A little Zig, a little Zag, a MSH Protos 500 CF FBL

It’s interesting how quickly your opinions can change about things.

After a recent crash of my TREX 550E, and a good look at the damage and the time it would take just to figure out what to order and then to reassemble everything, I got fed up with the whole thing and put it in a box.  It’s not that the 550E is a horrible heli, but it’s not the right heli for me to learn how to fly 3D.  I’ll put it back together later on this Winter, but for now I don’t see the point. It’s batteries are at a storage voltage and in the refrigerator now.

Simulators are GREAT, and I am making good use of mine, but they only get you so far.  An mCPX is a fantastic little heli, but it really is not the best heli to learn 3D flying.  After you’ve mastered 3D flight, you can probably impress people by showing them what you can actually do with an mCPX.

So my objective was to find a heli that was big enough to feel right and handle well, with a VERY low parts count, inexpensive parts and simple enough construction that I could easily reassemble it after a crash. In addition I am hoping I can fly it in a local soccer field.

I ordered a Protos 500 with Carbon Fiber frame and FBL head conversion and some spare parts to handle a number of crashes.

The Protos 500 seems like a good fit. 

  • Low parts count
  • Cheap Parts
  • Light Weight
  • Good performance
  • Low vibration design ( one serpentine belt to drive everything )
  • Good kit
    • has a decent ESC and motor
    • No junk to have to sell off later
    • The rest of the parts are yours to order.

Right now I feel like there are some helicopters that stand apart.

  • The mCPX is a breakthrough in micro helicopter design and performance and with some of the brushless upgrades people have made they are very powerful and fun to fly.
  • The Henseleit TDR is just an engineering masterpiece at the other end of the spectrum. A 700 class heli that is just amazing in performance, part quality and engineering.
  • The Protos 500 has a different mission between these two. It is very well engineered for it’s price point.

Of course these are my feelings “right now”.  I was more gun ho about my mCPX when I first got it, and much much more gun ho about my 550E than I am now.

I’ll put my 550E back together eventually, but all of my Protos parts will be here in a few days and I would much rather get that heli ready to fly so I can keep logging hours and improving my skills.

Hopefully I will still feel enamored with the Protos 500 after I’ve buried it in the dirt a few times. I expect that will be a common occurrence as I try increasingly more advanced acrobatics, and I have a LONG way to go!

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