Blade/Horizon Hobby Fusion 480
Model Airplane News|June 2019
Blade/Horizon Hobby Fusion 480

This brawny powerhouse redefines the 500 class

Jim Ryan

With the release of the Fusion 480, Blade has reentered the 500 class with a vengeance. From its powerful drivetrain to its outstanding level of fit and finish, the Fusion redefines midsize 3D helicopters.


The Fusion’s most notable feature is its beefy construction; this is not a traditional 500-class machine. With a 10mm main shaft, 8mm spindle shaft, and 5mm tail rotor shaft, the powertrain looks more like a shrunken 600. The main rotor head is massive, with 12mm blade grips offering lots of options for thicker, stiffer blades. The servo mounts accommodate full-size servos in place of the minis usually seen on 500s. The 25mm aluminum boom allows for a cantilevered tail, eliminating the need for external boom braces. To top it off, the roomy but very light (2.8-oz.) fiberglass canopy provides generous space for up to 6S 5000mAh batteries. In short, every detail is focused on compressing maximum power and strength into a 500-class rotor disc.

The Fusion is a kit-built helicopter, allowing the builder to make personal choices of electronics and hardware. I’ve always preferred kit helis over prebuilt versions; the building is fun and relaxing, and the two- or three-evening build makes me fully familiar with the design.

The level of fit and finish on the Fusion is equal or better to any helicopter kit I’ve built. The airframe is almost devoid of molded plastic, with even components like the battery-mounting plate being CNC-machined aluminum. And the finish is gorgeous. All aluminum parts have a matte black-anodized finish that looks awesome, and the carbon-fiber parts are beautiful, with clean, crisp edges and cutouts. Even the washers used for frame assembly are upgraded, with extended shoulders that fit into oversized holes so that the screw threads are isolated from the carbon frames—very cool.


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June 2019