Blade Nano QX 3D Review

  

Blade’s Nano QX 3D, a version of the Nano QX that has larger 7mm motors and the ability to fly upside down, was released in January. I had my doubts about whether the flight times would be long enough. If the motors would die every few flights. But I still bought it…

Note: Because this is a quadcopter review, I can’t review takeoffs and landings. Basically, a quadcopter goes up. And comes back down. I will review how it felt on the first takeoff instead.

Backstory:

There really isn’t one… I just saw the NQX 3D and it looked like it would be a quadcopter that preformed well, but with significant battery life and motor life problems.

First Impresions:

When I opened the, as always from Horizon Hobby, nicely designed box and packaging, I didn’t really know if it came out of the box right side up or upside down… The NQX 3D was packaged in nice, clear plastic with a 250 mAH 1S LiPo and USB charger.

Assembly/First Flight Preparation:

Before doing anything, I looked at the manual to see which side was the top. (Hint: the props face down). I then charged the battery. This took about 20 minutes.

Tip: Get the Celectra charger that came with the original mCPX helicopter. This just plugs into a normal outlet and you get a second charger for your second battery (definitely get a second battery).

I then bound it to my wonderful Spektrum DX6 and got ready to fly…

First Takeoff:

As I lifted off, I heard power. Lots of it. And it sounded smooth. Kind of like one of those speedboats when they are going really slowly. I knew, at this point, that this was going to be one of my favorite aircraft.

Flying:

In beginner mode, this quadcopter was like a Nano QX in Stability mode. Intermediate mode was like beginner mode, but it’s a lot faster. And, finally, advanced mode is like a regular RC helicopter, with the motor direction changing on either side of 50% throttle.

Recommended timer settings if using a Spektrum computerized transmitter:

Dx6i transmitter:

Timer: 4:30 minutes

Any Other Spektrum Computerized Transmitter:

Timer: 4:30 minutes; start/stop at 10% throttle

The Specs:

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 130 mm

Width: 130 mm

Height: 42 mm

Flying Weight: 1 oz

Full Specs Here

Equipment I Used:

1. Thunder Power TP103CQ-ACDC Charger (link)

2. Spektrum DX6i DSMX Transmitter Only (link)

Verdict:

This is a great all around quadcopter, and it is excellent if you have mastered the original NQX and want high preformance fun.

Rating:

10/10

Thanks for reading the much-delayed Nano QX 3D review. Comment, share, enjoy, and forgive me for the lack of pictures 🙂 ! Reader’s Opinion will be posted this Sunday, so check back…

Getting Started with RC Quadcopters!

I’ve written about RC planes. I’ve written a review of a quadcopter, and I’ve written RC plane reviews. But how you start flying RC quadcopters? Well, that’s what this post is for; read on… 

 Also: visit my second post on umFlight  about getting started with planes. 


The Controls

Quadcopter trainer controls are slightly different than planes. 

  

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the controls of a quadcopter

 Yep. This is the same picture from my fourth post on umFlight, and the controls of a quadcopter are the same as the controls of RC planes. Push the elevator forward, and the quadcopter goes forward. Back and it goes back. Moving the aileron left or right moves the quadcopter left or right, and the rudder pivots it.


Selecting your First Quadcopter:

It’s hard to select a first quadcopter when they are considered a third major type of RC aircraft (along with helis and planes) and a stepping stone between beginner and advanced helicopters. So I will show two possible paths depending on how fast you learn.

The first path is to buy a beginner helicopter like the Blade MCX2 and then buy a quadcopter. This is ideal is you are a slower learner.

The second is to go straight to a beginner quadcopter if you can learn a little faster. Many people actually recommend to go strait to the quadcopter, but I displayed the first option just in case.

Now, let’s assume that, if you decided to get an MCX2 or similar, that you finished learning with it. It is time to select your first quadcopter! I’m going to help you select a first micro quadcopter. Micros, other than being what I blog about, are much cheaper than larger quadcopters, and are VERY durable. However, larger quadcopters are durable, too, but the micros… wow! 

So, my recommendation is a Blade Nano QX. If you have/are going to get a computerized radio (this must be DSM2/X to work with the NQX!), then get the BNF version for $60. If you don’t have the right radio, then get the $89 RTF version.

Crashing:

All quadcopters are very durable compared to RC helicopters or planes. The Nano QX even has blade guards, which guard the only thing that usually breaks- the rotors! 

Takeoff:

Slowly bring the throttle up a bit, and then move it up to about half throttle quickly to get it away from the floor or table. If the quadcopter is too close to a table or the floor, it can become less stable, so newbies need to avoid that.

Flying:

Once you are a few feet in the air, just let it hover. Make slight corrections by moving the controls to keep it in the same general area. After a minute or two (even a whole battery or two), start making slight movements to make it move around. Note: if you are using the Agility mode (that’s what it is called on the NQX at least), then the quadcopter will NOT stop moving when you return the stick to center. You must apply a little pressure in the opposite direction it is going. If in Stability mode, it will stop when you neutralize the controls.


Landing:

Move your quadcopter over a good landing area and gently move the throttle down.

Conclusion:

I hope that this helped you get started with RC quadcopter. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments.

RO7: What Type of UM Aircraft Do You Fly?

A few announcements: I’m happy to announce that this is my 50th post on umFlight, and the total number of page views crossed 10,000 earlier this month (just 3-6-ish days ago)! I’m planning forums and maybe a store soon… Now for Reader’s Opinion 7:   

Here’s how it will work: The second Sunday of every month, I will post a question. Then readers can write their opinion in the comments.

Today’s Reader’s Opinion:

What type(s) of UM RC aircraft do you fly?

I fly quadcopters and planes (I switched from RC helicopters because they where too hard to hover). However, I still like non-collective pitch RC helicopters, but I don’t currently have any. 

 

Now it’s you’re turn to vote in the poll; after voting, make sure to say why in the comments!


Thanks for reading, and my look for a new post next Sunday!

FPV Planes vs Quadcopters: Which is a better First FPV Aircraft? (Part 1)

Warning: you should be VERY proficient at flying RC planes normally before attempting to fly an RC plane via FPV. If you are going to fly FPV quadcopters, you should be proficient at flying quads normally before attempting to fly a quad copter via FPV.

Now that the warning/disclaimer for new pilots is over, we can get started.

This is part 1 of a two-part series about whether you should choose a plane or quad copter for your first FPV aircraft. Note: The quadcopter that I’m going to make a build post is still being refined, so the post won’t be out for 2-3 weeks.

So, you’re a good UM RC plane or quadcopter pilot and want to get into FPV. But, should you go with a plane or quad for that first FPV flight? Read on to find out.

My Story:

I flew “FPV” for the first time last December. It was with an AR Drone, which has an FPV camera and displays the video on an iDevice, but I really spent most of the time looking at the drone, sometimes looking at the screen. Then, the Friday after Christmas 2013, I got the Walkera Ladybird FPV, which I barely spent two seconds looking at the screen at a time while hovering.

So, none of those were real FPV. I just looked at my screen every once in a while to either try to fly FPV, or look at where I was from an areal perspective. That all changed at 9:00 AM EST on Christmas Day, 2014…

I received the NEW Blade Nano QX FPV. After charging the battery that came with it (and trying to find my other batteries), I took off. For the first few flights, I sat on the couch in the family room and hovered above family members in the living room. After a few flights, I was racing around the house in less than a minute each time. Then the camera sensor CAME OFF. I was trying to twist the lens to focus, but it wasn’t on straight, so I twisted the whole sensor off…

So I ordered another camera to put on my Champ. It arrived on the 5th of January, and I managed to put it into the air on January 7th. My experience probably isn’t fair because the camera that I put on the plane had a problem: everything was dark. I had to dive to see where I was in relation to the ground.

However, there was a difference even when I ignored the camera issue. The plane moved all the time, and it seemed quite fast. It seemed faster when I was looking through the camera and taking off and about to run into a mailbox than from a third person view.

I also got a bird’s eye view from way up in the sky surveying the neighborhood and diving down to try to see things… It was relaxing once I got up to altitude… sort of. Remember, I still couldn’t see well do to camera problems and the range on the Champ, which doesn’t use a full range receiver, is something that I didn’t want to test as I flew higher than I’ve ever flown around the neighborhood. A combination of these two things kept me diving, going back up, turning, diving, going back up, you get the idea.

Conclusion:

Thanks for reading part 1. Stay tuned for part two next Sunday. Maybe I’ll even get it out at 5:00 AM! Just dreaming… (Really, I’m usually dreaming at 5 AM!)

Thanks for reading, enjoy, and please subscribe to umFlight if you liked this post!

New UM Planes and Quads for Christmas!

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I got some of what I predicted in last year’s last post for Christmas! Let me tell you about them…

1. Nano QX FPV

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I thought FPV would be fun. But I was wrong. It’s VERY fun! I never even felt like I was sitting on my couch. I was 5 feet in the air chasing family members and zooming through the house.

Expect a review in a month or so. It, ah, had an ‘issue’ with the camera… The lens fell off… So, I’ll have to get that worked out before the review.

2. Hobbyzone Champ

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I know. Again. Actually, I think that this is my fifth Champ, and, it still wears the crown of the best ultra micro plane I have flown so far.

You can visit my review here.

Conclusion

I had a great end of 2014, and I got the top RC planes on my wanted list! Even though I got the top wanted planes, my wanted list has actually gotten longer!

Now I want ANOTHER Nano QX FPV so people can race me, and fancy, expensive video goggles. Not to mention another FPV camera to put on a faithful Champ. Rest assured that I’ll get a review of these extra wanted things out to you if I get them.

As always, there’s a Reader’s Opinion next week. Until then, thanks for reading!