Blade and Horizon Hobby Inductrix RTF and BNF Ducted Quadcopter Review

Beginner EDF Drone Engineered with SAFE® Technology: Part Drone. Part Jet.

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Introduction

Blade® Inductrix™ Ultra Micro Drone (2 min 7 sec)


Completion Level: Ready-to-Fly
Main Rotor Head Type: Multi-Rotor
Main Blade Material: Plastic
Length: 3.3"
Height: 1.1"
Width: 3.3"
Flying Weight: 0.67 oz.
Main Frame Material: Plastic
Canopy/Body Material: Plastic
Channels: 4
Approximate Flight Time: 6-8 minutes
Battery: 150mAh 3.7V 25C LiPo
Motor: 4 Brushed motors
Manufacturer: Blade
Available From: Horizon Hobby
Price: $69.99 RTF
Price: $49.99 BNF

The Inductrix is powered with Electric Ducted Fans (EDF). These replace the traditional propeller thrust systems. The design of the cylindrical rotor housings is claimed to add durability and produce less noise due to careful tuning. The Blade® Inductrix™ with its protected housed motor blades provides innovative flight technology that allows one to fly the Inductrix just about anywhere, the performance edge that makes your flight experience more fun. The performance is smooth and it has the ability to bounce off of many surfaces that would bring down an open blade powered machine. Surprisingly it is even quieter than a conventional propeller powered quadcopter. The rotor housings reduce damage from bumping into objects or falls onto carpet or grass. Orientation is assisted with bright LEDs and its sleek body. Of course being from Blade it has their innovative SAFE® technology with its self-leveling to make staying in control easy.

Flight times depend on how aggressive one flies the Inductrix. Actively flying at full speed all the time can cause flights to be less than six minutes. However, mixing speeds and simply hovering in place I have achieved flight times of over eight minutes. I have personally tested the Inductrix's ability to brush against things and stay aloft and under my control. Some of these brushes with lamps and the walls were actually intentional on my part for review testing. Some were high speed drifts when I initiated my turn too late or slowly to miss the object. My Inductrix still looks like new and more importantly still flies great. Although I have multiple batteries that will work in the Inductrix I try and always allow the motors time to cool down between flights to extend the life of the motors.

Kit Contents

The RTF Kit Includes

  • Fully assembled Blade® Inductrix™ drone
  • Blade® MLP transmitter with genuine DSMX® 2.4GHz technology
  • E-flite® 150mAh 1S 3.7V 25C Li-Po battery
  • 4 × AA transmitter batteries
  • Spare body included
  • USB 1S Li-Po charger
  • Manual, warranty and warning papers

My BNF Kit Included

  • Fully assembled Blade® Inductrix™ drone
  • E-flite® 150mAh 1S 3.7V 25C Li-Po battery
  • Spare body included
  • USB 1S Li-Po charger
  • Manual, warranty and warning papers

Key Features

Key Features

  • Lightweight, fully assembled quadcopter
  • SAFE® technology makes drone flying easy
  • Quiet EDF power system
  • Durable rotor housings prevent damage
  • Brilliant LED orientation lights
  • Includes both red and blue bodies
  • 150mAh 1S 3.7V 25C Li-Po flight battery
  • USB Li-Po charger
  • 6–8 minute flying time
  • Blade® MLP transmitter with genuine Spektrum™ DSMX® 2.4GHz technology (included)

SAFE® Technology

With the Blade® Inductrix™ quadcopter, anyone can fly with little effort. Exclusive Horizon Hobby SAFE® technology combines small pitch and roll angle limits with electronic self-leveling to help you stay in control and have more fun.

Assembly

No Assembly is required. She comes fully assembled.

Completion

Binding

The RTF version usually comes bound to its transmitter but if there is a need to rebind them here is the procedure. Binding of the RTF transmitter to the Inductrix is performed with the Inductrix powered up and flashing blue in the 3 in 1 unit. With the transmitter push down on the left throttle stick and turn on the transmitter while holding the stick down. You should hear a click and a long tone. Release the left stick. The transmitter will beep and the LED will blink. The bind is complete when the blue LED on the Inductrix turns solid blue.

With the BNF model of the Inductrix follow the instructions for your Spektrum transmitter and the Inductrix instruction sheet. Before binding the Inductrix to my Spectrum DX-9 I selected a new model space on my transmitter and selected Acro mode and named my model, Inductrix. With my Spektrum DX-9 I had my transmitter on and dialed to the bind option. I plugged the battery into the Inductrix to turn it on and pushed the roll select button on my transmitter to start the binding process. I had the transmitter away from the Inductrix by about six feet and they successfully bound and the Inductrix was ready to fly. The instructions gave no details on dual rates or SAFE technology access with the BNF model and I don't need either of those features with the Inductrix so I just started flying mine at high rate and having fun.

Dual Rates

The RTF transmitter has built in dual rates. When it is powered up it it comes on with high rates which is 100 % responsive. By pushing down on the right stick it switches to low rates which is only 70% as responsive in right stick movement. Low rates are usually easier for the Beginner to use to control the Inductrix. At high rates the Inductrix can bank more steeply and operate at higher speeds accordingly.

Flying

Basics

The left stick controls throttle and rudder and the Inductrix can pirouette to both the right and the left. The right stick controls forward and backward and side to side movement. To perform a Crazy 8 push the right stick forward and turn the Inductrix using the left stick. Using a combination of movements of both sticks it is possible to fly in all directions.

I have noticed that after six or seven minutes of flying it takes more and more throttle to maintain a steady hover and about that time the lights start flashing confirming it is time to land. I have multiple batteries I can use in my Inductrix and I simply wait to recharge them when I am going to be on my computer for awhile. The charger lights up while the battery is charging and the LED goes off when the battery is fully charged.

Taking Off and Landing

Just power up with the left stick and go into a climb and then reduce throttle to get into a hover. To land just go into a hover and lower the throttle. If flying over a flat smooth clean surface you can also land at an angle during linear flight and slide on the surface by reducing throttle slowly while in directional flight.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

By flying in high rates and using rudder for turns to get as steeply banked as possible it is possible to increase throttle for faster and more interesting flight with sliding turns. Completely reversing direction causes the Inductrix to slide to a stop before it starts moving in the new reverse direction. Flown in small rooms this can allow for interesting and challenging flights. The ducts allow the Inductrix to bounce off of objects much more easily then propeller powered quadcopters and yet still remaining under control and still flying. I found that my Inductrix could be very stable and I had excellent control of her in all directions. I can land her and fly her through spaces indoors more precisely than any of my other small quadcopters. One example is I could easily land her on the rather narrow fireplace mantle and other quadcopters of this size would blow themselves over the side while landing. The Inductrix would blow herself away from the wall and off the mantle during takeoffs as seen in my video below.

I can attest that she is fairly quiet for a quadcopter and you can judge that for yourself in listening to the videos. As for the advertised 6-8 minutes flying time I can assert that I have flown through all of the commercial breaks in half hour TV shows with one battery but I have to change batteries shortly into the second half hour of hour long shows. Duration of course depends on how aggressively I fly her. I have gotten pretty good at landing her on almost all flat surfaces in our family room. I am also pretty good at flying her under chairs and the breakfast nook table. One of my most enjoyable flights was flying around the Morning Glories (a vine) on a side yard fence and flying with some very large black bees. They wanted nothing to do with the Inductrix and I didn't chase them but we had some close encounters. I later came back and shot a video but there was about a 3-4 mph breeze by that time and that did push the Inductrix around but I could still control her. I wouldn't try to fly her in a higher breeze, 3-4 mph would be the maximum I would want to deal with outside.

Bumping into things intentionally was fun to do. Plants proved they could be a challenge as sometimes the smallest leaves would get into the blades and away she would spin and crash. Fastest speeds were obtained after such close encounters but my Inductrix has suffered no harm and still flies like new.

Night Flying Outdoors

We had several very calm nights the week my Inductrix arrived and I was able to fly her outside in the calm conditions. Her red and white lights made orientation very easy at night. She was stable and responsive to my commands as can be seen in the video below. I later flew outside on a night with a very slight breeze and then I was constantly adjusting my steering commands to control the Inductrix which was drifting with the breeze. I had no trouble controlling her in a 2-3 mph breeze but the constant motor flight into the breeze to hover made for a shorter flight. I have not tried to fly her in a real breeze. I couldn't keep my camera focus sharp in the video and my hand held camera still exposures without flash were so long that I came up with an interesting light show. Overall I rate night flying as the most fun flying of the Inductrix for me, indoors or outside when calm.

Night flying outdoors at Grupe Park in Stockton.

The video below was shot on a very dark night and my video camera didn't always stay in focus for Dick as he shot the video while I flew. I like the white lights in front and red in back as it greatly helps with orientation.

The Blade Inductrix outdoors on a calm Night (2 min 3 sec)

Is This For a Beginner?

Yes! With the protecting housing of the motor units and the SAFE technology this is an excellent mulitrotor for the Beginner indoors. With just a little practice both Beginner and experienced pilots can fly her outside in a very slight breeze.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

I admit that I enjoyed the video made by Blade/Horizon Hobby shown at the start of this video and decided I couldn't match it for creativity. In my video I show it flying indoors off of the fireplace mantle as discussed above and outside in front of into the Morning Glories. I have repeatedly hit the witch as shown in the video and despite the hair I have won every encounter with the witch. Outside the tomato plant fights back when I collide with it.

The RC Blade Inductrix Ducted Fan Quadcopter (4 min 28 sec)

Conclusion

I have one BNF Inductrix and I have over twenty full battery flight times of about 7 minutes for well over an hour and a half of air time in mostly 2-3 minute flights during commercials and she is flying as nicely as she did out of the box. Although we have a cat we keep a pretty clean house and I have had no problem with dirt, dust or hair around any of the prop shafts. I have snagged part of a tomato plants new growth plant branch when flying with the bumble bees. I enjoy flying her sort of like the old lunar lander computer game where I try and land on small flat surfaces around the family room. I have had my best success in doing that with the Inductrix compared to all of my other small quadcopters. With the red and white lights I have excellent orientation flying her outside at night or in a room at night with the lights off. Looking at the underside of the control board she appears more sophisticated then a number of my other small board quadcopters. No assembly, two different body colors and she flies well. I have very much enjoyed the Inductrix.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • The quietest quadcopter I own
  • I get the advertised 6-8 minutes of flight time
  • 22 full batteries of flight time doing this review copter and still operating as she did new
  • Very precise handling allowing me to land on spots I slipped off of with other copters
  • Because of the ducts I can fly into things and stay in the air
  • Batteries are easy to replace and affordable
  • I like the red body better than the blue
  • On high rates she was able to fly faster than I expected

Minuses

  • She doesn't do flips

Thanks

I would like to thank Blade and Horizon Hobby for supplying the Inductrix to RC Groups for this review. My thanks to Dick Andersen in helping me get the night media and to our editor for her assistance with this review.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Oct 15, 2015 at 10:42 PM..
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Nov 13, 2015, 06:36 PM
Registered User
SeniorSpan's Avatar

Inductrix


G'day all,

I purchased the Inductrix several weeks ago along with two extra batteries.
I installed the first battery and followed the instruction for set up. This was very easy and the craft was stable flew very responsively. Changed second battery flew for approx 30 seconds and two motors quit operating. Changed to third battery, same results, only two motors work.

Received no response from Horizon.

For me, this is $50 wasted.
Nov 13, 2015, 06:52 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
I have two of these, a BNF and a RTF, which I fly every night indoors when I get home from work. One of these quad copters is a replacement when my flight board began having flight times of 1.5 minutes on brand-new batteries. This was replaced by my dealer. even so this is my favorite indoor quad to date.

Having a German shepherd that sheds balls of hair which roll across the hardwood floors like tumbleweeds I use this quads downdraft like a leaf blower. I justify these quads to my wife as cleanup tools.
Nov 14, 2015, 10:58 AM
Registered User
GSD here also, so this can be purchased under pet grooming tool ?
Nov 14, 2015, 11:06 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
I've flown this microQuad at LowRates, the Throttle is very very touchy,
and hard to hover (doable though), beginners will have a hard time if
they've never flown RC before.
Its not for beginners, only thing that is great is the durability.

It would of been better if it had "Stick Relativity"!!!!!!
This is way to small to fly LOS 30 feet away.
Nov 14, 2015, 06:28 PM
semper mitis
gentle ben's Avatar
My experience with these has been very different than yours. Granted I don't hover much when "herding hairballs" and I usually fly on high rates, my throttle response is no where near as you describe. I have four FQ 777-124s that are very definition of touchy throttle. The touchiness may be partly due to the extremely small game-controller stick pads.
My number 2 daughter who was in visiting, had no trouble picking it up cold using the RTF transmitter. My number 4 daughter transitioned to a FQ 777-124 after using the Inductrix as her first quad.
Nov 16, 2015, 07:19 PM
liquid_courage
liquidcourage's Avatar
I hate that they call this a ducted fan because it's no such thing but I get it for marketing reasons. Calling it a super stable mini with very efficient prop guards just doesn't have the same ring as inductrix. I do love the way it fly's though, ridiculously stable and handles like its on rails. I upgraded the motors and turned mine into an fpv rig for a short time until I figured out that if I put the inductrix props on my fpv nano it makes it fly exactly like the inductrix.
Nov 17, 2015, 04:51 PM
Fan of just about anything RC
SoloProFan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidcourage
I hate that they call this a ducted fan because it's no such thing but I get it for marketing reasons.

I agree, for a true ducted fan the ducts would need to be much longer, and also different shape. These are more big prop guards.


Btw, very comprehensive review.
Nov 19, 2015, 12:37 AM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
Best-kept secret of the Inductrix: SAFE can be switched off. On the RTF transmitter, you have to push the other stick. On a standard radio, use the flight mode switch. The blue LED will turn red.
Latest blog entry: Jeti ESC resto-mod
Nov 19, 2015, 09:37 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
I thought safe mode was always ON with Low Rates
Nov 19, 2015, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidcourage
I hate that they call this a ducted fan because it's no such thing but I get it for marketing reasons. Calling it a super stable mini with very efficient prop guards just doesn't have the same ring as inductrix. I do love the way it fly's though, ridiculously stable and handles like its on rails. I upgraded the motors and turned mine into an fpv rig for a short time until I figured out that if I put the inductrix props on my fpv nano it makes it fly exactly like the inductrix.
How was it FPV? It's rainy here for the next 6 months and I was thinking about getting an indoor rig for my fix. I need something with good prop guards.


Quote:
Originally Posted by C₄H₁₀
Best-kept secret of the Inductrix: SAFE can be switched off. On the RTF transmitter, you have to push the other stick. On a standard radio, use the flight mode switch. The blue LED will turn red.
What is SAFE mode in this context?
Nov 19, 2015, 03:57 PM
liquid_courage
liquidcourage's Avatar
[QUOTE=SirRexAlot;33237316]How was it FPV? It's rainy here for the next 6 months and I was thinking about getting an indoor rig for my fix. I need something with good prop guards.




It was pretty good, although I've upgraded the motors to the mediums from MMW (the ones that are for the nano). I wouldn't have even tried to use it for fpv with the stock motors they are junk
Nov 20, 2015, 04:38 AM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
Quote:
What is SAFE mode in this context?
SAFE = Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. It limits your bank angles and snaps the quad back to level when you release the stick. With SAFE active, you've got a very docile, easy-to-fly craft.

Turning off SAFE gives you a bunch more control authority, but it doesn't self-correct so you have to really fly it instead of just nudging it around the living room.

Quote:
I thought safe mode was always ON with Low Rates
Rate selection is independent of flight mode, at least as far as I can tell. The RTF transmitter defaults to high rates (solid red LED) and switches to low rates when you press the right stick (blinking LED). The quad defaults to SAFE mode, but switches to agility mode when you press the left stick.

It's weird. I can't find any reference to mode selection in the RTF or BNF manual, or the promo video, or Horizon's product page... but it's there Left stick: press it.
Latest blog entry: Jeti ESC resto-mod
Nov 20, 2015, 11:26 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
^
Sooooo SAFE Mode is always ON?
Nov 21, 2015, 05:59 PM
Registered User
I FPV'd it with the VA1100 and it is super stable. Flights are like an FPV go-kart... it just goes where you point it!

I've had the Inductrix since it was released (happened to see the guys stocking shelves at the LHS and couldn't resist) and have replaced two motors already. The first one had at least an hour of flight time, and the second one crapped out on a rough crash that damaged one of the "ducts".

With the plastic body removed and a case-removed VA1100 stuck to the FC with super sticky tape I can get a solid 4 minutes out of a 200mah (35C) Microheli battery. It isn't worth FPVing with the stock 150mah (25C) battery.

I was running the Inductrix with a Turnigy nano-tech 300mah (35C) a few months back and could get a solid 8 minutes of flying, but with the VA1100 added top it was too much for the stock motors. Perhaps the micro motor warehouse motors would be enough grunt.

Oh, and you have to run a timer for FPV because once those LEDs flash, you're video will cut quickly and you're going down, like it or not. Horizon REALLY ought to make a version of thing for FPV, just a little slot for the VA1100 and a built-in accessory power shouldn't be too hard, right?


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