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So I went mad and bought a Ready to Fly (RTF) model helicopter. I've had a 2 channel helicopter for some time that was bought as a Christmas present - micro 2 channel helicopter. This was quite a step up.
I wanted the Eflite Blade mCX as it was so highly recommended. However, could I find a shop with one......they are selling like crazy at the moment. Had a chat with a local model shop and they said they had an Eflight Blade CX2 and although this is larger was as easy to fly - they also had a Blade mCX but only as a "bind n fly" set - this means everything you need bar the transmitter. The model shop did me a deal and so I walked away with the CX2 complete kit and the bind n fly mCX.
I'll start with the mCX as this is the smaller of the two and far less threatening to fly as novice to this game.
The mCX is tiny and weights next to nothing.
It is twin rotor and so a great starter model.
The battery is a tiny lithium polymer cell that fits in under the main rotor gears and the model is switched on by plugging the flying lead into the battery.
The charger is a standalone unit that uses 4 AA cells (that come in the box) to charge the lipo (roughly 15-20 times per set of AA's according to the manual. The charge time is quite long, but this may be a good thing as it allows the motors to cool.
Read the instructions carefully as it does give some clear advice on how to extend the life of the battery.
My first challenge was getting the transmitter (which I purchased with the CX2) to work with the mCX - my first experience was that the controls were reversed.
The transmitter takes 4 AA batteries. The fact that it is 2.4GHz means that the aerial is very short and the response of the controls is just fast.
The dip switches are under the lower left cover - make a careful note as to where they have been set before changing them.
This is a mode 2 transmitter and so the throttle is fore-aft on the left-hand side stick. The tail rotor (or not in this case) yaw is left-right on the LHS stick.
The RHS stick rotates moves the aircraft left-right and fore-aft as per the stick direction.
A quick search of the internet - all dip switches on the LP5DSM transmitter are down (off) bar 1 and 8 that are up (on). Careful, note the original positions so that you can reset them for the CX2.
So, how easy is it to fly - very easy, first some simple hovering and getting used to the controls. Then take some brave pills and open the throttle a bit more.
The video below was shot less than 24 hours after first flying the model and having only flown it 5 times.
The transition to forward flight is very easy, the tail control (yaw) is superb as it is just so precise.
I briefly tried flying out in the garden and yes possible in very calm conditions, but the slightest breeze does knock it severely off course.
Over a few days my flying has been getting better and have now set myself a challenge of flying off a tray, doing a circuit around the lounge and then landing back on the tray. As it suggests in the instructions a slightly pitch forward descent is great to practise as it looks very realistic.
OK - I'm owning up to some initial heavy landings - maybe more of an uncontrolled falling.
The result was a broken undercarriage leg.
My fix was some super glue applied to the joint and then I bound the joint with cotton and applied some more super glue to the cotton - minimum weight and will keep me flying and learning then I'll invest in some new parts.
I've been flying since this repair and it is holding up very well.
A great model. Easy to fly and perfect for the beginner. I have only briefly flown the CX2 and this is a far more scary model if just for the fact that the power levels are that much greater and the rotors are larger.
Its robust and easy to use - I''l let you know how I get on and next what the CX2 is like.
I bought them from: http://www.anticsonline.co.uk
If you want to move up from this model then the E-flite mSR is a great small helicopter.