The Blade Inductrix came out this past summer and caught my attention because it is different looking than any of the other nano (small) sized quadcopters that I had seen before. The most obvious difference is the ducts that surround the propellers. I’m not sure if they actually produce more thrust, but the do look cool, seem to make the copter quieter, and protect the blades from damage if you run into anything.
After investigating further, I discovered that the Inductrix comes in both a ready to fly (RTF) and bind and fly (BNF) versions and uses an external LiPo battery. These two things are very unique for a copter this size. Most nano quadcopters come with a cheaply made and less-than-stellar radio. And most nano quadcopters have an internal, non-removable battery, which means you have to recharge it every time you fly. With the Inductrix, you can fly with a nice, hobby grade radio and you can swap out batteries and fly as long as you want! That’s a game changer in the nano quadcopter world!
Let’s start with the way the Blade Inductrix looks. It is pretty unique and pretty cool. The ducted fans give it a kind of space age, jet feeling. It also comes with two different snap-on bodies, one red and one blue. While the body is not essential for flight, it does protect the electronic components and help you orient the copter while you are flying. Of course, the biggest plus is the ability to bind with Spektrum DSMX 2.4GHz transmitters. I fly mine with a Spektrum DX6i, and believe me, the difference between that and the cheap radios that come with most nano quads is significant. If you have ever flown the Blade Pico QX or the Estes Proto X, you know what I mean.
I have actually tried the radio that comes with the RTF version of the Inductrix and it’s actually better than most of the radios that come with nano quads. But when you bind it to the Spektrum radio, you get a noticeably better flying experience. Then there is the 1S 3.7V LiPo battery. These are standard hobby batteries that work in a variety of other helicopters and airplanes. I happen to have a bunch of them already, so I can now enjoy flying my Indcutrix for a long time before I have to recharge my batteries. Lastly, the Inductrix has an adjustable rate that allows you to fly with SAFE (sensor assisted flight envelope) technology or turn the assistance off and fly completely manually. This is pretty cool because it means that the Inductrix is challenging for beginners and experts alike!
|Flight time||6 – 8 Minutes|
|Range||Approximately 30 meters|
|Dimensions||83mm x 83mm x 28mm|
|Flight battery||E-flite® 150mAh 1S 3.7V 25C LiPo|
|Transmitter||Any Spektrum DSMX 2.4GHz Radio|
Quality of build
Before I bought mine, I had read online about several people complaining that the motors are prone to failure on the Inductrix. However, I have not experienced any problems with mine in the 50+ flights I have done. I have noticed that the ducts seem to be susceptible to holding bits of debris, so I do recommend that if you are flying somewhere with grass, pet hair, or anything else that can get caught in the motors, you keep a close eye to make sure nothing does clog the motor. This will save you from frying them! The ducts around the propellers actually do a great job of protecting them from collisions and crashes.
The air frame is agile and light, which means that you would have to really smash into something fast to damage it. My experience has been that when I crash, the copter is so light that it doesn’t do any damage. The Inductrix has built in LEDs that help with orientation and night flying. They are bright in the dark, but a bit hard to see in bright daylight. The package comes with an extra set of propellers, but so far I have not needed to replace any propellers thanks to the ducts.
Assembly and tuning
There is not much to assemble with the Inductrix. It comes with 2 different color bodies that you can swap out with simple snaps on the sides of the airframe. The battery comes with a small USB charger that you can plug into any USB port…either on your computer or in a USB power port (like you use to charge a phone). Because it is a small 1S battery, the charge time is pretty quick. Once you have charged the battery, you just slip it into the slot below the airframe and plug in the cable. Two quick things about plugging in the battery: first, be sure that you plug it in with the red dots lined up.
Second, be sure you place the Inductrix on a level surface when you plug it in. When it gets power, it calibrates the gyros and this is what gives it level flight. If you plug it in while holding it in a non-level position, it will not fly well. If that happens, just unplug it, set it on a flat, level surface, and try again. Finally, if you are using the bind and fly (BNF) version, you will need to hold the bind switch on your radio when turn the radio on. This will pair the Inductrix with your radio. As you bind the copter, you will see blinking lights on the copter. These lights will turn solid when the binding process is complete.
The Blade Inductrix is a blast to fly. It is great for indoor flying and does well outdoors, if there is not much wind. When you fly in the SAFE mode, it is quite stable and has a very manageable yaw (rotation) rate. This means that it is easy to keep under control. However, if you decide that you want to take your flying to the next level, you can turn off the SAFE mode and fly completely manual. In manual mode the gyroscopes are disabled and it is completely in your hands to keep the copter level…or not, depending on what you want to do. To switch between modes, you move the “flap” switch on you Spektrum radio down and then up. In SAFE mode there is a blue LED on the top of the copter. When you switch to manual mode, that LED turns red. I will say that manual mode is tough. It is very easy to get turned around or turned over in manual mode and crash.
One thing I have found useful is to fly in manual mode until you get in trouble and then quickly flip to SAFE mode. This has saved me from many crashes! My final note on flying this copter is to start indoors or outdoors with no wind. It can fly in a light (less than 5 km/hour) wind, but I don’t recommend doing that until you are very comfortable with the flight characteristics of this quadcopter.