Well I received a blade 500 x bnf model for my college graduation this week and have noticed that there have not been that many posts about it. I thought I would just briefly describe my first thoughts on the model.
Here's a brief background on myself... I have been flying airplanes for 15 years and helis for about 6. I mainly fly 3d, but am getting more into the FAI style of flying as I am finding it more difficult (fun) to be more precise. I do have several other blade models including the ncpx, mcpx, and the 130x. I normally fly those in the winter and stick to my whiplash and rave in the summer.
Okay, down to my little review so far on the 500... When I got the box the first thing I liked was how it was packaged just like all the other eflite and blade stuff. I understand that a lot of experienced pilots look down on the blade helicopters, but I have found over the past couple years they have really done the hobby a good service; providing affordable, bnf helicopters that actually fly well. Even though the blade 500's price is a little expensive, it is right on par, or even cheaper than other 500 size helis out there, but has the distinct advantage of being nearly ready to fly. Even though I actually enjoy building and fixing my own helis it was nice to just pull the 500 out of the box, charge the battery, set up the radio, and fly. From unpacking to flying was around 20 min.
I have only owned one other 500 size heli (atom 500), but have flown several others at our club and I have to say that I really like flying it so far. It flies much bigger than it is and is very smooth. I found the manual setup to work very well and the only adjustments that I made was on the tail gain.
The helicopter is not completely without faults however. There are a few items which I have some issues with. First, the amount of play in the tail rotor assy/tail pitch slider. The tail holds fine in flight and even fast backwards hurricanes, but I still don't like the amount of play in the whole assy. My second issue is power. It certainly has enough power to throw any 3d maneuver I can do at it, but care must be taken for good collective management. This isn't really a huge problem for me, but some people that like the new super powered electric setups today may not like it.
In conclusion I would highly recommend the 500x for someone who is looking to move up the blade "ladder" of helicopters or even for an experienced pilot who is looking for a good flying helicopter that can be flown to the limits right away with minimal prep time.
Thanks everyone for reading this long review! If anyone has questions about the Blade 500 don't hesitate to ask!