Pantera 50

Mfn. No: AUD22601

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$999.99

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vs. 600N
vs. Evo 50
vs. Raptor 50
Do one thing, do it well - it's why we only offer one nitro-powered model helicopter, the Pantera 50.
 

Intro

Because first and foremost we're modelers here at Audacity and thus, we've learned what's really important whether you're learing to fly or are an experienced modeler. Simplicity, toughness, and ease of repair. Along the way we designed in nifty features not offered by the competiton. Combined with impeccable handling, and a price sure to appeal to your thrifty nature and it's a winning combination.
 
If the difficult economy has validated your thrifty nature, then you'll especially appreciate the Pantera 50

Learning About Our Product:  This is the Overview section, which is where we point out Pantera features. We hope your BS-meter doesn't flicker due to our playing fast and loose with the facts because it can cost sales. Print magazines vet their authors before delivering advice but online-information is seductively free. Forums are especially popular because you can ask an anonymous question without appearing stupid. But remember, anonymous cuts both ways because keyboard-experts, like chucklehead37 explaining why lots of aluminum upgrades for the model he flies makes it best, carries as much authority amongst the unknowing as a world champ explaining the nuances of sub-trim! Invariably, chucklehead is flying a model made in China and mistakenly believes shiny aluminum means something more than cheap labor for polishing parts. Moreover, he never wonders if lots of upgrades imply a good model, or if it's a good model only after the expensive upgrades?

 

How can you tell the difference, i.e. identify when someone is simply polishing a turd with cheap shiny aluminum upgrades? For one thing, if the idea of needing to buy an upgrade aluminum head, or an aluminum cooling fan before you've even flown the model makes sense, you might be a chucklehead and we're probably not making the right helicopter for you! If, however, it leads you to wonder what drives otherwise sane folks to buy models, which require an upgrade from the very beginning, you're not alone. Here's our position on most upgrades - the best bang for your buck is burning more fuel!

 

Just like that you've discovered we're blunt and speak plainly. Moreover, we expect you to act in your self interests just like we're acting in ours by offering our product. We know you need information to efficiently sort what's important to you and we figure you'll be visiting other manufacturer's websites, reading magazine reviews, and going online to see what others have to say. The trick comes in separating the wheat from the chaff, or avoiding information overload. If anything we say doesn't make sense, just pick up the phone and call because we're here to serve you! We're a small company based in central Florida, and being from the South means we've always figured it's not bragging if you can back it up.

 

So, are upgrades bad? No, not hardly, but when we set out to design the Pantera, our principal goal was to deliver a bird, which in stock trim would perform anything you're capable of - no upgrades needed! For example, she comes with long-lasting urethane dampers, and instead of offering upgrade aluminum blade grips, we make the plastic grips strong enough to withstand the abuse. Do we offer any upgrades? Sure, but by and large they're real upgrades. For example, the Pantera is the only 50 designed with a 91-class engine in mind. While 2-gallon experts debate the relative merits of the latest 50-class engine du jour, the astute amongst you realize there's no substitute for cubic inches, so that's a real upgrade. Understand where we're coming from? A Pantera is unique for a lot of reasons, so consider all the facts as you learn more.

 

Captured mid-way through a roll, the Pantera 50 rolls like a patten airplane!

- Mid-way through a roll, as if on a string, the Pantera 50 handles as sweetly and honestly as a pattern plane!

Do you want just the facts? Then eyeball the bullets points and read the photo captions!

I. Features - the competition never saw us coming
  • Removable Bearing Blocks - easier maintenance
  • 40% Bigger Bearings- a hevay duty foundation
  • Larger Clutch - how to harness a 91
  • 4 mm Flybar - think pitbull vs. poodle
  • Mixture-servo Mount - convenient in-flight adjustment
  • Direct Servo Control - reduces sloppy linkages
  • 90° Linkages - easier to build and setup
  • 8 Servo Mounts - scale modelers rejoice
  • Triple Bearing Tail Rotor Grips - silky smooth
  • Dual Tapered-Collet Clutch Hub Mounting - minimize runout

 

II. Options - making a good thing better
  • 91-powered Pantera - simply wicked
  • Output Shaft Stabilizers - crsiper cyclic response
  • Air Filter - increased engine longevity

 

III. Extended Info - behind the scenes
  • Better Than Sex - hmmm
  • Paid Pilots - a matter of trust
  • Overengineered - it didn't just happen
  • Proof of Concept Model - step 1
  • CAD Refinement - step 2
  • Alumium Positive - step 3
  • Create the Mold - step 4

 

IV. Conclusion - is she the right heli for you?

 

V. Learn More - head-to-head comparisons

 

Want more details? The rest of the story, or it ain't braggin' when you back it up!

I. Features - the competition never saw us coming

Removable Bearing Blocks - easier maintenance: Sturdy removeable bearing blocks form the foundation of the Pantera 50. In fact, the Pantera 50 is the only 50-class model crafted ofengineering-plastic whose three main shaft bearings are carried in easy to maintain removeable bearing blocks! The tail drive gear use a pair as well. As any experienced heli pilot knows, it's a pain in the rear to split side frames to replace bearings, yet mainstream, old fashioned designs force this rigamerole on you - what a crock! Our removeable bearing blocks mean you can R&R (remove and replace) main shaft bearings following a crash in less time, and with less hassle. After all, what's your time worth?

 

The Pantera features removeable bearing block are used for the main shaft and tail drive shaft

- An axiom of engineering is "The structure's only as good as the foundation upon which it is built."

 

40% Bigger Bearings - a heavy duty foundation: It's one thing to claim the Pantera 50 is heavy duty, it's a horse of another color to prove it. Shoving a big engine into the Pantera was the easy part, making it live was the real trick. Where some view the Pantera 50 as overengineered, astute modelers recognize our thinking of the future led us to engineer her with the BBC in mind from the begining. Cast in this light, our using 40% larger bearings makes perfect sense! Consequently, the Pantera 50 is more durable than an ordinary 50-class - and bigger bearings are part of the reason - but there's more.

 

- Bearings 40% larger than those used in competing models results in tremendous durability.

 

Larger Clutch - how-to harnesses a 91: As you delve further into your research you'll encounter our competitive reviews. One thing you'll see mentioned over and over is how the Pantera clutch is so much larger than competing designs. Once again, it's because planning for a 91 colored our thinking! Arguing which 50 makes more power isn't even germane to the discussion when you consider the horsepower of a 91, which was the task we faced. So even if you never opt for the big block, you win because the bigger clutch is more durable and withstands more abuse. Basically, the Pantera is built like a brick outhouse for a reason!

 

- Compared to competitive 50-class helis, the Pantera 50 clutch is huge!

 

4 mm Flybar - think pitbull vs. poodle: If you wish your 50-class heli had that crisp locked-in feel of a 90-class heli, then you'll appreciate how the Pantera 50 uses a 4 mm diameter flybar. It's 85% stiffer than the whimpy 3 mm flybar used on competing 50-class models. But the real benefit is how much easier it is for you to fly the maneuvers with the same "snap" as the pros. Granted, they have the advantage of being more experienced, but the Pantera 50 will help you grow to their level very quickly. Moreover, the 4 mm diameter flybar opens the door to the many optional 4-mm mount flybar paddles (previous, the exclusive domain of 90-class birds).

 

The Sceadu 50 Evolution's 3mm flybar vs. the Pantera's 4mm flybar

- The 4mm flybar leads to more crsip maneuvers - in terms of a dog fight, think pitbull vs. poodle

 

Mixture-servo Mount - convenient in-flight adjustment: We've all had it happen; we discover the fuel mixture is too lean in flight. By the time we recognize it and land, the engine may be damaged. If you've ever had an engine go lean while flying you'll appreciate how easy it is to install a mixture servo in the Pantera 50 using the built-in frame-mount. At last, you can fine tune your engine's air-fuel ratio while you fly instead having to land to make adjustments! Use an extra channel on your transmitter, or plug the mixture servo into the mixture port of your governor and its onboard computer manages both the RPM and fuel mixture for you!

 

Adding a mixture servo is dead nuts simple

- Adding a mixture servo to the Pantera 50is dead nuts simple

 

Direct Servo Control - reduces sloppy linkages: The Pantera 50 features direct servo control and as a consequence, there are fewer linkages to get worn and sloppy. You gain a huge advantage - in both simplicity and precision - by eliminating the complicated and old fashioned, push-pull linkages found in competing designs. While simpler is a no-brainer, eliminating a butt-load of linkages means it's easier to build your model too, and of course, reduced wear means your maneuvers are more consistent because you elimiate the slop.

 

Push-pull on a Raptor 50 means lots of linkages to maintain or lose in a crash!

- Just 3 linkage rods control the Pantera's swashplate while competing models frequently require as many as 12.

 

90° Linkages - easier to build and setup: While it's easy to appreciate how all the extra linkages, bellcranks, bearings, and shafts of competing designs get sloppy as they wear over time, there's another issue. Many competing models mount the servos in the very vulnerable nose, which results in expensive damage to the servos.  Worse, is how tedious it is to R&R all those servos and linkages because of the frequently broken servo sub-frame - get a life! Moreover, in a crash, it's easy for linkages to get lost. Frankly, direct servo control is a huge advantage for the Pantera 50 not just because it's simpler and more precise, but for one other reason, it's far easier to set up your model since all the linkages make a perfect 90° at the neutral position. But protecting the servos within the side frame wins points too.

 

Direct servo control results in easy to build linkages, which form perfect 90° angles!

- Easier to build linkages in a Pantera 50; just one from each servo, and they make 90° at the midpoint

 

8 Servo Mounts - scale modelers rejoice: Whether it's the articulating horizontal stab of a Blackhawk, the retractable landing gear of a Bell 222, or the spot light beneath a police Jet Ranger, you'll appreciate how the Pantera 50 makes it easy for you to install as many as 3 option servos within the side frames for a total of 8 (3 plus the standard 5 servos used for flight). Whether you're modeling a 15 million candle power Night Sun spot light of a police Jet Ranger, or aiming the 20-mm three-barrel GE cannon in the undernose turret of a Boeing RAH-66 Comanche model, we make it easy to unleash your creativity!

 

Moreover, it's a fact, the Pantera 50 is particularly well suited for scale use.  It's not just the extra servo mounts but attention to details like how the radio platform, because it merely supports the receiver and battery (which can be readily relocated almost anywhere within a cavernous scale fuselage), can be removed altogether without affecting the integrity of the model. Unlike competing designs, which use a separate servo sub-fame, the Pantera 50 servos mount directly in the side frames! Why is this important? Because the eye is drawn to the cockpit of a scale bird, which means you can detail the cockpit area with instrument panel, seats, pedals, etc. to your heart's content!

 

Everything forward of the bright green line on this Agusta A109 fuselage can be removed from the Pantera frame and relocated elsewhere

- Everything forward of the bright green line of the Agusta A109 fuselage can be removed and relocated

 

Triple Bearing Tail Rotor Grips - silky smooth: A steel tail rotor hub is an option for most of our competitors, yet it's standard on the Pantera 50. Competing designs use 2-piece tail rotor grips but we know the tail rotor grips see some pretty intense loads and hence,the Pantera 50 features one-piece tail grips - after all, you never see two-piece main rotor grips, right? Furthermore, believe it or not, some 50-class models come with just one ball bearing in each tail rotor grip! Others improve on this by using two ball bearings in each grip. Still others, improve it further by using one ball bearing and one thrust bearing in each tail grip. However, the Pantera 50, like high end 90-class helis, features two ball bearings and one thrust bearing in each tail rotor grip - a triple bearing set up! Which would you prefer?

 

Triple bearings in the heavy duty Pantera one-pece tail rotor grips

- Triple bearings in the heavy duty one-pece tail rotor grips of thePantera 50

 

Dual Tapered-Collet Clutch Hub Mounting - minimize runout: Unlike our 50-class competitors, which feature a screw-on clutch hub resulting in no possible runout adjustments (basically you're at the mercy of whatever runout results when you assemble it), the Pantera is built like the big dogs. Top of the line 90-class birds feature the same dual tapered-collet clutch hub mount, just like a Pantera. Note the tapered collet (made of brass), then the hub slips onto it, and then the tapered steel engine nut, securing the hub between the two tapered pieces to self-center the assembly. There are some places you just don't want to take shortcuts in manufacturing and this is one of them!

 

Dual Cones for mounting the clutch hub is just like that used by high end 91-class helis

- Dual tapered-collets for mounting the clutch hub - just like high-end 91-class helis

 

II. Options - making a good thing better

 

91-powered Pantera - simply wicked: If you live out west, in high country like Denver, CO you've experienced the huge power loss due to density altitude (i.e. +5000' vs. sea level). To overcome this the Pantera 50 accepts 91-class big block engine because there's no substitute for cubic inches when it comes to making horsepower. Moreover, she's designed with 620 mm blades in mind but can accept up to 640 mm without modification.

 

However, despite being primarily designed for a 50-class engine (or even the super economical OS 46FX-H with an optional short clutch hub), we knew guys living closer to sea level would enjoy the rush as well. Here, at last, is the real reason for the general heavy duty nature of the Pantera 50. You see, as a hotrodder at heart, the bigger engine was in our mind from the get go! Meanwhile, we've also seen plenty of backyard engineering efforts (many of them superb) leading to home-brew 70-conversions of competitors 50-class models, which ultimately prove impractical for the same reasons.  E.g. they wore out quickly because the bearings were too small, the clutch couldn't handle the power, the fan couldn't cool it, the fuel tank was too small, etc. Consequently, we engineered solutions to these issues from the beginning, i.e as part of the very foundation of the Pantera 50 so everybody could join the fun. Some say it's sick, but a Pantera with a big block is a never ending rush, and yes, she's wickedly quick!

 

he mighty YS91SR instaled in a Pantera makes for insane peformance!

- The mighty YS91SR installed in the Pantera makes for an insane experience

 

Output Shaft Stabilizers - crsiper cyclic response: During maneuvers, the feedback from the rotor disk may actually force the swashplate servos to give slightly on their rubber mounting grommets. If you spend big money for top drawer servos, you're wasting some of their capabilties because the flex in the servo mount makes it more difficult to be a consistent pilot. The Pantera's optional output shaft stabilizers (the bridge over the top of the three swashplate servos) gives you a tighter and immensely more controlled response. Naturally, if you're just learning to hover it probably doesn't matter, but once you get into forward flight and 3D aerobatics, even average pilots feel the improvement.

 

The bridge over the servo contains a miniature ball bearing riding on the new output shaft

- Replace the servo arm screw with our special output shaft, then slip the bridge with bearing over the servo.

 

Air Filter - increased engine longevity: Have you ever seen the air filter on your car engine, or the one for your lawnmower? How about the air filter on a motorcycle, or truck? Even race cars and street motor cycles have them. It's pretty simple, an air filter increases the longevity of an engine. Unless you think money grows on trees, this is important to you - especially during tight economic times - so unlike the competition, the Pantera 50 has an air filter available. Enough said? Not quite!

 

Cooler, denser air delivered through the filter results in more fuel for the mix and thus, more horsepower

- Cooler, denser air delivered through the filter results in more fuel for the mix and thus, more horsepower

 

Some modelers actually believe their flying field is dirt free (yeah right). But what about when you crash? The fact is the Pantera 50 air filter really delivers the goods during a chicken dance. That's what we call what happens when a model crashes and the engine keeps running and basically, the model flops around on the ground until the fuel is exhuasted. Dirt goes everywhere, especially inside the engine, which ruins it!

 

- Straight from a chicken dance, the production snorkel is clear silicone and the filter is huge!

 

So just how good is the Pantera 50 air filter system at protecting your engine? Here's the money shot, i.e. where a picture is worth a thousand words . . . and more than 200 bucks for an engine! Note how clean the inside of the carburetor throat is? Need we say more?

 

- Sand got everywhere "except" inside the carburetor, thereby protecting this engine!

III. Extended Info - behind the scenes

  • Better Than Sex - hmmmm
  • Paid Pilots - a matter of trust
  • Overengineered - it didn't just happen
  • Proof of Concept Model - step 1
  • CAD Refinement - step 2
  • Alumium Positive - step 3
  • Create the Mold - step 4

 

Better Than Sex - hmmmm: Model helicopters are more fun than sex! OK, that's an exaggeration. What's not an exaggeration is how exhilarating helis are to fly, even those from our competition! That said, we think a Pantera 50 is the best heli for your money . . . here's why.

 

It's all about fun and low and slow is fun too as the Pantera 50 demonstrates.

- Pantera 50 captured in smooth, stable, slow forward flight

 

When you boil it down, Audacity Models have two types of customers. Those with experience, and those new to the sport. How do you make one model satisfy the requirements of both the beginner and the expert? As it turns out, it's pretty easy because when we set out to create the Pantera 50, our parameters were simple. It had to fly great, be durable, and inexpensive - in that order - because one thing is certain; regardless of experience, flash doesn't trump substance, nobody likes to waste money, and how it flies matters a lot!

 

"People who think for themselves realize good design, good performance, and good value never gets old."

- John Beech, Owner, Audacity Models, Sanford, FL

 

Paid Pilots - a matter of trust: If somebody is flying one of our models, they bought it with cold hard cash. The fact is the Pantera 50 has developed an impressive following, including some of the best model pilots in the world. This brings up the subject of "paid" pilots. Audacity Models doesn't pay pilots to fly our products, or say good things. Mostly it's because it sticks in the John's craw, but partly it's because it raises our costs (thereby making a product more expensive).

 

"Flying helis makes me a better fixed-wing pilot because it keeps my fingers nimble. I fly RPVs in Iraq for my country, giant scale models professionally stateside, and my Pantera 50 for the fun of it. I usually fly it like a stole it because it handles great, is simple to maintain, and has proven to be tough, which means I just don't worry about the inevitable. I'm a better pilot as a result, and am happy to share this with anybody who wonders why I'd rather fly a plastic-fantastic versus a fancy carbon fiber model. Basically, I'm at the top of my game and don't have to impress anybody. For me, helicopters are all about the fun"
- Billy Hemple, Tucson, AZ

 

We couldn't say it better! So while we set out to make the Pantera 50 a best-in-class 50-powered model expressly for experienced pilots - and succeeded - we soon learned she's pretty good for beginners too. It's because learning to fly a heli isn't easy, and fixing it after a crash is part and parcel with getting into the sport. By the way, if it strikes you as odd we're talking about crashing while describing why to buy our product, it's because we don't believe in blowing smoke up your skirt. We believe you should know everything up front before you make your decision.

 

Yee haw . . live dangerously with a high speed inverted backawards hurricane!

- Yee haw . . . live dangerously with a high speed inverted backwards hurricane!

 

Overengineered - it didn't just happen: For example, part of what makes the Pantera 50 so good for the beginner is it's over engineered compared to an ordinary 50 basically because it may have to handle a 91-class engine.  As it turns out, this makes it tough and durable enough to survive the inevitable knocks associated with learning to fly too. Meanwhile, part of the reason we don't have to pay people to say good things about us is because of what our customers say about us . . .

 

"I plowed in the Pantera doing inverted hurricanes today (again). It hit hard. The guys at the field expected to see a shattered heli when we got out to it. I'm happy to report no frame or head damage. Boom, skids, blades, a few lost links but that's it. Any other heli I own would have been totalled. Gotta love this super plastic!"
- David Wilson,  Nashville, TN

 

Proof of Concept Model - step 1: Super plastic? Well, sort of because the Pantera 50 is largely constructed of a fabulous fiber-reinforced engineering-plastic material, which is so tough some call it super plastic! This stuff is found in some interesting products because the tough fiber-reinforced material is so forgiving it often bends and gives instead of breaking. It's why Austrian arms maker Glock pioneered its use for the frame of their superb handguns (used by cops around the world), i.e. for the same reason we use it for the Pantera 50 side frames! Frankly, it's the secret behind the Pantera 50, i.e. why it survives crashing better than fancy carbon fiber helis, which are fragile and may crack like an egg during impact. In fact, it Timex wouldn't get mad at us, we'd swipe their slogan and co-opt - "The Pantera is so tough she takes a lickin' and keeps on . . .", but we digress.

 

Anyway, since we're talking about side frames and materials, have you ever wondered how a model comes into being? The first step is to actually prototype the side frames to establish basic layout. We use flat carbon fiber plate, some molded plastic pieces, and aluminum bits. Granted, it's relatively unsophisticated but it serves to get the thing into the air so we can develop it further. Amazingly, there are some manufacurers, which stop right here in the process. However, in the picture below, note how this is only the begining of our process! Why? Well, first off, we'll acknowledge there are some advantages of using carbon for a finished product. It's light, easy to change layouts (from a manufacturing point of view for prototyping), and looks great. However, the disadvantages are it's time consuming to assemble (because it's tedious to align and requires expert technique, which many folks never acquire), and generally it's a pain in the rear to work on because it's more complicated, i.e. installing servos requires extra hardware beyond that needed with plastic models. Also, edges can be sharp unless you take the time to sand them all down. However, there's a dangerous aspect, which somehow never makes it into their sale literature, which is how the material can blank out RF (the radio signal from your transmitter) leading to a crash. Worse, in the event of a crash, carbon fiber can be somewhat fragile and crack like an egg! But what sucks is how a set of carbon fiber side frames can be 5X the cost of plastic! On popular imported products they can be as much as 2/3 the cost of an entire Pantera 50 kit! By the way, notice the weave in the side frames of the carbon pieces (below). Most folks love this look, and we agree it looks snazy, but ask yourself this. Do thedisadvantages of RF blanking, fragile, expensive, and complex outweigh the advantages?  Frankly, if you're prudent and careful with your spending, the smarter choice is a model, which is both tough and inexpensive. Since carbon models are neither, a prototype like the one pictured below is only our first step in making a 50-class model.

 

- Establishing the basic layout comes first. We use carbon fiber, plastic, and aluminum for the proof of concept model.

 

CAD Refinement - step 2: OK, so we've established the proof of concept model using carbon and some bits to get the layout right.  Our second step is via a computer. This just means we're using software like CATIA, which is the very same sophisticated CAD (computer aided design) tool used by the likes of Ford and Boeing to refine the process. Here's where we really get sophisticated! The beauty of software is we can take what we learned with our prototypes and develop the model into a more elegant creation through the advantages of virtualization and simulation. Simply put, it means we can apply the power of a virtual engine and see how the model reacts. As a consequence, we can remove material where stresses are low (to make it lighter), or add material where the model needs it (to be stronger). By the way, for giggles and grins we doubled the typical 50-class engine's 2 horsepower and in the computer gave the Pantera 50 as much as 4 horsepower! We used finite element analysis and learned what it took to make the Pantera 50 handle such an obscene amount of horsepower (just an extra half ounce in the side frames). Next, because occasionaly been accused of being more than a little power hungry said, "What the heck, let's do it!". So we made the frame strong enough for a stout 91 engine, which approaches this kind of horsepower because we thought it would be a hoot to offer an option to slip a monster 91-class engine into the 50-class Pantera 50. More later!

 

- Using CAD (computer aided design) results in sophisticated virtualization.

 

Aluminum Positive - step 3: The third step is to make an aluminum positive. Remember, a mold is a negative so a positive is something, which looks like what we're going to get. In fact, if we painted it black it would look exactly what we'll end up with. Many expensive hours later, the CNC (computer numerical control) milling machine has carved out a set of frames using a solid billet of aluminum!  Why go to this trouble and expense? Simple, it's because we've found nothing beats having something you can actually hold in our hands into which we can fit the engine and the servo components, i.e. to see if what we virtualized in the computer holds up in the real world. This is how we ensure it's really right.

 

- Using a CNC (computer numerical control) mill, this is solid billet aluminum frame!

 

Create the Mold - step 4: The fourth and final step is the actual molded product. In fact, fiber-reinforced engineering-plastic allows us to make intricate parts, which are both strong and light. Best of all, it means we create low-part count models with the advantage of stiffness, like a carbon fiber model, but without the disadvantage of being harder to assemble, fragile, and expensive. Simply put, we leverage the inherent toughness of the super plastic material and create a semi-monocoque design. Is it as sexy as the carbon fiber frame models? No, but you benefit in the real world because the entire frame assembly is made of just two frame pieces, a left and a right side. Consequently, a very complex molded assembly comes together in minutes, and best of all, it's both extraordinarily rigid and light. Moreover, it's tough, and inexpensive. Think about it; would you rather pay 150 bucks for a set of side frames made of carbon fiber, or less than $30 for a set of ours?

 

- In the neutral position, all linkages make a 90° angle, which make life simple during setup!

IV.  Conclusion - is she the right heli for you?

Savvy pilots allocate their money wisely. They pinch pennies 'till they squeal so they can spend freely on their 90-class bird. These guys fly a 50-class beater and rely on the savings in fuel and cheaper parts to refine their skills because they're flying it more frequently, i.e. to practice new maneuvers. Before long they get to the point where they're flying without fear, which is the key to becoming a better pilot in the first place since it's nearly impossible to fly with courage when crashing a 90 can easily exceed 500-600 bucks, and result in weeks of downtime. Meanwhile, the wannabes and 2-gallon experts, enthralled by what the paid pilots are flying instead of flying what makes sense, unwittingly complicate their lives with a high-maintenance 50-class heli - duh! Subsequently, they find themselves flying a 50, which is complicated like a 90 (and takes far more time and money to repair) and before long (usually by the third crash) are actually regressing simply due to their quite natural fear for the time and money required to effect repairs - just like with a 90! Is it just us, or does this strike you as odd behavior since it defeats the very purpose of a 50-class helicopter?

 

Anyway, completing a Pantera 50 requires an engine and muffler, blades, 6-channel radio, gyroscope, and governor. Weighing about 7-1/2 pounds ready to fly, balance how she goes a mere ounce more than a Raptor 50, a few ounces less than the Evo 50, a few ounces more than the T-Rex 600N, and about the same as the Vibe 50 against her heavy duty nature, which resulted from being designed to harness the power of a 91-class engine! Furthermore, while the Pantera 50 is usually seen sporting 600mm main rotor blades, the fact is she's really designed for 620 mm blades, which deliver superb autorotations!

 

"I can fly anything I want but the Pantera 50 is my favorite for rolling circles and shooting autorotations."
- Ron Lund, Ron Lund's Heliproz South, Corpus Christy, TX

 

Later, when you're comfortable with what she can do, slip in the 91 big block and raise a little Hell while retaining the consistent handling characteristics, reliability, and inexpensive parts of a standard Pantera 50 without the crazy expense of a 91-class bird. Yup, it's easy to get the best of both worlds, which means you can really go from mild to wild with just one helicopter, the Pantera 50!

 

Ultimately, all the 50-class helis are about the same size, weigh about the same, use the same engine and rotor blades turning at about the same RPMs, and thus, fly similarly. In fact, though it pains us to admit it, there's really not a bad one in the group we compete against.

 

If you're new to helis, where the Pantera especially shines is when you're learning to fly because she's so stable in the hover. Don't be intimidated, and trust you too can learn to fly with a model like this. Later, after you're comfortable, you can tune her up for maximum performance confident she'll still be the same smooth, predictable, and easy to handle machine as ever, even in the wind.

 

If you're experienced, unlike a wannabee, you aren't sucked into shiny, gee-whiz, upgrades because they're available and pretty. Your practical side comes to the fore because when you attend fun flies, you're prepared to show off your skills with your 90 because at your home field, you burned many gallons of fuel practicing with your 50-class beater - it makes perfect sense! The Pantera is about competent, working-man values, not flashy in the hopes someone will notice you. In fact, we've never quite understood what leads some guys to fly 50-class models, which are loaded with aluminum upgrades since these kind of defeat the very purpose of the 50. We're hoping you select our Pantera as the right model for you because it makes good, sound, common sense. Fortunately, she's one of those models, which makes you look like a better pilot, so whether you're a beginner or expert, once you compare the Pantera 50 to the competition, we believe you'll discover she's the right heli for you.

 

Captured part way through the arc of a tick-tock the Pantera's manners are impecable and predictable.

- Blasting through the arc of a tick-tock, the Pantera's manners are both impecable and predictable.

 

As for us, we're a small company so we can keep a tight rein on our costs. This results in a great heli at a great price. Best of all, you can always pick up the phone and talk to us (even John, the owner of the company) because we're in Sanford, FL so instead of shouting at the base of Great Wall of China in hopes somebody gives a damn, i.e. will deign to give you time of day, you can get prompt service and courteous answers!

 

While we could go on until we're blue in the face, quite often the best way to learn something about us and our models is to listen to our customers . . .

V.  Learn More - head-to-head comparisons

The tabs for product comparisons are at the top of the page.Curious how a Pantera 50 stacks up in the 50-class? We're not afraid to go head-to-head with anybody!

 

To learn what they don't want you to know, just select a tab like [v. Evo 50], [v. Raptor 50], or [v. T-Rex 600N] and discover where we kick some butt!

 

Other tabs include [Documents], where you can download the instruction manual, as well as [Accessories], [Articles] to read what the print magazines have had to say, [Tuning], and [Videos], which show you what even a bone-stoke Pantera 50 is capable of!

Thank you for considering our product.

John Beech - General Manager (and janitor)

John Beech - General Manager (and janitor)

Audacity Models, Sanford, FL