Today I maidened my Shape S8 and I am very pleased to say that it went perfectly. One thing that held me up a bit was that I needed a bag big enough to carry it. I'll be getting a car fairly soon but in the meantime I use public transport so I need various helibags and none of my 700 bags was even close.
I finally found a surfboard bag that is almost the right size, it's a little longer but otherwise really close (and it was cheap).
The maiden was perfect really - no changes to the FBL setup needed whatsoever, not even tail gain. It flies great just as it is. I don't know exactly what headspeeds but I think about 1400 in idle-1 and hovering around 1100 ish. It's very quiet and smooth, not too much drivetrain noise. It would probably be a pretty decent F3C machine, it feels really precise and all that mass makes it very easy to do really solid hovering moves. Basically my impression is it flies a lot like my light 700s that I run at low headspeeds (TDR1 and Kasama Faifa). Obviously it's extremely visible with that big profile.
Anyway, I am very pleased. I suppose my only surprise is that it's not really as different as I expected it is big but it's all relative and in the air it doesn't subjectively 'feel' much different to the 700s. It's fun to fly though, and can be very graceful and smooth. And another nice thing is that the battery layout allows a wide range of packs, from the big bulky Turnigy 5000s to quite small 4000s. I have found that I just don't use the sliding tray, I find it easier just to run the straps around the frame, leave the tray in and just strap in the packs. The smaller ones need to be pretty far forward for a good balance.