Blade mSR X
The Blade mSR X is a fixed pitch, flybarless (FBL) Ready-to-Fly electric ultra-micro R/C helicopter designed and distributed by Blade (a Horizon Hobby subsidiary). It was introduced in the Fall of 2011.
It is the world’s first fixed-pitch micro helicopter with Horizon's AS3X stabilization system. The AS3X system consists of a three-axis digital sensor that acts both as a stabilizer for the main rotor and as a heading hold gyro.
It comes out of the box completely assembled. The mSR X is sold in two versions: Bind-N-Fly (BNF) Basic, which includes only the helicopter, manual, and CD (you will need to bring your own transmitter, batteries, and charger), and Ready-to-Fly (RTF), which includes a Blade MLP4DSM 4 channel radio transmitter, an E-flite 1S 150mAh 25C battery, a single port charger, and 8 AA batteries (for the charger and transmitter).
The Blade mSR X handles very differently from its flybarred predecessor, the Blade mSR. It does not automatically return to a hover (unlike the mSR or the Blade mCX). It is neutrally stable (i.e., it holds its attitude, not position), so will continue moving in whatever direction it is pointed.
The 3-axis gyros make it feel like a much larger model, and a moderately experienced pilot can hold a very precise hover with little effort - however a beginner will find that he cannot trim the mSR X to hover hands-free. The high-speed handling is much improved over the mSR, with most of the mSR's bad habits cured due to the removal of the flybar. There is no tendancy to pitch up with speed and it doesn't run out of cyclic, making it much easier to fly smooth, high-speed circuits under full control.
The speed and maneuverability are similar to the mCP X except it won't fly inverted. As such, it is recommended as a transition between self-stabilising (i.e. coaxial and 45 degree flybar models, like the old mSR) and standard collective pitch models.
The mSR X can be flown slowly in an eight-foot-square area or smaller by experienced pilots. A larger area is needed for fast flight. It can be flown outdoors in a light breeze by an intermediate level pilot, but its tendency to climb rapidly in light winds.
It is relatively crash resistant because of its low weight and mass, especially if throttle-hold is applied prior to impact to reduce the rotor speed and minimize the risk of burning out the motor FET. The primary point of failure in most crashes tends to be the small link balls on the head, so spares of this part should be kept on hand.
The cyclic and rudder controls make the heli controllable in all directions of flight and the heli can be quite precisely flown. Spot landings within a one-foot radius or smaller are achievable with some practice.
Microheli (MH) and RakonHeli (RKH) have produced a range of aluminum alloy replacement parts. These are reported by some to provide greater precision, but may cause more broken plastic parts in crashes due to their rigidity.
Compatible parts from other models
Batteries from the mSR will work, but give lower performance due to lower mah. The battery plug type for the mSR / mSR X / mcx2 is a tiny 2pin JST-XH plug known as Micro JST. It may also be referred to as "UM" / Ultra Micro or Pico. Some retailers may use the term Ultra Micro to refer to the larger "M" / Micro type plug used for the MCPX which is not compatible, so care is to be taken when trying to match adapter plugs.
The mSR blade grips will work with no modifications.
The Blade mCP X landing gear will work with slight modification. The pins that go into the frame on mCP X landing gear are slightly smaller than those on the mSR X. Gently heat a small flat headed screw driver with a lighter and press it onto the top of the pins to expand their diameter so that they will fit tightly in the frame. Plasti Dip may also work.
Main article: Blade mSR X brushless
The mSR X can be upgraded with a brushless motor to provide better power and improve motor longevity. A combination of an XP-3A with BLHeli firmware, and an HP03S is recommended. Astroid Designs sells a carbon fiber motor mounting plate which can be used to mount the motor on the mSR X, or an aftermarket frame from RakonHeli can replace the main frame.
The mSR X has a number of known issues which affect both flight performance and durability:
- Poor left turn behavior (often blamed on incorrectly set trims - these should all be left in the middle). This is a firmware bug in the 3-in-1, as it resets the swash to center with rudder input, which means that in-place pirouettes are not possible unless cyclic input is applied. This behavior can be improved by deliberately unleveling the swash as outlined in this thread.
- The head speed is noticeably higher than the old Blade mSR, which means it will cause more damage if you crash indoors. However the higher head speed is also one of the reasons that high-speed flight has improved.
- Main motor failures are unusually common (even for a brushed motor). The brushed motor in the mSR X is prone to overheating and early failure. A drop of lubricant (e.g., 3-in-1 machine oil) has been reported to improve this. The lubricant should be applied into the two holes at the bottom of the main motor (only one small drop).
|Main Rotor Diameter||181 mm (7.13 in)|
|Length||190 mm (7.5 in)|
|Height||83 mm (3.25 in)|
|Tail Rotor Diameter||36.5 mm (1.4 in)|
|Weight||27 g (0.95 oz) / 31 g ( 1.09 oz) with battery|
|Battery||150mAh 1-Cell 3.7V 25C (only with RTF)|
|Charger||E-flite™ 1S 3.7V LiPo Charger 0.3A|
|Radio (RTF)||E-flite MLP4DSM 4-Channel Transmitter with 4 AA batteries|
- Original E-flite product page at e-fliterc.com
- Blade RTF product page at Bladehelis.com
- mSR X RTF product page at Bladehelis.com
- mSR X BNF product page at Bladehelis.com
- RCGroups Blade mSR thread with brief review and lots of info on mods and upgrades.
- Review of the mSR X at RCGroups,com
- Thunder Power G6 Pro Lite home page
- HobbyKing 138mAh battery home page