Having the best RC helicopter at home has been synonymous with fun for the whole family because not only my children use it but my wife, my father and I also get away for a few laps with it. For this reason, last Christmas I bought a ship for each one and everyone has been so delighted that we have already done a couple of competitions.
Judging from the people I’ve seen in the park doing the same thing last time I’d say we’re not the only ones susceptible to this kind of fun. It is an excellent alternative to get outdoors and learn new skills without the activity getting boring quickly as it happens with other hobbies.
The Best RC Helicopters
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What is the best RC helicopter?
If you are new, any search may be confusing, but with help everything will be easier.
I would tell you that the basic thing is that you buy a heli with good stability because there are formats so professional that not a real pilot can balance them, but that is also part of the grace.
In this comparison I prepared my favorites, all small, practical, suitable for children and adults, with excellent communication between the hand and the response of the motor and resistance to falls or accidents.
But the real difference between a good model and a bad one is in its propeller, the coaxial or twin rotor is the most popular today, and rightly so because it is a great system to drive remotely.
Here are the best RC helicopters:
1. Vococal V911 4CH 2.4G Remote Control Helicopter
With USB charging cable
Vococal RC Helicopter, V911…
It is a superior choice in the market because it is aimed at experienced people who can handle four channels and double rotor. However, if you are just starting out, you will be happy to know that its structure resists bumps and falls.
It comes with replacement propellers, double battery for flights of 6 minutes each and comes with a control with a screen that makes the difference, since it indicates the height and speed numbers during the flight.
2. EACHINE H101 3.5CH RC Helicopter
Suitable for beginner
This transmitter control is simpler since it only manages the acceleration and the direction thanks to the fact that the ship comes with an integrated gyroscope stabilizer. It has good power and great maneuverability with its superior coaxial propeller.
It is light and flexible with very good infrared communication so the response to the command will be immediate regardless of the distance. I recommend buying it as an option for children or to start the hobby for these heli.
3. Vatos 3.5CH Remote Control Helicopter
If you are starting with the remote control it can be another good option to start the hobby. It does not work in the wind, but indoors and on sunny days it flies smooth and very manageable. It can be a great option for older children, as young as 8 years old, to help them focus and coordinate their hands and eyes.
In general, it is a small model, a little larger than the palm of the hand, practical and that withstands blows against walls or falls.
4. Helicopter RC Syma S39 3CH 2.4GHz from DoDoeleph
Syma S39 Radio Control Helicopters 3 …
In my experience this is one of the most reliable and consistent RC helicopters to fly in comfort regardless of experience level. My 15 year old uses it and enjoys it as much as I or my 10 year old.
It has two flight speeds, two batteries included and a simple control. Personally, what I enjoy the most is its light search function that allows it to fly in the darkness of the afternoon and night.
5. Amewi’s RC Eurocopter Tiger 25094 Helicopter
Double starter motor
Amewi 25094 Eurocopter Tiger -…
It is a little more complex than a child model and the most similar to the famous but expensive Apache . Its combat finish gives a special touch to fun and the ease of flight will make you feel like a true warrior.
Its main advantages are its good stability, compact size and its ergonomic and simple design. As long as you keep it in the range of vision of the transmitter it will fly very well outdoors and indoors.
RC helicopter controls
FP or CP controls: what’s the difference?
To be able to determine the movements of our little heli you need to know these two formats that serve to make the device descend or ascend in the air.
The way helicopters can change their height is by changing the angle of inclination of the rotor blades. These are small upper propellers that allow air flow and that depending on their relationship with the wind can change the direction of all transport.
The first way to achieve this is with a fixed pitch change (or FP), much easier because it avoids independent controls, but more limited in terms of movement and maneuverability.
In this style, the structure of each blade is linked by a stabilizer bar that functions as a flywheel to move the entire rotor to one side or the other, a change that generates the crosses, but that prevents the blades from tipping in the longitudinal axis of its own tube.
So to be able to ascend or descend the fixed blades, the speed of the turn must be increased, that is, of the engine in general, which not only makes the device fly faster outside but also increases the suspension in the air.
However, this makes maintaining a constant height much harder to achieve.
Instead, the second model of RC helicopters is for a collective pitch (or CP). This classification means that the blades do not have a flying bar that joins them at the top and therefore can be tilted independently.
To raise the CP style makes use of this ability and makes the blades tilt allowing air to pass in a specific direction to achieve the descent or elevation. So the blades will make a collective coordinated movement without affecting the acceleration of the engine to reach the desired altitude.
It should be noted that these changes in these models are only height. To move to the right or left both types of heli use the same system of joint rotation called cyclic control.
Controls and channels
To be able to control and fly the helicopter correctly, you have to know how to do each movement and these are related to the command that you will have in your hands, with the structural capacity of the scale model, but also with the transmission channels.
In this type of device, the most common is to have 4 of these. One will be destined to move the tail rotor, in charge of counteracting the force of the upper propellers so that they raise the body in a straight way without causing the fuselage to turn on itself.
Another channel will go towards the collective control explained in the upper part, the one in charge of the ascent and descent. A third channel will be dedicated to horizontal and lateral advance, that is to say to the movement of right and left and forward or backward, this can be compared to the regular push of a car.
And finally there will be a channel for overall power or acceleration. From then on, any extra channels that your brand of helicopter brings in will handle extra movements in a more precise and specialized way.
It is a device dedicated to maintaining the direction and rotation of the tail blades against any external force that pushes it or forces it to change, such as a big wind .
To do this, the so-called accelerometer detects variations product of external forces and makes adjustments in the rotation so that the signal that the receiver captures is executed damping any inclination, unwanted torsion.
Main turn maintenance
It is a function similar to what we know as an autopilot. It consists of a more complex step than the gyroscope that not only eliminates forced deviations, but is also in charge of calculating, memorizing and projecting the direction that the helicopter takes to maintain it for an unchanged time.
This allows the device to follow a fixed course that will not change if a new order is received from the transmitter to cancel it when changing direction.
Have you ever wondered how the scale model that you are flying really works? Of course, with a motor, but this not only requires a battery with an electrical impulse but also a complex series of printed circuit boards that are integrated into a microprocessor.
In addition, they include a radio frequency receiver, a gyroscope and electronic engine speed control.
Cyclic / Collective Step Mix
It is about the configuration and link that the three servomotors that control movement within the ship have. Each one of them must be separated by 120 ° and must act together to receive and move the ailerons, the elevator and modify the pitch, which are their functions within the manipulation.
They are an RC helicopter model that instead of having a rotor shaft on the tail and another on the roof has two rotors, one on top of the other, that rotate in opposite directions and counteract the twisting force of each other. This evens out the natural torque and changes in direction are achieved with a slight change in the speed of one of the rotors.
Less controllable helicopters
These are those formats that only have two communication channels: one for the main engine speed and the other for the tail engine. This greatly limits maneuvering and stability.
I will not lie to you, they can still be flown and be very fun, they are also the cheapest on the market , but they have considerable limitations.
It is the most popular technological advance today. This system eliminates the excess of bars in the main rotor, functioning as a kind of gyroscope for this axis since it manages the stability electronically and no longer by additional mechanical components.
As a result, the propellers have fewer parts, are simpler and more aesthetic.
Basic Radio Control Helicopter Questions
If you are new or you are browsing in this world to know if you buy a toy of these or not, surely you will have many doubts and the technical explanations can be a bit complex. So we better go to something simpler.
Main types of helicopters
First you will find the basic model that is the toy one, these have a single rotor and are easy to handle. The next level is the micro coaxial that goes already with a degree of hobby, has a more complex propeller and inexpensive replacement parts .
The third style is the multi-rotor that can have up to 4 rotating motors, they are more fun to fly and have more ability to pirouettes. And finally you will find the single rotor formats with collective pitch and fixed pitch, styles more similar to real and complex models.
How much they cost?
It is one of the most common questions, but one of the most complex to answer because with this hobby the price of the helicopter is not all that must be taken into account. To have the maximum performance it is necessary to buy parts separately, including the motor, batteries and the rotors. So you must be ready to invest a few hundred euros in a good combo.
How far, how fast, how high?
This varies depending on the size of the ship we have because it can only be piloted as long as it can be seen.
Most have good range and vision at a distance of 1 or 2 kilometers, but even large models can be very difficult to distinguish from more than a thousand feet away, so that will be the real limit.
As for the speed, this varies according to the capacity of the engine, the small varieties will reach 5km / h but the more powerful ones will reach up to 150 km / h.
Do you have to know how to fly RC planes first?
No, the similarities are very limited, in fact, it will help you more to have driven cars or trucks by radio control rather than airplanes.
Are RC helicopters difficult to fly?
The first time they can be quite complex, even more than a real heli but in this is the fun and the adrenaline. For this reason, it is recommended to read much before and witness a few flights to be able to have basic notions and not start from scratch with the command in our hands.
What is a gyro on an RC helicopter?
This device allows an automatic stabilization facilitating stability for novice pilots. However, its leveling can take away from the fun of the flight, being an accessory that some experienced people prefer to remove.
To know if your choice has a gyroscope, you should check if next to the number that indicates the channels there is a 5. For example, the manufacturer’s specifications should indicate that there are 4.5 channels, if instead only 4 channels appear, it means that the model does not it has gyros.
Benefits of RC helicopters
Compared to other similar devices, such as scale cars, drones or airplanes that are controlled by frequency control, helicopters are the favorites of real fans and if you wonder why I leave the answer here.
Unlike four-mast models, such as quadcopters, a remote-controlled helicopter is more comfortable to fly and more prone to stunts with mastery of the controls. Instead, the need to coordinate four rotors at once makes it more difficult to achieve cartwheels.
It doesn’t matter if a drone soars many feet high, the speed, turns, and eye-catching of a good helicopter is a lot more fun to fly. I dare to say that the only thing that can improve them is to integrate it with the best of the drone, that is, having an rc helicopter with a camera .
Operating such a device is not just watching it glide through the air, helicopters require more skills and coordination than many may believe. This is why some children get frustrated with the more complex formats.
Many of you may like to drive electric rc cars, but beyond the speed and direction the remote control pilot does not do much, but with a heli the story is different. Having to deal with the wind, stability, height and rotation make it a challenge that makes you proud and challenges at a level that causes strong adrenaline.
So, if you have a child at home, my personal advice is to go for a simpler model, with automatic stabilization so that the difficulty can be controlled, but without taking the game away from the matter.
Advantages and disadvantages of RC helicopters
Why fool yourself, the truth is that the great advantage is the fun and excitement that a helicopter can provide for people of any age. It is that even those who will see you pilot will enjoy watching the stunts.
And if you have not yet taken command of any of them, you are missing the joy of mastering a new trick or the laughter of not being able to let the helicopter rotate on itself.
Another advantage that not many know is the relaxation that helicopters produce. When the ship rises it is as if one were also flying, this is because the concentration required to maneuver the antlers clears the mind of other thoughts that may be worrying.
But unfortunately there is also a not so good side. The main pay of being a collector or fan of RC helicopters is that they are very expensive, both their maintenance and their purchase require an investment that is usually greater than the cars, boats or model airplanes.
And, the other counterpart that prevents the fun from being exceeded is the difficulty. Less skilled people may find the controls of the high-end models too difficult and frustrating. A continuing example of this occurs when children are gifted with models that are not toys or are at a higher level of complexity.
It will surprise you, but this limitation is so great that there are areas where there are even formal groups to train and teach how to fly a scale helicopter under control. So if you have difficulties that you want to start, it would be good to contact these centers.
What to look for in a good RC helicopter?
The factors that determine time is size and weight. The average performance of any model is 10 minutes.
It seems little but for these flights it is enough and if it still does not convince you there are brands that add a spare that you can carry it loaded and replace it to enjoy twice as much.
To have really incredible heights you should look for a model with 2.4GHz transmission, otherwise you will have limitations and you will have to walk behind the ship to keep it running.
Propellers are usually very susceptible to falls and wear, so it is always better that at least a few replacement parts are included in the first purchase.
Many are surprised when they see that the model they buy online is really a small helicopter, but come on, did you think that you would be able to pilot a one-meter-long ship with only two circular controls at a distance of 20 meters?
In fact, my personal advice is to go for small models that are easier to control and can eventually be piloted inside the room to create family fun.
RC Helicopter Type
They are the cheapest and really suitable for everyone. To identify the easiest to pilot you must go for the 2 or 3 channel models, coaxial control, fewer rotors because one is enough to achieve elevation and an electric stabilizer.
In the case of children, you can go directly to the toy section and there will be really good and easy-to-use options for little hands.
For intermediate pilots
When you have more experiences you can go for higher levels. These are the styles that have 3.5, 4 or 6 channels. They are also available in electric, nitro, or even gasoline styles.
They can be a bit more expensive, but more entertaining because their complexity provides more maneuvering possibilities and allows the pilot to have more control from the ground. So better to leave the toys for children and go for something larger if we already have experience with remote control .
For the most advanced pilots
This scale can be really messy for mortals and amazingly entertaining to watch as someone approaches with a large complex command model.
Those who take this hobby seriously have real pilot and remote control skills and are considered radio control professionals, to the point that after this they are able to master any other style of motor and scale transport.
These styles of helicopters have high technology and are even assembled by their own users who buy or manufacture mechanical and electrical parts to achieve more height, speed or somersaults.
In the market you will find these characteristics of difficulty in 6-channel 3D helicopters, Super mini micro 3D RC helicopters and Heli RC 450-600 kits. But I warn you something, reaching this level of hobby is not cheap either.
They are usually fixed in control and are characterized by having two single-propeller rotors one above the other. They are also integrated by a stabilizer bar that is located on both blades at 45 degrees.
It is one of the most stable models on the market thanks to the fact that everything is integrated into the same central axis and, in addition, they are the most comfortable and easy to pilot, although this comes with a limitation that not everyone wants to experience.
Fixed pitch helicopter
They are similar to the previous model with the pleasant difference that they are more responsive and with more potential for stunts. In appearance they can be more similar especially since many also include the upper stabilization bar.
The main characteristic of this style of heli is that its control prevents certain individual lateral movement of the blades and therefore the height control must be carried out by accelerating the engine, something that is also reflected in the lack of a height button on the transmitter hand.
Collective Pass Helicopter
No matter what they look like or how many propellers or rotors they have, when we speak of collective pitch we refer to those styles of helicopters that have the ability to tilt the blades on the horizontal axis allowing their movement to change the direction of flight.
In general, this classification comes with five channels because they need direct control of an additional function that the others do not have. However, you can also distinguish them because in them the stabilizer bar is located at 90 degrees from the tip of the ship.