Friday, August 13, 2010

“Now to fly the beautiful beast" by Alan Marks

“Now to fly the beautiful beast" by Alan Marks

In the past, I must say that I have not put a lot of credence in the words that often garnish the colourful boxes in which our models arrive from their makers, but it was such a pleasant surprise when I discovered that the Blade 120SR did exactly that. Oh it did require just a tad of right trim to make it even simpler on take off but once a foot or so (what do you want? A half metre uh?) Okay, that was the altitude at which I did most of my early flights with this helicopter, and once it was at that height from the ground, it started to meeeow in true pussycat style.

I’m going to introduce a little bit of brain in this article because I have come to the sudden realization that “SR” may stand for “Single Rotor” and the baby of this breed being an “MSR” could quite well represent a “Micro Single Rotor.” Well! You must admit that it sounds fairly impressive! I am trying to sound impressive to help you realize that this new helicopter from the distributors, Horizon, IS a single rotor design.

This is the next step up from one of those double, contra-rotating rotor helicopters that have been darting in and out of the rafters of our indoor flying venues for over a year now and it is not a huge upwards move to the “SR” as it requires just a wee bit more concentration to initially raise it from the floor.

Okay – here is what you do. You have just arrived home after expending in the vicinity of $260 and on opening the box, you see it all there. Everything is fitted within the most attractive fuselage, from the tip, out along the carbon-fibre tail boom to the compact and delightful-looking tail motor and rotor. The miniaturized 5-in-1 control unit which combines the 2.4GHz DSM2 receiver, the Electronic Speed Controllers, the mixer, gyro and servos, plus the motor, all onto a single circuit board go together in keeping the flying weight down to an absolute minimum. Whilst one is able to advance to a more aggressive control to give faster flying etc., I felt that that was for Matty, Brad, Brent and Toddles more skilful fingers. I was quite contented to fly it in the more softer mode – leaving all that University grade flying for the experts.

It was still quite windy outside so I contented myself by remaining within the boundaries, about 15 by 5 metres of safe flying space of my rear patio. I did find that patience was the virtuous way to go and it was nearly ten minutes before I actually got the beasty off the deck. Little by little I progressed, mainly forwards rather than upwards, until I realized that it was much better to get it clear of the floor and that, as soon as I gave sufficient throttle to raise and give it some altitude, albeit a quarter of a metre maybe, it was very rewarding. The height is actually adjusted by the amount of throttle one feeds in but, for the first half hour or so, be quite content with just having it clear of the floor and the surprising result is that you are finding one of the easiest helies to put into a hover that you have ever had the pleasure of flying.

If you do not wish to add yet another transmitter to your, no doubt, vast collection of those, which seems to be “the way to go” these days, then toddle along to our Goodwood Road shop, just South of the tram crossing, and talk a “Bind-n-Fly” deal with Store Manager, Brad, or any one of his most helpful staff members. Keep in mind, if your friendly Phoenix can hover in half an hour, then I’m sure that you will have no problems in getting your money’s worth of total enjoyment and value from your small investment. There is just a word of warning though – the model is now available in the shop but I do expect the first shipment to sell very rapidly. If you need more proof of this being the way to go with your model flying, then come along to ETSA Park Netball Stadium on the third Thursday night of any month and see this exciting model helicopter in action in the hands of some of our staffer experts.

The Phoenix aka Alan Marks

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