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Old 09-04-2009, 01:34 AM   #1
Razors edge 29
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I am: Ryon, B
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FLYRCRIVSUED.COM Sonny Bird Blade CX3 Mods -Day 1-

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So as a few people on here know, I have decided to beef up my E Flite Blade CX3, which is also my first R.C helicopter. I bought this heli due to the fact that I was told it could fly outside in moderate wind conditions. Well, as a newbie pilot and very green on the sticks, I went through enough blades, landing gear, bent shafts, other parts and became easily aggravated with this bird. Anyone, who owns or has flown a Blade CX3 knows how easily it is to damage, especially for a newbie like myself. I had started to mod this heli in an attempt to replace all the weak parts with more “crash proofing” materials that would also allow me to fly it outside. I began by purchasing all E Flite’s aluminium upgrades, which include the following:
A. Upper bearing holder
B. Swash plate
C. Lower Rotor head (as a side note, this will not work with the Blade Grip Kit. But the kit comes with a crash resistant, light plastic material that is specifically engineered for this kit.)

I should also mention that the CX3 came stock, with an aluminium upper rotor head. I had also installed a Microheli CX3 aluminium battery tray and Superskids 400 Series landing gear with CX3 adapters. All these upgrades are great, but weight became a factor, large in part due to the landing gear. Don’t get me wrong, the Superskids 400 is an excellent product, but a little too heavy along with my ther modifications. I would recommend these to anyone with a 400 series helicopter in a heartbeat. I knew the weight factor might be an issue when I ordered them, but I took the chance anyways.

The Microheli battery holder however, I was less than impressed with. In the pictures it looked nice and fancy and is relatively light, however, it is finicky and did not fit very well onto my CX3 main frame. Not to mention, that the quick connect feature of the battery tray hardly ever stayed clipped in and was often a nuisance. I am not bashing Microheli by any means; simply this product did not work for me.

That aside, I did install all of the mods and did a few test flights. The heli would hardly make it 3 feet of the ground and would constantly fly forward and not track properly. I believe the tracking issues were also related to the battery tray, despite attempts to correct this by moving the battery further rearward and playing with swash/gain/mixing pot adjustments. The heli would not fly properly no matter what I did. However, when I removed the landing gear and flew, very carefully, with only the battery tray to land on, the heli would fly upwards of 14 ft easily in doors but still all over the place.

These tests and observations lead me to believe that weight is a huge factor with this bird. (I know you might not agree Sven, but I am going with light weight option here, lol)
I decided to do away with the skids, battery tray, but keep the aluminium rotor upgrades. Thus, I needed to find a replacement for the skids and battery tray. I did some online research and came across many options, but one company in particular nabbed my attention. This research brought me to This is a Canadian company, located near Montreal, Quebec who mainly engineers after market upgrades for the CX series R.C helicopters. They believe that keeping the weight down is a key, integral component of flying and performing well with these machines. After doing some research, reading reviews and looking through there product line I decided to make some purchases. I purchased, the new Zero Blade Strike Drive (prevents blade strikes), the Blade Grips Kit (better stability and durability) and the Racing Conversion/Outdoor Flight Kit (for outdoor use). I also purchased some additional blades, inner shaft and main gear. As an incentive, any order over $50, the shipping is free world-wide and they throw in a nice landing pad.

My parts arrived today by Canada Post, took about 4 business days, which is not bad in Canada from Quebec to Ontario. The parts were neatly wrapped, secured well and arrived damage free. Upon inspection of the parts, I was impressed at the engineering and fit and finish of these products. Also, I had ordered short flybar from which also arrived today, which made me happy  I have decided to wait to install these mods because, I also wish to replace the main frame which I can get from my LHS this Friday. I believe that the main frame was also flexing a bit, particularly the tongue that holds up the spectrum/gyro components which I understand is a weak point in the main frame.

Thank you for taking the time to read Day 1 of this modification process. Feel free to comment and ask questions. See picture and descriptions below.


Razors Edge 29, a.k.a Ryan
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:36 AM   #2
Razors edge 29
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I am: Ryon, B
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Re: FLYRCRIVSUED.COM Sonny Bird Blade CX3 Mods -Day 1- mods Day 2 – Parts Weighing

I have just finished weighing all the pieces I received for my mods. I was asked to do this by a fellow RC Canada member, whom we have a discussion regarding the weight factor with co-axial, and heli’s period. Sonny at stresses the fact that keeping the weight low is crucial to the CX series. I have a tendency to agree based on my own experience. Now, the digital scales I am using are not top of the line, but not junk either. And it was purchased brand new today. The weights are as :

From (weight in grams)
- “New” refers to the new “Zero Blades Strikes Core kit and new main gear”
- (<1) Refers to less than 1 gram, but will be added as 1 gram in this case.

1. Battery Tray 4
2. Landing Skids 4
3. 2 Blades 7
4. New Longer Inner Shaft 4
5. New Outer Shaft (includes, gear, bearing, bushing) 6
6. New Main Gear + Retaining nut with screws 2 7. Tail Boom Assembly 12
8. Fuselage 5
9. 2 Linkage Arms (<1) 1
10. Blade Grip screws + washers 3
11. Lower Rotor Head 1
12. One Side of Blade Grips (1 gram x 4 = 4 grams) 4

Total Weight of = 53 Grams

From (weight in grams)

1. Shorter Flybar with weights 9
2. Shorter Flybar without weights 3

Stock Parts Blade/ Upgrade Aluminium Parts CX3 Parts: (weight in grams)
Note, that the fuselage has been painted, thus adding extra weight and was done merely out of curiosity. Also, the outer shaft was weighed without bearing and washers.

1. Stock E Flite battery 44
2. Stock Fuse (painted) 23
3. 1 Stock Blade Upper 4
4. 1 Stock Blade Lower 3
5. Stock Skids 5
6. Stock Swash 2
7. Stock Inner Shaft 2
8. Stock Outer Shaft with Gear 5
9. Stock Flybar 9
10. Inner Shaft with Aluminium Head 5
11. Main Gear with retaining nut and screws (<1) 1
12. Lower Rotor Head (<1) 1
13. Aluminium Swash Plate 4

The only E Flite aluminium upgrades I have not weighed are the upper bearing holder and lower rotor head. However, I will not be using the lower rotor head anyways.

Also, I weighed by previous mod parts, the findings are as follows: (weight in grams)

1. Superskids 400 series landing gear with CX3 adapters
and SuperGrips for skids with 14mm M2 screws 22
2. Microheli Aluminium CX3 Battery Tray with screws 6

Results of Findings:

1. Sonny’s Fuselage is definitely lighter, but that’s a no brainer when you compare sizes.
2. The blades are about the same weight.
3. Sonny’s landing skids are 1 gram lighter than stock.
4. Sonny’s “New” Inner Shaft is 2 grams greater in weight, but longer.
5. Sonny’s “New” Outer Shaft is 1 gram heavier, however, it is longer and this measurement included the bearing, and washer.
6. The Stock Flybar and boomtownhobbies Flybar are the same weight, however, the boomtownhobbies Flybar is shorter than stock and has heavier weights.
7. Sonny’s main gear is 1 gram heavier.
8. Sonny’s Battery Tray is 2 grams lighter than the Microheli one; however, I do not have the stock weight of the battery holder.
9. The Total Weight of the Blades Grips Kit which includes, 4 blades, screws/washer set, lower rotor head, 4 grips, and 2 linkage rods is equal to 23 grams
10. Based on my findings, I should definitely save on weight, I have not yet calculated the exact number yet, but this is bound to change as I will be receiving Aero Nuts motors and will be removing the stock motors and heat sink that is currently on my CX3. I hope this is of some use and helps others in his/her attempt to modify the E Flite Blade CX3. More to come in the following days.
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