Venture Review by Jeff Ashe
|The new JR Venture looks like the first 30-size
helicopter to seriously challenge the Raptor's reign. The design and engineering
poured into the frames is readily evident. Working with the ARF version for this
review was not a disadvantage since I had prior experience with the Ergo.
* A necessary tool for assembly is a good flashlight. The very well designed center frame assembly quickly becomes difficult to see inside.
* The plastic servo mounting pieces are superb! When installing the servos it is very important to assure that the servo mounting screws are going into the plastic mounting plate, and not wedging between the plate and frame or servo. Inspect all the servo screws with the flashlight mentioned above.
* For anyone flying at an intermediate level or above, the 3D flybar, paddles and swashplate changes are recommended. Cyclics are much more responsive when combined with a good set of carbon blades. 30% exponential was eventually used to calm down the small hovering movements.
* I used the Webra 35 engine, KSJ competition muffler, 30% Cool Power Heli. The engine was very happy from the first tank. 1-1/2 turns on the high-speed is a good place to start, just like the directions indicate. My experience with Webras so far indicates that they tend to eat #3 plugs for lunch. I strongly suggest you use an OS#8 or Enya#4 with this engine on 30%. The throttle linkage worked out with a 15mm arm to exactly 100% ATV on JR.
* Radio equipment was JR 531s on CCPM, 537 on throttle, 8417 on tail with a 460 Gyro in heading lock mode. No noticeable variation in the servo tracking was noted. This was a pleasant surprise and super performance for such an inexpensive servo setup.
* Mounting a whip antennae, such as the Revolution bolt-on, can be challenging. I chose to drill a hole in the inner frame flange, just in front of the fan shroud. The antennae mounts under the radio tray WAY back in the little compartment underneath. A 3mm x 8 bolt was used to secure the antennae. Just pre-tap the threads into the whip antennae base and you can easily manage mounting it. A thourough range check revealed no loss of signal from any attitude. This was undoubtedly due to all the plastic frame parts. You could never get by with such a "hidden" antennae mounting with metal frames.
* The included 550mm woody blades are, in my opinion, a little too short. The useable collective range wound up being almost +/-13 degrees. Hovering pitch is around 7 degrees. All this indicates a little too much weight for the size rotor disk. I believe that the model will take 580mm blades without the need for a longer tail boom. If so, the Webra 35 definitely has enough horsepower to swing the disk.
* The all-plastic engine mount takes some getting used to. Well designed and very light, the engine mount has one major drawback. The locknuts that must be inserted into the mount are easy to insert on the top. But plan to go ahead and turn the heli upside down to drop the locknuts into the bottom openings. This is one time that gravity works in your favor!
* The one thing I cannot live with is the tail boom support. Since the engine is rear-facing, the single boom support brace is directly in the way anytime you try to do anything with the glow plug. The frames have tabs molded for what is obviously intended to be dual boom support braces. I would highly recommend changing to duals in order to get a direct shot at the engine head/glowplug with a long plug wrench. Otherwise, you better go to the field with a 1/4" rachet and 5/16" socket to change plugs.
After only three tanks of fuel and using a borrowed set of carbon 550mm blades, I started doing tumbles, multiple rolls, tail slides etc. The model definitely flies a little tail heavy and you have to watch for the tail to sag in hard G's. The CCPM, even with the 531 servos, was very solid with virtually no coupling or cyclic interaction. The 460/8417 combo does forward flight pirouhettes with no squal, slap or other sign of stress. The tail is as solid as any 60 I have flown.
The decal set is very colorful fairly easy to place. No stretching or pushing to make it conform to canopy contours is required. Setup time on the ARF is a little longer than expected. I would rate the ARF as an AARF with an extra "almost".
All the instructions were correct with the exception of the CCPM setups. I tried the setups with both a JR 10SX and a JR 10X. The instructions indicated that channels 4 & 6 should be reversed. I wound up reversing channels 2 & 4 and using different CCPM mixing directions (Function-65) from the book. More tests are necessary before I am prepared to say the instruction book is wrong. Especially since everywhere else the instructions were precise and very helpful.
Overall, the Venture has all the good parts of an Ergo coupled with some incredibly ingenious frame parts. The machine should take someone from first-day beginner right on into moderate 3D with no change in equipment necessary. The best thing is that when it bounces, it does not raise a lot of $$$ dust!