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Heli-Max Axe 100 CX RTF Coaxial Helicopter Review

Heli-Max has the Axe 100 CX coaxial helicopter in both RTF and Tx-R versions. The RTF comes with their TX410 transmitter and includes everything needed to get flying. This review includes recommendations for Beginning Helicopter pilots.

Splash

Introduction

Heli-Max Axe 100 Coaxial Heli (1 min 31 sec)


Rotor Diameter: 7.48"
Weight Empty: .995 oz
Weight RTF: 1.1 oz.
Length Fuselage: 8.66"
Length Total: 9.0"
Height: 4.96"
Transmitter: Heli-Max TX410 SLT 4 CH
Receiver: SLT in Mother Board
Battery: 1-cell 3.7V 150mAh
Charger: Heli-Max LiPo Battery Charger
Manufacturer: Heli-Max
Available From: Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price: $74.98 RTF
Price: $59.98 Tx-R

Kit Contents RTF

The Kit Includes

  • Axe 100 CX coaxial helicopter
  • The Heli-Max TX410 transmitter
  • 4-AA Batteries for the transmitter
  • 1-3.7V 150mAh LiPo flight battery
  • USB powered LiPo battery charger
  • Instruction Manual
  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Box is perfect for transporting and storing

Assembly

In both the RTF and the Tx-R versions the Axe 100CX comes fully assembled and ready to fly. I had no assembly to perform. I just plugged the battery into the supplied USB powered LiPo charger and connected the charger to a USB port on my computer and it charged the flight battery. I installed the four supplied AA batteries into the TX410 transmitter and then installed the fully charged flight LiPo battery into the Heli-Max Axe 100CX and she was ready to fly.

Completion

With the batteries installed in the transmitter I installed the charged flight battery into the helicopter. The power strips on the front of the battery face downward and I just slid the battery into the battery holder under the helicopter with the transmitter on. The LED inside the helicopter flashed rapidly for a few seconds and then went solid and I was ready to fly.

Flying

Basics

There are two modes of flight for the Axe 100 CX: Beginner and Expert. Experienced pilots could also call these low and high rates. They are accessed by pushing down on the right stick. When going into low rate or beginner mode, a low tone sound is heard from the transmitter and a half circle will be seen at the bottom center of the transmitter screen in low rate. When entering high rate or expert mode a higher tone sound is heard and in this rate a full circle can be seen in the bottom center of the transmitter screen. I switched between these rates in flight and thanks to the tone I knew what mode the helicopter was in by the sound and didn't have to look at the screen. The screen gives a good quick visual confirmation of the mode and is especially useful when the Axe 100 CX is on the ground ready to fly.

Taking Off and Landing

For the first time helicopter pilot I recommend you start flying by only focusing on the left stick. I have my students use the box as a helicopter platform in the center of a carpeted area with no obstacles nearby. To take off just move the left stick from the bottom towards the top of the transmitter. I recommend a smooth movement relatively quickly until the helicopter lifts off. By focusing only on the left stick on the initial flight the focus is on mastering the hover as well as how she climbs and lowers with throttle movement. I said relatively quickly on the upward movement as the hardest speed to control is when the helicopter is light on its skids but not light enough to take off. It can slid on the box or on a tile floor and can tip over somewhat easily. I like to get the Axe 100 CX into the air quickly and I like my students to get the helicopter airborne quickly. Not so fast that it shoots to the ceiling but not so slowly that it is dancing around light footed but not able to yet takeoff for any length of time.

Once airborne play with the throttle for the first flight going up and down and mastering a hover. My Axe 100 is very good at hovering. I don't need to adjust her much with the right stick when she has been trimmed. I do need to adjust the left stick to maintain the same altitude as the battery uses up power especially. When it was time to land I slowly lowered the throttle and she slowly lowered to the ground and landed. Initial landings are best if done from a hover. I recommend throttling up quickly for takeoff but throttling down slowly from a hover to land.

Learning to Fly With Axe 100 CX Helicopter

The Axe 100 CX is a good first helicopter! Her controls work exactly like my fixed and collective pitch helicopters that fly faster and are more responsive. However, as a coaxial helicopter she is inherently stable and slower to respond to my commands. Both of those are good things for learning to fly a helicopter. As discussed above I recommend focusing only on the throttle on the left stick on the first flight. My reason for this is a pilot must master the hover and controlling the altitude of the helicopter before learning anything else. By focusing on this one item I find my students master the hover and controlling altitude much much faster then if they try to learn to control everything at once.

The Axe 100 CX is easy to hover compared to many other helicopters. however on the first flight I noticed mine was drifting backwards a bit and to hold hover I was applying a bit of forward using the right stick. As an experienced pilot I used the right trim tab that is located to the left of the right stick. I pushed it up/forward one click and my Axe 100 CX was no longer drifting backward. She still drifted a bit and I had to apply some correction with the right stick but the direction of the correction now varied and I didn't have to press the stick forward continuously as I did before trimming. That was how I corrected her drift. For my student I put the trim back in neutral by pushing the right stick side trim tab backwards one clip. When my student got a chance to fly she noticed the drift and I had her land the helicopter and talk to me about what the problem was and what did she think was the solution. She got it right and with the copter on the ground she gave one click of forward trim for the right stick. She placed the Axe back on the box/helipad and just using the left stick she flew for a couple of minutes at different altitudes until she was approaching a wall and landed. She placed the Axe back on the box and lifted off and showed she had mastered the basic hover. I then had her turn the Axe using the left stick only and turning slowly to the right and left. She was feeling pretty good about her skill and wanted to go to the right stick. I asked her to turn some more using the left stick and to turn as fast as she wanted. She went into a hard spin and saw her helicopter descending very quickly. She stopped her turn/spin but she crashed onto the carpeting. She killed the throttle before hitting the carpeting based on ground school training before her first flight.

The Axe 100 CX weighs about an ounce (1.1 ounces). Crashing onto carpeting or grass with the motors off is not likely to cause any damage to the helicopter of the objects around it. Crashing with throttle on and she might just beat herself into breaking. For students my rule is: Always KILL the throttle if you are sure you are going to crash! There have been several crashes of the Axe 100 CX and no damage to date.

She placed the Axe back on the helipad and took off and practiced turning and learned spinning in one direction the helicopter wanted to climb and in the other she wanted to go down. After slightly more than eight minutes of flying time it was time to charge up the battery. During that first battery she had made great progress using just the left stick. On the second battery I had her repeat hovering and turning and then added forward flight and forward flight with turning using the left stick. During this battery she learned to fly circles using forward flight and the left stick. She added flying backwards on the next battery charge and started flying to the side as well using the right stick. During the recharging I had her using my Real Flight flight simulator with a coaxial helicopter for practice. All of her flying was in Beginner mode.

To me the Axe 100 CX flies very very slowly in beginner mode. It is almost like slow motion for me. It is among the slowest coaxial helicopters I have flown. It is perfect for the Beginner. When Beginner mode is mastered just a push down of the right stick and she goes into Expert mode. To an experienced helicopter pilot this is still slow flight but to the student it is a new level of challenge.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

I fly the Axe 100 CX in small spaces and fly around the Christmas tree, under chairs between the chair legs and a variety of other challenges. Her handling in open areas is precise enough to make up races of landing on three separate landing pads and flying a precise route over under and around set objects. the winner completes all tasks in the fastest time. Even in Expert mode the Axe 100 CX is not very fast even when considering that she is a coaxial helicopter. You can view the videos and judge her speed for yourself. That said I found her control to be very good. I had no trouble flying under tables and through some chairs. I have been having a good time flying her in my house and at my office for this review.

I have consistently been getting more than 8 minutes of in air flying time with a full charge. Flying non-stop with the stop watch on for the official duration test I got a flight lasting 9 minutes and 8 seconds before she landed due to lack of power. I don't recommend flying quite that long. I had the throttle on full at the end of the flight and going that low on voltage all the time may be hard on the battery. Recharging a fully discharged battery using the included USB powered charger takes about 40 minutes using my computer or my cell phone adapter to power the charger.

Is This For a Beginner?

I believe we have already answered this question with a definite YES!

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Heli-Max Axe 100 CX Coaxial RC Helicopter (3 min 19 sec)

Downloads

Conclusion

The Heli-max Axe 100 CX is a very nice coaxial helicopter. I found she makes a good trainer for beginners and there are always new people coming into the hobby. For the Beginner the RTF is at a reasonably price for a hobby quality coaxial and she is a nice size small helicopter. She makes a nice beginners addition to the Heli-Max line-up. The more experienced pilot may find her top speed in Expert mode a bit too slow for their taste but those who like to fly in small spaces and make up over and under challenges to fly around a room she is up to those challenges. The digital trim tabs work well and I have had her in an extended hover with hands off the right stick for minutes at a time (I need to adjust the altitude as mentioned above.). The front of the helicopter is illuminated by the on board LED so that night flying is possible in the dark but she is not very bright.. She can only be flown outdoors in truly calm conditions. If there is any breeze at all she will drift with it. She can overcome a very light breeze but not much more than that. I use Expert mode when flying outside.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • Nice looking coaxial helicopter
  • Bright color scheme helps with orientation
  • Beginner mode very slow and stable flight
  • Average over 8 minutes of flying time with fully charged battery
  • Allows a beginner to learn how RC helicopters are controlled
  • Available without transmitter for those of us with Tactic or Heli-Max SLT transmitters

Minuses

  • Top speed may be too slow for some pilots
  • Recharging a fully depleted battery takes 40 minutes

Thanks

My thanks to Chuck and Keith for shooting the video for this review. (I shot the stills myself while flying the Axe 100 CX, she is that stable in a hover.) My thanks to my student for letting me share her experiences with the Axe 100. My thanks to Hobbico and Heli-Max for supplying RC Groups with this helicopter for review. Thanks to our editor for her assistance with this review.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Dec 15, 2013 at 10:54 PM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 18, 2013, 05:11 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
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Reserved for possible updates. Michael Heer
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Old Dec 23, 2013, 06:56 PM
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TcCobra13's Avatar
Seymour,TN
Joined Feb 2010
251 Posts
nice review i hate the usb charger the same one comes with MD530 and the first day i dropped my laptop ad ending up breaking one of my usb ports plus the long charging time.
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Old Dec 23, 2013, 10:39 PM
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great review you have done.thanks OP
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