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Eflite Blade 450X
Collective pitch helicopter
The Eflite Blade 450 is a well known radio controlled
helicopter that is available today for new potential pilots who want
to learn to fly an RC helicopter.
You can buy a Blade 450 in ARTF form (Almost Ready To Fly)
without a radio transmitter for around £300, and this includes
everything you need to be able to fly it except the radio equipment,
or for £400 you can have what is a very good Spektrum DX6i radio
Therefore, you can see that at the price, it is not a particularly low cost helicopter,
it has a very much higher build quality and equipment level than
say, the Belt CP that comes
in with a (not very good) radio at £140, but nevertheless the Blade
450 is still an excellent choice for potential helicopter pilots,
It does have both its good and it's down sides however :
THE GOOD POINTS
Spare parts are relatively cheap and easily obtained via
the Internet, and it it is not beyond the ability of most people to
be able repair them when they (inevitably) crash. There is a
huge amount of information and help available via helicopter forums
on the Internet where you can ask questions and get good answers
This helicopter is not built **down** to a price in the
same way that the Belt CP is. As a result, the quality in most
areas is pretty good, and without any fear of contradiction, if
you choose to go with the Spektrum DX6i radio then you will
have a high quality radio system that is well known to be probably
one of the most popular radios in use to day for RC helicopters.
Another plus point is that this radio can be used to fly more than
one helicopter, and in fact, it can store the setups for up to 10
point to note with the Blade range of flybarless helicopters that
use the BeastX control system is that you MUST USE either a SPEKTRUM
or a JR MCGREGOR radio system, as the Spektrum badged
version of the BeastX as supplied with the Blade range will NOT
work with any other type of radio.
You will need other stuff as well, as you would with any
type of helicopter. The main things will be
a Pitch gauge (~£10), a set of hex keys of hex drivers (~£6), a
pair of 5.5mm box spanners to allow you to replace the feathering
shaft when necessary (~£7), and of course, some spare parts such as
rotor blades, main shafts and feathering shafts, and potentially
many other small parts.
THE BAD POINTS
Although it is supplied and labelled as RTF, this is a
total misnomer. All that RTF means is that all the parts
necessary to make the helicopter fly (Ready To Fly) are provided in the box.
IT DEFINITELY DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN SIMPLY TAKE IT OUT OF THE BOX,
charge the power cell battery, AND TRY TO FLY IT IMMEDIATELY.
THAT MAY WELL END IN DISASTER ...
This is because the very first thing you need to do
is to go through a complete check of all screws and nuts and bolts,
then you will need to perform what is called the mechanical set up,
where all the levers and linkages between the servos and the
rotor head and tail are orientated correctly, and that the pitch
range is correctly set. If you do not do this it is quite
likely that the helicopter will not try to leave the ground.
The problem with all this is that quite naturally, new
potential pilots almost certainly have no understanding of any of
this, and probably do not have the tools either (eg Pitch gauge), so
they are almost in a CATCH22 situation.
The Spektrum radio system has fully configurable
settings for almost anything you might ever want to change,
including Exponential control that allows you to easily and quickly
"dumb" the controls down to make learning to hover easier.
The DOWN side of this is that it is a complex piece of equipment,
and it is not the easiest thing in the world to understand and to
configure correctly. That however would not put me off going
for the DX6i as a helicopter radio system
is why I offer a full setup of new Blade 450X helicopters
purchased from me TOTALLY FREE.
I do the mechanical setup, the radio setup, and TEST FLY
it to ensure that it is flying as it should be to suit YOUR LEVEL of
also offer the same service for Blade 450X's purchased
but this is at a charge of 50.00
FLYING THE BLADE 450X
The Blade 450X is generally accepted to be a very nice and
stable platform for new pilots to learn to fly with. It has some slightly
odd quirks, such as the swash plate going downwards when pitch is
increased (most helicopters have a raising swash plate), but that is
done for good reasons, and the Blade 450 will fly very nicely once
the mechanical setup has been done and the radio setup has been done
all flybarless helicopters have to have some electronic assistance
to maintain stability for various complex "physics
style" reasons, Blade have chosen to use the Spektrum version
of the world famous BeastX control unit. This controller does of
course provide amazing control of the rotor head, but what is more
important from your point of view, it also provides an almost
"auto pilot" type of feel to the control of the
normal helicopter with flybars tend to fall over from a level
hovering position very readily, and indeed rapidly, which is
why new pilots crash so often. The BeastX unit makes the
helicopter very stable in the hover, and it is quite possible on a
reasonably calm day to even release both sticks once the helicopter
is in a level hover, and it will pretty well stay there by itself
for quite some time.
the Blade 450X helicopter is a great choice for your first truly
collective pitch helicopter. Do not let my praises as above
lead you to believing that this helicopter is not fool proof, it can
till crash... but it far less likely to do so than almost all
other flybarred helicopters.
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