ABOVE : The Blade Trio 360 CFX brings 3-blade performance to the already-excellent Blade 360. The agility of the new version is impressive.
Three-blade rotor heads are an exciting development for aerobatic helicopters. With increased blade mass and area, three blades make for both greater stability and increased response. Blade RC previously offered a 3-blade head as an aftermarket option for its outstanding Blade 360 CFX, but the new Trio 360 saves both time and money with a ready-to-fly package.
Like the regular 360 CFX, the Trio 360 features 6-cell power in place of the 3S system traditional for mini-class helis. With the greater power demands of a 3-blade layout, 6S power makes even more sense. The Trio has almost 100 percent part commonality with the regular 360, making them ideal stablemates when it comes to maintenance and repairs.
The Trio 360 comes as a BNF (bind-n-fly) version. Simply charge the battery, program your transmitter, and bind the receiver and you're off to the field. The Spektrum/BeastX flybarless receiver is preprogrammed, and all mechanical adjustments are preset. The updated AR7210BX features digital sensors, allowing rotation rates up to 2,000 degrees per second. You can also purchase a software upgrade directly from BeastX to add Panic Recovery, which will return the helicopter to upright flight at the flick of a switch.
The mechanics are both simple and tough. The carbon frames are durable, and the mounts for the one-piece plastic landing skids are aluminum, making it unlikely that a minor crash will damage the main frame.
The bearing blocks for the main shaft have integrated 120-degree radial mounts for the cyclic servos, and the servo arms are stout molded nylon. The flybarless head is also all CNC machined, with the swash driver integral to the head block. The tail is belt driven, and the blade tension is preset. The overall fit and finish is excellent.
The first step is to charge a 6S 1300mAh flight battery, as the setup takes just minutes. The brief manual covers all important details, including radio settings, preflight testing, and exploded views of all subassemblies. The main setup task is to program the recommended settings into your transmitter. You can do this manually or download the template from Blade RC's website.
The Trio 360 includes a Castle Creations Talon 35 speed contra! that comes preprogrammed for Governor mode, with 2,600rpm in Normal mode; 2,800 in Idle Up 1; and 3,000 in Idle Up 2. The H3050 digital cyclic servos have 36 oz.-in. of torque and 0.053-second transit speed, and the speedy H3060 tail servo has a transit time of just 0.029 second. All servos have metal gears. With the radio programmed and the battery charged, the Trio is ready to fly.
The manual recommended 100/85 for dual rates on all primary flight controls. Knowing that 3-blade rotors tend to make for a very responsive machine and because my DX9 transmitter supports triple rates, I programmed 100/85/70 for the rates and also programmed 10% expo.
The stock setup seemed just about right as the Trio flew beautifully from the initial takeoff. I found it noticeably more responsive than my stock Blade 360, and I was happy with the reduced rates. With the greater "bite" of the 3-blade layout, I found collective pitch also extremely responsive, and for Normal mode, I ended up adjusting the pitch curve to 30-40 - 50-70-90 to make it easier to maintain altitude. This small change felt just right for Normal mode, while still offering full pitch response in Idle Up.
With the greater current draw of the 3-blade layout, flight time tends to be a little shorter. Blade recommends setting the flight timer for three minutes for heavy 3D in Idle Up 2, but duration is four minutes plus in Normal mode.
Stability: With 50 percent greater rotor mass, 3-blade heads tend to have greater static stability than conventional helicopters, and I certainly noticed this with the Trio. It seems to handle gusty wind conditions a little better than most helis in its class, It handles like a somewhat larger helicopter.
Tracking: With the pretuned BeastX, the Trio tracks very well in cruising flight. I saw no tendency to porpoise, and yaw control with the extremely fast tail servo is excellent.
Aerobatics: The 6S power system provides loads of power. Compared to the stock 360, the Trio is noticeably more responsive, both in cyclic and collective. The flip rate is scary fast, and I think many pilots may be happiest around 85% rates.
Landing: The Trio is very docile in Normal mode and low rates, so landings are silky smooth. Just click to Normal mode and make a normal approach.
The Blade Trio 360 CFX is a very responsive machine with outstanding looks. If you've been wanting to try out the 3-blade format in an affordable package, the Trio is an excellent choice.
The Blade Trio 360 CFX adds the performance advantage of a 3-blade head to an already outstanding mini-class helicopter. The quality and performance are both outstanding.
A This 3D maneuver can only be performed by a fully aerobatic RC heli, like the Trio 360. The move is a series of flips, during which the heli slowly travels forward. The move can also be done backward and even in circles.
Step 1. Begin the tumble from slow forward flight by increasing collective while adding forward cyclic, making the model rise slightly while the nose is pushing down and the heli is slowly moving forward.
Step 2. As the model's tail approaches vertical [tail up), slightly increase forward cyclic to continue the forward rotation and keep the model moving forward. Smoothly start to reduce collective to near midstick (around 0 degrees pitch) after the tail passes vertical.
Step 3. Continue smoothly reducing the collective to slightly less than 1/2 stick to the start of introducing negative pitch; this will provide lift while the model is approaching full inverted flight.
Step 4. With the model's tail not quite at vertical (tail down), give a fairly large quick "stab" of negative pitch not only to stop the model from falling but also to give a little forward momentum to increase forward speed. Maintain forward cyclic to continue the forward tumble.
Step 5. As the model passes vertical (tail down), start moving the collective back to positive, about 3/4 stick, because the model is tumbling back to forward flight, and start reducing forward cyclic.
Step 6. Stop adding forward cyclic when the model is upright and slightly nose-down, and increase throttle to the desired speed to exit.
BELOW : The Trio 360 comes out of the box completely preassembled, with all mechanical adjustments complete. Simply bind your Spektrum transmitter and charge the 6S battery, and you're ready to fly.
|Blade Horizon Hobby Trio 360 CFX 3 Blade Mini RC Helicopter Specifications|
|Model||Blade Trio 360 CFX BNF Basic|
|Type||Mini 3-blade 3D helicopter|
|Rotor Diameter||31.10 inch|
|Power Required||6S 1300mAh battery|
|Gear Used On Blade Trio 360 CFX 3 Blade RC Helicopter|
|Radio||Spektrum DX9 transmitter and AR7210BX receiver|
|Servos||Spektrum H3050 (cyclic) and H3060 (tail) (installed)|
|Motor||Blade 360 CFX motor (1800Kv) w/Castle Creations Talon 35 speed control (installed)|