I’m a sucker for deals at HobbyKing, and I’d been looking at small collective pitch helicopters for a while. When the Assault 100 went on sale for less than $50, I jumped on it. Before I purchased, I did some research and found that it’s really just a rebranded HiSky HCP100S. I found some generally positive information online, but maybe I should have read this entire 300+ page thread about the HCP100S before I pulled the trigger. Let’s find out…
As with many of the great things we get from China, documentation is lacking. Luckily, there’s a guy at the local electric fly R/C club who’s an experienced collective pitch pilot and could talk me through some of the setup. I did a separate post just for the transmitter settings.
Something I can absolutely confirm from that RCGroups.com thread is there definitely is an issue with it tilting before take-off. Case in point, my maiden flight and everything leading up to it:
Getting it into the air for the first time takes a commitment that a beginner (like myself) may not have the fortitude for. Frankly, this is the most disappointing thing about this helicopter. As a beginner I couldn’t follow a normal progression of maneuvers while light on the skids before taking to the air. Possibly it is part of the flybarless system creating a ground induced feedback – the problem goes away once airborne.
Some people in the RCGroups thread talk about the tilt issue being due to a “bad bind” with included transmitter module. I’ve experienced something slightly different… occasionally after helicopter binds at startup, it will not react to aileron input, just elevator. I’ve never tried to take off in this state, I just unplug and replug the battery to get a “good bind.” I always check all the controls before arming the throttle.
Once the nerve-wracking take-off is behind you, it behaves nicely in the air. Heading hold seems to be very good, even on windy days. I haven’t flown it in idle up, mostly because I don’t have the guts yet, but I get about 10 minutes of hovering time in normal mode, which has the throttle around 65%.
I have done the “rubber band trick” to keep the skids in place. They press in, but don’t snap in and with the weight of the battery connected, it’s easy for them to come loose on hard landings and mild crashes, quickly making a mess resembling a yard sale.
I’ve thought about trading in the Assault 100 for something a little easier to fly like the Blade Nano CPS – especially since the normal price point of $100 is the same as the Assault 100. But the guys at Flite Test had a less than stellar experience:
After further research, it looks like the XK Blast K110 BNF with a Multiprotocol TX Module would have been a better place to start. According to alishanmao (he reviews tons of helicopters and multi-rotors), it’s nearly indestructible:
Until then, I’m just going to keep practicing my hovering, getting over the fact that the Assault 100 will probably tip over a couple times on the landing pad before I get it in the air 🙁