180 QX HD RTF Quadcopter Drone with SAFE Technology
- Exclusive SAFE technology
- E-flite EFC 721 camera with transmitter functionality
- Small enough to fly indoors and powerful enough to fly outdoors
- Flight battery and charger included
- Durable lightweight airframe
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|Item Dimensions||9.5 x 20 x 5.5 in||8.4 x 14.1 x 4.5 in||—||—||70 x 220 x 220 in||7.12 x 3.5 x 14 in|
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The Blade 180 QX combines the latest in quadcopter innovations with HD video and image capture capabilities. Utilizing SAFE technology, the 180 QX maintains superior stability in three flight modes. With the included E-flite EFC-721 camera, pilots can experience aerial video and image capture by simply activating the triggers on a Spectrum 5+ channel transmitter after programming it. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor flight, the 180 QX is a personal eye in the sky from the experts in Heli excitement. Image capture on the fly with the included EFC-721 flight camera, 180 QX HD pilots can capture video and still images while flying. This intuitive camera can be activated at any time during flight and be switched seamlessly between video and still image capture. This functionality can be programmed into a compatible DSMX 5+ channel transmitter. Equipped to thrill the 180 QX HD comes equipped with three SAFE enhanced flight modes. High and low angle flight modes were specifically designed to deliver stable video and image capture while the agility mode setting allows pilots to experience aerobatic flight with the assistance of the AS3X stability system.
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Top customer reviews
I went with the Blade 180 QX HD because the price point to start RTF was under $200, most reviews showed it was tough, was fun to fly, it had a camera (more on that later in the review) and was a great learned. To that I'd agree 100%!
I purchased the Ready To Fly (RTF) version which means you get everything you need to fly in the box, since this was my first quadcopter and first radio flying anything I didn't have anything prior to this purchase and was exactly what I needed. The BNF (Bind And Fly) version comes with everything except for a remote. If you have a remote you already know this but for a beginner like me I make this distinction.
I was concerned about the remote being cheap, after all the price difference between the RTF and BNF was only $30 here on Amazon, and I figured a $30 remote would be junk but it is perfect for a beginner like me. You have all the basic controls, the three mode control, camera control and trims all on a simple and study remote. This remote doesn't feel cheap and if this is your first, then I'd say go with the RTF and later when you upgrade you'll get a better remote (or transmitter as a non beginner might say) and will be able to Bind that to your 180 QX HD.
The three modes are great and I'll make it simple and avoid the marketing terms to explain. You have three modes which you can switch to on the fly, basic which allows for minimum tilt while flying. This is good when you don't want to over correct but if there is a breeze you will likely avoid this as making corrections are slower but it is very stable. Normal mode (again don't know the official mode name) but this allows for more tilt when changing directions and enough to control in the wind (as well as you can control a lightweight quadcopter in the wind). These two modes use the SAFE feature. Basically once you release the right joystick (throttle and aileron - had to look that up) the quadcopter levels itself out automatically. The third mode is what I call advanced (really I call it insane) but it allows you to do whatever you want without the quadcopter making any corrects. If you tilt to go right and release it will remain at that angle until you manually correct. I use this mode to show others the difference but other than that I'm not ready for that mode. But this is how you make it flip and look like a dragonfly on crack.
After watching reviews and videos I wasn't concerned about crashing, after all most of them on the net make it look easy (though some say it looks easy, and it is compared to other flying craft, but if you haven't flown before don't expect the same results). Today after crashing this thing 50 times I can say, this is very durable. The video I'm uploading here is to show the durability and the camera. Watch that and you can see that after a fall from those heights it still is in great working order.
I purchased additional blades incase I broken them and I didn't realize it came with additional blades, however I haven't used one replacement yet, which frankly is a testament to the durability! The fact that my quadcopter is still flying is a testament to that. Other than the crash caught on film in the review I have crashed it hard several times and thought it was the end of it, but it just keeps on going.
This quadcopter is durable, one day I will break something, but as of now I have not. In fact the other day it was way to windy to fly, but like a person who sometimes misses the obvious I put it up, and up it went, and went and then crashed into my (other) neighbor's tree while trying to bring her down. It was stuck at the very top of the tree (about 75') and I had written it off, but told my neighbor it might end up in their yard so keep a look out. Sure enough about a week or so later they came knocking and had my 180 in their hand, no broken parts and was good to go.
While watching reviews I saw the poor video and wouldn't have purchased this for the video or photo footage I would soon get, rather this was my learner and the camera was an additional bonus in my mind. While opening the box I saw a piece of paper saying I had an updated camera (EFLA801) but it functions like the old. I couldn't find anything about this online so figured it was the same as the other videos I had seen, I don't think that anymore.
The camera isn't perfect but Blade seems to have made a huge improvement over the previous version. Take a look at the video on this review, it was shot from the 180 DX HD. I am actually pleased with this camera and give it two thumbs up!
Setting up the camera and using the camera just takes a little knowhow. First you will need to go out and buy a micro sd card if you don't have one that is 8-16gb. I tried a 64GB and 32GB card at first and they didn't work in the camera. I purchased a 16GB Sandisk Ultra Plus micro SD card and it works great. You will know if your card will work after inserting it into the camera and turning it on. If the camera keeps flashing red it wont work. If you get a steady blue the card will work.
Seems that everytime I turn it on it defaults back to photo and I have to hold the remote camera trigger down for a few seconds before it flashes and changes modes. Then I test while it is on the ground to see that it is the right mode by pulling and releasing the trigger on the remote. If the light flashes blue and goes back to steady you just took a picture. If after pulling and releasing the trigger on the remote it flashes and keeps flashing blue you are recording. Pull the trigger again to stop recording the video.
In my opinion you have to hold the trigger too long to change modes to do it while flying. Also the lights aren't really bright and visibility is limited. I don't change modes in the air.
Probably the best part of owning the Blade 180 QX HD is how fun it is to fly. This brings me back to owning a rc car as a kid. It is more challenging and won't let the kids fly it yet (5 and 6 y/o) but it is fun. Mastering the skills to do the crazy tricks is so far beyond me at this point I'm still working on basics.
From a fun standpoint I'm so glad I went with this before the Blade Chroma, I don't think I have the space right now to really enjoy the Chroma but I can have fun in the backyard with the 180 QX HD. These are different classes of quadcopters and shouldn't really be compared, especially by me who doesn't have the Chroma (yet), but the 180 QX HD is so much fun.
With the provided battery pack I get about 14 minutes of flight time without the camera, with the camera I get less by a few minutes. Either way though the flight time is good but I need more. I think I could lose myself after several hours of flying if the pack would keep up, good news though that additional batteries are $10/ea on Amazon and I have more on order. Additionally I ordered a 2nd USB charger just like the one it comes with to charge two at a time.
My biggest gripe is the battery pack doesn't seem to have the ability to snap in place. Maybe during one of my crashes this function broke but after taking it out once I noticed it slides into place but doesn't click in place. On advanced mode I've ended up with a battery hanging from the quadcopter, additionally I lost the battery in the cash on the video. If it was more secure this wouldn't have been the case. I'm considering making a slight modification to keep it more secure but in my mind, unless it was something I did wrong, the battery should hold more secure than it does. I will say though that this isn't a deal breaker. If you fly like a sane person I think it will stay in place well, I just tend to push my luck a bit and the battery can occasionally be found hanging from the 180 QX HD. When this happens, I land it and put it back and fly away again.
This is a great learner, this is a great fun flyer and this NOW has a solid camera. For the price and durability I think I'll be flying this for as long as the wind will allow me to!!
Amazon down sampled the video and it looks bad. Here is the YouTube link to see the quality. http://youtu.be/vsozo-EiYjc
I can easily take off and land on a small coffee table in the living room (surrounded by furniture, TV, etc.). I've had a few minor crashes with no damage. If you're new to flying helicopters, get a simulator to get the feel of flying in any direction without becoming disoriented. I used RealFlight to hone my skills before risking my investment and furniture in actual flight.
Update: Horizon Hobby sent a replacement camera. It failed to work at all! If you're buying this quad for the camera, think again before buying.
Update 2: Success! The camera will only function with some memory cards, not any 2-32 GB as the instructions state. I bought a Kingston 8 GB micro SDHC Class 4 Flash Memory Card SDC4/8GBET from Amazon that works perfectly. If your camera light for video blinks a few times then turns off, you have the wrong memory card. An 8 GB will record multiple flights but be prepared for slow download speeds. Horizon Hobby needs to educate their service techs and update the instructions to list the compatible memory cards for this camera.
Pros : it's fun to fly and relativity durable, good for practice before investing in more expensive craft. Other reviews that complain about flimsy don't understand that it's all about weight, lighter weight stuff seems flimsy. It won't lift much weight but it's not designed to.