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mQX RTF from Blade

By Nick Bullock
Published: April 13, 2012
MOD-FL0412_Quadcopter1

Product: A new breed of aircraft is invading the radio-control hobby: quad-rotor helicopters.

R/C fans are surely aware of this new phenomenon by now. After all, it’s hard to miss the slew of YouTube videos revealing daring quadcopter tricks. (See "Robot Quadrotors Perform James Bond Theme.")

Horizon Hobby has also joined the fun, aggressively marketing its new Blade mQX.

The ready-to-fly mQX features AS3X 3-axis stabilizationl, and comes with an E-flite 1S 3.7V 500mAh LiPo battery and MLP4DSM 4-channel DSM2 transmitter. But the key to Blade’s early success with the mQX is the $219.99 price tag.

Performance:
Although the development of quadrotor R/C helicopters is still in its infancy, many expect this new corner of the market to explode quite soon. For the time being, however, the mQX is one of the more affordable quadrotor helis out there.

In real-world applications, there’s a reason why quadrotor helicopters are growing in popularity. For one thing, there is no need to vary the pitch angle on each blade, making for simpler design and maintenance. This idea transfers to R/C.

Additionally, the use of four smaller rotors — instead of one or two larger rotors for a comparably sized heli — means each rotor uses less energy. This reduces the damage sustained should a pilot crash the quadrotor. Blade also placed protective guards around each of the four drive gears. All of this means the mQX is plenty durable, even for novices.

And novices should have no problem flying the mQX either. The AS3X System provides greater control than one might expect from a similarly priced heli.

More experienced heli pilots may find it difficult to adjust to the flight pattern of a quadrotor at first, but mastering movement of the sticks should not take long.

Beginners should note that hovering with the mQX can be tricky, as it does tend to drift even after adjusting the trim. You have to stay on top of the controls, and for that reason we recommend a large flight space if indoors. If space is limited, don’t sweat it. As we said, the mQX is plenty durable.

Also worth mentioning is the mQX’s ability to fly in "X" or "+" configurations. The plastic body can be easily removed, rotated 45 degrees and reattached. We found the "X" configuration (pictured) to be more accommodating, as the white rotors make the front of the heli easily identifiable.

See video at http://modelretailer.com/en/TheIndustry/IndustryNews/2012/02/FirstLookvideoBlademQX.aspx

Marketing: Just having it in stock may be enough to make the sale, as it is one of the few quadrotor R/C helis available for less than $250.

If that doesn’t do the trick, consider a demo display. In an R/C market saturated with entry-level aircraft that all look similar, the mQX will stand out. In the few weeks it has been in our offices, it has attracted plenty of wandering eyes, and we have fielded many questions about the heli.

The mQX can also provide a nice bridge between entry level ultra-micro coaxial helicopters with limited control and the more advance — and expensive — fixed- and collective-pitch, single-rotor models.

VITAL STATS
Product: mQX RTF
Maker: Blade
Scale: Micro
Stock number: BLH7500
MSRP: $219.99
Availability: Horizon Hobby

BOTTOM LINE
• For beginner or intermediate
• Eye-catching design
• Uses AS3X technology