Sunday, June 25, 2017
Home » Product Reviews » MS Composit/CFC Intelligent Night Blades

MS Composit/CFC Intelligent Night Blades

When a full day of flying isn’t quite enough, MS Composit has you covered with a wide range of night blades for most sizes of RC helicopters. Available in blade sizes from 325mm for 450-size helis all the way up to 800mm lengths, MS Composit night blades use integrated LED’s powered by a battery that is buried in each blade. Charging the batteries is done through a small port on the leading edge near the root of each blade. LED activation also uses that same small multi-pin port and an activation plug. In the later version that I tested, the internal LiPo battery is charged with the MS Composit LIXX charger which ensures the batteries are correctly charged and maintained. Amazingly, the tiny integral LiPo cell provides between 1-3 hours of operation depending on the mode of lighting used. Each LED shines through a small clear composite lens that is embedded in the surrounding carbon structure. The base blades use a tip LED and a mid-span LED on the top of one blade, and on the bottom of the other to illuminate the rotor disc. This technique provides more than enough illumination for controlled night flying.
The latest generation of night blades are intelligent programmable units, capable of creating a variety of patterns on the rotor disc and even displaying text messages. This is accomplished by integrating a total of 9 LED’s into each blade half. Like the simpler basic night blades, orientation is provided by alternating the colors on the top of one blade, and the bottom of the other. The top blade has green LED’s on each end, with a bar of red LED’s in the center, while the bottom is reversed. The LED’s are covered by a fiberglass panel allowing each to clearly shine through. RPM sensing, and thus pattern generation and
sequencing, is provided by a small LED mounted on the heli frame shining toward small optical sensors that are buried in each blade. Programming the internal chip is accomplished through the same charging port mentioned above using a Jeti programming box. The instructions are a little sparse in this area due in part to the translation to English, but the process is easy enough to work through. In total you have five different patterns including circles, a smiley face, dashes, and a sunburst. I find the concentric circles provide the best orientation for flight. Textually, short words or messages can be flashed intermittently on a programmable cycle if you’re inclined. This would be perfect for night air shows or even a marriage proposal for the really hardcore rotor nuts! There are a couple of areas of concern that could be overlooked. First, the cells used in each blade are LiPo’s, so you want to be careful to avoid over-discharging the cells. This is unlikely in flight, but could occur if you forget to unplug them after flying. If damaged, the cells can’t be replaced so be careful. Also, the Jeti programming box and blades can handle no more than 5 volts as a power source. Any more can cause damage to the blades.
Although I was a little hesitant to try out my new Trex 600 at night, I found the experience to be really fun! The lighting patterns provide more than adequate orientation, casting enough light downward to clearly highlight the canopy and tail boom. If you need additional orientation cues, lighted tail rotor blades are also available for some sizes of helis. Overall, this is an excellent product that is well thought out and implemented. With some care, however, your new blades will provide many hours of night flying fun!

MS Composit
(317) 578-1955