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Review Axe CX Nano RTF Helicopter With Dual Counter-Rotating Blades Review

The Axe CX Nano is an enjoyable and controllable palm-sized nano coaxial helicopter with four channel control for under $80.00.

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Introduction


Rotor Diameter:7.9 inches
Weight:1.37 oz.
Length:6.3 inches
Height:4.7 inches
Width:1.8 inches
Transmitter:4-channel 2.4GHz
Receiver:5-in-one on 2.4GHz
Battery:3.7V 350mAh LiPo
Motor:Two High Power Coreless motors
Manufacturer:Heli-Max
Available From:Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price:$79.99


Just in Time for Christmas, HeliMax has released their new Axe CX Nano helicopter. When I was given the opportunity to review the Axe CXN I readily agreed because I like flying and reviewing helicopters. However, I was a little concerned about coming up with something new to do or say in my review. I decided I would get in some initial flights to form my own opinion about the AXE CXN and then let several beginners fly her and see how the helicopter held up and how they did with the helicopter. Because of the sharing this has proven to be a very enjoyable review to do. The Axe CXN proved to be everything I would have hoped she would be. She hovers amazingly well and once moving directionally she handles very well and has acceptable directional speed by my standards. You can judge for yourself by watching the videos below. On the third video I flew the helicopter outside. It was a rather calm day but there were a few gusts of breeze. This is an indoor flyer except for very calm outdoor conditions. FYI: Despite the crashes she has experienced, she is still flying as well as the day I got her.

Kit Contents

Axe CXN Nano Includes

  • Axe CXN Nano helicopter RTF
  • Helimax 2.4GHx 4-channel Transmitter
  • 3.7V 350 mAh LiPo battery
  • Wall Charger for flight battery









Author Supplied

  • 4 AA batteries for the transmitter

Heli-Max Promoted Features

The Axe CX Nano Features:

  • Has up to 10 minute flight time with 350mAh LiPo battery.
  • Axe body comes in four colors: red, white, blue and yellow.
  • Two high powered coreless motors for power.
  • Twin blades rotating in opposite directions for great stability.
  • Has full ball bearings for main shafts and swash plate.
  • Over current protection: Motors stop if blades hit anything!
  • Rotor blades made of very durable plastic.
  • Rotor blades pivot when they hit anything.
  • Palm size helicopter and transmitter has 4-channel control.
  • The radio system is on 2.4GHz.

Assembly

The Axe CXN is a true Ready To Fly (RTF) and there was nothing to assemble. I plugged the supplied charger into an electrical outlet. Then I plugged the charging cord and battery together. While the battery was charging I installed four AA Alkaline batteries that I supplied into the included transmitter. Next I read over the instruction manual while the 3.7V 350mAh battery finished charging.

Completion

With the battery fully charged I installed it under the Axe CXN in the battery holder by sliding it in. I turned on the transmitter and then connected the battery to the helicopter's control board. The transmitter and helicopter were already bound together and she was ready to be flown.

Flying

Basics

The Axe CXN is a four channel helicopter controlled by two main joy sticks with throttle and rudder on the left stick and forward, backward and side to side control on the right stick. I powered up the helicopter for the first time and she jumped into the air, I powered down a little too much and she went from a rapid climb to a slow decent. A little more up throttle and she was in a hover but drifting backwards. A few clicks of forward on the right side trim tab and she was in a very stabile hover. There was some wind current from the office heater and she started to drift with the current. A little right stick and I learned I had good directional control in all directions. Using the left rudder stick she did a nice pirouette to the left and to the right. As is true with every co-axial helicopter I have flown one direction she climbed and one she descended and the faster the pirouette the greater the altitude change without a change in throttle input.

Taking Off and Landing

MY beginner test pilots proved that it is not wise to bring up the throttle too slowly. The Axe like most small and light helicopters doesn't like being just below flying speed with the rotors and while she was a little unsteady at slow speeds she only tipped over once so far during a "too slow" take off. Actually she was more stable than many of the small co-axial helicopters that I have flown at that awkward rotor speed of approaching lift off. Powered up more quickly she took off very nicely and displayed no bad tendencies to head off in one direction or another but rather went into a pretty nice hover very quickly. There was only a little directional drift on lift off. Landings were very easy. Simply slowly lower the throttle while in a hover. If this was done too slowly there would be drift due to ground effect when the helicopter got down to about an inch above the landing surface due to air bouncing back up. This could be avoided with a quicker reduction in throttle when down to an inch off the ground. We have had no trouble making landings during forward flight onto smooth surfaces; it just slides to a stop. On carpet forward landings can cause the helicopter to tip over if the landing skids snag in the carpeting. Otherwise, No trouble taking off or landing so long as the surface was smooth.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Co-axial helicopters are designed to be inherently stable and this designed stability makes aerobatics more difficult. For beginner pilots landing on a designated spot can be pretty special and so I had them fly from one table to another where they were to land and then return to the original table and land as close to where they started as possible. This was a pretty good challenge for the beginners. Using a 4' by 8' table was not to hard for four them to land on the table. But moving down to 4' x 4' tables proved to be harder and I believe it was mostly a psychological change more than the actual reduced surface area, but still a very real challenge to them and success was surprisingly reduced as they seemed to make greater stick movements and flew much less smoothly when smaller movements were called for and more patience in the landing approach.

Is This For a Beginner?

YES! In a week I have had eleven different people fly the Axe CX Nano. While four of us were experienced pilots the other seven were beginners and for four of them it was their first RC experience flying anything. To the beginners I gave a short flight school about the four main controls and telling them just to focus on throttle management and if they crashed to be sure to shut it down. They all had success in hovering by focusing on the left stick and throttle management. Several of them collided with walls and tested the "very durable plastic blades" as well as the pivot function of the blades when they hit the walls, a chair and one of them even hit me. My Axe CXN was undamaged and so was I from these experiences. We only had one ceiling crash and fortunately that was over carpet and again no damage despite a drop from about ten feet. Everyone has enjoyed their time on the sticks and four of the beginners were flying pretty well within a minute or two of lift off. So I can safely say it has been beginner tested and passed with "Flying Colors." Several enjoyed themselves so much they are getting one for themselves and/or their child for Christmas.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery










Downloads

Conclusion

My plan was to do my initial testing of the helicopter for this review and then see what some beginners would do with it. When it arrived the day before our flying club's Christmas party I got a chance to let a couple other pilots fly her as well. She flew very well for myself, Jeff and Ed and later for my friend Dick. Then in the hands of the beginners she proved she could withstand a number of crashes (It was over carpeting which I highly recommend for beginners.). Four of my test pilots advanced their skills noticeably during their approximate ten minute test flying sessions. The other three pilots improved but not very much. I think it was due to a lack of concentration on their part. It is really helpful to think ahead when flying helicopters. The Axe CX Nano was very well behaved and proved to be quite stable in flight. Response time in directional changes as with all co-axial helicopters was a bit slow, especially from a hover. While in horizontal motion directional response to change was much quicker. We even coined a new law in physics: "Axe CXNs in hover tend to stay in hover. Axes in motion stay in motion."

So far 11 of us have had the fun of flying the Axe CXN. I have enjoyed my stick time with her but equally I have enjoyed sharing her with friends. Everyone has enjoyed their stick time with the Axe CXN. She is hitting the stores in time for Christmas and I know a couple of friends plan to get one for a Christmas present for their families to play with on Christmas day so they can share the fun with something real and not just a game on the TV screen.

Pluses

  • 10-minute flight time
  • Four channel control
  • Nice looks
  • Has been rugged during my and my friend's testing
  • Everything except 4 AA batteries for under $80.00
  • 2.4GHz radio

Minuses

  • It was a little taller than I expected.
Last edited by Angela H; Dec 15, 2010 at 02:24 PM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 02:12 PM
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peterv's Avatar
USA, IL, Barrington
Joined Feb 2001
1,938 Posts
Michael, great review! What type of battery connector does the heli have? Is it a JST?

Pete
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Doubletap's Avatar
PRC (People's Republic of Commiefornia)
Joined Jul 2005
9,596 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterv View Post
Michael, great review! What type of battery connector does the heli have? Is it a JST?

Pete

Looks like it uses the same connector used on Walkera Sub micros.
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 11:58 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,252 Posts
It is not JST. I don't know the name of this connector but here is close up picture of the connector from the battery pack on my Axe CX nano.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Joined Nov 2010
17 Posts
How does this model compare to the Nine Eagles Bravo III ?

Thanks
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Thanks!
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 09:11 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,252 Posts
I had a nice indoor session flying this helicopter last night. I flew a pattern of under a table and through the legs of a chair and then a loop under over and back under with the table and a boy scout was able to repeat the pattern although admitttedly doing it slower. A very fun presentation. Mike H
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Old Dec 26, 2011, 08:42 PM
U.S. Navy (Ret.)
United States, TX, El Paso
Joined Dec 2011
62 Posts
Nice review. I'm new to RC Helicopters. Would the Axe be a good next step up from a Blade Scout CX on the road to CP? For in house/garage flying? Thanx.

Cheers,

Mark
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Joined Jan 2012
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Very Poorly Designed

I've been flying my first helicopter, the Blade MCX2 ($120 retail), for a couple of months now. I can land it on a dime and it seems indestructible. To my pleasure, both my wife, daughter and son took to this hobby and wanted copters of their own. After reading positive reviewed by seemingly experienced hobbyists, I made the mistake of buying two Axe Nanos on FeeBay. One came broken with the landing gear snapped and the other copter would go up for literally three seconds and then drop. Not impressed at all with Heli-Max’s obvious lack of quality control.

The instructions advise that “You will notice the cyclic controls lag behind your inputs” and then reassure you that “This is normal and something you get the feel for with time.” The implication is that hobby grade helicopters, at least entry level ones, are prone to this “lag.” That is an outright falsity. The Blade MXC2 responds crisply, precisely and immediately. The “lag” is a characteristic of this very poorly designed copter.

The trim controls are so delicately set that they are very easily knocked out of proper settings---a factor when, on a good day, you only have a 10-minute flight and have to spend some of that time re-trimming the heli.

There are two rotor motors poorly situated and exposed just behind the propellers, and exactly where your fingers naturally go whenever you pick up the heli. These motors get hot. Now I’m not saying you’ll sustain second degree burns or anything, but it is not a pleasant feeling to come in contact with them routinely.

The landing gear is of a brittle extremely thin plastic of sorts and breaks very easily. During the initial flight, the gear broke. At $5 a pop, that can add up.

It is regrettably that Heli-Max would offer such a poorly designed entry-level hobby helicopter to beginners such as me. I am now ready for the next level outdoor helicopter and have to admit that I am now prejudiced, rightfully or wrongfully, against buying another Heli-Max product. Personally, I do not understand how anybody could possibly recommend the Axe CX Nano.

My advice: buy the Blade MCX2 ($120 retail). It is as true to the bigger hobby helicopters as you can get, so if you decide to move up, you’ll be ready. It is much more responsive and, therefore, easier to control and absolutely much more durable.
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