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Heli-Max Axe 100 CP TxR - Review

Chris Mulcahy reviews the new Axe 100 CP from Heli-Max.

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Introduction


Rotor Diameter:9.5 in (241 mm)
RTF Weight:1.6 oz (46 g)
Length:9.5 in (241 mm)
Gyro:TAGS
Type:Flybarless CP
Batteries:(2) 3.7V 200mAh LiPo
Transmitter:TxR
Receiver:AnyLink compatible (SLT)
Manufacturer:Heli-Max
Available From:Hobby Retailers
Price:$159.99

The Axe 100CP from Heli-Max is a micro sized, fully aerobatic helicopter. Using micro servos, “TAGS” flybarless technology, and an efficient layout, it can handle even the most complicated of 3D maneuvers. It is available as a ready to fly package, with an included transmitter, or as a TxR (transmitter ready) version. For this review I’ll be looking at the TxR version, using the AnyLink adapater with my Futaba 8FGS.

In The Box



The Axe 100 CP comes in a small box, packaged in a blister pack. This TxR version features smaller packging than the RTF version, making it very easy to carry it around with you. There really isn’t too much to the packaging, it’s simple and compact, and holds everything you need.


Included in the box
Axe 100 CP
2x 200mAh 3.7v Lipo Flight Batteries
A/C Battery Charger
Small Screw Driver
Spare Blade Set
Spare Tail Blade
Two Spare Head Links
Instruction Manual



Features



The tail is driven by a small electric motor with fixed pitch tail blades. The motor speeds up or slows down depending on which way you want to go. The boom is a square piece of carbon tube, with the wire from the tail motor hidden in the center. The canopy is held on at the front by snapping it over the front landing gear, and the rear is held in place with two grommets on mounting posts. With the canopy removed, a very simple layout is revealed. There are three micro servos surrounding the main shaft, which directly drive the swashplate. Adjacent to the main shaft is the motor, which has a heat sink attached to it. At the front is the all-in-one board that contains the electronic speed controller, TAGS three axis gyro, and receiver. The receiver is compatible with the AnyLink adapter, or appropriate Tactic radios. There is a small button on the all-in-one unit for binding to your transmitter, and two LED lights that let you know the status of the helicopter.



The main shaft is steel, and the swashplate rides on a metal pivot ball and bearing. The head block features small plastic forks on either side to guide the pitch links and keep the swashplate phased correctly. The blade grips feature bearings and dampers, and a steel feathering shaft. There is also a head button, which makes for some fun flying when you’re inverted low down on the ground! The swashplate features two different lengths for the four swash balls. By default, the pitch links are attached to the longer length. From what I can tell, the longer ones are for 3D and the shorter ones are to smooth it out a little for sport flying.



One great little feature of the Axe 100 CP is the ability to remove the canopy mounting posts with a single screw. This is awesome, because canopy posts seem to break frequently on micro helis from the above average abuse they take, and instead of having to replace the whole chassis you can simply switch out the mounting posts in less than a minute. I really like this design feature. This same feature is also present on the landing gear/battery cage component. A few screws and you can pop the whole thing off the bottom of the heli and replace it with a new set very quickly. The 1.9 gram servos are also easy to switch out, just a single screw holds them in place. All electronic components plug into the all-in-one board using secure connectors that click into place, which prevent any accidental unplugging during flight. The whole helicopter is extremely easy to work on, with an efficient layout.



The A/C charger has some pretty neat features. The charge rate is adjustable, from 0.3 to 0.7 in 0.1 increments, but the recommended setting is 0.5 amp for the included batteries. This also happens to be the default setting. The charger also features a JST adapter plug so that you can seperate the pigtail and use a different charger for your batteries. This little charger also has a built in speaker, and beeps to let you know what's going on. Not just a little mouse like squeak either, it's a loud beep that will get your attention. However it's worth noting that the charger is only rated up to 6V input, so don't try to attach it to your car battery!

AnyLink/Transmitter Setup


The manual includes instructions for setting up a Futaba TJ6, as well as the Spektrum DX6i. I used a Futaba 8FGS, which had the same setup procedure as the TJ6. The AnyLink adapter simply plugged into the trainer port on the 8FGS, and binding was accomplished by first turning on the transmitter, then using the bind button on the Axe 100 CP to connect it to the transmitter.




I followed the guide for setting up the transmitter, but noticed right away that it had way too much pitch. I ended up using the pitch curve to reduce pitch to 65% plus/minus. The rest of the settings worked just fine, I just softened the pitch curve a little around mid stick to make it a little less jumpy. I ended up with a five point pitch curve set to 65, 36, 0, 36, 65.

Flying



After topping up the batteries, I headed out to my driveway for the inaugural flight. I lifted off and found that the 100 was a little twitchier than I liked. I quickly fixed it by adding about 20% expo, and then took off again. This time it was much smoother, but still had the throws to flip and roll well. I flew the first two batteries through it and decided to tweak a little more. Before I flew again I maxed out the rates on the rudder, and fed in negative expo to make it feel faster. The next few packs felt great! With my gyro gain set to about 32%, the tail twitched a little in the wind but held extremely well. I flew through my normal routine of maneuvers, finding things like hurricanes and funnels held great. In fact I was impressed with just how well the tail holds, especially in backwards flight. Pirouetting flips were great, and the Axe 100 flew just as good upside down as it did right side up. I discovered it could handle light wind, but anything more made it interesting to control as the Axe is extremely light. I can't get it do any passable tic tocs, instead it will do great rainbows. As with most of these little micros, collective management is key. You can just hammer away at the sticks without bogging the motor, a little finesse is required.




The only negative I had was with the batteries. I set my timer for three minutes, and the first half of the flight felt great, but there is a definite sag in power as the flight progresses. Now, truth be told, I didn’t do any sort of break in procedure, I just charged and flew from the get go without any special consideration for battery break in. I plan on picking up some aftermarket batteries to see if they fare any better.




I quickly found myself taking the Axe with me everytime I headed to the field. It was really fun, and stress free, to fly. I could fly a little more recklessly than I did with my larger helis, meaning I could try different things that I might not normally be comfortable with on my larger models. Sort of like a real life simulator. I have certainly abused it since I started flying it, and it hasn’t lost a single pitch link, or busted any parts. As long as I hit throttle hold when I knew I was going in, the Axe would just bounce without any damage. Depending on the surface I “landed” on, I could blip the throttle and get the Axe to flip itself upright again. Probably not the best thing to do as far as the motor goes, but it was fun.




The Axe flies great indoors too. I have a lot of fun flying it around my house, and when I'm out on the road I have a lot fun flying it around hotel rooms and sticking it to the ceiling!




The Axe 100 CP isn't ideal for beginners, though they may be able to get away with it due to it's durability. However the best course for an absolute beginner would be to start out with a simulator, or small coax to begin with.

Video/Photos
















This first video shows myself and my buddy RJ having some fun with the Axe 100 CP.

Youtube Link


Next up is something I discovered one rainy day when flying in my kitchen. Hover it upside down just above the ground and hit throttle hold. It sits in its head, and spins around, perfectly balanced. You can then either let it spin out and eventually fall over, or disengage throttle hold and carry on flying. I did both!

Youtube Link


Finally, a great video from Nick Maxwell, who shares a few setup tips and really shows wha the Axe 100 CP is capabale of.

Youtube Link

Conclusion

The Axe 100 CP is a very durable, fully aerobatic helicopter. It's amazing how well it handles all the little bumps and tumbles, as well as the not so little bumps. I have yet to lose any links, and so far the only damage incurred is a split boom - which was easily repaired with a little thin C/A glue. The only real problem I'm having right now is that I don't have enough batteries, something I plan on rectifying real soon.

Pros: Cons:
Great Flyer Battery Power Fall Off
AnyLink Compatible

Easy To Repair

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 09, 2013 at 03:31 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jan 12, 2013, 09:25 PM
MN WATTS Master
Vintauri's Avatar
United States, MN, Mankato
Joined Jul 2003
7,379 Posts
Thanks for the review I should have mine this next week
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:40 PM
Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
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United States, CO, Colorado Springs
Joined Oct 2008
4,092 Posts
Good to see another Great review on another micro CP heli! Still cant get my mCPX to do this even Well I guess its back to the sticks...
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:11 AM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2013
1 Posts
Controller

I bought this model and really love it! The manual says that the controller can hold up to 10 extra models. Does that mean I can use it with other helicopter if I decide to buy another one with different brand like Blade or Walkera Master cp? Thanks for the review.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 04:09 PM
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Joined Jan 2013
4 Posts
....

i really love this heli but i haven't found any upgraded parts for it. I really want a aluminum swash for it but there are literally no parts for it.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:58 AM
Rocky Mountain High and Higher
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Joined Jan 2002
877 Posts
I have flow the heck out of mine. No 3D but I have learned to do large loops outside. Anyway my heli started acting like the controller board was failing but after a long instion I found that a wire to the motor was breaking off at the case..
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 05:07 PM
Aspiring Weekend Flyer:-)
New Jersey
Joined Sep 2008
331 Posts
"I followed the guide for setting up the transmitter, but noticed right away that it had way too much pitch. I ended up using the pitch curve to reduce pitch to 65% plus/minus. The rest of the settings worked just fine, I just softened the pitch curve a little around mid stick to make it a little less jumpy. I ended up with a five point pitch curve set to 65, 36, 0, 36, 65."

I didn't understand the above setup information in the article for the Futaba. My pitch curve in my 7C heli radio runs from 0 to 100 only. So I don't understand the pitch curve setup of 65, 36, 0, 36, 65. The 100 CP say start of with 35, 45, 56, 66 and 78 for Idle 1 with the Futaba.

Can anyone enlighted?

FYI to the author, thanks a lot for the article. Bought this heli back in Nov but haven't had much time to fly it. Just back into now.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 08:29 AM
Registered User
United States, GA, Calhoun
Joined Apr 2012
112 Posts
[QUOTE=andrew30878;23814163]i really love this heli but i haven't found any upgraded parts for it. I really want a aluminum swash for it but there are literally no parts for it./QUOTE]

miracle-mart has upgrades for this heli,this is a renamed brand of the original
Nine eagles SOLO PRO 125.
They have a metal swashplate,metal main grips, and metal main rotor head.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 09:28 AM
Registered User
United States, MO, Fenton
Joined Jan 2012
2,078 Posts
[QUOTE=Jsejalisco;23925133]
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew30878 View Post
i really love this heli but i haven't found any upgraded parts for it. I really want a aluminum swash for it but there are literally no parts for it./QUOTE]

miracle-mart has upgrades for this heli,this is a renamed brand of the original
Nine eagles SOLO PRO 125.
They have a metal swashplate,metal main grips, and metal main rotor head.
They show a brushless upgrade too!
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 09:50 AM
Registered User
United States, GA, Calhoun
Joined Apr 2012
112 Posts
[QUOTE=Fentonflyers;23925638]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsejalisco View Post

They show a brushless upgrade too!
Yes, also a solo pro 126, which is the same as solo pro 125, but the 126, is brushless, and also solo pro 126 v2, which has lights on the blades.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 09:53 AM
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United States, GA, Calhoun
Joined Apr 2012
112 Posts
Solo pro 126, brushless is only $114.99 BNF at myrcmart.com
That is a good good, deal.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 09:59 AM
Registered User
United States, GA, Calhoun
Joined Apr 2012
112 Posts
I love my solo pro 125.
Now I can get parts here in the USA, at towerhobbies.com
And I don't have to wait long time for shipping from China,
Plus the service from towerhobbies, is one of the best.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:35 PM
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United States, GA, Calhoun
Joined Apr 2012
112 Posts
The best review on this,helimax axe 100 cp/ solo pro 125.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:18 PM
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Joined Dec 2012
128 Posts
Nice review! =)

I have a question considering the Anylink adapter from the helimax axe 100 cp though: I saw on various sites, that it is compatible with the graupner MX-16, I however do own a MX-12, is it compatible with this one too?
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 02:48 PM
Newbie but coming on fast
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United States, KY, La Grange
Joined Jun 2012
143 Posts
A nice review and worther competition for the Blade Nano CPX plus replacement parts are cheaper too!
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