Sunday, December 12, 2010
Blade SR120 Review / Onboard Camera Mod
When the Eflite Blade SR120 BNF was first announced, I thought to myself.... this is a stupid size heli. It's too big to fly indoors, and too small for outside. Boy was I wrong, this heli is the perfect size for everyday flying inside and out. I would have never bought this heli, if I hadn't had the chance to fly one myself. A coworker showed up one day with one, and after a quick test hover, I knew I had to get one... or two :)
Of course it's small, and can't really handle as much wind as the bigger helis, and you'd have to have pretty decent control to fly indoors in a small space. But it is basically a scaled up version of the Blade MSR, and I find that where ever I can fly the MSR, I can pretty much do with the 120. This is because it is much more stable than its tiny counterpart, and the tail motor has great authority. I wished that I had this heli as my first or second heli.... it is a pleasure to fly right out of the box. In the video, I've upgraded to microheli swash for longer throws, otherwise it's stock with my trusty old Dx7 transmitter. Even without the swash, I could get by just fine with some negative expo of about 50% to 70%, which gives you a much needed feel at center stick. Granted with the stock setup, it is better suited for beginners, but more advanced rc pilots will like having more responsiveness that negative expo, or microheli swash can give you. With the microheli swash, I'm flying with no expo, and it feels just about right. I now fly this thing almost daily, at night in the backyard, in the garage or in the living room, or outside on calm days. Nights are usually great, because that's when I have the most free time, and it is usually windless. It is quiet enough to not bug the neighbors, not much more noise than the MSR :) The one cell lipo also makes charging easy and fairly quick. The only complaint that I have, is the 45 degree flybar being so stable, and self correcting, that it makes fast forward flight pretty challenging. It wants to dip and pitch to stable itself into an hover, and takes some time to get used to how much forward elevator you need to apply, especially around fast corners. That doesn't mean it's slow or can't wip it around in very FFF. It just take some time to get used to it, after learning to fly on CP's. This is an minor complaint, because given the choice of being more stable or better at FFF, I'll take the stability of being able to fly in a small indoor space.
This is a fixed pitch heli, so it's not capable of 3D or any inverted stuff.... but I find it a great heli to fly, relaxingly. I've gotten better at slow piro and backwards circuits because of it, and finding that I don't miss the rolls, loops, flips, and inverted hovers. This is what I wanted to be able to do, when I first decided to venture into rc helis... I didn't want to do tricks, I just wanted to have fun flying. But 4-5 years ago, helis this size sucked, and I ended up getting into 400 size helis, like Trex 450 se v2, and Mini Titan, as well as getting into smaller helis, like Blade CP Pro, Honey Bee King 2, and the Gaui 200. They were all great helis for the time, but nothing like how much I am getting out of the little 120s. This is now my favorite heli. No it's not a high end heli, and won't do half of the things that advance pilots would want. But for me, this has filled the itch to be able to almost anytime, and almost anywhere. Currently the BNF is for $119 at thebarfloor.com, you'll see the discount after you add it to the cart.
-Durable, due to its size and weight it's very hard to break.
-It's Eflite, so easy to find parts at the local hobby shop if you do crash
-Tail motor is solid, I never thought a motor driven tail could be this great
-Great over all heli for indoors and out
-Comes in BNF or RTF
-1S lipo, easy to maintain
-Battery gets warm, and can trigger LVC in cold weather
-Pitches up in FFF
-Swash plate needs longer throws for more advance flyers
Heli cam mod.... pretty easy and explained in the video. I got the camera Here for $23. Of course it's a bit twitchy video, sorry. For onboard video, you really want a bigger heli, but there is something really cool about having this little "toy" like thing flying around, and taking videos up high.