Horizon Hobby Blade 70 S RTF


Written by Rachelle Haughn
Keep your flying skills sharp during changing seasons
Product review
As seen in the Fall 2018 issue of
Park Pilot.



Specifications:

Type: Flybarless ultramicro helicopter
Length: 7 inches
Height: 2.38 inches
Main rotor diameter: 3.3 inches
Channels: Four
Motor type: Brushed
Needed to complete: Nothing
Flying weight: 1.19 ounces
Flight time: Four to five minutes
Price: $59.99
Info: horizonhobby.com


Features:

>> Equipped with SAFE stability technology
>> Everything needed to fly is included
>> Perfect size for flying indoors
>> Fixed-pitched rotor blades provide ample thrust
>> Swashplate, linear servos, and electronics protected by frame
>> Durable frame and carbon-fiber tailboom
>> Muted throttle control

>> As you read this, depending on where you live, fall is here or is fast approaching. Pilots who get a thrill from feeling the sun on their cheeks and the wind whipping their transmitter lanyards as they maneuver their aircraft in a clear sky might not be happy about what comes after fall. This word—which begins with the letter w and ends with an r (you fill in the blanks)—can, in the blink of an eye, send pilots indoors to sadly watch their RC aircraft gather dust while something white flies around outside.

As long as you are not Facebook friends with pilots who live in the South (who could rub photos of their endless summer in your face), you will get through winter just fine. Trust me.

But why have the fall or winter blues when you could be flying? Yes, you read that correctly. It might be cool and wet outside, but you can still have fun indoors!

If you’re wondering how this might be possible, the answer is the Horizon Hobby Blade 70 S RTF. This small, agile RTF (Ready to Fly) helicopter comes with everything you need to fly it and can be flown indoors all year. And with its low price, built-in stability technology, and durability, you no longer have an excuse to mindlessly binge-watch YouTube videos of last summer’s fly-ins. Get your hands on those sticks and keep your flying skills sharp with the Blade 70 S!




Everything you need to fly the Horizon Hobby Blade 70 S is included. Ruddick photo.


The helicopter comes in a small box that also includes two replacement blades, a 1S 3.7-volt 150 mAh LiPo battery, a USB charger for the battery, a 2.4 GHz four-channel FHSS transmitter, and four AA batteries for the transmitter. All you need to do at this point is read the instruction manual and charge the battery.

The manual includes details about how to charge and connect the small heli’s battery and how to prepare for your first flight. If you are a beginner pilot, make sure to read all of the instructions. The black and white manual includes a diagram that shows where the sticks are located and how to use them.

How and where to adjust the flight trims is also explained. When sliding the buttons up/down or right/left, a pilot will hear a series of tones to indicate whether the trims are in the upper or lower ranges. The middle/neutral trim position has one long tone, while the upper and lower trim ranges have a series of short tones. The manual does not explain the purpose of adjusting the trim other than stating that trim is used to neutralize movement and to check the trim so that the model flies as desired. Properly trimming the model will allow it to maintain a stable hover with little to no pilot input.

One of the nice features of the transmitter is its dual rates. By depressing a button at the top of the transmitter, to the left of its carrying handle, you will hear a single tone for low rate and two for high. Beginner pilots should fly in low rate until they feel comfortable enough with the aircraft to switch to high rate. The transmitter is small enough that pilots can easily reach the rate mode button and all of the trim buttons.

If you’ve never flown with Horizon Hobby’s SAFE stability technology, you’re in for a treat! The first time that I flew the Blade 70 S, I didn’t have to make any adjustments to get it into a steady hover. I gently pushed the throttle up, and up it went. I had no problems.

My first flight took place in the office. Working at AMA Headquarters means that the sound of spinning blades always draws a crowd. I handed the transmitter to more experienced pilots and they all commented about how stable the Blade 70 S was. The helicopter’s fixed-pitch flybarless design enhances its stability and ease of control.




The swashplate, linear servos, and electronics are well protected by the helicopter’s lightweight and durable frame. Photo by Matt Ruddick.


SAFE technology isn’t the only great feature packed into this small helicopter. Its designers clearly had beginner pilots in mind when determining its structure and the placement of its electronics.

The heli’s frame is lightweight and impact-resistant, and its carbon-fiber tailboom is durable. The swashplate and linear servos are protected by the frame, and the electronics are kept safe under the removable and colorful canopy. My Blade 70 S has easily recovered from several crashes with no damage, but if yours doesn’t, replacement parts are available at a low cost.

If you happen to have an unexpected landing, know that each time you want to fly the helicopter again, you might need to lower the throttle stick, push the rudder all the way to the right, and hold it there for roughly 3 seconds. This releases the safety lock that disables the throttle. When the throttle is locked, the blue light on the heli blinks slowly, and it will flash rapidly when it’s unlocked and ready for flight.

The Blade 70 S is designed to be flown indoors in small spaces and that’s how it best performs. If you decide to take it outside, know that it can easily be picked up by the wind and carried away because at 1.19 ounces, it is so lightweight. Some aileron and elevator input will be needed to keep the aircraft close.




Performing low hovers is easy, even when the small helicopter is flown outside. Alderman photo.


A fellow pilot helped me fly it outside and found that when he made trim adjustments, it took longer for the helicopter to release the safety lock. I also struggled with replacing the canopy each time that I installed a fresh battery, which is securely held in place with the included hook-and-loop tape. Perhaps adding some silicone grease or other suitable lubricant to the canopy pegs would make this job easier.

For beginner pilots, the durability and stability of the Horizon Hobby Blade 70 S RTF could make learning to fly easy and downright pleasant. Intermediate to advanced aeromodelers might enjoy switching to the high rates and zooming around obstacles in their homes.

This fall, as the leaves begin to break down their chlorophyll, consider purchasing the Blade 70 S. You could be flying a model aircraft in no time, while other pilots will be stuck flying virtual ones on a computer screen.

-Rachelle Haughn
rachelleh@modelaircraft.org






Article: 

Add your thoughts to the article

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.