First of all let me thank you for landing on my site. I consider a privilege to have you here and I’m thrilled to share with you all the information that I have about RC helicopters and other aviation gadgets (yes, I do more than just RC helis). Chances are that if you’re reading this page, you want to know more about RC helis. In the past, these devices were pretty complicated and hard to fly, not to mention expensive, but today, given the emerging market of electric RC helicopters, almost every person can not only afford but actually master an RC heli and have fun with it. If you’re a beginner and have no idea where to start, don’t worry, you came to the right place, because on this page (and my site), I’ll share everything I know about these fantastic devices. Welcome to my simple version of the guide for the RC helicopter beginner.
What is an RC helicopter?
Let me start by telling you what an RC helicopter is not: a toy. I know that many people think that RC helis are toys, I know this because I was one of them one day, but soon after I started to learn more about these gadgets I got it, these are not toys, and that is a misconception that sometimes can lead to frustration with this hobby.
I think most people, in childhood, used RC cars. The ones you can get for $50 USD or less and that operate with a few AA batteries. As fun as they are, these can be considered toys, however, you must know that RC helis are far from that, at least the ones that really fly. Even if they are for beginners, RC helicopters are gadgets that need to be operated in a safely and responsible way.
Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to discourage you from purchasing your first RC helicopter, I just want you to be aware that these devices require practice to be mastered, and that, as with any other thing you misuse, people can get hurt if the right precautions are not taken, so please, enter the world of RC helicopters with full awareness that you’ll have fun responsibly.
Now that we’re clear on that, let’s get into the fun stuff. The first thing you need to know is that there are two main categories: toy and hobby grade.
Toy-grade RC helis are the most basic ones, and these are the best RC helicopter for beginners that you can find. I’ll give more details about these, later on this post.
Then we have the hobby-grade ones, which are far more complex and require you to have a good understanding of how RC helis work, and more importantly, how to control them. These are those fancy and expensive gadgets that you see in competitions such as Heli Masters, which is a great contest where pilots all over the world get together to show their most amazing tricks and aerobatics. Check this short teaser from last year’s (2014) event.
Hobby-grade helis require serious dedication and lots of practice to achieve a complete control over the heli, so if you’re aiming to become a Heli master, then this is the type of airship you want to be able to control, and for that, you have to practice.
Other Types of RC helis
Another division of helis is often by the type of energy they use to operate. There are electric, nitro, and gas RC helicopters. As a beginner, you want to go to the electric side, since these are the easiest to fly and the most affordable ones.
Let’s move into the world of electric RC helicopters, since these are the best to begin with and have lots of fun.
What to consider for an RC helicopter beginner?
As we already said, the first thing you want to check is that your go to the electric helicopters section. More than often, these gadgets use LiPo (lithium-ion polymer) batteries, these are rechargeable, replaceable, and affordable, and so, just make sure your pick works with one of these.
But in the world of electric RC helis you can also find pretty advanced devices that will not fit your expertise level, and if you’re thinking that the size and weight will tell you if a heli is good for beginners or not, think again, you can be surprised.
My definite simple guide to select the best RC helicopter for beginners
There is a bit more to consider than the size and weigh to know if a heli is right for you or not. Here I present you a comprehensive article about how to select the best RC helicopter for you, but if you’re looking a heli to start with, then you are on the right page, because I’ll give you a few recommendations here to select the best RC helicopter for beginners. I will also give you another useful link on this site where you’ll find my best RC helicopter reviews, but keep on reading in order to find it.
However, we are looking for a great RC heli for beginners, so let me give you a brief explanation of what you have to consider.
Pick a 3 to 4 channels heli: The number of channels is very important, since the more channels the harder to pilot the heli. In order to get something that will allow you to have fun, pick something from 3 to 4 channels. Just so you know, each channel controls something on the helicopter, so a basic 3 channels heli will move up/down, left/right, and back/forward. It may sound simple, but it’s great to start.
Indoors is the best option: After you confirm the number of channels of the heli, the best next thing to do is to pick something that is small and light-weight. This will allow you to fly inside your room and thus you’ll have a more controlled scenario to learn to fly. Know that a small breeze of air can sometimes lead to crashes.
Go with a coaxial heli: Besides the types of helis that we saw before, there are many other ways to label and categorize these gadgets. Some of these labels are based on the stabilization method the helicopter uses, and since more stability means easiness to fly, I recommend you to go with a coaxial helicopter, these are the most stable helis you can find on Planet Earth. To recognize a coaxial heli, just make sure it has two sets of main rotor blades (the ones that generate the lift force).
Ready to fly devices: As a beginner, you want something that is ready to fly out of the box, this is what I mean by Ready to Fly (RTF). Another part of this hobby (one that is very entertaining as well) is to assemble your helicopter or at least to bind (pair or connect) your heli to a transmitter. Even when the binding process is not that hard, and the assembly task is very rewarding, the best way to start with these gadgets is by having something that is ready right out of the box and that has been tested to ensure you’ll have the best experience.
Get something trusted: Make sure you find and read a few reviews about this fantastic gadget you’re about to get. When we are new to this hobby, is pretty easy to think that a good looking heli is high quality, however, that is not true in all cases. Put your researcher hat on and sit while you learn a bit more from other people. In case you were wondering, here is a post with my best RC helicopter reviews, you’ll find great recommendations on this article, and of course, all of them are great quality and classified with all the information you need to know (You’re very welcome).
Your budget is important: Now that you have considered everything you need to know to make your choice, it’s time to look at your budget or to create one. If you’re looking for a great RC helicopter for beginners, you’ll be happy to know that, for the most part, these are the most affordable ones. Anything from $50 to $150 USD will allow you to have a great heli.
My top 5 + 1 recommendations for beginner RC helicopters
I’m not going to lie to you. This was the first RC helicopter I got because it is very affordable, also, it complies well with all the other parameters I mentioned you here. I actually have a full review of the S107G, with a video I also did to prove how powerful this device is. You’ll see that my extensive research lead me to recognize that this is in fact one of the best RC helicopters for beginners you can find these days.
This is a different presentation of the S107G. The look and feel of this heli is of an Apache. This coaxial helicopter is super stable and really easy to have fun with. It also comes completely assembled and tested from the factory, so you can start flying once you charge it and put the batteries (6AA not included) on the transmitter.
Something I really like about Syma helis is that spare parts are very easy to find and more than affordable, so I recommend you to include these with your initial purchase as well.
Hero H911 2.4GHZ iRocket 4 Channel
This helicopter is really fun as well. It’s fast and light-weight enough to have fun with it inside your living room. The Hero H911 has a great canopy design, and it’s pretty stable as well. Even when it’s not a coaxial heli, it is definitely a good nice pick in case you decide to move forward with this one.
It is a bit pricier than the Syma ones, but you’ll see that you money is well invested as soon as you get this bird out of the box. It comes ready to fly, and the only thing you need to do is to charge it and fasten your seat belts to have fun.
Blade mCX RTF
Blade is one of those companies developing top-of-the-edge products. I truly respect them a lot because they go the next mile every time. This is the case for the Blade mCX, an RC heli that is pretty stable, thanks to its coaxial design, and it’s built to last.
Something that completely sets this heli apart from all the others is its 5-in-1 control unit, which really is the brains of the whole device. Blade designs helis in a very simple and effective way, and the mCX model is no exception to this rule. Something else that is worth to mention, is the Spektrum™ DSM2® technology that it has, which in simple words means no interference between the transmitter and the receiver. This capability is something that can only be seen in the most expensive models, but not the mCX.
Blade mCX2 RTF
The 2nd generation of the mCX is the mCX2. This is another coaxial helicopter that comes with everything you need to have fun with, and when I say everything, I mean it. Blade actually includes the batteries for the transmitter, so you just charge the battery of the heli and you’re pretty much set to go.
The mCX2 also features a 5-in-1 unit that controls everything in the device. You also get the no interference feature from the previous model, and even when this heli is a bit more expensive than the others, the difference in the price will definitely be justified when you get your gadget out of the box and start having fun with it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
My +1 Recommendation: The MJX F645 F45 4ch LCD
Here is my extra recommendation for you, and even when I said that is best to pick a small and lightweight heli as a beginner, some people are looking for something bigger and a bit heavier that they can use outside. This is why I’m also including the MJX F645 F45 on this list.
This helicopter comes completely assembled from the factory. It is much larger than the rest on this list and that makes it look great. This is not a coaxial heli, instead, it uses a tail rotor blade to be stable as well as a gyro.
It has a metal body that makes it strong against crashes, and you can also attach a GoPro camera (not included) to it to record your trip. Even when this is a relatively easy to fly helicopter, I strongly recommend you to first gain experience with another from this list, and then move forward with this model.
Now it’s your turn! – Pick your beginners RC helicopter
As always I’m thrilled to hear your comments and questions. Join to the conversation and add your own voice. Pick your favorite RC helicopter for beginners, either from this list of from your own research, and let us know how it goes. Tell me, did you find this article helpful? Do you own one of these models? What is your opinion about them? Is there another heli you think should be listed here? Let us know your comments. Also, don’t forget to push the social buttons on this page to share this with your friends and family.