I just took my new Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter out of its box, and of course I was antsy to start flying immediately. So while the battery charged, I flipped through the instructions, which consist of: the back of the controller, a card included in the bag with the spare parts, and the actual manual.

In order figure out what I needed to know to start flying, I felt like I was analyzing a legal statute because the bits of information you need to know, like how to tell when the battery is done charging, are spread out all over. So while my battery charges for my second flight, I figured I would put together a quick-start guide with all you need to know, in the order you need to know it.

Footnotes are references to the manual, in case you want to check my sources.

Pre-Flight Checklist, Part 1

  1. Charge the battery.
  2. On the controller, turn the throttle (H) to its lowest setting by pulling the left control stick towards you.1
  3. Turn on the controller.
  4. Wait 5 seconds while it finds 2 open bands.2)
  5. Insert the battery into the mounting slot and slide it in as far as it goes. The all-white side with the red dot should face the Nano QX.3
  6. Plug in the battery. The red dot on the battery should match up with the red dot on the connector.4
  7. Set the Nano QX upright and leave it along until the LED in the “cockpit” glows solid blue.5

Pre-Flight Checklist, Part 26

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure all the rotor blades are spinning in the right direction. To do this, you’ll need to know your way around the controller:


  1. Give the Nano QX a little throttle (H) so that it is still on the ground but “light” on its landing skids.
  2. Move the rudder control stick (H) to the left, and the Nano QX should spin to the left/counter-clockwise. Do the same thing in the other direction, which should give you the opposite result.
  3. Move the elevator control stick (B) forward, and the two rear landing skids should lift off. Do the same thing in the remaining directions (elevator control is forward/back, and aileron control is left/right), and you the corresponding landing skids should lift off.

Once you know the rotor blades are spinning correctly, ease on the throttle and take off. Don’t try to maneuver, just try to get the hang of hovering in place by making light throttle adjustments to keep the Nano QX level.

First Flight: Trimming the Controls7

While you practice hovering at a relatively level altitude, adjust the trim so the Nano QX is not spinning or drifting.

There are two buttons below and to the side of each control stick on the controller (C, D, F, and G in the diagram):

These adjust the trim. For example, if your quadcopter is sliding sideways to the right, you would want to land the quadcopter and adjust the aileron trim (D) by tapping the left button below the right control stick. When you do, you should hear a tone. The neutral position is a longer tone. Then take off again and see if you dialed out the drift.

Adjust the trim so you can hover the Nano QX with very little spinning or drifting. (You can’t get it perfect, but it shouldn’t move much.)

Okay, that’s it. Now you can fly!

Time to Land

When the LED in the cockpit starts blinking red, it’s time to land and charge the battery or insert a fresh one.8 Charging takes about 30–45 minutes, by the way, so you might want to pick up some spares.9

  1. Page 8, item 1 under Installing the Flight Battery

  2. Additional Smartbind™ Information card. (Click for a scan of the card, since I couldn’t find it online. 

  3. Page 8, item 3 under Installing the Flight Battery

  4. Page 8, item 4 under Installing the Flight Battery

  5. Page 8, item 5 under Installing the Flight Battery

  6. Page 16, under Flying the nano [sic] QX

  7. Page 16, under First Flight

  8. Page 13, under LED Codes

  9. Page 8, under LED Indications

Published by Sam Glover

Sam Glover is a lawyer and the founder and Editor in Chief of Lawyerist.com. He also works with lawyers on motion practice and appeals, and is President of the board of directors of HOME Line, a nonprofit Minnesota tenant advocacy organization.

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