E-Flite Blade 130X BNF Review

E-Flite Blade 130X BNF Review

Author
  • Flying
  • Durability
  • Price

E-Flite Blade’s 130X is an amazing step ahead of the already popular mCP-X. Its bigger size, stronger brushless motor and shaft driven tail offer promises of tic-tocs just right out of the box. It is available only in bind-n-fly version and so, you will have to provide a transmitter. Sporting AS3X flybarless technology, 130X feels like a much larger heli, says Blade.

Package

The neat styrofoam and cardboard packing of 130X acts as a carrying case too. However there is no room for your transmitter, as the box is occupied entirely by the heli.  

The package includes: 130X heli, 2S 7.4V 300mAh 35C flight battery, Celectra balance charger, extra blades, 4 spare blade grip links, extra set of shaft drive gears, 2 Allen Wreches, extra canopy grommets, a small Philips screwdriver, an instruction manual

package 130X

Specifications

Length: 305mm

Weight: 107gm

Rotor Blade Length: 135mm

Rotor Diameter: 325mm

Tail Diameter: 76mm

Motor: 6730Kv Brushless Inrunner

Battery: 2S 7.4V 300mAh 35C Li-Po

Transmitter: BNF

Gyro: AS3X

Flight Duration: 3.5 to 4 Minutes

Features

Instead of a motor driven tail, the 130X features a shaft drive. This contains a stiff wire which is powered directly by the main shaft through a set of bevel gears and the power is transferred to the tail rotor by a second pack of gears. The tail is changeable pitch, quite like its elder cousins and is driven by a similar kind of linear servo which also drives the swash.

The main gear is attached to the main shaft, therefore no autos. The control board is all-in-one and consists of the brushless esc, AS3X gyro and the receiver, and is neatly tucked up under the airframe’s nose. The brushless motor is pretty tall and is seated into the airframe right in front of the main shaft. The 130X is very much like the mCP-X from the swash up, just a bit larger.

The tail servo is a linear servo and is placed under the front of the boom. The boom is square and sports carbon boom supports, offering a stiff tail. Two sets of blades are available in the box. Those of “bullet” style are installed, and the other more traditional come loose. The manual doesn’t specify much about the differences in these two sets – only “fast flight” and “hi-performance” mentioned in the parts listing. You will find a very small difference between the two sets after flying.

Canopy is bright and looks nice. It is made from thin plastic resembling that of mCP-X. The pushrods to the swash from the servos can be adjusted in two ways. The first is plastic ball link that can be screwed in and out. It you need a smaller adjustment, you can pinch in or pull out a “U” bend in the actual pushrod, as per need. Once out of the box, the 130X is adjusted perfectly and doesn’t require you to change anything.

Charging the Battery

The first thing recommended is to put battery for charging. The included Celectra charger is quite easy to use. The DC charger has an AC adapter. It has only one button and you just have to plug the battery in and push the button. The connector is available separately which will allow you to hook up your charger to a car battery or any other 12V source. The Celectra balance charges every cell, ensuring a well matched pack every time you fly the bird. Once the green LED becomes solid green, you are ready to go.

Binding

Binding 130X is also easy. It is much the same as that of any other BNF product. The manual consists of settings for Dx6i, DX7/DX7se, DX7s and DX8. Power the 130X, wait till the control board starts flashing, next turn on your TX while holding the bind switch/button. As the binding process is complete, the bird is ready to fly.

Flying

Great! This bird features amazing flight performance, is very stable – thanks to its AS3X gyro. It features very comfortable hovering and its sport flying features an extremely smooth machine with a locked in tail. With idle up or stunt mode and increased rpm, you get ability to inverted flight with a constant throttle. So, it’s time for some 3D! Though the brushless motor is quite powerful, a pretty amount of collective management is still needed to fly 3D maneuvers. Inverted flight is just as stable as the regular flight, though backward inverted flight shows a little weakening of tail. You might need to fly the tail more to save it from blowing out, only in the inverted backward flight.

inverted flight 130X

Programming Gyro

You will be pleasantly surprised to find that though the 130X is ready to go out of the box, you get the ability to adjust the gyro gains. You will find the instructions at Blades website. The adjustment basically involves a cluster of stick inputs to enter and program the settings for the gains. The range of gains has been predetermined in the factory, so you cannot turn it unflyable by adjusting them.

Durability

130X is a delicate heli, so you can’t expect it to bounce on the ground and fly again like an mCP-X. If you make a crash against the ground, you should check whether the gears are alright or their alignment has not changed.

Is it for Beginners?

The 1-word answer to this question is “no”. If you have spent a lot of time on a coax or simulator, 130X is for you. But if you have just started, it is not recommended to make it your 1st heli.

Pros

  • Extremely stable
  • 3Ds
  • Handles wind well
  • Ability to customize

Cons

  • Less durable
  • Only BNF version available

Conclusion

130X flies great! It amuses you by doing most of everything and its AS3X gyro offers it incredible stability. Moreover, it really feels like a larger heli, as the company claims. It is able to handle wind well, but is easier to fly around a gym. It is a great 3D trainer too. In the following videos, you can see the amazing performance of the bird, both, indoor and outdoor – courtesy: victormaitlandshouse and Gary Townsend respectively.

A lot of great upgrades are already available for the bird, in addition to canopies, so as to let you customize your 130X totally and have a unique bird for your collection!

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