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Horizon Hobby Blade 300X BNF - Review

Chris Mulcahy reviews the Blade 300X with BeastX flybarless technology.

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Introduction


Rotor Diameter: 21.7 in (550mm)
Tail Diameter: 5.5 in (140mm)
Weight: 17.3 oz (491 g)
Length: 20.1 in (510mm)
Main Gear Ratio: 15.5:1
Rotor Blade Length: 245mm
Transmitter: BNF
Battery: 3S 1350mAh 30C Li-Po
Motor: E-flite® 320H 4500Kv brushless
Gyro/Receiver: AR7200BX (BeastX)
Manufacturer: Blade Helis
Available From: Hobby Retailers
Price: $379.99

The Blade 300X fills the gap nicely between the 250 size and the 450 size. Big enough to feel and handle like a much larger heli, yet small enough to still be flown indoors. The AR7200BX receiver with BeastX flybarless unit built, provides solid control, and the E-flite 320H brushless motor provides plenty of power. The 300X will 3D right out of the box with very minimal setup time (most of which is programming your transmitter), but can also be set up for smooth sport flying.

In The Box



The Blade 300X comes in a cardboard and Styrofoam box that doubles as a carrying case. One neat feature I noticed as soon as I opened the box was that there was a cutout that would fit my DX6i. The 300X is only available as a bind’n’fly version, so it’s curious that they would design this cutout into the packaging. At a guess I would say that Blade decided to utilize the extra space under the heli, or were at one point planning on releasing the 300X with a transmitter.

Included in the box
300X Heli
E-flite DC Balance Charger
11.1v 3S 1350mAh 30C Lipo Flight Battery
Instruction Manual
Two Allen Wrenches
Small Plastic Screwdriver
Bind Plug
Dummy Plug/Dust Cover (for the receiver)
Assorted Velcro and Zip Ties







Features

Starting with the tail, Blade has added tail weights on the blade grips as they have done with their 450. The tail is belt driven straight from the main shaft, but doesn’t feature an auto rotation one way bearing. The tail is variable pitch, controlled by an E-flite EFLRDS76T servo with a carbon fiber pushrod. The boom itself is aluminum, with plastic guides for the tail pushrod. At the front of the boom are two pulleys on either side of the tail belt, to guide it into the boom with touching the sides.




The metal/plastic swashplate controls the plastic head, and the 300X comes with wood blades. The head feels nice and tight, there is very little slop if any. The swash is driven by three E-flite EFLRDS76 servos. All of the servos on the 300X are digital, and they do a great job with precise centering. The main gear is straight cut, made out of plastic, and as mentioned above it is fixed to the main shaft without a one way bearing.




The E-flite 320H brushless motor sits in front of the main gear, with the ESC mounted directly beneath it. The ESC is the E-flite 25A S-BEC, which is foam taped and zip tied to the bottom of the chassis. The flight battery is mounted on an angled platform in front of the motor, above the ESC.




Controlling everything is the Spektrum AR7200BX 7-channel receiver, with built in BeastX flybarless controller. I’ve been a fan of the setup simplicity of the original MicroBeast from BeastX, and to have it integrated with a Spektrum receiver now gives that ease of use to Spektrum users. With the 300X the AR7200BX has already been set up at the factory, so all you need to do is fly it and tweak it as desired.



Binding/Setup





The first thing I did was to charge up the flight battery. Being a DC charger, you can use your car battery out at the field, or a 12V power supply at home. The included E-flite charger is a balance charger, with a series of LED lights to tell you how things are going. It charges at 1.8amps, which is a little over 1C for the included battery. The Battery uses an EC3 style plug, so if you have a compatible charger already you can of course use your own. At this point I also applied a strip of self adhesive velcro to one side of the battery for installation later.




I followed the details in the instruction manual for setting up my DX6i, and I then bound my transmitter to the 300X. As is common with Blade helis, the manual contains setup guides for the DX6i, DX7/DX7se, DX7s, and DX8. To bind the 300X, I had to plug the bind plug into the receiver’s “BND/DAT” port and plug in the flight battery, power up my DX6i while holding the bind switch, then power everything off and remove the bind plug. Once the bind plug was removed, I inserted the dummy plug/dust cover into the receiver to cover the three exposed ports. After only a very short time from when I opened the box, the 300X was ready to fly.



Flying



With the battery fully charged, I started up the 300X. It is important to let the heli sit still while the gyro initializes, otherwise you could experience some erroneous behavior from the heli. I lifted off into a hover, and immediately noticed that the tail gain was just a little too high, causing a slight oscillation back and forth. I landed, and dialed back the tail gyro gain in the transmitter, then took off again. This time the 300X settled in a nice stable hover. Tail response felt good to me, with the tail starting and stopping pretty much where I wanted. I flew a few small circuits and then flipped up idle up mode (or stunt mode). This is where the 300X really comes alive. I found the power to be plenty, with very little bogging of the motor regardless of what maneuver I was flying. The 300X did indeed 3D right out of the box! I started out with some backwards and inverted backwards flying. The BeastX did a great job of holding the tail. Flips and funnels were effortless for the 300X, and it did really well with tic-tocs too. The wood blades felt surprisingly good, overall the 300X felt pretty crisp and not at all sluggish or “draggy”.




If you watch the video below, you can see that the 300X is just as stable inverted as it is upright. It really didn’t take long to get comfortable with the 300X, even from the very first flight. I set my timer to five minutes, and was putting around 80% back into the pack after each flight (as shown on my iCharger, the included charger doesn’t show capacity).




I actually had a lot of fun with the 300X. It really does feel like a larger heli, despite its diminutive size. Though it excelled at 3D flying, it also tracked extremely well in fast forward/reverse flight, and I enjoyed flying “big sky” type maneuvers such as loops, immelmans, cuban eights, half cuban eights, rolling circles, etc. The setup out of the box was pretty good, but there was a little room for improvement. I expect this will be the same for a lot of users, the factory provides a great starting point, but then you can tailor it to your own flying style. The manual for the AR7200BX is available online, and is one of the simpler flybarless units to set up.

Beginners? Not recommended, this is definitely something to step up to once you've got the basics down, and it will continue to be a heli that will help you to improve your skills.

Video/Photos



















Youtube Link

Conclusion

This is a great 3D helicopter, and is a perfect size for bringing with you in the car everywhere you go, just in case you see that perfect spot between travels that screams to be flown at. Whether at the flying field, local park, indoor gym, or back yard, the 300X is definitely up for the task. If you’re a sport pilot, you will love how well the 300X tracks, and its lack of bad tendencies. It does exactly everything it’s supposed to, and to date I haven’t found any problems with it at all. It’s definitely earned its place with the rest of my fleet when I head out to fly!

Pros:Cons:
3D ReadyWood Blades instead of Carbon
Smooth Handling
BeastX FBL Unit

Last edited by CSpaced; Nov 15, 2012 at 11:42 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 08, 2013, 09:00 PM View Post
yweiuiusdf
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Old Jan 08, 2013, 09:07 PM
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United States, WA, Seattle
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Great write up. Well done!
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Old Jan 08, 2013, 09:08 PM View Post
yweiuiusdf
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Old Jan 08, 2013, 09:15 PM View Post
yweiuiusdf
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Old Jan 09, 2013, 02:59 AM
Registered User
United States, MO, Springfield
Joined Jul 2010
3,453 Posts
this is what the Blade SR should of been
if any one is thinking about the SR skip it and get this

at this size imo its targeted at the beginner market so the wood blades arnt really a bad thing imo
a set of CF blade as a first upgrade is good plan followed by upgrading to a metal head
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Old Jan 09, 2013, 08:58 AM
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United Kingdom, Glos
Joined Feb 2009
482 Posts
I got one after messing around with cheap helis for a few years and not really getting anywhere, I added some rates and expo to the normal settings and I'm progressing fine with it now, it really is a nice heli to fly. I can't comment on the 3D cause i'm a long way off that.

One thing not mentioned in the review is the availability of spares from most local model shops, I've need a couple Ahh Hem! and if the shop didn't have them then Horizon UK got them to the shop with a couple of days
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Old Jan 09, 2013, 12:50 PM
That's so classic you.
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NICE Video!!!
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Old Jan 09, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Generic Member View Post
NICE Video!!!
Yep, I had a pro take it for me
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:16 PM
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Joined Jan 2013
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Chris, great review. Quick q.... do you think the Dx7s & Dx8 would also fit in the cut-out? I'm not sure of the footprint differences, how the size/switches would effect fitment etc...

Thanks in advance if you get a chance to reply.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:38 PM
Hong Kong
Joined Jan 2010
6,005 Posts
HH has reduced the price of this heli to $319.99 with an extra battery. I suppose it is just not that popular although it deserves otherwise.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Giordano View Post
Chris, great review. Quick q.... do you think the Dx7s & Dx8 would also fit in the cut-out? I'm not sure of the footprint differences, how the size/switches would effect fitment etc...

Thanks in advance if you get a chance to reply.
Hey Chris, honestly I don't know. I've handled all of those transmitters, but have never done a side by side comparison.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:27 AM
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Joined Aug 2012
502 Posts
After reading this review I put my dx6i in the cut out and it is a VERY tight fit. If the 7 or 8 are any bigger at all they won't fit. However I bet you could cut the styrofoam out to fit any transmitter.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:28 PM
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Nice review!
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 02:09 PM
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United States, NC, Concord
Joined Jan 2013
415 Posts
I've got the Blade 120 SR and have been having a ball learning to fly with it. did most of the early flying in half of a two car garage stall (tight) but then when I got outside it was way easier, even in wind up to 8 or 10mph. It gets pushed around but I can power through i OK. I am looking at the 300 X BNF as my next helo to get me more capabilities and to deal with more wind. Any estimates on what kind of wind a helo like the 300 X should handle decently?
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