Written by Ashley Davis Tuesday, 21 April 2009 23:37
Most G5 early adopters have bought and used the Carbontech 350mm blade because it was the only one available. However, is this the only reason to use a Carbontech blade, no other choice?
Well not exactly. Radix now have their offering on the market but it is significantly more expensive. Putting that aside is the Carbontech blade actually any good? Let's take a closer look.
The carbontech blade is a fairly narrow chord blade and features the characteristic cabontech flat tip seen on other blades in their range like the popular 425mm blade used on the T-Rex 500. The blade itself is relatively stiff lengthwise and also has a pretty good chordwise stiffness. So in theory it should easily outperform the FG blades supplied in the G5 kit. The carbontech blade is actually quite light in comparison to the FG blades but has quite a similar profile, total weight of a single blade being 28g. The blade chord on these blades is 34mm and the overall length 360mm, blade bolt hole to tip is the specified 350mm exactly.
Given the weight, chord and stiffness of the blade I would expect these blades to be quite fast on cyclic, not particularly fantastic in an autorotation and to have a reasonable degree of collective pop. Typically you need a wider chord or heavier blade for good autorotation but this slows cyclic, as always it's a balancing act of the various factors.
So taking to the air how does it actually perform? Well, no suprises really. As expected it really is quite a fast blade with good cyclic capability. Autorotation is adequate but not outstanding, enough for inverted autos with either a roll or flip out but not much hang time to spare. Collective pop is certainly far improved over the FG blades as is the cyclic roll and flip rate. Being a stiffer blade you also get a more accurate cyclic with crisper stops. However, I am sure a stiffer blade would provide better collective pop and even more accurate cyclics, probably at the expense of slightly more agressive amp draw and if anything this is where the Carbontexhs could be improved. Crucially amp draw is reduced on this blade when compared to the FG blades, this is a combination of both weight and stiffness making the carbontech more efficient overall.
Overall these blades offer far better 3D performance than the FG blades in the kit. Cyclic is far faster, collective crisper and amp draw overall is reduced. The FG blades do auto better and I also believe they are better suited to a beginner as they are a lot more stable and less aggressive on cyclic. As a 3D flier the choice is really simple, the carbontech blades offer far more 3D capability and are relatively inexpensive to buy. For a beginner I'd stick with the FG blades to keep both the stability and cheaper blade replacement costs. The carbontech blades represent a specific style of blade, which is fast cyclics mainly. Personally I would prefer a stiffer blade for more collective pop and cyclic accuracy but for the moment the carbontech blades are more than adequate for most 3D fliers needs. I'm sure with time more blades will appear catering to a more diverse set of fliers requirements. Overall I recommend the carbontech blade based on price, you do get a pretty good 3D blade for your money.
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