Heli-Max Axe 100 CX


By Chad Budreau An excellent low-cost, entry-level helicopter Abridged review and flight video. Featured in the Summer 2014 Park Pilot.

Specifications

Type: Electric coaxial helicopter Skill level: Beginner Rotor diameter: 7.5 inches Length: 9.1 inches Height: 4.96 inches Width: 1.8 inches Ready-to-fly weight: 1.25 ounces Flight time: 7-9 minutes Price: $74.98 (RTF); $59.98 (Tx-R) Info: helimax-rc.com

Features

• Beginner and Expert modes—fly with more maneuverability as your skills grow • Fully assembled helicopter • Factory-installed motor, controller, and servos • Factory-installed SLT receiver compatible with all SLT transmitters and the AnyLink2 2.4 GHz Radio Adapter • 1S 3.7-volt 150 mAh LiPo battery included • USB-compatible charger included • Four AA batteries included

Product Video



It seems that everywhere I turn, someone is selling micro helicopters. Even hardware and clothing stores now sell micro helis. I’ve flown some of these “toy” helicopters, but I can tell you there are much better micro helicopters models. Although it may be tempting to take home the first micro helicopter you see, do yourself a favor and research your options. You’ll find that one of the best micro helicopters—especially for newer pilots—is the Heli-Max Axe 100 CX. The AXE 100 CX comes packaged with or without a transmitter. The transmitter provided with the Axe 100 CX is the TX410—a good, entry-level, four-channel radio. Pilots can use any Tactic four-channel SLT radio or connect the AnyLink Radio Adapter to your favorite transmitter. The transmitter-ready (Tx-R) Axe 100 CX I reviewed did not come with the TX410; instead I used the similar TTX403 radio, which can be purchased separately for $34.99 (tacticrc.com). Although the TTX403 doesn’t include the LCD screen found on the TX410, it does offer a couple of nice features, including a built-in LiPo battery charger that is compatible with many smaller micro batteries. The Heli-Max Axe 100 CX is a true ready-to-fly (RTF) helicopter. I didn’t even have to assemble or attach the canopy. When the battery was charged, the helicopter was ready to fly. The manual is also a good asset. Inside are great tips on setup, flight maneuvering, and repair procedures. At first glance, the Heli-Max Axe 100 CX is a sharp-looking, coaxial helicopter. Some micro helicopters look a little too toy-like, but the Axe 100 CX is very sleek. I had a few concerns when initially examining the helicopter and I feared for its durability, but my doubts were quickly removed. The Axe 100 CX proved to be very durable! The tail is fully covered in a plastic. I thought it might crack after a couple of hard landings. I was also worried about the durability of the landing skids. I can confirm that after numerous crashes by my children and me, everything remained perfectly intact and in excellent condition. The canopy, skids, blades, and tail still look great! As a matter of fact, we had a mid-air collision with another micro helicopter and the Axe 100 CX came out completely unharmed. I can’t say the same for the other heli, which now requires replacement parts. Watch the flight video (theparkpilot.org/axe100cx) as I put this helicopter to the test. It can easily withstand hard crashes. Speaking of crashes, I’ve noticed that many new pilots have the habit of increasing throttle before a crash. I was guilty of this when I first learned to fly. Although it may be counterintuitive, if a crash is inevitable, the best option is to reduce or, ideally kill, the throttle. You are less likely to damage your motor, blades, or flybar. The Axe 100 CX includes a USB charger. You can plug the LiPo battery into the USB charger and then attach it a computer USB port or a mobile device USB charging plug. It may be worth investing in a spare battery. Charging time is anywhere from 20-45 minutes, which can seem like an eternity to an eager pilot. While charging, the USB port displays a solid red light. When the charge is complete, the light will slowly flash. It is important to not leave the battery in the USB charger after the LiPo is charged, otherwise you may cause overheating and damage the LiPo. During the maiden flight, I immediately noticed the Axe 100 CX does not fly like most micro helis. I had true four-channel controls with the helicopter. Some micros only allow pilots to turn with yaw. The Axe 100 CX is different. In addition to pirouettes, forward, and backward, the Axe 100CX can go full left or right. This maneuvering is much more in line with larger helicopters. If you have any interest in graduating to more advanced aircraft, the Axe 100 CX is an ideal starter heli. Don’t let the more-complex maneuvering intimidate you. The Axe 100 CX is extremely easy to fly. Everyone I handed the controls to quickly mastered it. Counter-rotating coaxial blades makes this helicopter super stable. A few minor tweaks to the trim may occasionally be required, but overall the Axe 100CX is pretty solid, even in a hover.
When flying outdoors Chad suggests using advanced mode to help overcome any breeze.


This heli is at home indoors and can easily maneuver around obstacles.


The Tx-R version didn’t include the TX410 transmitter; instead I used a TTX403.


The full-bodied Axe 100 CX is sharp and sleek.

Weighing only 1.25 ounces, I find that even a gentle breeze from the furnace or a fan can affect its stability. The helicopter may rock a little in hover, but it doesn’t budge much. Because this is primarily an indoor helicopter, don’t expect to achieve a perfect hover outdoors, but overall, the Axe 100 CX performed great outside. Using your transmitter, the Axe 100 CX can be optimized for either beginner or advanced pilots. In beginner mode, its maneuvering is more subdued. The range of motion is reduced and the helicopter operates more gracefully and slowly. Beginner mode is great for new pilots who are still trying to master basic maneuvers. The slow pace provides pilots time to think and react so they can hone their skills. With the TTX410, you can set the rates between beginner or advanced by holding down the right stick until the transmitter beeps. The Axe 100 CX is not an aerobatic helicopter in advanced mode, but it does become much more responsive. This heli isn’t going to win any races, but it has enough punch and response to allow pilots to easily maneuver around objects. Depending on how aggressively you fly, flight time is shy of 10 minutes. I averaged about 7-8 minutes of airtime, occasionally passing the 9-minute mark. When the battery is low, the Axe 100 CX has a soft-cut function. The helicopter will reduce the power, causing it to slowly hover to the ground. The Heli-Max Axe 100 CX is a great beginner coaxial helicopter. At $59.98 for the Tx-R version, or $74.98 with the TX410 radio, this definitely won’t break the bank and it’s a great way to get experience piloting helicopters. It’s fun, attractive, and rock solid. Chad Budreau



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