Walkera V200D01 Mini Review
Retail Price: $219.95
Main Rotor Diameter: 440mm
Weight: 268 grams (Battery Included)
Servos: 2x Walkera Micro WK-7.6-6
Transmitter: 4 Channel D/R WK-2403 2.4g
Receiver: RX-2437V 3 Axis Gyro
Battery: 2S 7.4v 1000mAh Lipo
Motors: Brushless WK-WST-21-003
Available From: HobbyHot.com
The fixed pitch helicopter offers advantages over the coaxial heli such as increased speed and agility, while maintaining the level of stability found in coaxials. The Walkera CB180D is a prime example of a fixed pitch single-rotor helicopter with great performance, sleek looks, and stability that rivals some coaxial platforms. Walkera took that up a notch with the CB180Z and now they take it up another notch with the V200D01. The V200D01 is one of the latest helicopters from Walkera. It evolved from the CB180 series by Walkera, but features a flybarless head, brushless motor and a 3-Axis gyro. The V200D01 can be purchased for around $200 - $225.
We all know that the Fixed Pitch Helicopter is better for beginners because of their easier setup and less complicated parts than the Collective Pitch Helis. Now the V200D01 has gone one step further, by removing the flybar from the Fixed Pitch heli, and adding a 3-Axis gyro to help you to stabilize the helicopter.
The flybar is a short thin metal rod placed on top of the helicopter. It is one a structure on the Rotor Head, usually attached with a paddle or weights on both ends. The flybar helps to stabilize the helicopter during flight. The heavier the paddle or weight and the longer the flybar, the more stable the helicopter can be. In other words, if you take away the flybar, the helicopter will become "unstable". However, this can be compensated by using a 3-Axis Gyro. The onboard RX-2437V controller makes the V200D01 perform just as if it were flying with a flybar.
Flybarless means less moving parts and that saves energy and enables you to fly 20-30% longer on each battery. Also, less parts means less repairing. You will have less parts to replace after a crash. Flybarless appears to be the future of RC Helicopters.
I flew the Walkera V200D01 both indoors and out, in both light and zero wind conditions both with and without gyro support. So, let's take a closer look at one of Walkera’s first flybarless attempts.
As with most micro ready-to-fly aircraft, the V200D01’s box can also be used as a carrying case. After opening the box the inner plastic was revealed holding the heli and radio safely in place. This is basically two pieces of flexible plastic, molded to fit the helicopter and transmitter that Walkera sandwiches together and fits inside the outer box.
The kit comes with: a WK-2403 2.4GHz four channel transmitter, 1000mAh 7.4v lipo pack, lipo balancing charger with a wall power adapter, instruction manual, an extra set of tail rotor gears and an extra set of main blades.
The V200D01 is a sleek looking little bird. The plastic cowl is clean with a multicolored yellow, black, and white with red trim design. The frame is black plastic and the landing skids and tail boom are metal. The tail fins have a faux carbon fiber finish. Sitting atop the V200D01 is the orange or gold anodized aluminum rotor head assembly reminiscent of the CB180Q.
Overall I was impressed with the fit and finish of this helicopter. I did a complete once over checking screws and gears and I did not find any factory defects or missing parts. I did add some silicone lube to the tail gears and I decided to make sure the main blades were balanced. This is something I’d never done with any of the CB180 helicopters I’ve ever owned, but this being something new, I figured, why not.
As with most small-scale helicopters, it seems that most use a direct-drive tail rotor, with the tail motor positioned on the end of the boom and attached straight to the rotor. The V200D01, however, uses a shaft driven, variable pitch tail rotor. A variable pitch rotor constructed from two blade grips, a tail rotor hub, and a tail pitch slider which allows the blade pitch (and therefore the thrust of the rotor) to be controlled via a servo. Power is supplied to the tail rotor from the main motor by a shaft. This leads to plenty of tail authority with a slight reduction in performance as some energy is lost through the spinning shaft and gears, but I was very pleased with the V200D01’s performance.
A brushless motor?! With the success of the CB180Z, Walkera, thankfully, kept the brushless main motor. Flight times are well within what I would expect from any brushless heli and with plenty of power on-tap.
The V200D01 uses micro servos labeled as WK-7.6-6, the same servos used in the CB180 series of helicopters. The tail uses a WK-7601 servo that is slightly faster. As far as these servos go, I haven’t had any problems in the past and still have no complaints today. They’ve always worked as I expected and have survived quite a few crashes on my CB180’s and MadHawk 300’s.
The Walkera RX-2437V is a 3-Axis Gyro receiver. It’s basically a 4-channel signal output with a combination gyro that can be adjusted to meet the needs of the pilot. A 3-Axis Gyro allows it to sense X, Y and Z axis moments. That means that when the body is leaning forward, backward or rolling left or right, or the tail is drifting CW / CWW, it will constantly monitor any off-balances in all directions, then it will give signals to the servos to balance the helicopter. It works constantly unless you manually shut it off on the RX itself. The yellow casing is flexible plastic and offers slight protection from shock and the elements. Still, the open top make dirt and water contamination possible, so avoid flying in wet conditions that could cause electrical malfunctions.
The main rotors are fixed and unable to change their angle of attack. This heli, like other fixed pitch helis, relies on head speed, to generate lift. Spin the rotor faster, and the helicopter ascends. Reduce rotor speed, and the heli descends. The fixed-pitch rotor head on the V200D01 is all metal, with the exception of the swashplate linkages.
Does the transmitter look familiar? If you’ve purchased a Walkera helicopter in the past 6-12 months, you’ve held a similar transmitter in your hands. This is the WK-2403 from Walkera. It is a 4-channel 2.4GHz unit with a few standard features and an LCD display screen. This transmitter offers servo reversing and the option to change the throttle from the left to the right if you're so inclined. The WK-2403 adds a dual rate mode selection and a unique Height-Limit mode tailored to beginners. The Dual Rate switch limits the servo travel to 50% for more stable flight, while the Height Limit limits the throttle to 30-80%, which, in turn, limits the height of the helicopter. My sticks were well tensioned with this transmitter, but detailed instructions on adjusting the stick tension are included.
The V200D01 ships to your door fully assembled. However, just because it doesn’t require any building doesn’t mean it should be flown out of the box. Resist the urge to do so, and do a preliminary check of the aircraft. Put a Philips head screwdriver to every screw and make sure it is secured. Make sure the blades are secured in the blade grips, but not too tight or you’ll get some vibrations. Check the rotor head assembly; with the heli and radio powered on, the swashplate should be level with the throttle lowered and control sticks centered. Check that the pinion gear meshes well with the main gear by lightly pushing the main gear back and forth; you should feel a very small amount of play.
Walkera has included a two and three cell lipo charger/balancer with the V200D01. The GA005 balancing charger is designed for lipo batteries only and charges at 0.80A. Two and three cell balance plugs on the front of the GA005 serve as charge and balance inputs. The unit is powered by a 15v switching mode wall adaptor. A full charge takes around an hour to complete, which is confirmed when the blinking red led turns green.
I was a bit surprised to find that flying the V200D01 is very similar to the CB180D or MadHawk 300. Rumors are floating around that the V200D01 is tougher than a UFly which is tougher than a CB180Z. I haven’t flown the CB180Z or the UFly, so I cannot speak to those comparisons. Its small size coupled with the variable pitch tail make for a more hands-on flying experience. This heli will continue to travel in a given direction until you make a correction to its flight path. With the CB180D/Q I noticed a ‘bucking’ when going from forward flight to a stop. This does not happen with the V200D01. If you press the right stick forward it’s going to go forward even if you release the stick. You have to pull back slightly to get this heli to come to a stop…and it won’t buck nose up! I was able to achieve a hands free hover within minutes of my first flight as well. After a few battery packs, even a new pilot will discover the V200D01 is very manageable. On a charged battery, you can get upwards of 10 minutes of flying before you have to increase the throttle more and more just to keep it in the air. This is your clue to land, land very soon, like now.
The V200D01 is nimble enough to satisfy intermediate pilots and doesn’t seem to struggle in a slight breeze. I had no trouble maintaining forward flight into an estimated 3 to 5 mph wind. The V200D01 is well suited for indoor and calm-day flying only, but will still be strong enough to take into a light breeze. The TX range seems fine. I’ve had no issues with going out 100’ or more with no cutouts between the RX and TX. The V200D01 is a blast to fly, and can make some really quick passes in forward flight. The tail is ROCK SOLID too. You can spin this heli in circles, release the right stick and the V200D01 will stop on a dime! I would say that this helicopter is well suited for those that are tired of their MadHawk 300 or CB180D/Q but aren’t quite ready for the UFly or the HBFP V2. Don’t get me wrong the V200D01 can get away from you quickly, but I’ve been flying all morning with no crashes or baubles.
Is This For a Beginner?
This is a tricky question. Stepping into any single-rotor platform as a first heli can be a risk, but its less of a risk than going full collective. Although the fixed pitch V200D01 is somewhat stable as helicopters go, it's still a helicopter, and therefore inherently unstable. If you've had some simulator time and feel confident, I'd say go for it. If you've mastered a coaxial or the CB180D/Q, then this is definitely a next step option. If you've never flown anything that takes off and lands vertically, you might consider waiting on the V200D01.
The Walkera V200D01 is an intermediate level fixed-pitch helicopter with great performance, durability, and looks. New pilots graduating from coaxials will find the V200D01 to be more than a handful, but an ideal next step for prior CB180D/Q pilots due to its stability, durability, and multiple setup options. More experienced pilots will enjoy the V200D01's fly-anywhere style, cool looks, and flybarless head. I’ll admit there are many other options out there for the price, but this is definitely a consideration. I’ve posted some pics below. Basically stock stuff you’ve all seen before. I hope to have some video up this weekend as well.
· Multiple setup options make the V200D01 a good choice for beginner to intermediate pilots.
· Good run times (10+ minutes) with the included 7.4v 2s 1000mAh lipo pack.
· Durability and parts availability.
· 3-Axis Gyro allows for beginner and intermediate pilots to enjoy
· New 2403 TX allow for beginner setups to maintain stability
· Parts Availability (but you can use most of the CB180Z parts in a pinch)