As redundant as this might sound when making a purchase, before purchasing an RC helicopter, it is important to first do some research and know the basics of (model) helicopter mechanics and flying (thank goodness for the internet!)
Make sure you always scout the specs of the various models that interest you, such as the size and weight battery type and flight time (how long the battery charge lasts), as well as speed.
Some other more advanced specs that you should not forget to include in your scouting report are gyro stabilizers for better flight control and cameras.
When thinking about purchasing a RC helicopter, you should keep the following points in mind (and how we came up with our top-5 list of RC helicopters):
Every chopper has unique characteristics. Maybe they are more futuristic, or military, or retro-; yet each style and design has its own individual personality. Having said this, there are several principal features that you need to think about when buying an RC chopper.
One feature is whether or not the helicopter has gyro stabilizers, which give the chopper a more balanced approach (and hence less headaches) to flying. Other features to keep in mind are the size of the model and the number of blades, which will determine the control, speed and realistic experience of flight. If you feel the need for speed, than you’ll want a chopper with at least two blades. If you’re looking to do acrobatics, then you’ll want to browse for single-blade copters, which are lighter in weight.
Any model copter pilot worth his or her stripes would tell you that your RC chopper will take a spill or three; this is especially true if you are just starting out. So you’ll want to find a model with sturdy and durable construction which can handle a spill and keep on soaring. This means you’ll want hard plastic polymers; not on the heavy side yet provide a durable design that can withstand (beginner) bumps.
You have several principal flight controls to scout for when purchasing a RC copter. First off,
you need to make sure that it has a true six-directional control (up/down, forward/backward, left/right). Next, the chopper MUST be able to hover in the air, without moving unless you pilot it so. A gyro flight-balancer will assist you in assuring flying forward is much more simple and easier- especially true if you’re new to piloting RC helicopters.
And now for our Top-3ers (one for each class/size/level):
3) Blade Nano QX RTF
Pilot Level: For True Beginning Pilots
- 5-6 minutes flight time
- for both in- and outdoors
This chopper is actually a quad, yet if you’ve never piloted one before- don’t sweat it; this model is a piece of cake. It doesn’t get any easier than flying this model and thus it’s great for true beginner pilots. It’s smooth and simple to fly, with enough umpf to fly in medium-strong winds, which makes it a great model to get a newbie hooked on the hobby. If this is the pilot’s firs time flying a quad, it’s best to fly it over grass the first few times. Grass is much kinder to beginner pilots who roll the chopper into the ground- and yes, this will happen the first few flights.
2) Blade 130 X BNF
Pilot Level: Intermediate / Advanced
- Great performance
- classic chopper feel
- very stable
- micro class
- superior quality
This model packs plenty of power for its price. Certainly not a chopper for beginners, yet once you get the basics down you can pilot this bird like a Air Wolf. Replacement parts can get expensive but the feel is absolutely, amazingly realistic. And to fly such a great and realistic 3D model, the price is unbeatable. Just be careful that with all the power its packs in its punch, a roll into the ground will not be kind to a beginner pilot. You really need to be an advanced pilot- otherwise you’ll crash and burn and by burn we mean the money you spent to buy this beast. Once you are ready though, you’ll be doing tricks galore.
Thunder Tiger Raptor 90 FBL
Pilot Level: Advanced / Expert (recommended best for the latter*)
- a 3D beast
- Superior design
- Flies almost as well as its nitro cousin
- Extremely light weight
If you’re looking for power in an electric RC helicopter, look no further- this beast offers the superior design and flight of the hall-of-fame-level Raptor series. With excellent geometry for control and precision, it also offers the Quick Calibration System (QCS) which allows for simple and fast set-up; you’ll be up and flying in no time. This bird has some serious power and will certainly catch lots of eyes in the sky.