Horizon Hobby Blade mCP S RTF


Written by Greg Gimlick
Build your confidence with this single-rotor heli
Product review
As seen in the Spring 2018 issue of
Park Pilot.



Specifications:

Type: Electric RTF micro flybarless
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
Main rotor diameter: 9.4 inches
Head geometry: 120°
Tail drive: Direct drive
Tail rotor diameter: 1.5 inches
Length: 9.4 inches
Height: 3.5 inches
Weight: 1.7 ounces with battery
Flight duration: 5 to 6 minutes
Price: $139.99 (BNF); $169.99 (RTF)
Info: horizonhobby.com


Features:

>> Ready to fly right out of the box
>> Includes two batteries and charger
>> Panic button
>> Fully aerobatic/3D capable
>> Durable airframe


Product review

>> The original mCP X was a great helicopter and I bought three of them throughout the years. With the advancement of AS3X and a panic mode, this heli, the Blade mCP S, suddenly becomes a cut above the original. The box is a well-thought-out carrying case and it even contains two flight batteries.

There isn’t anything to do with the RTF (Ready-to-Fly) version of the mCP S except charge the batteries. It arrives fully assembled and the nifty little six-channel MLP6DSM transmitter is preprogrammed and bound to the helicopter. If you are getting the BNF (Bind-N-Fly) version or wish to use your existing Spektrum radio, the manual contains all of the settings for the various choices.

The frame is plastic composite material with a carbon-fiber main and tail shaft. The head geometry is a standard 120° head with linear servos lined up with each swashplate attachment point to ensure accurate, precise movements. All components appear easily accessible should repairs be necessary, but a magnifying glass might prove handy for seeing the tiny screws.




3D pilot Daniel Lamb had some fun putting the mCP S through its paces for some photos and video.


The battery used by the mCP S employs an mCPX connector also referred to as Micro JST (jst.com) or Pico (picowiring.com) connector. Although the difference might seem insignificant when compared with the smaller mCX type, it is considerably more efficient. It was great to see that Blade used this connector!

If you find yourself replacing the body or removing it to service a component, be careful when pulling it off or pushing it onto the mounting posts. The plastic canopy is extremely light. It’s also thin, so it cracks easily.

When using the provided six-channel MLP6DSM transmitter, the flight mode switch will have throttle hold along with the other two modes. Position 0 will be throttle hold, Position 1 will be stability mode, and Position 2 will be 3D mode.


Progressive Flight Modes

Stability Mode (Pos 1 with RTF radio)

• Stability Mode is typically preferred by pilots with less experience flying collective-pitch helicopters.

• The helicopter will limit the bank angle, even with full control input, and return the aircraft to a level flight attitude when the controls are released.

• The yaw rate is slowed for ease of control.

• The Panic Recovery button returns the helicopter to upright, level attitude.

• The throttle mode is normal. Low throttle stick position equals 0% throttle.

3D Mode (Pos 2 with RTF radio)

• 3D Mode is intended for pilots who have experience with collective-pitch helicopters.
• The model will not return to a level attitude position when you release the controls.

• The helicopter has no bank angle limit.

• Both the cyclic and yaw controls are at a fast, aerobatic rate.

• The Panic Recovery button returns the helicopter to a level attitude, either upright or inverted—whichever is closer.

• The throttle mode is “idle up.” The motor remains at a constant speed, regardless of the throttle stick position. The throttle stick controls the pitch of the main rotor blades.

Agility Mode

(This mode is available by using a computer radio and positioned between Stability and 3D modes on the switch.)

• Agility Mode shares the same characteristics as 3D Mode, with a slightly lower head speed. This results in a softer, less responsive feel.

The Panic Switch is available in each mode and will recover the helicopter to a stable condition. The big thing to remember is that if the helicopter is in 3D mode and closer to inverted than upright, the Panic Switch will stabilize it in an inverted position.

This is an aircraft for intermediate pilots, so if you’re still a beginner, you might want to get more practice before jumping into this. With that stated, the stability mode is solid and the heli’s light weight offers a lot of protection against unexpected ground arrivals. In other words, it’s crashworthy. Lack of mass is wonderful when things go wrong. I’m not a 3D flier, but I do try some things that don’t always end up as intended and I’ve yet to break anything.




The Blade mCP S allows pilots to attempt things they might not otherwise try, knowing that the panic recovery function will return the helicopter to safe and level flight if needed.


For a heavy 3D workout, I enlisted the help of fellow Holly Springs, North Carolina, Skyhawks member Daniel Lamb. Daniel gave the heli quite a workout and it passed his tests surprisingly well. He spent more time flying it around inverted than upright. He also did backward circles, one after another, and the tail held surprisingly well.

I’ve let several people give it a try and the more experienced pilots felt they were fighting the stabilization until they went into 3D mode. The less experienced pilots didn’t notice. For me, this speaks well of the programming because it allows for transition from intermediate to expert. The panic recovery function worked well.

One thing we noticed during a flight was a slight “toilet bowl” effect during a steep descent when power was brought in to terminate at a hover. I blamed the flight controller, but after consulting with another heli friend, he suggested that I had the main blade retention bolts too tight. I loosened them enough that the blades drooped on their own when placed on its side, and the problem went away.

The RTF version comes with the E-flite MLP6DSM six-channel SAFE transmitter and it’s more than capable. One of my grandsons thought it felt like his game controller and he loved it. Those who are used to full-size radios might find it slightly different to hold because they’re used to a particular style.

I’ve gotten used to it, but I prefer my Spektrum DX9. Part of that is because I prefer not to have throttle hold on my flight mode switch. It can be easy to hit if you overshoot the move from 3D back to Stability mode—just something to be aware of. Using my DX9 also allowed me to pick up the extra flight mode.

The new mCP S is definitely a step up from the original in many ways. The programming is much better and the power is more than adequate for anything you might try. There is a brushless upgrade available for those who want even more power. The great thing about the mCP S is that it allows a pilot to attempt things that he or she might not otherwise try with a larger, more expensive helicopter.

It offers the confidence of having a panic recovery function to recover things that go wrong. Even if it does end up hitting the ground, the heli’s weight makes it highly unlikely that any real damage will occur.

I’ve flown this inside and outside and, although it gets small in a hurry, it’s very happy to go to the field with the bigger machines.






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3 comments

Got mine a few weeks ago. I LOVE it!!! Nice little bird. Needs a replacement motor, now. Will be up flying again soon.

Great Article. My motor burned out after a few short weeks. Once I replaced it, I now fly for 4-minutes instead of 5, & let it cool off for 1/2 an hour between flights. GREAT little machine!!!!

A GREAT FIRST OUTDOOR Heli. Fly for 4-minutes, for battery longevity. I LOVE mine.

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