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  1. #1
    IBrakeForNobody's Avatar
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    Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    Sorry this post is long, but I'm hoping it's easier for others to help me if I'm more specific and include more details.

    First off, I haven't posted here in a long time but I'm just now getting back into the R/C scene. I decided to move onto full-scale vehicles after a while with R/Cs, but after spending many a night in the garage under my vehicles, I think it's time to head back to the workbench. That and R/Cs are much more affordable than full-scale cars, and not so painful (physically and financially) when you crash.

    Anyway, I'll try not to make this another one of those "this or that" threads. I've done quite a bit of reading in my free time and spent numerous hours watching YouTube videos of various helis and whatnot. I think a little bit more of my background would also help facilitate others helping me, so I'll get on with that. I flew R/C airplanes for 4-5 years but stopped about two years ago. I was taught by an instructor for the entire time and never flew solo until he signed me off. I currently have a Hobbico Avistar (the plane I learned to fly on), a Hangar 9 Ultra Stick .60, and a Hangar 9 Twist 3D (which was the plane that won me the 2007 Fun Fly championship at the flying field I went to). Unfortunately, none of the airplanes are currently flight worth and they are all hanging in my garage. I also had a Blade CX when it first came out and flew that for a few packs, but I sold it before I moved since it wasn't too exiting for me.

    Almost all my R/C equipment that I currently own is out-of-date. I find it quite amazing about how far R/C technology has gone in just the past 2-3 years. When I stopped flying, 2.4gHz radios were super expensive (and I don't even recall any for R/C planes...only the first Spektrum ones for cars), li-po packs got all puffy after several dozen flights, and most guys flew glow fuel airplanes since 40-size electrics were underpowered and had short flight times. I just went back to the flying field for a visit a few weeks ago (I have since moved and now live several hours away), and now the tables have turned and the people flying glow-fuel airplanes are the minority.

    So that visit sort-of re-instigated the R/C bug in me, and I decided to bust out the simulator and actually try to fly an R/C heli. I have RealFlight G2 (tells you how long ago I got it and how old it is...most of the aircraft in it aren't even produced anymore). I've been practicing on-and-off on the simulator for about the last 6 months or so, but haven't really taken it seriously till a few weeks ago. I could hover tail-in and fly around, but nothing super spectacular or anything like that. Well, I pretty much went from only being able to hover tail-in to being able to hover nose-in upside-down all day long.

    I started with the program's training heli (Impala .30) and just recently (as in a few days ago) stepped it up to their 3D heli (Competition .60). Night and day difference. The Impala was easy to learn on, but it was slow for aerobatics and whatnot. Now, I'm not a 3D master by any means (heck, I can't even do a funnel or anything), but being able to snap the Comp. upside down and hover nose in was much easier than the Impala, which was a lot slower to get inverted and fly around in general. In fact, I crash less with the Comp. since it responds faster for when I do get myself in a bad situation. I only crash when I'm doing aerobatics a little higher up and can't tell the orientation of the heli on my monitor.

    As far as what I can do on the simulator, along with being able to hover nose-in upside-down with a 3D heli, I can also do that with the wind randomly gusting to 15MPH and stay within the same maybe 10'x10' area. I can also fly down the center line of the runway going forwards, backwards, and sideways, and fly around the field like an airplane. My aerobatics really suck, but I can flip the heli upside down and fly around the field going forwards and backwards and do "aileron rolls" without losing much altitude. I can't do funnels or loop like an airplane, but one of my favorite things to do is fly forward, snap the nose up so I start flying backward, then snap the nose down and spin the aircraft 180 degrees so I'm now flying upside down and "backing up". I also like to fly sideways, then flip her over to the right, hover upside down for a second, and flip her back over to the right again, effectively making an "M" shape.

    Now I figured it's time to get a real heli as opposed to a virtual heli, but speaking for the fact that I have never flown a real one outside of the Blade CX, I thought the Blade SR might be a good choice since it's dubbed as the "next step" heli. I can fly pretty good on the simulator (as mentioned before), so my only real concern is if I'm going to outgrow the Blade SR too quickly and flush my money down the drain. I suppose I could get the belt drive upgrade and a decent transmitter (like a DX6i), but I'm not sure if that's the best option so I'm looking for suggestions. I've watched several videos of the SR and it looks to be pretty aerobatic, so I'm hoping that if I do decide on it, it'll be something that I can fly for a long time.

    My lesser concern is making the transition from virtual to physical. I tried to make the simulator as lifelike as possible with the random wind gusts and *****g out the aircraft settings and whatnot, but it can only get so lifelike. I don't want to buy a Blade SR and realize that it's gonna be learning how to fly all over again, although that's not to say I wouldn't be willing to relearn; just it'd be a bit of a disappointment in my lack of ability. Also, because I'm 100% self-taught, I'm also slightly concerned that I could have learned some improper way to fly a heli that has been masked by the sim but will be unveiled with a real heli. That would suck.

    For my specific heli requirements, I'd like a nice little heli that I can fly in and around my house as well as take to a local park or something. I also want something that I can slowly upgrade and eventually do basic 3D aerobatics with. That pretty much rules out 400-size helis since I wouldn't be able to fly something with a 700mm rotor span in my living room, so that's what led me (among other factors) to the Blade SR. Brushless, supposedly easy to fly, and only $200 (I'm a college student with limited fun money). I was somewhat looking at a Trex 250, but it'd be at least a couple months (if not a year) before I can afford one of those (upwards of $700 for a decent setup). Two very different birds, I know, but I can't really find any good micro helis. I don't live too far from E-Hobby House (retail store for HeliHobby.com) and it's on my way to school (or at least, I can make it be ) so I'll probably buy from there.

    Anyway, if you've read this far, I thank you greatly for your time and for any comments you may have. Happy and safe flying!
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  2. #2

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    A couple of things that seem to send up flags from reading your post....

    Firast, flying simulator is great for exercising memory muscle and getting oneself oriented to the controls. However there is one important thing missing from the simulator that cannot be duplicated by flying the real thing in a real dynamic environment and that is the actual FEEL of the flying. Whether it be flying a real air vehicle ORan RCscale model, doing it in a virtual world as opposed to the real world just doesn't equate to the same thing. The skills learned in the virtual world are certainly transferrable and can definetely shorten the learning curve, but flying in a virtual world just isn't the same as flying in a real environment. So Iwouldn't feel absolutely certain that because Ididperform a manueverin the virtual world that Iwould absolutely be able to perform the same manuever in the real world and have identical results.

    Second, though it can be done Idon't think Iwould fly a 300 series heli like theSRindoors where Ilive unless Ihad a significant expansive and open space to do so.Nothiwistanding the safety factor of flying indoors, flying a heli indoors creates alot of wash from the air reflecting off walls and furniture.The pilot ends up reacting the majority of the time to flyingin "ground effect" and never really being able to raise the heli out of all the vectoring wash. So the majority of the time flying like this ends up being a constantly reactive exercise. Getting back to the safety factor....flyiung a 300 series chopper like the SRindoors doesn't leave much "escape" room should something go wrong. Iknow because Itried it once with an SRand ended up slicing myleft leg in three places because Ijust couldn't get out of the way. And Ibled for three days and should have gotten stitches to stop the bleeding.

    So for these reasons, Ithink you may be leading yourself down a road of over-confidence at the sacrifice of total safety and learning toPILOT optimally and correctly.With all that in mind Iwould use the sim and micro-helis such as the mCXto fly indoors and practice. Iwould skip the SRas it would be cheaper in the long run to move to a 400 series like a Blade 400 due to the much better stability a 400 heli has compared to the SR. And Iwould commit to flying heli's larger than a micro outdoors only so that you have a real, full size and optimum environment to learn in.

    Just my $0.02 worth....
    RCKindaGuy

    Blade mCX
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  3. #3

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    indoor flight is probably something you should just writeoff... its just not feasible with the rest of your interests. what flies indoors, wont fly outdoors (well).

    The SR is a bit of a middle road which IMO seems good at nothing, its too big to fly inside and will get pushed around outside. the general opinion I hear from all the seasoned pilots, bigger is better in every way, more stable to learn on, and more powerful to fly with. most reccomend a 450 class atleast.

    there are a number of viable knockoffs to consider if the trex is not in your budget, copterX seems to be highly regarded(their combo package with electronics is questionable however).

    anyway, I fly the simulators, but its just... eh. I have realflight 4.5. first off, I find the resolution to be unacceptable, its not my computer, thats for certain, but maybe it is me. anyway, I lose reference on the heli very easily on the computer. In any case, I dont think it properly reacts to wind and little slop that will exist in any helicopter. big picture, its good, but the real thing will handle differently, plus everything easier when the spacebar fixes your mistakes.

    definitely decide what you want. If you want something that will fly inside, thats fine, but be aware it will fall short of what you may end up wanting.

  4. #4

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    I've heard a lot of bad things about the Blade SR regarding stability and responsiveness. If you want a heli that will take you into some 3D flight I don't think it's what you're looking for.

    You probably want to just forget about flying indoors (except for like, a gymnasium), if you get anything small enough to fly in your living room or something it'll definitely be a huge hassle to fly outside in anything but absolute dead calm. You might want to consider a Trex 450 or Belt CP, they're generally well regarded. If you have an LHS you should see what they stock and what people in your area fly, having parts available and a bunch of people around with knowledge of your heli will be helpful, especially as you're starting out.

    I'm also 100% self taught via simulator, and think it worked out very well :P The biggest difference is definitely the fear factor. I was doing piro flips across the runway in RealFlight before I took off in my B400 for the first time, and just spooling it up to take off horrified me. Also, in RealFlight all your helis are set up perfectly, you'll notice this is not the case in real life. The only heli I have any experience with in real life is my B400, but I've noticed that it does not like to settle into an inverted hover, it wobbles around a lot which is really unsettling. When hovering normally, you'll find that gusts of wind tend to make the heli sort of balloon upward rather than push it around like in the sim.

    If you're confident and doing well in the sim then you should be OK to go with a real heli. Just pace yourself and don't get overconfident, post any questions you have here and someone will be more than happy to help

  5. #5
    IBrakeForNobody's Avatar
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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    RCKindaGuy - I wasn't intending on opening the box and trying to flip 'er upside down in a hover if that's what it seemed like I was implying. I realize that it might possibly be learning to fly all over again except the fact that I'm half-decent at reverse controls and whatnot.

    Sorry to hear about your injury. My living room is about 20x30 feet with an 18' ceiling and the only furniture is a sectional in the far corner so that's why I was considering flying the SR inside. I'm not trying to sound cocky of my ability to fly half-okay on the sim so my apologies if that's what it sounded like.

    As I mentioned before, I had a BCX when it first came out and pretty much got bored within a few days of owning it. I could literally trim it out, set the controller down, get something to drink, and come back and the heli would still be hovering there. IMO, it's like the Piper Cub of the R/C heli world. I was instructor-trained on planes so reverse controls and stuff I got down pretty good, so flying figure 8s with the BCX in every direction was a breeze (no heli pun intended). That said, I don't really have an interest in another coaxial, but I'm somewhat considering an mSR to have fun indoors with.

    Personally, I wouldn't consider flying an SR in my living room to be a total disregard of safety as you mentioned, since the only things that I could possibly damage are the heli itself and/or the drywall and/or me if the windows are open and a breeze blows in or something. That and I didn't win the 2007 Fun Fly championship by being the most outlaw and reckless pilot at the field.

    I am seriously considering putting off my purchase till I can afford a Blade 400 (and getting an mSR in the meantime), but the only real thing holding me back is that I'd have to go join a flying field or go to a soccer field or something to fly it. I'm busy enough as it is, so I'd prefer something that I can fly around the house. But if it's more likely that I'll enjoy the 400 more than the SR, I'd be willing to go somewhere to fly it, just I wouldn't be able to fly it as often as I'd like to.

    Not trying to argue with your anything. I value everyone's honest opinion and take it into consideration, but it almost sounds like you're expecting me to go buy an SR and fly it upside down into the nearest busy 4-way intersection.

    Bauerbach - I realized that the SR is a middle of the road heli as well, much in the realm of on/off road hybrid bicycles, unit-body compact "4WD" SUVs, and "desktop replacement" laptop computers. They are advertised as being able to do both, when in reality they really suck at both. In my opinion, borderline products such as those are a good idea if you don't really know what you want and just want to gain experience in the field with something so you'll be better able to know what you ultimately want.

    So I suppose the proper way to go for me would be to get an mSR to fly around the house and get a Blade 400 to really learn on and have fun with. I think that would be like buying a netbook to take notes and stuff in class with and having a totally awesome custom-built tower PC at home that's your "real" computer.

    TakeshiSkunk - My local LHS (as in, closer than EHobby House) sells mostly Eflite stuff, so that's why I'm looking more at the Blades than anything else. EHobby House is literally like walking into HeliHobby.com (since it is their retail store after all) . They pretty much sell anything and everything for RC helis.

    Nice to know that I'm not the only one that is 100% simulator taught. I'm sure that I'd be sweating buckets and nervous the first time I spool up a real heli as well. Partially because there's no space bar in the real world if I wreck something, and mostly because I don't know what to expect. Thanks for sharing your experience with the 400.
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  6. #6

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    Im not much of a worrier, Im pretty sure I could hover my trex 450 in my office(which is not huge, and has furniture) the bigger issue is that I couldnt do ANYTHING but hover. in your case, you could maybe do some laps, but nothing more, simply put, you would be bored I think. not like your gonna go inverted in the room you have to work with. I'd save up for something with a belt/shaft drive tail, I think that is where the real 3D fun comes in, not that direct drive doesnt get the job done, but its a different level. If the blade is easier to get parts for, by all means, bet the blade 400.

    good luck with whatever you decide on.

  7. #7
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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    Here I am very new to this. I bought a Blade msr and put it in a lake in three minutes today. I was to new and have never flown anyting. It seemed to respond fine but I took it out in a semi windy day. I thought 15 feet away from water would be safe, I was staying away from people and cars. Your responsible if you hurt someone with it.

    well a mild gust of wind came up and pushed it way into the middle of the man made lake across from my house. I panicked and throttled up put the nose down to far to fight the wind and splash it was gone.

    I went back and bought a Blade MCX2 much more beginner with no rotor. Yes it sucks outside but I took it back out when the wind was dead calm and it rocked. I had allot of fun with this one and still am. But for the most part no to outside, one gust (they are so light) and it's gonna get taken away from you.

    This is my experience just from today. I love to fly inside and here is a video for you to watch. If you have never flown before you might want to start with this if no one is helping you. It's nothing like a r.c. car but you'll get the hang of it. I just don't want to see you do what I did and buy a $159 fishing line sinker.

    Stay away from water, people, cars and wind I guess depending on what you buy. If you decide to get the Blade MCX2 here is a video of it flying around in my house. I skimmed through your article so I did not read it all. Not sure if you have flown before.

    watch this and decide for yourself. My hobby shop nailed me for $119 for this model, I've been flying it all day. Crashed landed about six times and so far it's o.k. but I am landing it now. Oh as for outside with this one, it does fine up, down. side left , side right, turn left , turn right but when there is a slight breeze it won't go forward for the life of me but it's my second first one. Good luck, they crash easy.!!

    http://qik.com/video/9631506
    Jato 3.3 with a few mods.// Stampede truck //
    Blade CX2 o.k. but no wind or breeze for these things.
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    This hobby is growing faster than I ever thought

  8. #8
    IBrakeForNobody's Avatar
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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    To give some closure to this, I received an SR as an early Christmas present. Let me just say that the next heli I'll get will most likely be a Blade 400. The SR is fun, but now I realize what people meant by "you can't do much inside with it except hover, unless you're in a gym". Haven't flow outside yet, but I'm guessing it won't fare too well either. But it's fun nonetheless, especially since up until now I've just been practicing on the sim.

    Speaking of which, the maiden flight went pretty well. I skipped the training gear and just charged the battery, did a quick preflight inspection, put the battery in the heli, and throttled up slowly. Some things the sim can't teach you...like rotorwash and the fact that the SR likes to kick the tail as soon as the rotor speed gets up there. After probably 10-20 hours of teaching myself on the sim and being able to do back flips and hover upside-down nose-in, I pretty much tail-in hovered all over a 2-car space in a 3-car garage for the first pack. Hovering a few inches above the ground is really difficult, but as soon as I got to eye-level or higher, it's much easier.

    Second pack went much easier. I managed to hover at the same altitude in about a 3'x3' square for a few minutes. I even did a quick pirouette. Then I made a fatal error. I took my eyes off the heli for one second to look at the clock (which was behind me) and momentarily let go of the controls. When I turned back to the heli, it sank to about 1' off the ground and was about to hit my workbench. I cut the throttle right as the blades smacked one of the legs of the workbench.

    As far as I could tell, I damaged both rotor blades, damaged a few teeth on the main gear, and bent the main shaft. After going to the LHS today, I realized that I also bent the spindle shaft.

    I spooled up the motor after replacing the main shaft (with nothing on it, by the way) and it appears to still be wobbling ever so slightly. Maybe 1mm of deviation from center while it's rotating. I didn't look at the main shaft when I first flew it, but is it supposed to do that? I can also see that the main gear tracks ever so slightly up and down the pinion gear on the motor as it spins.

    Also, while disassembling the rotor assembly, I noticed that there are only shims and an O-ring on one side of the center hub (that the blades are mounted to). Is this also supposed to be that way? Kinda odd for there to be an O-ring on one side but not the other.
    Answer truthfully or don\'t answer at all.

  9. #9

    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    I dont have an SR...but my 450 has a shim and 2 o-rings on BOTH sides of the feathering shaft.

    BTW...your main shaft should be ABSOLUTELY true.  If you have a wobble...and you are certain the new main shaft is true, then I'd look at bearings.  To test your main shaft...remove it and roll it on a perfectly flat surface, like a piece of glass or mirror.

    I wish I had seen this thread when you first posted.  My advice would have been to buy a mSR (starting to sound like I own stock in the company I know LOL) for indoor practice...and a 450 clone you could build for outside.  Thats what I have and if I only ever own these two helis...they will be all I ever need.
    SpeedDemon
    ATVAlliance.Com

  10. #10

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    I have an SR. Take your eye off it for a second and you are in trouble. My 120 SR was fun, but it was a toy compared to my recent purchase, a Walkera flybarless 4F200 which is easier to control than the SR, even with the full Big Lama fuselage I put on it. My SR in sitting on the top shelf of my closet collecting dust.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj6_eX5LaE8

    The 4F200 is ready to fly at well under $400. I am not at all an experienced person as the video shows; I almost hit the video guy with the heli, but in the right hands this bird is way cool. If you are stepping up from a fixed pitch I highly recommend this heli.


  11. #11
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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?


    ORIGINAL: IBrakeForNobody

    To give some closure to this, I received an SR as an early Christmas present. Let me just say that the next heli I'll get will most likely be a Blade 400. The SR is fun, but now I realize what people meant by "you can't do much inside with it except hover, unless you're in a gym". Haven't flow outside yet, but I'm guessing it won't fare too well either. But it's fun nonetheless, especially since up until now I've just been practicing on the sim.

    Speaking of which, the maiden flight went pretty well. I skipped the training gear and just charged the battery, did a quick preflight inspection, put the battery in the heli, and throttled up slowly. Some things the sim can't teach you...like rotorwash and the fact that the SR likes to kick the tail as soon as the rotor speed gets up there. After probably 10-20 hours of teaching myself on the sim and being able to do back flips and hover upside-down nose-in, I pretty much tail-in hovered all over a 2-car space in a 3-car garage for the first pack. Hovering a few inches above the ground is really difficult, but as soon as I got to eye-level or higher, it's much easier.

    Second pack went much easier. I managed to hover at the same altitude in about a 3'x3' square for a few minutes. I even did a quick pirouette. Then I made a fatal error. I took my eyes off the heli for one second to look at the clock (which was behind me) and momentarily let go of the controls. When I turned back to the heli, it sank to about 1' off the ground and was about to hit my workbench. I cut the throttle right as the blades smacked one of the legs of the workbench.

    As far as I could tell, I damaged both rotor blades, damaged a few teeth on the main gear, and bent the main shaft. After going to the LHS today, I realized that I also bent the spindle shaft.

    I spooled up the motor after replacing the main shaft (with nothing on it, by the way) and it appears to still be wobbling ever so slightly. Maybe 1mm of deviation from center while it's rotating. I didn't look at the main shaft when I first flew it, but is it supposed to do that? I can also see that the main gear tracks ever so slightly up and down the pinion gear on the motor as it spins.

    Also, while disassembling the rotor assembly, I noticed that there are only shims and an O-ring on one side of the center hub (that the blades are mounted to). Is this also supposed to be that way? Kinda odd for there to be an O-ring on one side but not the other.
    There should be two o rings in the centre hub.. check the exploded parts diagram in the back of your manual.. it showsthe o ring as Part number 11 and that there should be 2 of them..

    http://www.bladehelis.com/ProdInfo/F...0-Exploded.pdf

    An MSR is great indoors and for out doors I'd recommend a TREX Clone.. you can get one in the air for less than the cost of an SR...

    http://74.50.85.67/RC/Helis%20new%20(1).JPG

    And they fly great...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBOgMJRfopg
    ..... frakkin cylons...

  12. #12

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    RE: Blade SR a Good Choice for Me?

    I'm beginning to really like my SR finally. Maybe because I beat it up so bad; a pair of the thinner washers are missing on either end of the feathering shaft; I don't know if that has tamed it a bit or I'm getting better at controlling it. It has a slight pendulum effect; not really bad. It's response is generally slow even at the quicker TX setting. I would not recommend it for a beginner but I like it as an intermediate user. So I'm changing my mind on the SR and would probably buy one again.


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