A buyers' guide to Electric RC Helicopters
Wonderland Models have a wide range of remote control helicopters to meet the experience level and needs of all enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to make the first step to trying RC helicopters as a hobby, or want to move to the next skill level, the following guide will help guide you with your next purchase.
There are several basic design principles of RC helicopters, with the variations of these designs determining the skill level required to fly the helicopter. One of the main factors to consider when buying a remote control helicopter is the rotator blade mechanism used.
Fixed or Collective Pitch
The ‘pitch’ in helicopter jargon relates to the angle of the blade in relation to the horizontal plane. A helicopter with fixed pitch blades has the main rotator blades in a fixed position, meaning that the amount of lift is dependent on just the rotor speed. With the motor speed increased, the helicopter will rise, and will fall when this rotor speed is reduced. Fixed pitch helicopters are generally the perfect choice for beginners as there are less controls required, making them easier to learn and fly.
More technical RC helicopters incorporate a collective pitch mechanism. Here, the main rotor blades can rotate to different angles to change the lift being applied, which means that the helicopter is considerably more manoeuvrable than its fixed blade cousin. This manoeuvrability allows the helicopter to perform aerobatic flights, included loops, rolls and inverted flying.
There are in general at least four control options:
- Roll - Cyclic Pitch
- Tail rotor (called the ‘yaw’)
- Collective Pitch/Power
The flight controls allow pilots to control the collective and throttle, the pitch and roll, as well as the tail rotor. Controlling these simultaneously means that the RC helicopter is able to perform most of the same manoeuvres as a full-sized helicopter, plus some extra aerobatic moves that the real life versions cannot (such as backwards flight).
Electric helicopters have developed rapidly in recent years and are now the most common type of RC helicopter, overtaking nitro helicopters in hobby use. They were originally used indoors due to their smaller size and lack of fumes, but larger versions suitable for outdoor flight have grown in numbers to become a very popular option. They are much quieter than nitro helicopters, and are therefore an attractive option for those who live in residential areas.
Nitro RC helicopters are available in five sizes, 15, 40, 50, 60 and 90 (the largest size). The larger and more powerful the engine, the larger the main rotor blade can be, and therefore the larger the helicopter can be.
RC Helicopter Simulators
Flight simulators are an ideal way to improve your piloting skills before taking your new purchase to the sky. The RC Heli Master Flight Simulator is an extremely realistic and affordable flight simulator dedicated to radio controlled model helicopters.
Ideal for beginners and experienced pilots alike, RC Heli Master allows you to practice and improve your flying skills even if it's raining or windy outside. With the number of crashes you'll save yourself, you'll be pleased you've been practising.
RC Helicopters at Wonderland Models
To help point you in the right direct, below are a selection of remote control helicopters, categorised by the recommended experience level of the pilot, and their suitability for indoor or outdoor flight.
Indoor RC Helicopters
- Blackhawk Deluxe 3-Channel RC Radio Controlled Helicopter
- Twin Hurricane 3-Channel Remote Control RC Helicopter
- Century 4-Channel Remote Control Helicopter