Well guys, I've been practising on and off in the sim and been able to hold a stable hover quite well (but in the beginning, I wrote off quite a few trex 500!). Next weekend we are going camping, and a mates bringing a video camera. We'll be conducting the maiden then. That is, provided my metal mixing arms turn up.
Two turnigy 3000mah lipo's are inbound, and a bit of stuff to make some training legs.
I set the sim up to closely match how I have set my bird up, that is, docile for a beginner, and can have it hover for a few minutes. I've even had a go at the autorotation training, and landed 90% of the birds without damage.
I am now looking forward to trying out the real thing, so this weekend will be its inaugral flight, videotaped by a mate off the ham radio.
The first battery will probably be trimming and adjusting the heli, and the second will probably be me doing short hops and getting over the initial intimidation of those 430mm blades whirling around at 2500rpm :)
Initial preflight will be a full inspection of my craft with the video camera, installation of the training legs, one more practise on the sim on the laptop, then the testing, tuning, and finally the first hover.