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Blade 300CFX – Even Better Yard Flier? 31Jan14

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Reviews.
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Blade 300CFXWe recently asked if the Blade 300X was the best yard flier yet. Well in our opinion the answer is a resounding, yes! We finally got the 300X into the air and we could not have been more impressed. The BeastX gives the heli a stability and agility that just isn’t there with the smaller helis. The power plant is no 450 but it has plenty of power for restricted yard flying and will satisfy all but the most hardcore 3D fliers. The size is just large enough to handle some wind and be easy to see but still small enough for relatively tight spaces. For gentle flying and basic hovering you will easily get 4:30mins of flying time. Take the headspeed down a tad and you can easily extend that to 5:00mins. Turn up the power and bang the heli around and you can still get 4:00mins of fun.

The bad news is that the Blade 300X is being discontinued. But fear not! Horizon just announced the all new Blade 300 CFX. This is basically the 300X with carbon fiber upgrades and new servo geometry. The tail is the same. The only unknown is whether the increased weight and headspeed will dramatically lower the flight times or not because it uses the same 3S 1350 lipo as the 300X. Horizon is listing 4:00mins run time but we suspect that’s at the lower pinion and headspeed. But if it at least gives 4:00mins with the option, for those wishing, to crank it up for 3:00mins of craziness this could be all good.

You can get a peek at the new 300CFX in action. Look for the 300CFX soon — If you fly helis you’ll want one.

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Blade Red Bull BO-105 CB 130 X 18Oct13

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Scale Helis.
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BO-105Blade has a new addition to their great line of micro helis. The new Red Bull BO-105 CB 130 X not only has a scale helicopter fuselage but also features a four bladed collective pitch head. The AS3X flybarless system means it will be a lot easier to fly than previous high performance micro helis.

As with all the micro Blade helis it is available in PnP and BnF versions.

We now have a few flights in with the BO-105. As with all Blade helis setup is a breeze. Initial hover went well. The helicopter is reasonably stable for its size but it is quite fast and agile so you will need to be careful in small spaces. Performance is as advertised but be aware that you will only get about 3 minutes of flight time. Even staying in normal mode and leisurely flying around will get you barely more than that. The head speed of this heli is high and the battery only 300mAh so the juice goes fast. This is definitely not a heli for new fliers but experienced fliers will appreciate its scale looks and good performance.

There are a number of nice reviews available as well as flight videos:

Updated: 16NOV13

Random Heli Skid Clamps 23Mar13

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, Products, Reviews.
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random-heli-logoIt’s amazing how long it has taken for someone to make such a thing but better late than never. The new Random Heli Skid Clamps provide a nice way to secure your heli. See the review on RC Groups. The only bummer is there are no options for the Goblin.

Goblin 770 — Coming Soon 14Nov12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, News, SAB Goblin.
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Goblin 770SAB Heli Division recently announced the release of the new Goblin 770 soon. As the name implies the new 770 is a larger version of the Goblin 700 designed for 12-14S power (4-5000mAh). Besides the slightly larger size the 770 has taller frames and a new battery tray option. As always, Bert has all the details in a nice video.

If somehow the Goblin 700 is too small and slow for you this is the machine to have!

New Blade CP X — Avalable Soon 14Sep12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News.
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Blade CP XHorizon Hobby announced the new Blade CP X. The CP X is one of the smallest collective pitch helis available. Finally we have a CP heli that is truly made to fly in your living room.

  • AS3X® Flybarless System
  • Symmetrical 85mm main rotor blades
  • 2.1-gram linear long-throw cyclic servos
  • Carbon fiber main shaft
  • Sleek body with sharp Nano CP X graphics
  • Includes two E-flite® 1S 3.7V 150mAh 25C Li-Po batteries
  • Includes DC Li-Po Charger with AA batteries
  • Includes two main blade sets; Fast Flight Main Rotor Blades (Installed) and Hi-performance Main Rotor Blades (In Box)

Align AH-1 Scale Cobra Fuselage — Build 23Apr12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, Scale Helis, TRex.
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Cobra Frames

Align T-Rex 500 Cobra frames (underneath) compared against the stock T-Rex 500 frames (on top).

The Align AH-1 Scale Cobra Fuselage kit is a very nice and complete package. The fuselage is about 95% complete and all the builder has to do is swap frames, add-on the raised tail component and then insert the assembly into the fuselage. The fuselage itself comes fully painted and just needs decals applied and a few minor bits.

Cobra frame cuts

Red lines indicated where the frames were cut to accommodate the scale cockpit. Easiest way to do this is with a cutting wheel on a roto-tool.

Of course the reality of any build never ends up being quite so simple even with a complete package. The frame swap was rather straightforward and if you do one side at a time it goes quite easily with minimum of hassle and it will not mess up your mechanical setup. The main difference between the stock and Cobra frames is that the Cobra frames drop the tail to the bottom. The difficulty comes much later unfortunately. The Cobra comes with a nice scale cockpit that looks very nice and just slides into the canopy. If you want to use this cockpit then the frames are going to need to be cut. The normal battery position of the T-Rex is not going to work with the scale cockpit and you will need to cut about 1/4″ of the frame off above the battery tray. Why Align did not adjust this after going through all the trouble of creating new frames is a complete mystery. It is an easy cut to make but not one you would discover until you first test fitted the mechanics into the fuselage. If you do not wish to use the scale cockpit then life is easier and you can use the new frames as they are.

Coming soon: Building the tail, flight test, installing the mechanics, balance issues, and more.

RC Pilot Magazine — Now Available! 03Jan12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Publications.
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RC Pilot MagazineA brand new RC magazine is now out. RC Pilot Magazine is the first tablet only RC magazine, there will be no print. Unlike the Zinio versions of RC Heli Mag, RC Pilot Magazine is a standalone app for Android and the iPad. We believe it is using the Adobe publishing engine that is also used by Wired magazine. There is a nice mix of content with heli coverage as well as planker stuff. The layout is very attractive and it is sprinkled with videos including video ads. The only downside to the videos is that they do make each issue rather large with the free trial issue weighing in at almost 500MB. Overall the trial issue looks good and we hope to see more.

The app is available in the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace. The trial issue is free.

Note: RC Pilot Magazine is now defunct.

Updated: 16NOV13

Interview With Mike Velez From RC Heli Magazine 11Nov11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Publications.
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RCHeli Nation v2.0The boys over at RCHeliNation 2.0 have a nice interview with Mike Velez. Mike is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of RC Heli Magazine. RCHeli Mag has been having some tough times with the economy as of late. Mike gives the full details. We wish them well — RC Heli Mag has always been our favorite heli magazine. The interview is in Episode 8, forward to 00:23:00 to get right to the interview. Note, the interview itself is family friendly but the rest of the podcast most certainly is not.

Mike mentions Zinio in the interview. If you are not familiar with Zinio it is worth a look. Zinio is an electronic magazine hosting service. The file format served is not as useful as a PDF (no notes, search, etc) but the pages look great, you get the magazine as soon as it is published, and it is easy to have hundreds of issues without stacks of paper cluttering your space. You can read Zinio magazines on your computer via a Web browser or even better is via the Zinio App on the iPad. We gave up our physical subscriptions as soon as the iPad came out and haven’t looked back.

Heli pilots may be interested in the following publications on Zinio: RC Heli Mag, Cleared Hot, Heli News, Combat Aircraft Monthly, and Aviation Week.

RealFlight 6 — Now Available 21Oct11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News, Products.
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RealFlight 6A new version of our favorite heli sim is now available. RealFlight 6 is out and even comes with a free Heli Mega Pack. The new sim features improved physics and a rewind feature. The Heli Mega Pack includes over 45 heli models. Unfortunately the only T-Rex is still the 500. Where are the 550, 600 and 700? Although there is the KDE 700 which is a T-Rex 700 with all of the KDE upgrades. It is a very nice model and flies very much like a souped up T-Rex 700. Also the new Rave ENV 700 is included (not the new Ballistic but the original electric ENV). The full version with the Heli Mega Pack also includes a new Futaba transmitter that, finally, includes a smooth collective stick and a proper throttle hold switch!

[Updated: 23NOV11]

New Blade Helis — Available Soon 21Oct11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, Beginner, General Heli, News.
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Blade mSR XHorizon Hobby now has the new Blade mCP X heli and mSR X heli up for pre-order. Both are the latest helis in the great ultra-micro heli line of Blade helis. They are similar to the original aircraft but now have a flybarless control unit!

Available now is the new Blade Scout CX. The Scout is basically the new low cost coax heli, but it is only three channel and should probably be avoided by heli fliers. We still recommend the mCX2 for a basic coax heli.

[Updated: 28OCT11]