Not a typical review thread.
The Good Stuff First!
Concluding summary at the beginning.
For those of you who are not yet owners of the HCP100 and stumbled upon this thread…this concluding summary is for you.
The HiSky HCP100 (previously known as the HiSky FBL100) is a worthy candidate for those looking for a 100 class, collective pitch R/C helicopter they can fly with abandonment. It puts a check mark next to each item I deem essential in any hobby grade model: quality of design and construction, good flying characteristics, spare parts support, and the ability to use your preferred programmable radio transmitters. The last factor alone may set it apart from similar class helis such as the WLToys v977 and the SkyArtec Wasp Nano CPX.
The overall layout of the heli takes on the familiar mechanical designs of the Blade mCPX. A time tested and proven design among the hobbyist community. Another added benefit is that some of the hop ups, cnc machined parts developed by third parties for the Blade mCPX can be utilized on the HCP100 with little or no modification. This sound mechanical design allows a good foundation for the flight electronics and software programming.
The flybarless flight controller system of the HCP100 does an apt job in holding it’s head and compensating for the wind. Making it good for outdoor flights. Even under slightly breezy condition. That said, the gain on the gyro appears to be set a little high, causing a noticeable tail wag under certain situation, with no ability to manually adjust and fine tune the gyro setting directly. Therefore, selection of tailboom length and/or tail rotor will allow some mechanical adjustment of the gyro “gain.” Certainly not a deal breaker but having the ability to tune the gain via a radio channel would have been appreciated.
Another negative point against the HCP100 is the fact that CCPM mixing needs to be done via the transmitter. This forces added level of complexity in getting your radio working properly with the HCP100. Competing Helis such as the aforementioned Blade mCPX has the CCPM mixing programmed into the flight controller, which greatly simplified radio programming. Having said that, an area where the HCP100 comes out on top is the use of a more power main motor and a larger, 7mm tail motor. This combo makes the HCP100 feel like a more powerful heli out of the box. The 7mm tail motor helps to hold the tail a lot better than a stock mCPX. In fact, upgrading a stock mCPX to a 7mm tail motor is one of the popular mod.
As with any hobby grade models, spare parts availability and price is a big consideration. This is one big advantage to Horizon Hobby’s Blade Heli line. In that one can usually walk into the local hobby shop for spare parts. The negative side is the price for the spare parts are often high for what they are. This is where the HCP100 becomes a value to own. HiSky manufacture the heli and it’s various rebrands, so we know spare parts are interchangeable between the various models: WLToys v922, HobbyKing FBL100, HiSky FBL100. The competing branding ensure replacement parts are both available and affordable. This allows pilots to push their skill levels because a broken 3in1 RX or say, a tail boom isn’t as painful as the same scenario with a Blade branded product.
Finally, the HCP100 has the option of binding to a HT8 or WL6 module. Which will allow you to bind the model with your Futaba, JR, Spektrum, Walkera programmable radio. And as an added bonus, the HiSky protocol has been deviated. So the opensourced Deviation firmware can directly control the HCP100.
The following pros and cons list helps to summarize other things that comes to mind:
My personal opinion and overview.
HiSky is becoming a force to be reckon with in the hobby industry. Their current releases are competitive and they continue to refine and improve upon them. As evident by the release of newer style canopies to replace the less popular “pelicanopy” shape and more robust main frame. Both examples based on feedback from the user community here on RCGroups. Their existing line up containing 80 size CP and FP, as well as 100 class CP and FP makes their flybarless porfolio more diverse than their competitors. Including big names like Blade Helis, who do not have a 100 size, flybarless fixed pitch heli.
Looking at the immediate future, HiSky just release their second generation v2, accelerometer equipped fixed pitch heli. And will follow with a 60 size CP heli with accelerometer as well. Shortly thereafter, a brushless variant of the HCP100 and bigger 130 class CP helis are slated. All, with the new accelerometer support that can be turn on and off. Poise to beat big names like Blade Helis to the market with the next gen tech in micro CP helis.
On top of all that, HiSky has the forward thinking to embrace the opensource community by promising to allow their protocol to be ported to great projects such as Deviation.
Inside the Box.
A look at what you get for your money.
In regards to spare parts, HiSky is thoughtful to not only include upgrades such as high visibility blades and rotor, but even little things such as a full set of replacement screws that even top tier companies such as Blade fail to include with their heli. On these micro helis, dropping and having to search for these miniscule screws can be infuriating. Having a full set of extras included is a godsend.
The compact charger is capable of simultaneously charging two lipo cells. And because it’s design to be charged via USB, you can charge your lipo on the go, wherever you have access to a USB plug.
With the latest Ready to Fly (RTF) kits, HiSky introduced the H6 series of programmable radios transmitter (TX). They come preprogrammed with all of HiSky’s currently flybarless helis. And are available in your choice of black or white. The H6 feels pretty decent in the hands. Not too small and not too large either. It’s a good kit TX that is better than the RTF TX included with heli packages such as the v911.
The H6 transmitter is smaller in size than the Spektrum DX4i RTF radios that comes with Blade mCPX helis. The sticks and gimbal feels about the same to me. But what sets the H6 apart is it’s programmability. You can set your dual rates, expo and custom pitch and throttle curves. So it’s definitely a better radio than the DX4i imho. For those who wants something a little better, there is the HiSky X-6s radio as well.