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I'm Back! - Blade NANO QX Review


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nick_onelove
Extreme 3D
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Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 842
Location: Mendocino County, CA, United States 21 years old

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:58 am
PostPost subject: I'm Back! - Blade NANO QX Review
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If you were regularly frequenting this forum a year or two ago, you may remember me. I quickly faded from the hobby when my girlfriend and I got an apartment together, then later a house. Now I'm gonna be brutally honest with you guys, simply because there's no reason not to be: Over the last couple months I fell deep into the depths of opioid addiction. When my life finally became entirely unmanageable, I checked myself into a low-cost 28-day rehabilitation program.

So here I currently reside, at Hilltop Recovery center, overlooking beautiful Northern California mountains and valleys. In the process of reconstructing my life, I've come to realize how absolutely vital my hobbies were, and are, to my mental health. RC, fingerboarding, jet-skiing, reading: child's-play I was formerly embarrassed of enjoying I now understand to be how my "adult" mind relaxes and recuperates from the daily stresses of life. So with all that said, I'll get to the review!

I decided to start back out with Blade for the obvious reasons; convenience, excellent customer service, cheaply- and widely-available spare parts, etc etc. I still wasn't sure where to start within the Blade line, also unsure of how far my skills had degraded over time. When I fired my DX8 back up for the first time, it still had over 50% battery, so I decided I couldn't be that rusty after all. I finally bought a NANO QX, remembering how much I enjoyed the mQX, and intrigued by the new SAFE technology.

I don't think I possibly could have made a better choice; this thing is a BLAST, indoors or out. SAFE-mode (sensor-assisted flight envelope) essentially acts like a virtual 45-degree flybar, bringing quad back to level flight as soon as you let go of the cyclic stick. This is not to be confused with an auto-pilot system, but it is definitely more sophisticated than say the 120SR's flybar which swings the heli in the opposite direction when it corrects and is prone to TBE. This quad suffers from none of these issues. In SAFE-mode, I can confidently say that anyone with some minor co-axial experience could fly this without too much difficulty. The great thing is it's still super FAST in safety-mode, just a lot more stable.

In stunt-mode, this system is disengaged and the quad will hold whatever attitude/orientation you last left it at. In this mode it's faster than a bat outta hella and twice as jumpy. It can tilt almost completely sideways and plow through the air like four-engine plane. At my current skill level, low-rates are almost required in this mode. With high-rates, one mild over-correction can end with the quad upside-down, sucking itself to the ground before my pathetic human brain can even process what's happening. However this tells me that once my skill-level is back up to what it used to be, this thing is gonna be an aerobatic wunderkind.

While the older and larger mQX could be forced to flip, this little guy WANTS to flip, in stunt-mode that is. In fact in the right hands, I can see this little quad being just as capable aerobatically as the mCP X, minus inverted hovering and inverted climb-outs of course.

Weighing in at only 18 grams, durability has been top-knotch so far. If you do somehow get into trouble despite SAFE-mode, you can just kill the throttle and let her drop; there simply isn enough weight for it to crush itself. However, I mentioned this thing is FAST and a couple days ago I accidentally flew it head-on directly into a tree at high speeds. The result was one half-sheared rotor guard. Since half still holds it in place, it's still entirely functional and doesn't affect flight at all, but it may be a weak point in the event of another high speed collision. To repair this the entire airframe would need to be replaced, which actually wouldn't be very difficult or time-consuming. There's only 5 components for god's sake: the four motors, connected to the 5-in-1 board (6-in-1?).

In summary, this little guy is a technological wonder. It handles lift, yaw, and tilt all at the same time simply by varying the mixing speeds of its four tiny counter-rotating motors. The mixing programming is done so well that flight is perfectly smooth, predictable, and completely natural. And SAFE allows you to spend more time controlling the heli, rather than just reacting to it. Which also makes it great for orientation practice, in stunt-mode I keep the tail-in at all times, but in SAFE-mode I'm totally comfortable doing circuits and even nose-in stuff.

It's easy to maintain orientation even at a distance thanks to the distinctive black-and-yellow canopy/rotor scheme. It's easy to see why the designers chose these colors; the four little motors screaming in unison sounds exactly like a pack of four bees flying around in harmony!



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tombo242
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Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 4718
Location: Santo Estêvão, East Algarve, Portugal. Now 82, but still feels 22.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:34 pm
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Welcome back Nick,

Nice to see yet another quad around (they are becoming popular with some members) and you have made a good choice there. Agreed they are amazing to fly, but check out what can be done when you fit one with 4D full variable pitch props:

http://warthox.bplaced.net/?page_id=76

Tom.
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ferretmaster
Extreme 3D
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Joined: 19 Sep 2010
Posts: 232
Location: Casa Grande AZ, USA. 66 and yes! Heli's reverse aging!!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:45 pm
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Great to see you back on the forum Nick!

We regulars missed you.

With all the $$$ I have tied up in scale heli's, now you tell me in need a Quad!?!?!? Exclamation Will this madness never end?
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admiral
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Joined: 20 Mar 2009
Posts: 1101
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:50 am
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Welcome back Nick,

Great to see you've got things back together and back in the air.
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laneritc
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Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 100
Location: georgia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:26 am
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Hey Nick, wondered what happened to you, glad your back. Your right the new SAFE system from Horizon is awesome. Been flying planes more than heli's lately but still check in to see whats going on. Good to here from you. Lane Very Happy
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nick_onelove
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Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 842
Location: Mendocino County, CA, United States 21 years old

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:58 am
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Thanks for the welcome back guys, it's much appreciated. If everything is going well next year I'll be registering for real flight training at Sonoma Helicopter and could have my commercial license within 12 months of that.

I'm back home now and the Nano QX has been thoroughly put through it's paces since then. The one rotor-guard has snapped off completely and another two probably aren't far behind. The plastic is just too thin to handle smackdowns from fail flip attempts. Fortunately, the missing rotor-guard in no way effects flight; my thought is to fly it until it's really in tatters then finally replace the airframe. It'll be an extremely easy process: not even a screw is involved.

Speaking of flip attempts, it only loses 3-4 feet of altitude with proper throttle management. It's really fun to mess around with, you can even cheat if you're fast by throwing it into SAFE-mode after a risky maneuver to make it catch itself haha.
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nick_onelove
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Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 842
Location: Mendocino County, CA, United States 21 years old

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:09 am
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Also, it's easy to see why quads are gaining popularity both with hobbyists and the military. They're as stable or even more so than a co-ax, yet just as mobile as a CP at the same time (with, I want to say, less moving parts.)
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pjdog
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 2073
Location: Hudson, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:38 pm
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Good to see you back Nick.

Quads a fun. Very easy to fly also.

jack
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