Jan 1, 2013

Blade MSR-x

Helicopters and I have had an iffy relationship for several years now.  While it's so enticing to see them in their shiny boxes on the shelf at the local hobby shop, the first hand experience of spending more time fixing than flying has kept me in purchase paralysis.  My first helicopter was a Blade CX, yellow canopy black stripes and it was a fun easy to fly heli.  Things quickly went downhill from that point.

The next helicopter I owned was an Exceed Falcon.  Somehow it was a little beyond me at the time...  I'd have a little mishap and then the work would start, trying to get rid of all the vibrations so it'd fly right again.  Not much fun actually...

Things got really nuts when I brought home a Blade CP, had it for about a week, then decided that I really might kill myself if I wasn't careful.  Carbon fiber blades spinning around 1500 rpm, on something that is like a ping pong ball in a tornado when your learning to fly. Probably not a good idea. 

I sold the Blade CP, and bought a Blade MCx with the Schweizer 300 body.  Talk about slightly disappointing. Full forward flight speed of a tenth of a foot per hour, but it was really great at a stable hover and it made flying a helicopter as simple as running the throttle up and down.  The kind of helicopter that could bore a guy in 10 minutes.  That's where I was content to stay and I pretty well tried to forget about them.  

This last summer around late August, I'd looked at the Horizon Hobby page and noted that there were a few new ultra-micro helicopters.  The one that caught my eye was the Blade MSR as the product videos touted it as easy to fly.  I always fall for that...  Anyhow, the local hobby shop was out of MSR's but they did happen to have a Blade MSRx, which I promptly purchased for what turned out to be a great price.  The local hobby shop in Conroe, Texas has turned out to be a good spot for deals.  

The MSRx is nothing like the MSR as it has no fly-bar.  Instead it uses the new A3SX three axis stabilization gyro from Horizon Hobby.  Don't get the idea that this will make the Helicopter incredibly simple to learn to fly... you'll just disappoint yourself.  There is still a fairly steep learning curve, but with my fairly mild previous experience, I have been thoroughly enjoying the MSRx.  I have not yet mastered fixed pitch heli flight, but zipping up and down the road, doing tight banking turns, hovering, and doing low pirouettes has been a blast.  During the week while programming, this helicopter has turned out to be my go to machine for a little relaxing flight.  My only gripe has to do with flight times. I'm in need of new batteries but right now I'm averaging just under 5 minutes per flight.  With new batteries I'm hoping to get around 6 minutes of airtime.

To wrap it up, if your somewhat patient and wanting to develop your heli skills, this is a really great little heli. The low weight keeps repairs to a minimum and I haven't had a crash that has called for a spare part.  It's a keeper!

Orvis Blade MCX2 Helicopter (Google Affiliate Ad)

Time Flies

The year of 2012 flew by fairly quickly with relatively few blog posts.  My year was spent mainly in front of a computer, writing pages of code, so I didn't have quite as much time to fly as I'd have liked.  Our family moved to Texas, into the Houston area, so as you might imagine things are a little different here than they are up in Oregon.

The house we are now renting is surrounded by trees, so flying near home is more challenging.  Thankfully there is a narrow street in front of the house, and with the miniaturization of our hobby, this provides enough clear air to fly a few things...  The lifestyle changes brought on by living in Texas, working from home and working all the time, have made the ultra-micros an indispensable part of my hangar.

So, going into 2013, I've got a back log of post's that I did not have time to complete last year...  Let's hope for more airtime in 2013.