An E-flite Blade 120 SR hovering over a platform

When I ventured into the world of model aviation years ago, fixed wing airplanes were the staple for most RC aircraft pilots. Rarely did you see a hobbyist arrive at the flying field with a helicopter in tow. And when someone did arrive with a helicopter, it became quite the spectacle as we watched the pilot maneuver the helicopter through the sky. I was mesmerized at the skill I thought it took to fly such a contraption.

For the most part I was amused at my own awe. I would sit and watch the pilot perform some maneuvers and perhaps go inverted but it didn’t take long before my attention span was at its maximum and I turned my focus back to the fixed wing airplanes before me. I’ll admit that on the inside I really wanted to try my skills at flying helicopters but, from what I knew they were expensive and if they crashed I couldn’t just put a dab of CA glue somewhere and make things good as new.

A first time for everything

Years went by before I transitioned into helicopters. I remember my first experience at the flying field, looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching, as I attempted my first few hops into the air. The thrill and sense of accomplishment was amazing when I was able to hover in place for my 6-minute’s worth of battery life. Unfortunately, that’s where all the joy ended.

The transition to forward controlled flight proved far more daunting then I’d ever anticipated and after months of crashes, busted blades, and bent tail booms, I was done. In disappointment I perched the helicopter high on a shelf where it sat collecting dust and stares of resentment. Years would go by before I would dust it off and give it another try.

I told myself the approach would be different this time. Being older and hopefully wiser, I was certain that meticulous preparation and hours of RC simulator time would be thee perfect combination. Again, I was wrong. And the old adage of history repeating itself came true once more as I stood in awe, staring down at a crumpled pile of helicopter before my feet. Unbelievable. Slowly I glanced skyward all the while raising my fist to the sky as if to say, “What do the Gods of flight desire for a sacrifice!? Is this not enough!!?”.

A little wisdom goes a long way

Miles Kington once said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” Throughout this ordeal I knew the biggest hurdle was lack of experienced instruction. So what’s a person to do with all this desire to fly rc helicopters? Where would wisdom prevail in figuring out how to overcome this obstacle?

Enter the Blade 120 SR from E-flight.

Now I’ll admit I was skeptical of this approach after having poor past experience with micro-heli’s. In my mind, micro-heli’s were not agile and their ability to mimic the flight characteristics of their larger scale cousins was faulty at best. So I went into this with just as much despair as my last crash.

Excitement once again

Believe me when I say that after I landed the Blade 120 SR (i.e., lil’ marvel) after my first flight, the feelings of elation welled up inside me so much so that I actually laughed out loud. “What an amazing little device”, I thought. And in a snap, all the years of frustration were gone and in its place were bravado and the desire to learn how to fly rc helicopters once again. Oh, did I mention that I crashed the Blade 120 SR twice during my first flight

It was awesome.

A few weeks later I achieved another milestone thanks to my little Blade 120 – controlled hover, nose-in. And while I won’t admit to the number of crashes that lead up to this event, I will admit that this little rotocraft did indeed, restore my faith in rc helicopters.

Blade 120 SR micro heli from E-flite