How To Choose A Beginner Remote Helicopter - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:37 AM   #1
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How To Choose A Beginner Remote Helicopter
Author: Gen Wright

Today there's so many choices for a Remote Helicopter that choosing the right one is confusing for the beginner just getting started. The good news is these choices can tailor a RC helicopter to the pilots skill level and preference of flying indoors and or outdoors.

For the sake of learning to fly a rc Helicopter, only 4+ channel rc helicopters will be recommended. A true hobby grade remote control helicopter will have a swashplate. A swashplate takes the input from the pilot via servos ( small electric motors) and transfers that signal to move the swashplate from side to side or forward and back. This motion changes the angle of blades allowing the helicopter to move in all 4 directions with great control. In a 6 channel collective pitch helicopter the swashplate will also move up and down changing the blade pitch to increase/decrease lift.

Most true beginner rc helicopters, the easiest of all to fly will be the dual rotor blade helicopters. The dual counter rotating blade system makes the heli hover by itself allowing the operator to fully concentrate on moving the helicopter in the direction desired. The downfall of a dual rotor blade rc helicopter is it does not fly in wind. Most micro dual bladed rc helicopters can fly only indoors, some of the larger dual bladed helicopters like the E-flite Blade cx2/cx3 can handle winds up to 5-7mph.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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Some choices available for a beginner RC Helicopter are:

The E-flite Blade mCX and Blade mCX2. The Blade mCX was released at the end of 2009 and is a very easy to fly remote helicopter. It is very stable and has limited movement making it great for younger and older beginner pilots. The Blade mCX2 was just released May 2010, it takes the ease of the mCX2 but adds more reaction for a faster and more aggressive flying helicopter. The Blade mCX2 is great for those beginners who catch on quick or the experienced pilot who wants some fun in the house or office. Other manufactures have also released a similar helicopter to the Blade mCX2. There is the Novus cx, also a very fast helicopter in the same price range or the lower costing Proto CX. Overall comparing parts availability, upgrades, battery cost and charging time, the Blade mCX2 is the recommended choice.

Moving to the next level up on the micro rc helicopters, there's the single bladed micro heli. These helicopters are almost as stable as a dual bladed heli in a hover, but when pushed, they take on the flying characteristics single bladed helicopters are known for. Fast, responsive and with that comes an easier chance to crash. One such rc helicopter, the Blade mSR comes in a RTF (ready to fly) and BNF ( bind n fly) configuration. Revell also just released the Proto Max. Both come in 2.4ghz, but only the Blade mSR comes in BNF.

Lastly, not quite a micro helicopter, is the Blade SR. Released April 2010, the Blade SR has proven to be a very popular helicopter. A little smaller than a 400 size helicopter, it has a 6ch 2.4 radio, head holding gyro, brushless motor/esc at an affordable price.

More details on these Radio Control Helicopters can be found at Rc & Me Hobbies.

One thing can be said, if truly interested in learning to fly an Rc Helicopter, then starting with one of these helicopters will get you started in the right direction.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: How To Choose A Beginner Remote Helicopter

My brother started off with a Blade CX2 coaxial and I started off with a Helimax Axe EZ coaxial. Both helis are very similar and fly relitavely the same.... the edge going towards the Axe EZ (according to my brother).

Just so happens I have mine for sale!


You can fly Hitec or use the other "low tech" stuff!!

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Old 09-25-2010, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: How To Choose A Beginner Remote Helicopter

I would highly recommend the mCX, any variant, to a beginner. They are so hard to break. I have a CX2, and a CX3. The CX helis, while a nice coax chopper, break very easily. I have replaced more blades than I care to admit, inner shafts, outer shafts, etc.. I have rebuilt both more than once. My CX3 is currently waiting for more blades right now. The other big negative is, unless you are practicing hovering in a tight box, they are not really practical in doors.

The mCX on the other hand is durable. I purchased my mCX about 3 months after my CX3, and I purchased replacement blades, and a replacement flybar too. They are still waiting to be used. I have flown the mCX 10x more than either the CX2 or CX3. I have worn out 3 batteries on it, and it has been crashed hard many times. It has been handed to first time fliers many times, and it has never required a fix. Not once. The body on the S300 variant is not as durable as on the original mCX, but I am assuming the body on the mCX2 is as durable.

The mCX weighs so little, that no damage is done in most crashes. Its so small and docile, it can comfortably be flown in a small space, such as the average living room. Further, it cause no damage to the surrounding area when it crashes. The same cannot be said of the CX series.

The step up to an mSR is logical once you have 20 to 30 hours on the mCX. The mSR is docile in hover once trimmed in, and capable of some pretty fast maneuvers. It is a major step up, and will take a lot of practice hovering to get a feel for. The 45 degree hiller head gives it some recovery when you get in trouble, but also gets in the way when you get comfortable with FF flight. It is stable for a fixed pitch with a tail motor, and it will hover hands off when trimmed in. The HH gyro works well. Of course, like the mCX, it weighs nothing, and is pretty hard to break. It is hard to fly in a small space. Its a blast in a gym, or outdoors on a really calm day, but hard in a living room.

That said, and I have an mSR, I would actually recommend the new blade 120 SR, which is just a larger mSR. The 120 is more stable, and easier to fly. Its a little smaller than a CX, but not much. It is much more durable than a CX. Mine has been crashed a few times, and no broken parts yet. Like the CX, its no good in the living room aside from some hover practice. Like the mSR, it needs more space. In a gym its a blast. Outdoors with a little breeze, its a blast. It can handle more wind than a mSR, but it still needs relative calm; 5km/h tops. It can be flown in more wind, but you need to be on top of it.

For a flat out beginner, the mCX is the best deal out there. For someone with coax experience looking to step up, the 120 SR is a fantastic heli. You may be tempted by the SR, which is only about $10 more than an RTF 120 SR, but it has problems with the tail motor, and suffers tail blow out, which can really cause problems for a newer pilot. If you're looking for CCPM, consider a 450 sized heli with a belt drive to the tail, and a good gyro.

For anything beyond a coax, you should consider getting some sim time under your belt. A 450 heli is a different beast than anything outlined in my post, and takes a lot of practice to hover well.
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