The world of RC aviation gadgets is pretty vast, you can find airplanes, helicopters, quadcopters, multi-rotors, action figures with rotor blades, and much more. Each one of these branches can be separated in different categories, and the main that we’re exploring here is the branch of RC helicopters. Among the different types you can find, there is a category that is reserved for the serious ones about learning and mastering these gadgets, I’m talking about gas powered RC helicopters, and if you’re curious to know more about these amazing birds and what they have to offer, I invite you to keep reading, this actually will be interesting.
What is a gas powered RC helicopter?
I’d like to start by saying what gas powered RC helicopters are not: Toys. Gas powered RC helis are far from those helis you can start to fly on Monday and master in a few days. However, they are fantastic gadgets that you can use to have a blast of fun. Something else to know about them is that these are different than Nitro RC helicopters, we’ll see why in a future post.
An RC helicopter that is gas powered requires a mechanical engine, like the one in your car, not in size but in function. Of course that we’re not talking about something that will be very expensive, but these are pricier than some of the most famous electric RC helicopters that you can find these days.
This type of helicopters work using a small (that’s where the fun is, at least if you ask me) version of an internal combustion engine. These have all the components required to use the power of gas as the fuel for the operation. As you can see, the size of the engine will not remove complexity of it. Now you can start to imagine why gas powered RC helicopters are a serious deal; these require maintenance and a mechanical type of mind to be enjoyed in full.
Something that is very important to mention is that handling gas can be dangerous without the necessary training, so consider reading a bit more about how to deal with fossil fuels before actually doing it. Operating a gas powered RC helicopter can be lots of fun, but safety must be a priority always.
In short, gas powered RC helicopters are complex devices that can be pretty fun to fly if you know how. They are usually more expensive than the electric ones, and for this reason it’s not a good idea to use one of these for a beginner.
What are the main differences and features of this type of helicopters?
Externally these helicopters can be pretty similar to some of the biggest electric RC helis, but the main difference is that these use fossil fuel to operate. However, I wanted to discuss a few points that you should consider to decide if this is a type of RC helicopter for you or not.
Safety: I’ll never get tired of saying it, safety is a priority. Let’s face it, RC helicopters are super fun to fly and a really rewarding hobby, but even a plastic spoon can be dangerous if not operated properly. In this case, electric RC helicopters, which are the ones that I mostly recommend, are pretty easy to understand and fly, this in my point of view makes them safer than other types of helicopters, but as I already said, anything can be dangerous.
The fuel: Gas powered RC helicopters add a new element to the equation, the gas, and besides this being a flammable substance, it also can have negative effects on your skin, so always use the appropriate equipment when handling chemical substances. Also make sure you fill the tank in the proper way, using equipment designed for that task, and last but not least, it is a good practice to only buy the fuel that you’ll use to fly that day, and when you’re done flying, empty the fuel tank and save your fuel in the appropriate container.
High RPMs: Something else to mention about gas helicopters is that their main rotor blades operate at very high RPMs, usually in the range of tens of thousands, so this is another thing to keep in mind when you operate one of these gadgets.
Easiness to fly and operate: As I previously mentioned, these helicopters are not that easy to fly since they are bigger than some of the best RC helicopters for beginners that the electric world can offer you. Gas powered RC helis can be good also to perform aerobatics, but I believe that the complexity of these systems is in the fact that you have to know how they work, and how they operate to be able to fully fly and maintain them. This is why more than often you don’t want one of these to be your first RC helicopter.
Flight time: I would say this is one of the main advantages of owning a gas powered RC helicopter, since they can give you a longer flight time than most electric ones. Besides, you don’t have to wait for the batteries to charge (something that can take hours) but you simply refill your tank and you’re ready to go again. You want to consider that fuel prices for this specific application are relatively low, since you won’t need several gallons to have fun one afternoon. So I would say this is definitely a great advantage of gas RC helis.
Budget: As cool as they are, these gadgets can be in the range of a few hundred to thousands of dollars, just for the price tag. You have to consider not only the initial amount you pay when you buy your heli for the first time, but also include the budget needed to get spare parts (more expensive than the ones you can use for electric helis), maintenance, fuel, and repairs. And even when I totally recommend to give these gadgets a try, at least to know if you get excited by them, I want you to do it fully aware of what you’re dealing with. And since the budget sometimes can be a problem, and we all want to save as much money as possible, I recommend you to first get an RC flight simulator to help you train with one of these helicopters before you actually get the real thing.
Gas powered RC helicopters are definitely something special, and for this reason I invite you to explore some of the best models you can find online for this specific type of helis. Century®, is one of the best companies where you can find these types of helis. You must know that given the easiness to fly and affordable prices that some electric RC helicopters offer, gas powered RC helis are not very easy to find these days, and sometimes when you find one that you like, the spare parts are not available and then the investment is not that savy, but Century® also offers a wide selection of spare parts for the models they sale, since they are not just distributors but also manufacturers of these amazing gadgets.
Take your time to explore these models and you’ll see why gas based RC helis are very famous.
Share and join to the conversation
As always I’m thrilled to hear your comments and thoughts about this topic. Gas powered RC helis are not my area of expertise, but I wanted to give you a slight view of what these helis are as well as the very basics of what needs to be known before getting into this new level.
I’m sure there are lots of people willing to try these gadgets, and if you happen to have experience with this type of aircraft, I invite you to share your knowledge with others by leaving a comment and sharing your opinion here. Don’t forget to like and share this post through your social channels and follow RC Hobbies on Air on social media.
Till the next!