Sunday, October 22, 2017
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Heli-Max Axe CX Micro Review

In the mid-1500s, Leonardo da Vinci set his quill to paper and diagrammed a device that would eventually inspire the creation of the modern helicopter. Like most great ideas, it took a while to get off the ground (literally!), and various people of all nationalities took a stab at perfecting the design over the centuries. Considering all of their efforts, I cant help but be amazed, and perhaps feel even a tad bit guilty, at how accessible and affordable helicopter flight now is to us RC enthusiasts. The Heli-Max Axe CX Micro shows just how far we have come, and Im sure that Leonardo Da Vinci would be just as thrilled as I was if one showed up on his doorstep on a cold winter day.
FLIGHT COMMENTS

Im still very new to helicopter flying, and I found the Axe CX Micro stable yet responsive. Always a bit nervous about first flights and especially when both my wife and my cat are looking on, I cleared a large area in my living room so that I would have plenty of room to trim the Axe CX out. A gentle push on the throttle stick started the coaxial rotors spinning with a whirring sound that sent the cat running as the landing skids floated above the surface of the living room table. A bit more throttle, and the Axe CX Micro took to the air, gently hovering while I made minor trim adjustments on the radio. I was pleased by its stability in hover, and I found it very easy to stay one step ahead with stick inputs to keep it hanging in the air with little movement at all.Next, I experimented with the control inputs and found that they struck an excellent balance between stability and maneuverability. The tail-rotor controls offered an excellent yaw rate that was a good match for the cyclic and collective controls. For such a small heli, the Axe CX Micro has a fair amount of mass and inertia; this forced me to plan carefully to avoid having it careen into walls while changing direction. Although this took some getting used to, Ive come to appreciate that it was helping me to develop skills that Id find helpful later on as I progress to larger and less forgiving helicopters. Whenever I felt that things were happening too quickly for my novice thumbs to keep up with, I simply arrested its forward momentum, and it quickly resumed a stable hover.

At first, I felt that the throttle response was somewhat sensitive, as there is a narrow window to stay within to keep the heli in the same vertical plane. But once I had developed the appropriate thumb sensitivity, I was able to use just the right amount of throttle to maintain my desired flight path without gaining or losing altitude, and I realized that once again, the Axe CX Micro was forcing me to become a better heli pilot. After five fun minutes of flying, I landed it on the table and checked the battery and motors. The battery was still cool to the touch but the motors were surprisingly warm, proving that I had given the heli as good a workout as I had while scooting around in the thin Colorado air. Since then, Ive found that the battery life is not quite as long as I would like; I attribute this to the increased strain on the power system while flying at my home elevation of 5,200 feet above sea level (ASL). I expect that its sealevel performance is much better, but those who fly at higher elevations might want to invest in additional batteries to keep the fun going with minimal interruption.

SPECS
HELICOPTER: Heli-Max Axe CX Micro
MANUFACTURER: Heli-MaxDISTRIBUTOR: Great Planes Model DistributorsTYPE: Coaxial beginner heli

FOR: Indoor & calm outdoor conditions

FLYING WEIGHT: 4.35 oz.

LENGTH: 10.8 in.

ROTOR SPAN: 10.6 in.

ROTOR DISK AREA: 88.2 sq. in.

ROTOR DISK LOADING: 7.1 oz./sq. ft.

RADIO: 4 channels required; flown w/included FM transmitter, receiver, servos & gyro

POWER SYSTEM: 2 brushed motors, brushed speed control, Heli-Max 2S 7.4V 500mAh LiPo battery

DURATION: 5-6 min. at 5,200 ft. ASL; flight times of 10-12 min. could easily be attained at a lower altitude

MINIMAL FLYING AREA: 1×10-ft. clear space, indoors or outdoors

PRICE: $99

COMPONENTS NEEDED TO COMPLETE: 8 AA batteries

SUMMARY
With one of the most affordable RTF packages ever, Heli-Max offers a lot of bang for the buck with the confidenceinspiring Axe CX Micro. Youll be ready to fly as soon as the included LiPo pack is charged and can expect 5-12 min. of flying per charge (depends on altitude). The stock transmitter does a respectable job, and the heli is fun to fly indoors on cold winter nights and outside when its calm.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Heli-Max has done an excellent job of making sure that novices and experienced pilots will enjoy the Axe CX Micro with its no-fuss setup. To quickly get your new Axe CX Micro heli into the air, youll need only to buy 8 AA batteries. Otherwise, the FM transmitter, 2S LiPo battery and charger and heli arrive ready to fly. Be sure to use all the standard safe-handling procedures for charging and storing the included LiPo battery; it can be tempting to leave it charging on top of a stack of bills on the kitchen counter instead of in a fireproof safe or pouch where it belongs. I advise the same degree of safety consciousness and respect while flying the heli. Its easy to think of it as a carefree toy

because its small, but you fly it in confined areas, so it can be just as dangerous as larger helis. Keep your distance while its airborne, and make sure that your first flights are in an open area, since if things dont go as planned, the heli has enough mass to damage that nice new flat-screen TV or a curious pet.My final advice is to remember that your radio is transmitting on FM frequencies. When the inevitable happens

and youre forced to buy your housemate his or her own CX Micro to get yours out of their hands, remember to buy one that operates on a different channel from yours. Nothing causes more household tension than fighting over the frequency pin after dinner.CONCLUSION
The Heli-Max Axe CX Micro all-inclusive package offers great value. Mine has earned a place of honor

among the cookware in the kitchen cabinet, so its readily available for a quick run through my indoor flying circuit whenever the mood strikes. For anyone whos looking for an inexpensive starter heli for indoor flying fun, the Axe CX Micro would be a great choice.
Links
Heli-Max, distributed exclusively by Great Planes Model Distributors, www.greatplanes.com, (217) 398-8970, (800) 637-7660