Blade 360 CFX Review

Here’s a quick review of the Blade 360 CFX with an emphasis on comparing and contrasting with the Blade 450 X, specifically flight performance. Specifications can be found here.

Battery

The lipo packs used are the Pulse 1350 35c 6s at a price of around $40 each. An EC3 connector is used for power.   Unfortunately, the wires coming out of the Pulse pack were thicker than the bullet of the EC3 so I had to strip some strands to get it to fit. I was amazed at the flight time. My last flight of mixed hard 3d with big air lasted 5.5 minutes and I still had about 28% left in the pack. I’ll try for 6 minutes next time. The entire flight was in idle up 1. I didn’t plug-in my CastleLink yet so I don’t know the exact head speed.

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Left-to-right: 360 CFX, 450 X, 300 X.

Size

The size of the heli is unsurprising at just a couple of inches longer than the 450 X and exactly the same height.

Pre-flight

Don’t take “Bind and Fly” literally. You should always check all screws for thread lock on pre-built helis. The anti-rotation bracket screw and tail boom support screws were unsecured on mine. Imagine the one-and-only anti-rotation bracket screw coming off in flight!

The tail servo had to be centered as it was binding. Leave it binding and it will eventually fail and you’ll crash your new bird. The servo horn geometry doesn’t allow the tail slider to reach either end of the slider but it’s close enough and has great tail authority. But because of the lack of range, I had to move the tail servo on the boom to center the slider.

Sanding carbon fiber edges where wires may touch is a necessity so it doesn’t cut into the wire.

The last thing I had to do was even out the massive imbalance of positive and negative collective pitch range. Positive collective was near 15 degrees while negative was near -6 degrees.  +/- 12 degrees is comfortable for me.

Blade 450 X next to the 360 CFX

Flight

Horizon hit it out of the park with the 450 X so that’s a tough act to follow.  This heli flies very similar to the 450 X with some exceptions listed below.  The first thing I notice as I spool up is the sound. It’s quieter than the 450 X and sounds overall smoother with less whine.

The heli is strongly affected by wind while hovering or sport flying. Because it’s very light and has a large disc, it catches the wind which causes changes in altitude that are more dramatic than it’s smaller 450 X brother. During 3D or big air, the wind is a negligible factor.

I was disappointed with the heli’s cyclic performance out of the box so I increased the servo travel to 110% on elevator and aileron. This effectively increases the cyclic response when the BeastX Control Behavior is set to transmitter. Now I found my happy place for quick tic-tocs.

The heli has got power to spare. I felt confident enough to be able to power out of any dumb thumb orientation I got myself into. Unfortunately, the tail blew out 45 degrees during a hard collective reversal while doing rainbows that took some of that confidence away. I can probably tweak the tail behavior a bit to get rid of that. Or, I can actually practice collective management.

One of the biggest differences between how the 360 CFX flies vs the 450 X is that the 360 feels more like a 550 during big air moves like hurricanes and funnels. It flies on rails. The other most noticeable difference to me was the hang time during piro-flips.  Corrections during piro-flips is easier since you can slow them down a bit more than the 450 X.

blade 360 cfx Summary

The Blade 360 CFX is a great flyer overall with plenty of power that shares many flight characteristics with it’s little brother, the 450 X. The 360’s most notable features are light disk loading and exceptional flight time per pack. It’s a shame that Horizon Hobby isn’t selling a BNF version of the 450 X anymore because it’s certainly a better option for the budget conscious consumer. But if you’re a larger heli pilot looking for a smaller heli while keeping the feel of a bigger bird, the 360 CFX is it. If you’re coming up from smaller helis like the mCPX BL or the 180 CFX, the 450 X would have been a great next step before jumping into a 550-sized bird.

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