Written by Ashley Davis Wednesday, 14 October 2009 00:00
The following is a review of the new NHP 3D Aggressor 600mm carbon blades.
|Product||NHP 3D Aggressor 600mm|
Let's start off with some pictures of the product and then we can get into the facts and figures. Thanks to Bob Johnston at Skyline Models for allowing me to 'borrow' his blades to do this review.
These are a staright forward polished black carbon blade. Looking at the weave in the blade they appear to be a wet layed carbon rather than pre-impregnated carbon as some crossover in the weave can be seen on one side of the blade. The finish on the blades is exceptional with no pock marks or other obvious signs of manufacture issues. The laquer on the blades is beautifully finished and they really do look first class.
Checking the lengthwise and chordwise stiffness these are amongst the stiffest blades I have ever used and they feel exceptionally strong and resistant to flex either lengthwise or tortionally. So much so that they remind me of V-Blades and I had some reservations at this point in the review process as to whether these would be a blade that bogged easily in high torque situations.
The blades for the purposes of testing would be fitted to a high powered T-Rex 600E. Supplied with the blades are 3mm reduction brass collars as well as blade spacers, neither were needed for the T-Rex 600E's metal blade grips as the blade roots were a perfect fit and the 600 uses 4mm bolt holes.
Something definitely worth pointing out is the weight of these blades at 140g, this is well into stick banging territory and autorotation performance will likely be affected.
It's worth mentioning again that these are a pure black blade and not gel coated white, so they may not suit many pilots who feel black blades become transparent in flight. I should point out that the blades do come with holographic stickers to assist with this.
I have flown NHP Razor Pro blades in the past and I've always liked NHP blades for build quality and sure footed response. However, as my flying has become more and more aggressive the old NHP blades started to feel heavy and sluggish and didn't really deliver the fast cyclics and snappy collective required for todays stick banging 3D style. What they did deliver was exceptional autorotation
So with that in mind as the 600E spooled up to it's usual 2150 RPM I was really not sure what to expect.
Firstly the NHPs tracked absolutely spot on, no adjustments required from my previous blades on the machine. Whilst talking about tracking it's worth mentioning that the dampers in my 600E are probably mid-life and so some tracking errors might be expected in hard stops. What was exceptional with the NHP blades was that no matter what I threw at the heli in terms of fast cyclic direction changes, full pitch collective stops..... the tracking stayed absolutely perfect. Top points to NHP for the balance and matching of these blades.
Moving onto some stick banging, fast tic tocs, full pitch stops, dives with hard cyclic and collective stops what became very apparent was just how accurately these blades will stop the machine. In fact I found them better than my current blades, which are also exceptional for stops. The difference with the NHPs was the lack of any bounce in the stop, they just stop the machine dead, everytime and without making the pilot work the collective to do so. In fact I became a bit fixated with this and had to remind myself to go do something else.
So moving on some chaos and piro tic-tocs were tried, again, very accurate cyclics and collective response, very sure footed and no wandering or unexpected flight artifacts.
Next I had a feel of the overall collective and cyclic power, certainly cyclic was fast and felt fast right from take off, collective delivered a good deal of bite but without bogging the motor badly. My initial fear of bogging due to blade stiffness were starting to subside. I also powered through some big sky moves just to check flight tracking and any tendency toward pitching in fast forward flight. Again I got sure footed response, nothing that would shy me awy from these blades.
The last test was autorotation and for this I completed several autos just to see how they responded. As expected the autorotation performance was perfectly acceptable but definitely not what you would get from a heavier more F3C orientated blade. I wasn't disappointed with this as to get fast cyclics and crisp pitch response you have to compromise somewhere and this is normally in the overall weight and therefore inertia of the blade.
|Nice build quality
|Great length and chordwise stiffness|
|Fast cyclic and crisp collective without bogging|
|Excellent inflight tracking|
|Exceptional and accurate stops|
|Colour may not suit all pilots
|Mediocre autorotation performance|
The question I always ask myself on blade reviews is would I fly these day in day out and be happy. In the case of the NHP Razor Pro 3D Aggressor the answer to this is a very resounding 'yes'. However, I am very happy to run black blades, the biggest issue with these blades from a consumer perspective is indeed their colour and this will limit the market into which they are sold. I hope NHP also produce some white gel coat blades to expand their market as these really are an excellent blade.
( 6 Votes )