Why would you want to take up the hobby of flying RC helicopters? Two words come to mind - "FUN" and "REWARDING" - that is after all what most of us are looking for in a hobby. "RC" by the way is short for "Radio Controlled", not remote controlled which is referenced often by mistake.
BlackShark/T-Rex 700E F3C RC Helicopter - One Of My Favorite Birds!
I have been flying radio controlled helicopters for over 25 years now (can't believe I'm getting that old), and have seen so many advances in this fun hobby over those years. 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 vertically so any open area will do.
At the other end of the spectrum are small micro electric indoor RC helicopters that you can fly in your own home or at the office. Add in the amazing fun factor and it is easy to see why RC helicopters are such a popular choice for so many people.
I built and maintain RC Helicopter Fun.com to help answer many common questions related to this relatively "technical hobby". From toy to turbine... 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.
Jet Turbine Powered Intrepid RC RC Heli - The Sound & Smell of A Real Jet Engine Is Hard To Beat!
The number and type of radio controlled helicopters available these days is mind blowing. Today there are RC helis for every budget and ability.
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 - the cost of RC helicopters 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 helis – information overload! Unless you have all the facts and understand some of the technical aspects of this hobby, you 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 lot of JUNK out there that will add to these frustrations!
My goal is to give you all the tools (information & knowledge) to get you off on the right foot. You will save TIME and MONEY... but above all have FUN!
Flying a Multi-Rotor RC Heli By FPV (first person view) Using Wireless Video Transmission - Just Like Being Inside The Aircraft!
There is little doubt that large, single rotor collective pitch hobby grade radio controlled helicopters remain to be the most complex and most difficult RC vehicle to master. This is not true of the new generation RC toy mini helicopters, and various micro size hobby grade coaxial, fixed pitch, and even micro collective pitch helis that have been "hovering" up all over the place. There are also the new Quadrocopters (also called Multi-Rotor) that have sophisticated electronic stabilization systems and very few moving mechanical parts for those of you who are not much into "wrenching".
Ready To Fly Quad Rotor RC Helicopter - Easy to Fly yet Super Fun
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 easy to fly for kids and adults alike. These newer forms of RC helis along with hassle free clean electric power are 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 determine which is the best match for you or someone else if you are thinking of giving one as a gift.
Scale Bell 222 Collective Pitch RC Helicopter - If You Like Real Helicopters, Scale RC Helis Are For You!
Yes, larger collective pitch single rotor RC helis are challenging. They are complex machines with hundreds of parts. 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 flying. 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 might agree.
All kidding aside, these constant control corrections connect you to your helicopter like no other RC vehicle.
Once you learn how to hover a collective pitch radio controlled helicopter, you will never forget - the control corrections become second nature - you don’t even realize you are 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 easy to fly versions, eventually want & will get into single rotor collective pitch. It's hard to resist the challenge, performance potential, and overwhelming feeling of accomplishment offered with this form of RC flight.
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 myself.
Electrical & Mechanical Components Inside a Typical Collective Pitch RC Helicopter - Lots to Learn but Crazy Cool!
Below is a short video of what a hobby grade single rotor collective pitch RC heli can do in the hands of one of the best 3D RC heli pilots in the world - Bert Kammerer.
It takes years to get that good and countless hours of practicing. Very few people ever attain that level of proficiency, but it's a good example of what these birds are now capable of.
TIME TO START
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.
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".
The Beginners Guide To Flying RC Helicopters is an e-book that goes over the basics of getting started with RC helicopters. Click on the image of the book to learn more about what's inside.
Getting The Most Out Of Your mSR/X & 120SR is an e-book that focuses on the Blade mSR, mSRX, & 120SR. Click on the image of the book if you want to find out more about it.
The Setup & Tips For Electric Collective Pitch RC Helicopters e-book is all about setting up a collective pitch RC helicopter with a computerized radio to turn it into the perfect trainer. Click on the image of the book to find out more about what information is covered in this, my most popular & #1 selling e-book.
The 120/140 Degree Swashplate Setup & Levelling e-book shows how to properly setup and level a 120,135, or 140 degree electronically mixed swash to attain perfect interaction and a trimmed out bird off the bench. Click on the image of the book to learn more about it.
RC helicopter training gear is the essential training aid used when learning to hover and fly most RC helicopters, this e-book shows how to build them. If you want to learn more about what's inside, click on the image of the book.
Thinking of getting into planes too, or trying to decide between RC helicopters or RC airplanes? If so, the Beginners Combo deal which includes both the Beginners Guide To Flying RC Helicopters and the Beginners Guide To Flying RC Airplanes e-Books, represents excellent value for anyone looking to get started safely and quickly in either or both forms of radio control flying.