BLADE PICO QX BREAKDOWN
The Blade Pico QX is another good addition to the indoor micro helicopter experience. It is an even smaller version of the Blade Nano QX, so if you like flying that around the house then this will be a good addition to your collection. The Blade Pico QX also integrates Safe Technology as the Blade Nano QX does. It has a 2.4 GHz receiver instead of infrared so this can be flown outside as long as there is no wind. It has an included radio and can’t be bound to another radio such as the Spektrum DX8, but this little guy is still very cool. The included radio has something new that I haven’t seen yet with indoor microheli’s.
The radio doesn’t run off of AA batteries. It has an internal rechargeable battery and charges with the same way as the Blade Pico QX does. The radio is also a bit bigger than the radios that come with the Estes Proto X and HobbyZone Faze. The radio is still small, but not as small. The lights on the Blade Pico QX look very cool too. The middle blinks green (shows through the canopy). The front has two blue lights and two red lights in the back to help determine orientation in flight. There are crash guards to protect the propellers during crashes. The guards look very thin, but I can assure you that they are sturdy.
I’ve crashed mine a lot in the past couple of months and this heli is still rocking. I haven’t had to repair it at all, so far. I’ve already had to change the props on my Faze. Unlike the Blade Nano QX where Safe is turned on by your radio’s trainer button, the Blade Pico QX’s is activated by pushing in on the right radio stick. Although the Blade Pico QX can’t hover upside down, Bade has ensured that they are going to out do the competition so far. The Pico QX does flip like the Proto X and Faze. It not only will flip once, but the Blade Pico QX can do double flips which is a lot of fun to mess around with. Push in on the left stick once to flip one time. Push in on the left stick a second time and the Pico QX will flip twice consecutively.
I just want to warn you that the Pico QX loses quite a bit of altitude during flipping, so while double flipping it needs to be quite high up in the air. Although the Blade Pico QX will never replace my Blade 180 CFX or Align Trex 150 DFC as fare as ultimate flying fun, it does help me get my flying fix when the weather isn’t cooperating. The Blade Pico Qx is the funnest indoor helicopter that I have owned so far. For $49.99 you can’t go wrong giving this one a try. I also see some room for a few modifications as well such as swapping the Safe and Flip switches. Flip mode being on the left stick bugs me because when you push in on the stick to enter flip mode, I always push up or down on the stick slightly affecting the helicopter’s altitude and altitude is a big deal while flipping. Safe Mode on the left stick and Flip Mode on the right stick would be a bit more practical. This detail doesn’t take away from the fun of flying the Blade Pico QX, but it is a small annoyance and I will be trying to swap them. I also think there is room to mod for removable external batteries. We will see and if it is a success, I will be sure to post the results here.
What is Safe Technology: With the Blade Nano QX, Safe Technology is essential. For example when you push the radio stick to move the Nano QX forward, the helicopter will keep moving forward until you push on the stick. If you keep pushing forward the Nano QX will keep rotating forward 360 degrees. In short this makes for a very squirrly helicopter that can be hard to control. That being the case when you switch into Safe Mode the Nano QX will stabilize into a hover when you take your fingers off of the stick and the helicopter will not do a 360 degree flip. The helicopter only moves in each direction a certain amount instead of doing complete 360 degree movements. Basically it’s auto-stabilization. This may not make sense if you haven’t flown a 3D helicopter, but I wanted to try and break it down the best that I can using the Nano QX as an example. With the Blade Pico QX, Safe Technology isn’t that important. If you are having trouble flying it, push in on the right stick and the Pico QX will become more stable and a bit more easy to fly.
BLADE PICO QX – WHAT’S IN THE BOX
Everything you need to start flying is in the box. All you have to do is charge the controller and Blade Pico QX.
In the box you will find the radio, manual, Blade Pico QX, replacement propellers, and charging cable.
Here is a close up of the radio.
Here is a side by side comparison with the HobbyZone Faze radio so you can see the size difference. The Estes Proto X and HobbyZone Faze radios are the exact same size. As you can see the Blade Pico QX radio is significantly bigger.
Some shots of the Blade Pico QX.
The small red wire is the receiver’s antenna.
There isn’t any protection for the wires underneath. This probably won’t become an issue but I am going to cover the bottoms of the motor supports with hot glue as a precaution.
This photo shows a close up of the ON/OFF switch.
The internal battery has two sided tape on both sides.
Next a size comparison of the Blade Pico QX with the Estes Proto X (right) and HobbyZone Faze (left).
BLADE PICO QX RADIO CONTROLS
If you have already flown the Estes Proto X or HobbyZone Faze, then the stick controls are the same. The only difference is that the left stick on the Blade Pico QX activates Flip Mode and the right stick turns on Safe. The Proto X and Faze does not have Safe Technology. I’m pointing this out because if you have the Faze or Proto X, then you already have the habit of pushing the right stick for Flip Mode. The other stick does nothing. With the Blade Pico QX, both sticks sound the same when you press in so if you are in the habit of pushing the right stick for Flip Mode you will be going in and out of Safe Mode with the Pico QX and getting annoyed wondering why it’s not flipping. It can get confusing after flying the Faze and Proto X which is why I want to try to swap them around. Let’s get into the basic controls.
Here is the ON/OFF switch. Always turn on the radio first and the Blade Pico QX second, otherwise the heli will not bind with the radio.
The Rudder Trim switch.
The Aileron Trim switch.
The Forward/Reverse Trim switch.
The Throttle/Rudder Stick. Push this stick up to increase throttle.
Push this stick down to decrease throttle.
Push this stick left/right to control rudder movement. Rudder rotates the heli left and right in a turning motion.
Push this stick in to activate Flip Mode. Push one time for one flip. Push two times for two consecutive flips in a row.
This stick is the Aileron/Elevator control. Push up to move the heli forward. In Flip Mode, pressing up will make the heli do forward flips.
Push down for reverse movement. In Flip Mode, pressing up will make the heli do a backwards flip.
Press left/right for Aileron movement. This will cause the heli to hover left to right. In Flip Mode, pressing left or right will cause the heli to do left and right flips.
Push in on this stick to active Safe Mode.
BLADE PICO QX AND RADIO CHARGING
1. Just like anything else USB, plug in the USB cable into your computer first. You can also use a wall adapter such as what comes with an iPhone or Kindle. The charging light on the charge cable will be off and will light up when you plug something in that needs to be charged.
2. Ensure that the radio switch is off. Plug the radio into the charging cable.
3. The light on the charge cable will turn on indicating that the radio needs to be charged. The light will shut off when charging is complete.
4. Next we charge the Blade Pico QX. Ensure that the ON/OFF switch is OFF.
5. Plug the Pico QX into the charger. Again the light on the charger will turn on for charging and will turn off when charging is complete.
6. Once charging is complete you are ready to fly.
BLADE PICO QX FLYING
1. Radio Controls:
– Left Stick (Up/Down) – controls up and down movement or altitude.
– Left Stick (Left/Right) – turns the helicopter left or right or spin movement.
– Right Stick (Up/Down) – controls forward to back movement.
– Right Stick (Left/Right) – controls side to side movement, hover left to right.
** Push in on the left stick (as if pushing the stick into the controller) causes the Pico QX to beep, putting it into Safe Mode. More stability during flight.
** Push in on the right stick (as if pushing the stick into the controller) causes the Pico QX to beep, putting it into flip mode. Press once for one flip, and twice for two flips. Ensure the heli is high up before attempting a double flip.
– Right Stick (Up/Down) – controls full forward/back flip.
– Right Stick (Left/Right) – controls full left/right flip.
** Flip Mode only lasts for one full flip or two full slips. After the flip is complete the Pico QX automatically returns to normal flight mode. Press the left stick in once more to enter Flip Mode again. The Pico QX does not remain inverted during flips. It will only do complete flips. If you crash and lower the throttle all of the way, the Pico QX will also return to normal flight mode.
1. Always turn on the radio before turning on the helicopter. Turn on the radio until the red light turns on solid.
2. Next flip the ON/OFF switch on the Pico QX to ON.
– 45 minute charging time.
– 5 minutes of flying time.
Before the helicopter approaches low voltage the LED lights will blink to warn you. Immediately land when this happens or you risk damaging the internal battery. Additionally, if after a few crashes and you find it hard to maintain altitude, replace your propellers.
BLADE PICO QX – VIDEOS
I had a nice windless day and decided to take my Pico QX outside in order to demonstrate how much altitude is lost during flips. I don’t have a camera man, so it was hard to keep the heli in frame all of the time, but here are my attempts.