Moe & Copperclad,
Welcome to the Innovator Forum ! Probably still a little slow for your liking but bound to grab some traffic. The heli R&D Team will show up once in a while here, and will add to my posts (and others) whenever felt necessary.
Moe, regarding your questions. I'll do my best and try to keep it short.
The MD530 is designed for autorotation. However, the lightweight foam blades on the out-of-the-box MD530 and low rpm (default max. 1800 rpm) greatly limit success for such maneuvers. The drive system on both the MD530 & Expert versions is identical and autorotation is possible on both machines : it's just much more difficult on small-size helis, and much more so on the MD530 than the Expert.
Autorotation on an Innovator is a little different from an E325 or Raptor 50 & above. When the Innovator performs autorotation, the tail rotor does not rotate because it is driven by the motor directly and not transfered via the set of autorotation tail drive gear. When the motor stops, the tail rotor also stops.
Copperclad is also correct, autorotation must be activated via the Innovator PC Software first. Having the autorotation turned off at factory settings is a safety feature aimed at limiting autorotation among novice pilots who may hit the hold switch accidentally when flying the MD530.
I will refrain on commenting on brand's particulars but Spectrum simply did not offer radio systems with changeable 2.4G modules at the time. Innovator / ACE RC / TT has developed 2.4G modules for JR / Futaba / Hitec radios allowing you to fly your Innovator with one of these systems. For example, if you wish to use a JR transmitter you will need to:
Plug in the appropriate module into your JR transmitter, set the transmitter modulation to PPM, then switch the Transmitter Manufacturer Setting located on the left side of the Innovator control box to the "JR" position.
Please always do a double-check with the latest models for compatibility but all should be good.
On a side note. Any brand involved in the RC hobby is a competitor to TT ! We treat everyone with the respect that a competitor deserves, and keep an open eye on everything they do to ensure our products are compatible as best as we can. It is simply not feasible at all times. R&D / manufacturing priorities must be made.
This has been a controversy from Day-1. The Innovator Team feels that the pc software remains a great offer price-wise vs functionality, even as an optional item. As a moderator I can not at this time comment on future offer, but this is the place where pros & cons on what is currently offered or what should eventually be offered can be discussed freely.