When I was a kid, probably 8 to 10 years old, I lived in a city called Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Not far from my home, there was an armory - At least once a day, sometimes more, I heard the familiar "Whop, Whop, Whop" of my favorite helicopter - the Huey. It seems as though this whirly bird has the most distinct sounding flight of any heli I've ever heard - this is due to the tips of the rotor blades breaking the sound barrier!
The Huey has been around for a very long time - Its first flight was late in 1956, with a 700 HP turboshaft engine. Some later variants of the UH-1 flew with engines producing up to 1400 HP!
Blade has introduced a new version of their existing SR helicopter - it incorporates the high-mounted tail rotor and full fuselage of the UH-1 Huey Gunship. Just like the SR, this variant comes out of the box ready to fly, with nothing else needing to be purchased.
Main Rotor Diameter: 21.7 in (552 mm) Tail Rotor Diameter: 3.23 in (82 mm) Length: 19.1 in (485 mm) Weight: 14 oz (397 g) Height: 7 in (178 mm) Radio Used: Included 2.4 Ghz Blade DSM2 radio Battery Used: Included 11.1 V 3S 1000 mAh LiPo Flying Time: 9-10 Minutes
Items Needed To Complete:
Nothing- Everything is Included!
Like other helicopters in the Blade series, the SR Huey comes in a sturdy box that doubles as a carrying case. There is a molded, two-piece foam insert that protects the heli from damage, and mine arrived in perfect shape! Everything required to get the Huey in the air is included - even the transmitter batteries!
Some of the features that I really liked were the fuselage with removable front section and the gun and rocket pods. Also of note were the Blade transmitter, the included 3S 1000 mAH LiPo battery, and the AC/DC Celectra charger.
Flight preparation consisted of installing the four included AA batteries in the transmitter, charging the LiPo battery, and installing the two gun pods on the fuselage.
I removed some foam from the packing material to allow the gun/rocket pods to remain attached to the fuselage while transporting the heli in the box.
The battery was then secured to its mount, and the front section of the fuse was installed - I liked that Blade attached this section using magnets, as it is easy to remove and install!
With the transmitter turned on and the flight battery plugged in, it was time to fly!
The manual is just what I expect from a company such as Blade - first rate! The illustrations are clear and the written instructions are easy to read and understand. Blade has even included a DVD that has information for setting up the Huey on your own DSM2/DSMX transmitter and a few repair videos - if they're needed.
I've been flying fixed-pitch helicopters for a few years now, but I'm still fairly new to the world of collective pitch. With that said, I do have the original Blade SR, and I've been flying it for a couple of months. I can hover and move the heli around enough to know how it's supposed to fly and react.
As I brought the power up on the Huey, I noticed that the tail motor makes that same familiar buzzing noise as the original SR. When the rotor was up to speed, I lifted off and noticed that the tail was wagging a lot. I landed and adjusted the gain down about 1/8 of a turn and disconnected the battery to power down - this has to be done when adjusting the gain, to allow the gyro to reset itself. I then reconnected the battery and started again.
With the gain readjusted, the Huey was wagging much less, so it was time to fly! As I said, hovering and slow flight is what I do. I had no problems with flying this heli. With the dual rate switch set to high, I found it to be responsive, yet docile enough to keep it under control. The included radio is comfortable to hold, and works well.
For the video, I had Jim Zabel at the sticks. Jim is a friend of mine from Alexandria, MN, and a much better helicopter pilot than I am. Before piloting the Huey, I watched him flying his Blade mCP X - I was really amazed by the flips and rolls he was able to do.
Jim said that the SR Huey felt a little sluggish to respond to control inputs, and thought that it may have been due to the lower rotor head speed. He also stated that it felt better in the stunt mode due to the slightly higher rotor speed. I can understand his feelings after watching him fly the mCP X, but the SR platform is DESIGNED to be softer around the center of the sticks, and have a slower rotor head speed, to minimalize damage for newer pilots.
Check out the video to see the Blade mQX in action!
Blade SR UH-1 Huey Gunship RTF
All-in-all, I'd say that the SR UH-1 Huey Gunship is a great looking heli that flies well. The scale fuselage with gun pods looks really cool in the air, and this gunship would be a good choice for anyone very comfortable flying a fixed-pitch, single rotor heli. I like that Blade took the existing SR heli in a new direction and added a full fuselage - and it just happens to be a scale version my favorite chopper!
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.