The double-stacked frames allow plenty of room for receiver installation.
The Voltage 500
As you might have guessed from its
name, the Voltage 500 is a 500-class
quadcopter. If you are wondering what
500 stands for, the multirotor measures
500mm from one motor to the other
diagonally across. This 3-D quad is larger
than others on the market.
I instantly liked its unique canopy
design. Its shape will be identifiable no
matter what the aircraft’s orientation is.
The bright red color also helps with
visibility in the air. The canopy is a light
Lexan shell, similar to what is used on
RC cars, and is held in place with four
rubber O-rings that simply slide off
of the four canopy arms on the motor
boom/arms. You don’t have to remove
the canopy to insert the flight battery. It’s
slung under the multirotor and held in
place with Velcro straps.
Under the hood, I found a lightweight
double-stacked fiberglass framework.
The motor booms/arms are made out
of carbon-fiber tubing, much like a
helicopter boom. Each one is clamped in
place with an aluminum clamp. The four
boom clamps also keep the upper and
lower frames separated.
On the lower frame are the key
electronic components. These consist of
the power-distribution board, the flight
controller, and the four 25-amp ESCs.
The power-distribution board is
situated in the center of the frame
underneath the flight controller. This
board supplies power to the ESCs and
flight controller. The flight battery is
plugged into the power-distribution
board then distributes the power to the
rest of the electronics.
The flight controller features a USB
port (more on that later), and a receiver
output that supports S.Bus, XBus,
DSM2, DSMX, DSMJ, and PWM (with
an optional S.Bus Encoder). A second
plug is used to power your receiver from
the flight controller’s built-in BEC. Each
ESC has a plug that goes directly into the
flight controller, and the motor wires run
through the carbon-fiber boom and plug
into each ESC. The ESCs have a series
of status LEDs on the bottom, which are
visible from underneath the airframe.
The 1,400 Kv motors are mounted to
lightweight aluminum motor mounts,
which aid in cooling. Each has a plastic
landing gear leg attached to it—two
red at the front and two black at the
rear. The propellers are held on by two
screws, and have a hole in the center
that mounts over the motor’s main
shaft that protrudes from the top of the
These propellers are big—measuring
8. 9 inches from tip to tip. They appear
to be unique to the Helimax Voltage
because I couldn’t find a match to any
other propeller. They come in pairs, an
A and a B, both of which are clearly
marked with a molded letter on the
top of each. If you are unsure of which
propeller goes where, the instruction
manual has a handy diagram that
illustrates the direction.
The Flight Controller
The flight controller supports
many outputs. I had a spare Futaba
R6202SBW, which is an S.Bus-compatible receiver, so I was able to run
a single cable from the flight controller to
I used a piece of 3M Dual Lock to
attach my receiver to the back of the
quadcopter, affixing the antennas in
such a way that they protruded out of
the back of the aircraft. For the sake of
“what if,” I dropped a little blob of hot
glue onto the receiver plug going into
the flight controller to ensure that it
wouldn’t accidentally unplug during any
rigorous maneuvers. You can also use this
same plug if you are utilizing JR’s XBus
For those using satellite receivers on
DSM2, DSMX, or DSMJ, there are
two satellite ports into which you can
plug satellite receivers. There is also a
reset button in the middle of the flight
controller, just in case it gets confused
and locks up (which mine hasn’t done to
Model type: Receiver-ready quadcopter
Size: 19. 7 inches (500mm)
Width: 14. 9 inches
Blade length: 8. 9 inches
Weight: 32 ounces without battery
Motors: Four 1,400 Kv reversible
Needed to Five-channel radio/receiver;
complete: three- to four-cell LiPo
battery and charger
• Orientation-friendly canopy design.
• Built-in bailout feature.
• Multiple options for flight battery.
• Spare propeller set included in the box.
• Power—and plenty of it.
• Motor mounts might not handle crashes
AT A GLANCE ...
Photos by the author
64 Model Aviation MAY 2016