Horizon Hobby Blade Scout CX RTF 3-Channel 2.4GHz Helicopter Review

The new Blade Scout shows how much control and fun can be had with a hobby-grade quality 3-channel coaxial micro helicopter on 2.4 GHz!

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Introduction


Main rotor diameter:6.50"
Rotor blade length:3.00
Weight:.60 oz.
Length:6.30"
Height:4.15"
Transmitter:Advanced 2.4 GHz 3-channel
Receiver:2.4 GHz on motherboard
Battery:70mAh 3.7V Lipo
Transmitter Batteries:4 AA Batteries included
Gyro:Computerized Piezo gyro on motherboard
ESC:on Motherboard
Charger:Transmitter is also the charger
Manufacturer:Blade
Available From:Horizon Hobby
Price:$ 49.99 RTF

Over the years I have reviewed a number of micro and ultra-micro helicopters including a variety of three and four channel models. Most of the three channel models used infrared transmitters and receivers and were of less than hobby quality electronics. But now Horizon Hobby Blade has brought out a new "Hobby quality" three channel helicopter in the Scout CX that uses 2.4GHz technology and a quality Piezo gyro.

Kit Contents

The Kit Includes

  • Blade Scout RTF helicopter
  • 2.4GHz transmitter/Charger
  • 70mAh 3.7V flight battery
  • 4 AA Alkaline batteries for transmitter/charger
  • Card for Free Replacement Parts
  • Small Phillip's screwdriver
  • Instruction manual











Items Supplied by Author

Items I supplied

  • Nothing! Everything needed to fly was included.

Free Replacement Parts

On my computer, I went to the website listed on the card. I filled in the requested information, which included my e-mail and mailing address as well as the code on the card. I was informed I would receive my free replacement parts within 6 weeks. The replacement parts were not identified, and at present, my Scout is in new condition so I don't need any replacement parts at this time. If the parts arrive before I finish this review I will let you know what I got. This is a limited time offer and ends 1/31/2012 or when they run out of parts. Approximately two weeks after I submitted the free parts information to Horizon Hobby my replacement parts arrived in the mail. I received two complete sets of blades and two connectors to link the top rotor blades with the fly bar and four small screws to join the blades together in pairs.

Assembly

I installed the four included AA batteries into the transmitter and put the flight battery into the charger slot on the middle of the transmitter opposite side from the antenna. When the battery was charged (the charge light goes out), I install it under the Scout helicopter in the battery holder.

Transmitter

Binding

My two transmitters came already bound to their respective Scout CX helicopters, and I did not have to bind them, but the procedure is simple. Plug in the battery to the helicopter first. Wait for the red LED in the helicopter to start flashing. Push straight down on the left stick of the transmitter while turning it on and after a second let go of the left stick on the transmitter. In a few seconds they will become bound together. Once bound, always turn the transmitter on first and turn it off last and they should stay bound together. I later attempted to bind one of the helicopters to my JR 11X with Spektrum technology but they wouldn't bind. As far as I can tell, I have to use the included transmitter to control my Blade Scout CX.

Three Channel Control

The transmitter is a three channel transmitter and the left stick is throttle only. The right stick is rudder which rotates the helicopter in either direction and forward and backward. I believe this is considered a mode 4 arrangement. On the 4 channel Blade helicopters the rudder is on the left stick and the right stick controls forward/backward and side to side flight which is mode 2. It took me only a few seconds to adjust to the rudder being on the right stick but new pilots should have no adjustment problem. The directional controls on the right stick have trim buttons for adjusting the track of the helicopter. I did not need to use them. Both of my helicopters arrived in perfect trim.

Dual Rates

The Scout's transmitter turns on with the low rates on, and the movements are small and very accurate. I recommend that beginners fly their first couple of flights in low rate and simply move the right stick more fully to maximize the throw and helicopter's movements in that setting. To go to high rates, simply push down on the right control stick and it switches to high rates for the rudder and forward/reverse flight control. Push it down again, and it goes back to low rates. At high rates, the helicopter will travel and rotate more quickly as shown in the video below. Small stick movements have more effect in this setting on the Scout's movements. The helicopter seems as precise as it was at low setting but my movements are sometimes not quite as precise: Due to the helicopter's increased responsiveness, any slight mistake I make with my movements can more easily be seen in the helicopter's flight path.

Flying

Basics

I turned on my transmitter and then inserted the battery into the Scout. After a few seconds I was able to confirm that I had control of my Scout, which confirmed to me that it had been bound and tested at the factory. This was true with both Scout helicopters that I got.

Having a Good TIME

With a fully charged battery I averaged 6-7 minutes of constant flight time on low rates and 5-6 minutes continuous flight on high rates. I always landed when the receiver LED flashed to give warning that the charge on the flight battery was getting low (depleted). The manual warns that flying when the flight battery is low will reduce the life of the battery. I accepted this statement and did not test it. Charging time with relatively new batteries in the transmitter took me about 22 minutes for a depleted battery as described above.

Taking Off and Landing

Simply power up sufficiently and the Scout lifts off. On some liftoffs the Scout will rotate a partial turn, and on others she simply goes straight up. In either case she almost immediately goes into a very nice hover with very little drift. Both of my Scouts hold their headings very well as shown in the first video below. The Piezo gyro does a great job of holding a heading. As for landing, this is where the Scout really shines compared to most other three channel helicopters I have flown. With previous helicopters with toy quality controls, I considered myself to have done a good job to land within a two foot by two foot square. With the Scout's, I am consistently (but not always) able to land them on top of a DVD box which serves as my landing pad. I simply turn to the pad on final approach and fly to the pad, hover over it, reduce power and land.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Blade Scout CX does not really perform aerobatics. It flies in a very straight line in forward flight and a fairly straight line in backward flight. It changes direction by rotation and by continually changing the direction while in forward or reverse flight it can appear to be in a gradual sweeping turn to either direction when actually I am constantly changing the heading. My aerobatics are flying around lamps, over and under chairs and tables. Items that would interrupt the signal with an IFR system. Items such as tables and lamps haven't stopped my GHz system from maintaining control of the Scout. The precision of the control is one of the very special features of the Scout CX.

To borrow from Timex: "It takes a licking." On several of the biggest crashes that I have witnessed the battery has popped out of the battery plug and stopped all of the electronics. I have found in the past that the greatest harm comes to small helicopters when they crash and the pilot fails to kill the throttle so that the main blades keep turning, and something breaks. With the battery pop out and stoppage of the electronics, the Scout CX couldn't beat itself up in those battery ejection crashes. It is still very important to kill the throttle with any crash, and I encourage students to think about that before every takeoff. I can report that the battery has not disconnected in regular flight, only with a crash. Other than the battery disconnect, nothing else has come off or disconnected from either helicopter to date, and nothing has broken.

I have crashed one of my Scouts into the backside of a lamp, and my friends have experienced many crashes into a variety of objects. My young twin pilots had some power off crashes from as high as ten feet up, but so far there has been no damage to either Scout CX helicopter despite crashes into walls and falls onto mostly carpeted floors. The lightness of the Scout CX and the killing of the throttle power jointly contributed to its protection from breaking in the accidents we have experienced.

Is This For a Beginner?

Most definitely! Its target audience is the beginner, and it supplies them with a precisely controlled three channel helicopter with Hobby Quality electronics on 2.4GHz. It makes the flying experience successful and fun. With the ability to fly many together in the same room, it is a great helicopter to fly at an indoor event. Infrared models are limited to a maximum of three that can be flown in the air at one time. With those helicopters you might have to wait for a turn to fly but not with the Scout CX's 2.4GHz radio control.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery






Downloads

So Easy, 8-year-olds Can Fly the Scout CX

My friend Dick and his twin granddaughters, Maria and Delia, assisted with the testing for this review. This included some power off drops from up to ten feet in the air onto a carpeted floor without any damage to either helicopter. (While I don't recommend this it happened during the early flight stage for the girls.) The girls were flying the helicopters around the fellowship hall and had pretty much mastered controlling the climb and avoiding rapid descents during the first battery charge on the helicopters. It was fun to see how quickly they improved their flying skills with the Scouts. They proved to my satisfaction that this is an excellent helicopter for beginners. For their first sessions I kept them on low rate. Next time they can fly low rate for the first battery charge and then move on to high rate control and speed.





Downloads

Conclusion

I found the Scout CX to be ready to fly as purchased. The transmitter and helicopter came already bound to one another so I only had to install the supplied AA batteries into the transmitter and fully charge the flight battery. It is easily the best hovering three channel helicopter that I have flown and really holds a heading in hover or forward flight. The rudder control is excellent and precise from start through the course of this review. It allows for precise control as the head holding gyro has been very precise in forward flight and only slightly off in reverse flight. I strongly recommend the Blade Scout CX for the beginner. For myself I would prefer to have the rudder on the left stick as is the set-up with my four channel helicopters but I don't think experienced pilots like myself are the target audience for the Scout CX. I think they are aiming for the beginner pilot and they will find it a delightful flyer that goes where they direct it. When they are ready to advance to the four channel helicopter I think the transition to rudder on the left stick will be an easy change for most pilots to make. I found the Scout CX to be the best controlled three channel helicopter that I have flown to date.

Pluses

  • The control is hobby grade
  • My friends have proven repeatedly that on carpet it is damage resistant when it comes to crashes
  • 2.4GHz control not infrared: works in bright light and many Scout CXs can fly together
  • Dual rate allows low rate for slow flight for training and tight spaces
  • High rate allows more speed and excitement
  • For now we can get some free repair parts at no cost.

Minuses

  • Rudder is on right stick, not left stick as with 4-channel Blade helicopters
  • Comes in a "Display Box" not a storage/transportation box
  • No decals included to tell Scouts apart from one another

My thanks to Tom, Nick, Dick, Maria and Delia who flew test flights of the Scout CX helicopters for this review or helped videotape for this review. Thanks to Blade for supplying one helicopter set for this review and to our editor, Angela for her assistance.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Dec 08, 2011 at 08:46 AM..
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Dec 09, 2011, 03:53 PM
Registered User
Great review! I've picked up about 4 of these little things to give as christmas gifts... my LHS offered to give me a discount when I bought 4 or more, so I couldn't pass it up! (they gave me a free extra battery with each!) and i plan to give it to the people who always end up with the little non-hobby quality helicopters... they'll be great!
Dec 09, 2011, 07:12 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
How does the heli move forward/back? Hard to see from the pics if there is a swashplate and servo, or?

Other than 2.4ghz control vs. IR, what are the advantages of this over a 'good' 3-channel coax like the S107/S108g?
Spare parts support is nice, but really tiny choppers like this shouldn't need replacement parts if you take just a little care with them, and also don't step on them.
You mention that it has more precise controls which allowed you to make spot landings, but shouldn't be a problem with the (60% cheaper) S107 or 6010:

*except for the last one :P
(HD) S107 obstacles (1 min 38 sec)


(HD) Syma S108g Cobra test (2 min 17 sec)
Last edited by Kurt; Dec 09, 2011 at 07:29 PM.
Dec 09, 2011, 07:24 PM
Z24
Z24
Tamiya For A Me A
Z24's Avatar
Yes, servo and swash change the pitch of the blades.
Dec 09, 2011, 07:30 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
thanks Z - I hadn't clicked the last photo of the chopper where you can just see inside. A few pics with the canopy removed would have also been nice.
Dec 11, 2011, 12:01 AM
Hawk Fanatic
SkylineFlyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
How does the heli move forward/back? Hard to see from the pics if there is a swashplate and servo, or?

Other than 2.4ghz control vs. IR, what are the advantages of this over a 'good' 3-channel coax like the S107/S108g?
Spare parts support is nice, but really tiny choppers like this shouldn't need replacement parts if you take just a little care with them, and also don't step on them.
You mention that it has more precise controls which allowed you to make spot landings, but shouldn't be a problem with the (60% cheaper) S107 or 6010:

*except for the last one :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0dP0Kvc3sw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oZsM..._order&list=UL
I wasn't that all impressed with the Blade Scout. I'm more impressed with these two videos. Where do you get something like that?
Dec 11, 2011, 08:18 AM
Registered User
Joe 1320's Avatar
what is the size comparison to a MCX or MSR?
Dec 11, 2011, 11:01 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkylineFlyer
I wasn't that all impressed with the Blade Scout. I'm more impressed with these two videos. Where do you get something like that?
Now that HH is selling the Force RC battle helis for $99 the $50 or $60 Scout seems rather superflous.
I did a video review of the Force heli here:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...8&postcount=98

If someone's such a rank beginner (nothing wrong with that!) you can 'deactivate' the 4th channel on a force heli so it will act just like a 3-ch/Scout. Plus the not insignificant ability to have aerial battles

The choppers in the 2 videos above are:
Syma S107g modified with the fuselage from a 6020 (frame lightened to compensate for the heavier fuselage). Performance wise the box-stock S107 will be virtually identical to the one in the 1st vid.
The heli in the second vid is a Syma S108g Cobra . If anything these fly even better than the S107.
Both can usually be found on sale for <$20 shipped (may have to order something else from Amazon to get the total order above $25 for free shipping).
I'm still flying my very first S107 after well over a year, probably >100 crashes and about the same number of charge/discharge battery cycles. Don't know how you can beat it for the price.
Dec 12, 2011, 08:01 PM
Pronoun trouble...
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Great as always, Michael.

I tried one of these at the hobby shop and once you get over the weird feeling of no left rudder, it's fun to fly. For a casual flyer who just wants to have a bit of fun in the office of an R/C car driver who wants to fly and has no flying experience, it's hard to beat.
Dec 12, 2011, 09:35 PM
Hawk Fanatic
SkylineFlyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
Now that HH is selling the Force RC battle helis for $99 the $50 or $60 Scout seems rather superflous.
I did a video review of the Force heli here:

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...8&postcount=98

If someone's such a rank beginner (nothing wrong with that!) you can 'deactivate' the 4th channel on a force heli so it will act just like a 3-ch/Scout. Plus the not insignificant ability to have aerial battles

The choppers in the 2 videos above are:
Syma S107g modified with the fuselage from a 6020 (frame lightened to compensate for the heavier fuselage). Performance wise the box-stock S107 will be virtually identical to the one in the 1st vid.
The heli in the second vid is a Syma S108g Cobra . If anything these fly even better than the S107.
Both can usually be found on sale for <$20 shipped (may have to order something else from Amazon to get the total order above $25 for free shipping).
I'm still flying my very first S107 after well over a year, probably >100 crashes and about the same number of charge/discharge battery cycles. Don't know how you can beat it for the price.
Thanks! Great info! You should do reviews.
Dec 13, 2011, 01:33 AM
Registered User
AdMan's Avatar
I purchased one at $60 AUD... for my dad, who has very little knowledge in rc heli's but wants to get into it. I let him fly my MSR for a while, he started getting good at it. With the rudder stick being on the right side everything is confusing. I can fly collective heli's no problem, I crashed this thing more then I have ever crashed any heli (started with a Blade CX2, still got it too. )

I do fly Mode 1 and everytime I needed to push forward I seemed to increase throttle and put it into the ceiling. No matter! I did it a few times and now Ive sort of got it figured out and trimmed perfectly, nothing has broken on it. Would be so easy to give a beginner. So easy, my fiancee bought one for her dad for Christmas, so will be really good to see how he gets along with it having never flown anything at all before.
Dec 13, 2011, 09:48 PM
I am what I teach
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe 1320
what is the size comparison to a MCX or MSR?
About the same size, maybe a bit smaller.
Dec 16, 2011, 09:14 AM
Registered User
fwa2500's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by moparren
About the same size, maybe a bit smaller.
its a little bit smaller all around



please excuse the lack of top blades....it had an unfortunate incident with a hookah coal while my friend was flying it (replacements are on their way)


i have to say, the scout is a ton of fun to fly around the house and terrorize the cats. yes, the controls do build some bad habits, but its not all that bad. the only durability issues ive had with mine (aside from the coal incident) are some cracks on the canopy, though those were easily repaired with some clear tape. i have bounced this off walls, accidentally launched it inverted from one story up into the floor and flown into countless chairs, tables and doors all with no damage. for anyone looking for an awesome gift for a kid or even something to mess around with at the office, i definitely recommend getting one!
Last edited by fwa2500; Dec 16, 2011 at 09:59 AM.
Dec 16, 2011, 11:44 AM
Master Of My Universe
scotsoft's Avatar
If any of you have watched Kurts first video you will see he "almost " lands on some great looking "helipads"

If you would like some of these helipad to aim your helis at, just click on my name "scotsoft" and scroll down a bit in my blog where you will find the instructions and the graphic to print off to make them

This is my Kamov KA-52 waiting on flight instructions



cheers John.
Dec 16, 2011, 08:19 PM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotsoft
If any of you have watched Kurts first video you will see he "almost " lands on some great looking "helipads"
You can see an empty glass in the beginning of the first vid, so Jim Beam and coke is my excuse for the sloppy landings :P

John did a very nice job on that helipad graphic - I've got about 1/2 dozen of them total, can use as coasters when there are no choppers in the air


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