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Aug 17, 2012, 09:00 AM
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The Benma Helios 100 Review

The Benma Helios 100 Review


A few months ago I was approached by Benma and they asked me to give a few opinions and join the development of a brand new 4 channel helicopter. Their aim was quite high...they wanted to make the cheapest yet best performing 4 channel (flybarred) FP helicopter. Impossible? That's what I thought too...

Benma's prototype seemed to confirm my fears... the gyro, the motor and the flight performance in general weren't up to par with the V911... I was quite disappointed. Many of you have seen this thread by then and some have even pre-ordered the aircraft... yet since this first batch of aircraft did not perform as expected, Benma recalled them. (It actually was sent to vendors like Banggood already) and re-designed the software and a few hardware components too.

Fast forward to a few days ago. My friend Aaron from BG told me with great excitement that he got the production version of the Helios and that it was much better. I was skeptical... but he's quite passionate about R/C as well so I knew he wouldn't tell me something's good unless it really was.

Today, a package arrived for me at the leasing office while I was at work... It was the Helios 100... I can't tell you how excited I was to see the complete version of this thing as I spent a lot of time relaying our ideas on the forum to Benma.... the name and the little sun on the tail were my personal touches's amazing to see something that you did influence a possible global product.

Flight time: around 8 minutes
Charging time: around 30 minutes
Range: around 60 meters
TX modes: Mode 2 and Mode 4

From the box

Box contents:
1x Helios 100 helicopter, assembled
1x 2.4GHz 4 channel transmitter
2x 3.7V 180mah lipo battery
1x 3.7V lipo charger
1x Phillips screwdriver (just what I need!)
1x English manual
1x Spare rear rotor
1 set of spare blades
1 set of spare linkages

You need:
6 AA batteries for the transmitter

The transmitter

Some of you (including me) dread the thought of yet another toy grade the lack of 9X compatibility is a deal breaker for many..but I found that the transmitter for the Helios is much better than most other toy grade units. I like the looks of it, the build quality is very impressive, I like the fact that the transmitter is made of this rubberized material that is very nice to hold...the transmitter itself is quite ergonomic and I really like to hold it actually... even though I am the owner of comically large hands!

On the back of the transmitter, there is a USB port where you can plug in the charger (or any other USB product, I'm guessing!) to charge your batteries. On the front, there are 2 buttons on is the mode 2 to mode 4 conversion button (don't hit this in flight!) and the other is a dual rates button... I don't like the fact that they aren't labeled...but they function quite well.
The LCD screen shows a whole host of information: the TX battery voltage (both in bars and in volts!), trim, stick positions, dual rate position (as CH1 and CH2) and even a bind indicator that will show bars if you've correctly gone through the bind process.

Before we move on, I want to point out a special feature of this heli: 1 second (supposedly) binding! There is no lag, no beeps and basically no waiting. Just plug in the battery and cycle the throttle stick. Don't know if it's one second but it sure binds faster than anything else I own, toy or professional.

Flight performance

Ok, I know this is the part that's most important to the readers. After the lightning fast binding process, I eased up the throttle and observed it's stability... was quite impressive really! (Most of the indoor flight pictures you see were done with TX in one hand and camera in the other!) It would hover with practically no stick input. Think V911 but somewhat more stable.

The tail hold was dead on. No sense of drift throughout the whole battery pack and it has quite a bit of authority as well. Yawing to the left is done as easily as yawing to the right, no effort at all. Pyro rates are very adequate.
Under low rates, the self-stabilizing tendencies were quite obvious... but it will go where you point it as long as you maintain the stick position. Under high rates the Helios is very lively, FFF is fast indeed and with my tiny apartment, I find myself running out of room very quickly since this thing is so fast.

I went to the lobby of my building to try out some more aggressive maneuvers and I couldn't get the flybar to strike the canopy. Very impressed. Oh, and I crashed a few times in this damage done at all.
As of right now I have yet to try the Helios outdoors..but Aaron tells me that it has more than enough power and authority to do so. I'll update the review when I do try it out.

Post flight

I'm very surprised as to how well the Helios performs. Very seldom do I have so little in terms of bad things to say about a certain product. Of course, I've only owned this thing for a few hours though, so if I do find other weaknesses down the line I'll update this review. All in all, it has achieved and gone way beyond my expectations. Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed this review. For questions/comments, please feel free to discuss it in this thread or PM me.

Pros and Cons:
+ Great flight performance/stability
+ Great transmitter design and performance
+ Build quality
+ Price/Value
- Turnigy 9X incompatibility
- Non standard battery plug
- Charger only charges one battery at a time

Extra pictures:

Currently only Banggood carries this heli I think , but as time goes by I think you'll see this in most online hobby shops that carry similar products.
Banggood's Helios 100 link
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