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 engaging & fun enough to keep you interested - hopefully for many years to come.
I have been flying (addicted is more like it) to radio controlled helicopters for over 25 years and have seen so many advances in this fun hobby.
Perhaps 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. There simply has never been a better time to get into "RC helis"!
Unlike most RC airplanes, radio controlled helicopters don't require a large mowed or paved runway; they take-off & land vertically, so any open area will do.
This freedom of taking off from practically anywhere
is what originally sparked my interest in radio controlled helicopters,
and is 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 the door 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 just 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 relatively "technical hobby". I've also written several helpful eBooks focused on RC helicopters. They have helped so many people understand specific aspects of this hobby much better.
From toy to turbine, micro to multi-rotor; information, advice, tips, recommendations, and guidance to help you succeed and avoid many of the common mistakes and pitfalls so many experience when first starting out.
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 has actually gone down over the past couple decades (in some cases very substantially), while
the technology keeps improving as does the usability; introducing so many more people to this
There is a down side to this huge selection of radio controlled helicopters – information overload! Unless you have the facts and understand some of the technical aspects of this hobby, you very likely will not choose the best RC helicopter for you.
This leads to crashing, frustration, and perhaps ultimately in 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! The market is literally saturated with flying garbage right now; it's the biggest problem I currently see for the newbie just getting started in the hobby.
My goal is to give you the tools: information & knowledge, to get you off on the right foot. You will save time and money... but above all, I simply want you to have brilliant FUN in your RC helicopter journey!
little doubt that large, single rotor collective pitch radio controlled helicopters remain to be some of most complex and most difficult RC vehicles to master (also some of the most rewarding).
This is not true of RC toy helis, and various micro size hobby grade coaxial, fixed pitch, and even micro collective pitch helis that have been "hovering" up all over the place in recent years.
There are also the newer Quad Rotors (also called Multi-Rotor and incorrectly drones) that 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 just to RC Toy helis, Micro Coaxial helis, Quad/Multi Rotor, and Micro Single Rotor Fixed Pitch Helis – yep, they’re all fun and fairly easy to fly for kids and adults alike.
These newer forms of RC helis along with hassle free clean electric power, electronic stabilization systems, lightweight & inexpensive onboard video cameras, and even inexpensive high output LED's for night flight illumination are some of the main reasons for fast growing popularity in this "addictive hobby".
I wanted to make those distinctions very clear so you understand there is a big difference between these various types of radio controlled helicopters - they are all completely different machines and fly very differently from one another. A little homework on your part is therefore needed to make an informed decision on which is the best match 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. 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 because you're totally focused and "immersed in the moment".
I personally 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 in the world (lots of it right now)...
There haven't been many activities over the years I have participated in that provide that "living in the moment" fun escape route, but flying and building/working on a collective pitch RC helicopter is certainly one of them.
It's a totally immersive hobby in that respect and 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; once 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 seemingly impossible balancing act.
After trying and trying, something just 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, eventually 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, to experience collective pitch fun.
Getting bored with your quad/multi rotor? Give collective pitch a try and get excited about rotary RC flight again :-)
My Passion, My Addiction...
Of course hovering is just the first step, the fun is just
beginning – wait till you do your first loop or roll. Yes – now the
adrenaline really starts flowing. In addition to 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
Electrical & Mechanical Components Inside a Typical Collective Pitch RC Helicopter - Lots to Learn but Crazy Cool!
Here I am flying one of my 600 ESP RC Helicopters - Yes, I'm having lots of RC Helicopter Fun :-)
Are you still with me? If so, I think 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!
I have arranged the navigation bar in a logical progression of
beginner information down to more advanced material. If you have some
experience with RC Helicopters already, by all means click on a topic
that interests you or perhaps consider contributing your own thoughts & articles to help others out.
If you find the information useful and helpful, feel free to bookmark this site, Face-it, Tweet-it, Plus 1-it, share the page, or subscribe to my "Heli Blog".