27 July 2011 | Radio Control

A buyers' guide to Electric RC Helicopters, Quadcopters and Drones

Wonderland Models have a wide range of remote control helicopters Quadcopters and Drones 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 helicoptersQuadcopters and Drones with the variations of these designs determining the skill level required to fly the helicopter, quadcopter or drone.

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.


A quadcopter is multi-rotor copter with four arms, each of which have a motor and a propeller at their ends. Quadcopters are similar to helicopters in some ways, though their lift and thrust comes from four propellers, rather than just one. Also, helicopters have a “pitch” or tail rotor that helps stabilize the craft, whereas quadcopters do not. In a quadcopter, two of the propellers spin in one direction (clockwise) and the other two spin the opposite direction (counterclockwise) and this enables the machine to hover in a stable formation.


RC drone refers to a remote controlled multi or single rotor aircraft.  These “drones” are available in many different sizes and rotor configurations, depending on what they’re used for. From drones that easily fit into the palm of your hand, to crazy fast FPV racing drones that can fly at ridiculous speeds using goggles. A computer inside the drone will acquire all sorts of data and information from multiple sensors allowing it to practically fly itself.

Flight Controls

There can be up to 4 channels of control depending on the platform being used with up tp 6 axis control for quadcopters and drones:

  • Roll - Cyclic Pitch
  • Elevator/Pitch
  • Tail rotor/Yaw
  • Collective Pitch/Throttle

The flight controls allow pilots to control the collective and throttle, the pitch and roll, as well as the tail rotor in the case of helicopters. Controlling these simultaneously means that the RC helicopter/Quadcopter or Drone is able to perform most of the same manoeuvers as a full-sized helicopter, plus some extra aerobatic moves that the real life versions cannot (such as backwards flight).

Power Source

Electric helicopters, Quadcopters and Drones have developed rapidly in recent years and are now the most common type of RC Aircraft, 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..

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, QUADCOPTERS & DRONES at Wonderland Models

To help point you in the right direct, below are a selection of remote control helicopters, Quadcopters & Drones, categorised by the recommended experience level of the pilot, and their suitability for indoor or outdoor flight.





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