There is no question that RC Helicopters are some of the most fascinating devices on Planet Earth. These gadgets can provide tremendous amounts of adrenaline due to the fact that controlling them requires a little bit of skills. This hobby is not for the weak of heart, because believe it or not, one of the most thrilling and enjoyable parts of it, is actually when you crash (accidentally of course). This is why here I’m going to talk about the RC helicopter parts that you want to keep an eye on and should consider purchasing spare parts since the beginning.
RC helicopters can be very simple or very complex devices. The more channels your heli has the more moving parts will be involved in the whole operation of the bird, even the simplest helicopters can have over 50 different components, and each one of them has a specific purpose and function for the entire operation of your gadget.
The good news is that manufacturers have already identified the parts that are more prone to damage when crashing or as a result of normal wear. The other good thing is that I’ve put together a list of high quality brands that not only fabricate very solid and resistant RC helicopters but also guarantee the optimal performance of the device at the moment of purchase.
The helicopters that I’m reviewing on this site have easy to get and cheap spare part sets, and in some cases the helicopter comes with the replacement parts included inside the box when you purchase the bird for the 1st time.
A brief but useful explanation of the RC Helicopter parts you want to keep an eye on
The most common cause for an RC helicopter to stop functioning is because of crashes (tell me). Even when RC helicopters are not as fast as RC airplanes, the speed and height you can reach with these devices is still considerable, and if you put into the equation the radial speed at which the blades are spinning, the chances of breaking something when crashing are high.
This is why when the bird crashes you want to take a good look at some parts before attempting to fly again.
The main rotor blades
This is by far the part of your heli that will receive the most damage when you crash; the reason is very simple: The radial speed at which these blades spin multiplied by the mass of the blades create a huge momentum, all this energy has to go somewhere when the blades stop spinning abruptly (due to the impact), and it is this energy the one that will end up damaging other parts of your helicopter as well, starting with the main rotor blades.
In order to solve this issue, some manufacturers have made their helicopters with resistant but flexible materials, which means that the energy can be “absorbed” and thus the damage is less.
Tail Rotor Blade
This is another moving part that can get damaged when you crash or as a result of normal wear. The tail rotor is a big contributor, if the heli’s design include it, to the optimal performance of the bird. Some manufacturers even include a spare tail rotor blade when you purchase the helicopter for the 1st time.
The tail rotor blade is responsible for controlling the reactive torque of the device as well as aiding it in the process of turning left or right, this when it spins on a horizontal edge. When it is oriented in a vertical edge, the tail rotor will aid to go back and forward instead.
Not all RC helicopters have a flybar attached to it, but if yours is equipped with one it is there for stability purposes. The flybar is one of those components that are spinning all the time as well, and when you crash your helicopter chances are that this flybar can get a part of the hit too, if this happens, you won’t be able to fly without it.
The flybar has a direct effect on the pitch of the helicopter, which is the angle of the main rotor blades when these are spinning. The variation of the angle will determine some of the movements of the helicopter, including taking off or not.
The Landing skid
This is one of those parts that are in touch with the ground anytime you land. At the beginning, landings can be a little rough, and for that reason the landing skid is also prone to get damaged when you operate your RC helicopter. A landing skid will only break as a result of rough landings or high speed impacts with the floor, but for the most part, the landing skid will require replacement only because of normal wear.
You want to remember that the landing skid is the base on which the helicopter is sitting. This base must be as horizontal as possible, or the heli will move to a side when taking off. This is why the landing skid is also a very important part of your bird.
If you don’t crash and nothing seems to be malfunctioning in your heli, chances are that the battery of your bird is empty. It varies from one model to another, but RC helicopters have limited flight times, some will give you 6 minutes and some will give you up to 36 minutes, but in the end, the battery of your RC helicopter needs to be recharged. This is why having extra pre-charged batteries with you is a good idea. Also, remember that without the proper maintenance the battery could get damaged and not only perform poorly but also put you at risk.
Damaged Li-Po batteries can ignite and even explode, so never use a battery that is damaged. Keep in mind that with every crash your battery can move, this will affect the center of gravity of your helicopter and this will definitely impact the performance. It is a good practice to check your battery’s position every now and then just to make sure that everything is in place and plugged.
One of the things that I like the most about RC helis are the gears and all the mechanic components included in its functioning. I’m a big fan of moving the parts myself slowly in order to see how the whole operation goes on and be able to see everything in action at a speed that the human eye can catch.
One of the things that you can find while exploring your bird is dust, and with time this can be a problem for the proper operation of the mechanisms that your heli needs to fly. The best way to prevent gear wear is to simply clean your helicopter in a regular basis. You want to be careful while doing this, because you can damage the electronics.
The best way to clean your helicopter after each flight is by using denatured alcohol and a glass cleaning solution in a 50/50 proportion. You should spray all over the aircraft and get it cleaned with swabs and a good, small paint brush for getting in the details. The whole cleaning process should take about twenty minutes and maybe five to ten more minutes doing small and simple repairs. It is important to disconnect any power source of your helicopter when spraying the aircraft.
Remember as well that gears need to be lubricated, so after cleaning everything make sure your gears have enough lube to run smoothly, if not, you can add a little bit of metal or plastic compatible grease (depending on your heli) with a small brush. Don’t add too much, just enough so that gears look wet.
The Body parts
Last but not least, the body parts are also important for you to have a nice look when flying your bird. These can get damaged with each impact and even when you can perform some home repairs, it may be a good idea to replace them, after all, they are protecting all the electronics, gears, and battery of your heli, so replacing them may be a good option.
For the cleaning process, I recommend to simply use any flavored (if you want) glass solution to keep’em as shiny and clean as possible.
Crashes will occur and you want to have spare parts available when it happens
Regardless of your ability and experience as a pilot, RC helicopters can always offer you a new challenge every day, with these challenges comes the risk of crashing and this is why having some extra RC helicopter parts available is a good idea, the last thing you want is to have to stop having fun with your heli simply because you don’t have parts available. Especially if you’ve been waiting for weeks to have the perfect weather conditions.
The other thing you want to remember when purchasing an RC helicopter is to check if spare parts are easy to find. You can check some forums online and you’ll see that lots of people are saying they purchased a great RC heli (usually at a super discounted price) without checking if spare parts were available. When they needed some replacements they found that manufacturers discontinued the model and all the related items to it.
Finding spare parts for discontinued RC helicopter models can be not only hard but also very expensive. In the end you may end up spending more money getting parts for replacement than the total cost of your RC heli. This is why you definitely want to find out spare parts since the beginning.
Find the spare parts for the helicopter you decide to purchase
Here is a handy list of the spare parts for the RC helicopters that I’m mentioning on my best RC helicopter reviews page. I recommend you to check it out and if you’re still in the look of the perfect bird for you, my best RC helicopter reviews page is what you need, here you’ll find not only a comprehensive list of some of the best RC helis you can find online, but also, a detailed guide with the important aspects to consider when deciding to purchase an RC helicopter for you or as a gift.
I hope you find this list useful. Let me know if there is anything you want me to talk about here, also, if you need help finding spare parts for your helicopter let me know, I’ll see what I can do to help you.
Of course that I’m very interested in your thoughts and comments, remember that I can only give my point of view and opinion about this topic, but if you know something that is not mentioned here or have a different opinion about it, you’re more than welcome to share it with us. I’ll be very happy to share your thoughts with others and also you’ll help me and other people with your valuable knowledge.
Tell me, is there something I’m missing on this page? Why do you think having extra RC helicopter parts is important and what are your best practices with your heli?