EDF, FPV … Enough Said!
This article was originally published in August/September 2016 issue.
FPV racers are the fastest growing segment of drones … of the multirotor persuasion any way. Everyone wants one, but where to go to get the components needed? Further still, how do you program everything without any help from anyone? Yes, there are RTF and ARF machines out there these days, but they are aimed more explicitly at hardcore racers. The new Blade Inductrix 200 FPV is the perfect racer for those looking to get their feet wet in the fast paced world of FPV racing without spending a wad or getting into something that’s way too much for a beginner. Not only that, but the Inductrix 200 is the perfect racer for indoor circuits where space is a commodity. If you really want to get your heart racing though, single and even double flips and rolls are possible and the model really doesn’t lose all that much altitude. All of this is possible with the 200 and best of all, there’s no GUI to download and program with, no firmware to update before flying, no video transmitter to camera wiring harness to mess with and no power distribution board to solder. Simply charge the battery, program your radio and go fly.
The brushless motors each spin a 4-blade rotor that are encase in a small duct, hence the EDF moniker. Additionally, the Inductrix 200 comes mounted with upper blade guards that twist and lock into place, giving the rotors protection and making maintenance a breeze. Below the rotors are more guards that terminate as the feet (landing gear) of the 200 in the form of rubber dampers; perfect for those not so perfect landings on a hard surface. The innards of this Inductrix consists of a 3-in1 unit that is comprised of the ESC’s, flight controller and DSMX receiver, as well as the tiny VTX/Antenna hidden just behind the camera in the nose. The included flight pack has a proprietary plug, but it is entirely fool proof as there is no way to plug it in backwards. It simply slides into the charger for replenishing and it locks into the 200 for flight with two side latches that both keep it secure in flight, but also make it very easy to remove for battery swaps. Blade packs the flight controller of this little FPV machine with Horizon’s SAFE technology, so it’s perfect for anyone from all but the newest of pilots to hardcore race enthusiasts. Simply provide your own 5+ channel DSMX transmitter and FatShark compatible goggles and you’re ready to take to the skies … from the pilot’s seat!
DISTRIBUTOR: Horizon Hobby
TYPE: FPV Quadcopter
FOR: Intermediate pilots
The Inductrix 200 FPV is the perfect “first” FPV machine as it comes completely built, outfitted with top of the line electronics. No fiddling with flight controllers or video transmitter cables. Simply program your DSMX transmitter according to the manual while the included 800mAh LiPo is charging and you’re ready to fly within minutes. The power system does truly behave like an EDF would, but it is much more peppy on the low end, giving the Inductrix 200 FPV great agility, tumbling ability and awesome top speeds. Better still, it’s mighty stout and that’s a good thing when considering how many crashes FPV racers sustain.
The Inductrix 200 FPV is the perfect machine for those looking to do a little racing or freestyle flying indoors or out. Just add your DSMX transmitter and goggles and you’re ready to rip it up.
The EDF style shrouds on both Inductrix models not only aid in the durability of the models, but also lend themselves well to a safer flying machine.
The Inductrix 200 comes fully assembled, including the 25mW camera and VTX. Additionally, the camera comes mounted on a swivel allowing for a vast array of camera angles. To change the seven channels available on the included VTX, you simply press the little indent on the top of the nose in the canopy.
Like all current FPV racers, the Inductrix FPV comes preprogrammed with three distinct flight modes, custom tailored for those who are just starting out in the fast paced world of FPV quad flying.
The body/canopy of the Inductrix 200 FPV also doubles as the main frame. This both simplifies and lightens the entire airframe, but don’t let that light weight fool you. This model is plenty durable.
IN THE AIR
To those that are familiar with EDF power systems (for electric jet models) and might be worrying about any sort of power lag that’s usually associated with them, fear not. The Inductrix 200 (as well as the UMX version) has plenty of pep from a dead stop and can top out quickly. Bearing that in mind, we dialed in a good bit of expo on the controls in Agility Mode, a little more on the yaw axis than the pitch or roll. We popped a freshly charged pack in the belly of the 200, flipped on the DX6 and pressed the power button on the tail. The little FPV machine popped to life with a series of tones and once initialized, the LED on the power button was glowing blue. It was a bit hard to see in direct sunlight, but the voice alerts and LCD display on the DX6 assured us of the flight mode we were in. We cranked the rudder to the far right with the throttle at zero and then slowly brought it back to neutral to arm the motors. Here we go!
Again, unnecessarily worrying about throttle lag that simply wasn’t there, we gently lifted the 200 off in Stability Low Mode. The shrill of the 4-blade rotors tucked inside the little ducts definitely had a distinct sound that is completely different from the standard “buzz” of a traditional quadcopter … very cool! However, our smiles were quickly erased as the Inductrix began drifting away in a breeze, even with full cyclic input against the wind. No problem, as a quick switch up to flight mode 2 (Stability High Mode) gave us much more authority on the elevator and aileron inputs with the increased bank angles allowed by the SAFE system in this mode. Bringing the 200 back down in the wind was not a problem at all and once on terra firma, a quick yank on the H-switch stopped the motors from spinning. We sat on the bench, shooting the breeze and waiting for their wind to diminish.
When the calm returned, it was go time. With a freshly peaked pack and the 200 in mode 2, we lifted off again for a bit more spirited flight. Once at a level hover around five feet, we buried the throttle to see what the vertical prowess looked like. While it won’t speck out like a 250 racer on 4S, it had us pleasantly surprised with the throttle authority. At alti- tude, we flipped the goggles down and busted a few quick circuits from the inside the cockpit. All but the hairiest of maneuvers were not only possible with the Inductrix 200, but were also tons of fun. The video image on our Teleporter goggles was crystal clear and had plenty of range for our needs. A welcome side effect of the small rotors on each motor is that you’ll never have any props showing up in your live feed or DVR recordings.Our third test flight was conducted in mode 3 (Agility) and let’s just say, you’re going to want to sit down if you’re flying FPV in this mode. The Inductrix 200 will flip and roll with the best of them and thanks to it’s fully wrapped canopy (think airplane wing generating lift), it doesn’t lose much altitude at all. The expo we had dialed in before even flying the 200 ended up being a wise choice as the model is highly responsive in this mode. Carving hard, acute lines through and around gates, of both the foam and maple variety, was easy and challenging. We did end up “kissing” more than a few gates and trees, but even with the harder hits, there was zero damage. We did have to occasionally search for a rotor guard that popped off, but after screwing it back down, we were back up in the air. We would have stayed out at the field all day, but alas, we only had two batteries and no way to quick charge the proprietary packs with a programmable charger.
The next day, we were relegated to the office as it was pouring rain. No problem, we had plenty of flying … errrr … work to do. A couple more fully charged packs led the way to some office hilarity with the Inductrix 200. Sitting comfortably in our cushy office chairs, we were able to navigate the maze of hallways, conference rooms and cubicles while sporting the Teleporter goggles. We found it was best to keep the 200 in mode 1 for the trickier parts of our makeshift race course, while flipping into mode 2 for the longer hallways provided a pretty cool ride. There were far more brushes with inanimate object while flying within the confines of Drones Mag HQ, but once again, the Inductrix 200 was left unscathed. Another secondary benefit of the small rotors and protective shrouds was that we were able to brush a wall or the occasional filing cabinet without upsetting the attitude of the quad. Pretty darn impressive for an EDF powered machine that is capable of some fairly high speeds.
WEIGHT: 6.53 oz (185g)
DIAMETER: 200mm MOTORS: (4) Brushless outrunners
ESCS: 4-in-1 board
CAMERA/VTX: 25mW 5.8GHz 7-channel
BATTERY: Blade 3S 800mAh LiPo
PROPELLERS: (4) 4-blade rotors
FLIGHT CONTROLLER: 4-in-1 board
FLIGHT TIME: 6-7 minutes
RADIO: Spektrum DX6
GOGGLES: FatShark/Spektrum Teleporter V4
The Inductrix 200 FPV comes from Horizon fully assembled, but there are a few things you can and should do before anything else. First, read the manual, specifically regarding the charger, the battery and starting the charge process. Once the flight pack is getting peaked, read the entire manual and program your transmitter according to the manual. It is worth noting that we programmed our Spektrum DX6 slightly different than the manual. Rather than placing the motor disarm feature on the bind button, we placed it on the H switch … where throttle-hold would be on a CP heli. This was purely a matter of preference and thumbs trained through years of helicopter flying. Once the radio is programmed and bound to your Inductrix, ensure that each motor guard is secured sufficiently and perform a bench test to make sure your radio is programmed properly. Turn the transmitter on, insert the battery and push the power button. Once the model powers up, the LED on the button will glow red, yellow or green to indicate the charge level of the battery. After that, the 200 will initialize and the LED will no turn a solid blue (flight mode 1), green (flight mode 2) or red (flight mode 3).
THE FINAL WORD
For $250, in the Inductrix 200 FPV, you get an awesome machine that’s pre-built, preprogrammed, appeals to a wide scope of skill levels, takes the proverbial “lickin” and keeps on “tickin”. In that same package, you also get a model loaded with Horizon’s SAFE technology so it can go from mild to wild in the flip of a switch. Whether you’re looking to step into your first FPV quad or searching for something to bang around and have fun with while not going 80-100 mph with a 250 racer, the Inductrix 200 FPV will not disappoint, that I can assure you. Besides, who doesn’t love the shrill of an EDF power system … or even better, four of them!