The MJX F48 Review - RC Groups
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Nov 21, 2012, 02:41 AM
The flightless bird
jameschen072's Avatar
Mini-Review

The MJX F48 Review


The MJX F48 review (4 channel, flybarless fixed pitch helicopter)

Introduction


Hey guys,
About a year ago, a local friend and I were discussing what the next big thing would be in terms of cheap micro helicopters. We came up with the conclusion that due to the simplicity of the rotor head and the advanced 3 axis gyro systems developed for micro quads, the logical next step should be micro flybarless fixed pitched helicopters. Well it seems that we were right! First it was the Walkera Super FP, then the recent HiSky FBL70 and 90 (Terrific birds by the way) and now the much anticipated MJX F48.

Even though the F48 is the most toy-like of the bunch, it is designed and manufactured by a company with a great reputation in the hobby industry, MJX. So can it live up to it's company name?

Before we start, I would like to thank Annry and the Banggood team with providing the sample and always standing behind my unbiased reviews.


From the box

The F48 was well protected and arrived undamaged. Here are the box contents

1x F48 flybarless FP helicopter
1x 2.4GHz transmitter with tri-rates, throttle limiter and LCD screen
2x 3.7V 380mAh 20C lipo batteries
1x Spares pack with main and tail blades along with other assorted parts
1x instruction manual and warranty card

The transmitter


The stock transmitter is a 4 channel 2.4GHz unit that is compatible with the newer generation of MJX products. The LCD screen is shows dual rate positions and stick positions. Functions include rates button and a throttle limiter. There is a shoulder button that is non-functional for the F48 but it activates the camera modules for MJX's larger quadcopters.
The sticks and be switched from Mode 2 (throttle on the left) to Mode 1 (throttle on the left) with 2 sliders by the sticks. A rudder/aileron button next to the LCD screen allows the user to use the TX in modes 3 and 4 as well.

Stick tension is quite nice and I like the fact that the transmitter only requires 3 AA batteries to function.

The Walk-Around


In terms of design, the F48 is actually quite similar to its predecessor, the F47. The motor is a bit larger than that found on the F47 and has more than enough power to lift the F48 at quite a brisk rate. Servos are the same as the F47's as is the whole tail unit. The differences are the canopy, the motor and servo mounting positions, the receiver and the flybarless head.


All up weight is 52 grams according to my kitchen scale...which makes it 3 grams heavier than the F47.
The build quality is on par with other MJX products... it's quite beefy and over the past few days had withstood many, many crashes without so much as a ding on the rotors or the fuselage as far as I could tell
The board has no version number, it's labelled simply as "F48 RX*.


The Flight
Ok, so far in the review the F48 seems to be well built (if not a little heavy) and the transmitter seems to be pretty solid too. Now this is the part that gets me..the flight characteristics.

The F48 is quite squirelly close to the ground and it appreciates a kick of throttle to get the head-speed up. Once it leaves the ground, the F48 will become quite a bit calmer, though keeping it in a steady hover is quite a handful compared to other similarly sized helicopters, flybarred or not. The tail holds quite well even with sudden movements in throttle input. Speaking of which, the F48 has very impressive yaw response that other helicopters of its class can only envy.

Anyways, I proceeded on to do some circuits. I was disappointed. It will fly under your inputs but once you try to level it out, it'll be out of control even at high rates. Concentrate and you just might be able to save it...or not. It makes me feel like the F48 was released without ever being test flown! After fighting it in the air for a few minutes, I was able to barely do a circuit and by the time I landed I was about ready to dump it in the trash then and there. Not to mention that after only a couple of minutes of flight, the motor was very hot to the touch.


Conclusion

Disappointed is how I'd like to describe my feelings towards the F48. It feels like the mechanical engineers did a nice job but the software engineers programmed it after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol. Shame, since a lot of people were looking forward to this one!

I think this is probably one of the worst R/C products I've ever tested/flown. I would not recommend it to beginners and experts alike. You might be able to control it if you fly it VERY carefully when conditions are perfect, but that's not what it's about. Flybarless helicopters should be a step forward instead of a step back.

If you were considering the F48, I would go for the HiSky FBL70 instead. One of the best helicopters I've flown in my many years of flight experience. The transmitter is much better and it can literally fly circles around the F48.

Those of you who already have one on the way, I hope yours is better and that mine is a dud. Because I'm still having a very hard time believing that a product as unfinished as mine would be released onto the market.


banggood carries the F48 here
Last edited by jameschen072; Jun 05, 2013 at 02:55 AM.
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Nov 21, 2012, 05:45 AM
Tinkerer of makeshift failures
Darsh's Avatar


Nov 21, 2012, 06:40 AM
Quad Erat Demonstrandum
scousethief's Avatar
If WLtoys is selling the CP at $106 delivered they are going to have to beat that price , this is only FP
Nov 21, 2012, 12:54 PM
Different fly 4 different guy
gordonzo's Avatar
This is similar size, and might even share some parts with, the F47, which lists for under $50. I expect this one to be in the $60 to $70 range.

regards . . . g
Dec 05, 2012, 11:59 PM
Registered User
Don't let this thread die. I really want the F48 release to be successful.
Dec 06, 2012, 03:46 AM
Tinkerer of makeshift failures
Darsh's Avatar
Just be patient... very much. It takes a while for this kind of stuff to be released to the market (realistically banggood).
Dec 09, 2012, 07:57 AM
Registered User
To my surprise FBL F/P helis are harder to fly than a C/P. FBL F/P are a bear in ground affect. I have Walkrea Super F/P and very touchy in ground affect. Tried Genius C/p in normal mode and it handled much nicer. Might think about FBL F/P and just go to a C/P. If you like flying helis you will need more than four channels later anyway. Quads are a better deal and out fly F/P helis.
Dec 09, 2012, 08:56 AM
Micro Menace
Quote:
Originally Posted by dankar04
To my surprise FBL F/P helis are harder to fly than a C/P. FBL F/P are a bear in ground affect. I have Walkrea Super F/P and very touchy in ground affect. Tried Genius C/p in normal mode and it handled much nicer. Might think about FBL F/P and just go to a C/P. If you like flying helis you will need more than four channels later anyway. Quads are a better deal and out fly F/P helis.
I was looking at the Super FP as well and ended up going straight to cp after a quad. A Genius CP is only $30 more then a Genius FP.
Dec 10, 2012, 09:01 PM
Trying to fly

Oooh shiny


I have the F47 on the way.Would like to see what the F48 turns out to be compared to the F47
Dec 20, 2012, 08:16 PM
Registered User
Meh, i hat the pod and skinny boom design. It will have to outperform a Solo Pro 260a in a cramp space in order for me to consider... The 260a couldn't even make a turn in my bedroom w/o slamming into the wall (bad flight mechanics). Then, it would do that annoying sudden drop to the floor everytime I tried to change its direction left/right or up/down...

My dream FP would be something that has the contoured canopy of a 3Ch coaxial plus polished alu structures where possible...
Dec 23, 2012, 01:02 AM
Registered User
neosunrise's Avatar
It seems that the controller is the same as F47 and X200. I have X200 on my hand and wonder if F48 will be sold in two different versions: BNF and RTF.
Dec 23, 2012, 06:27 AM
Tinkerer of makeshift failures
Darsh's Avatar
Looks like MJX policy is to sell only RTF packages. I've yet to find a BNF offer on MJX gear, but anything is possible.
Dec 23, 2012, 03:51 PM
Different fly 4 different guy
gordonzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by neosunrise
It seems that the controller is the same as F47 and X200. I have X200 on my hand and wonder if F48 will be sold in two different versions: BNF and RTF.
Off topic but does your x200 have the wobble issues at center cyclic stick? I'm not sure if it is the tx or the pcb.

regards . . . g
Dec 23, 2012, 06:22 PM
Tinkerer of makeshift failures
Darsh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonzo
Off topic but does your x200 have the wobble issues at center cyclic stick? I'm not sure if it is the tx or the pcb.

regards . . . g
Mine did.
Dec 26, 2012, 03:58 PM
Registered User
neosunrise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonzo
Off topic but does your x200 have the wobble issues at center cyclic stick? I'm not sure if it is the tx or the pcb.

regards . . . g
Yes, it does, which is very annoying. I was told that this is the built in feature for fast getting back to level. I highly doubt if it is really the case since it looks like the gyro sensitivity is too high.


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