Blade mQX
Rotor diameter: 5.5 in (140mm)
Length: 11.5 in (292mm)
Width: 7.0 in (178mm)
Height: 2.0 in (52 mm)
AUW: 2.65 oz

Blade mQX

mQX on the ground

The Blade mQX is a small quadcopter sold by Horizon Hobby. It comes in both BNF (bind-and-fly) and RTF (ready-to-fly) versions, using Spektrum/JR's 2.4GHz DSM2 radio system. The receiver board includes an AS3X 3-axis stabilization system that makes it fly very smoothly. The included single-cell 500mAh lithium-polymer battery yields flight times of eight minutes or more, and charges in less than an hour on the included charger.

The mQX is a lot of fun to fly. The stabilization system works beautifully at both low and high speeds, making the mQX fly like a much bigger, heavier copter. Althought it only weighs 2.6 ounces, it will actually fly well in winds up to 10 knots. While it can't perform 3D aerobatics like a collective-pitch helicopter, and can't build up enough momentum to drive through a loop, it will zoom around at high speed and high bank angles, slaloming around tree trunks, mailboxes, and slow-moving pedestrians.

The only real issue with flying the mQX (and other quadcopters) is orientation. With four identical arms sticking out at mutual right angles, it looks pretty much the same whether it's coming or going, or facing right or left. If it is moving and you lose track of which way it's pointing, you will probably crash. Fortunately, the mQX is light enough and tough enough to survive most crashes without damage. As with other Blade aircraft, replacement parts are cheap and readily available.

The mQx flies much like a Blade mSR X or other small fixed-pitch helicopter. Beginners are encouraged to use very low transmitter rates (40%–50% on the aileron and elevator channels, 70% on rudder).

mQX on the ground

Aerial photography

The mQX only weighs 2-1/2 ounces, but it seems to have enough power to lift a small payload. For kicks, I strapped a cheap half-ounce 'keychain' video camera to the top of the mQX's canopy. Here is the first video, shot on a dreary, drizzly evening, in high (12.8Mb) and low (6.8Mb) resolution. (Ignore the date/time stamp on the video; the camera has a mind of its own.)