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Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System
Stability, simplicity and reliability
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 12-4-2013
One of the more expensive learning steps for me when I got into helicopters was finding the right Flybarless system. I barely knew what they were at first but after many trips for parts the concept became crystal clear. By the time I graduated to my Align T-Rex 450 Pro I had looked around at our flying field and noted that the vast majority of people who were having fun with their helicopters were flying the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System so I decided to get one myself if for no other reason than there was experienced help where I flew. I would find that there was way more to like about the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System.
The Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System is actually a 7-channel DSMX® receiver with the much-liked BeastX® flybarless technology built in. Spektrum recommends the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System for helicopters from 250- to .90-size. The Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System also has a plug for a satellite receiver for that extra level of safety. I use satellites on both my Align T-Rex 450 Pro and Align T-Rex 550E PRO DFC. The combination of the receiver and BeastX® flybarless technology saves precious space and weight on helicopters that we want to do gravity-defying things in the air.
The Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System uses a 3-axis MEMS stabilization system to eliminate the more complex flybar mechanical systems. By building all of the capability into the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System you make many of the formerly mechanical adjustments in the receiver itself. I liked that I had the option to assign dual rate and expo to the transmitter where I am already familiar using those parameters. But the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System with the BeastX technology lets us fine-tune stability as well as cyclic and tail response without messing with linkage or hooking up to special software.
The Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System comes with something very unusual in modern radio control equipment – a first-rate, easily understood instruction manual that quickly walks you through the setup procedure initially and tuning sequences later. I have written how-to materials for decades and can assure you that this level of quality in an instruction manual is far from the norm.
When I bought my first Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System I fully intended on getting it on my helicopter, binding it to my transmitter and then waiting until I could get together with my friends at the flying field to do the actual setup. However once I read through the instructions I sat down and set my Align T-Rex 450 Pro up by simply following the instructions. It took less than half an hour.
When I posted on our flying clubs page that I was getting the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System one of the helicopter guys predicted that it would feel like a whole new helicopter. After going through the setup I took the Align T-Rex 450 Pro out in the yard and lifted it into a hover which as predicted felt like a whole different helicopter. I was actually flying and not just working on not crashing too hard. The difference was truly amazing to me.
What It Won’t Do
While the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System was looking to be the end-all accessory for helicopters I do have to report that it does not fly the helicopter for you. You still have to learn what you are doing and I still had much to learn. However, with the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System I was spending my time learning to fly with far less focus on repairs and finding parts. I progressed quickly after getting the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System and soon had a T-Rex 550E PRO DFC, also sporting a Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System. Once again the setup was simple and all of my focus was on learning to fly the much bigger machine.
I firmly believe that the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System makes learning to fly helicopters easier because it is both effective and easy to set up, even for someone that is my side of a 3D expert. I like that Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System does not get in the way of my practicing. I still have to practice and pay attention to what I am doing but when the helicopter is so reliable and predicable the learning process is no longer measured by the time since the last crash. I have managed to crash my Align T-Rex 450 Pro with the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System on board but I clearly recognized my brain fade as the culprit.
The Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System at $229.00 (12-4-2013) is not cheap but nothing that works this well is. The effectiveness is only surpassed by the ease of use thanks to thoughtful design and a tremendous instruction manual. You can also get the manual as a PDF file on the Spektrum web site and always have it close at hand in your IPhone!
If you fly helicopters chances are you will be looking for a flybarless system and the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System should be at the top of your must-see list. I have tried other systems and nothing I have seen is even close to the Spektrum AR7200BX Flybarless System in performance and ease of use.
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