I must be the unluckiest guy on earth.

After the success of my WLToys v911 I decided to buy a Blade Nano CP X from Jonathan.it. It arrived promptly and in good order and was reasonably priced at €145.00, including postage, with an extra battery. I got the BNF version since I had bought a Spektrum DX6 separately to fly both the Nano and a Blade Nano QX quad. Anyway, I was aware of possible problems with the Nano, such as tail wag and I was ready to deal with them if and when they manifested.

The first indoor flights were great, even though I am a complete beginner as far as collective pitch helos are concerned. The Nano was stable enough to get off the ground and hover and evinced no symptoms of tail wag - I was able to control it fairly easily even though I found it a bit too responsive after the v911. (I later changed the stock transmitter settings to those recommended by John Salt in his excellent book "Setup and Tips for RC Helicopters", available from RC Helicopter Fun.)

After a few flights indoors I took the Nano out into the garden on a sunny windless day to try it outside. The first battery went well, but half way through the second one the Nano flopped to the ground. Dead as a dodo. After only 5 flights the stock motor had failed.

Jonathan.it were very helpful and offered to exchange the helo but, having read about the unreliability of the stock motor, I decided to get a Blade brushless upgrade to shorten the downtime. I also got some extra batteries, including some FullPower 150mAh and iP 160mAh as I could also use them on the Nano QX.

After a week the new motor arrived and was fitted with no problems (apart from destroying the old one getting it out of the frame - don't push the pinion!) so I fitted a new battery and spooled up.

And immediately spooled down.

The BL motor was a lot more powerful than the stock one. So powerful, in fact, that I reset my transmitter to lower throttle and pitch curves than in the manual and upped the expo. Now I could control the beast, but it had developed a nasty tail wag. This turned out to be due to the tail assembly rotating slightly on the tail boom. It had come loose - possibly due to the hard landing following the failure of the first motor. No problem, though - just glue it back into place and off we go.

It didn't work. Suspecting finger trouble, I ordered e new tail. A week later it was fitted and all was well - at last, a useable helicopter!

Two more flights in and the helo started to vibrate. A little at first, but steadily getting worse. After one more battery it was virtually uncontrollable. So, back to the forums. I needed to add grommets to the ball-joints, it seemed. It was whilst I was doing this that I noticed that the swashplate ball joint was almost severed. These things are so tiny that glue was not an option - I'd have to order a new swashplate. More downtime. As the whole head assembly seemed very sloppy, I decided to order some upgrades from Rakon Heli. In the end I ordered the CNC Combo Upgrade Kit 01, the CNC AL Swash Leveler and some extra blades from Bling Hobbies in the UK (I have to order from within the EU as I have experienced long delays and extra costs in the past from Italian Customs when I ordered stuff outside the EU).

After another week the parts arrived and I started the rebuild. I must say that, apart from the extreme fiddliness of the smaller screws it went together very quickly and easily - the instructions are very clear. I did make one error; I damaged the tail boom whilst fitting the attachment collar for the new tail supports, but, since I had a spare it was not a big problem. It turns out that in my haste I had misread a diagram and, coupled with the fact that the collar is a little tight, managed to stress the boom too much. Prior to fitting the new (old) boom I widened the aperture of the collar slightly and it went on smoothly.

I am not into bling, as a rule, but the finished article not only looked good but had no more play in the components. Holding my breath I spooled up and blinked in amazement - the Nano was virtually silent. After the clattering whine I was used to I could hardly believe my ears! Nor my eyes, come to that. I had thought that the Nano's performance out of the box was pretty good but this was a completely new departure - it was rock steady. Joyously I recommenced training, hovering, forward, backward and sideways flight, slow figure 8s...

It couldn't last. Another two batteries in and the motor cut out. And cut back in. And out. And in. And out. This time it was the 3-in-1 board fritzed. Another order from Jonathan.it. Another wait.

So far I have had a total of 16 batteries through this Nano CP X and I have paid twice its value in repairs and spares. I am beginning to wonder at what point I shall throw in the towel and write it off. The trouble is, it flies so well when it works - a real dream, but it spends - or has so far - way too much time on the bench.

Blinged out Nano
Blinged out Nano

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