frame can deform from the blades hitting the rudders.
number of small helicopters available on the market has
boomed over the past few years, thanks to the development
of very light power packages and great improvement on
the stabilization systems. Yet, the structure had to be
kept as light as possible, and it is rare to find a scale
looking helicopter in this size category. Helimax came
to our rescue with this very nice scale model of the EuroCopter
EC145. And with the multi-mission EC145 helicopter used
today by firefighters, police and EMS teams "coming to
the rescue", it is a very relevant model to have!
Helimax offers the EC145 in two versions: the RTF which
comes with the transmitter, and the Tx-R with which you
will need to use your own transmitter.
we are testing the EC145 RTF version, which means that
we will have the chance to test the provided TX610 transmitter
usual with Helimax, the packaging is very well made, and well decorated.
components are secured in their own compartment to prevent
any damage during transportation.
kit includes: the EC145, assembled and ready to fly, the TX610
transmitter, the charger with the wall adapter, a battery, a
screwdriver and the manual.
version: $200 TX-R
twin-engine Eurocopter EC145 has served
in a variety of roles, including emergency
medical service and search-and-rescue efforts,
but is perhaps best utilized as a corporate
has replicated the EC145 in a 1/43 scale
electric model with extensive scale detail
that you have to see up close to believe.
The injection-molded body alone includes
rivets, windows, turbine exhausts, tie downs,
door outlines and more.
look at this exceptional machine will have
you wanting to fly it ? and its smooth,
stable performance will have you flying
with confidence. Both the RTF and Tx-R versions
come with a LiPo flight battery and charger,
so you're just minutes away from piloting
this well-appointed machine!
helicopter comes with a single-cell 600mAh battery,
and its charger. Providing the wall adapter for
the charger is a nice touch from Helimax. The TX610,
which comes with the RTF kit, is a very capable
radio has all the features you want on a 6 channel
transmitter. It has 10 model memories, and supports
both helicopter and plane. The transmitter features
the 2.4Ghz SLT modulation by TACTIC, and will operate
most, if not all, models by Flyzone and Helimax.
All the functions are easily accessible, with large
switches. There is a switch protected by a cover
that allows to easily convert the stick modes. This
switch enables the spring and ratchet on the corresponding
stick. That is cleverly made, and enables switching
from mode 1 to mode 2 without opening the transmitter. The
radio is equipped with a trainer port as well.
radio is powered by 8 AA batteries, which are not
included. It would be easy to convert the radio
to a 8-cell NiMh battery if a pilot one found the
option attractive. One of the key feature of the
EC145 is the scale looking 4-blade rotor head, which
is very well made and very robust. It is not as
common to see a 4-blade rotor on a micro-heli, and
it is nice to see a manufacturer going out of their
comfort zone and deciding to develop a new head
instead of re-using a proven 2-blade design.
On the ground, this makes a huge visual impact!
fuselage is made of light molded plastic. The plastic
is thin, and yet very durable. The front end of
the fuselage is held on by 2 magnets. It has to
be removed to change the battery. The tail rotor
is a direct drive DC motor.
EC145 is equipped with an all-in-one board, that
acts as the receiver, the motor control and the
stabilization system. The actuators are all miniature
size digital servos, and the main motor is brushless.
Helimax really used quality components all-around
in this model. You can see a detailed description
of the components on the illustrations below:
The EuroCopter 145 is quite commonly used to carry
people and light equipment to offshore platforms, and
we are coming to you from Houston. Saying that the oil and
gas industry plays an important role in Houston's economy
would be a massive understatement and the introduction of
Helimax's EC145 excited many RC pilots in this city who are
used to seeing these Helis around town. To be fair, the EC145
is the VIP version of the offshore helis we commonly see in
this city, but hey, close enough!
Taking off is a breeze: the pilot just has to increase the
throttle, and the EC145 takes off nice and straight. As for
any helicopter, the rotor has to be brought slowly to lifting
speed, and then more firmly to get the helicopter airborne.
The helicopter might turn slightly clockwise, as it takes
off, the time for the stabilization system to adjust to the
sudden loss of grip from the ground.
Once in the air, the EC145 flies with the stability
we are now used to with the TAGS system. The heli hovers with
little correction from the pilot, even in a light breeze.
The gain was kept at the recommended value, and we didn't
feel the need to adjust it. The tail stays straight, even
on hard throttle input. The 4-blade head with the flybarless
is noticeably more stable than a two-blade flybarred head
and even resists small bumps by the wind.
The transitions are clean and fast. The helicopter is capable
of impressive speed for its size.
Ok, Aerobatic and 3D flight might not be what the designers
had in mind when they developed this tiny scale machine, and
yet, the EC145 performs decently well. With a push of the
"gear up" switch, the radio adjusts the throttle curve and
the collective pitch so it gets neutral when the stick is
half way. That allows for control of both negative and positive
pitch, and opens up the flight envelop to up-side-down flight.
The helicopter performs ok in this conditions, but it is not
a high performance 3D machine, and power might be lacking
at some critical points.
The structure of the helicopter, and more specifically the
flexibility of the tail boom, makes the EC145 very touchy
on landing. If the helicopter is not brought down for a perfectly
smooth landing, there is a high chance the blades hit the
two rudders, dislodging them from their locating slots. That
is easy to repair, but it is nicer if it doesn't happen. On
a calm day, it is actually quite easy to bring the helicopter
to a stop with no damage at all.
The Heli-Max EC145
brought us a very well-designed and accurate scale
version of the Eurocopter EC145, and they did it without
compromising the flight performance. I really appreciate
the number of details Heli-Max managed to incorporate
in the helicopter, such as the rivets, the windows,
the effort made to get the canopy to blend in with
no visible separation, and, more than anything else,
the very good-looking and well-performing 4-blade
collective pitch rotor-head.
am only a little disappointed with the overall frame
rigidity which could have been made stiffer, to prevent
the blades from hitting the two rudders on landing.
stability and the flight envelop is better than anyone
would expect from a scale helicopter, and that alone
makes the design of this helicopter a success.
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.