Skyartec Wasp X3V

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Skyartec wasp x3v.JPG
Waspx3v cf blades.JPG
Closeup of the three-axis gyro/receiver combination
Skyartec optional aluminum carrying case
Accessories packaged with both the X3V and X3. Transmitter shown is the early PC-programmable version
Comparison of the X3V (right) with the earlier X3

The Skyartec Wasp X3V is a high-specification RTF or receiver-ready, 250-class radio controlled electric helicopter designed and manufactured by Skyartec R/C Model Fun Co., Ltd. of Shenzhen, China. It is distributed in North America by Park RC Models of Auburn Hills, Michigan USA.

Introduced in 2012 as the most advanced model in Skyartec's Wasp helicopter line, the fully aerobatic Wasp X3V is one of the first RTF helicopters in this size and price range to incorporate three-axis flybarless technology. It also incorporates a belt-driven tail in lieu of the motor-driven tail prevalent among 250-class helicopters. All units ordered through Park RC Models undergo a fifty-point quality control check and test flight at the Auburn Hills facility prior to shipping; a copy of the check list is enclosed. An e-mail of instructions and other documentation is forwarded to the buyer along with link to a YouTube video of the buyer's individually serialized unit in operation. Park RC Models also marks each inspected component or accessory with a small foil seal, indicating the part in question is functioning properly.

Construction is of CNC-milled aluminum, fiberglass, alloys and composites. The polycarbonate canopy is a slightly modified carryover of the one fitted to the Wasp X3. The decals, however, remain unchanged. An opening has been cut in the bottom of the X3 canopy to clear the motor; an elastic strap glued across the opening is stretched over hooks in the frame in order to help secure the canopy and prevent interference with the motor.

As shown in the photo at right, Park RC Models is currently bundling the Wasp X3V with a spare set of carbon fiber main rotor blades as an upgrade to the stock high-impact ABS resin blades.

Early versions of the X3V were packed with CD-ROM software with ClearView SE and Flying Model Simulator flight simulators, several hundred Flying Model Simulator model files and programming/model memory software for the original seven-channel transmitter was included as well. The programming function was used to reprogram the transmitter for any Skyartec 2.4GHz model, in turn giving the transmitter unlimited model memory. A USB cable with a DIN connector connected the RTF's transmitter to a Windows-based computer for use as a controller and for programming purposes.

In late 2012, a new version with a computerized radio system was released and replaces the previous version. The upgraded model comes equipped with Skyartec's new NASA701 seven-channel transmitter with a six-channel SKY-X303V three-axis flybarless compatible receiver. The NASA system allows setting of such parameters as exponential and dual rates via a menu-driven LCD screen. A CD-ROM with upgraded versions of the simulators is included as well.

Training skids, a padded aluminum carrying case and high-performance wooden blades are available as options.

Silver Sky Hobby of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is presently selling a version with an onboard video camera to the Australian market via Ebay.com.au. It lists for AU$247.00.

Flight characteristics

In as-delivered setup, the Wasp X3V is set for maximum stability. This allows for nearly hands-free hovering but greatly reduces the ability to bank, making the setting unsuitable for fast forward flight. Intermediate and advanced pilots can increase the agility of the model by simply turning the gyro's agility setting in a clockwise direction; hovering stability is basically unaffected. There is no need to adjust the transmitter settings via a PC. The factory setting allows slightly more banking in idle up mode, but only slightly.

In standard mode with linear throttle and with the agility increased, the Wasp is as stable as a larger machine and tracks accurately, making it an excellent choice for sport flying. However, the idle up mode becomes far more sensitive as well and may require desensitizing or recalibration to the pilot's preferences via the PC link.

Switching to the carbon fiber or wooden blades adds considerably more agility as well, but hovering may require more stick input depending on the agility setting.

A YouTube video of a properly calibrated model flown in extreme 3D is linked below.

Repairs

Repairs, while straightforward, require careful resetting of pushrod linkages and tail servo-to-frame distance if necessary. Park RC Models recommends the use of an inexpensive electronic caliper in order to properly measure and record the lengths of the linkages and distance of the tail servo before the model suffers a crash. They also recommend the use of an Align T-Rex 250 ball link removal tool (Horizon Hobby catalog number AGNH25036) as well as a Skyartec 1.0mm machined aluminum hex driver for removal of the tail rotor. Both tools are available through Park RC Models.

Great care should be taken when disassembling the tail rotor. A tiny brass spacer is used between the bellcrank and its mount and a small chrome-plated "floater" sleeve slides over the tail shaft between the slider assembly and the bearing, preventing excessive travel of the slider assembly. Neither part is presently indicated in the manual.

A detail photo in the RCGroups.com review linked below shows a closeup of the tail and the proper location of the parts.

Specifications

  • Main rotor diameter: 18.7" (475mm)
  • Tail rotor diameter: 5.1" (130mm)
  • Length: 18" (455mm)
  • Flying weight: 10 oz. (293g)
  • Motor: Skyartec BL250 4500Kv brushless outrunner
  • Motor pinion: 14T
  • Main drive gear: 120T
  • Gyro: Skyartec SKY-X302V three-axis, two-in-one gyro/receiver combination
  • Servos: Three Skyartec VTS-05B 9g analog for the collective/cyclic, one Skyartec SCM-9A 9g digital for the tail
  • ESC: Skyartec BMC-15A 15-ampere brushless
  • Battery: Skyartec 7.4V 900mAh lithium polymer
  • Transmitter (RTF): Skyartec NASA 2.4GHz computerized seven-channel
  • Minimum skill level: Supervised beginner
  • Minimum operator age: 14+
  • Range: 2500' (762m)
  • Catalog numbers (RTF/receiver-ready): HWX3V-01; HWX3V-02
  • Retail price/sale price (USD): $299.99/$259.99 RTF; $249.99 receiver-ready

External links and references