This is just a quick post about the Heli-Max Novus CP R/C Helicopter I picked up the other day. It’s a pretty great tiny helicopter so far and I wanted to share it with you folks.


I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years this year and kept plenty warm.  Things were good here and I did a little after the holidays shopping as well.  I picked up the Novus CP Nano sized helicopter from my local hobby shop in Kingston and was admittedly an ‘impulse’ buy.

The kit is sold as Ready-to-Fly’ (RTF) and almost everything you need to fly is included. It comes with a 6 channel 2.4Ghz programmable transmitter, spare parts. The only extra thing you need to get flying is a set of 8 AA batteries for the transmitter. It’s a full collective-pitch helicopter with an idle-up switch on the transmitter.

The battery for the helicopter is included, it’s a single cell Li-Poly 400mAh battery which uses an ‘HMX’ style connector. I’ve not seen this type of connector before but it may be more common with little electric aircraft. The battery seems to take between 20-30 minutes to charge completely and you should charge it right out of the box.

The Novus CP  is tiny, if you look at it compared to my Mini-Titan e325 ‘450 sized’ rc helicopter, you can probably grasp how small it really is.  The Mini-Titan in itself is a smaller electric helicopter compared to nitro-methane powered or gasoline powered helicopters that I used to fly.


The setup on the Novus is pretty clean. There’s a small brushed motor powering the main rotor, the head is controlled by three nano-sized servos in an eCCPM configuration, there are no complex linkages in this little guy.

The tail rotor uses an even smaller brushed motor.  There’s no pitch control on the tail rotor as the motor just changes direction back and forth and varies speed to control the tail of the Novus instead.

The rc receiver, motor electronic speed control (ESC)  and gyro are built together into one circuit board which sits at the front of the Novus. When you power up the helicopter, it centers the gyro so you should do that on a flat surface to ensure the tail rotor operates properly and doesn’t twist or sway while you’re flying. In my experience there’s always a tiny amount of twist, but generally the holding capability of the tail gyro is capable enough for basic flight.

There are additional ports on the Novus mixing board for tail rotor output and main motor ESC output if you decide to upgrade it to a brushless system later. Heli-Max does sell a lot of upgrades for this such as brushless motors, and CNC machined head components if you like hop-ups or bling.

Novus CP Reciever Motor Side-B

The helicopter flies pretty good in it’s stock configuration, you should tighten the blades a little bit or it will ‘orbit’ or ‘swirl the drain’ while you’re hovering and other things. Once you get it a couple of feet off the ground the flight stabilizes as you’re not flying through the rotor wash.

This helicopter is a bit more work to keep in the air than larger size helicopters but it’s not extremely twitchy like some other micro-sized helis I have flown. I would not recommend it as a first helicopter, it seems the smaller these things get, the more work they are to keep in the air.

The radio is also programmable as well, although it requires you to remove a cover, flip a switch and then use the two knobs on it’s face to set new values. Once you have set the new values, you turn the switch back.  This allows you to adjust the throttle and pitch curves, the hover throttle, exponential(affects all controls) and other things you would expect to find in a helicopter radio. I was somewhat surprised by all the features.  Additionally since this is a full CP (Collective-Pitch) helicopter the radio also has an Idle-Up switch which will allow you to do a lot of the inverted tricks and some level of 3D flying as well.

I don’t have a large enough indoor space at home to try any stunts or 3D type maneuvers with, but I will try it in the warehouse at work next week.

For the price this was a very good deal, considering it comes with the basic programmable radio as well.  It also includes a spare set of rotor blades and a spare one-piece tail rotor in the box. The manual is fairly straight forward about repairing the helicopter and changing the settings as well.  There is a manual update on the Heli-Max site, which is in references to tightening the blades before flying.

However fun this is it is considered an older generation of model product, so you should not pay a premium price for it.

There are newer versions of this rc heli out under the Walkera name, the original manufacturer, that can be had for a fair price with newer features, such as the dual brushless motors and other things included for pretty great prices. If you can get this kit as a reasonable discount I would recommend it.

Update 7.11.2011L: I’ve since sold the Novus on eBay for $60 with all the spares and have flown the Blade MSR (fixed pitch) heli which is a lot of fun and recently bought the Blade MCPX (collective pitch 3D’ish capable) which is also really fun but also super durable.

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