In modeling, a clone is a low-cost model or onboard electronic component which is a nearly exact copy of a much more expensive product. The term primarily applies to low-cost helicopter models which can cost as little as one-tenth the price of the original. A clone is not a counterfeit, as there is no attempt to pass it off as the real thing.
While parts on most cloned models are interchangeable with those of the original it copies, some parts have enough variance from the original to presumably protect against claims of patent infringement by the designers of the original. Clones fly well when properly set up, but problems with parts alignment, hardware quality and overall parts quality are sometimes found. Cloned gyros and receivers tend to work well, but most modelers avoid their use in expensive models.
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