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Heli-Max Novus-CX Nano Size Electric Powered Coaxial Helicopter Review

Michael Heer reviews the new Heli-Max Novus-CX Nano sized coaxial helicopter!

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Introduction


Rotor Diameter:6.9"
Length:8"
Height:5.1"
Width:1.6"
Weight:1.85 oz.
Servos:Digital
Transmitter:2.4 GHz 4 channel
Battery:3.7V 400mAh LiPo battery
Motors:Two brushed motors
Available From:Heli-Max
Price:$124.00

Heli-Max has introduced its new line of Nano helicopters that includes the the Novus-CX coaxial helicopter which is the subject of this review, as well as the Novus FP (fixed pitch) and CP (collective pitch). The Heli-Max version of this helicopter and its distribution through Hobbico should make it and its parts much more available. They also have a good manual in English for the helicopter.

The CX is considered the beginner-friendly Novus designed for almost anyone to be able to fly. The blades are counter rotating for easy, stable hovering. The plastic blades pivot at the grip to be more forgiving in case of a crash or a blade strike against something or someone. Now let's take a closer look at this helicopter.

Kit Contents

Kit Contents

  • Fully assembled Novus CX helicopter
  • Two brushed drive motors installed
  • Two digital servos installed
  • Four in one unit
  • 3.7 volt 1 cell 400 mAh LiPo battery
  • 2.4GHz transmitter
  • Wall charger for the Lipo battery pack
  • Instruction manual
  • Extra set of main blades

Items I supplied

  • 8 AA Alkaline batteries for the 2.4 GHz transmitter

Assembly

The Heli-Max Novus CX came fully assembled and ready to fly. No assembly was required.

I used the included wall charger to fully charge the 3.7 volt Lipoly battery cell and then slid the battery into the battery holder under the helicopter. I added the AA batteries to the transmitter, turned it on and connected the Lipoly battery cell under the helicopter to the ESC in the four-in-one unit in the helicopter to power it up.

Terms For the Helicopter Beginner

Coaxial helicopter

The Novus CX is a coaxial helicopter which means that it has two main sets of helicopter blades which counter-rotate. This supplies lift without torque and makes the helicopter very stable and virtually able to hover hands-off for short periods of time. The tail rotor that appears on the helicopter is for appearance only. The helicopter's direction is controlled by servos that tilt the rotating blades that change the direction the air is pushed by the blades, thereby the direction the helicopter travels.

Coaxial helicopters are easy to hover, but the trade off is that they do not travel in directions as quickly as a helicopter with a tail rotor. It can move in all directions, just not as quickly.

Four-In-One Unit

The helicopter is what is commonly called a four-in-one unit. It includes receiver, servos, gyro and ESC bundled together and designed to keep down weight and save space.

Lipoly battery

The Novus CX is powered by a single cell 3.7 volt 400 mAh battery. It should only be charged using the supplied charger that comes with the helicopter. If you are not familiar with Lipoly batteries you should do some research concerning them to fully understand how they work and handle as per the warning that comes with them.

Heli-Max Quick-Start Video

Heli-Max has created a quick-start video that is helpful, especially to the novice pilot.

Flying

Basics

The Novus CX is a 4 channel helicopter that is controlled by the transmitter's two sticks. The left stick controls the helicopter's throttle: Moving it down turns it off, and moving it up supplies more power and lift to the helicopter. The side to side motion of the left stick causes the helicopter to turn or rotate in place in either direction. The right stick, also called the cyclic stick, controls forward and backward and side to side motion. This stick movement is the same for almost all R/C helicopters sold in North America.

Because of the coaxial blades, the Novus-CX hovers very easily but it also makes the CX the slowest of the three Novus models in its directional movements forward, backward or to either side. It moves directionally faster then some other brands of Nano coaxial helicopters, possibly because it is slightly heavier.

The 2.4GHz transmitter means that the pilot can fly with other pilots without a frequency conflict. A room full of 15 or more Novus CXs can fly together!

Start with the Helicopter Facing Away From You!

When the helicopter is facing away from you, the helicopter's right/left, forward/backwards are the same as your own. When you push the right stick to the right the helicopter moves to its right and your right as well. It takes some practice to get your mind into the helicopter so that you direct it properly in whatever direction it is facing. For the beginner, start every flight with the helicopter facing away from you and have the transmitter facing the same direction as the helicopter. As you turn the helicopter, turn the transmitter, and its directional control will remain aligned with you.

How to Crash

This helicopter is intended for pilots of all skill levels but especially beginners. If you have a blade strike or know you are about to hit something with your helicopter, pull the left stick down to the bottom. The helicopter will crash but without the blades turning it is very unlikely to be damaged. Keep the helicopter below six fleet, and if possible, fly over carpet. There is a greater chance the helicopter may be damaged by hitting things when its blades are rotating than by suffering a short fall. The blades are designed to pivot if they hit something, and that helps keep the blades from breaking.

Taking Off and Landing

To take off, move the left stick on the transmitter up and the blades will start to rotate, and the air moved by the blades will the helicopter off of the ground. I prefer to move the stick up somewhat quickly to get off the ground; I find I have better control a foot off of the ground than only a couple of inches off the ground. It gets me out of the way of ground effect, or air bouncing off the ground or objects on the ground.

Controlled landings can be performed at any time by gradually pushing down on the left stick. As one becomes more experienced, it is possible to land while flying in any direction. The controls must be back to the neutral "hover" position at the time of touchdown for best results. Coming in fast for landing requires a bit of counter movement to create a slight flair to stop the directional speed and allow for a safe landing, but save that for after you have mastered basic flight control.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The very thing that make this helicopter so good for the beginner, its ease in hovering, makes aerobatics difficult. Landing in tighter and tighter landing zones and maneuvering the CX as quickly as it is capable of maneuvering can keep things interesting for quite some time. You can pivot in place with just the left stick and fly in a circle using just the right stick. Learning to pirouette while flying in a circle forwards and backwards will take most pilots some practice to master.

Modification I Plan to Make to my Novus CX

Because of the long flight times supplied by the rather large battery, I am looking for small heat sinks that I will add to the two brushed motors to help them run cooler and last longer.

Is This For a Beginner?

Absolutely! This helicopter is intended for the beginner but can be enjoyed by the experienced pilot as well. The Novus CX moves faster than some other small coaxial helicopters, and this additional responsiveness is great fun but requires the novice to show a little more restraint on the first few flights. The directional controls on the CX are the same as the Novus FP and CP and other helicopters. Once a pilot has mastered the direction controls of the CX it is much easier to move up to the challenge of a helicopter with a working tail rotor.

Conclusion

The Novus-CX is a nice addition to the Heli-Max line. With the 2.4GHz control system, it can easily be flown with many other helicopters. Although it can be flown outdoors in calm conditions, it should be considered an indoor helicopter. It is easily the fastest of the very small coaxial helicopters that I have flown.

Pluses

  • Large battery allows for longer flights
  • Cool looking body
  • Folding blades help prevent damage in some crashes
  • Fastest of the small coaxial helicopters that I have flown with 4 channel control

Minuses

  • Longer flights can create motor heat in the motors, a heat sink is a good idea.
Last edited by Michael Heer; Jul 27, 2009 at 01:14 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jul 27, 2009, 03:44 PM
life is an oyster. shuck it!
istandalone's Avatar
bennington, VT
Joined Mar 2008
3,175 Posts
i bought one of these just to keep myself busy in the house while i'm waiting on bigger lipos to charge. for the $125 it costs, i'm having a blast! i was a bit skeptical, mainly because helimax has left a bad taste in my mouth from the original axecp and the mx450xs which both are complete junk.

this thing is the most fun i've had with a heli....ever! i've never really gotten past fff and nose in hovering with my trex 450 & gaui 550 but this thing basically flys itself. a very nice heli for the money, and i recomend it to anyone who wants indoor entertainment in a small package.
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 08:19 PM
Registered User
Studio City CA
Joined Apr 2009
126 Posts
I suspect a rebranded Walkera 5G6-1
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 08:25 PM
Why yes, I am an R/C addict!
flyrcehelis's Avatar
About 15 miles from Bristow, OK
Joined May 2009
650 Posts
nice review : )
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 09:11 PM
Registered User
Meopham, Kent UK
Joined Jul 2008
136 Posts
What flight times do you get with these?
I am trying to benchmark my hexrotor efficiency compared to commercial products.

Steve
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 10:18 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
sleb's Avatar
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Joined Nov 2003
1,497 Posts
gfie,
Actually it is a rebranded Lama without the metal gear.
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 07:08 AM
life is an oyster. shuck it!
istandalone's Avatar
bennington, VT
Joined Mar 2008
3,175 Posts
i fly it for 10 minutes, mostly ff with some spot landings. it still has punch-out power even after 10 mintues, but i ususally land then to keep it easy on the batterys.

does anyone know at what rate the stock charger charges at? i'd like to take the connector off of the stock wall wart and make up a pigtail and use my good charger.
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 01:04 PM
resU deretsigeR
PaulVi's Avatar
Dublin Ca
Joined Aug 2004
7,787 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone
i fly it for 10 minutes, mostly ff with some spot landings. it still has punch-out power even after 10 mintues, but i ususally land then to keep it easy on the batterys.

does anyone know at what rate the stock charger charges at? i'd like to take the connector off of the stock wall wart and make up a pigtail and use my good charger.
just make sure it is no more than 1c for the charge rate and you will be fine

400mha battery cahrge a .4 amp
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Old Aug 06, 2009, 10:37 AM
Jus Fly 4 Fun
Jus Wanna Fly's Avatar
Joined May 2009
128 Posts
I got one of these for my first heli. I just wanted something I could play with on windy days and I LOVE IT!!!! I taught myself to hover in a RV at the 2009 XFC (yes I know that you are supposed to have at least 35 sq ft to learn but I couldn't resist) It passes the duribility test with flying colors. I haven't kept track of how much it has been crashed, but none of them have taken it out of the air except for loosing the flybar. Great heli, it may even lead to another to follow.
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Old Aug 06, 2009, 11:13 AM
life is an oyster. shuck it!
istandalone's Avatar
bennington, VT
Joined Mar 2008
3,175 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulVi
just make sure it is no more than 1c for the charge rate and you will be fine

400mha battery cahrge a .4 amp

about 1c charge rate i already know. my question is, does anyone know what the stock charger charges at? is it .4ah or even lower? that's what i'm trying to figure out
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Old Aug 06, 2009, 11:28 AM
rwl
rwl
rwl's Avatar
MA,
Joined Jun 2009
190 Posts
That is nice but week point is the old screw type servos. The new Lama2-1 has the stronger and quicker lever servos. http://wowhobbies.com/modelplane24g-1-1-1.aspx

Bob
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Old Aug 09, 2009, 05:41 PM
Winter Flyer
Spitfire22's Avatar
Yukon, Canada
Joined May 2008
108 Posts
This is a sweet heli, I had never flown a heli before and I could fly it perfectly after about three days of practice. Here is a review I made covering the novus cx.

Heli Max Novus CX Review (4 min 11 sec)
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 11:01 AM
We come in peace.
Synth's Avatar
Canada, BC, Penticton
Joined Feb 2003
1,760 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire22
This is a sweet heli, I had never flown a heli before and I could fly it perfectly after about three days of practice. Here is a review I made covering the novus cx.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lvm8pTTlpU
Hey guys, Nice vid and review.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 08:46 PM
Registered User
Joined Dec 2004
4 Posts
I have two of these and have been flying the heck out of them, numerous crashes and they keep going. I just ordered a new reciever for one, I think it overheated and fried. When I hook up the battery both sets of blades immediately spin and don't work with the TX anymore? Hope thats what it is, not much else on this little thing to replace.
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