One or two members have expressed interest in my new purchase, a Blade 230S Helicopter. Its an interesting new model, so just a short review to help anyone considering a purchase of one. I have only had the model for a couple of weeks and flown it maybe a dozen times. Its main feature is the Spektrum control system. It is only small compared to my latest Helis ( Goblin 570 and Trex 550).
My idea was to use the 230S for some indoor flying this winter. The first flight outdoors in bright but slightly windy conditions proved it to be more than able to cope with outdoors.
First impressions, so stable and very easy to fly, a little like one of my first co axial helicopters. The stabilisation system does this of course. Unlike the co ax models it has full cyclic control so is capable of lots more. The way it is set up (full instructions and settings for all the various Spektrum Transmitters are in the enclosed booklet)
I bought the Bind & fly version so had to programme my own TX. Took me less than an hour to put all the settings in and double check I had done it right The RTF version includes a TX already programmed.
|Mode 1||is full stabilisation were roll and pitch are limited so you can't over control. Ideal for learning. Just let go of the sticks and the model flies straight and level|
|Mode 2||removes most of the control limits so that mild aerobatics can be attempted. In this mode, let go of the sticks and the opposite stick movement is required to bring the Heli straight and level.|
|Mode 3||is full control for 3d flying. All these modes are accessible whilst flying by the flick of a switch, also possible to increase rates for even more hairy flying.|
|Panic Recovery||The best whilst last, but got to admit I still have to pluck up courage to invert the model and push the panic button. Pushing the panic button takes over control and returns the model to level flight but I reckon with reservations. Before you let go of the button, pitch control will have to be somewhere near normal flying position or its going to push a hole in the ground. Hope to have tried it before I finish this review|
Blade 230S Vs Goblin 570
Blade 230S - Main Rotor
Blade 230S - Tail
I bought the Parkzone Visionair in May last year after a review in the RCM&E. Its main feature is the SPEKTRUM AS3X
stabilisation system. My first impressions were good but nothing outstanding, then with some
advice from Chris Wilson realised I hadn't fully programmed the AS3X ( motto, read the instructions). Not very complicated to do, as I had to just flick the gear switch and that was it, DONE.
The AS3X comes already programmed with this model.
AS3X transformed the model and 3D manoeuvres relatively easy to do as with stabilisation on 3 axis stabilization made the model very predictable. But it's still not as easy as you may think, as when stabilisation runs out it still falls out of the sky.
The model will fly very slowly and copes well with gusty wind conditions when it's difficult to fly even bigger models. It always feels as though you are flying a much larger model except when you turn the prop off and try to glide. It's very light and goes nowhere without power on. Needs power on to achieve a smooth landing like most very light models.
Being manufactured by ParkZone its very well made and although expensive at around £190 it comes all complete with battery/Charger and all gear, all that you need is your TX. (Spektrum or JR)
The model comes in the usual big box that you couldn't sneak in without the boss seeing it. Extremely well packed and goes together easily. Basically just slotting the flying surfaces together and securing to the fuselage. The wing has a carbon tube for strength and stiffness as most of the wing is hollow, very clever design and manufacture. Good clear instructions with all the settings required. Shame I didn't read them before flying.
The model design has been thought out very well, as any bits that are likely to get knocked off are strengthened and stiffened. Its main construction is of course foam. Never thought I would be flying foam made models. Its Z foam and very serviceable as it can be repaired with Cyno using a kicker if necessary. The battery hatch is particularly nice and is accessed by a push button on the top. The LIPO used is the popular 3cell 2200 that most of use, but recommender to be at least 30c as it does turn a reasonable size prop with an out runner motor. Plenty of power as it will prop hang and then go vertical. Flight times vary depending on the type of flying. I limit time to around 5 or 6 minutes but sure it will fly longer with careful use of throttle. Don't like to run Lipos down to more than 2/3 of their capacity. It has around six flying modes that can be accessed through various TX switches:
No AS3X working, which seems pointless
Reduced throws reduced Stabilisation
Reduced throws full Stabilisation
Full throws reduced Stabilisation
Full throws full Stabilisation
Extreme control throws - full stabilisation
Recommended is full throws and full stabilisation. To get the best out of the model I use this setting all the time. Exponential is used on all surfaces as recommended and that makes it the model it is. Wouldn't say it's a beginners model but once you are able to fly a Trainer type shouldn't present any problems on reduced rates. Only thing I have managed to damage so far is, losing a tail wheel. Whole assemble replaced with new, for around £4. Main U/C works very well, nice big wheels and very springy legs. On ground handling is exceptional. Favourite manoeuvres are prop hanging that does still require quite a few stick inputs. Knife edge is easy as it just holds position making knife edge circles and loops relatively easy. Harrier fly bys and similar. Just a nice model to fly that will really improve your 3D and aerobatic skills as the stabilisation doesn't do everything but does give extra confidence to attempt manoeuvres not normally considered.
Go on treat yourself
No I am not on commission.