Written by Ashley Davis Thursday, 23 April 2009 23:06
Initially here is a link to the Build Videos
Outrage 550 Pro Review
The 550 sent for review was the 550 Pro silver carbon fibre version . This is the mid range version of the model with other options of carbon fiber black or G10 black construction. None of the kits come with motor or ESC. ESC & motor choice is left to the individual as is lipo. However Outrage do provide some guide configurations:
High performance 3D Servos
JR DS8717 using separate RX battery
Ino-Lab HG-D751MG using separate RX battery
Ino-Lab HG-D760MG using separate RX battery
Beginner Choice Servos
High Performance Speed Controller (ESC)
Castle Creations Phoenix-125 (needs Castle Creations PHX-LINK to program) (good for 6S Lipo)
Phoenix HV-85 HV (If going to Go 8S or Higher) (needs Castle Creations PHX-LINK to program) (good for 8s Lipo)
Kontronik Jive 100-LV (good for 6s Lipo)
Kontronik Jive 80-HV (good for 8s Lipo)
Scorpion 120A (good for 6S Lipo)
Budget Speed Controller (ESC)
HobbyWing Pentium Brushless ESC 80A-OPTO (recommend using Hobby Wing program card) (Good for 6s Lipo)
HYPERION TITAN 85A 10S HI-PRO BRUSHLESS ESC OPTO (good for 8s Lipo)
HDX 80 Amp OPT EDN-1032 (good for 6s Lipo)
Align 100A Brushless ESC(Governor Mode) RCE-BL100G
Battery Eliminating Circuit (BEC)
Maxpro 4A High Voltage 2-10S Lipo Switchable BEC
HobbyWing C-UBEC 5A for 3-10 Lipo
Medusa Potencia 3.5A/5V or 6V BEC
Western Robotics Hercules BEC High Current
Performance Brushless Motors (with 5mm shaft OD)
Tonic-X Z30-1110 (use 13-14 tooth pinion for 6s Lipo) (11 tooth pinion for 8s Lipo)
NEU 1907-1Y (use 11-12 tooth pinion for 6s)
Scorpion 4020-1390 (Use 11-12 tooth pinion for 6s)
NEU 1907-1.5Y (use 12-13 tooth pinion for 8s Lipo)
Scorpion 4020-1100 (11 tooth pinion for 8s Lipo)
Performance Carbon Fiber Main Rotor Blades
SWE Symmetrical CF 550mm Main Blade (SWE-550DC)
Rotortech 3D PRO 560mm Symmetrical Blade (CN265666C)
MS Composit 550mm CFC Main Rotor Blades - 3D (MS-35503)
Rotortech 550mm A-Tip Sport/F3 Blade
Budget Fiberglass Blades (Danger!!! NO wooden blades!)
SWE Symmetrical FRP 550mm Main Blade (SW-550D)
Performance Tail Blades
SWE Symmetrical CF 90mm Tail Rotor Blade (SWE-TR90)
Radix 92mm Tail Blades - YEI-YB-92
92MM CF Tail Blade (EDN-1079)
All K and B 92mm Colored plastic tail blades
6s Lipo Batteries
Outrage 6s1p 5000mah 25C or 30C (Brick)
Outrage 6s1p 6000mah 25C or 30C (For longer flight times) (Brick)
Outrage 6s1p 4200mah 25C or 30C (last resort no smaller on 550)
8s Lipo Batteries
Outrage 8s1p 3700mah 25C or 30C (Brick)
Outrage 8s1p 4200mah 25C or 30C (Brick)
Spartan DS760 With JR DS8900 Servo
CSM 720 with BLS251
JR 770 with DS8900 Servo
Futaba 611 with S9256 Servo
Futaba GY401 with S9254
Solid G Heading Hold Gyro with JR DS8700G
The Outrage 550 is all CNC & carbon construction but does also have some plastic parts, the notable plastic items being the tail boom clamp, radio tray, belt drive gear and frame bottom tray. Everything is machined to a pretty high standard in comparison to rival models and overall quality is high. There is some noticeable run out in the main tail drive gear but this has little effect in flight and although noticeable on inital flights it soon beds in.
The canopy is fiber glass and none of your paper thin stuff seen on a few recently launched models, this is a good hard wearing canopy that should survive a good number of minor crashes. It's spray painted and the paint job is of a very good quality, pictures on the web don't do it justice, it does look very nice up close. The skids are of plastic construction and should withstand some heavy landings.
The head and tail are scaled up versions of the G5 design. The head in particular has a huge number of configuration options (several hundred combinations) and as such it can be called a fully programmable head. The tail is the same lovely design used on the G5 and provides a superb smooth and accurate input to the tail blades. The supplied paddles are the same design as the G5 X3D paddles and as such can be setup to provide extremely fast cyclic should the rearward flybar configuration be selected. I opted for the front flybar hole as the 550 promises to be fast on cyclics anyway.
Swashplate and mixers are all of a nice design with very little slop and bearings used throughout the various joints.
Th belt system uses pinch rollers at the front end and an idler pulley at the rear, which should keep the belt in check and reduce any belt slippage. The front tail belt pulley is one of the only items on the kit I would like to see improved, it does have some run out on it which although it beds in nicely it would be nice if it was a bit straighter. It has no effect on the flight characteristics and after three flights had bedded in nicely.
The motor mount has a very nice idea built into it. The motor shaft sits in a bearing in the motor mount, the idea being that any run out in the main gear the load is taken by the motor mount bearing rather than the bearings in the motor itself. This should mean that motors last a good deal longer before needing bearing replacements. The whole mount slides to provide the pinion mesh which makes the whole process of setting mesh very easy.
The frames are of a good thickness and of the lower / upper type design seen ised on models like the T-Rex 450, where the upper frame is narrow for servo fitting and the lower frame wider to accept the lipo. Talking of which the lipo lies in the bottom of the frames and unlike models like the T-Rex 600 it is afforded a good deal of protection from crash impact as it is totally encased by the frames. There is also a good deal of room for the lipo and both brick and stick packs will fit.
The kit does come with plastic tail blades but I would not use these unless you are a sport flier and not overly reliant on tail hold and power. I kept these on for the photographs but they were switched for 95mm carbon blades before flight testing.
Construction of the 550 posed little problems, it comes with a very comprehensive manual with exploded diagrams and numbered parts. All parts bags are also numbered accordingly and each build step typically only requires one or two bags opening to complete. Also very pleasing is the total lack of philips head screws in the kit, all the screws are cap headed for allen drivers.
The only part of the build that requires a bit of concentration is the build up of the frames on page 7 which is quite a complicated diagram to follow. Fortunately the build video at the start of this review should help simplify this process.
Servo layout is all of the push / pull style which reduces servo side forces and increases longevity of servo gears and bearings. The tail servo is boom mounted.
The rotor head is Mikado like in the design of the bell / hiller mixing with thrust races in the blade grips for nice smooth collective. The swashplate ball runs in a delrin bearing and after several flights shows little sign of wear and tear.
The motor is mounted at the top rear of the frames which is very unusual but keep the weight of the motor nice and high within the CG of the model. This is offset by the pack which is in the bottom of the frames.
One area that can often cause issues is the tail boom clamp and I'm pleased to say the 550 has a very good clamping system and I have had no issues with tail boom slip.
The Outrage 550 is a 550 bladed helicopter so in the market place there are very few heli's to directly compare it against. The ones that come to mind are the Swift 550, which in my view is totally outclassed by the 550 and the other model is the Mikado Logo 500. The Logo 500 is slightly lighter than the 550 but all plastic construction, it's cost of ownership is also significantly higher than the 550 (see below). The Mikado models are known for good flying characteristics so how does the 550 stack up?
The 550 is an exceptionally axial helicopter, a characteristic it shares with the smaller G5. This means moves like tumbling loops are far easier to perform with little tail adjustment required. Accuracy in general is good and this does inspire confidence when flying it. The collective feels less linear than the G5 with a nice amount of punch to the collective. The model has a very light feel to it in the air which makes holding height through 3D moves feel a lot less work than with other models.
Cyclic is extremely quick on the model and I am not using the fastest settings, I can only imagine how blisteringly fast it would be had I picked the faster of the paddle settings, however, for me it is plenty fast enough on the slower settings. Pitch response is nice and crisp and the damping feels good on the harder red dampers provided in the kit for 3D flight. The tail has plenty of power and bite, giving all the confidence needed for fast funnels.
Piro moves are comfortably achieved and I had no issues getting it locked into a chaos. It does pie dish and funnel moves with exceptional ease and I was very impressed with it's capability in this area. The 550 is a 6S machine and you might expect that flight performance would be akin to a T-Rex 600 on 6S (ie. a bit lacking for 3D). This is not the case, the Outrage 550 has 5cm less blade length and weighs close to 400g less than the T-Rex 600. These two items together make the Outrage 550 deliver outstanding 3D and power on the same power system as the T-Rex 600.
Overall I am impressed with the flight manners of the 550, it has the feeling of a 600 class machine but in a smaller package that is far less inclined to devour the cycle life of your packs, more on this later.
Spares Price Comparison
I thought I'd do a crash cost comparison. I've factored a fairly typical set of crash items and then costed them for repair on the Logo 500 and the Outrage.
Prices taken from ReadyHeli and Helidirect and are valid at time of publication.
So in our theoretical crash we've broken the following fairly typical items from a good old ground pancake:
spindle 10.99 (2)
side frame 24.99
main gear 12.99
main shaft 12.99
skid pipe 9.99 (2)
Total cost: $126.90
Adjusted cost for the items that come two per bag : $116.42
spindle 6.99 (2)
strut 4.99 (2)
flybar 5.99 (2)
side frame G10 upper: 16.99 + lower: 5.99 (2)
main gear 17.99
mainshaft 8.99 (2)
boom 11.99 (2)
skid pipe 4.49 (2)
Total cost: $91.40
However all the items with a (2) behind them mean that from outrage for that cost you actually get two of those items. So if you break them in your next crash then effectively they are free. Alternatively we can divide each item you get two of by two to get the actual cost per crash.
side frame 16.99 + 2.99
main gear 17.99
skid pipe 2.24
More practically stated owning and running the Outrage 550 is almost half the cost of owning and running a Logo 500...... awesome
The Outrage 550 uses the same 6S 5000 pack as a T-Rex 600. It is not as big as the T-Rex 600 with only 550mm blades as compared to the 600mm blades on the T-Rex 600. Practically everybody knows that the T-Rex 600 eats 6S packs alive and as such it has become somewhat unpopular due to the heavy cost of replacing burnt up lipos. The question is whether the 550 can break this cycle?
Well, in short the answer is yes.
As mentioned in the flight review the 550 is some 400g lighter than a T-Rex 600 and has 5cm less blade length. It can also run on a less powerful motor as it hasn't got that extra 400g to lug around. Add all this together and you get a machine that is running the pack at an average of around 9.5C or 47.5A. Lipos really deliver longevity if the average C is below 11C and the Outrage 550 comes significantly below this when using the Scorpion 4020-1390kv. All this while delivering a very competent 3D flight performance. Additionally flight times (depending on headspeed) can range from 5 minutes to 6.5 minutes. All in all the lipo is having an easy time of it and longevity (cycle life) should be much improved over that of the same pack run in a T-Rex 600.
Clearly the Outrage 550 is designed to take market share in the 550 bladed market. Given it's accurate flying characteristics, good flight times, good quality of components, very reasonable cost of purchase, lipo longevity and low ongoing ownership costs, Outrage appear to have a winner on their hands. If initial sales are anything to go by then the 550 is already a success, time will tell if that is long lived. Overall Outrage have delivered an oustanding heli at a good price with great cost of ownership, added to this Outrage has made a name for itself with it's incredible customer service, if I was in the 550 market as a competitor I would be more than a little worried.
( 51 Votes )