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Blade mCX — Review 29Jan09

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli.
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Blade mCX

Blade mCX

Horizon Hobby released the Blade mCX at the end of 2008. It is a tiny coaxial helicopter only 8″ long and weighing only 1 oz. We have seen many tiny helis before and they have all been terrible so we expected the same from the mCX. We could not have been more wrong! The Blade mCX flies even better than its larger CX2 sibling. It is an amazingly stable and well mannered helicopter and easily the best choice for newcomers to the hobby. Veterans will also enjoy it for indoor flying and precision flying competitions with friends.

The mCX comes in two models; a ready-to-fly (RTF) and a bind-N-fly model. The only difference is that the RTF model comes with a transmitter whereas with the bind-N-fly version you will need to supply your own 2.4GHZ transmitter. The mCX comes fully assembled and ready to fly out of the box. All you need to do is charge the battery and go. The charger is somewhat surprising in that is uses four AA batteries. You will get about eight to twelve charges off of a set of batteries. The included 1S 110mAh LiPo battery is amazing small, about the size of a stick of Trident gum, and charges in about ten minutes.

The transmitter included in the RTF version is quite small. It resembles a computer game console controller more than a traditional heli transmitter. It also has a very plastic feeling to it and the sticks feel somewhat flimsy. It has dual rates accessed by actually pressing down the collective. But it works just fine and with a light touch you will get used to it soon enough. Obviously if you already have a 2.4GHZ transmitter you can get the bind-N-fly model and use your own transmitter.

The mCX flies extremely well. It is very stable and responsive. Unlike the CX/CX2 it has almost no drift and you will need little to no trimming. The blades are stiffer than those on the CX/CX2 and much more durable. The mCX also does not have the problem of blade slapping with quick cyclic movements that often causes the CX/CX2 blades to hit each other and break, but the mCX does get into a flutter (loss of lift) situation with fast cyclic movements that will cause the heli to drop. But with regular smooth flying you will not have any issues at all. The mCX is very precise and with a bit of finesse you can easily do a nose-in landing onto a deck of playing cards. Because the heli is so light you will only want to fly it inside but because it is so small even a 10’x10′ room is more than enough space for it.

Flight times are about seven to ten minutes. The only issue is that when the battery dies it dies almost instantly. The heli will blink and you will lose power but it happens very quickly and if you are at altitude you will be lucky to do a controlled landing. This means you will want to use a timer if you like to fly over dangerous terrain such as pool.

The heli feels very fragile. The gears are amazingly tiny and the landing gear extremely thin. But it is actually quite durable. Because it is so light it will generally not suffer any damage even if it drops from five feet to the ground. In this regard it is also better than the CX/CX2. As previously mentioned, the blades are very durable and having a single spare set is probably all you will need. The one problem area is the battery connector. The battery is very small and thus the battery connector is tiny and the connector pins fragile. You will need to use care when connecting the battery. We found putting a drop of super glue at the back of the connector helped keep the wires from pulling out of the connector when connecting the battery.

The Blade mCX is a hit in every way. If you are a new flier you will like its stability and veterans will enjoy having something they can fly inside with precision. The mCX is so good that the larger CX/CX2/CX3 helis are really only needed if you have much larger areas to fly in such as a gym or warehouse. For regular household flying the mCX is the way to go. Every RC heli flier should own one. Recommended.

Also see the Blade mCX Tandem.

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