My relationship with helicopters has run hot and cold over the years. Despite my lifelong passion for all things chopper, the choppers havent always had a passion for me. See whether this sounds familiar: I was an ace on the simulator, and I logged countless hours flying indoors with toys and larger RC coaxial ships, but the moment I ventured outside with a collective-pitch machine, my thumbs and the laws of physics aligned against me. It was a cruel reality–one that wasnt swayed by the number of times I had seen Blue Thunder and Airwolf reruns. I certainly had the time, patience and desire, and wasnt about to resign myself to watching helis from behind the flight line.Frankly, what I needed was a collective-pitch helicopter that would lift me over the learning curve while still allowing me to afford living indoors. At a tick under $200, the Heli- Max Axe CP-L stood out in the hobby shop like a ray of hope. A glance into the box, and all of the helis purpley goodness and I genuinely felt a step closer to breathing a collective sigh of relief.
|Inside the box is the assembled chopper, a 5-channel FM transmitter, a vinyl graphics sheet, instructional DVD, training gear, LiPo battery and a balancing charger with AC/DC inputs.
The CP-L is a ready-to-fly machine; its an upgrade of the original Axe CP that includes an 11.1V LiPo battery and an AC/DC balancing charger. What sold me on this particular chopper was that Heli-Max test-flies every one at the factory and includes a DVD and training gear to give me a solid starting point. The machines inverted and 3D aerobatic capabilities put the cherry on top; I knew we had the potential for a long-term future together.
HELICOPTER: Axe CP-L
|Three microservos operate the eCCPM head control, and the machine is set up and test-flown before it leaves the factory.
The Heli-Max Axe CP-L has the features, power, size, duration and durability to see you through to collective pitch success.
|Matching your wardrobe to your helicopter may hasten your success, but the scientific data hasnt come back from the lab yet.
An N60 motor independently operates the tail drive and delivers precise yaw control
|Nothing celebrates heli success like digging into the optional upgrades from Heli-Max. The carbon blades and flybar paddles are gorgeous, and I added the horizontal stab as well. The anodized main shaft, swashplate, seesaw and blade grips enhance rigidity and add an extra touch of color, too.
|The Axe CP-L features a preassembled roll cage frame to protect the gang on board. A 950mAh LiPo battery and a balancing charger set this version apart from the original CP.
Getting past my experiences with other helis was my biggest obstacle. I spent several battery packs on simple controlled slides and an occasional hop to satisfy my need to call something a flight. You could set your watch by my daily lunchtime jaunts in the parking lot and after work in our office foyer. My progress was immediately noticeable: my hops became controlled moments aloft. Unlike coaxial machines that are somewhat vague in control feel, the Axe CP-L reacts immediately to stick input. For the first time, I felt like the one in control instead of being the one whos constantly playing catch-up. My coworkers chided me on the wear I subjected the Styrofoam training wheels to, but within a short time, I made a seamless transition into sustained hovering. Slowly but surely, my time between touchdowns increased, as did my comfort level. Flying the Axe CP-L was no longer a thought process of reaction but more like a fluid control over the choppers orientation, altitude and position. To date, Ive ditched the training gear and progressed into simple figure-8 maneuvers outdoors, and Im practicing transitions from forward flight into spot landings. I couldnt be more thrilled at my success, but needed to hand off the controls to really see the little machines potential. Ive had both of my trusted heli whizzes, Thayer Syme and Dave Baron, take a turn at the controls, and both came away impressed by the Axes agility (we wont talk about my emotional scars).
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
The included DVD offers good advice on setup and orientation, and its a great way to kill time while you wait impatiently for the battery to charge. Move at your own pace, and forget about any past challenges; the Axe CP-L will see you through.
I no longer have to watch helicopters from behind the flight line. This is far more than an aircraft review to me; it marks the longawaited realization of a dream. What better way to celebrate the occasion than by dressing the Axe CP-L in a full array of Heli-Maxs anodized and carbon hop-up parts. Although I initially saw the Axe CP-L as a stepping stone to larger machines, it has so many endearing qualities–and full aerobatic capabilities– that I cant see myself passing it down.Links
Heli-Max, distributed exclusively by Great Planes Model Distributors
www.greatplanes.com, (217) 398-8970, (800) 637-7660