As much as I’d love to say that Lucy did it, my inbox went gangbusters this week regarding my last post about Collective Pitch flight. More specifically, everyone wanted the same question answered: What do you mean by ‘The Blade 180 CFX is a game changer for small stunt helicopters’? OK, so maybe I should have been more specific, but I was trying to wait to say anything too specific until I get a chance to fly one of these helicopters myself. Yet, the crowd has spoken, and I must state my case before you the
jury readers. Note: This is just a reflection of my impressions of the 180CFX from the data that has been given to me from Horizon Hobby, as well as my witness to early test flying back in mid-September. This is not a review, and should be treated only as an opinion from a novice pilot with a big mouth (Cubby taught me well).
Gear Stress. Many RC pilots are hesitant to run and buy a 180 CFX; sadly that is due to the bad taste left in many pilot’s mouths from the Blade 130X (as evident from the love/hate reviews seen on the heli’s product page). Yes, the 130X seemed to have issues: I had many customers and fellow pilots fight with the tail and its small, press fit, plastic gears that represented the torque tube (shaft driven tail). I cannot help but still be impressed that a helicopter that size implemented that style of tail; no one else (as far as I know) had accomplished such a feat in a helicopter of equivalent size. In the technical video for the new 180 CFX, the heli team admitted that the tail was a sticking point on that helicopter, and with the 180 they not only fixed the issue, but also improved upon it by using larger gears with supporting shafts to keep those tail gears in place. I will be linking to the YouTube video at the end here, so you can see what I mean when they do the side by side comparison.
Not so linear now, eh? With all micro helicopters, nothing can be more frustrating than those exposed, linear servos getting dirty or beaten on during crashes. The Align 150 was the first to use a rotary servo in a micro helicopter, but it is nice to see that style servo in the 180 CFX. I will like to see my money not go down the drain replacing servo meKichanics, which I have a few friends who share the same sentiments.
King of the Castle. Yes, Castle is not new to partnering with Blade on aircraft electronics, but this Talon ESC is different. It is the first sub-250 sized helicopter ESC with Castle-Link abilities to play with the governor, among other setting to fine tune the 180 CFX to your tastes. It will be interesting to see in all the forums what kind of programming modifications pilots will make to maximize the 180′s performance.
I hope this makes my position clear, and I will try to validate my claims/hopes in the form of a review, but for now feel free to add your 2 cents through the comments and by email (kevin [at] bigsquidrc[dot]com)!
Ares RC reviews are coming along quite nicely, and we should see those coming shortly. Enjoy Halloween, and until next time Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!