My next venture into RC helicopters (after the DuBro Tristar) came about a decade later when I bought an Ikarus ECO 8 electric chopper from Hobby Lobby (circa 1998). It was pretty lam in performance with the stock motor and a very heavy NiCad battery pack. At least there were no clutch problems to deal with. This time I had a heading hold gyro for the tail rotor and I was actually able to somewhat fly the thing.
After losing patience with the lameness of the power plant, I sold it on an AOL bulletin board to some guy in Florida. It had not suffered any damage beyond a slight dent in the tail boom where one of the main blades slapped it on a less-than-soft landing. No doubt it would have been an entirely different experience with one of today's brushless motors and some LiPo batteries.
Hobby Lobby still sells the Eco 8 after all these years.
My next attempt at RC helicopters would be in 2006, when I purchased an
e-Flite Blade CP.