Skyartec Wasp Nano 100 CP Helicopter
|Main Rotor Diameter:||9.5" (240mm)|
|Tail Rotor Diameter:||1.5" (36mm)|
|Weight with Battery:||1.7 oz (48g)|
|Construction:||Engineering plastic main blades, tail rotor, frame, swashplate, skids, drive gear and tail fin; composite and engineering plastic head; carbon fiber tail boom and canopy support rods; painted polycarbonate canopy|
|Motor Pinion Gear:||9T|
|Main Drive Gear:||61T|
|Servos:||Skyartec VTS-01A 2g five-wire proprietary|
|Transmitter:||Skyartec NASA701 2.4GHz seven-channel computerized aircraft|
|Receiver:||Skyartec five-in-one incorporating the receiver, ESCs, servo control and gyro|
|Battery:||Skyartec 240mAh 3.7V 25C lithium polymer with USB charger and AC power supply|
|Motors:||N40 brushed main motor; 0717 brushed tail motor|
|Minimum Skill Level:||Experienced beginner|
|Typical Flight Duration:||Five minutes|
|Manufacturer:||Skyartec R/C Model Fun, Ltd., 420 Unit, 4th Floor, Nanyou Commercial Services Building, No. 21 Dengliang Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China|
|Available From:||Park RC Models, Auburn Hills, Michigan USA|
|Price (USD):||$149.95 plus nominal shipping and any applicable tax|
If there's one thing I appreciate, it's passion for one's work.
To describe Max Ettinger of Park RC Models in Auburn Hills, Michigan USA as "passionate" is an understatement.
I had a blast in 2012 working directly with Max to bring our readers reviews of the flybarless Skyartec Wasp X3V 250-class helicopter and its cousin, the flybar-equipped Skyartec Wasp X3, since replaced by the flybarless Wasp X3S.
There's been a lot of technology at work behind the scenes since then and it's culminated in the brand new Skyartec Wasp Nano 100 CP flybarless 100-class nano helicopter.
Like all models sold by Park RC Models, this Nano 100 came fully serviced and with about 30 minutes of preflight testing, insuring a truly ready-to-fly model. It also came to me through Park RC Models directly through the Skyartec factory specifically for this review. A fifty-point checklist from Park RC Models is included with each model along with an emailed link to a video of one's actual model being test flown.
Here too is a helicopter with a foam-lined, locking aluminum carrying case and Skyartec's new NASA701 computerized seven-channel radio system. This terrific new radio is fully reverse compatible with most Skyartec fixed-wing and rotary models and is fully menu driven via its own multi-function LCD display. This means changes to things like pitch curves are easily adjusted in the field without the need of a computer.
It'll take some knocks whether from a beginner just learning to hover or from an intermediate pilot learning 3D flight. That's because most of the Nano 100 is made from a flexible engineering plastic capable of absorbing all but the most severe crashes. A video link down the page shows James Peng, Skyartec engineer and designer of the Nano 100 intentionally twisting parts such as the main blades into pretzels.
All of that service, technology and extras come at a price and I don't mean expensive.
As Skyartec's official North American distributor, Park RC Models is able to offer this great little chopper for all of US$149.95 plus a nominal shipping fee and tax where applicable.
Like all of Skyartec's products, the Wasp Nano 100 and the transmitter each have a factory serial number, making it easy to repair or service as inevitable ongoing changes are made to production.
Time to charge up a battery and get unit number NOD1571 up and flying!
Nearly everything needed to get the assembled and pre-tested Nano 100 in the air is included:
All that is needed to prepare for flight are:
For the purpose of this review, Park RC Models provided the software along with extra battery packs, a transmitter-to-USB adapter cable to allow use of the transmitter as a sim controller and a printed manual for the radio. The flight sim is intended for use with Windows systems, but a very modern and up-to-date machine is necessary. I'd encountered the same problems with the software enclosed with the larger Wasps. It's a sample version developed in conjunction with ClearView and ParkRC Models and features one car, one airplane and one helicopter. I've seen it run on a suitable machine; it rivals a lot of off-the-shelf sims.
I have to admit there is a small bit of assembly. Very small. It involves opening the spare parts bag to retrieve the tiny carbon fiber canopy support rods. They weren't a particularly tight fit, so I wound up losing them both despite careful handling. Gluing them may or may not be out of the question; if they were to snap, it would be impossible to extract the stub. Replacing the entire part isn't terribly difficult and the rods fit better in my replacement.
As with the X3V and X3, the Wasp Nano 100 along with its accessories bore small foil stickers. These are not from the factory. Max Ettinger uses them to signify that the part in question has been checked and found to be in perfect working order. There was even a small strip of tape on one of the main rotor blades which Max used to set the tracking. I say "was" because it wound up flying off at some point during my own flights.
Number NOD1571 has its own pedigree, as it were. It's a fifty-point inspection of all systems along with a number of test flights, all logged on the inspection sheet provided with the model. I don't know how Max manages to do so and keep up with his shipping orders, but then again, Max is darn good at what he does and he enjoys doing it.
The all-black frame of the Nano 100 is nicely set off by a beautifully printed green, yellow, black and white canopy. Very simple sans serif lettering identifies the model and the brand. It brought to mind the similar font used on the dashboards of Toyota, Scion and Lexus automobiles and trucks for years. These could be a lot fancier or bolder, but the quality and overall look of the canopy is so much improved over the canopies of the two Wasps that I'm not going to complain.
Max mentioned an optional red canopy, by the way.
The seven-channel NASA701 radio is nothing less than a breakthrough in small RTF models such as the Nano 100. Its many features are somewhat beyond the scope of this review. Suffice to say that it's a full-sized, computerized park flyer system with digital trims, a ten-model memory and presets for Skyartec airplanes and flybarless helicopters built in. Everything is menu-driven on the big LCD display. Stick feel is nice and light and the throttle ratchet has been disabled for use with a helicopter.
Power comes from eight AA-cell batteries and while the battery holder can be unplugged and replaced with a rechargeable pack, no charger plug polarity is given on the radio case or in the manual.
The two toggle switches are important to note. The left switch, marked "GEAR" for use in an airplane, serves as a throttle hold. The radio beeps an error message if it's powered up with the throttle hold off. Down engages the throttle hold, up releases it. The "FLIGHT MODE" switch to the right is precisely that. Up is normal, down is idle-up. Like the model itself, the brand and controls are identified with a basic sans serif font, although Skyartec did get a bit fancy with the flaming "NASA701" identification.
As configured, the display shows helicopter mode, Mode 2 stick placement, trim settings, percentage of throttle setting, idle-up and normal settings along with battery level. There's even a nicely machined aluminum neck strap holder.
Moving on to the helicopter itself, I was somewhat surprised to notice that the servos are of the five-wire variety, meaning they're externally controlled. Similar only in the basic concept to the somewhat crude five-wire servos sold with early electric RTF airplanes, these little two-gram masterpieces bring the idea into the 2010s with smooth, accurate and coordinated control along with weight savings via the multi-layer PC board.
It's a very sophisticated board to boot with its firmware updating receptacle and its built-in dual mode capability. Max's only suggestion was for me to carefully add a tiny bit of hot melt glue to the base of the antenna as a precaution to more firmly hold it in place. It seemed OK to me, but no one except for James Peng knows Skyartec models better. Max has suggested that the factory follow suit on future production runs and I'm guessing it'll do just that.
Things have come a long way in the last ten years.
Once the 240mAh 3.7V flight battery is charged up, the fun can begin. Many small models are being packaged with USB-powered chargers, which is great if you don't mind plugging into a computer. Skyartec takes it up a notch with an incredibly useful AC adapter which can be used with other USB chargers.
The battery and board use JST-PH-2P connectors like those found on small Heli-Max and Novus models, but the connectors are swapped on the Nano 100. No big deal since Park RC Models sells a harness which can be easily converted to a charger harness with a pair of banana plugs. Max sent over a couple of JST 2.5 SM harnesses for use with the X3 and X3V and while the shells are different, the pins on the Nano's battery line up perfectly. That way, I'm able to charge the batteries on my Triton EQ.
The supplied charger is simplicity itself. When the battery is charged, a red LED in the charger lights up.
That battery is a rather snug fit in the cradle which makes it somewhat difficult to install and slightly more so to remove. Either the label interferes with the ribs or the folds of the outer foil shell do.
Once the transmitter is fired up, the battery connected and the gyro initialized, the fun can begin.
There's quite literally no need to adjust any settings on the transmitter for more aggressive flight. Should one wish to switch the Nano 100 to the more aggressive "advanced mode," it's only a matter of holding down the bind button atop the receiver until the board's LED switches from red to green. It can be switched back at will by the pilot and the board will retain its last setting prior to the battery being disconnected.
I couldn't wait until morning to get the Nano 100 in the air for my first flight, so I did so in the living room after work. A quick check of the controls showed the servos to be smooth, quiet and free of chatter.
As the model is throttled up for takeoff, the tail motor starts first followed by the whine of a high-frequency ESC as the main motor comes up.
For anyone transitioning from a fixed-pitch heli, the takeoff simply feels far less linear. This is normal and a good thing; it's doing exactly what larger CCPM machine does.
Once in the air, it was clear that Skyartec put a lot of time into the electronics. So too did Max Ettinger with his fantastic, in-depth setup. Hovering was virtually hands off and the tail exhibited only a slight twitch until the surface charge bled off of the battery. It's exactly the kind of stability needed to assist up-and-coming CCPM pilots in building confidence because although it's stable, it's also far more responsive.
Unlike the factory settings on the X3V which were factory set as to be so stable as to be nearly unmaneuverable, Max's setup of the Nano 100 felt like a perfect compromise between stability and maneuverability, a setup equally perfect for casual sport flying.
It also flew a lot like the X3V or even a 450-class machine for that matter, definitely something I didn't want to explore in the close confines of even a large living room. Fixed-pitch helis tend to shrug off excessive stick input. Not so the Nano 100. Gentle stick input is necessary here; though stable, such a helicopter is less forgiving than a fixed-pitch since it will dart off very quickly in whichever direction the pilot tells it to.
I was more than content for about five minutes of hovering and very gentle forward flight and turns to get a feel for the model and it took less than five minutes to come to the conclusion that it was every bit as nice as it looked. The flybarless system imparted a feel different from (and one arguably better than) almost any flybar-equipped machine on which I have experience.
Outdoor flight testing came the next morning. Now that I had some maneuvering room, I was able to put the Nano through some more aggressive forward flight and coordinated turns starting with the standard throttle setting.
Very, very nice. The CCPM system worked perfectly in the slight breeze, one which would have made a fixed-pitch difficult to fly and most coaxials impossible to fly. Tail response was wonderfully smooth as well, probably about as good as it can be with a motor-driven tail rotor.
The transmitters from the X3 and X3V arrived without the idle-up settings calibrated, leading to some real white-knuckle moments when I attempted to enter idle-up mode back during those reviews. Programming, while not impossible, is in my opinion kind of clumsy. As such, I haven't yet calibrated either helicopter's idle-up to their respective transmitters.
Kind of a moot point now that I have the NASA701 at my disposal, but I digress.
Max had preset the idle-up's throttle to perfection. It was so on the money when I engaged the switch that I wasn't sure it even had engaged.
It had and with it came the loss of the somewhat sensitive standard throttle setting. Not only did it fly beautifully in forward flight, overall control felt far more accurate, especially during hovering. Even landing seemed easier; ground effects don't seem to have much effect on the Nano. I found myself doing accurate spot landings before long.
Trees and power lines in front of my house mean somewhat limited flying fun no matter what, but I was interested in trying out the advanced mode.
In went a fresh battery and when the gyro initialized a moment later, merely pressing and holding the bind button atop the receiver changed the status LED from green to red.
Wow, what a difference.
The little Wasp had gone from relatively gentle to feeling as if it were ready for any stunt imaginable. Response was greatly enhanced, yet it never felt as if I were flying on the "edge of failure" in fighter pilot parlance.
Going to idle-up both smoothed out the hover and made the Nano feel even more ready to perform stunts. Transition from forward flight to "hitting the brakes" by pulling the right stick back into hover resulted in only slight loss of altitude, easily corrected withe a bit more left stick.
At this point, the receiver can be left in advanced mode or toggled back to beginner mode, all without touching the transmitter's menu.
Max did one heck of a job getting this little model calibrated and it shows.
Open field flying came soon after the video shoot accompanied by a slight breeze. Most models the size of the Nano are either coaxials or fixed-pitches; the breeze would have been more than sufficient to ground them.
Not so the Nano.
Once it was airborne, I kicked in the idle-up, put the nose down and it was off. While not the fastest helicopter imaginable, it was fast enough to be more than mildly entertaining. What's more, it flew beautifully, bobbing up and down with the air currents. It reminded me of a gyro-stabilized fixed-wing micro.
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that no helicopter this small should fly this well.
It's a good thing the Nano 100 isn't a conventional model.
If the beginner is moving up from a small coaxial helicopter, then the answer is yes. It might even be flown by a raw beginner under the instruction and supervision of an experienced helicopter pilot. The model is exceptionally stable, but again I remind beginners that a CCPM machine such as this one handles far differently than a coaxial and will not self-correct. Someone comfortable with a coaxial should feel comfortable with the Nano, but one should be ready for the different flight characteristics. The sturdy construction will definitely impart confidence. Beginners, this is as great a way to learn helicopter flight as anything on the market!
Some factory shots appear below:
As I write this, the Chinese New Year national holiday is winding down and production is about to ramp back up. According to Max, the factory was working hard prior to the holiday shutdown to fill the orders. In short, it didn't take long for the hobby community to realize the Skyartec Wasp Nano 100 is a winner, made more so by the meticulous, unprecedented and unique preparation by Park RC Models. Some might feel the brushed main motor is a handicap, but it provides plenty of power and is easily replaced for very little money. In my opinion, the highly sophisticated electronics more than make up for the lack of a brushless motor.
Though designed to be as crash resistant as a model helicopter can be, it isn't crash proof as I discovered. A case of indoor "dumb thumbs" smacked my Nano quite hard into a four D-cell Mag-Lite flashlight I'd left on my kitchen counter. This was a freak accident and wound up requiring some parts from a not-so-nearby hobby shop, but the cost was reasonable and the repairs easy. Most mishaps won't cause any damage whatsoever and yes, I had one or two of those variety while I got comfortable with it. In fact, I've become as comfortable flying it around the living room as I am flying a fixed-pitch helicopter. It's the perfect tool for fine tuning one's heli flying skills no matter the weather.
Two thumbs way up for this exceptionally fine little helicopter. This is just the ticket I've been looking for to practice my own 3D skills. For others looking for just such a model, it's as close as a mouse click.
I'm truly honored once more to have been approached by Max Ettinger of Park RC Models to review the Nano 100. Lots of emails and phone calls were flying once more as Max advised me as to the setup work he did and what I could expect while flying. Max strives for 100% customer satisfaction and it shows in the incredible work he does in preparing these models and in assisting customers with their purchases.
Max works directly with Skyartec engineer and designer James Peng when it comes to the tech stuff. Mr. Peng was not only responsible for designing the Nano 100, he made my sample unit available specifically for this review and I offer my sincere thanks.
Angela Haglund is our intrepid RCGroups.com product review administrator who makes all of these reviews possible for you, our readers.
Thanks for visiting!
Pluses abound with this great little helicopter:
Minuses are relatively few:
|Apr 05, 2013, 09:53 AM|
The spammers seem to be attracted to these articles like moths to a flame. Seems to happen to every one.
Thanks for the nice review. Any way you can change the article title back to what it was before? The spammer's posts have been addressed by the moderator.
|Apr 05, 2013, 09:57 AM|
I just got an email from Max Ettinger alerting me to this weird change of title. I doubt it was hacked; it looks more like an error on the part of the moderator. I've just sent a PM to Jim Graham who can fix it right away.
So, for those folks wandering in to see what a "spam" is, it's a Skyartec Wasp Nano 100 RTF flybarless helicopter from ParkRCModels.com.
No spam used in the making of this review.
|Apr 05, 2013, 10:03 AM|
This is a nice, stable model in hover, but it is not as stable as a coaxial. Like any helicopter of this type - or even a full scale heli - it needs constant stick inputs to maintain a hover.
Plenty of help here on this site as well. Good luck!
|Apr 05, 2013, 12:24 PM|
Canada, BC, Port Coquitlam
Joined Apr 2012
Good review BTW. As a heli beginner, I really like my WASP Nano Cp. All that technology into such a compact and great performing package is simply amazing. Fly this bird over grass and crashes will not hurt it at all. Its the best way to learn to fly 6-channel CCPM. I am now very comfortable with Side-In hover.
Little CCPM helis like this are going to change the heli world and the way we will learn to fly.
|Apr 05, 2013, 08:12 PM|
Sounds like the sort of success story that a lot of new heli pilots should aspire to. Great story and believe me, this little helicopter flies like a larger machine. Same control inputs, same basic response.
Looks as if it was little more than a software bug which changed the title when one of the mods tried dumping the spam in the bitbucket and it wouldn't "flush," as it were. It should be corrected soon.
I'm pleased that you enjoyed the review! Thanks for the compliment.
|Apr 06, 2013, 05:29 PM|
Are there any options for flying this heli with something besides the RTF transmitter? Anything like the anylink or HT8 (HiSky) modules available for flying this heli with a different transmitter?
|Apr 06, 2013, 06:00 PM|
|Apr 06, 2013, 07:43 PM|
To allow a Walkera Devo transmitter to use that you would have to perform surgery and transplant the right RF module into the transmitter first. THEN the firmware would have to be updated to speak the right protocol...
I'm not going to assume this will be done any time in the near future...
|Apr 06, 2013, 09:07 PM|
Canada, BC, Port Coquitlam
Joined Apr 2012
Why not buy the RTF Nano, then buy Skyartec receivers to match the NASA 701 Tax that comes with it?
The SkyArtec NASA701 is a good transmitter. I have 3 Skyartec X3Vs, a Nano CP, and three fixed wingers flying out of this one tx. There's room for another 5 models in the Nasa701s memory.