The Pantera is an honest flying helicopter. Honest - as in smooth and steady - instead of highstrung and nervous-feeling (like a model optimized for the 3D-mania). Panteras appeal to those attracted to the solid-and-predictable end of the handling-spectrum versus twitchy models, which dart off at a thought. Perfect for big-sky maneuevers, rock-steady handling is what Panteras are about (plus beginners love them because they hover nearly hands off).
Meanwhile, the Audacious-crew are famed for thinking around corners (by coming up with solutions to problems the other guys overlook). In a pragmatic sense, what if the desire for a scale model grabs you one day? Instead of being forced into buying and outfitting a whole new model, a Stage II E-conversion makes perfect sense because of its stunningly realistic turbine sound effect. Now powered by LiPos, and flying quietly for 10 minutes, it's still the same great handling Pantera. You prudently future-proof your investment instead of being locked in!
In a similar vein, we've had the audacity to offer you insane factory performance options. Thus, just like Chevrolet makes it easy to put a 600 horsepower 454 big block V8 engine into a Corvette (in lieu a 350 cubic inch small block V8), we offer you the 91-conversion. Packing your Pantera with 3.4 ponies is incredible fun because you can engage your pals in drag racing, or have a go at racing bottle rockets . . . without being an expert pilot! But it's a practical conversion too because the extra horsepower makes learning collective-management much, much easier. At last, there's a real justification for more horsepower - beside the fun, of course. It's an utterly pragmatic basis for more power because it lets you recover from mistakes more easily (especially since nothing saves your ass from an oops-moment like unleashing enough raw power to affect the Earth's rotation). Best of all, the yee-haw experience will plaster a smile across your face (and leave your cheeks hurting the rest of the week). This <>< em="">converts your Pantera into a superb 3D-trainer - for learning faster - if your interests are subsequenty attracted toward this aspect of the sport.
Beyond the Pantera's honest handling and pragmatic practicalism are other factors, which may make it the best choice for you because of the many varied aspects involved in becoming a better helicopter pilot. To learn more, delve into the next four sections; Simple Facts, Bigger is Better, Tougher by Design, and Easier to Fly.
Note: Toggle individual sections open and closed by clicking on them.
Here are some simple facts about model helicopters. They're harder to master than anything else in the world of remote control. For example, even when flying through the air, model trucks are easier to control than model helicopters because the added vertical dimension is more involved than just staying between the lines and keeping the dirty-side down. In fact, model helicopters are harder to fly than model airplanes because they can stop in midair (hover) and fly backwards! This isn't an attempt to discourage you . . . but one to make sure you realistically assess all factors before taking the plunge regardless of whether it's with our machine, or a competitor's.
Perhaps you're thinking this means there’s a lot of hand-eye coordination going on at once with a helicopter. Maybe you're even wondering if it's too hard for you. While you're right to wonder how hard it is because it really is, the facts are we've seen everybody who gives it a serious try succeed. Just like learning to ride a bicycle, with practice and patience you'll learn how to fly model helicopters too. Moreover, it's easier with the aid of computer flight simulators (some free, or close to it) and when you take a smart approach to selecting your model - with an eye towards making it more practical and easy - you can assuredly succeed! In fact, we've built a company based on the audacious idea of making model helicopters easy. We even have the equivalent of training wheels available!
As you learn about the Pantera you'll discover it's been created with ruggedness and durability in mind - pretty much above all else. It's because in creating a helicopter explicitly for training these become prudent and practical benefits for sport and scale pilots (where having fun is more than a serendipitous byproduct, but the very purpose of a model helicopter). Thus, as a helicopter-trainer, be it for primary-training (learning to hover), basic-training (forward flight and autorotations), advanced-training (inverted and basic maneuvers like loop, roll, and stall turn plus maybe the odd flip and tumble), 3D-training (chaos, piroflips, tick-tocks, and maneuvers you yourself may invent, which collectively constitute the 3D-mania), or most difficult of all, precision-training (FAI hovering and aerobatic schedule) your Pantera won't hold you back. In fact, the progression of training will instill in you the discipline required to become a superior pilot because all the while - you're not worying about how hard it is to repair if you mess up, or what you'll say to your wife on the third weekend in a row when you pile drive it into the ground by dumb-thumbing at a critical point in a maneuver because it's tough and inexpensive to repair. Yes, there's a peace-of-mind aspect to owning a Pantera too.
This brand new Pantera, the P6 variant, is the ultimate refinement of simplicity in model helicopters, which began with the Tiger 50 (but that's another story). It's been expressly created to be simple (by having fewer parts). It's been created to be tougher by using materials more resistance to crash damage. It's also been created to be stronger (by using larger critical components than competitors), and yes, the Pantera is pragmatic in some ways. The Pantera is a very solid choice in a training helicopter and an all around strong contender as the best choice for sport and scale pilots too because what it boils down to is this; the more methodical and practical you are with your approach, the more easily success will follow. Moreover, we assume our customers are astute enough to always be prudent (and thus, follow their self-interests). Therefore, we believe as you learn about why a Pantera is different from competing carbon-fiber based models, you'll come to share our opinion, which is . . . the Pantera is better than competing 600-class models for training pilots. It's because a Pantera is bigger, tougher, more durable, easier to build, less expensive to maintain, and will flat out hover better than anything else out there! We also believe we can prove it - here's why.
The powerful presence of a Pantera (it's physically bigger and brawnier than competing models) is a huge plus. It sports a 700-size canopy making it easier to see at a distance. This is important because everybody has a hard time distinguishing what a model is doing sometimes since the profile is reduced compared to an airplane. In fact, even experienced pilots occasionally loose orientation (especially when it's far away). A Pantera is better for learning orientation because it's bigger and much easier to see.
It’s always helpful if your model is tough because of the inevitable knocks it’ll receive. Panteras are more rugged than carbon fiber models because the industrial-polymer side frames are more durable. The individual plastic frame halves are flexible (unlike rigid carbon fiber pieces), and nearly indestructible once bolted together.
As always, a little flexibility is a good thing (as we first learned in kindergarten with the story of how the willow survived the storm, which destroyed the oak). The rugged, yet flexible Pantera side frame design withstands abuse better and the extra durability means you get your money’s worth.
Yet there’s more to being tough than offering a far more rugged side-frame assembly. There are things you don’t see in a Pantera, like clutch shoes, which are 37% larger than brand-A for better resistance to hot starts (plus being beefy enough to handle a 91-size engine), and main shaft bearings, which are 40% larger. In short, a Pantera is built like a tank.
Being bigger (for better orientation) and more beefy (for better durability) is complemented by being easier to build and fly. Panteras are so stable beginners love how they hover nearly hands off compared to twitchy 3D-optimized models. Then there are the intangibles . . . like how you don’t need experience to build a Pantera because the shaft spacing and gear mesh line up automatically (unlike carbon fiber helicopters). It’s because Pantera side frames snap together and being self-aligning means they’re easier to build because they’re essentially mistake proof.
However, what really makes a Pantera perfect isn’t just because it’s bigger and easier to see at a distance, or more rugged than carbon fiber models, or even how Panteras are easier to build. What sets Panteras apart are how smooth, steady, and stable they are in flight. In fact, Panteras are famed for being groovy instead of twitchy and nervous (like a model optimized for 3D).
In case you don’t know it, 3D-optimized models are those created expressly for performing maneuvers where the model darts off unpredictably. The trick (as a manufacturer) is simple because what actually flies on a model helicopter are the main rotor blades, which at 2000 RPM don't know (or care) whether it’s brand-A or a Pantera spinning them, so for optimum 3D-performance, you make the model lightweight. This is a matter of simple physics because just as the coach knows his halfback can dart between blockers instead of blasting through them like a fullback, a lighter more twitchy model can dart off faster too. And this is true whether the model is nitro or electric-powered because 11° of collective pitch is 11° and 8° of cyclic pitch is 8° . . . no matter what.
Thus, to optimize their product for the 3D-mania, the chief goal of most manufacturers is to make the model light instead of durable. They do it with lightweight materials like carbon fiber side frames even though they are so rigid they crack like an egg in a crash. And they do it with smaller bearings and clutch shoes despite the fact this leads to more frequent clutch and bearing replacements because it’s only money (yours).
This is even more unfortunate if you’re on a budget, or if you prefer a tough model to a lightweight because you’re a sportsman, or a beginner learning to hover, or if your interest lies in scale models. 3D-optimized carbon fiber models sacrifice size and durability on the altar of agility. This creates an opportunity for the Pantera because it’s been expressly created for the rest of us; the folks interested in easy flying with smooth, big sky maneuvers with impeccable handling, and in the model being gentle and easy to hover. This is what a Pantera is all about!
Anyway, 3D-optimized carbon-fiber frame models are typically smaller (because smaller is automatically lighter and because experts fly them really close anyway). They’re also built very light so they can cut slightly faster than a Pantera. However, since both Panteras and brand-A models can perform aggressive 3D maneuvers (as seen in YouTube videos), the real question for you is this; are the tradeoffs in size, durability, and general toughness worth it? Especially if you’re not already an accomplished 3D-pilot who can feel the difference (or imagines he can) between 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 6 lbs. 12 oz.
Ultimately, what you likely need in your model is different depending on your stage in the progression of becoming a model helicopter pilot. As always, following your own interests and doing what's best for you (instead of following the crowd) will lead you toward making the right decision for you, your goals, and your circumstances.
The Pantera is a big, tough and durable model. It’s smooth and gentle to handle, which makes it easy to hover. Moreover, the versatility you gain from the available nitro-to-electric E-conversion, or the insane power of a 91-conversion, means selecting a Pantera is a sound and prudent decision.Thoughtful reflection of your best interests and their future direction results in keeping your priorities straight. This is critically important because it’s easy to get caught up in the elitist attitudes of club-experts, the glitzy reviews in the magazines, or the incessant yapping online (possibly by 2-gallon experts). We see it all the time where a fellow picked a complex carbon fiber model to learn with and worse, loaded it with the best of everything . . . and is out there learning to hover with $2000-worth of 600-class model while he’s still incapable of feeling the difference. Worse, by the time he is capable of noticing what ultimately are very slight differences, the flavor-of-the-week model considered as "the best" by the lemmings will be different again a year later. How stupid is that?
Ultimately, your decision should be based on which model is best for you. Panteras are bigger, tougher, economical to operate, and fly great. . . what's not to like? To learn even more, note the tabs above, Technical Specs and Extended Information