through Horizon Hobby
4105 Fieldstone Rd.
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: (217) 352-1913 www.horizonhobby.com
electric powered helicopters are showing up all over the
place these days. I was surprised to find a booth at our
local mall devoted to nothing but radio controlled
helicopters. Though it was clear that the person
selling them was a salesman and not a hobbyist, and the
models themselves made me somewhat skeptical as to their
quality, I was still surprised to find them being
featured in the center of a large shopping mall.
for us hobbyists, Horizon has come out with a model that
is priced just a few dollars more than those mentioned
above but comes with a 2.4ghz radio and is backed by
Horizon Hobby's world class support: the Blade Scout CX.
The "CX" means
that the Blade Scout features a co-axial rotor
head design which eliminates the need for a separate
tail rotor. Co-axial helicopters are both less
mechanically complicated and generally easier to
fly compared with their tail rotor equipped counterparts
as the torque created by each main rotor cancels each
With the days
growing shorter and colder (cold being a relative term
in Florida) a group of us have been trying to obtain the
use of the indoor soccer side of the local ice rink a
few nights each month to do some indoor flying during
the week. I looked around the garage and while I
have a few worthy airplanes like my micro 4-Site and
Night Vapor, I didn't have any helicopters that lent
themselves to indoor flying.
the opportunity to review the new Blade Scout CX I
with the hopes that I would be able to have a little
rotary style fun in our new indoor flying digs.
Rotorspan: 6.5in (165mm) Rotor Type: Coaxial Weight: .6oz (17g) Length: 6.3 in (160mm) Radio Used: Included 2.4gz Transmitter Servos Used: Built in Battery Used:3.7v 1S 70Mah (Included) Channels Used:3 (Throttle, Elevator, Rudder)
A spare battery or two is helpful
manual for the Scout CX (English only version) covers just
about everything you need to know in 11 printed pages.
I say "just about everything" because there's
an addendum that's included that documents the dual rate
feature not found in the original manual. The
manual is typical of Horizon Hobby products that are targeted
for the beginners market and makes no assumptions about a
new pilots knowlege. Detailed instructions, clear diagrams,
a parts break down, safe battery handling, flying tips, and
product support information are all included.
over the contents of the box, we see that we have the helicopter
itself, a 3 channel transmitter, a 70mah single cell LiPo
battery, a small phillips screw driver, and the paper work.
I set aside the model for the moment and went through the
manual and other goodies that were packaged with it.
It was then I noticed a coupon for a free crash kit.
Hmmm...they are expecting me to crash?? On the other
hand, free crash parts would have come in handy for several
of my previous endeavors so maybe Horizon was on to something
As it turns out,
the coupon is a limited time offer that's good while
supplies last so if you're lucky enough to get one of
these from Santa (this review is being written in late November
2011) be sure to log in to the web site, enter your code,
and take advantage of this great offer from Horizon.
They are non-specific about what all is included with the
free crash kit but I would have to think at a minimum it's
blades, and skids, and maybe a tail boom. Horizon
also covers the shipping. This offer makes the already
reasonably priced Scout an even better value.
not going to take me very long to discuss setting up the
Blade Scout. Everything you need is included in the
box including a set of AA batteries that power the supplied
2.4Ghz 3 channel transmitter.
A clever feature
of the Scout is the fact that no external charger is needed
for the flight battery. Simply insert it into the
slot on the front of the transmitter and the light will
turn red. As the charge nears completion the light
flashes and when the red light goes out the battery is ready
to fly. Charging takes about 15 minutes or so and
flight times of 5 minutes or so before power starts dropping
off have been the average.
the helicopter we find a control and mixing board, two small
electric motors geared to their respective main rotors,
and a linear actuator that handles elevator servo duties.
The mixing board serves as both the speed controller for
the motors as well as a tail gyro. Amazingly enough,
the Scout mixing board sports what they call a "computerized
piezo gyro" which unlike many helicopters in this price
range, does an excellent job of managing the tail.
layout on the transmitter will feel a little bit different
for someone with any R/C helicopter flying experience but
it seems intuitive for people that have never flown before.
The right stick controls the elevator axis and the yaw or
rudder axis, the left stick controls the throttle.
Since the Scout is fixed pitch, throttle controls the altitude
of the helicopter. There is no aileron control like
you would find in a 4 channel configuration. I don't
see this as a drawback as the target market for this is
for R/C beginners, or those of us that want to play around
inside for a minimal investment. I've heard
the Scout called a "gateway drug to a full R/C helicopter
addiction" and that's probably a pretty good description.
Once the battery
is charged, to fly the Scout simply turn on the transmitter,
insert the battery and set the little helicopter down till
the light comes on under the canopy or you hear the linear
servo zip back and forth.. There's a red dot on
the battery, you have to make that match up to the red dot
on the receptacle, to get the polarity of the battery correct.
It won't fit if its wrong but it wouldn't take much
to break the Scout if you inadvertently try to force it.
is very stable in a hover and the transmitter includes trim
buttons so you can tweak the elevator and rudder for a very
solid hover. At only 17 grams (a hair over half an
ounce) the Scout is not only intolerant of any wind but
even indoors I had to turn the ceiling fan off. I
tried it a few times outdoors but with even enough wind
to barely stir a streamer the Scout doesn't have enough
control authority to get back against even the mildest breeze.
Inside however the little Scout CX is a blast.
the subject of control authority, those that took a moment
to read the addendum to the manual will have noticed the
Scout transmitter includes dual rates. Before inserting
the battery and linking the helicopter, simply turn on the
transmitter and press down the right stick until it beeps
twice. The red RF light will start flashing and the
transmitter will be in high rate. You have enable
this feature each time you want to fly in high rate as once
you cycle the power on the transmitter it reverts to the
standard control rates.
high rate gave the Scout noticeably more nimble controls.
A fixed pitch helicopter by its nature is not made for aerobatics
and a heavy hand in high rate will just make the rotor loose
RPM and then the Scout will want to fall out of the air.
When the light inside the canopy starts to flash the battery
is on its last leg and it's time to land.
Spare batteries are only about 5 dollars so it's my
opinion that it would be well worth having a few extras
you consider its target audience, the Blade Scout CX is
a great little helicopter. It provides "toy
grade" pricing with "hobby grade" product
and parts support from Horizon Hobby. It includes
everything you need to get started including the flight
and transmitter batteries and you can be in the air in
the 10 minutes that it takes you to read the instructions
and charge the flight battery.
2.4Ghz transmitter and free crash kit make the Blade Scout
a much better value than the lower priced infra red style
helicopters sold at large discount stores.
Distributed through Horizon Hobby
4105 Fieldstone Rd.
Champaign, IL 61822
Phone: (217) 352-1913 http://www.hangar-9.com/
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.