The Flyhal 1/10 scale brushless RC monster truck is an RC car that is lacking something of a clear name but it is fairly clear this a thinly rebranded XLF X03a RC Truggy with a number of upgrades that has made it stronger. If you are unfamiliar with this model it is a lightweight ready to run 4wd 1/10 scale truck-buggy (truggy) with brushless power train and large monster truck wheels well suited to off road. Read on for a full review including my honest opinion of the truck after running it for a number of weeks
It's become clear to me the the 'Flyhal' brand is unique to the Chinese retailer Banggood and appears to be a shadow brand. This means that they are not a manufacture but a thinly disguised house brand that may be used to sell large job lots of RC models at a discount or as an exclusive bundle. For example it is clear that the Flyhal FC650 was a rebranded XLF F16 (brushless) and the Flyhal FC600 is a HBX 16890a pro. This particular Flyhal model is also made by XLF, in this case the X03a brushless 4WD truggy. As I have not reviewed the XLF F03a I will not compare to that model and so please ignore a direct comparison because from what I can see, a number of components seem to have been upgraded.
What is included with the Kit?
A Closer Look at the car
The motor is a 2847 3700kv model according to the stamp on the motor which is probably a good sized motor for this car - it is on the smaller side for a 1/10 scale and it is fairly light. I'd expect this to give good but not crazy speed and be fairly efficient at doing so. The brushless ESC current rating isn't stated but my guess is 30-40a. It does not include a fan which is typical of ESCs this size. It includes an integrated receiver as well which is pretty much the norm for ready to run cars in this price bracket.
Drive train is fairly solid, as you can see the metal x7 0.xmod pinion drives a metal spur gear and 4wd prop shaft that supplied power to metal diffs front and rear. Every moving part is supported by ball bearings. This setup is typical for brushless cars and looking at the setup I don't see any obvious weak points. Further out the diff cups look pretty beefy with metal dogbones in the rear and CVDs in the front, again fairly typical. This finishes off with m4 outdrives with pins driving regular plastic 12mm hexes meaning you should have plenty of options for wheels and tyres if you wish to change.
Radio and electronics
As mentioned the ESC also houses the receiver which is common in smaller scale RTR RC cars. This means you are stuck with the stock transmitter unless you upgrade the ESC and receiver as well. The transmitter is very basic, running 2.4ghz digital with control only for steering trim - a bare minimum. Sadly there is no dual rate control to limit maximum throttle. The servo is a 3 wire unit which is good news compared with the 5 wire units we usually find in RTR cars - you won't need to change if you swap out the radio gear, alternatively upgrades are easily available.
Time to address the elephant in the room - friction shocks. Yuck! Rather than being dampened with a viscous fluid, these have no bound or rebound control which usually helps with traction on rough surfaces and lessens the chance of chassis slapping on large jumps. Disappointing but one of the ways this manufacturer has helps keep costs down. It's a shame because the rest of the suspension is pretty good, namely the double a-arms front and rear which are very strong for this kind of application. The only adjustability is for front toe which I think is well suited to an off-road style basher car - keep it simple.
Wheels and body
My kit didn't include the X04a style body which is a shame, just the truggy style and wing. The body is pre-painted and includes basic details. Unlike recent cars from HBX and WL toys these have no LED lighting.
Wheels are classic XLF - big diameter and offset and a tyre set with a very agressive tread pattern. The tyre compound is fairly hard meaning they don't have foam inners. They are light and appear to be well suited to this car.
The chassis itself is plastic but is well fortified by metal parts in a number of key places.
Review of the Truck
I measured the top speed of this truck offroad at 37km/h. In better conditions I'd expect this to do 40km/h or a bit over quite easily this is a good speed for a truck this size, practically identical to the 1/12 scale HBX 901a and 1/16 Scale 16889a pro. Yes, this is a larger scale car but I do feel this is a decent speed given this is a bit more capable in tougher conditions given the large wheels. Acceleration is very good - in areas of decent traction (like short grass), this will pop a wheelie quite easily. Overall I'm happy with the choice of motor and gearing which allows it to perform this way, I feel it is well matched to this car in a similar way the HBX matches theirs (using the excellent 901a, 16886 and 16889a pro as examples.
First up this car uses friction shocks which are inferior to oil filled shocks as they offer no dampening and thereby limit there ability to retain good traction on bumpy surfaces and land jumps. On smaller cars like the WL Toys 284131 and even SG1603/4 this is fine but on larger scale cars like this it suffers. At least the spring rate is ok but it would benefit from oil dampers.
Traction is funny with these massive wheels. On concrete/tarmac it is pretty bad and on heavy acceleration you tend to switch ends pretty easily - spin outs being common. On grass and offroad however they are really good, their larger size and aggressive tread in hard compound work really well. I would have like there to have been a bit better balance but it's not common that we see a tyre perform well both on-road and off (except for maybe the Remo P6973 tyres).
So far it has held up pretty well. I've been running this fairly regularly for just under 2 months now and I've not had any damage. I'm not into large jump and skateparks but there are other reviewers that cover that and I don't find that kind of driving enjoyable. With that said I do crash, and roll, and smack into objects but so far it seems OK. In an otherwise plastic car the metal pieces they have used as noted earlier in the review appear to be doing their job well.
Conclusion and recommendation
In summary this is a pretty good but not great car however the price it is being offered at makes it better - is fairly cost competitive for a brushless 4WD monster truck. Speaking of brushless it has what I consider to be a well sorted power system - a lowish kv 2847 motor and conservative set of gearing running large wheels. This makes for a decent top speed of around 40km/h, decent acceleration and a respectable run time of 10-15 minutes. The main downside is he handling, characterised by friction shocks instead of oil that lack dampening and large tyres that are well suited to offroad but not on.
I can't comment on long term durability since I've been running for 2 months only but it seems to be ok so far with well considered use of metal strengthening. When considering this car I'd also recommend looking at the HBX 901a, WL Toys 144009 and the WL Toys 104010. None of these cars is perfect (although the 901a is close) but you can check these out to see what you want to focus on and where you are willing to compromise.
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