Heli-Max Novus FP N200 Review

Heli-Max discontinued the Novus 125FP, and has now released the Novus FP N200 – a bigger fixed pitch helicopter for heli pilots transitioning from coaxial flight. We’ve been curious as to what Heli-Max has been up to so we took one for a spin to see for ourselves. Check out the review…

Intro and Flight Footage
5X5 Review Scoring

 

Summary

The Novus FP N200 brings a completely different design than the 125FP series helicopters from Heli-Max. Not that this is a bad thing, but we were quite happy with the 125FP and considered it a benchmark for true micro flight in it’s class. When the N200 showed up, we were extremely curious to see if our expectations would be met or if we’d be looking fondly back at the old 125FP.

Out of the box the N200 is ready to go and upon initial spin-up it ran smooth and glitch free. Entering into a hover (in my living room, mind you) was completely non-eventful and the N200 settled into a beautiful hover very comfortably. Power was about half throttle for lift off and strafing and slow rotation was well under control in a confined space, but this is not the intention of the design so it was time to go outside.

Our test day had winds gusting upwards of 7MPH so we knew it would be an interesting flight for such a tiny platform. Once we got into a hover the N200 dusted off the breeze like a champ. A quick 180o turn and we were tracking downwind with the tail rotor buzzing like a bumble bee fighting the tailwind. As we banked left and entered a downwind turn to a solid crosswind, the N200 brushed that off as well. Curious. So, feeling completely confident, we turning directly into the wind and experienced the first utterance of disagreement from the N200: too much wind, not enough cyclic!

After see-sawing back and forth, tracking left and right angles against the headwind, I was able to get the N200 to creep forward despite the constant onslaught of a strong headwind. The N200 was actually doing pretty well. After flying the pattern a bit, I learned how to manage the wind, when to turn, and what angles worked best for keeping up my forward speed. The challenge with any fixed pitch helicopter is that if you’re at the extent of your cyclic control, the only way to increase authority is to increase throttle. This, however, results in altitude gain and for us that meant stronger winds. With a little finesse, the N200 was working the wind like a pro.

Forward flight is easy and quite fast, especially on calmer days. You will “out-fly the rotor” if you get too aggressive so just keep in mind that you’re flying a FP heli with under-cambered blades and counterweights (instead of paddles) and you’ll do fine. Tail authority was good with very crisp response. Often times you find yourself fighting sluggish response from fixed-pitch tail rotors, but I had good symmetry regardless of rotational direction. I found the tail to be a little wiggly downwind, but never developed a full “wag”, even after quick tail snaps in either direction. The non-adjustable head-lock gyro did a good job of keeping things under control. Reverse flying is manageable, but nothing like a CP or any bird with constant speed variable pitch tail rotors. None the less, it’s easily stable enough for skill progression without running the risk of forming any bad habits.

Overall, I found the N200 to be a comfortable fixed pitch platform with ridiculously generous runtimes. The all-metal head was a good choice and gave the cyclic very crisp and solid response, adding to the confidence you’ll build as a transitioning pilot.

Kurt

5X5 Review Scoring

Model Characteristics

Build as Advertised:

Build Instructions and Advertised Difficulty...
5 / 5

Finish:

Covering, Paint, Plastic and Decals...
4.5 / 5

Power:

Specified Powerplant Performance...
4 / 5

Ground Handling:

Landing Gear, Floats, and Hovering...
5 / 5

Durability:

Model Impact and Transportation Durability...
5 / 5

Pilot Experience

Flight as Advertised:

Flight Experience As Compared To Marketing
4 / 5

Flight Time:

Flight Duration Of Recommended Powerplant
5 / 5

Field Size:

2 Brothers Flying Site Recommendation
Large Park/Field

Portability:

How Easily The Model Transports Without Damage
5 / 5

Skill Level:

2 Brothers Recommended Skill Level
Beginner - Interm.

Model Specifications

Model Type:

RTF

Weight:

5.8 oz (165 g)

Length:

16.5 in (420 mm)

Main Rotor:

15.3 in (390 mm)

Motor Design:

Brushed DC

Construction:

Plastic/CF

Radio Channels:

4

Included Charger:

2S Balancing LiPo w/AC Adapter

Included Battery:

2S 1000mAh LiPo

Needed Items:

(8) "AA" Batteries for Tx

Street Price:

$164.97 USD

Special Features:

Metal Rotor Head

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10 Responses to Heli-Max Novus FP N200 Review

  1. avatar gerard m weaver says:

    Been flying mine for about two weeks and I`am pleased with it. I like the size, it fits my yard. I`am not new to helicopters, the first thing I noticed was the amount of lost motion in the swash plate, with that noted it is still controllable. I don`t spend much time trimming, just pick it up and fly. I`am a bit concerned with heat both in main motor and tail motor, I have not had any issues with them, but they get hot. I keep my flying time to about 8 minutes, it will fly longer than that, but I won`t. It is much better in a light wind than the 120 SR and even some of the bigger co-axles. The tail holds well. I like to fly where their is a lot of room, give me a 200 foot square and I`am happy.

    GMWeaver

  2. avatar ChrisFlysRC says:

    Kurt,

    I just joined the website and you both review airplanes and helicopters great. I am new into flying helicopters and flying the Novus FP N200. I just swithched it to high rates and its so stable it hovers like a pro in my living room. I have been searching online for a starter training helicopter and this makes heli flying and relaxing. I know its a fixed pitch and stable as a training helicopter. I had the helimax MD 500 and its not as stable and smaller and tough to fly indoors. Anyway, Id like a suggestion on a next helicopter after this 200 Model. Helimax has a larger version in the 400 size. I just want to buy a new radio everytime a buy a helicopter. I am currently using a Spectrum DX7 and have been flying airplanes for six years.
    I have the included radio with the Novus 200 and wondered if you can use it wit more than one than one model?

    Helimax has the 400 size model is that a good choice to upgrade from this 200 size? With all the websites out there like Horizon, Xheli, helipro and others it get confusion on where to buy a quailty helicopter to upgrade from fixed pitch. I went to Tower Hobbies and saw the helicopter and read and watched your review and it sold me on how good it fly. Flying it on my own I was shocked on the stability of this fixed pitch helicopter. Great stability for the beginner and even for the expert to just enjoy flying.

    I just can’t belive how stable this helicopter is. It make me look like a expert flying indoors here in PA at a indoor flying area.

    • avatar Kurt Gornek says:

      Hi Chris, thanks for joining the site and for your feedback. The Tx included with the N200 appears to be on it’s own. Walkera has made a good majority of the Heli-Max products for Hobbico, but I’m not sure if the N200 is the same. It was missing the tell-tale TAGS systems that is from Walkera so I think the radio is a dead-end. As for another Heli, CP and around the 400 size, the Blade 450X was a monster – both in value and performance. They offer it BNF so since you already have a DX7…you’d be saving a bunch of money. We did a review of the 450X and it was very impressive. We haven’t reviewed the Axe 400, so I can’t attest to the flight performance.

      Hope this helps with your decision and good luck!

  3. avatar ChrisFlysRC says:

    Thanks Kurt for the Reply. I can check out your review on the Blade 450 as far as upgrading to my next Helicopter. It’s great its larger for the upgrade from the Novus. I hope its as fun to fly as the Novus 200 was and has just as good of flight times. Id like to add it to my DX 7 which make is more convenient since I fly alot of airplane and the Spectrum radio has 20 model memory.

    One more comment about the Novus 200 the flight times are great especially when flying inside during the winter months. I would have like a brushless motor in the Novus 200 but the brushed motor they added has good performance.

    Chris

  4. avatar Lelo says:

    I have 2 Novus 200 FP’s. I enjoy the way they fly, even in windy conditions. Fairly sturdy machine, and easy to learn to fly. The ONLY drawback I have is the flybar mounted underneath the rotor blades. Upon an abrupt nose-up, the flybar will most certainly damage the canopy and on an abrupt nose-down will cause damage to the tail boom mount. Otherwise, a nice flying heli!

  5. avatar Lelo says:

    So Kurt. Which heli would you recommend? The Align T-Rex 250 PRO DFC or the bigger 450 PRO DFC. Since I have damaged my Heli-Max AXE 100 CP after MANY hours in the sky, I wanted to upgrade to a nicer heli. The 100 CP is an excellent and relatively inexpensive CP to learn on. Also, which of the Align heli’s lasts longer in the air per battery?

    • avatar Kurt Gornek says:

      Well, that’s an unfair question: I graduated to CP heli flight on a Trex 450:) I still think it’s the best size to really learn larger CP flight. It’s powerful enough to slice you to shreds, so you stay on your toes. You also have to fly them in a bigger space and they’re very precise. All these habits will walk you into the next level with some great piloting skills. I went from a 450 to a 600, then a 700 very comfortably. Now when I test fly 130′s, 250′s and even smaller micros, I have to remind myself to rate them based on their class. The larger the heli, the more stable the flight. The 250 Align was sought after pretty aggressively when they first released but relative to the long standing popularity and success of the 450, it’s no comparison. As for flight time they both offer heli-class running: 6-8 minutes average, less or more depending on flight mode and maneuvers. Either one will offer a very different experience than the 100CP. The 450 will open you up to a whole new level. Hope this helps!

  6. avatar Lelo says:

    OK. Thanks for the info. I’ll go for the 450 class. Brand new X3G programming.

  7. avatar HollywoodRCGeek says:

    I’ve been trying to learn to fly RC helis for… well, a really long time. I gave it up in frustration after purchasing an EF Sabre FP which was an absolute nightmare to try to learn on, eventually leaving it on the curb on top of the recycle bin. For years I went back to my Losi and Associated brushless buggies. Finally, after my wife kept getting me coaxials because she saw how much I enjoyed playing with one in a Brookstone once, I looking for a used heli on Craigslist and ran across a Heli-Max Novus N200 FP a kid was selling because he wanted to get a brushless motor for his seaplane. After so many years of playing around with twin blades, I was hovering within an hour and within two days I was in a slight wind, confidently doing turns and criss-crossing the yard. I’m LOVING this helicopter. I downloaded FMS (Again) and though the physics isn’t flawless, it doesn’t need to be- it’s actually far more difficult to ‘fly’ a T-Rex in FMS than it is to actually fly the N200 in a mild breeze, so working in the sim for a hour, then walking outside with fresh batteries to actually fly is like taking an easy break.

    Seriously BIG kudos to 2 Brothers- it was because of your review that I bought this heli from the kid. I was actually going to pass because I was going to try collective, but after I searched the Net for the “Novus N200 FP”, you guys were the first result and your review was so well done, I instantly felt you guys were credible and that this was a good investment at, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, $75 complete. (Ok, so I had to buy a new lipo and linkage set. A huge investment which set me back a whopping $20.)

    There is ZERO lag between tail input and response, (excellent gyro and very powerful amidships-mounted secondary motor drives a shaft to the tail-rotor.) the aircraft is RIDICULOUSLY tough and the replacement parts are so cheap they’re almost free. I should note that the only reason I’ve started crashing is that after only 72 hours of flying this heli, I’m now hauling… bass… across the yard trying to make that awesome sound the main-rotor makes when you take hard turns or stop quickly under full-throttle. It’s insane how amazing this helicopter is. I am seriously thinking about buying a half-dozen or so of them to give to my friends, and at under $200, it won’t break the bank. Where else can you have so much for for so doggoned little cash?

    If I may be so bold, Hobbico, I’m about to make you a lot of money; next Christmas, market this heli through adverts and mega-retailers OUTSIDE the hobby industry, where most of the coaxial market lies. You’ll drive huge numbers into the hobby shops to buy parts (Actually, probably within 24 hours of ownership to buy that additional LiPo…) and to transition to CP.

    I started this at 4am, begging for daylight…

    • avatar Kurt Gornek says:

      Congrats! Thanks for your candid feedback. So many aspiring heli pilots miss the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of finally “getting it”. That moment when your brain, your fingers, and the heli come together. We’ve had a lot of people write in about the N200 with positive experiences. Having scored it high on the review, it’s most gratifying to hear about everyone else’s success based on our experience. Thanks again for your feedback and happy flying!

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