RCU Review: Blade Helicopters Scout CX


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    Contributed by: Andrew Griffith | Published: January 2012 | Views: 29161 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Blade CX Scout
    Andrew Griffith
    (BarracudaHockey)

    Email Me

     



    Blade Helicopters
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby
    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    www.horizonhobby.com


    Small, 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.

    Fortunately 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 other out.

    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. 

    When offered the opportunity to review the new Blade Scout CX I accepted with the hopes that I would be able to have a little rotary style fun in our new indoor flying digs.


    • Easy to fly
    • Everything included
    • Comes with 2.4ghz radio
    • Includes dual rates
    • Coupon for FREE crash kit included!


    • Canopy is fragile


    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Build:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    Name:Blade Scout CX

    Price: $49.99

    Stock Number: BLH2700

    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) 

        

    Items Needed To Complete

    • None!
    • A spare battery or two is helpful though


    Manual


    The 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.

    Down load the Scout CX Manual









     

    SETUP

    Looking 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 after all!

    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.

    It's 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.

    Inspecting 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.

    The control 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.

    Flying

    The Scout 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.






    On 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.

    The 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 on hand.






    Or, Download the Video (24meg)
    CLICK HERE












    When 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.

    The 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.





    Blade  Helicoters
    Distributed through Horizon Hobby

    4105 Fieldstone Rd.
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (217) 352-1913
    http://www.hangar-9.com/




    Comments on RCU Review: Blade Helicopters Scout CX

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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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