New to Heli... Where to Start - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
RCCanada - Canada's Radio Control Hobby Forum
General RC Heli Discussion Discuss general topics on rotary wing aircraft, including construction, Servo's, Gryo's and Stabilizer discussions. Heli Pro Shop

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-16-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
RCC Noob
I am: James B
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Niverville, MB
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 5

Feedback: 0 / 0%
Posts: 19
Total Props: 0
Question New to Heli... Where to Start

       Remove this ad - become a site supporter!
Hi, I went to Gimli Model Fest last weekend and was lucky enough to get my wife to join me. I say lucky because she was so impressed with the helicopters there, that she told me to "get one of those. They're cool!" Problem is that I Haven't the foggiest idea where to start. What would be best for a total noob. I've flown fixed wing for years, but this is different. I know that much. I use both 72 MHx and 2.4 and both in JR/Spektrum. I have a Heli radio (JR X347) but don't know if that is still relevant. Any advice is appreciated.
PS: For the record, she thought Jets were cool too till the announcer blabbed how much they cost...Damn it!
4speedfury is offline   Quick reply to this message.

Sponsored Links - Subscribe to remove this ad.
Old 08-16-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
RCC Junior Contributor
I am: Steve P
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg MB / St John's NL
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 19

Feedback: 6 / 100%
Posts: 138
Total Props: 0
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

OH the question on what is best for a newbie ..
i am sure you will get 5 to 10 opinions and all of them will be well founded for sure.
I started with a CX3 , i found it easy to learn on but you out grow it in weeks. if i had the time back back . i would have gone with a SR120 and get a DX6i or a DX7 used.
it will be a bit of a struggle your first week but you will might never out grow it. It will do light winds and is great for indoors as well. Also you can really bang it around and it hard to damage. Eflite helo's are easy to find used and parts are carried at your local bobbie store, the DX family of radios open you to BNF as well as are easy to find used. Well that is my 2 cents any how.
Oh and remember if you don't want to crash it don't buy it !!!
Crass is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #3
RCC Junior Contributor
I am: Christopher P
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mallorytown, Ontario Canada
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 4

Feedback: 7 / 100%
Posts: 242
Total Props: 0
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

I agree with the Blade SR120, more then capable to learn on.
I would strongly recommend learning with a simulator program like Phoenix Rc flight sim.
Also use training gear on the heli until comfortable, you can buy training gear or make your own, long light and strong rods with ping pong balls on ends to slide along ground surfaces, which is another point, make sure surface is somewhat smooth so the training gear doesn,t get hung up on rough surface and cause tip-over.

Oh btw, when the announcer stated the cost of turbine jets, you might just as well double that if you go full bore into heli's. (better to beg for forgivness, then to ask permission)
dialtonehunter is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
RCC Junior Contributor
I am: David C
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 5

Feedback: 3 / 100%
Posts: 165
Total Props: 1
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

I can think of about 5 solid ways to get into helis but they all start with a sim. Get Phoenix or whatever and then go from there. Since it's coming up to the fall and winter, I'd suggest getting a Blade Msr to have some fun indoors. Or possibly a mcpx if you're feeling a bit feisty and want to jump straight into collective pitch. However, if you want to learn on that helicopter indoors I hope you're good at fixing dings in walls and replacing lamp shades.

Then if you find you have good control over a 450 in the sim and want a proper helicopter for the spring, get a 450 kit like an Align Pro v2 or something and start building.

This way if you find you don't like helis you're only out the cost of an msr or mcpx. You can use the sim for your fixed wing. And if it turns out you're really liking it, you'll be prepared to fly a collective pitch in the spring.

What I don't suggest is getting a 450, crashing it to bits and getting discouraged while wasting a bunch of money. Haha.
Froghammer is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-16-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
Jimmy P
RCC Supreme Contributor
I am: James Parnell
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Kenora Ontario
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 31

Feedback: 25 / 100%
Posts: 2,297
Total Props: 14
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

Where is Niverville my friend, I am from Kenora and fly all sort's of heli's and am also a heli instructor. If you are actually interested it may be worth a trip down for some one on one helicopter talk, and I can actually show you a gas or nitro or T-rex 500 electric, you will have a way better understanding of it, and it's free except for the fuel and burger you buy for lunch.
Jimmy P is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-17-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
RCC Contributor
gi1mo2's Avatar
I am: Gilles M
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 18

Feedback: 0 / 0%
Posts: 358
Total Props: 4
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

I agree with simulator (Phoenix), aim for an eFlite Blade model. I started with a CX2 (coax) but outgrew it. The MCX is a smaller coax, causes less damage to walls, lamps etc, but is still boring after a short time. I also have an MSR, and that adds a bit of challenge, strong enough, has better movement than a coax (it's a fixed pitch with tail and gyro). But both are small. If you want to fly outdoors, then a larger heli (SR120) with training gear is a good start.

Larger helis are more stable, but crash harder as well. Repair costs follow.

A good transmitter like a DX7 will follow you with all your future investments.

I do fly 450 and 500 size, but only Electric. I do not like Nitro. Noisy, messy and I can't fly in Parks close to me (neighbors complaints about noise). In our club, there are some Nitro helis, but not for me. I plug a battery, and fly.

I also have planes, and use the same batteries I use in my 450. I have a quad opted (Gaui 330X) with the same batteries.

Whatever you do, have fun...
Heli: Blade MCX, MSR, CPP2, 2 x HK 450, HK500GT, Trex 450 Sport, Bell MD500 (450), HK500GT, Trex 500 ESP, Trex 600E Pro
Quad: Gaui 330X, Gaui 500 with GU-INS
Floats: GWS e-Starter, CL-415 Canadair
Plane: F4U Corsair, Extra 300, Hangar-9 Piper J-3 Cub 40, Visionaire, Polaris Ultra, Focke Wulf 190
Micro: T-28 Trojan, Extra 300 3D
gi1mo2 is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
RCC Supreme Contributor
JimMcIntyre's Avatar
I am: Jim McIntyre
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Claremont Ontario
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 999

Feedback: 1 / 100%
Posts: 4,345
Total Props: 1
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

Flying a sim first is good advice.

As someone who is self taught and now teaches, I can strongly advise you find a good, reliable instructor and go with their advice. There's nothing like an experienced instructor with first hand knowledge of your heli type. Trying to figure it all out yourself (google in hand of course, newsgroups in my day) is a difficult journey.

Best of luck!
MAAC# 12719
Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere - (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).
JimMcIntyre is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #8
★ Site Supporter ★★ Administrator ★
Max's Avatar
I am: Max P.
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Radio of choice:
JR and Spektrum

Feedback: 20 / 100%
Posts: 13,453
Total Props: 149
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

Yup, start with a sim. That will help a lot with your control familiarity when it comes time for the first flight.

IF you want to start with a co-axial, go ahead, but just be advised that they are not good for outdoor, and they fly too easily, so that you get bored with them very quickly.

You will hear a lot of people say "bigger is better" and that is very true.
It is up to you, your budget and your personal ability to learn (and avoid crashing) that come into play. Crash a big heli and it costs $$$$. Crash a smaller heli and it costs $. But the argument is a bigger heli is less likely to crash.. and in most cases that is true as well. So no crashes or maybe 1 crash on a big heli vs a dozen crashes on a small heli... No-one can predict the future, so it is impossible to tell if you will be fortunate or not.

The biggest key to success is a proper set-up. Too many times I have seen guys come to me for assistance with helis that are set up like dogs. And it flies like crap.
I ask: "Who set this up for you"
They answer:" I read up on the internet and set to what I found there"

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Some is mis-information. Others describe set-ups for 3D flight whereas you need a set up for a novice. The difference between the 2 is night and day and can spell disaster or success.
If you can, find someone near you that flies helis. You will learn 10xmore in 1 visit with another flier than you can from hours scouring the internet.

We started this sticky here:
I know there is no-one on the list for MB, but if anyone reads this and wants to be added to the list in the above thread, PM me and we can add you to the list/map.

Hopefully you can find someone near you. Maybe a local flying club?

My personal suggestion for beginners is start with a 450 because of the low cost of repair due to clone parts availability. If set up right and you have proper training gear and the right attitude, you can easily learn to fly it without incident.

Also for me, as in instructor I also recommend the "flymentor" or similar stabiliser. This helps build skill and confidence remarkably fast. The only problem is, you need someone to help you set it up, it is very difficult, but once done, you will love it.
RC Test Pilot; FPV Instructor, Airplane Instructor; Helicopter Instructor

My Aircraft Albums:

Last Photo added: Dec 15; Warwing Foamy for FPV
Max is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-18-2011, 06:58 AM   #9
RCC Junior Contributor
I am: Steve P
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg MB / St John's NL
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 19

Feedback: 6 / 100%
Posts: 138
Total Props: 0
Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

This sunday is the winnipeg RCC fun fly and swap meet , it might be worth your time to go check it out it starts at 10, its at the WRCC flying field south of the city between St anne's and ST mary's road. right beside the water treatment plant next to the perimeter hwy.
its one of the closer RC clubs to you, with the swap meet you might be able to pick up something , if not it will help fuel the fire and maybe get some connections. Wish i was able to make it but the 4 letter word won't let me WORK ....
Crass is offline   Quick reply to this message.
Old 08-18-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
RCC Supreme Contributor
I am: StewartW
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Fort Sakatchewan, Alberta
Radio of choice:
# of RCs: 5

Feedback: 24 / 100%
Posts: 2,532
Total Props: 12
Manitoba Re: New to Heli... Where to Start

I was a complete noob last Christmas. I went and bought 2 used blade 400's. I have bought a few other Colective Pitch helis since then paying the price along the way. My most recent is a Trex 600 also used. In my opinion I would not go with a fixed pitch if you catch on to things fast. CP is the way to go!

That Winnipeg field is AWSOME!

Last edited by craneman32; 08-18-2011 at 07:14 AM. Reason: I Miss Winnipeg!
craneman32 is offline   Quick reply to this message.

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Member names may only be composed of alpha-numeric characters. (A-Z and 0-9)

!!ATTENTION ADVERTISERS!! If you intend on advertising anything on this forum, whatsoever, you are required to first contact us here . Additionally, we do NOT allow BUSINESS NAMES unless you are an Authorized Vendor. If you own a business, and want to do sales on this site via posting or private message, you will need to follow the rules. Shops, Stores, Distributors, Group Buys without being authorized will see your account terminated.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Your Name
Your first name and last initial is required if you plan on using the forum.
Which city & province you live in. This is mandatory for classified listings.
Radio of choice?
Which radio is your current favorite to use?
Number of RC Vehicles?
How many boats, cars, planes do you own?


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
vBulletin Message

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heli starter with two 6mm start shafts OMFC_Jody FS - Helicopters & MultiRotors 3 05-03-2011 04:29 PM
FS: electric starter with hex heli start, fuel pump fieromx3 FS - Engines 1 09-08-2010 06:02 AM
Where to start?? macraemike Beginners / Newbies 12 06-06-2008 10:39 PM
Lets start over**Best first Heli** OTTERTOK General RC Heli Discussion 25 12-18-2007 12:37 AM
OK, where do I start? Claude Paradis Electric Flight 18 09-22-2004 09:23 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:22 PM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.