RCU Review: Ares Exera 130CX

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    Contributed by: Geoff Barber | Published: June 2014 | Views: 21575 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Ares Excera 130CX
    Geoff Barber

    Email Me

    Distributed by:
    Firelands Group LLC
    2919 Crossing Court, Suite 2
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (866) 410-0921

    It seems that everywhere I look, I see 'toy' helicopters. All the stores are carrying the latest models of the little coaxial helis - the problem is that they are just what they're being sold as - toys. When it comes to hobby grade coaxial helicopters, there's several on the market as well. The dual rotors make these helis easier to fly, but Ares has taken the beginner's curve a step farther! Interested? Read on to find out what makes the new Exera 130CX even easier to fly than a standard coaxial helicopter!

    In addition to dual rotors, Ares has implemented their new Altitude Assist Technology, or AAT. This new AAT system allows beginner pilots three learning modes to make their first flights easy. The best part of this technology is that the modes are changed on the helicopter via a switch, rather than through programming in the transmitter!

    • Altitude Assist Technology
    • Fully Assembled
    • Box Doubles as Carrying Case
    • Transmitter and Charger Included
    • Spare Parts Available

    • None as Tested

    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Assemble:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?

    Name:Ares Exera 130CX

    Price: $119.99 (Accurate at time of review)

    Stock Number: AZSZ2000

    Rotor Diameter: 10.5 in (265 mm)
    Length: 9.6 in (245 mm)
    Weight (With Battery): 4.8 oz (135 g)
    Radio Used: Included 4-Channel Micro Transmitter

    Battery Used: Included 3.7 V 700 mAh LiPo (Included)
    Channels Used: 4 Total

    Items Needed To Complete:

    • Nothing - Everything is Included!

    The Exera 130CX arrived in a sturdy, colorful box that doubles as a carrying case - complete with a handle! Inside, the helicopter and all components are nestled in a Styrofoam insert to keep everything safe from damage. The Exera comes with a spare set of blades and a screwdriver, an easy to use battery charger, and even four AA batteries for the transmitter - everything needed to get the heli in the air!

    The Huges MD500 scale body is nicely detailed, and built tough to withstand beginning flights. The large battery hatch is a really nice feature - the battery connector is glued to the hatch for easy access. There are also several cooling holes in the top side of the body to keep the internal components from overheating, and the rotor head is very sturdy.

    I really like the Altitude Assist Technology (AAT). It consists of a pair of ultrasonic sensors, one on top of the body, and one on the belly, that limit the height of the Exera, depending on the flight mode chosen. Mode 1 manages the throttle setting, allowing the pilot to concentrate on the other aspects of flying. The on-board equipment will keep the heli in the air, without risk of hitting the floor or ceiling. Mode 2 is slightly more advanced, giving the pilot more freedom with the throttle, but the Exera will still avoid hitting the ceiling. Lastly, Mode 3 allows the pilot complete control, when he or she is ready to fly and manage the throttle.

    The two plastic tubes, included in with the heli, are landing gear extensions. These will allow the Exera to be flown from soft surfaces such as carpet. According to the manual, the helicopter tends to tip to the rear when flown from carpet. Rather than adding these tubes at the factory, Ares decided to add them as an accessory to keep the MD 500 body more scale in appearance.

    An AC battery charger is included, and it couldn't be easier to use. Simply plug it into an outlet, and connect the flight battery. The LED indicator on the charger lets the user know when the battery is charged. I also like that Ares includes the four AA batteries for the micro transmitter - though smaller than a traditional Transmitter, it was still quite easy to use. It's always nice when a manufacturer sends spare blades with a helicopter - though designated as a beginner's heli, it will still take some practice to avoid contact with other objects, so a spare set of blades will save that first run to the hobby shop!


    Since the Exera 130CX came out of the box completely assembled, there wasn't any assembly. But, the four AA batteries needed to be installed in the transmitter, and the flight batteries needed to be charged. When it was charged, I slid the flight battery into the holder on the hatch LABEL SIDE DOWN per the instruction manual, followed by a 180 degree twist in the battery wire, and then making the connection to the heli. This kept the wiring tidy and away from the large rotor gears. I closed the battery hatch, and the Exera 130CX was ready to fly!

    I found the digital display on the transmitter interesting. Aside from the normal things like trim readouts and servo reverse indicator, there's a large circle in the middle. This is really neat, because the stick movements are displayed in this circle as the pilot is moving the sticks.


    The manual included with the Exera 130CX was much better than I had hoped for! The illustrations are clear and the written instructions are easy to read and understand. Also inside the manual, there is a Lithium Polymer battery safety guideline. There is even a section on choosing a flying site, and the manual goes into great depth explaining the three flight modes - I must say that I was pretty impressed!

    Due to its small size, the Exera 130CX can be flown anywhere. I chose my living room and great room because it was convenient!

    I started with the heli in mode 1, which is the hover hold setting. A beginner pilot has enough to worry about when trying to keep a helicopter flying, so taking the heli's altitude out of the equation is a real asset! I pushed the throttle stick all the way to full, and the Exera took off all by itself and settled into a hover approximately two feet above the floor. Now, I still had complete control of the fore/aft and left/right cyclic functions, along with the 'rudder' function. It was easy to keep the Exera within a three to four foot diameter circle when flying in the hover hold mode.

    In mode 2 - ceiling avoidance, I was able to advance the throttle and perform a nice take-off, and still have full control of the three other functions. Flying the heli was still easy, and the ceiling avoidance system really worked! No matter how many times I tried to run the helicopter into the ceiling, it simply reduced the power and gently dropped a couple feet from the ceiling. At no point, was I able to get the top rotor less than a foot from the ceiling!

    I really enjoyed mode 3 the best, where I had complete control of the throttle and other functions. The Exera 130CX flies very nicely in this mode, and was a lot of fun! The heli moves easily without darting about - some indoor helicopters move very quickly, and are unsuitable for beginners. The Exera 130 definitely does NOT fit that description!

    All-in-all, flying the Exera 130CX is easy in any of the three flight modes, and can be enjoyed by newbies just starting out to more experienced pilots looking for a heli to fly in their living room!

    The new Ares Exera 130CX is a great little helicopter. It combines the new pilot ease of a coaxial heli with the great looks of a scale machine. The three settings will help beginners feel comfortable when flying, and the Ready to Fly package has everything needed to get in the air quickly! Ares did their homework on this one, and they ended up with a winner - Great job Ares!

    Distributed by Firelands Group LLC
    2919 Crossing Court, Suite 2
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: (866) 410-0921

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    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.

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