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Best Gift Ideas Under $90 - The Blade mCX RTF Precision Micro RC Helicopter
The World's Coolest Micro RC Helicopter!
Get the Blade mCX from Amazon
Blade mCX by E-Flite
The Blade mCX RTF by E-flite is my absolute favorite RC Helicopter. I've owned about 6 models so far. Some, like the Air Hog Havoc, or sharpshooter, are very sophisticated toys. Lots of fun, great for what they are, but still, just toys. The Blade mCX RTF is definitely NOT a toy! Function, design, durability, go beyond the features of a toy.
The Blade mCX gives you full control - up, down, backward, forward, turn right, turn left, fly right, fly left.
Up and down are easy. Any decent model RC heli does that. Turn left, turn right, same thing. That's how the Air Hogs steer. Kind of a "point and drift."
But not the Blade. Here's where it begins showing off. When you steer it forward and backward, it's POWERED flight… maybe not jet-powered, but definitely moving under power.
Good video for features list
It's all about total control
Flying left and right is also a powered move. Turning left or right is just spinning in place. But flying left and right is actually moving, flying at right angles to the direction the helicopter is facing.
To make it even better, these controls combine. If you push the stick up and to the right at the same time, the Blade mCX flies diagonally forward and rightward.
At the same time, the other stick controls up, down, and heading. This is the power of the Blade versus toys like the Havoc Heli. You can fly the Blade mCX in ANY direction, even if it's pointed in another direction! All the while, simultaneously ascending or descending.
Heli Slalom with the mCX
Having fun with the Blade mCX
While the Blade is no jet aircraft, it has enough speed and power to have a lot of fun. I've learned a trick to get a bit more speed out of it - if you fly forward, but pointed slightly to the diagonal, it goes faster than if you fly straight forward in the direction it's pointed.
I can get mine to dip, spin, do back-and-forward U-turns; One of my favorite moves Is to do a forward power dive, then spin 360's a couple of times while it's still drifting at speed, then sharply power into a new direction. It's easier than it sounds, but never fails to impress friends and family.
The Advantage of Micro RC Helicopters
Like I said; the Blade mCX is not a toy. It's a precision control model RC helicopter. That just happens to be small enough to land on someone's hand!
The size is amazing. Less than 8 inches in length, yet with all the control of a larger model. It fascinates me to have such a tiny rc heli and still have all that function. I've had larger rc helicopters, even indoor models (Like the Blade CX, CX2, and CX3's) and they're great fun, but need a huge room to really enjoy. My little Blade mCX can spin on a dime and give 9 cents change back. Any room suddenly becomes a vast space with room to play and maneuver.
mCX Obstacle Course
Fly your RC Heli with Confidence
Ease of flying is another big plus. The instructions included offer very simple beginner's how-to. First you make some simple adjustments (simply setting the trim controls), then in a few minutes you're in the air. It has unbelievable stability, even for beginners, due to the coaxial counter-rotating head design. The two-level system of rotors fly slower than a single-rotor heli, but adds an unprecedented level of stability. Wonderful for beginning pilots! Within an hour, even a klutz like me was flying around the room with confidence.
Part of that confidence comes from the Blade mCX's 'crashability.' I think I just made that word up, but it fits. I've rammed mine straight into the ceiling, then panicked and powered off, at which point it plummeted to the ground - hard. With no signs of damage. Smacked into walls, furniture, pets and people. No harm done… mostly. I'll admit, I've had to replace the rotors now and then, but they're cheap and easy to get. And an easy fix.
I did have one incident requiring replacement of the stabilizer flybar. That's the little metal bar above the rotors. I was trying to fly under a wooden table, and didn't go low enough. The bar cost me about $3.00 to replace, and was easy to fix. I wanted to pay my hobby store to fix it for me, and they took the time to show me how easy it was. Gave me the confidence to try, and it really was simple.
How NOT to Crash - Learning to fly the Blade mCX
If you're going to crash, do it right
They also gave me some great advice. - "If you know you're about to crash, power down."
As simple as that. Reason being, if anything breaks, it's usually because it's spinning at high speeds when it hits. But if you can power down first, it's just a lightweight bit of plastic and metal falling to the ground. Very unlikely to break anything more than a rotor, if even that. I bought about half a dozen upper and lower rotors, and most of them have been collecting dust ever since. Between the simplicity of control, and the Blade mCX's durability, I just haven't needed that many spares.
Yes, you really can mod these model RC Helicopters!
RTF or BNF?
E-flite offers the Blade mCX in two basic flavors. The RTF stands for "Ready To Fly", and it comes with everything you'll need included in the box. The BNF stands for "Bind And Fly", and comes without a transmitter. If you already own a compatible transmitter, you can save about $30 dollars and buy the BNF.
If you don't already
have a compatible transmitter, just get the RTF. It includes a transmitter in the box. I already had a compatible transmitter, but wanted dedicated transmitters for each one. That way, if I ever have a friend over and flying a heli, I can be in the air at the same time.
Expensive, but High-Powered Alternative Charger
About the charger
There was only one thing I didn't like about my mCX. The charger. It's powered by 4 AA batteries, and can give about 10 - 15 re-charges before they're drained. This isn't a huge issue, but I'd rather have a never-ending power supply to recharge with. Here, you have 3 basic choices. Just buy new batteries for the charger now and then. Or, get rechargeable AA's, so at least you don't have to keep buying more batteries.
The third option ads to the cost, but in my opinion is seriously worth it. Get a Celectra Li-Po Charger. This powerhouse can recharge 4 heli batteries simultaneously through 4 ports. It can run on D-cell batteries, but if you get the optional AC/DC 6V power supply it can run straight from wall power.
Did you catch that? The AC adapter is OPTIONAL! So you're spending $38 on the charger, plus about $15 for the wall socket adapter. This is a lot of money to spend on an RC helicopter that costs less than $90 to begin with.
Modded for night flight
One more time:
Lets run through the options again:
1 - Buy AA's as needed.
2 - Buy Rechargeable AA's. Inconvenient, but cheaper.
3 - Buy the Celectra recharger and the AC adapter for $55.
Any of the three options work fine. But I got the Celectra. Worth every penny. Fast charges. With 4 helicopter batteries, I can just about stay in the air non-stop.
For the amount of fun I get with my Blade mCX, I never regretted getting the charger and adapter.
By the way, I do recommend buying 3 or 4 heli batteries when you get the Blade. You'll have a lot more fun, and spend a lot less time waiting. I usually get about 7 to 10 minutes on each. With 4, that's at least half and hour flying, and by that time, the first ones are recharged again (if you're using the Celectra recharger.)
Other RC Options
Other RC Helicopters by E-Flite
The Best Micro RC Helicopter
For the smallest RC heli with the greatest amount of fun, the Blade mCX is the choice to make. And it's very beginner-friendly. Great things certainly come in small packages, and E-flite has really hit the mark with the Blade mCX.
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