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S026G Chinook - Reasonable Handling and Performance
on 13 November 2011
***UPDATED 16 SEPTEMBER 2012***
Managed a few more flights with this heli. It seems to be the one Syma Heli that really does NEED to have the throttle calibrated for full range before each flight (the instructions refer). After having done that, I found it's best to power it straight up away from the ground (otherwise it will just linger in ground effect), alternatively hand launch it. I still would not buy it again.
***UPDATED 26 AUGUST 2012***
Knocked down to three stars. Even though not used a great deal the heli now refuses to get above ground effect; it has gone the same way as the one I previously returned. If you look on some forums, other people have the same problem. I'm not sure whether it's the battery or what, but what I am sure of is that it's very dissapointing compared to all the other Syma micro helicopters. I would not buy it again.
***UPDATE 19 DECEMBER 2011***
I have knocked a star off this because I had to return the heli for an exchange. The heli would no longer charge properly - evident by inability to take off (it just hovered a few inches above the ground). The battery had been well cared for (no deep discharge, allowed to cool down before charging, no overcharging) - so do not know why it become a problem. The replacement is better, the flight performance is similar to the previous one, which confirms the somewhat sluggish climb response. There is a lag between command and climb - not surprising as the small flight battery has to power up four motors and four sets of rotors! The result of this lag is that you need to think ahead a lot more with this small tandem co-ax heli; it will not get you out of trouble in the way that the higher performance helis such as the S102G, S107G or S108G will.
I have made comparison with the Syma S107G which is probably one of the most stable, controllable and robust indoor micro helicopters around. Any first time flyers would be well advised to start with the S107G.
The S026G is not as responsive or robust as the S107G - but it is very enjoyable to fly, and good value for money. Despite not being as capable as the S107G, the S026G still warrants 5 stars (the S107G warrants six!).
Handling - It turns/pivots about the front rotors causing the tail to swing out. This caused me a few bumps on the first few flights resulting in minor blade damage (the blades are nowhere near as tough as the S107G). The trim controls are effective - forward/back, left/right. The gyro is very effective - once the trims are set the heli can hover in situ. The rudder (left/right) trim needs a little adjustment as the flight battery runs down. It is a bit more `lumpy' to fly than the S107G - probably due the weight, balance and power distribution being fore and aft (as opposed to being central).
Performance - The power (thrust) drops noticeable in flight, you need to quickly/carefully compensate before it loses too much height. It is not as responsive in climb so be ready to increase the throttle before it gets too low. Forward and rearward motion is achieved by differential speed of the front and rear rotors, consequently this is quite a fast helicopter (forward/backward on the S107G is achieved with tiny tail rotor).
Flight Duration - Amazon quotes 7-9 minutes (and 6-8 minutes for the S107G). Some websites quote 6 minutes for the S026G - I agree `up to' 6 minutes. On the positive side, it charges quickly within about 30 minutes.
Comments - It would be more convenient (but less authentic) if the charging socket was on the side or rear ramp of the heli instead of being underneath. A white LED under the nose would provide better orientation (curiously there is a white bead that looks like a light but is not). Mine came fitted with two connect buckles on each of the upper blade grips (some photos show just one). The upper grip set is secured by only one screw (this seems to be standard on all photos I have seen).