in small rotorcrafts, and the 1SQ model is among the
smallest of the line. This quadcopter is ideal for
both beginner flyers who are newly immersed to the
fascinating world of helicopters, and more experienced
heli-flyers who just want to have fun flying their
1SQ around the house or the yard.
This model is a small 4-axis gyro-stabilized quadcopter
which uses the same stabilization system that Helimax
implemented on other models in their lines of helicopters
including the Axe 100 CP/FP. The commercial name of
this system is TAGs, for Triple Axis Gyro Stabilization.
The quad is available in two versions: Ready to Fly
(RTF), where the transmitter is included, and Transmitter
Ready (Tx-R), which allows you to use your own transmitter.
Today we are testing the latter version.
Use AnyLink with your own
stable in all situations, from indoor to light wind outdoors.
HeliMax 1SQ includes a reusable transit box useful for
transportation and storage. To use your own transmitter,
couple the Tx-R version with the AnyLink Module manufactured
versions of the quad (Tx-R and RTF) and included accessories
are nicely packaged in a plastic see-through tray, fitted
with vacuum-formed indentions for added protection. The
storage tray also includes an indention to store the remote
control below your quad. As seen above, the see-through
packaging cleverly gives the appearance that the quad
is what you will find in the box:
battery (1s 250 mAh).
special charger, powered by a USB port.
Phillips screw driver.
Heli-Max 1SQ -
Price: $79.98 (Tx-R)
independently controlled rotor blades
make the 1SQ easy to fly indoors or outdoors
in light winds
Axis Gyro Stabilization stabilizes all
three axis for total control under all
250mAh LiPo battery
compatible battery charger
plastic and composite materials for high
1SQ is unlike any other quadcopter ?
and not just because of its compact size.
A ?TAGS? 3-axis gyro system,
combined with 4 independently controlled
rotor blades, makes this machine so stable
anyone can fly it. It?s very durable,
capable of outdoor flight in light winds,
and is available Ready-To-Fly and Transmitter-Ready.
Both versions come with a LiPo flight battery,
charger and extra blades: the RTF also includes
a 4-channel 2.4GHz radio with SLT.
= width =
with Battery =
1SQ operates on a 250mAh 1-Cell battery (included).
The accessories also include a battery charger,
which can be powered by a computer or cell-phone
charger USB port. Also included is a set of replacement
propellers, and a Phillips screwdriver. This last
item is not needed to fly the quad initially,
but will come in handy if ever one of the motor
mount gets broken.
USB-powered battery charger works well if you
are home as you most likely have a computer with
a USB port available. Now, if you are outside,
or at the local flying field, don't forget your
cell phone charger! It is quite unlikely that
your usual battery charger comes with a USB port
in it. We have found that the spacing of the connector
matches the pins of a servo lead. A quick-and-dirty
trick is to remove the cover on the male side
of servo extension lead, and insert the pin into
the battery connector enabling you to charge the
battery on your lipo battery charger (setting:
Lipo, 3.7V, 300-400mA). Be very carefull with
the polarity if you decide to build your own adaptor.
If you don't feel confident making your own, Helimax
has an adaptor on its catalog: Heli-Max Battery
Plug Adapter w/JST Plug, ref HMXE2123.
quad is delivered with a racy vaccum-formed canopy,
nicely shaped for easy finding of the orientation
in flight. Orientation is critical with quads,
due to the perfectly symetrical design. Helimax
addressed this issue with color-coded props, and
a distinctive protrusion of the cockpit towards
the front. The brain of the machine is the micro-chip
in the middle of the electronic board, a 32-bit
ARM micro controller. The gyros are located on
the left: a 3-axis MEMS gyroscope similar to those
you can find in smart phones and tablets. Motor
controllers and the receiver are located on the
other side of the board. All in all, the nice
and dense layout enables this aircraft to be light
transmitter alone can only do so much.
But a transmitter with AnyLink?
can do wonders. It's so revolutionary
that a patent is already pending, and
so simple to use that it takes only
seconds to add. Yet, once it?s
installed, your transmitter will be
able to fly:
Tx-R? (Transmitter-Ready?) airplanes;
electric aircraft equipped with a 2.4GHz SLT? receiver.
that?s not the only amazing thing about AnyLink. Here are three more:
works with virtually any transmitter, regardless of brand, band or
enables your transmitter to send out a true, 2.4GHz signal ? and
operate with all of the interference-free dependability of a
frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum system.
offers all of the convenience, versatility and benefits listed above
for far less than the cost of a new 2.4GHz radio system.
receiver is embedded on the board, so it cannot be changed.
To control the quad, Helimax proposes to either use
the dedicated transmitter in the RTF version, or your
own with the Tx-R version. To adapt the signal from
your transmitter to something the quad can understand,
the module AnyLink by Tactic has to be used.
module is really easy to set up, and will work with
any transmitter, as long as it is equipped with a training
port. Three radios were available for the test: two
Futaba and one Hitec Optic 6 sport. One of the Futaba
only has 4 axis (6 axis are needed for the 1SQ) and
the AnyLink module doesn't come by default with the
right connector for the Hitec (it exists, but must be
ordered separately). The test was only done with the
is no assembly required with this quad, but it is strongly
encouraged read the manual! (you can find it online on
HeliMax website. Direct link here).
Setup your radio in helicopter
mode and set the swash to H1. In that mode, there is
no coupling between the different axis of control on the radio.
On the Futaba T10, all of these settings can be found
under the "parameter" section.
If the transmitter is set in plane mode, instead of heli mode,
the gyroscope sensivity will not be controlled, and you might
end up with a very reactive little 1SQ.
gyro setting really depends on the radio, and the standard
applied. Following our test, we recommend to start with a
low setting for the gyro, and increase from there. A good
starting point for the Futaba 10CP is 45% STD. At this setting
the quad is easy to fly, and well behaved. Yet, it will nicely
accelerate if you ask it to.
With the gyro set at 60% STD, the quad becomes more aerobatic.
You will have to push it to 70% to be able to perform a flip
or a loop.
We used the gyro set at 35% to keep the quad perfectly steady
for the photo shoot.
can confidently say that as this quad requires no assembly,
this was the quickest box to air transition; talk about
instant gratification. Only settings needed pre-flight are binding
the receiver and setting the radio in the right mode, and of
you go! The quad flew right out of the box in the workshop.
I was first impressed with the stability of the 1SQ. Then, quickly
after, I was even further impressed with the robustness of the
little machine.The airframe is very strong and resilient and
will take some abuse before giving up. The light weight of the
quad helps reduce the load on impact.
With the precision and accuracy of the quad, the house becomes
the theater of many fun games: spot landing on the bar stool,
speed racing around the dining table, or (my favorite) going
through the blade of the ceiling fan and landing on one of them
without hitting the ceiling. Make sure there is no one to turn
the fan on as you play that game... there are limits to the
robustness of this machine!
The 1SQ also proved to be equally as fun and stable when flying
outside. The gain can be pushed to higher settings, as we can
cover more ground to recover from a less-than-perfect maneuver.
The quad's power can only be truly seen when flown outside:
going full throttle shows a very impressive climb rate. The
machine is capable of nice and fast speed passes. Take good
care though, the small size of the quad will make it difficult
to control if brought too far away.
The quad is capable of some acrobatic manouvers. Basically,
any stunt that does not require the machine to fly inverted
is possible. The 1SQ can perform a loop from level flight, but
it requires some skills to make it nice and almost round. The
gain has to be raised up slightly. We found that 60-70% is reasonnable
as above this it takes some work to recover from a stunt.
A first and simpler approach for a tilt/loop is to bring the
1SQ to one-or-two-mistakes high, apply full throttle to gain
some "going upward" speed, and pull the elevator. As soon as
the machine starts tilting, the power has to be reduced to roughly
3/4, otherwise the quad will loose altitude rather quickly during
the up-side-down phase of the maneuver. It is important not
to cut power entirely, as all rotors would stop at once. The
elevator can be centered once the quad is leveled back again.
Every thing happens in a split second, so it takes some practice
to get the timing right. If you go full ailerons, the quad will
do the same maneuver but sideways.
The quad was tested in many different situations (outdoors,
indoors, no wind, light wind and, say, stronger wind) and performed
very well in all. After multiple flights, the only negative
point found was that the flight time is rather short. A normal
flight lasts roughly 3 minutes, depending on how agressive you've
been with the throttle. Better get some extra batteries to maximize
the fun at the field.
Stable, you can let go of the remote! :-)
Photos, Videos and flight
by Burc Simsek, David Smith and Laurent Caekebeke
The 1SQ is one of those aircraft
that grows on you as you spent time flying it. At first,
the size of the quad looks attractive, similar to those
tiny helicopters that became extremely popular several years
back. The flight envelope of the 1SQ and its strength vastly
outperformed anything I have seen in this category of small
aircrafts. Despite its small size, the quad is capable of
both intricate maneuvers and stable precision flying.
During the course of the review, many pilots of different
skill levels had a go with the 1SQ, from the weathered 3D
heli pilot, to the complete beginner. I can say for sure
that all pilots had fun with the quad, whether it was just
to learn the basics of hovering or performing loops and
tilt as low as possible. All in all, the Helimax 1SQ is
a success, and I would not be surprised if this quad becomes
a reference for stability and controllability. Let's encourage
Helimax to increase the flight time or include a spare battery
in the next revision of this machine!
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O. Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021 www.greatplanes.com/
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.