RC Helicopters can best be summed in three words...
"FUN", "FASCINATING", & "REWARDING"!
That is after all what most of us are looking for in a hobby. An activity to free your mind from the "day to day", yet is fun enough to keep you interested for many years to come.
I've been flying RC (radio controlled) helicopters for over 25 years and have seen so many advances in this fun hobby.
The single biggest one is this hobby is no longer a super expensive, almost elitist form of RC flight like it once was. There are RC helicopters for every budget & ability these days.
In short, there has never been a better time to get into "RC helis"!
Unlike most RC airplanes, radio controlled helicopters don't need a large mowed or paved runway.
They take-off & land vertically, so any open area will do.
This freedom of taking off & landing anywhere is what first sparked my interest in radio controlled helicopters.
It's still the number one benefit for me that remains to this day. Whenever you have a desire to go flying, it can be as simple as walking out into your yard, with heli in hand, to get some time on the sticks.
This is a HUGE time saver over having to cart a bunch of RC gear out to a flying field when you don't have the time.
What about flying during rotten weather?
It's no problem when you have a small micro electric indoor RC
helicopter to fly in your own home or at the office.
Yep, radio controlled helicopters are such a fun hobby and enjoyable
past time. They also teach you a great deal about rotary flight which to
me is one of the most fascinating aspects of RC helicopters.
I built and maintain RC Helicopter Fun.com to help answer many common questions related to this "technical hobby". I've also written several helpful eBooks focused on RC helicopters. They have helped many people understand specific aspects of this hobby much better.
The number and specific types of radio controlled helicopters available these days is overwhelming.
Toy, Micro Coaxial, Multi-Rotor, Electric, Nitro, Gas, Scale, First Person View, and Jet Turbine powered RC helis all offer their own unique levels of fun, challenges, and rewards.
The best news for you... The cost of RC helis and equipment has actually gone down over the past couple decades, while
the technology keeps improving as does the usability. These factors are responsible for introducing so many more people to this
There is one down side to this huge selection of radio controlled helicopters. Information overload! Unless you have some facts and understanding, you likely won't choose the best RC helicopter for you.
leads to crashing, frustration, and perhaps giving up with RC helis
before ever getting to experience the thrill and pure joy of flying one.
I know so many people who have been down that road.
Unfortunately, there is also a good deal of junk out there that will add to these frustrations! It's the biggest problem I currently see for the newbie getting started in the hobby.
The goal of this site? Give you the tools: information & knowledge, to get you off on the right foot. Saving you time and money, but above all, I want you to have brilliant FUN in your RC helicopter journey!
Large collective pitch RC helicopters such as shown above are mechanically and electronically complex. You have to enjoy "wrenching" and learning with these types of radio controlled helicopters. It can take years to become proficient, and that's all part of the fun.
This is not true of RC toy helis, and various micro size hobby grade RC helicopters which can offer up "out of the box fun."
Quad Rotors (also called Multi-Rotor and incorrectly Drones) are likewise easy to own & fly. These fun RC aircraft, have sophisticated electronic stabilization systems and very few moving mechanical parts for those of you who are not much into "wrenching".
I have sections of this site devoted to RC Toy helis, Micro Coaxial helis, Quad/Multi Rotor, and Micro Single Rotor Fixed Pitch Helis.
They’re all fun and fairly easy to fly for kids and adults alike.
I wanted to make those distinctions crystal clear so you understand
there is a big difference between these various types of radio
They are all completely different machines.
A little homework on your part is thus needed to make an informed decision for you, or someone else if you are thinking of giving one as a gift.
Yes, collective pitch RC helis are both challenging and very rewarding.
In my experience with pretty much everything in life, "challenging" and "rewarding" are inseparable. The easier the challenge, the less rewarding it is (and vice versa).
This is why collective pitch remains to be the holy grail of all types of RC rotary flight.
So why is CP so challenging?
Single rotor collective pitch helicopters (model and full size) are unstable - at least when hovering.
Hovering a collective pitch RC heli is kind of like balancing on a big ball. This is why the collective pitch RC chopper is more difficult than other RC vehicles. You are always making control corrections to keep it somewhat stationary, in a state of hover equilibrium.
I call this "active piloting".
This might make you ask "how on earth can that be fun or rewarding, this guy must be as unstable as his helicopter", right? Ask my wife, she may well agree with you.
Joking aside, these constant control corrections connect you to your helicopter like no other RC vehicle. You're totally focused and "immersed in the moment."
I enjoy activities that have me so focused and engaged, I don't have
the time or room in my head to think about all the other BS going on.
There haven't been many activities over the years I have participated in that provide that "living in the moment" fun escape route. Flying, building, and working on a collective pitch RC heli is one of them!
It's such an engaging hobby in that respect. There is no question that is why I
(and I hope you as well), love flying collective pitch to this day -
it's my/our escape!
Please don't dismiss collective pitch because it seems hard at first.
you learn how to hover a collective pitch radio controlled helicopter,
you'll never forget! The control corrections become second nature, you
don’t even realize you're doing them.
I can still remember the
first day I learned to hover all those years ago. It is the same feeling
you get when learning to ride a bicycle or any other difficult
After trying and trying, something clicks. Your brain gets it. You're on cloud 9 for days. You have to keep flying & practicing, getting better and better.
A natural high occurs and yes, you are becoming addicted.
Many who get bit by the RC heli bug in the simpler or easier to fly versions, want to give single rotor collective pitch a go.
It's hard to resist the challenge, performance potential, and overwhelming feeling of accomplishment offered with this form of RC flight. It is after all the closest most of us will get to what it's like to pilot a full size helicopter.
Micro sized collective pitch radio controlled helicopters have likewise revolutionized the hobby because of their low cost. They are just as challenging to fly (if not more so); but don't think you have to spend a couple thousand dollars like we once had to.
My Passion, My Addiction...
Of course hovering is the first step, the fun is only beginning – wait till you do your first loop or roll. Yes, now the adrenaline starts flowing.
Besides the flying fun is the technical fun of understanding and maintaining a RC heli. For many, that is the most rewarding aspect of this hobby - I fall into that category myself.
Collective pitch RC helicopters have taught me so much over the years and I'm still learning. That aspect alone to me is somewhat priceless and the older I get, the more I appreciate it.
Electrical & Mechanical Components Inside a Typical Collective Pitch RC Heli - Lots to Learn but Crazy Cool!
Here I'm flying one of my 600 ESP Radio Controlled Helicopters. Yep, I'm having lots of RC Helicopter Fun :-)
Are you still with me? If so, it's a safe bet to say you likely already have a fair amount of interest in this hobby. I hope the rest of my site will further help "fuel" your RC heli interest into a full blown passion!
If you find the information useful and helpful, feel free to bookmark this site, Face-it, Tweet-it, Plus 1-it, link/share the page, or subscribe to my "Heli Blog".