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Old 06-23-2017, 10:22 AM   #101 (permalink)
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Thanks for dropping back!

My opinion:

The very best heli that Blade has today is the 230S. Not because it's a super high performance, class beating heli, but because it is inexpensive, works really well, and is designed to be easy to fix. I keep recommending it because it is to me simply the very best value out there today to get started on the hobby.

1. Plastic and cheap, BNF and RTF versions.
2. Fixed length pitch linkages, correct length servo to swash linkages sold as spares, complete head assembly sold as spare, no belt tension or TT with tail motor, plastic blades.

If there is one thing I complain about is indeed that SAFE is a hit and miss. It requires that extra level calibration step to get really good and nicely level, but still keeps trying to compensate on the ground, making for difficult take-offs, specially for newbies which is the target customer.

But for many starting pilots, they won't outfly it quick. It's the perfect size to get out and fly as well.

The other heli is the other end of the range, the 360 CFX. To me that is the very flagship of Blade and a good competitor to jump from there to a kit heli. It is really powerful and light and, quite honestly, good looking. I dearly miss mine even with my Goblin fleet. On this one I honestly would have left it alone and just include the AR7210BX, I think the Trio although makes it have more collective, is more difficult to setup and more expensive to crash. I would leave the awesome canopy (which is the optional original two blade 360 canopy) and add the AR7210BX, reducing the price a little bit and having a serious competitor on that class for someone growing up with Blade.

The other models are just fillers in between to me. Plus I don't have experience with them as I have owned only a 200 SRX, a 230S and two 360 CFX's. I do think the 270 CFX could be a good option for people on the Oxy 3 size, I would put 285's on it (which actually someone has done it and does not collide with the tail blades) and increase the pinion to make it a bit more powerful. Then it would be closer in performance to an Oxy 3. You don't have the flexibility of 3S, 4S and 6S as the Oxy and it is a kit build after all, but for a Blade product which will be less expensive it can help close the gap a little bit. The huge drawback is the locked software. With so many features on FBL units today, I think BeastX and Spektrum should just include the fully featured, unlocked AR7210BX on Blade models that use it.

I think that more than SAFE, Rescue/Bailout is the feature that is most important of the SAFE technologies. That is definitely a must. For lower-end models, yes SAFE with self-level and reduced flight envelope but again it needs to work without any additional work or quirks. Still the 230S probably sold and keeps selling like pancakes.

The only other thing I would like to see from Blade are downloadable maintenance/setup guides not only for the airframe assembly but also for things like the default Castle configuration and other things that might be useful for someone rebuilding after a crash.

My two cents.

EDIT: Actually I think Blade should market these features of easy and cheap to repair on the 230S, not just SAFE and a pro pilot flying it around to its full potential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spetrotto View Post
Hey Guys,

Much apologies for not getting back to you all sooner. We have been taking notes behind he scenes.

Its our mission to make you guys happy and better yet, get more people back into the heli hobby.

The team and I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Here are a couple questions:

Is SAFE not a selling factor to you guys? Do you feel that it helps bring more people into the helis?

It seems like we have the right mix of products in our line up. You guys are all seemingly agreeing that we need to just update our current line. In other words, improve what you have and don't make additional platforms unless they are ground breaking.

What is the most popular size in your opinion? ( I know, based on sales) but curious to see what you guys think.

What sort of things should we be innovating? Plastics, electronics? Geometry? Etc...


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Old 06-23-2017, 11:02 AM   #102 (permalink)
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Oh and one more thing. The 230S should be a "platform". Again this is my personal opinion. The 250 is irrelevant to me. The 230S should have an option to upgrade to a CF frame (oh and the plastic frame has a very weak part that breaks in small crashes right behind the battery, a small reinforcement there would help a lot) and to stretch it to 250. Basically the 230S should be able to be grown into a 250. I know Blade is more of the BNF and RTF mindset but look at Blade users. There are a TON of aftermarket upgrades and among Blade users it is very common to upgrade. Why not capture some of that market yourselves?
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:02 AM   #103 (permalink)
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CastleLink provides the ability to run 2S/3S/4S/6S very easily...

It's called Auto-LiPo and the ESC will beep the appropriate number of times to match the cell count of the battery

The 270CFX uses the Talon35...just like many Oxy3's (including Mine)

I've actually been thinking about a 3S 130X using 180CFX electronics and controls with the rotary frame and servos...

Number would love that ! (surprising he hasn't done it already)
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:19 AM   #104 (permalink)
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Personally, I think Blade helis are the learning platform for most R/C heli enthusiasts. Why not just improve on what you have?

Doing things like going with the 360 as a tri option "only" pushed many away from buying it. Why not keep it as a 2-blade and offer the conversion, like I think it was in the beginning? And now I hear the 180 is going the same route? Think most beginners want a 3-blade setup?

Frankly, the micros (nCPS, 130s) that have come out of Blade are junk. A much cheaper V977 or XK will walk all over them in both capability and durability. Parts were harder to get in the beginning, but that is not true anymore. Although, I do think these models would be much better if you guys would go through the forums and read what people say about them. They could be so much better. I bought 2 130s helis thinking that they would be much better than the CPS and I flew one for 5-6 flights and sold them both, one never even opened.

Improve the 230. A pretty stable size. Offer in a belt driven version. Offer a cf frame. Unless that was the whole point of the 250 that you put the crappy 300 motor in? Offer it in a belt driven version.

Why has blade gotten away from belt drives? All of these tail dd helis just make it seem like you only deal in toys. Not much choice on the smaller stuff, but no excuse for 230 or 250, or whatever else you decide to offer in the future.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:26 AM   #105 (permalink)
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What - No more love for the 180 CFX ?

It's a great back-yard size heli.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:31 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FR4-Pilot View Post
What - No more love for the 180 CFX ?

It's a great back-yard size heli.
Exactly...

And exactly why I have more than a dozen (most are stretched) with plenty of spare parts...NIP
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:50 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Yeah, 180 is okay after stretching, belting, metal swash, grips, etc, etc. I cashed mine and it was never right again. Spent more money trying to get it to fly normal than I did initially.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:16 PM   #108 (permalink)
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The 230S is great for what it is. But, it's really just a toy heli that has the benefit of being repairable, at least for now until it gets discontinued and parts dry up. No one takes it seriously, but everyone seems to like their 230S, including me. Great all around basher that's been very reliable, which is something that escapes Blade all too often.

But, speaking for myself, I'll never see Blade as being serious with the hobby again unless they bring back actual kits. I still love and fly my 550X regularly, but some parts are getting hard to come by or aren't even available. Sad to say, but when the Blade helis I currently have are crashed into oblivion, it looks like I won't be buying any more based on the current line-up and direction they've been going. I'm going to be pissed when (not if) I have an entire heli hard down because I can't find that one critical part I need and something from the aftermarket can't be sourced.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:23 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadiscoil View Post
There are a TON of aftermarket upgrades and among Blade users it is very common to upgrade. Why not capture some of that market yourselves?
They did offer Blade branded hop-up type parts in metal but the quality very often wasn't very good. Their all metal swash for the 450X was horrible. I went through a few of them. Some had a nasty, notchy bearing right out of the package. Others had so much drag in the bearing it was like it got pinched on install. Those got replaced by product support immediately. The ones that had a decent bearing didn't last long at all before becoming sloppy. Not a one of them.

Glad someone mentioned the Lynx OXY helis. Blade, that's what you should be looking at for future development. They are fantastic helis and that's where I look for my actual hobby grade, non-toy small heli needs these days. After all, they were pretty much the gold standard for aftermarket Blade parts. I found their quality to be better than Rakon, Microheli and others across the board. You could build some Blade helis entirely from Lynx without using one single stock part except for electronics, so it was only natural for them to produce their own homegrown helis and I'm glad they did. The upcoming OXY 4 will definitely be my 450X replacement when it's finally good and dead.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:43 PM   #110 (permalink)
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I think of Blade as an entry level brand. Something the hobby is lacking. Personally I think there must be a step before kit helis. Building and flying are two huge skill sets. Doing them at the same time is what pushes people out of the hobby.

Think about when you started. Wouldn't it be nice to have a small and simple and inexpensive Heli to learn on? This is what the 230 S and Blade overall are about. Which is why it is so successful.

Kit helis there are many options better than Blade that you can build with different components to your hearts content when you know what you are doing.

That is why to me Blade needs only the 230 to get started, the 360 to get a taste of a real powerful Heli and then jump out.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:33 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadiscoil View Post
I think of Blade as an entry level brand. Something the hobby is lacking. Personally I think there must be a step before kit helis. Building and flying are two huge skill sets. Doing them at the same time is what pushes people out of the hobby.

Think about when you started. Wouldn't it be nice to have a small and simple and inexpensive Heli to learn on? This is what the 230 S and Blade overall are about. Which is why it is so successful.

Kit helis there are many options better than Blade that you can build with different components to your hearts content when you know what you are doing.

That is why to me Blade needs only the 230 to get started, the 360 to get a taste of a real powerful Heli and then jump out.
Can't believe we agree on something.

Blade buyers don't want kits. They want cheap, easy to fly and easy to fix. There is no way blade can compete with Align, look at the 470LP kit, it costs less than a 230s.

IMO SAFE is fantastic. What isn't fantastic is QC on a small fraction of SAFE equipped helis. What I would love to see is a "first flight" program that partners with a local hobby shop and a club. Someone buys a 230s (or other SAFE heli) and gets to maiden it with a club member.

There is nothing worse than a crash in the first few seconds of ownership. Even if that happens 1 in 100 helis because something wasn't right, its can sour someone on the hobby.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:03 PM   #112 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadiscoil View Post
I think of Blade as an entry level brand. Something the hobby is lacking. Personally I think there must be a step before kit helis. Building and flying are two huge skill sets. Doing them at the same time is what pushes people out of the hobby.
BNF/RTF stuff and kits aren't mutually exclusive. They can carry both. They did it before and they can do it again. Personally, I feel they didn't try hard enough with the Pro Series. They had to have expected slow initial sales because of their so-so reputation on the street, self inflicted or otherwise, and an already saturated market but they just didn't stick with it. They folded way too early, IMO. They should have pushed Haley and other team pilots to put one of their birds on the awards podium at a major event(s). That would have gotten plenty of people to sit up and take notice. People would have been talking about the heli that won or, maybe, took second and how it was "just a Blade".
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:28 PM   #113 (permalink)
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I agree. Blade have a niche, they do not need to branch into kits.

Steve, you guys should know from your support exactly what problems occur on which models and what needs improving.

You should fix the 230s frame. It does not need a massive fix, just better, stronger plastic.

I would think the 270 would be pretty popular but from the traffic that forum gets, it does not look like it. Maybe you should sell it set up for 4s. The 6s lipos are quite expensive. And people can switch to 6s if they really want.

Also Blade should be more competitive price wise on lipos. Or just sell all your models without a battery and hopefully reduce the initial model price. I know I have never purchased a single Eflight lipo in the five years plus I have been buying Blade helis. They are just not good value for money.

As for electronics, the servos that came on the 180 and the 230 are pretty good when compared to what the Blades 450s came with (I know same tail servo on the 180). And I have not had any problems with the escs on either heli. The motors however could have a little more power but they do seem to keep working at least.

I never use SAFE, infact when I accidently flip into SAFE the lack of control scares me, but I can see it being a big draw for beginners. I cannot see why you should discontinue its use.

I know you take a lot of flak because your helis attract beginners, beginners crash lots and tend to forget and then wonder why their heli does not fly right. However there have been enough examples of poor quality on certain parts over the years that a bad rep at times has been justified.

I hope you guys can keep improving because you have always been in a good position to bring new guys into the hobby. As far as I am concerned you have some good helis in your current line up for the intended audience.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:41 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Mike, perhaps it would take more than you think to get guys buying Blade Kits. In the micro size I would buy an Oxy pretty much every time.

The Kit market is flooded with quality kits of all sizes. I have way too much choice to consider before I would even think of a Blade kit.

Blade make convenient helis, practically ready to fly from the get go. I think that is what attracts people to Blade.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:31 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hey Guys,

It seems like we have the right mix of products in our line up. You guys are all seemingly agreeing that we need to just update our current line. In other words, improve what you have and don't make additional platforms unless they are ground breaking.
It seems you have missed the number of times someone brought up the idea of a new MCPX BL, or, a new micro to beat the XK K110 and 120. An MCPX V3 etc. mentioned numerous times. A small, resilient, heli that can be tuned to ones liking and skill level. Blade should be capable of beating the pants off the XK helis, but choose not to.
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:11 AM   #116 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spetrotto View Post
Hey Guys,

Much apologies for not getting back to you all sooner. We have been taking notes behind he scenes.

Its our mission to make you guys happy and better yet, get more people back into the heli hobby.

The team and I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Here are a couple questions:

Is SAFE not a selling factor to you guys? Do you feel that it helps bring more people into the helis?

It seems like we have the right mix of products in our line up. You guys are all seemingly agreeing that we need to just update our current line. In other words, improve what you have and don't make additional platforms unless they are ground breaking.

What is the most popular size in your opinion? ( I know, based on sales) but curious to see what you guys think.

What sort of things should we be innovating? Plastics, electronics? Geometry? Etc...


For me and just about everyone I personally know SAFE is the primary reason for buying Blade helis. If you no longer offered it I would not be interested in your products.

When I go to various clubs I very often find people who have bought "pre SAFE" helis, crashed them a lot and just given up.
I try do demonstrate SAFE, usually with my 230S and some have taken interest again.

I am sure that there are some people who hate the whole concept of SAFE which I suspect is more ego in their part as SAFE allows people with lesser skills to fly a better. If a heli has SAFE and you do not like it then it is easy to turn it off.

I started with always Stability Mode then after a few months would switch to Agility Mode while in the air but land in Stability and now I can do it all in Agility/3D but occasionally I do a "hold my beer" and flicking it back to Stability allows me a few seconds to regroup.

I am in the process of trying new FBLs in my 450x fleet to replace the ar7200bx so I get that feature on all of them.

The other thing I like about Blade is that parts are cheap and so are the batteries (on most models). We are not all in USA and a 360CFX battery (1300 6s) costs about $100 here so going to the field with 10 batteries is $1000. On the other hand the 2200 3s for the 450x is $28.

The last thing is that all of the Blade helis are ready to go out of the box. They do not have to be built from kits or require choosing of optional parts to make them go. I like this very much and have very little interest in assembling a bucket of bits.
Some like to cook, others just like to eat.

Now this is just my view and at this time every heli I have ever bought has been Blade (5x450x 3xMSRx, Nano, 200SRx, 2x230S, 250CFx).

While you keep making helis that are suitable for me and my friends I suspect we will keep buying.
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:24 AM   #117 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spetrotto View Post
Here are a couple questions:

Is SAFE not a selling factor to you guys? Do you feel that it helps bring more people into the helis?

It seems like we have the right mix of products in our line up. You guys are all seemingly agreeing that we need to just update our current line. In other words, improve what you have and don't make additional platforms unless they are ground breaking.

What is the most popular size in your opinion? ( I know, based on sales) but curious to see what you guys think.

What sort of things should we be innovating? Plastics, electronics? Geometry? Etc...


I liked SAFE in the beginning and it got me to where I could fly CP no problem. It is good and bad. Gets you up flying, but then people use it as a crutch.

I think that you have a good mix, for now. Start with the 230 and improve it. Work your way through what you currently offer and then take those ideas and maybe expand to ideas like new and improved MCPx.

I think it best to look at your products as beginner products. Not a bad thing, as I think your company brings in most if not all new heli pilots. Most I believe move up but continue to recommend starting with a 230. Just glance at the many new pilot threads started throughout the forum and see how many times the 230 is mentioned. The 230 is better than the smaller micros for a new pilot because it is much more stable and easier to fly than something like a MCPx size. You could market as the "ultimate" starter heli. Just remember that to really be an "ultimate" starter heli it needs to be a tank and very durable. Which basically means scrapping the frame you have. Maybe mix cf and plastic to make it strong and keep light? The frame of the 230 really is the only bad piece, although a little tougher pitch arms on the grips would be nice. A new MCPx could be marketed as the "ultimate" backyard basher...but more for the experienced pilot, possibly, since a beginner just bashes into the ground. In other words, improve the beginner helis first and then work your way through what you have.

For your 270 and 360, why not contract with Lynx or MH to use a few of their components that appear much better than the stock and include these products in your BNF models? For example, the swash. A 270 with a known mfg that is proven to greatly improve products already built into one of your helis would certainly get me to consider one. Does nothing but help you guys and you don't have to do much research on how to get them better within. Just a thought. I would definitely show that you guys are just concerned with improving.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:00 AM   #118 (permalink)
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I have thought about that at some point. For Blade to buy the Lynx designs. They are dropping their manufacturing anyways. But it's all a cost thing. Blade's edge is price. A $1200 Goblin 380 flies way better than a $600 360 CFX but the Blade is not a bad Heli at all. Still I agree with a few posts above. It would be better a bit cheaper without the tri blade. Blade are cheap helis that work right out of the box. Again perfect introduction for the hobby. I think Blade dropped the Pro because they realized this. Plenty of market for inexpensive good helis especially something like the 230S to get started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
I liked SAFE in the beginning and it got me to where I could fly CP no problem. It is good and bad. Gets you up flying, but then people use it as a crutch.

I think that you have a good mix, for now. Start with the 230 and improve it. Work your way through what you currently offer and then take those ideas and maybe expand to ideas like new and improved MCPx.

I think it best to look at your products as beginner products. Not a bad thing, as I think your company brings in most if not all new heli pilots. Most I believe move up but continue to recommend starting with a 230. Just glance at the many new pilot threads started throughout the forum and see how many times the 230 is mentioned. The 230 is better than the smaller micros for a new pilot because it is much more stable and easier to fly than something like a MCPx size. You could market as the "ultimate" starter heli. Just remember that to really be an "ultimate" starter heli it needs to be a tank and very durable. Which basically means scrapping the frame you have. Maybe mix cf and plastic to make it strong and keep light? The frame of the 230 really is the only bad piece, although a little tougher pitch arms on the grips would be nice. A new MCPx could be marketed as the "ultimate" backyard basher...but more for the experienced pilot, possibly, since a beginner just bashes into the ground. In other words, improve the beginner helis first and then work your way through what you have.

For your 270 and 360, why not contract with Lynx or MH to use a few of their components that appear much better than the stock and include these products in your BNF models? For example, the swash. A 270 with a known mfg that is proven to greatly improve products already built into one of your helis would certainly get me to consider one. Does nothing but help you guys and you don't have to do much research on how to get them better within. Just a thought. I would definitely show that you guys are just concerned with improving.
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:00 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadiscoil View Post
I have thought about that at some point. For Blade to buy the Lynx designs. They are dropping their manufacturing anyways. But it's all a cost thing. Blade's edge is price. A $1200 Goblin 380 flies way better than a $600 360 CFX but the Blade is not a bad Heli at all. Still I agree with a few posts above. It would be better a bit cheaper without the tri blade. Blade are cheap helis that work right out of the box. Again perfect introduction for the hobby. I think Blade dropped the Pro because they realized this. Plenty of market for inexpensive good helis especially something like the 230S to get started.
I would gladly add an extra $15 if it came with a Lynx swash. Costs vs quality is a fine line. Lynx wouldn't drop anything if there was a consistent demand for parts. Read most of the negative reviews and it is the quality of the parts that most are not happy with. Everyone always says get the 230 and leave it stock, except for maybe put in a metal swash. The 180 is a great heli when you do x to it. Why not fill in some of that and have a heli that truly needs no upgrade. And they are fine just like they are for the true beginner, but then to keep that person going a bit further would help.
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Oxy 2/3/4/5; XL 520/700; Kraken; Jeti DS-14/DX9

EGODRIFT Team, Lynx/Oxy Field Rep
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:23 AM   #120 (permalink)
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1. Do something about the lack of QC.
2. Make sure SAFE does not need calibration before first flight, to avoid drilling the heli into the ground on first takeoff.
3. Disable as3x/safe when motor is off, just like the pre-safe heli do. Not fun taking off with a non-level swash.
4. Choose the right size battery connector for each model (especially ditch the nqx one).
5. Put fair prices on batteries.
6. Make sure tail holds under normal (moderate) flight conditions.
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