If you are considering getting into 3D flybarless helicopters, one of your choices is Nine Eagles (NE) Solo Pro 125 (SP125) helicopter. As Nine Eagles is a quite prominent brand and the price of about 150€ RTF is affordable, this once is certainly worth considering. Unfortunately there is very little information on the Internet regarding reviews and flying experiences. So this is what the following text intends to change.
First of all lets see what an experience pilot can do with it
This is the official marketing video and obviously the pilots are very capable. But you get the idea what you could to with it – especially if you are used to flybar helicopters. But lets continue to the first-hand experiences I made.
The RTF package comes with the Nine Eagles J6Pro remote control. It is programmable and has model memory. This means you can also fly other Nine Eagles helicopters with it as long as they use the new protocol (J4Pro, J5Pro). At least the Solo Pro 270 works, but you have to figure out the settings yourself as they are nowhere documented.
Once you got the hang of the J6Pro, you can use it quite nicely – but again the documentation is quite bad and the usage principles are not clearly documented. Therefore I recommend watching this series of videos explaining how to change the most common settings
However the build quality of the remote is quite poor – the plastic feels cheap and I already had to repair one of the control sticks because of cracks in the plastic. You get what you pay is the rule.
The build quality of the helicopter is solid on the other hand – maybe too solid, as it breaks easily in crashes. More elastic parts could better withstand the crashes. Therefore you should directly order some spare parts – the following ones are quite handy from my experience
- A metal swash-plate. This one costs about 20€ which is about double the price of the original plastic swash-plate by Nine Eagles. However with the plastic swash plate, each collision with something able to block the main rotor broke off one of these tiny balls on mine – the metal swash-plate on the other hand is more durable and in doubt something cheaper will break.
- Several SP100 tail booms. This is probably the most fragile part of the SP125. Unfortunately you can can by the SP125 booms only in a package with the motor, which makes it unnecessarily expensive. The tail motor is able to survive most crashes. Luckily the SP100 tail boom also fits the SP125 and is just about 1/4 of the price.
Additionally the following parts are available which are really helpful when flying this helicopter
- As you most likely have to change the swash plate at least once, a leveling tool is really handy – otherwise it is quite hard to get the swashplate straight on these tiny things.
- The stronger 300mAh batteries are only 1.5g heavier than the stock ones, but give you more power and more flight time.
You can even upgrade to a better Radio using the Deviation Firmware. It allows using telemetry capable Devo Radios to controll J6Pro compatible helicopters. This way you can even get a nice touch-screen radio like the Devention Devo 6S.
Once you got the metal swashplate, unfortunately the servos will be more likely to break. This is ok as they are a cheaper than the swashplate, but in the long run it is still expensive.
Fortunately when the servo stops working it is most likely that only one of the gears which are inside broke – so if you have several broken servos you can combine the spare gears to get one working servo.
The image above shows the assembly of the gears inside the NE251328. You can use it as a reference how to re-assemble the servo from single gears.
Long term experience
After flying the little bird for about one month, I have spend 100€ in spare parts and many hours repairing it. As I replaced the swashplate with a metal one, the parts breaking most often were the tail broom, the landing skids and the servos. Furthermore one of the Control sticks of the J6Pro remote got loose and had to be repaired. Realising that I already spent about 250€ for the bird and as I wanted to upgrade the controller anyway, I took a leap and bought the Genius CP V2 with the Devo 6S controller.
While the controller is obviously a class on its own, also the Genius CP V2 is much more durable in comparison. Having already experienced similar crashes to the Solo Pro 125, there is nothing broken yet. Presumably the much more flexible landing skids and main rotor blades on the Genius CP do their job.
If you are a beginner, I would strongly recommend buying the Genius CP V2 over the Solo Pro 125 – the price difference is small and really justified. If you are an experience flyer and know what you are doing, the SP125 is probably still worth considering; the brusheless version of it, the solo pro 126 is quite a bit cheaper than the Blade mCP X BL.