Night 230 S BNF
A tough night heli with added flight safety
By Jim Ryan PHotos By John KauK & Jim Ryan
I love night helicopters, and i’ve converted several of my fleet to night
fliers with my own led lighting schemes, sometimes making my own night
blades as well. While i enjoy these projects, others might find diy lighting
a bit challenging. Blade rC has solved that problem with the release of a
night version of its very capable 230 s micro helicopter. the night 230 s
not only comes with a prewired lighting package but also has stability and
Panic recovery flight modes to make getting used to night flying easier and
safer. it’s also a remarkably tough little bird for learning basic 3d.
As with the basic 230 S, the Night 230
combines a compact micro heli airframe
with Blade’s SAFE (Sensor-Assisted Flight
Envelope) technology to make a simple,
tough, and easy-to-fly helicopter. In addition
to basic flybarless stabilization, the AR636
AS3X receiver includes Stability and Panic
The Night 230 has durable molded plastic
frames, landing skids, and blades. It also has a
fixed-pitch, variable-speed tail rotor instead of
the more common torque-tube or belt-drive
design. This makes the tail more resistant
to damage, and even in the event of a more
serious crash, the tail boom and fixed-pitch tail
rotor are easily replaced.
The cyclic servos have metal gears with
plastic pitch links, making the servos almost
impossible to damage in a crash. Everything is
designed for toughness and easy repair. There’s
no one-way bearing, so autorotations are not
possible. The manual is complete enough even
for newcomers to collective-pitch helicopters.
The Night 230 S comes out of the carton ready
to fly. Just charge the 3S 900mAh LiPo battery
and program the suggested settings into your
transmitter, and you’re ready to go. The white
plastic rotor blades show up well in daylight, giving
a good visual reference for low-time pilots.
The Night 230 comes 100 percent
preassembled, with the receiver and speed
control both preprogrammed. All you need to
do is charge the flight battery and program the
recommended settings into your transmitter.
You can program a switch or push button for
the Panic Recovery feature. A compact USB
charger is included for charging the two single-cell LiPo batteries that power the LEDs in the
rotor blades. With this minimal prep completed,
you’re ready to head to the field.
In the aIr
The Night 230 S can be programmed for three
flight modes: Stability, Agility, and 3D modes.
In Stability mode, the maximum bank angle
is limited to about 30 degrees, and the heli
will level out when the cyclic stick is released.
Agility mode will permit basic aerobatics, like
loops and inverted hovering. In 3D mode, the
head speed is increased, and self-leveling is
disabled for maximum agility. You can also
program high and low control rates and expo if
needed. It’s a good idea to start out in low rates
until you get used to the responsive handling.
This little machine is surprisingly tough;
clowning around at a night-fly doing flips down
on the deck, I thumped it in pretty hard, but the
sum total of damage was a slightly bent main
shaft, a dented tail boom, and a broken tail rotor.
Repairs took only minutes.
General FlIGht PerFormance
Stability: With Stability mode and low rates