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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 300 X – Best Yard Flier Yet? 16Nov13

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli.
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Blade 300 XThe Blade 300 X has been out about a year now. Somehow we missed this one when it released. We have been looking for a good heli to fly in the yard where space is a bit tight but of course there is more space than inside and also wind and currents with which to contend. Most of the smaller nano helis simply can’t handle any wind and they are not great outside choices for us. The Blade 130 X is not bad in this environment but can still be a handful with a breeze and is also still quite small.

As the name suggests, the 300 X is larger than the Align T-Rex 250 but smaller than 450 class helis. The 300 X features the AR7200BX 7-channel DSMX flybarless control system for stability so makes it closer to a 450 class heli than the various nano helis but still comes in a BNF format.

We haven’t had a chance to get it into the air yet but will report back once we have.

See Blade 300 CFX – Even Better Yard Flier?

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.

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)

SAB Goblin — First Look 30Mar12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, Scale Helis, TRex.
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Align Cobra vs SAB Goblin Tail Boom

Align Cobra vs SAB Goblin Tail Boom

We got our SAB Goblin. Here is an image that speaks for itself!

More on both the Cobra and Goblin soon.

Align AH-1 Cobra Scale Fuselage 28Feb12

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, Reviews, Scale Helis, TRex.
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Align AH-1 CobraWe picked up the new Align AH-1 Cobra Scale Fuselage for the T-Rex 500. The fuselage is fully painted and comes with a detailed cockpit and the necessary components to modify a stock T-Rex 500 helicopter to work in the scale fuselage. The fuselage and cockpit are extremely high quality and well detailed. We have finished the conversion and are about to test fly the mechanics and then complete the build. We will have more details on the project soon.

Below are a few pictures to give you a sense of the kit and its size.

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

SAB Goblin 700 22Dec11

Posted by tanker in Advanced, General Heli, News, Reviews, SAB Goblin.
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Sab GoblinThe new SAB Goblin 700 heli from Goblin Helicopter certainly looks nice. Pre-orders are going well and the 3rd batch is already sold out. Next estimated ship date is late March 2012.

We normally do not like belts on our helis and generally avoid kits that have them if at all possible. The Goblin has two belts but it is such a unique design that it has captured our interest. One thing we like about larger helis is their visibility and the Goblin design has that in spades.

If you are in the market for a 700 class heli and want something innovative give it a look.

Note: There is a service announcement for the Goblin. Boom clearance should be minimum of 145mm from top of boom to blades. See Bert’s video for further information.

Note: There is also a second advisory on the main drive pulley. Best to cease flying and get a replacement. [We received our replacement on 11APR12]

Bert takes a look at the SAB Goblin in a SmackTalk episode. The manual V2.0 is now available. HeliFreak has a nice build thread on the Goblin. Luke Annelis has a very cool build video.

Bobby provides a great SAB Goblin 700 review and build notes.

Also see how to setup the belt on the Goblin 700.

Goblin Exploded ViewIncluded:

(1) SAB Goblin 700 – Kit Only

(1) SAB 700mm Carbon Fiber Main Rotor Blade Set

(1) SAB 110mm Carbon Fiber Tail Rotor Set

What’s Needed for Flight:

(3) Cyclic Servos – High Torque Recommended

(1) Tail Servo

(1) Brushless Main Motor

(1) Brushless ESC

(2) 6S 22.2V LiPo Battery – 12S 44.4V System

(1) Flybarless Gyro

(1) 7+ Channel Transmitter

(1) 7+ Channel Receiver

(1) LiPo Battery Charger

Specifications:

Tail Shaft Diameter: 6mm

Main Rotor Diameter: 1580mm / 62.20 in.

Tail Rotor Diameter: 296mm / 11.65 in.

Overall Length: 1360mm / 53.54 in.

Overall Height: 380mm / 14.96 in.

Main Shaft Diameter: 12mm

Feathering Shaft Diameter: 10mm

All Up Weight: 3290g / 7.25 lbs. (Batteries Not Included)

[Updated: 8AUG12]

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.