Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter – The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer
Blade’s reputation precedes it; the company casts a long shadow in the RC world. From tiny, beginner, fixed-pitch helicopters to high-end collective-pitch 3D monsters, Blade is known throughout the RC helicopter world. It’s no surprise that they have also thrown their hat in the drone ring. Coming from complex collective pitch pro-helicopters to mass-market quadcopters must have been a cash-filled holiday for Blade, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that they don’t take quads seriously.
Already the Nano QX has a reputation as THE intermediate level quadcopter for indoor (and quiet outdoor) flight practice. Let’s see why so many people recommend the Blade Nano QX
Blade knows how to make RC craft shells with flair and many of their helicopters are now considered iconic. That design sensibility shines through in the QX. It comes with two high-visibility canopies, one green and one yellow, which really look mighty sporty to me.
The prop guards are also ingeniously designed to be minimal yet effective. Every other prop guard design I have seen looks like you’re flying around with parts of a tennis racquet stuck to your drone.
The QX is sleek, colorful, and I love it.
For your sub-$100 purchase you get everything you need to fly, right in the box. You get the Nano, two canopies, a transmitter, an e-flite battery with charger and that’s basically it. Oh, for once they have also included batteries for the transmitter, so it really is “ready to fly” out of the box.
Blade also offers a BNF or “bind and fly” version of the QX in case you want to use it with your existing radio transmitter, and there are some value packs around that will give you spare props and extra batteries for a reasonable price.
Give Me the Numbers
OK, so this is a “nano” quad, which means it’s tiny, but not quite as tiny as a “pico” quad, if you remember your metric orders from school.
So here are some crazy numbers for you.
The QX weighs 16.5g, or 0.58 oz. The main rotor diameter is 50mm, or about 1.97 inches. Now it’s small, but those two-inch rotors and the six-millimeter motors make for a powerful little quad.
If you want to start talking performance flying, the QX is where you start.
Blade itself says the QX is for intermediate pilots, but I’m pretty much convinced that this is the ultimate beginner quad that can probably take you all the way to some pretty advanced flying.
It’s almost double the price of other Nanos, which are great in their own right, but the QX carries massive brand appeal and reflects the quality Blade has put into its craft over the years.
Although it is very nimble, it comes with special SAFE technology that reduces control input speeds and automatically hovers the quad so that it becomes perfect for someone just starting out. In fact it’s even better than that.
Standard SAFE is like a kitty kat. You can play safely, albeit in a boringly slow way. Once you are ready you can keep SAFE on but double the control rate, so now hovers are still automatic, but pitching, yawing, and rolling are much more responsive.
In agility mode you get the full, crazy manual experience. YOU have to hover the craft, YOU have to figure out flips and rolls.
Have a look at this video:
This is not your grandma’s hand-holding drone – at least not if you don’t want it to be. And it’s pretty damn quiet, as well.
The Cow Says Moo
People who have bought the QX are pretty lyrical about it too – more or less confirming my view that this is a high-quality precision RC aircraft that can challenge even experienced pilots while welcoming newcomers as well.
A few problems were noted. Some people had build-quality issues with dead motors upon arrival or other issues. These seem to be a tiny minority and pretty much in line with a normal manufacturing failure rate. Given the 7-minute flight time and 40-minute charge time, you’d do well to buy a handful of extra batteries and a separate charger. The QX is the type of craft you’ll want to fly continuously, so don’t let battery issues frustrate that desire.
The lack of LEDs also pose a problem for orientation outdoors, but this is not Blade’s fault. Although the QX flies well outside, that’s not what it was designed for, and orientation issues are not a problem indoors.
People also complain that the prop guard design tends to hook on stuff, so there’s that, but the actual crash durability of the quad is pretty good, going by the people who have actually crashed it.
In this size class plenty of people would recommend something like the Hubsan X4. I would too since it’s an excellent sub-$50 starter drone, but the Hubsan is a drone you’ll outgrow pretty quickly. The Blade QX can stay with you essentially for life. I would not be surprised if you always had at least one working QX in your collection. The QX exemplifies the “easy to learn, impossible to master” type of product that people tend to fall in love with.
The QX is what I personally would spend my money on and I have no problem recommending it wholeheartedly to beginners and pros alike. It hits all the right notes at a price that’s just right.