After nearly two years of sporting the same Belt CP design, Esky has finally decided to unveil a new look for a new heli. Released just this year, the Esky D700 3D is looking slick and is a welcomed addition to the Esky family. Esky wasn’t very specific about technical details when they handed us the prototype, but luckily our pilots were on hand to tell us all we need to know about what new features the D700 has to offer.
The D700 3D is as it’s name implies — fully 3D. According to what Esky told us, it sports upgraded controls and gyros that give better stability and extra maneuverability when doing 3D flying. The stock 2.4ghz radio transmitter features a sleek new design including an LCD display similar to the one on the FS-TH9X 9ch 2.4ghz transmitter. Going on first impressions, the D700 feels like an upgraded Belt CP.
The canopy, although it sports a new design, has a similar physical appearance. The major non-electronic components of the heli seem to meet the standards of other helicopters of its class. The tail shaft is quite sturdy and along with the head is made of aluminum alloy. So are the landing skits. The stay bars are carbon composite, and at both glance and feel, seem more sturdy than the standard plastic you find on the frame of the heli. The main props come stock as balsa wood. They’re fine to fly out of box and handles all 3D maneuvers perfectly fine, but suffer from the same disadvantages of anything balsa: sturdiness. They bend quite easily, so are a prime candidate for immediate upgrade to carbon fiber.
The internals of the heli appear to be the same as other industry standards from just simple direct observation, including the tail design and mechanics. We figured, the only way to prove Esky’s claims then was to test out the D700 ourselves…which is exactly what we did.
Our pilots were the ones that initially coined the D700 as “Belt CP 2012 edition”, but after flying it about for a good 15-20 minutes, everyone agrees that this helicopter is more than just an upgrade, it’s on a whole new level. Now, we already love the Belt CP and I’m sure many of you readers love it too. The Belt CP is stable in low to mid level winds and expert fliers can even handle it in higher winds. The 6 channel versions were also spectacular when it came to 3D flying, capable of doing all but the most complicated of maneuvers.
The 3D flying of the D700, just like it’s predecessor, handles extremely well. The D700 can not only handle mid ranged winds, it cuts through it like butter. Based on how the trees swayed during the test flights, I’d guess there were about 15-25mph winds at the altitude we were testing 3d flight on the heli. Based on the handling of the heli in mid ranged winds, high winds flight might be slightly difficult and fliers will have to do some on-the-fly control adjustments, but if you’re an experienced pilot, some of the simpler 3d flight maneuvers (such as inverted flying) are entirely possible and according to our pilots, “shouldn’t be too difficult at all”.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend trying to fly this in the middle of a storm or tornado or anything like that, but it seems that the D700 can safely handle anything up 30mph winds effectively while doing 3d maneuvers and experienced pilots daring enough (not recommended though) can tempt fate at 35-40mph winds.
After trying out the D700, we can see why Esky gave this heli an entirely new designation instead of just calling it the Belt CP v3. Our test pilots were thoroughly impressed with the new heli. The 3D flying was simple and fluid. Tic-tocing, inverted flight, and pyro flips showed no problems in mid-ranged winds.
Our pilots did notice a bit of slop with the stock servos and the blades weren’t perfectly aligned straight out of the box, but with some quick adjustments of the linkage rods and some expert control (our pilots are sponsored after all…though they modestly assured me amateurs can just as simply do the same), most things balanced out. They confidently told me that with some upgraded servos, most if not all of the slop and blade imbalance will disappear. If you’re an experienced RC helicopter pilot, looking to get into 6 channel 3D flying, a fan of the Belt CP or Esky, or just a simple 3D heli enthusiast, you can’t go wrong with the D700. Only thing I would recommend in addition straight away is a set of carbon fiber blades to replace the stock balsa wood ones that come with the heli. Other than that (and perhaps some after market servos if the slop bothers you at all), this baby is pretty much good to go straight out of the box.
You can find the Esky D700 3D 6ch Helicopter here: http://www.xheli.com/eskyheli-003738-d700-3d-rtf-24g.html
Pilots’ Upgrades Recommendations:
Any 315mm-335mm Carbon Fiber Blades
9g Micro Servos by Solar
Alternate servos – spectrum & align 9g micro servos
Gens Ace 11.1v 2200mah 60C Battery
P.S.: An interview with the Esky D700 3D test pilot, Antonio, about his test flight experiences and overall feel of the Esky D700 3D will be posted shortly. Please stay tuned!