Remote Control Helicopters
Types of RC Helicopters
If you are in the market for purchasing an RC helicopter, we have everything you need to know to make the optimum purchase. The market of RC helicopters can seem overwhelming to someone who doesn’t already have some background knowledge. Whether you collect them, fly them, or study them, we have everything you need to know from the different popular types of RC helicopters, to things to look for when purchasing one, and how to fly them. If you are looking to purchase a good quality helicopter at a great price, check out our article Best RC Helicopter Under $150. Below is the everything-guide to RC helicopters:
A toy helicopter is a relatively inexpensive, easy to use RC helicopter. This type of copter comes with limited controls, making it simple for a beginner or child. They are usually safe for indoor play and durable enough for outdoors. If you want something inexpensive and that is not complicated or hard to learn, start off with a toy helicopter.
Micro Single Rotor
A Micro Single Rotor is more difficult to fly than other RC helicopters, however, it is recommended for beginners to start off with. This device is a traditional single rotor RC helicopter, which means it has only one set of chops. It is essentially a lot harder to master, but a beginner needs to start somewhere!
Collective Pitch RC Copters
A collective pitch helicopter means the angle of “attack” of the main rotors changes to control lift, and the motor/engine speed of the rotor stays constant. These types of helicopters are more for advanced flyers because it is much harder to control. Collective helicopters require greater control because they can roll and smash into the ground if they are not constantly staying stabilized by the pilot.
A quadrocopter is usually known for performing video projects or Go Pro experiments. These are RC helicopters with four propellers that enable a variety of movements and tricks. Due to their four propellers, it flies smoothly and effortlessly, which is why people use it for video projects. Although it is one of the most expensive RC helicopter types (costing up to around $5,000), it performs an impressive amount of movements that include vertical takeoff, hover, and turns.
Things to Look for While Buying RC Helicopters
Once you have decided which type of RC helicopter fits your needs, the next important step to take is figuring out what to look for when buying one. There are five aspects that are crucial to understanding when in the market. Understanding these five aspects of RC helicopters will help you choose the best one:
Number of Channels
If you don’t already know, RC helicopters are always receiving radio signals from your controller to translate it into movement. This means each action requires a single transmission channel. If you are looking for a beginner helicopter, you want one with fewer channels, but if you are an advanced flyer, you need a more sophisticated RC copter that will have more channels. The most basic “starter” helicopters have only two channels: speed and the yaw. With more advanced helicopters you will have channels for reverse, sideways, and forward and backward movements.
All radio-sourced technologies need a power source in order to run. It’s important to understand that some RC helicopters run on glow fuel, electric batteries, or gasoline. The most common power source is glow fuel, which is a combination of nitromethane and methanol. Glow fuel is proven to provide more flight time and no limit for height for helicopters that use it. When choosing an RC helicopter it’s a good idea to look for the type of power source it requires before purchasing.
Availability of Parts
If you are a die-hard RC helicopter flyer, and you’re willing to invest a lot of your time and money in a helicopter, then the availability of its parts is a crucial consideration. All radio control helicopters require intensive care and maintenance; every flyer already knows this! However, while you’re searching to buy your next helicopter, make sure it is easy to replace certain parts regularly. Performing frequent flying can put a lot of wear and tear on the devices, so you want to be able to have easy and quick access to replace worn out or damaged parts. What parts of an RC helicopter often needs replacement? The wash plate, batteries, canopy, landing skids, and main shaft are the most common replacements you will run into.
While many RC helicopters come in a large variety of different designs and materials, it’s important to know which ones are most effective. The most common materials are plastic, carbon fiber, aluminum, and glass-reinforced plastic. Most helicopters need to be light weight if you want them to fly and hold power efficiently. When buying the right helicopter for you, make sure its structure is one of the above four options so it can fly well but still be sturdy enough to withstand crashes. If you are a beginner, choose a more durable model made out of plastic because you will be doing a lot more crashing than you might think. If you are an advanced flyer, go with more lightweight models for faster responses.
Accessories and Add-ons
Most RC helicopters come with additional accessories built in or that come separately in the box. The most popular add-on feature today is having a camera mount for those who want to take aerial shots and aren’t able to afford to ride around in a real helicopter. Some helicopters come with wireless cameras, although they might not be the best quality cameras such as a GoPro or HD camera. Some people use this feature for surveillance as well, and in that case, an RC helicopter with a wireless camera is perfect for you.
How to Fly
That last step before achieving full knowledge on RC helicopter is learning how they fly. Below are some helpful tips on how to best use your helicopter:
• Fly in the right surroundings (know your surroundings first)
• Read the user’s manual
• Be a gentle and patient pilot
• Enjoy the fun in flying
• Practice makes perfect!