by John Salt - Updated November 2018
So why do I claim Blade Helicopters are such a good brand to start your journey into RC helicopters with, when the market is literally saturated with entry level RC helicopters and quad-rotors?
It all comes down to some very important criteria, much of which I talk about on my Best RC Helicopter page, but I will reiterate the specific features as they apply to Blade helicopters that are both time & money savers for most people who are first starting out in the Hobby.
After that, we will look at each model they have so you can get a good idea of what models and features they offer.
I guess the first criteria to look at is overall quality since the main reason we get into the hobby is to actually fly, and for a model helicopter to fly and stay flying, a base quality line is a necessity.
Blade helicopters & quadrotors of today are all of pretty decent quality.
Sure, there have been several duds over the years such as the Blade SR (link takes you to a review I did on it), but for the vast number of helicopters they have released over the past 8 years or so, there were & are way more good ones than bad ones.
Their track record in other words is very decent for the lower cost, entry level stuff and it only seems to be getting better.
There is no question, there are some other low cost entry level brands out there such as XK Helicopters Helicopters that have some decent flying entry level machines as well, but it's still very much hit and miss, and you don't get the same level of after sales support and help that Blade/Horizon Hobby offers. It goes well beyond that however as will be covered shortly.
You notice I keep calling Blade helicopters "Entry Level", why?
Simply because that is exactly what they are. These are not $1000 dollar plus larger high end machines like Align, MSH, OXY or SAB that many experienced RC helicopter enthusiasts seek out and aspire towards. Blade helicopters are lower cost, small in size (nothing larger than a 480 size), ready to fly RC helicopters that offer a great introduction into the hobby for the average person.
For a few years, Blade actually did dabble in the larger & costlier higher end, 500 to 700 size electric helicopters, and they were actually fairly decent machines. However, for the rather high cost, they couldn't compete with the established high end brands such as Align, SAB, Mikado, HD, JR, Compass, etc.
Serious RC helicopter hobbyists just didn't see Blade as a viable contender to these other brands after they progressed to that level. So after a short 3 years or so, all the large Blade helicopters were discontinued. Lots of people I know got some really smoking great deals on these larger Blade helis when this happened as some were being cleared out for 1/2 price (even less)!
What I and others have noticed however since Blade dabbled in the larger machines, is the quality of their smaller helicopters started getting better for the most part. A large RC helicopter requires a much higher level of build and component quality after all, and I personally feel Blade learned a lot from their time producing the bigger birds; and that has now filtered down into the smaller stuff.
Blade eventually got back to doing what it does best - produce lower cost, pre-built, smaller size helicopters & quads aimed directly toward folks just starting out or are fairly new to the hobby. This time however, bringing some of their larger helicopter know-how to the table. This is something none of the other lower cost entry level brands can say nor demonstrate.
As Blade's tag line goes... "#1 By Design"
Since I already touched on this, lets talk about after sales support... What is it?
Simply put, it means after you walk out the door with your shiny new RC helicopter, there is a vast help network out there should you have any questions, problems, or simply need parts for repairs or maintenance.
I put extremely high priority on this, especially for newbies getting into the hobby. Blade has helped successfully introduce more people to RC helicopters in recent years, than all other low cost entry level brands combined.
Blade helicopters are simply incredibly popular. They are sold at most good hobby shops world wide (both on-line and off), so help and parts are almost always easy to get.
Horizon Hobby is also very good with their warranties should you get a defective product, and yes it does happen from time to time like any high-tech product.
Yes, they drop the ball every now and then, but it's rare. Horizon Hobby's warranty & help support is on orders of magnitude better than all the other low cost entry level heli brands on the market.
Going well beyond the hobby store and Horizon Hobby for after sales help and support, there are countless websites & forum posts offering help as well with all of Blade's helicopters and quad rotors. This is true for many brands, but going by the numbers, there is simply way more on-line help should you need it with Blade. For seasoned and experienced RC helicopter enthusiasts, this is not so important, but it can be an invaluable resource for beginners and newbies.
This also makes used Blade helicopters more desirable than other entry
level brands for the simple reason they are both so popular and work
with a very popular radio system. Many newbies really catch onto the
hobby fast when they get bit by the heli bug. It's very nice at this stage to be able to easily sell your first or
second Blade heli to get into a more advanced model. This is where the
slight cost premium of Blade's entry level helicopters can easily be
recuperated over other brands.
SAFE stands for "Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope". Big term but what on earth does it mean; and more importantly, what is the benefit to you?
The benefit is fairly easy to understand - it helps prevent crashing. Not crashing as often while learning generally equates to a faster learning curve & less frustration; while saving both money & time, along with the odd change of underwear.
The most basic way to think about SAFE, is when it's turned on in either beginner or stability mode, it won't allow you to overfly the helicopter or quadrotor. By overfly, I mean over control it to the point you lose control. When beginners are first starting to fly RC anything, the most common problem they have is over-controlling - they simply have not developed the fine motor control skills yet.
This results in applying way too much stick input to get the aircraft moving or getting it back under control. Think of it like driving a car by constantly giving massive steering wheel inputs to stay in your lane. You would be swerving from lane to lane and soon lose control of your vehicle if you drove that way - right...
Well, when you are flying an RC aircraft, the exact same principles of over controlling apply. The only difference is it's happening in 3 dimensions (yaw, pitch, roll), not just yaw like it does with a land vehicle so it's naturally harder and simply takes longer to learn the "flying finesse" required.
SAFE technology that is used on many of Blade's helicopters and quadrotors as well as Eflite airplanes, simply limits the maximum amount of movement the aircraft is capable of so it can't get overflown. SAFE technology also can self-level the aircraft automatically when the sticks are centered, and on some of the SAFE equipped Blade helicopters, has a "save" or "rescue" feature that will get the aircraft back under control if you are performing aerobatics for example and get into trouble.
SAFE has changed the way beginners learn to fly!
Okay, many beginners won't even understand what this means (you will shortly however); but it's the single biggest reason why I, and most other experienced RC hobbyists put Blade head and shoulders above the rest of the entry level stuff on the market.
Spektrum DSM2/X is a 2.4 GHz spread spectrum protocol used by all Spektrum brand RC radio system and earlier JR spread spectrum radio systems. This is basically the digital language & coding sequence used in the radio system that allows the radio (RC controller) to communicate with the aircraft. I have a page that goes into much more detail on spread spectrum if you want to learn more about it.
Every brand of RC radio system has it's own unique protocol so they are not compatible with one another.
So why is this important to understand right now?
First off, DSM2/X protocol is a very robust spread spektrum radio control communication system. In fact, in the RC heli world, it's one of the most popular (even for the higher end stuff as you progress).
I often say the radio system is more important than the helicopter if you are even somewhat serious about the hobby, and I strongly support this statement. When you get a good radio system to start with, you won't have to change systems later on and Blade is the only entry level heli & quad brand that provides this very important benefit.
There is no question, when you are first starting out with a low cost, entry level, RC helicopter or quad, you don't need a top end radio system; but as you progress, you will soon realize just how beneficial this is.
First off, you won't have to get a new radio for each helicopter or quad rotor you purchase.
As you progress further, you can then fly all the higher end machines with this radio. So many of today's top flybarless systems are designed to work seamlessly with Spektrum DSM2/X systems for example.
The other big convenience here is for RC airplane enthusiasts that already fly their planes with a Spektrum computerized radio and are thinking of coming over to the "dark side" of the flying eggbeater world to give it a whirl. If that describes you, starting out with a Blade helicopter or quad is almost a no-brainer since you already have a radio that will work with the aircraft.
Using one radio
to fly everything is not only extremely convenient, it saves a
substantial amount of money over the years. It also means you won't have to waste time re-learning the programming menus, or getting used to the feel of a different radio.
Many of Blade's helicopters and quadcopters for example come with or without a simple RC radio. The version's without the radio are for those of us who already have a Spektrum or JR DSM2/X radio and naturally those versions cost less money. Blade calls this "Bind N' Fly" (BNF). I talk about this feature in the many Blade & Eflite helicopter reviews I have done, and is once again why I feel this feature alone is so beneficial for so many people.
So, if you already have a computerized Spektrum RC radio system or older computerized JR DSM2/X system, you will want to get the "BNF" version of whatever Blade helicopter or quad-rotor model you are looking at.
If you are just starting out and have no radio system, you can get the RTF version to start with and then get a better quality Spektrum computerized radio later on as you progress to open up all the benefits of programmable radio systems to cater your radio to your flying style. One radio to fly multiple helicopters, quadrotors, planes, and gliders - that is what I mean by growth!
So, those are the main benefits to you as the consumer that Blade offers that no other brand does.
suppose a very simple way to look at all this, is out of all the lower
cost, entry level, small RC helicopters and quadrotors on the market, Blade is the only brand that allows you to truly "invest into the hobby".
Blade has more or less divided their lineup into three categories based on experience levels.
As you may likely know from my Best RC Helicopter page, I personally don't feel you can simply pigeon hole any RC helicopter to cater to a specific experience level. It's possible for example for people to start with any of Blade's (or any other brand for that matter) more advanced collective pitch RC helicopters if they do their research and know what to expect.
You can for example setup any collective pitch helicopter to be very tame and as you progress, change the setup to allow more aggressive flying. This takes a good deal of understanding at first to do properly; but for someone who knows they have the correct mindset (I was borderline obsessed when I got into the hobby for example), and wants to start with a more advanced model, it's certainly very doable. This is more true now then ever with any of Blade's aircraft that have SAFE technology.
In short, take these Blade experience categories as guidelines only.
No question they are good generalized guidelines to follow; but you know your underlying passion towards
the hobby and natural abilities better than the manufacturer or I do. Base
your Blade helicopter purchase decision on what's the best match for you.
Blade's model naming process is not intuitive at all! For the most part however, here's how the confusion plays out...
As I said, there are a few exceptions & exclusions from this list, but for the most part, it should help you out with the basics behind Blade's model identification.
Blade helicopters also use the standardized RC Helicopter sizing method of using main blade length. For example, the Blade 360 CFX uses 360mm long rotor blades.
On that note, let's look at all the models Blade offer in each of the 3 experience level categories. I'll show if they are available in BNF, RTF, or both versions and which models employ SAFE technology.
Blade helicopters listed first...
The remarkably affordable Blade Scout CX weighs just over half an
ounce (17 grams) but will fly circles around other toy helis in the same price range. If you've never flown a heli before and want to start
small, the Scout is one to check out.
Like the original Blade mCX, the Blade mCX2 is easy enough for anyone to fly and small enough to fly just about anywhere. But it adds an extra shot of excitement with user-selectable swash sensitivity and flashing LED lights that are built right into the body. See my review.
The Blade 70S is a great choice for those that are seriously thinking of getting into the hobby, yet don't want to spend much at first. Here's my full review.
It's a great beginner micro fixed pitch helicopter for those looking for more performance than a micro coaxial will give, yet don't want to venture into collective pitch quite yet. The flying skills learned on the 70S will of course come in handy when you do progress to a collective pitch machine down the road.
At $60.00, the value is outstanding considering helicopters like this used to cost well over $160.00 just few years ago. This will be the likely replacement for the Blade mSR S which many are familiar with as the heli that first got them into the hobby.
Equipped with SAFE Technology, the fixed-pitch flybarless design offers great stability. The low parts count makes repairs quick and simple with one of the most unique features being the location of the swashplate for added protection. It is located inside the frame instead of up on the rotor mast using pushods that exit up through the top bearing inside the oversized main mast.
Modeled after the popular Blade mSR heli, the Blade mSR S is a great way to step up from coaxial helis and multirotors to single rotor. Fixed pitch, flybarless rotor simplicity gives you extra speed and agility with a durable and efficient design.
SAFE and AS3X technology helps keep you in control by delivering the stability you need to develop confidence quickly. The variable high and low rate modes allow each flight to match your flying style and environment.
The Blade® 200 S is the perfect fixed pitch, flybarless heli for pilots who want a powerful and stable experience while learning how to fly. You can experience flybarless mechanics without the complexities of a collective pitch machine.
Innovative SAFE® technology provides confidence and makes the learning process easier with beginner, intermediate and experienced flight mode options.
This heli features metal gear cyclic servos, a powerful 25 Amp ESC, and large brushless tail and main motors.
Now to the quads...
Ideal for beginner and advanced pilots alike, the Blade Nano QX utilizes SAFE technology to deliver two distinct flying modes. Lower cost brushed coreless motors and a weight under 19 grams enable the Nano QX to reach dynamic speeds and to execute fluid maneuvers. The small size of the Nano QX makes it ideal for flying in tight indoor spaces and in calm outdoor conditions.
One of the most unique products in the market, the Blade® Inductrix® Switch is truly the best of both worlds.
This totally new design builds off the successful Inductrix platform with an exclusive snap-together design that quickly turns your micro quad into a hovercraft! It’s literally two vehicles in one!
Hovercraft mode allows you to drive on multiple surfaces. It takes seconds to convert to quad mode with no wiring changes required. The durable molded plastic design and foam skirt can take punishment for worry-free flights and drives.
Programmable LED lights make racing fun. Better yet, everything you need to start flying and driving is included in the box and a wide-variety of parts available means repairs are easy.
The Blade Ozone reminds me so much of my very first blade quad - the original blade mQX.
This is no nonsense micro sized quad that brings back the fun we first experienced when getting into quadrotors, but this time with a better flight controller along with SAFE stabilization.
From the lightweight and strong carbon fiber and impact-resistant frame to the easy repairs, this quadcopter makes learning to fly quads easy. LEDs adorn each arm making orientation easy to maintain. A removable 1S LiPo battery drives efficient and light brushed motors for long flight times.
From the tiny video camera mounted on this quad, real-time action is delivered before your eyes on a headset you wear like eyeglasses.
It’s an RC experience
so immersive that you’ll feel as though you’re actually sitting in the
pilot’s seat. The Nano QX2 FPV requires an FPV headset on 5.8GHz like the
easy-to-use Spektrum, Fat Shark Focal FPV Headset (SPMVR2500) that features
wireless head tracking and channel selection (headset sold separately). SAFE equipped.
Four carefully-tuned electric ducted fans give the SAFE equipped Inductrix quad-rotor smooth performance that produces far less noise compared to normal quads that use propellers for thrust.
The stealthy result is a machine that’s less intimidating with the appeal of a jet.
The Blade Inductrix FPV builds on the popular Inductrix platform transforming it into an incredible FPV machine right out of the box.
With its integrated 25mW video transmitter, FPV camera, high performance motors and large 200mAh battery, the Inductrix FPV is capable of flying in the smallest of places with ease.
Enjoy the view as SAFE technology makes flying simple and while the ducted propeller design allows you to bounce of walls and objects without crashing!
The Blade Inductrix FPV Plus is the next generation of micro FPV quadcopters building on the successful ducted fan Inductrix architecture. This 8mm motor version comes ready to FPV right out of the box with zero fuss. With its integrated camera/video transmitter, Spektrum 4.3" monitor with digital video recording, and pre-installed LED lighting for battery monitoring and improved visual acquisition.
SAFE® technology makes flying simple while the ducted propellers allow you to bounce off walls and objects without prop damage. The cool new "Meow Mode" allows you to flip the quadcopter back upright after a crash by quickly reversing the motor direction at the push of a button!
New altitude hold flight mode maintains the distance from the ground, providing an intuitive flight experience. The Ready-to-Fly version features a large capacity 500mAh battery for plenty of punch.
Blade's Inductrix BL (brushless motors) quad brings all the features customers have been asking for in the most capable and feature-packed FPV Inductrix platform yet.
SAFE® technology makes flying simple while the ducted propeller design allows you to bounce off walls and objects without crashing!
New channel changing video transmitter allows you to specifically tune to your preferred frequency and channel right from your Spektrum™ G2 or greater transmitter.
Innovative Meow Mode™ allows you to flip the quadcopter back upright after a crash by quickly reversing the motor direction.
The brushless power system brings a totally new experience while maintaining the size, simplicity, and durability that makes it one of the most popular platforms on the market. The On Screen Display now offers vital battery and telemetry data right in your video feed, so you always know where your battery and flight time stands.
The Blade Scimitar™ 170 FPV racer brings a combination of convenience and performance to a 4" racer, perfect for backyard cruising or racing with friends.
The 4S power system consists of 1407-3000Kv motors for remarkable response and power and 20A 4-in-1 ESC with BLHeli-S and Dhot 600 compatibility.
An F3 flight controller efficiently handles the quad, while relaying the user-configurable data to the on-screen display via the Betaflight OSD.
A 600TVL CMOS camera with 2.1mm lens transmits video through the Spektrum™ variable power video transmitter to an included Spektrum DVR monitor. All the vital electronics are protected and you still have easy access to the USB port and video transmitter.
Additionally, optional propeller guards to help protect your propellers, motors, and frame in the event of a crash. Don’t want the added weight? Simply remove them from the new interlocking motor bolts with a twist, no tools required.
The Blade Inductrix is a 200 size SAFE equipped ducted fan qaud-rotor, with integrated flight camera & FPV transmitter.
This little ducted fan quad offers a crazy fun FPV flight experience.
Video is transmitted at 25mw on 5.8GHz and is compatible with FatShark headsets like the SpektrumTeleporter V4 (SPMVR1100). The four 200-class outrunner brushless motors allow the ducted fans to operate at high speed, yet the fans remain safely contained within their protective shrouds.
The Blade Glimpse with SAFE technology is the ideal quad for starting out in aerial cinematography using any iOS or Android smart phone or tablet as the display device.
Durable and able to fly indoors or out, the integrated HD camera can deliver its down-link to multiple smart devices at the same time so several can share in the flight experience.
The Blade Zeyrok is one of the best looking micro size quad-rotors currently on the market in my opinion and is as durable as it is good looking.
An integrated HD video/still camera is available as an accessory or can be included. SAFE technology allows easy beginner flying right up to Z-rok'in aerobatics. There are 3 versions of the Zeyrok available in both yellow and green:
The Inductrix FPV Pro is the high-performance, micro FPV drone taking indoor racing performance to the next level. Building on the popular Inductrix platform, the Inductrix FPV Pro answers the call to those seeking heightened performance in a lightened, more durable profile.
A significant feature is the Betaflight configurable flight controller which provides you the freedom to adjust all flight parameters, rates, and gains to fit your flying style. A new frame design with added reinforcements improves durability, making crashes worry-free.
The included 200mAh battery offers ample flight times, increased by the lighter overall profile. With the Bind-N-Fly® completion level, all you have to do is bind a compatible Spektrum transmitter and you’re off to the races.
Blade helicopters listed first...
The tiny Blade Nano CP S is perhaps the PERFECT indoor collective pitch RC helicopter. Not overly powerful, but a great indoor practice aid when first getting into collective pitch. See my full write-up.
Larger than a micro-class machine, the sub-micro Blade 120 S is great for outdoor flight in low wind, yet is still small enough to fly in larger indoor spaces. The 120S has SAFE technology to boot! Here's my full write-up on this great little bird.
Think all the way back to 2010. The announcement of the very first micro sized collective pitch RC helicopter that would fit in the palm of your hand shook the RC heli world!
The mCP X and then the mCP X BL (brushless motor version), and now building on the same platforms of success, the newest incarnation of the micro CP classic, the mCP S (links to my review on it).
As the "S" suggests, this is very much the same heli as the original, but now utilizing SAFE technology making for a very easy to fly micro CP in full on stability mode, let allows you to turn off that electronic help when you are ready to really appreciate the true skill set required to fly a collective pitch RC helicopter.
For even greater collective pitch aerobatic and 3D performance, an optional brushless main motor easy to install upgrade is available for when you are ready for "more power".
The Blade 130 S brings back the popular 130 size heli to Blade's lineup, but this time with a low maintenance brushless direct drive motorized tail. Of course the other big addition with the new S version is SAFE technology.
Self-stabilization, panic switch and three progressive flight modes give intermediate to advanced pilots the confidence to master 3D flight indoors and out.
The 130 S fills the size gap between the Nano CP S and the 180 CFX making it in my opinion, one of the nicest sizes for flying at home in an average size yard. See my full review.
The Blade 230 S features exclusive SAFE technology. Flight mode versatility means that you can instantly choose the level of assistance and maneuverability that’s right for you. Panic Recovery mode that will recover the heli to a level attitude for you at the push of a button.
Same features as the 230 S but features a brilliant LED lighting system in the frame and tail-fin that operate off the flight pack. The main blades utilize individual 1S ultra-micro Li-Po batteries (included) you can easily remove for charging with the 1S USB charger provided. Night time flying fun!
Blade's 250 CFX uses both main & tail high-output brushless motors along with 3S LiPo flight battery power to suit mild or wild flying styles in this 250 size collective pitch RC heli. SAFE technology along with digital high-speed metal gear cyclic servos add rock-solid flight control in all fight modes from tame to insane.
Now to the quads...
The Blade Torrent FPV is an ideal micro sized racer. With a small yet powerful 110mm FPV racing platform, this little quad can be flown indoors and out, yet is small enough to fit inside your pocket.
Propeller guards make it safe to fly inside, while the high torque brushless motors give it the authority to handle the great outdoors. The 2mm carbon fiber frame provides added durability while a 150mW VTX provides clean and powerful video in any environment. The 600TVL camera with 120 degree field of view lets pilots see clearly in tight indoor spaces or out in the backyard.
Spektrum Telemetry Serial receiver transmits valuable flight log data back to your telemetry equipped Spektrum radio.
The Blade Mach 24 quadrotor makes getting into 250-class quad racing easy. Powerful and incredibly durable, this quad delivers an immersive RC experience with intuitive SAFE technology for action-packed racing fun that's easier to enjoy.
The next generation of high performance, brushless micro racing quads, the Blade Scimitar 110 BNF brings features that are sure to turn any backyard BBQ into an FPV racing party.
The 110 boasts a carbon fiber main frame and durable pod protecting all vital electronics. A 10A 4-in-1 ESC with DShot 600 provides a smooth and predictable throttle and control response to the beefier 1106-6000Kv motors, making it more than capable of taking on the hardest of freestyle maneuvers.
The F3 flight controller comes professionally tuned and Betaflight configurable with Betaflight OSD pre-programmed. A new variable power video transmitter can switch from 25-150mW modes depending on your environment, and frequency and channel can be selected directly from your Spektrum™ G2 transmitter with forward programming.
The video transmitter has a stout MMCX connector and a circular polarized antenna so swapping antennas is easy and accessible. Add a battery, transmitter, and FPV goggles or monitor and you’ll be zipping around your backyard in no time.
The Blade Scimitar 215 Pro FPV is designed for pilots who would rather race than build.
Screaming fast out of the box, the Scimitar comes tuned and ready for racing fun!
The 4S power system consists of 2206-2450Kv naked-bottom motors for impressive snappy response and 20A ESCs with BLHeli-S and Dhot 600 compatibility.
An F3 flight controller cleanly controls the quad, while relaying the user-configurable data to the on-screen display via the Betaflight OSD. The new Runcam Swift 2 Team Spektrum Edition camera with 2.1mm lens relays crisp and clean video through the new Spektrum variable power video transmitter to a compatible 5.8GHz monitor or goggles.
Additionally, you can choose between 25, 200, and 600mW power modes, and you can change your frequency and channel directly from your radio. All of these awesome components are housed in a newly-designed, impact-resistant pod, protecting all vital electronics while providing convenient access points to the USB port and video transmitter.
The 4mm carbon fiber frame features individually attached arms, allowing you to remove and replace a broken arm simply by removing two screws.
Blade & ImmersionRC have teamed up to deliver the Vortex 150 FPV racer with Spektrum technology.
It’s fully integrated, tuned, and equipped so you can be competitive in a matter of minutes.
Race-seasoned pilots can take advantage of a custom power system, ImmersionRC's cutting-edge 32-bit processing power plus integrated OSD. Perfect for smaller courses or exploring the backyard. Durable & fun to fly.
The Blade Conspiracy 220 quad rotor is a pro-class FPV quad racer for pilots who want expertly tuned, out of the box performance. An immensely strong 4mm thick carbon fiber main frame delivers the lightweight durability every racer needs.
Powered by the Spektrum FC32 Rev 6 flight controller gives you the capability of fine-tuning each flight with Cleanflight software. SAFE technology makes learning to race easy.
The onboard 600TVL FPV camera and 200mW video transmitter provide a clean video signal to compatible Fat Shark goggles. Additionally, the Thrust™ performance ESC's add a highly responsive feel and precision control when pushing the limits and racing for the finish line.
The 200 QX is powered by four authoritative brushless motors which provide intense power for aerobatics, precision flight and even heavy payloads. Thanks to this aggressive power, the 200 QX is capable of carrying addition weight and can be flown indoors and outdoors in medium winds. A great 3D capable quad with SAFE® technology.
Blade and ImmersionRC have teamed up to deliver the cutting-edge Vortex 250 Pro multirotor with Spektrum™ technology. ProTuned for FPV racing, now pilots who want next-level performance can enjoy BNF race ready convenience in a 250 size class. Super fun!
Blade helicopters listed first...
The Blade Trio 180 CFX replaces the very good 180 CFX. The Trio version is a powerful mini sized collective pitch heli that now comes with a 3-bladed, DFC rotor head improving response and collective authority (while increasing complexity, repair costs, and tail rotor work load).
Featuring a high torque brushless outrunner main motor, variable pitch tail rotor, and Castle Creations ESC, this heli features a potent punch for fun back yard 3D maneuvers, and practice.
The Blade® Fusion™ 270 BNF® Basic helicopter begins a new era of high-end Blade products, with all the features, style, and performance intermediate through advanced pilots demand.
This powerhouse features a lightweight and strong carbon fiber frame and landing gear, black anodized aluminum components, and an all-new, high-torque 4S optimized power system.
Combined with Spektrum™ metal gear servos, helical main gear and the durable belt driven tail design, there is nothing stopping you from trying the most aggressive maneuvers imaginable. If you push things a little too far, the Fusion 270 is equipped with a Spektrum AR636A flight controller with SAFE® Technology Panic Recovery mode to prevent a crash.
For seasoned pilots, the Fusion 270 delivers leading-edge heli action straight out of the box leaving the competition missing in action.
Back to the basics! The 330X is a lower cost, 3S powered, 450 size, fully aerobatic, ready to fly collective pitch RC helicopter that makes such a wonderfully sized, first CP helicopter to learn on. Here's my overview.
It's basically the Blade 450X version 3 if you want to compare it to something, sharing DNA going back all the way to the original and iconic Blade 400 and 450 3D.
I know so many people who over the past decade now have successfully got into this hobby with one of those 3 helicopters. The legend lives on in the 330X...
This size and 3S powering method has long been my recommend goto heli for so many people to first learn on, and I'm so happy we once again have a good option here as the market has been without a lower cost, modestly powered, 450 size, ready to fly helicopter for a few years now. Glad to see Blade once again recognizes not everyone wants to waste their time and money on disposable micro sized junk as their first venture into collective pitch.
The Blade 360 CFX 3S helicopter is slightly larger than the 330X but overall, very similar in both size and performance. The 360 CFX was originally 6S powered, but is now also available in 3S power. In my opinion, a very smart move as it allows for a much more popular and affordable battery.
I never did see the advantage to 6S power in a heli of this size and never liked flying them due to the cost and overpowered nature. So many people were actually flying the original 6S version with 3S packs, it's no wonder Blade Helicopters realized not everyone is "power crazy", and would rather just have fun while saving a few bucks in the process.
The Blade Trio 360 CFX is basically the exact same helicopter as the Blade 360 CFX except it uses a tri-blade head over a two blade, and runs on more expensive 6S LiPo packs.
What's the advantage?
Let's see... Added spinning mass, added drag, added cost, and added complexity. Everything flybarless heads were suppose to get us away from. Oh, and the tail has to work harder to boot.
Anyone who knows me, understands I put practicality and simplicity before looks and any marginal performance increase (less is more in this case).
Tri bladed heads on aerobatic helicopters do give improvements in collective response, but there is a power consumption cost that goes with that and all the other added items I just mentioned. An engineer once explained multi bladed rotor heads to me as increased "air grip" at the expense of efficiency. Not for me as I see this as nothing more than marketing hype; but for those who think more blades give a better RC flight experience and "air grip", the Trio 360 CFX is worth looking at.
The review I link to above somewhat dismisses my concerns to an extent.
No question, the canopy graphics are a nice bright visual improvement over the original. The other nice addition is this 360 CFX uses the new Spektrum AR7210BX FBL/RX unit over the original 7200BX. So you have the ability to purchase the rescue software if you wanted it down the road.
The Blade Fusion 480 is Blade's first "kit" build heli in several years as well as their largest (basically a 500 size machine).
I really like the concept of this helicopter as it's a good indicator if nothing else, that the hobby is still healthy and Blade is still innovating and giving another go at the higher end kit build market.
This time with competitive pricing.
This 6S powerhouse features lightweight carbon fiber and anodized aluminum construction presenting exceptional rigidity and durability. The optimized control system geometry offers the most efficient and responsive control.
The quiet helical main gear is ready to be driven by a 40-43mm brushless motor bringing high power and torque. A belt-driven tail assembly is utilizes both carbon fiber and aluminum to ensure precision performance every flight. For advanced-level 3D pilots, the Fusion 480 delivers an aggressive heli leaving the others in its dust cloud.
Now to the quads...
The Blade Theory XL 5" BNF Basic race quad is ready to scream past the competition, with no building, tinkering, or tuning necessary.
The stretched-X design offers impressive stability in fast forward flight, and the 4mm frame thickness stands up well to crashes - ideal for racing. New 2206-2450kv Thrust® motors and the 30 amp BLHeli ESCs make every maneuver feel smooth and lockedin.
The fully configurable F3 flight controller comes pre-flashed with Betaflight firmware and professionally tuned. A 200mW video transmitter with power switch and 700VTL CMOS camera provide clean and reliable video in any environment, while staying friendly to other pilots.
I was just reading your write-up about Blade helicopters and I couldn't agree with you more.
I started this hobby back in 2006 but have only really been flying the last three years. Life gets in the way some times and you have to walk away from it and return when the time is right. That said, I started on a Blade CX2 fully upgraded and used a flight sim (real flight basic) daily like a religion back then. I now have 2 blade 450's in the last 3 years and upgraded them electronically (align RCE 35x ESC, HS65mg's on cyclic, HS5084mg tail servo and a GY401) and have used CNC and CF parts only in the critical areas.
I believe in engineering a weak spot to dissipate the kinetic energy in a crash so you don't break so many parts (RC heli mag article). I have had great success with the Blade 450's. Over 200+ flights on both with no crashes. But I had 2 crashes in the last month. I find them easy to work on...light....dependable...reliable and plastic fantastic.
I'm a sport
flyer no 3D or tricks. I'm currently going to install one of them into a
AS350 fuselage and keep the other as a pod and boom flyer. I'm flying
proof that the Blade line are good for those who don't have uber amounts
of money to fly and enjoy this complex, challenging, and rewarding
hobby. Thanks for letting me share.
Douglas - Canada