The Century Swift NX digs deep…
Batteries are charged, little to no wind, perfect temperature, time to fire up the Swift NX to see what it can do!
Sport Flying: Stability, smoothness were the most immediate and noticeable attributes about this model when I lifted off and proceeded with some tooling around. On the 6s 5000mah lipo, I could have likely packed in 7+ minutes of easy going circuits, loops, rolls and basic training. The model did have some slight interaction issues, but these were easily dialed out with the radio (Futaba 8FG). The model really excels in that it offers beginners a solid platform from which to learn, crash costs are minimal and it’s presence in the sky is that of a 30-size nitro; is perfect!
Scale Flying: The Swift series of models have been slipped into many scale fuselages with great success. This new version will be no less than perfectly at home in the scale skin of your choice. With the stock, heavy paddles the cyclic is very docile, the pitch range isn’t obscene, it’s very light weight, it’s quiet and overall lends itself perfectly to the realm of scale.
3D: Keep in mind this model is pretty much totally plastic in every way. This didn’t deter me from trying to push it to near explosion, keeping of course to Century’s recommended safe limits. With the head speed cranking at 2100 RPM, the model was moderately spirited. The heavy pitch loading maneuvers brought about some sluggishness, but then again I’m running stock, heavy paddles, a plastic rotor head, plastic tail blades. For what it was able to perform, it did pretty well and would suffice as a mild-3D trainer if so required. However, to really get some more animal out of this bird, some upgrades are required.
After the first round of 3D flight, I packed it in and then a few days later took it up for another round of testing. Unfortunately, at some point, probably not while it was on the shelf, it lost one tooth on the stock main gear. The model still flew, but ticked away. I stopped and made a phone call to Century. I can’t really condemn the stock main gear since I didn’t witness it throw a tooth during the first round of 3D flight and even if it did, it was being beat on badly and really shouldn’t endure this sort of abuse without a stronger gear. Remember, this model is really designed to fly on a smaller battery (less power), but I was whipping it around with a PowerEdgeRC 6s5000 30C pack and Outrage 6s5000 25C pack.
Nonetheless, Century sent me an upgraded black main gear that is designed to handle up to 8s operation and some lighter plastic 3D paddles to liven the model up. With these two very cheap parts in place, it was back to flying. Indeed, the model was livened up in cyclic response, still sluggish in heavy pitch loading stuff, but otherwise holding up extremely well!
As for flight times, I flew the model for 4 minutes and put back around 3000mah. You could easily squeeze out another minute or two depending on how hard you rail on the rotor head.
So, if you buy this model and you’re a maniac and want to 3D the heck out of this plastic-fantastic model, I’d make these suggestions:
- Upgrade the rotor head to full metal and run up the head speed to 2500 RPM+
- Install the Century 3D paddles
- Run a 6s pack with a high C-rating
- Upgrade the main gear to the black high strength version
- Run a large pinion for the most tooth engagement (I’m running a 11T, but could have done better with a 12t to improve the ESC’s efficiency)
- Maybe go flybarless?
- Use carbon fiber blades throughout
The down side to trying to constantly fly this model like an insane person is that the parts will wear more quickly than one of its carbon fiber/CNC aluminum decked out siblings (550 Carbon or 620 SE). That’s alright though, since as long as you keep up on maintenance, the parts prices are super cheap!
Otherwise, if you fly the model in stock form you’ll be rewarded with a smooth, stable, inexpensive to maintain experience. The fact is, the Swift NX is the most affordable and capable electric helicopter in this size out there, it’s excellent bang for the buck! You can afford to buy and fly this model! It’s cheaper than many models out there that are significantly smaller!
You can check out more on this model and pricing at Century’s website!
You’ll see a HD video of both 3D flights, one bone stock, the other with the 3D paddles and stronger main gear soon…until then, you can enjoy the picture show…
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