E-Flite Blade 450 3D RTF Review

E-Flite Blade 450 3D RTF Review

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  • Durability
  • Flying
  • Price

After the original Blade 400 got enormously popular, Blade people thought on what can be an improvement in it and that gave rise to Blade 450. The new Blade 450 is available as both, RTF and BNF, and is a great heli for those who wish to take a step ahead towards a 3D-capable CP helicopter.

Package

The package of Blade 450 RTF contains: Blade 450 ready-to-fly helicopter, Spektrum DX6i transmitter, 4 AA batteries (for the TX), 2200mAh 3S Li-Po battery, DC balance charger, setup CD, instruction manual.

450 package

Specifications of Blade 450

Length: 655 mm

Weight: 760 gm

Main Rotor Diameter: 720 mm

Tail Rotor Diameter: 142 mm

Motor: 420H Brushless outrunner 3800Kv

Transmitter

Transmitter of Blade 450 is Spektrum DX6i with 2.4GHz DSMX modulation, a large LCD display, model match, 10 model memory, roller selector UI and integrated timer. It is a proven computer radio and with its DSMX technology, offers you the advantage of a frequency hopping signal. The DX6i is preprogrammed with two different model setups, advanced and intermediate. The intermediate setup is programmed to models 1 to 9 (default to 1 when out of the box), while the advanced setup is programmed to model 10. The difference between the two is the throttle and curve pitch settings. In the intermediate setup, you get around 10 degrees of pitch with a flat 72.5% throttle curve with idle up, while in advanced profile you get around 12 degrees pitch with a flat 100% throttle curve with idle up. Normal flight mode in both the setups varies slightly from each other.

TX 450

The factory does a test flight with model 1, so to use model 9 or 10 (the 2nd intermediate or advanced mode) you should copy the sub trim values from model 1 either to 9 or 10, based on what you want to do. Or you can only trim the model yourself. In that case the manual recommends copying model 9 or 10 to 1; however, prefer just to switch models.

Battery and Charger

You can attach the battery to the charger through its balance plug and each cell is balanced accordingly. The charger has label mentioning as putting out 1.8 amps, which is a bit under 1C for the 2200mAh Li-Po. This makes the charging safe, but takes a little longer than charging at 1C. The charger gets power from a 12V DC input and should be hooked up to a 12V battery like your car battery.

Improvements over Blade 400

If you are already an owner of Blade 400, you will very much feel familiar with 450 when out of the box; but there are numerous prominent differences.

Rotor Head – To start with the rotor head, there is an upgrading of the center hub to an aluminum part, turning it more firm and less vulnerable to developing any slop. When you add some much improved head dumpers to that, you have crisper looking cyclic response. Even the flaybar cage has been redesigned to an inverted ā€œVā€ shape, which allows more extreme throws to accomplish 3D style flying.

rotor head 450

Servos – The electronics have also been improved. The 450 features E-Flite DS76 digital servos, with a DS76t for tail. The DS76 boasts of accurate centering at less than 1 degree and is rated at 4.8V at 24.2 ounces of torque. The tail servo is quite impressive at 0.03 sec/60 degrees and also features the same accurate centering of the standard DS76. Paired up with the DS76t tail servo, comes the new G210 MEMS gyro.

Gyro – The G210 has the ability to offer great holding power due to the fact that it makes use of MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Sensor) and is drift-free, holds fine in a cross wind and has constant pirouette rates.

Motor – The E-Flite 420H brushless motor of 450 gets power through an E-Flite 35amp ESC and is quite efficient for the task of providing constant power during 3D maneuvers. The supplied 2200mAh 3S Li-Po is rated at 30C and supplies adequate power. This is a great improvement over the 400, which could get into problem sometimes when flying 3D as there can be an overheating of ESC.

motor 450

Receiver – The AR6115e receiver is of type microlite park flyer having end pins. Its weight is around 4 gm and is readily installed in the heli. As told earlier, it operates on the new Spektrum DSMX technology and even if it is listed as a park flyer receiver, you can fly Blade 450 nearly out of sight without the loss of signal.

Tail Weights – One more amazing feature of 450 is the incorporated tail weights on the tail blade grips. These help by taking some load off the servo and thus allowing for improved holding power.

tail weights 450

Flying Experience

If you start it in advanced mode (10) it offers a nice hover right off the ground and the tail holds well in a moderate wind. If you slightly modify the pirouette rate to match both the directions, a little trim is needed. The DX6i tx is good, cyclic feel crisp and you will feel that the bird has a lot of power!

Special Performances

Flipping the switch in idle up produces a significant higher pitch from the motor as it spools up. The 450 has a lot of punch out power and soon you are able to fly in inverted mode. It behaves well while inverted and has even no weird pitching tendencies in fast forward flight. You become comfortable with it fairly quickly. Regarding stability, it feels like a larger heli. It tracks very well and the wooden blades are nice, though they feel a little draggy during flipping and rolling maneuvers. However you need not worry, because once you are in the stage of trying 3D, you can upgrade to carbon fiber blades.

The 450 can handle almost everything you throw at it. It performs backward flight uneventful, with tail holding constantly. Tic tocs take a bit getting used to. The excellent gyro makes backward and inverted flights possible without drift.

inverted flight

Is Blade 450 for Beginners?

Blade450 is perfect for beginners. It comes with an optional training gear and you can use the heli as a trainer in intermediate mode on the TX. The best thing about this model is you get everything you desire (barring training gear), so you can get it in the air only with a single purchase and you can focus on learning rather than attempting to understand how to set it up.

When you are prepared for 3D flying, or if you have already achieved that stage, you just have to select the more advanced model (or can program your own with any of the standby model memories of the DX6i). The 450 handles 3D extremely well and you develop your skill set, you can make several aftermarket upgrades which enable you to customize the model.

Thus you can say that Blade 450 is a fun model for people of variety of skill sets.

Pros

  • Absolutely ready-to-fly (the RTF version)!
  • Great for learners
  • Great stability
  • Spektrum DX6i with 2.4GHz DSMX technology
  • Can be customized

Cons

  • None as such

Conclusion

Blade 450 is a great helicopter which can be flown wherever you get an open space. It is strong and can handle everything you throw at it. As Blade parts are available at nearly every hobby shop, spare part availability is also no problem. The ease of flying right out of the box, without having to understand the programming the electronics and setting up of mechanics appeals people who get limited time to spend on the hobby.

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