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What Size RC Helicopter Should You Buy

June 5th, 2011 · No Comments ·

Flying an RC Helicopter can be a lot of fun. However, many people that are looking to take up the hobby often ask, “What size RC Helicopter should I buy?”

People often say that big helis are the best. There are some pros and cons and you have some other important factors to consider. Those golden days no longer exist when only nitro engines were available and made life simpler for everyone.

Today, the number of choices has increased significantly and you can now come across a full-sized nitro or electric model, co-axial electric helis, fully functional palm size 4-channel helis and more. How do you select which one is best for you?

The selection procedure needs to follow certain rules. Before getting into the details, let us concentrate on a few important factors. The cost can be a huge factor, learning curve is also an important aspect, and you don’t want a too complicated system if you’re just starting out. Here are some of the reasons why experts prefer to suggest large RC Helicopters:

Stability: Big RC Helis are far more stable than the smaller ones in terms of balance. This makes them easier to control.

Wind: Because of their mass, the big RC Helis do not easily get disoriented. They are therefore easier to control because of enhanced stability.

Visibility: The big ones are easily visible when they fly high. This allows for a more controlled experience as you can easily see the motion and movement.

Repairing: It is easy to work on the larger RC Helis. In case of any damage caused while flying them, the damaged parts can be easily replaced or repaired because of their bigger size as compared to the smaller ones.

There are a few downsides of buying large RC Helis. They are far costlier than the smaller ones and if damaged, the repair work can be costly as well. Operating the bigger helis is also costly because of the fact that the accessories required to operate them are not cheap.

Once you have done some research and are ready to make your purchase there are a few other important factors to consider.

Place: Where do you intend to fly your RC Heli? This is an important aspect that should not be overlooked. If outdoor flying is your primary target, going for a larger one is good but, if you intend to fly in doors, it make more sense to purchase a smaller model.

Commitment: Determine the level of commitment that you have. If you are a recreational pilot who plans to fly the RC Heli 2-3 times a week or only for a few hours during the weekends, going for larger heli is likely not you’re best bet. Buying a bigger one makes sense only when you are serious about your hobby and you can devote as much time as you can for the same.

Expertise: As mentioned the larger helis come with many more accessories, and controls. They are much harder to learn on than the basic models. When you are researching websites or shopping for your purchase the bigger shiny ones will be appealing right away. Sales people also will push the larger helis on you as they want to make a good dollar on the transaction.

While learning the basic controls can be easier on a larger advanced model, there are going to be mishaps and they can be costly. It is always best to consult with a veteran flyer before you set out to purchase your heli. Budget definitely plays a big decisive role and likely will be your end decision. It is extremely important that you learn before you buy, otherwise you may very well be buying another one, if you get into trouble and wreck your new purchase.

Servicing: What about finding replacement parts in case your RC Heli is damaged during learning? Is there an outlet that can repair and service your heli. This is an important factor as when you start out you will need to make repairs. Hopefully not often, but you should have a resources nearby.
Many models are pretty straightforward and you can make DYI repairs. Props, or landing arms etc. are pretty straight forward. Typically most places that sell helis will also service them. It is always best to do your research and gather as much information as you can about the various models available.

Sizing: As with some things in life, size does matter. When we are talking RC Copters there are a number of sizes available. It is important to understand that with the bigger sizing come more controls and potentially a more difficult learning requirement.

Some sizes include Micro Helis, these little dandies are quite small typically 500grams with a 40-60cm rotor. The pitch on these are generally fixed which makes them a great learner copter.

The Mini Heli’s are just a bit bigger with regard to the rotor as well the options. When you get into the Mini’s your pitch control options come into play.

The next step up would be the small to normal sizing; these vary in weight usually between 2-4kg. The rotors get considerably bigger here also about double that of the micro and minis.

The top of the line are large and ultra large. These are ultimate RC’s and generally only used by trained professionals. The larger type (60-90 nitro) has rotors over 200cm in length.

Going a step up above large and your talking professional piloting here, most of these copters are run by way of gas turbines, and petroleum motors. And they have a very large rotor span.

Consider all the factors seriously before you make a purchase. It is always better to speak to some expert RC Heli pilot to get help. Flying RC Helis is great fun, and you must consider all size options before going for any one of them.

Have a question about this article or anything else RC Heli related? Ask it in our brand new RC Helicopter Forum and you'll get expert answers quick.

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