For Bashers, By Bashers!

Raging Rotors: Lights, Camera, Quad Action! (350QX Style)

Blade 350QX with UpgradeRC Kabuki SkinAs always, I’m excited to bring you another installment of Raging Rotors. Today is definitely a ‘story-time’ kind of day, but I think the best way to talk about something is experience.

I mentioned last week that I had a little ‘incident’ regarding my Blade 350QX. So maybe I got impatient, but boy is that quad ridiculous! Granted, the bigger they are the smoother and generally easier they fly, but this quad is just on a completely different level. Primarily it is Blade’s new SAFE technology makes this quad super stable even with its light weight (about 24oz).

Now I understand that with the hefty price tag ($470 Ready-to-Fly) that it would fall under the category of expert aircraft like others of it’s price range (i.e. Blade 500x at $500), but alas that is nothing but a tall tale. The 350QX offers 3 flight modes: Smart Mode, Stability Mode, and Agility Mode.

  • Smart Mode is the first of its kind. It’s built for maximum stability for taking great pictures and video, as well as a great platform for training. In Smart Mode, orientation doesn’t matter. Based off of take off position, the  350QX in Smart Mode will not only keep from getting too close to the pilot, it will respond to direction controls based off of position of pilot, not quadcopter orientation.
  • Stability Mode is similar to the setups of most quadcopters. The gyroscope is setup for maximum maneuverability while not allowing for accidental inversion. Still ultra stable, it handles the wind great, as I freaked out a local fitness center’s patrons by doing low passes by their front windows.
  • Agility Mode takes stability away and turns the 350QX into an aerobatic stunt monster. Similar to the expert modes of the LaTrax Alias and Traxxas QR-1, the stabilization is at minimal levels to allow for manual flipping and insane maneuvers! I’m not quite at that level, but the time I’ve spent in that mode have been quite exhilarating.

Now no matter what the mode, thanks to the GPS in the 350QX you have your very own Panic Switch! Featuring a very effective Return-to-Home feature, the 350QX will make the necessary course adjustments to land within a foot or two of where it took off. Only want to get the quad closer to you to get your bearings? Simply switch off the return feature and take over the controls! My advice: Make sure the GPS locks before takeoff! If not, the return feature will only self land the quad over its current position (I learned this the hard way). I know I should post some neat pictures and videos of the 350QX in action, but the current weather in the Midwest makes that fairly impossible. Once the weather is a tad warmer above freezing, I will make a special post. For now, I give you some nice action shots from all over the web.


With that, I will wrap things up for today. During the rest of this week I will be staring at my computer looking at all the new stuff coming out of Nuremburg, and I cannot wait to discuss my impressions of it this weekend. Next week I will talk about what one can do along the lines of FPV (First Person View), and what options there are for you and your aircraft.

Since this is my area of expertise, I have to remind you that -Nudge Nudge- the 2014 Quadcopter Championship is March 1st. Details are over here.

As always, feel free to ask me anything through kevin at bigsquidrc dot com and until next time Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

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Posted by in Columns, rc helicopter on Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 2:31 pm