Blade MCPx Flip or Flop?

I bought a E Flight Blade MCPx within 20 minutes of my local hobby store getting them in stock.  This was my most anticipated aircraft of the year because it’s an affordable collective pitch helicopter. After seeing the promotional video on Horizon Hobbies home page I knew I had to have one - if I had known then what I know now, I would have waited a couple months until the troubleshooting phase was over. I got a recall notice on one part three weeks after I bought it!

I brought home my new bounty and without delay opened it up to see what made it tick. I was very pleased by the aesthetics, impressed by the lack of a flybar, and also enthusiastic about learning inverted flight. When I was done drooling over my new toy I reached for the owner’s manual. Much to my dismay I was provided with the wrong set of directions - they were written in what looked like English, but turned out to be a complicated helicopter language I was unable to translate.

I searched the web, YouTube, and forums and was unable to find help with what was quickly becoming my new trifle instead of the gem I expected. So I took my new heli down to my Local Hobby Store and asked for help. I got help with my problem heli and was given more information than I was able to digest. Pitch curves, throttle curves, and throttle hold were new to me so absorbing this information was difficult and retaining it was even harder. However the hobby store did set up my transmitter according to the manual, so off I went to fly.

I thought my living room would be a good place for my maiden flight. No wind and carpet to pad any hard landings. My living room is much bigger then the pool room the promotional was shot in, but not big enough. Having no wind was a big advantage, but although I managed to avoid any hard crashes, I was still having problems. After about 2 minutes of flight I landed because something did not seem right. I noticed the rotor blades were out of phase and there was a terrible vibration. Upon further inspection I found the rotor blade grips to be pulling apart.

So back to the hobby store I went.  I conveyed my problem and asked them to order me a new set of blade grips. After spooling up my heli the guy at Jake’s also noticed something wrong with my swash plate. When given a roll left input, then returning the Tx gimble to neutral, the swash plate would stay in the roll left position until a roll right input was entered.  At this point I was advise to contact Horizon and get an RMA to have them look my heli over. So I did just that, and was provided with an RMA number and free shipping to send my heli back.

About 2 weeks later I got my MCPx back and was very glad to see it and try it out. Enclosed in the box was a letter from Horizon stating they had changed out the recalled rotor blade grips, and were unable to find anything else wrong with my heli. I was disappointed to read this, but was unsure what else to do. So what did I do? I threw a battery in and up I went.  

Flying a collective pitch heli was - and remains - a pleasant change from fixed pitch helicopters.  Having to use the throttle to make the helicopter move forward at higher speeds is a pain in the proverbial backside. For example, I would not get it to go fast enough, or it would pitch too hard forward and I’d compensate with back elevator - but this would make the heli stop and look like I was a beginner all over again. So having a CP heli was a delightful change for me. I quickly found myself flying fast and low to the ground and even flying with a little wind. These were things I had been longing for but until now had been unattainable.  

So now after about 1 hour of stick time on the MCPx I am still happy with it. I do wish I had waited for the “kinks” to be worked out, but not a big deal. I have yet to try inverted flight but I am looking forward to the day I do. I like the prospect of learning on a UM heli because of the durability and the cost savings. Even if I crash the MCPx fast and hard how much can it really cost me? Replacement parts might run as much $20, unlike learning on a Blade CP Pro 2 or a Trex of any size which can be very costly to crash in both time and money. So in conclusion, if you’re looking for an entry level CP helicopter I believe this is a good one. However, be prepared to be patient with the setup, the learning curve and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This is a review of the Blade mCP X BNF by E-Flight, part number BLH3580