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Horizon Hobby/Blade Scimitar 170 FPV RTF Review

Here is a complete solution for anyone looking to get into an FPV based quadcopter. In this review, I go over the complete package and also provide FPV footage from the air.

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The Blade Scimitar 170 FPV RTF Review

The Blade Scimitar 170 FPV RTF has everything you need to be not only a successful quad pilot but also to fly FPV! This unit from Blade is docile enough to navigate your backyard (shown in my video) and nimble enough to do all the loops, rolls and high-speed flying you will ultimately grow into to. This package has everything you need to get going right out of the box.

What's in the box?

  • (1) Scimitar 170 FPV RTF
  • (1) Spektrum™ DXe Transmitter
  • (1) Spektrum Quad Race Serial Receiver w/telemetry
  • (4) 1407-2820KV FPV Motors
  • (1) 20A 4-in-1 ESC
  • (1) Flight Controller
  • (1) 25/200/600mW Adjustable Video Transmitter
  • (1) 600TVL CMOS FPV Camera
  • (1) 4.3” FPV Video Monitor with DVR
  • (1) Eflite Thrust 850mAh 4S 14.8V 35C LiPo Battery
  • (1) User Manual

Power System

The 170 Scimitar runs on a 4s lipo pack and spins four 1407-3000Kv motors. This unit features 20A 4-in-1 ESC with BLHeli-S and Dhot 600 compatibility. The F3 flight controller features a user-configurable data to the on-screen display via the Betaflight OSD. That's a lot of good stuff in one small package!

FPV

This unit has a preinstalled 600TVL CMOS camera with 2.1mm lens. I'm also a big fan of the variable power video transmitter, you can change your frequency and channel directly from your Spektrum radio and choose between 25, 200, and 600mW power modes. This package comes with an LCD FPV monitor that can be used with the included goggle set. If you have a set of Fat Shark goggles you can also view your FPV feed that way.

The included FPV monitor has a DVR feature that is very simple to use. I have found that many DVR systems are menu driven and not intuitive. I'm happy to report that the Blade team made this setup in a way that is easy to use and know that you actually got your video while in the field.

DXe Transmitter

There is an included DXe transmitter to that is already bound and setup. That means your Scimitar is ready to rock as soon as you charge your batteries. Getting a quad setup can be frustrating (been there/done that!) but this unit is put together to make your quad/FPV experience easy and painless.

Durability

Are you too cool for prop guards? I'm not! I have had many quad outings cut short by damaging a prop with some rambunctious flying. These guards are just as easy to put on as they are to take off.

The impact resistant pod protects the Scimitar's internals in a cool hydro dipped shell. The flight controller is easy to access, as are the bind button and video transmitter via cutouts in the shell.

The Extras

This package includes lipos for your quad, batteries for your transmitter, a charger for your lipos and tools. You literally have everything in this package to get in the air. If you have always wanted to try and FPV quad but didn't have any gear this is the setup you will need!

Features

  • 4" propellers
  • Ready to Fly: Spektrum™ DXe radio, DVR Monitor, DC charger, and two 4S batteries included
  • F3 Flight Controller: Betaflight & Betaflight OSD
  • 4-in-1 20A ESC: BLHeli-S & DShot 600 compatible
  • 1407-2820KV FPV Racing Motor
  • Video transmitter: 25/200/600mW 32 channel, variable power, and Spektrum TX control
  • Camera: 600TVL CMOS w/ 2.1mm lens
  • Durable 4mm carbon fiber frame with replaceable arms
  • Injection molded plastic pod: Covers all vital components
  • Spektrum Telemetry RX: Provides valuable flight data and allows for forward programming of VTX and FC

Getting In the Air

I'm going to hammer this home one more time, getting the Scimitar 170 is the easiest quad to date for me to get into the air. As I walked to the backyard I thought, "It can't be this easy." I turned on the included DXe, plugged in the battery on the Scimitar and laid it down. With a flip of the right switch the blades spun up and in mode one, I easily lifted off and started cruising the backyard (you can see this first flight in my video).

After some backyard excursions, I headed to the field. It was super windy and I was alone so I did some line of sight flights testing out mode 3. Loops and rolls were a breeze, as was high-speed flight. I finished that day off cruising through our field's shelter.

The third day I had Mr. Jason Cole join me so he could put his FPV racing skills to work. He promptly flew the Scimitar 170 hard! You can watch the video to see that it handled that just as well as my casual cruising in the backyard.

Blade Scimitar 170 FPV RTF - RCGroups Review (13 min 1 sec)

Thoughts

This FPV quad is super simple to get from the box to the air. Everything you need is included, the quad, prop guards, batteries, battery charger, transmitter, FPV camera, FPV receiver and monitor, goggles and tools. The on-screen-display is an extra bonus to keep you updated while you are in the goggles. Speaking of goggles the included headset is great for those of you that don't have one yet. If you do have some FPV goggles (5.8) then the headset and receiver are a good way to offer rides to your friends. And last but certainly not least, the DVR recorder is a must and this one works great.

Be aware of... The included FPV 600 TVL video camera is preinstalled on the unit. You can move it up and down based on your style of flying. Mine was just loose enough to allow it to rotate all the way down if I came down on the ground too hard. If you are way out in a field and this happens your ability to see from the cam is gone (the site picture goes below the canopy). My suggestion is to tighten the video camera mount so that it isn't as loose.

Learn More

For more info and the ability to order this all-in-one unit head over the to the Horizon Hobby/Blade site.

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Oct 03, 2018, 08:21 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
I will watch the vid again, maybe I missed it but... can it 'meow' or 'turtle'?

Last edited by HuffDaddy; Oct 03, 2018 at 08:47 PM.
Oct 03, 2018, 10:02 PM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
No it cannot. I will say I had this at my event last week and it was my favorite thing to fly.
Oct 04, 2018, 07:08 AM
Registered User
It says it has Blheli and Dshot 600, so if it can be set up through BF, one should absolutely be able to activate turtle mode.
Oct 04, 2018, 08:54 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
thats kinda what I was hoping, that it could to do it since its advertised as "BLHeli-S & DShot 600 compatible"... and though I know very little about Betaflight programming I thought I read somewhere that quads need DShot to be able to configure the turtle\meow function...

I was confused because the Horizon site doesn't mention that its even doable which I thought was odd to not promote that cool feature. I get the fact that it may not come preprogrammed to flip but and would need to be programmed... would sure like to see a seasoned quad pilot get this and program the turtle function and report back... I'd order one if that happened

I am only a novice quad pilot and that type of stuff would be important to me as the quads I do have I wind up walking out to flip it over more than I care to admit
Oct 05, 2018, 08:13 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
I thought I saw this before but couldn't remember where I read\heard it and bumped into this again today
they say it does\can flip... of course they don't mention it being preprogrammed out of the box or not which isn't a big deal...sounds like you just have to enable the flip feature via Betaflight...

check out about 10:30 in this vid...


LIVE Q&A - Blade Scimitar 170 & 215 (21 min 59 sec)
Oct 07, 2018, 10:35 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
ooook... so I decided to pull the trigger ... and now the wait begins


Oct 11, 2018, 10:02 AM
Admin Deluxe
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
Just an update - this is currently my favorite FPV vehicle.
Oct 11, 2018, 11:05 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
hey Jim... I hope to be able to say the same thing, mine arrived today

so whats your tip on binding it?

trying to depress that bind button through that tiny hole on the left side of the canopy and simultaneously connect a battery is not the easiest...

did you bind it using Betaflight?



-Mark
Oct 12, 2018, 12:56 AM
I kill batteries!
$499 is steep considering the package.

Dxe tx with a telemetry capable race rx? No go.
Is the programming cable for the dxe included? That tx is strictly locked to 6 channels max. 4 for sticks, one for arm (maybe) and one for flight modes...good luck getting crash flip working.

F3 flight controller? HH/Blade seem to be stuck on f3.

The dvr monitor is a nice touch but it's not diversity and this quad will itch pilots to take it beyond obstacle free paths.

At that price point it's hard to justify the quad alone. Iflight ih3 built with runcam split, hobbycool comet, hawk5, tyro etc. so many other packages out there for less money and more capable hardware...why does HH/Blade insist on charging sky high prices?

For the record, I have personally owned that tx, that dvr monitor and goggle set. For a beginner sure it's a decent set but I wouldn't pay full price for them.
Oct 12, 2018, 07:15 AM
Registered User
So would this be a good starting point for someone who's looking to get into "quad" racing and/or flying quads??

Questions:

1) Can you really fly a quad proficiently without fpv?? When flying a quad it just seems you would lose orientation very quickly.

2) Would the Blade Introdux be a better price point for learning fpv quad flying then this particular model??

I'm looking for an entry point for fpv quad flying, I've been a fixed wing r/c pilot for over 10 yrs and I would consider myself a "good" sport pilot. I have Realflight 7.5 so I've been doing sim time to hone my skills.

I have training in soldering and a good base knowledge of electronics, so building a quad would be possible. Thx for the input in advance.

Geoffrey
Oct 12, 2018, 07:07 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
hey Geoffrey... I have the Inductrix FPV + BNF (BLH9680) and think its one of the best beginner\intermediate micro quads out there (but some people can't find anything good about it), not that I am an expert on quads or FPV though. Me personally, I just wanted a micro quad that was fairly inexpensive ($99)and easy to learn FPV on and try to learn flying FPV through the house on bad weather days and on nice calm days, out to the backyard. The Inductrix FPV + does just that and the 'meow' flip over feature is awesome.

I fly planes mostly and since I already had the DX9 tx I picked up the Inductrix FPV + and the Quanum Cyclops FPV ($50) and few lipos to start, still flying it and really like it. There's a new version of it now, the Inductrix FPV BL, not sure what people are saying about it...

I am anxious to get this Scimitar 170 in the air so I will be setting it up this eve and hopefully fly tomorrow

-Mark



Quote:
Originally Posted by gcanrcfly
So would this be a good starting point for someone who's looking to get into "quad" racing and/or flying quads??

Questions:

1) Can you really fly a quad proficiently without fpv?? When flying a quad it just seems you would lose orientation very quickly.

2) Would the Blade Introdux be a better price point for learning fpv quad flying then this particular model??

I'm looking for an entry point for fpv quad flying, I've been a fixed wing r/c pilot for over 10 yrs and I would consider myself a "good" sport pilot. I have Realflight 7.5 so I've been doing sim time to hone my skills.

I have training in soldering and a good base knowledge of electronics, so building a quad would be possible. Thx for the input in advance.

Geoffrey
Oct 12, 2018, 07:56 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
my lipos came today, now we can get started!!

oh, wait, wrong connectors!!

thought the quad had EC3 connector so I ordered (4) 850mAh w\ EC3... guess what... the quad has an XT60!!

looks like I'm replacing the EC3 on the lipos with an XT60 before I can do anything

Last edited by HuffDaddy; Oct 12, 2018 at 10:38 PM.
Oct 12, 2018, 08:13 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
so pg 3 in the manual gives this as the recommended lipo...
granted, I bought the BNF version but the manual covers both the BNF & RTF as well but this is the recommended lipo 850mAh 4S 14.8V 35C LiPo Battery (EFLRB8504S35) ...

one would think the connector on the recommended lipo would match the quad ...
Oct 12, 2018, 10:49 PM
No Guts, No Glory!
HuffDaddy's Avatar
ok... changed out the EC3 on the batteries and got to do a couple test flights out on the patio... niiice power and those LEDs are bright!

Hhhmm... I thought the LEDs were configurable but not seeing anything in the manual on how to so maybe the aren't

think I'm feelin' an FPV adventure coming on... going to cruise around the yard ... cant wait until tomorrow


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