RCU Review: E-Flite Blade SR


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    Contributed by: Josh Moen | Published: July 2010 | Views: 36279 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the E-Flite Blade SR
    Josh Moen
    (Himhoe)

    Email Me





    E-Flite
    Distributed through
    Horizon Hobby

    www.horizonhobby.com



    • Good Price
    • Nicely packaged
    • Simple to fly


    • Not programmable


    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:


    What do these ratings mean?

    E-flite has been a staple in the electric market for sometime. When the Blade line of helicopters were introduced several modelers jumped at them. They made the small electric helicopter market affordable and easy to get into. Then they came out with the "Bind and Fly" models in which you used your own Spektrum based radio. Now they took it a step further with the "Ready to Fly" models which include the transmitter. This is perfect for the novice helicopter pilot! No need to purchase an expensive radio to learn how to fly, just open the box charge and go!



    Name: Blade SR
    Price: $199.99
    Main
    Rotor Diameter: 21.80 in (552mm)
    Tail Rotor Diameter: 3.20 in (82mm)
    Weight: 12 oz (340 g) with battery
    Length: 19.10 in (485mm)
    Motor Size: Brushless 3900Kv (installed)
    Radio: HP6DSM 2.4GHz DSM 6-channel (included)

    Items Needed To Complete

    • Nothing! Just some time...


    The first thing I noticed was how nice the outside of the box was. I was full color with lots of graphics on it. Upon opening the box I found the instruction manual on the top. Next I lifted the foam cover up to unveil a nice and neatly packaged helicopter. Everything was seated securely in place with nicely formed foam. Next I started by unpacking the individual pieces and parts. I found a 3s 1000mAh Li-Po and a charger that works DC and has also has a AC plug it also has a balancing port on the side of it. One thing that E-Flite did that was quite nice was put a guide to the indicator lights on the front of the charger. Next I pulled out the transmitter which used theSpecktrum brand technology. I found some "AA" batteries for the transmitter and a package with some small accessories like a bind plug, some zip ties, hook and loop material for the battery and a small screw driver.




    The machine is good looking just sitting there. I pulled the canopy off and looked it over, it was a very lightweight and flexible plastic. Next I surveyed the electronics layout and noticed the micro digital servos, heading hold gyro and Specktrum 6110e receiver. Next I turned the Blade on it's side and noticed another little electronic piece or gear, the speed control that also controls the tail rotor motor speed.




    I took a closer look at inside the frames and found a 3900kV outrunner for the main rotor power. Next I took a closer look at the rotor head to find a fairly typical and proven rotor head design. I has an overslung flybar with plastic "hoop" style flybar control rods. I also noticed the solid plastic links going to the bell mixer on the blade grip and two tiny little adjustable links connecting the mixing arms to the blade grip for blade tracking adjustment. Next I moved down the tail boom to the tail rotor motor and propeller. It had a nice blue anodized heat sink on it and a small diameter propeller that accelerates and decelerates to control the yaw axis.


    Manual

    The instruction manual was very clearly written with large, ledgeable font. It had LOTS of pictures and explained the different controls on the transmitter and how they affected the helicopters movement. It also had several adjustment and troubleshooting tips incase you have a problem.










    First I started with the transmitter. I installed 4 AA batteries in the battery brick placed it back in the transmitter and powered it up. Everything powered on correctly and seemed fine so I powered it down and set it aside until the flight pack was ready to go. Next I examined the heli with a bit more detail and checked all the links, balls, servos, wires, etc. for any chaffing or other damage. All was well with the exception of the main and tail blades, they were a little bit looser that I like, but that was personal preference and would not affect the flight characteristics. After a little tightening I was ready to go, and just in time as the supplied battery charger was solid green indicating that the battery was fully charged. I installed it in the helicopter and put the canopy back on. I was so excited to go fly it that I totally spaced the time of day. I went outside and it was pitch black, it was around 8 or 9 at night. So, disappointed I went back in the house, it and I had to wait for tomorrow.


    RADIO SETUP

    I started by pulling out the transmitter out of the box and installed the four included "AA" batteries and powered it on. There is not much adjustment here. On the front of the radio there is a small door to access some dip switches for reversing channels and other functions but outside of that there is no ATV adjustment, pitch and throttle curve adjustment. I read and re-read the manual a few times and couldn't find anything printed that explained how to make the head speed higher or increase the cyclic and pitch rates. I looked at doing it mechanically and couldn't find a good fix there either. I will say this however, it is definitely setup for the pilot looking to step up to a collective pitch from a fixed pitch helicopter.






    I waited for another one of those nice sunny Colorado days to get out to the field. That day finally came and I raced out to the field to get some flights on this helicopter. I put the battery in place, powered everything up, put the canopy one and walked out to the flight line. I set it down and advanced the throttle stick and it snapped to life. The first thing I noticed was the gear noise that the Blade puts out. I was not prepared for that. I clicked into stunt mode 1 and flew a couple of circuits around the field and all was well. I was rather anxious to loop and roll this helicopter, but I figured without starting a timer that I should land and recharge.

    After I re-charged I took off and flew some more circuits just to feel it out a little bit more. Then I gained some altitude and did a half of a loop and tried to hold it at the top to see how much negative pitch it had. To some disappointment, there was not enough to sustain inverted flight, so I continued the loop and flew around a little more. I then did a roll and it was a bit ugly as I am not used to giving full negative pitch to do such a manuver. I came around and tried it again with a bit more success. I did a couple more loops and rolls and decided to come in and re-charge once again.

    I do feel that the model needed more negative pitch and I could not obtain it with the included model. This helicopter is geared more towards the beginning helicopter pilot and not designed for the advanced 3D enthusiast. If you bound the model to a different radio a person could get more travel out of the system and hence get some more action from the model.

    Check out the video to see the Blade SR in action!

    E-flite Blade SR

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here



    I think that E-Flite is targeting the modeler that is ready to move up to a collective pitch helicopter or is looking to get started flying model helicopters. I thought that if flew well and was fun to fly around, but the serious modeler might be a little disappointed in the provided transmitter. It had limited adjustability and no way of telling you had made an adjustment. It was a perfect size for flying outdoors in a 5ish MPH breeze. The Blade SR had more presence over other models I've flown in the same size category. Overall I think it was a good choice for the novice modeler! Good price, nice size, and flew well.

    Fly because you love it~

    Josh M.




    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    www.horizonhobby.com

    The product(s) contained in this review were given at no cost to the
    reviewer for the purpose of this RCUniverse review.


    Comments on RCU Review: E-Flite Blade SR

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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