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Heli Max Voltage 500 3D Rx-R: A New Electrifying 3D Stunt Quad

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Heli Max Voltage-6The Voltage 500 3D quadcopter comes out of the box set up to flip, roll, tic toc and even piro flip once you add a receiver. It comes fully assembled, requiring no soldering of any kind and has a very low parts count. The Voltage 500’s flight controller is preprogrammed to give the model the perfect balance of agility and stability for any pilot’s skill level. It’s unbelievably durable too so you can fly aggressively without worrying about costly repairs if you are just learning to fly 3D.

OPENING THE BOX

Heli Max Voltage-7The Voltage 500 3D Rx-R comes in a box about 24×36 inches with the Voltage 500’s image on the top of. When you open it, you find the Voltage strapped down to the cardboard insert with
zip ties to ensure the model does not shift during shipping. You will find the eight-page instruction manual sitting under the Voltage 500 and beneath the cardboard insert is a pack of spare propellers. The box serves as a great travel case as well as a place to store your model when you are not flying it.

NEED TO KNOW

MANUFACTURER: Heli-Max
DISTRIBUTOR: Hobbico
TYPE: Brushless Electric Powered 3D Quad-Copter
FOR: Intermediate to advanced pilots
PRICE: Rx-R $429.99

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Author’s Opinion
The Voltage 500 3D Rx-R is the first 500 class quad with reversing motors fully 3D capable with fixed pitch propellers. The Voltage comes out of the box fully assembled just needing a transmitter, receiver and a 3 or 4S battery, making it a really fun quad that anyone can learn to setup and fly, even perform 3D maneuvers with ease. If you have never flown a quadcopter before don’t let the Voltage 500’s size scare you away. It has a built-in stability mode inside the preprogrammed flight controller designed to make learning to fly 3D failsafe. Setting up the Voltage 500 takes less time than it takes to charge the flight pack. Once you’ve mastered the basics of flying the Voltage 500 you can increase the end points for faster flying speeds and more maneuverability needed to start performing 3D maneuvers.

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SPECS

SIZE: 500mm (19.7 in.) diagonally
WIDTH: 380mm (14.9 in.)
WEIGHT: 907g (32 oz) without battery
PROPELLERS: 226mm (8.9 in.)
ON-BOARD ELECTRONICS: Factory tuned flight controller
MOTOR: (4) Powerful 1400Kv reversible brushless motors
ESC: (4) 25 Amp
BATTERY: FlightPower 4S 2500-3300mAh 45c LiPo
DURATION: 4-10 Minute flights
MINIMAL FLYING AREA: Yard or park
NEEDED TO COMPLETE: 5 Channel radio, receiver, 3-4S LiPo and charger

FEATURES

  • Fully assembled
  • Stability mode for 3D learning
  • 500 class reversing motor quad
  • Efficient 8.9-in. propellers designed for increased 3D lift
  • Carbon Fiber, G10 and aluminum frame
  • Powerful brushless motors that provide smooth and powerful lift
  • Flight Controller compatible with Futaba S.bus, JR XBUS, Spektrum DSM2, DSMX and DSMJ radios

PROS

  • Built-in stability mode
  • High visibility canopy
  • 3S or 4S 2200-4000mAh battery setups
  • Compatible with many popular radio brands
  • Affordable repair costs
  • High visibility canopy
  • No soldering required

CONS

  • Poor choice of battery connectors

PRO TIPS

  • Double check blade and motor direction before first initial test flight
  • Move the throttle stick set to half stick on spool up

IN THE AIR
Once your Voltage 500 is plugged in, wait for the ESCs to chime and then flip out of disarm mode to the desired flight mode to arm the motors. When the Voltage senses the throttle stick is moved to mid stick the motors will start to spin. Anything above mid stick will be positive pitch throttle and anything below mid stick will be negative pitch throttle just as you find in a collective pitch helicopter.

The Voltage 500 has the look of a flying F1 racecar floating through the air with its long frame, carbon fiber arms and sleek, race-style body. The model hovers very smooth and stable and then right into fast forward flight with the push on the cyclic stick. The obvious advantage of the fixed pitch propeller approach is simplicity, but these result in the collective feeling almost squishy. You will want to be one step ahead on the collective during 3D maneuvers. The ESCs operate very fast, but there is still slight latency as the motors change rpm or direction in response to control inputs. I’ve got to tell you though, once you’ve mastered how the Voltage 500 flies, its list of maneuvers is long. Nothing is cooler than hearing the motors stop and reverse as the Voltage 500 piro flips across the sky. The flight controller has two flight modes, 3D Mode and Stability Mode.

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3D MODE

This mode is a Fun “3D style” mode. It has No Limits on pitch and bank angles with no self-leveling help. You are in full control when you are in this mode and it will allow you to perform loops, rolls, flips and graceful aerobatics. I was impressed how quick it would flip and roll for its size. It did not take me long to get used to how the Voltage 500 flies, however, I recommend putting a few battery packs through the machine before attempting 3D maneuvers. I am a pretty competent 3D pilot, yet flipping and rolling the Voltage 500 the first few times was a lot different than standard 3D helicopters. You will quickly learn that practice makes perfect.

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STABILITY MODE
The stability mode will limit the quad to a maximum tilt angle of 45 degrees. When the stick is centered, the flight controller will level the quad. This mode makes the Voltage 500 easy to use by pilots that are learning 3D. Experienced pilots would assign this mode to a momentary switch so the quad can be leveled quickly if they encounter a problem while practicing a 3D maneuver. Even if you are inverted while performing 3D when the quad is flipped into stability mode the model will self level. You will feel an immediate sense of confidence and be flying around like a pro in no time! Far beyond stability and progressive performance options, pilots can choose to develop their flying skills with a greater degree of security and flight control. The result is that beginners have a far more relaxing learning experience and experts get outstanding control with protection benefits accessible at the flip of a switch.

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FLIGHT TIMES
The Voltage 500 can use 3S or 4S LiPo packs ranging in size from 2200-4000mAh packs giving you up to 10-minute flights or more. Be careful to monitor your flight times and cell voltages as the Voltage 500 does not have a low voltage cutoff and long flights could cause damage to your batteries. I set my timer to four minutes which usually brings my flight packs down with 35% battery life remaining after hard 3D flights with 2500mAh packs. Another cool feature the Voltage 500 offers is the set of LED lights on the bottom of the ESCs. They are there to display flight modes and will start flashing when your battery gets low. The low voltage LED warning will come on once the voltage hits 10.2V on 3S packs and 13.6V when using 4S packs. This LED system should give you an idea of flight time you can achieve with different size LiPo packs. You can also purchase a cheap, low-voltage battery alarm if concerned about flight times.

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Voltage 500 3D Rx-R Includes:
• Fully assembled Voltage 500 3D
• Spare Props
• Manual

SETUP
The Voltage 500 can use a variety of popular brand radio systems. I chose to use the new Futaba T6K FHSS radio system with S.bus receiver as it is the most cost effective radio for this quad. I created a new helicopter model and selected H-1 for the swash plate setting. The BEC wire plugs into a free port on the Futaba receiver and the signal wire plugs into the S.bus port. I assigned my channel five to auxiliary and made sure the three position switches registered -100, 0, +100 in the servo monitor screen. The flight controller needs to see channel five auxiliary set to full negative and positive end points to activate the system. If this is your first 3D style quad I recommend using the default 100% end points for aileron, elevator and rudder channels with at least 30% expo. I set my rates to 100% with 20% expo. You can always increase the end points later for faster flip, roll and piro rates if desired. Make sure you follow the manual and reverse the appropriate channels stated in the manual. The flight controller works like a traditional airplane receiver so you can use the digital transmitter trims to trim out the model in flight if needed.

To ensure the motors spin in the correct direction safely, you can remove the propellers and add a piece of tape onto each motor and power up the Voltage 500 to watch what direction the motors spin. To power up the motors on the Voltage 500 you have to flip into 3D flight mode and move the throttle to mid center stick to activate the slow start motor spool up sequence. The ESCs are preprogrammed with a soft start feature and if you have the throttle stick above or below half stick after flipping into 3D mode it will cancel the startup sequence. Once the motors have fully spooled up you can take off and fly. To land, simply come in for a gentle landing and switch back into disarm mode and the motors will shut off and spool down. At that point it is safe to handle the model and unplug the battery.

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Heli Max pre-wires all of the ESCs on the Voltage so there is little work to be down before the maiden flight.

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The Futaba 6K radio system is perfect for the Voltage as the S.Bus capabilities make for a tidy setup.

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The LEDs on the bottom of the quad monitor the pack, whether you’re using 3S or 4S power.

THE LAST WORD
The Voltage 500 is the ultimate machine to practice and enjoy 3D flying without having to worry about costly crash mistakes. It has an ultra low parts count making it simple and affordable to repair with the average crash costing less than $20-$30. With its incredibly robust and simple design even a beginner can get it flying in hours. I was impressed from the second I opened the box and put it into its first hover. I really enjoy flying the Voltage 500 around my yard and turning heads at the local flying fields. I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to make the transition from a coaxial helicopter to something more maneuverable with the flight characteristics of a collective pitch 3D helicopter. It is very fast and responsive when you want it, but can be dialed down by just decreasing your end points or adding expo for a great docile 3D trainer. You could even mount a Mobius action camera on the bottom for some cool aerial video. In my opinion, I found this quad to be a winner in this very competitive market.

CONTACTS

FLIGHT POWER flightpowerbatteries.com, (888) 598-8037
HELI-MAX helimaxrc.com, (217) 398-8970
HOBBICO hobbico.com, (217) 398-8970

 

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