Align T-Rex 450 Pro Model Specifications:
- Class: 450
- Build: Kit
- Blade Size: 325mm
- Level: Intermediate to advanced
- Frame Material: Carbon Fiber
- Frame Type: Single Piece
- Servo to Swash Linkage: Direct
- Servo Size: Micro
- Rotor Grips: Metal
- Head Block: Metal
- Links: Ball
- Swash: Metal
- Swash Type: CCPM 120°
- Tail Drive System: Shaft Driven
- Tail Pitch Slider: 1 point
- Tail Blade Grips: Metal
- Tail Case: Metal
- Boom Struts: Carbon
- Street Price: $575.99 US
Instructions — Score: 9
Align manuals over the years have been very consistent in providing clear concise drawings that show every step of the build. Typically the kits included smaller supplement manuals for the various electronics that are included in the combo. This time Align put all the manuals together, so when you go to program the gyro or ESC you only need the single manual for everything.
The sections dealing with electronics programing and setup are very handy and easy to follow. The only reason I did not give a 10 was lack of real photos or color to be perfect.
Build — Score: 10
The T-Rex 450 Pro will honestly be one of the easiest heli’s you have ever built. Why, because Align has completed 70% of the work for you out of the box. The entire head, tail case, and frame come pre-assembled from the factory. To complete the head install you only have to build two linkage rods from the swash to the upper mixing arms. The other four links on the head are a new one-piece plastic molded link. This means when you get to the radio setup and flight testing, you only have one pair of links to adjust to get proper pitch and tracking. The rest of the build is very straight forward and covered well in the manual. The cyclic servos are no longer mounted in the frame, but instead the main shaft bearing blocks double as servo mounts.
For more information and tips while building check out our T-Rex 450 Pro Video Build series located here.
RcHeliResource – Align T-Rex 450 Pro Build Videos
Our build consisted of the following components:
- Battery: Thunder Power Pro 30C 2250mah 3S
- Motor: Align BL430SP (included)
- ESC: Align RCE-BL35X (included)
- Cyclic Servos: Align DS410M Metal Gear Micro Digital (included)
- Tail Servo: Align DS520 Mini Digital (included)
- Gyro: Align GP750 (included)
- Blades: Align 325 Carbon Blades (included)
- RX: Futaba R617FS 7ch FASST
- Radio: Futaba 12Z FASST
As you can see above all you need is your radio, RX, and battery. Everything else to get the 450 Pro in the air is included in the Super Combo. For the people who would like to use their own electronics, Align will be releasing in the near future a 450 Pro with only the ESC and Motor included. However when comparing the price of the kits, the Super Combo is an amazing deal to get everything in one shot.
Installing the electronics on smaller heli’s is always something I dread because I’m very anal on the cosmetic appearance of the wiring. However I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to do a very clean install on the 450 Pro. The DS410M servo leads are just the right length to reach the RX either mounted on the outside of the frame (like I did), or inside the frame between the motor and tail servo. I was also pleased to see the GP750 gyro didn’t have a 1.5ft long lead like the Futaba GY401 for example. Align has provided a nice gyro tray on the back of the frame as part of the swash anti-rotation bracket. This is very handy because if you need to remove the tail boom block to replace TT gears you don’t have to remove the gyro and waste mounting tape.
The Align brushless ESC tucks nicely in front of the motor under the plastic battery tray which Align included a handy cut out for the battery wires to exit.
To clean up the wires and protect them from chaffing on the frame I covered them in small black heat shrink. To do this you will need to remove the servo plugs then reinstall. Only do this if you feel comfortable with taking them off and on.
Parts Quality/Fit — Score: 8
When the new 450 was announced many people wanted to call this the T-Rex 450 V3. Align chose not to call it the V3 for one good reason, because it’s not a third revision of the original 450 design. Instead the 450 Pro is a completely new design from the ground up.
The only parts that carry over from the 450SE V2 to the 450 Pro are the main gear, flybar, and flybar paddles. In true Align fashion spare parts are readily available, inexpensive, and come multiples to a pack. This means you can enjoy your heli to it’s full extent, and when you crash not be out an arm and leg.
During the build I was very impressed with the quality and fit of the parts. I’ve built every Align heli that has come out in the past 2 years and honestly feel which each new release they are improving on their design and manufacturing process. I did not find one part that was defective or did not fit right. Everything went together properly with a minimal amount of play or slop. Time will tell if this continues to to be the case once we have a season worth of flights on the heli.
Durability — Score: 9
With the 450 Pro Align moved to a one-piece carbon fiber frame. The combination of a large plastic tail boom block, front plastic battery tray, and aluminum bearing blocks results in a very stiff design. I’ve had yet to test it, but the frame should hold up very well in the event of a crash.
As I noted in the build videos, the kit I got for review was part of the third batch of kits to reach the US. The first two batches had black torque tubes in the box. According to Align the black torque tube was designed to break in the event of a crash, saving the front and rear gears. However after some complaints Align released a silver version of the torque tube and started shipping it in the kits. The silver tube will not break in a crash, so you can expect to strip gears instead. Both options are available as spares so you can choose.
Flight Performance — Score:10
This should be PERFORMANCE in all caps. Jason Krause designed the 450 Pro with one main goal in mind, to be an all out 3D machine. The head on the 450 Pro allows for more collective and cyclic pitch on a 450 then ever before. The result is an extremely agile heli that up to the task any expert 3D pilot could throw it’s way. This heli does not fly like the previous 450SE V2, it flies bigger almost like a 500 size heli.
I’ve always been a little wary of Align electronics but I must admit I’m impressed by everything included in the kit. The new Align 430SP brushless motor has plenty of power and made a good partner to the Align 35amp brushless ESC. Which by the way out of the box comes default with all the right settings for your heli (soft start-up, brake disabled, gov mode, etc). The ESC required no additional programing out of the box. Per the manual I had my radio set up with a 85% flat throttle curve in Idle1, and 100% flat throttle curve in Idle2. I found Idle1 was a good balance between 3D power and flight time. While Idle2 was all out performance but only 4:30 of flight time.
I was also impressed by the Align GP750 gyro. Setup is extremely easy with no manual required once you learn how to enter setup (hold set button for 2 seconds). Everything is labeled right on the gyro. The defaults are already set to 450 size heli delay. All is needed is set your tail servo limits and servo direction. In the air the GP750 exhibits zero bad habits and held the tail rock solid in every 3D maneuver. The GP750 defaults to 1520uS for the included Align DS520 tail servo. However it can be set to 760uS mode if you use a tail servo that supports the higher rate.
For the battery I choose the Thunder Power RC Pro 30C lipo. This lipo represents the latest in technology available with not only a high 30C rating but also longer cell cycle life as well as high C charge rate. The result was a battery that had no issues pumping out the juice to 430SP motor under 15 degrees of cyclic.
While doing some flight testing I recorded temps after a 4:30 3D flight. The motor was 135 degrees, battery was 105 degrees, and the ESC was 100 degrees. While the motor was hot, it was no where near dangerous levels.
Video Flight Test
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Align T-Rex 450 Pro Review - Test Flight (86.8 MiB, 465 hits)
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