Synergy E5 Impressions
Hello all. I thought I would take a moment to share some of my impressions of the new Synergy E5. If you already own a Synergy helicopter then you know what to expect, superb engineering, excellent flight characteristics and high quality parts that fit together perfectly. For those of you who are considering becoming part of the Synergy family welcome.
First, for those of you who haven't yet seen the E5 in person it's a beautiful bird. As with all Synergy helicopters there are very few plastic parts, twelve to be exact (I had to include the skid plugs to reach that number). The head assembly, swash plate, tail assembly, tail box, bearing blocks, boom support blocks and motor mount are all CNC machined aluminum. The bearings are already pressed in to the bearing blocks. The sub assemblies are all preassembled and ready for your Locktite. All of the gears are made of machined delrin, no molded gears in this bird. The frames, trays, transmission box and tail skid (vertical tail fin) are made of high quality CNC machined carbon fiber. The tail pitch push rod and the boom supports are made of carbon fiber tube as well. The torque tube is made of aluminum with CNC machined ends. The TT is supported by two bearings. The icing on the cake (if it needs any) is a beautifully finished fiberglass canopy, pearl white with yellow and blue accents. The canopy mounts on the E5 are new to the Synergy line. The canopy retainers are spring loaded, push button type with ball and track retainers. Additionally, the canopy mounting studs are designed to break away in a hard crash preventing additional damage to the frames.
The build is straight forward, no surprises. For those of you who have built the E7 I doubt you will have to read the manual. For everyone else, the manual is in PDF format and progresses in logical order. If this is going to be your first helicopter build, fear not! All of the the parts fit together perfectly with no modifications. Follow the manual, pay attention to recommendations for the use of Locktite and don't over-tighten the fasteners (that's what the Locktite is for). For my E5 I decided to use JR 8717s on the collective and a Futaba BLS256 HV on the tail. A Castle Creations Ice2 120HV delivers the power to a Scorpion HKIII 4025 1100KA turning a 12 tooth pinion. I used a CC BEC Pro to power the electronics (6.9V) and a full size Vbar Silverline for stabilization. Receiving the radio signals are a pair of JR remote receivers. All of my selected equipment fits nicely into the compact electronics space of the Synergy E5. One note, if you use JR servos you will be required to enlarge the inside diameter of the supplied carbon fiber servo arms to 10mm (does anyone else supply carbon fiber arms for free? LOL). This is easily done with a 10mm drill bit, running in reverse chucked in your favorite drill. Also, if you use JR servos, the nuts will go on the inside of the servo horn (closest to the servo) this will prevent the larger bolt heads from rubbing the servo it's self.
The E5 is and absolute dream to fly! After 157 flights (and counting) I think I'm qualified to make that statement. I have flown my E5 with a number of battery configurations 3S,4S, 5S and 6S all 5300 MAH 60C-120C. (Yes, the 6S 5300mAH 60-120C GensAce batteries fit in the E5 without a problem. I wouldn’t recommend the 3S configuration as it makes the E5 feel a little sluggish (underpowered) but it flies none the less and is still stable. This is a testament to the wide flight envelope of the E5. From super low head speed to blazing fast the E5 can be configured for everything from mild to wild. In either configuration this bird is absolutely stable. The thing I like most about the E5 is that it has great power without the collective feeling overly sensitive or pitchy. I suppose the best description would be that it has the stable feel of a large helicopter (E7 stability) but, with the speed and agility of a smaller lighter heli. Yes, if you like the collective to feel twitchy you can make it feel that way as well!
I decided to write this review for a couple of reasons. First, I truly love the performance of this helicopter. Second, two of the three people I have allowed to fly my E5 are now awaiting delivery of their new E5s or are in the process of building them. The third person decided to go with the Synergy E7 which I also let him fly. The third, and most important reason to me is because of questions I get almost every time I'm at the flying field from people interested in getting into RC helicopters or from beginners struggling with helicopters that hardly fly. If you are a beginner or are interested in learning to fly helicopters this review is for you! I made a number of mistakes along my continuing path of learning to fly RC helicopters. My first mistake was buying a pre-assembled ready to fly helicopter! There are at least two reasons this is a mistake. First, the helicopter flew very poorly and was made of poor quality components. Second, I didn't gain the experience that comes from building a kit. Experience that we all need when gravity wins the never ending battle and repairs ensue. There were many other mistakes along the way prior to me meeting this guy named Matt Botos (more on this in a moment). The number one objection I hear from folks flying those machines that hardly fly or from those who are interested in getting into the hobby is the cost of a quality machine. If I had the thousands of dollars I spent on helicopters and parts prior to finding the Synergy family you can bet I would have a couple more Synergy’s in the shop. The quality and the flight characteristics of a Synergy can't be beat. Before you invest your hard earned money in another machine try a Synergy. Invest in a machine that will allow you to learn the basics with confidence and that is so configurable that it will grow with you along the way. From your first hover to blade bending 3D and everything in between. If you give the E5 a try you won't be disappointed. While others are at home looking at upgrades and buying replacement parts you will be at the field flying. All the upgrades come standard on Synergy helicopters. If you doubt it ask someone who owns one, better yet go to the internet and look for upgrades.
I said more on meeting Matt in a moment so here it is. The day I met Matt I was struggling with another manufactures helicopter and had been for two weeks. I had a problem and couldn't figure it out. Matt found and fixed the problem (the tail grip thrust bearings from the manufacturer included in the kit were the wrong size). They latter denied the problem ... of course). Matt gave up two hours of his flying time in order to help me with a problem that wasn’t his. He even provided bearings of the correct size. I have the opportunity to fly with some of Matt's team pilots on a regular basis and they too take time to help others no matter what they are flying or what their skill levels are. Join the Synergy Family and don't look back.