RC Helicopters

Getting started in RC helicopters

This site is a beginners guide to getting started in RC helicopters. Flying an Radio Control helicopter is fun, exciting and challenging activity. Practice and concentration are required during the learning process, but if you are dedicated, you will soon be able to fully realise the amazing potential of the remote controlled helicopter.

It's important to choose the right model to start begin with. Beginners choosing a heli that is to advanced for your own skill level will soon become frustrated. If you are unsure about which model is right for you it is best to seek as much information as possible.

RC Helicopter
The Honey Bee series from ESky make an ideal introduction into RC helicopter flying

Which is the best RC helicopter?

Many designs of RC helicopters exist, the main basic differences are between fixed pitch (FP) and collective pitch (CP). The FP is usually controlled by a 4 channel system - it is most suited to a learner of someone only requiring some 'easy' fun flying. 4 channel hellis are fully contollabe in all directions but up and down movements are contolled by increasing or decreasing the power input.

CP models will require a 6 channel control system - they provide more maneuverability and responsiveness due to the ability to change blade pitch as well as rotation speed. These are often harder to setup and to fly, but benefit from greater aerobatic capabilities.

The ESky Honey Bee is a great introduction to rc helicopters. The fixed pitch blade setup means this heli doesn't need much initial adjustment to get in the air. The stable behaviour allowing you to develop your skills with the minimum of frustration.

Ideal for learning all the basics of flying: hovering, turning curcuits etc. It can be flown indoors - large rooms or double garage - as well as outside. The plastic blades are extremely tough, able to absorb the inevitable impacts. This helicopter is often underestimated - but you'll see its full potential when you buzz it around an open field. Fantastic fun flying!

rc heli training kit

Training gear aids stability for the beginner

How to fly RC helicopters?

Transmitter controls allow flyers to control the collective and throttle (usually linked together), the cyclic controls (pitch and roll), and the tail rotor (yaw). Coordinating these controls enables the helicopter to perform most of the maneuvers an aeroplane can do, and many that aeroplanes and even full-sized helicopters cannot do.

A gyro is used on the tail rotor (yaw) control to counter wind and torque reaction induced tail movement. This gyro electronically adjusts the control signal to the tail rotor motor or servo.

Before flying your model helicopter it is advisable to spend some time on an RC flight simulator. A sim such as FMS will allow you to become familiar with the controls and behaviour of the helicopter before moving on to the real thing.

Once you move on to flying your model it is still advisable to attach a training set - made up of rods and balls - which will offer greater stability to the heli in the early stages. Start with the heli facing away from you and stand a safe distance behind. Gently increase the throttle until the helicopter lifts off the ground. Initially you may find the helicopter requires some trim adjustment - this will need a little trial and error before you get it right.

For more information see: BuzzFlyer RC Helicopters

Glossary of terms

  • FP : Fixed Pitch
  • CP : Collective Pitch
  • LiPo : Lithium polymer
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