KDE Direct Blade 130 X Upgrades - Review - RC Groups

KDE Direct Blade 130 X Upgrades - Review

KDE Direct have worked hard on their many upgrades for the Blade 130 X, made right here in the USA!



Material:Aluminum 6061-T6
Material:Aluminum 6061-T6
Material:Aluminum 6061-T6
Material:Aluminum 6061-T6
Material:ABS Proprietary Copolymer
Manufactured By:KDE Direct
Available From:KDE Direct

KDE Direct are known for making outstanding upgrades for various helis on the market, and being a USA owned and operated company, with the parts manufactured right here in the USA, it's easy to see why their upgrades are so popular. The Blade 130 X didn't escape the attention of KDE, and they have produced a number of CNC machined aluminum upgrades for the helicopter that both improve performance and make it look pretty cool at the same time.

They have available a new main head block, an upgraded tail gear case, a new tail pushrod support, a tail servo boom mount, replacement bearings, and new blades. All of the upgrades are easy to install, with just a few tools, and will give your 130 X that unique KDE look.

In The Bags

Each of the upgrade parts come in poly bags with the relevant hardware needed for the upgrade. The instruction manuals for installation are available for download from KDE Direct's website.


Flybarless Main Rotor Housing

I started out with the head upgrade. One of the nice features of this head upgrade is that the blade grip pushrod guides have been enclosed. This means that in the event of a crash, instead of the link popping off and disappearing into oblivion, it will be retained by the new head block so that you can just pop it back on and keep going.

Installation was straight forward. Remove the old head, disassemble the blade grips, and then reinstall the blade grips into the new head block. When I installed the new head onto the main shaft, I used a little blue thread lock on the "Jesus" bolt. This stops the screw from backing out, and also when it comes to thread lock, less is more!

Tail Gear Case

With the head completed, I moved on to the tail case. The tail comes with two new bearings, and all the screws necessary to complete the upgrade. I very carefully disassembled the old tail case by using the Blade 130 X instruction manual as a guide. It is important to be gentle at this stage, as it is easy to break the small parts during disassembly. I found that a very small flat head screwdriver was useful for gently popping off the ball links on the tail pitch slider.

The design of the KDE tail case allows you to install up to four bearings for the tail shaft to ride on. To do this you need to purchase additional bearings (available from KDE). I installed the two new bearings that came with the tail case, using green thread lock to hold them in place. I attached the case to the boom, and cinched it in place using the two screws through the bottom of the case. I then nimbly reassembled the tail gears and wire drive, reinstalled the stock tail pitch slider, and attached the vertical fin. Working on the tail case is definitely an exercise in dexterity, and I made sure to work over a flat area with a towel underneath, to catch those inevitable falling parts.

Tail Pushrod Support

Installation of the tail pushrod support is a quick swap with the original part. This part adds rigidity to the boom braces and boom, as well as the tail pushrod itself. For more rigidity of the tail pushrod, you can take the stock support (that you remove for the new one), and reinstall it elsewhere on the boom. The new support features an extra screw that locks the tail pushrod into place.

Tail Servo Boom Mount

The servo mount was another quick part to swap out. It provides a rigid support for the tail servo, while making sure there is plenty of room between the servo and the boom. Two screws cinch the mount to the boom, and all four corners of the servo are screwed into place.

XF Main Rotor Blades

The final upgrade was the main blades themselves. KDE have a nice set of copolymer blades. They are stiff, and tough, and I imagine that they can survive many crashes, plus they have a cool graphic design on the top of the blades. KDE also claims that the aerospace driven airfoil will speed up the cyclic rates too.


While I was installing the upgrades, I charged up a handful of batteries so that I could go try it out as soon as I was done. I headed out to the local park, on a particularly windy day, to give it a try.

I noticed right away that a buzzing that I had been experiencing in the tail was gone, and my 130 X sounded smooth. The tail was wagging a little bit, so I lowered the gain slightly. This didn't seem to make much difference, and I attributed the behavior to the crazy wind I was flying in. The new blades did indeed appear to give the cyclic a quicker response, and after several flights I brought the heli back home to inspect the upgrades. My 130 X did feel better in flight, with the buzzing tail gone and the slightly quicker cyclic response, it was a positive improvement.

Everything looked perfect, and all of the screws were still in place thanks to the small amount of thread lock I used on each of the screws that threaded into aluminum. All of the new upgrades have held up perfectly since.

Video & Photos


The upgrades by themselves look really cool, and add a small improvement over stock performance. However, when you combine all of those small improvements together, it all adds up to something better that you can feel in flight. The tail behaves a little better, and the head is a little quicker too. So if you are looking for a way to make your 130 X stand out, KDE Direct is the way to go!

Pros: Cons:
Cool Looks None yet!
Easy To Install
Improved Performance

Last edited by Angela H; Jul 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM..
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Jul 23, 2013, 04:15 AM
The Ottoman Flyer
What is the weight difference between the old parts and the new parts?
Jul 23, 2013, 04:36 AM
Spyro37's Avatar
Looks nice!
Jul 23, 2013, 12:14 PM
Team Futaba
CSpaced's Avatar
Originally Posted by Ottomite
What is the weight difference between the old parts and the new parts?
I don't have exact numbers, but the parts are so small that there didn't feel like there was any difference at all.
Aug 30, 2013, 03:28 PM
Registered User
I found that these upgrades made all the difference in the world. If you did nothing else then at least replace the tail housing. That will resolve the tail issue all together. If you do all the upgrades, you will fall in love with this copter. It becomes the near perfect little flyer.

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