Beginner helicopter flight couldn’t be easier than with the Ares RC Exera 130CX coaxial helicopter with Altitude Assist Technology. Kurt and Rob check out this beginner platform in their 5×5 review.
No, coaxial flight is NOT dead. Invaluable for beginners and good for a quick fix for seasoned pilots, coaxials will live on for a long time. Ares took it one step further and decided to make micro coaxial even easier with onboard altitude assistance technology or AEGIS “AAT”. One of the toughest things to learn for new heli pilots is pitch control. On a coaxial, that means you have to apply smooth power inputs, control the cyclic AND rudder all at the same time. To ease the pain, AAT allows for a few modes of flying that eliminates at least one of the four axis.
Firing ours up from the factory was easy: charge the battery, put the AA’s in the transmitter and off you go. We did quickly discover, however, that Mode 1 (hover assistance) didn’t get us off the ground. Following the instructions, we put it into Mode 2 and ran a couple batteries through it to help break in the motors. No luck. Mode 1 resulted in our Exera unable to get off the ground. The AAT controller was just not giving the motor enough juice for lift in Mode 1 but was fine in the other modes. The next step was to follow the Mode 1 calibration instructions. After flipping the switch in the prescribed sequence, observing the flashing lights, and hovering for 4 minutes we tried Mode 1 again and…voila! Mode 1 worked. Slamming the throttle to full spun the rotors up gradually and the Exera lifted off the ground to the exact height we set during calibration.
After playing with all the flight modes it seemed the Exera was functioning as advertised. It’s not going to fly for you, but that’s not the purpose of the onboard tech. You’ll still need to trim the tail as the battery fades or after popping in a fresh one. You’ll also need to adjust the cyclic trims but those are all the lessons you need to learn if you ever want to graduate beyond coaxial flight and onto the big stuff.
Opening up the full potential of the Exera by switching into Mode 3 brought the power and response you’d want from an unleashed coaxial helicopter. Once again, Ares has delivered as promised.
Ares RC is distributed by Hobby Town USA, www.hobbytown.com