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Scout CX from Blade

By Hal Miller
Published: December 14, 2011
MOD-FL1211_Blade1 copy

Product: The micro helicopter race just got a little smaller with Blade’s new entry, the Scout CX.


Weighing in at only 17 grams, this coaxial chopper comes in a complete, ready to fly package, including a 2.4 gHz transmitter, 4 AA batteries for it, a screwdriver, the heli itself, a 3.7V LiPo battery, and instructions.


Everything is attractively packaged in a colorful, square box that doesn’t eat up a lot of real estate. The package has a clear window so the customer can see the helicopter. Once out of the box, all the customer has to do is install the batteries in the transmitter and plug the LiPo battery into its charging jack. A sequence of lights on the charger tells the pilot when the battery is full.


All that’s left is to plug the battery into the heli and go flying.


The Scout CX, at a $50 price point, represents a true, hobby-grade competitor to mass-market helicopters like those made by Air Hogs.


Performance:
While it might be little, the Scout CX is one of the easiest to fly helicopters I’ve ever encountered.


While it might be little, the Scout CX is one of the easiest to fly helicopters I’ve ever encountered.


I took it out of the box and within 15 minutes had it in the air, flying around my office and landing it perfectly on my desk. But I’ve flown helicopters before, so for me it was fairly easy.


Just to see what kind of experience the average user might have with it, I handed the transmitter to Model Retailer Publisher Terry Thompson, who knows model trains but has little or no experience with helicopters. He spooled the Scout CX up, lifted off the desk, flew a circle around the office and landed perfectly back on the work surface.


Just to see if that had been a fluke, I put the transmitter in the hands of new assistant editor Nick Bullock on his second day at Model Retailer. He took off, flew over my head, panicked a little then righted the heli, and landed in the same spot he’d taken off from.


It really doesn’t get any easier than that.


Comparing the Scout CX to the Blade mCX, the smaller size of the former is apparent. All up, the mCX weighs about 9 more grams than the Scout. Their configuration is similar, but slightly different as the larger helicopter uses two servos for swashplate control and the smaller only one. Also differing is the main rotor gearing; both motors engage a "stacked" set of gears at the bottom of the mCX, and on the Scout there is one gear under the swashplate and another just above the battery so the motors are pointing up and down. It could just be me, but I think this adds to the balance of the smaller craft.


The transmitter has a bit of a "Buck Rogers" look to it, but it’s very much up to the task, and really, its 2.4 mHz capability really separates the set from the toys. With this type of transmitter, your customer will experience glitch-free flight, both alone and with others like it.


This is definitely an indoor helicopter; even the air currents from our ventilation system had some effect on it. Still, the Scout CX stayed stable in flight and was easy to bring back on the right course.


Marketing: This is as solid a hobby-grade helicopter as you will get for the money. It’s complete, easy to fly, and the packaging helps sell it.


This is as solid a hobby-grade helicopter as you will get for the money. It’s complete, easy to fly, and the packaging helps sell it.


The price point is excellent, and while it’s not really new technology, your customer is getting a product he or she will have a good experience with. Helping boost the confidence of the customer is the included registration for free replacement parts, should they ever need them.


VITAL STATS
Product: Scout CX
Maker: Blade
Scale: Ultra micro
Stock number: BLH2700
MSRP: $69.99
Availability: www.horizonhobby.com


BOTTOM LINE
Excellent price point
Easy to fly
Horizon provides repair parts