to repair. The design is very modular lending to ease of frame components.

Featured Link!
Lighthouse Hobby
Lighthouse hobby in Lockport, NY has a standing offer to let anyone hover the store's helicopter for...

Suggest a link

Free newsletter!
Register for the monthly newsletter, pilot locator & Market
Click here

Search


Email this page to a friend!
Click here


© Copyright LittleRotors.com 2001 - 2004
Contact simon@littlerotors.com for comments/questions.