GLX 600mm Extreme 3D Carbon Main Rotor Blades

Reviewer: Rob Turnbull
Review Date: 13th March 2008
Supplier Captain Crash
Manufacturer: GLX
Unit Cost: £39.99

Blade details

These GLX blades have a wooden core and are finished in black with a carbon weave along with an embedded holographic pad on the top side of the blades near the tip, which helps with visibility in flight and on the ground. The holographic pad is beneath the smooth laquer finish - it's not a sticker on top that could easily peel off.

These symmetrical blades are also balanced although, rather amazingly, there isn't a balancing plug hole to be found on either blade.

Length 600mm
Width 56.5mm (approx) across all the main portion of the blade
Blade grip size 12mm
Bolt hole size 4mm, with a fitted brass collar

Here's a few pictures of the blades.

  • GLX bladesGLX blades
  • Blade rootBlade root
  • Blade tipBlade tip
  • The tip in sunlightThe tip in sunlight
  • Fitted to the Trex 600nFitted to the Trex 600n
  • The tip in sunlightNo spacer needed on the Trex 600n

The blade tips curve in from the leading to trailing edge over the last 20mm of the length of the blade. The root gently narrows from it's full width (56.5mm) to approximately 30mm over the last 110mm.

They fit without the need for spacers on the Trex 600n. The Knight 3D required spacers as it's blade grips are 13.5mm - I used a single 1.5mm spacer above the blade in this instance.

The blades feel quite stiff when flexing from root to tip, with very good torsional stiffness. Comparitively speaking, they are not quite as stiff as the BBT Maniac 603 blades, but it's a close run thing!

Flight testing

I have tested these blades on the Trex 600n and the Knight 3D, both of which are setup for 3D flight. The Trex 600 has Stubz paddles and the Knight 3D has stock paddles fitted.

On both helicopters, the blades perform about the same, as is to be expected. They feel responsive in flight and track quite nicely while not being too pitchy in forward flight. They do give off more noise than I would like to hear in a 3D flight, but rather suprisingly, this doesn't appear to translate into the amount of headspeed loss I would expect from blade noise. I have flown other blades that give off a little more noise but the effect was much more noticeable on the headspeed.

They handle everything I can throw at them without me worrying that they're going to flex too much and strike the boom or something else equally disastrous.

They don't seem to bog down too heavily in extreme pitch manoeuvres. Pitch response is good, but is a bit less snappy than the response you get from V Blades - which is to be expected as they are not quite as stiff as V Blades.

The auto rotation performance is also pretty good. The amount of available headspeed at the end of an auto can be enough to allow a little fun hovering while bleeding it all off before landing. This depends on how you do an auto of course.

In sport flying terms, these blades are an excellent choice and will perform very well. These blades will handle everything the sport flyer will require of them.

As far as extreme 3D flight goes, while they will cope well with the manoeuvres, there are better performing blades available. However, at this price point it is very difficult to argue against these blades as they are aggressively priced and the performance is good!

Pros and Cons

Pros
Stunning low price
The smooth finish of the blade looks and feels good
You do not need blade spacers when fitting to a standard 12mm blade grip
Holographic tips make the black blade ends stand out in flight and on the ground
Cons
Black blades not quite so easy to see in flight
Blade noise in 3D flight

Conclusion

I have had a plenty of stick time on these blades now and they definitely perform well. The noise that they give off in 3D flight doesn't translate into the amount of headspeed loss expected meaning they are still performing well.

The major point in favour of these blades though is the price. For the quality of blade on offer, the price is very competitive.

If you want good 3D performance from your helicopter but only have a low to mid range budget for main rotor blades, these blades should certainly make your short-list.

If you're a sport flier looking to start using carbon blades, or perhaps want better performance from your wooden bladed heli but can't convince yourself to pay the usual high price for carbon blades, these should be at the top of your list.