|Jul 21, 2014, 07:00 PM|
Blue-Fly HP100BL Brushless CP Helicopter + RF Module
You might think why did I pick up yet another 100-class micro helicopter? There are several reasons. Having several WLtoys and HiSKY helicopters, Iím curious about the helicopters from the largely unknown RC model company, Blue-Fly. This one is quite different from those in my current fleet. While it is brushless and supporting piro compensation, it comes with a RF module that should allow full programmability.
In my opinion, this helicopter is more suited for advanced pilots. Therefore, I shall try a different approach for this review. Iím going to be really concise as advanced pilots typically donít need too many details and have no time to read long essays. From my experiences from past reviews, readers seem to prefer the Q&A. And lastly, Iím a little busy. I made videos in a way that it supplements the materials covered in this review so please check them out.
1. Highlight similarities differences between HP100BL and V922 / FBL100 / HCP100 / H377, and V977
2. Describe its flight characteristics
3. Things I like or donít like about it
Differences from V922 / FBL100 / HCP100
Before I begin to talk about its similarities, I must emphasize that the HP100BL is not a clone of V922 / FBL100 / HCP100. No, itís not just the addition of an ESC and a brushless main motor. It is also not because it has piro compensation that allows it to piro at the same spot with minimal cyclic corrections. The engineers who communicated with me claimed that they designed the board themselves, implying the onboard programming is different.
A quick check on the transmitter configuration section of the manual tells you that the helicopter performs Cyclic/Collective Pitch Mixing (CCPM) onboard. Channel 1 is for AIL, 2 is for ELE, 6 is for collective pitch. The board upon receiving commands from the TX, performs calculations, then tells the servos what to do. This is unlike V922 and the similar helicopters, which requires CCPM on the transmitter: the transmitter tells the servos what to do. If I remember correctly Blade MCPX does the same thing.
TX CCPM vs RX CCPM: which is better? Do we even care? To be honest, I donít know. I was merely pointing out differences instead of advocating the better design.
There are no bullets on the rotor blades and it flew perfectly without cyclic shakes or wobbles. My V922 and H377 can never fly stably with non-bulleted blades. That could be another reason why we should believe the engineersí claim. The shape of rotor blades look like MCPX ones, as they are wider and slightly shorter.
While it also uses linear servos, these ones do not allow changing of the carbon strips. Worn out servo means replacing the entire servo.
It has one of the most unattractive canopies Iíve ever seen. Probably the reason why I had taken the least number of photos for my reviews. As the frame looks really similar to the V922-series helicopters, I was disappointed that their canopies do not fit HP100BL. I need to punch new holes to fit these canopies. The canopy pins are at different places likely to make space for the brushless motor and ESC.
I should also highlight that this uses a different, proprietary protocol; thatís why they provided a RF-BFG00 module for your programmable transmitter! Unlike V922 BNFs, you get the RF module together in the HP100BL BNF package.
Similarities to V922 / FBL100 / HCP100
Same batteries, same landing gear, same brittle carbon fiber main shaft. Blade grips and ball links are the same too.
140-degree swashplate, and the anti-rotation pin is at the back, vertically above the tail boom socket.
Also uses enamel wires for the tail motor that makes them prone to short circuiting. Same tail motor and it spins CCW; motor shaft diameter is the same (can share tail rotor blades), but the shaft is 7mm long!
No way to fine-tune cyclic gyro gain; no potentiometers or buttons on the board. Also no way to change the tail gyro gain, and therefore it is also not a 6-channel helicopter (tail gain channel unused).
HP100BL vs V977
Other than having a brushless main motor (which could be different), the two helicopters are almost completely different. I doubt anyone would be interested so Iíll skip to the next section.
As the heli supports various forms of programming / fine-tuning at the transmitter, how it well it flies is determined by the way you have configured it. I did not try the recommended defaults as there wasnít one for ER9X. Unlike the non-programmable birds, I shall not elaborate too much on its responsiveness: collective, cyclic and rudder. These parameters can be easily fine-tuned by adjusting the throttle curve, pitch range (how powerful it feels) or D/R (how sensitive is the cyclic & rudder).
The only parameter that is not adjustable is the cyclic gyro gain. No pots, no PIDs exposed to the pilots for finetuning. At its current state, HP100BL flies stably. But it does not hover like a V977 at 6G mode as it requires frequent cyclic and collective corrections by the pilot. Unlike V977 6G mode, I do not feel like Iím ďfightingĒ with the stabilization system.
Iím not a fan of piros and my piro flips are really bad, so I canít comment on the effects of the onboard piro compensation. At stock form, the heli is a little tail heavy, yet it is able to pirouette on the spot pretty well without needing any cyclic corrections.
What I really like is the ability to pull off really tight flips and rolls, consecutively. It seems to be more forgiving that V977 as my poorly timed stick movements actually looked good in the air. Perhaps itís because of its higher power-to-weight ratio (as I have no means of measuring this empirically, Iím guessing here).
If you like to fly fast, you would be pleased with speed of HP100BL. As I had use a ďmoderateĒ performance setting (refer to my settings on YouTube), I was surprised how quick it can get. In my first flight, I had a few near misses as I had underestimated its performance. I did not need to apply full throttle to send it up on a big loop; it just loops effortlessly that I couldnít feel the need for a long run-up prior to the loop.
+ Configurable, allowing it to be as powerful as I want, as sensitive as I like it to be.
+ Shares majority of replacement parts with my V922.
+ Reasonably priced for a brushless helicopter and an RF module.
+ Flies brilliantly, absolutely no complaints about itís flight characteristics.
- Enamel wires for tail motor.
- Linear servo carbon strips not replaceble.
- Ugly canopy.
A beginner may find the required programming on the transmitter a little daunting. But if youíre an advanced pilot, this is good news for you, as you can fly this brushless helicopter with your fancy transmitters, and tune it according to your preferences.
- Blue-fly HP100BL BNF: http://www.banggood.com/Bluefly-HP10...-p-929029.html
|Jul 21, 2014, 07:00 PM|
Parts Compatibility: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=47
Protocol Specifications, sent to Banggood, translated by me: see attached link at the bottom of this reply.
|Jul 21, 2014, 08:12 PM|
First thanks for your review
So with the module it will work with my DX6i.
The tail motor is brushed?
Is this lighter and do you think this will be more durable than the V977?
|Jul 22, 2014, 12:55 AM|
Nice review Fyre. I think I'm seriously tending towards one of these instead of the V977. For one thing I can use my 9X with it, and I also have a whole bunch of V922/HCP100 spares. What spares would you recommend getting specifically for this heli? Do you know if the KBDD non-bulleted blades fit?
Cheers, and keep up the good work.
|Jul 22, 2014, 02:34 AM|
Thanks a lot for this review. Seems really interesting waiting for the Hisky "S" ... and the presentation on BG is well made, seems serious
@Hellysmack : refering to the photos, it seems that it's a brushed tail motor
|Jul 22, 2014, 04:40 AM|
However I am thinking it may not be difficult to put HP100BL board in V977 if I was to damage its board. Just thinking.
|Jul 22, 2014, 11:18 AM|
Hellysmack do you mean putting v977 board in HP100 rather than other way around as you stated?
Based on video it does seem more powerful than the v977, with lot more lift at your disposal. Fyre, do you know if the module works with Devo series tx's (without Deviation)?
Regarding the canopy, the big window actually may be useful to see the led on the rx board (to verify board receiving power).
|Jul 22, 2014, 03:11 PM|
Would this helicopter work using a HiSKY H-6 transmitter and the RF-module?
(If you don't know, could you check? I'd be extremely grateful)
Nice review by the way!
|Jul 22, 2014, 05:29 PM|
I was just thinking of my V977 with a board that would let me add more pitch, and fly by my Dx6i.
Same motor, same batteries just programmable with high $ TX.
I think the v977 seems under powered only because we cannot add more pitch.
If I am thinking wrong please fill me in I am all ears.
|Jul 22, 2014, 06:06 PM|
Hi Hellysmack, tiggertoo1962, Mekil, asp, Pachapapa, stonecutter, jimmius, Zareph,
Thanks for your compliments! I'm really glad that the review was useful. Please reply here or drop me a PM if you have feedback that could improve my reviews.
I'll try my best to reply on your queries:
I don't have other programmable transmitters with me so I can't confirm if DX6i or H-6 work with the RF module. The manual states KDS, Walkera, JR and Futaba transmitters are supported; and my Turnigy 9X (ER9X) while officially unsupported, turned out to work perfectly. So I am confident that if one of the two plugs of the RF module fits your TX, and support PPM output, then it should work. Nevertheless, let me check with BG on this. They really want this helicopter to do well, so they're trying their best to provide as much help as they can. The provision of the RF protocol was a great example of this.
Tail motor is brushed and is holding up fine. But I'm not capable to push the heli to fully test its tail holding abilities. I'll try to make a video of it doing pitch pumps to demonstrate how good/bad the tail is.
I have no weighing scale so I can't comment if it is heavier than V977. I haven't broken anything and I don't intend to, so I can only guess that the HP100BL is more durable than V977. Why? Because of the linear servos! That said, you have to note the CF main shaft may split easily, as I have found out on my lighter, less-powerful V922.
Which replacement parts to stock up? CF main shafts, tail booms and canopies. I suspect the CF main shafts and tail booms are the same as those for V922 / HCP100. So there may not be concerns the shortage of fragile parts.
From what I'm seeing, the KBDD non bulleted blades look exactly like the stock HP100BL blades (or vice versa). I'm pretty sure they are inter-changeable.
Don't worry about spare parts unavailability - except the RX and linear servos, most parts can be replaced by V922 / HCP100. Official parts should be available "soon". Give the sellers some time to put them up for sale. They know very well that they can earn good money from spare parts.
On this heli vs the upcoming HiSKY brushless birds, I'd like to highlight that this one has no accelerometers, no 6-axis stabilization. Personally, I'm not a fan of 6-axis stabilization so I'm not holding my breath for the HiSKY brushless micro helis (except the 130-sized torque tube!).
Last but not least, I was informed that victzh will be looking at providing HP100BL support for DeviationTX. But in the meantime, he would be sharing his config file so that DeviationTX users can load his config to work with the RF module.
|Jul 22, 2014, 07:18 PM|
Joined Oct 2012
I've got the heli from Banggood also (thank you!), and going to implement the protocol for Deviation. It's great to have the code because I looked at the board and TX module and it would be complicated.
I am not sure that it will be tomorrow - I am going on vacation - but by the time it start coming by slow boat it should be ready.
|Jul 22, 2014, 07:37 PM|
So Is this a new brand?
I have a feeling this may be one I may end up getting; it is a good thing I don’t have the cash right now.
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