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What Should I Consider When Buying a Remote Controlled Helicopter?

The smallest remote controlled helicopters are usually the cheapest.
Remote control for a helicopter.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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Owning a remote controlled helicopter, or RC helicopter, can be one of the most entertaining hobbies and diversions for young and old alike. Indications are they have even become more popular than remote control planes. In addition, unlike many other types of toys, it can also help teach coordination and even some principles of flight. However, remote controlled helicopters are also very technical pieces of equipment and the purchase should be carefully considered for those who want a product that lasts.

There are a number of different types of remote controlled helicopter models. The first thing to consider is how much you are willing to spend. The cheaper you go, the less durable the craft will be and the less likely you will be to find replacement parts. These low-end toy helicopter models are capable of flying and entertaining, but are relatively fragile. However, their low cost makes them easy to replace. This type of toy is usually a very small version, often referred to as a micro helicopter or mini helicopter.

Those who really want to have a long-lasting time with their remote controlled helicopter should consider one that is hobby grade. This will likely involve a fair amount of money, often $300 US Dollars (USD) or more. However, for those who want the ultimate flying experience, these remote controlled helicopter models provide just that.

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Another thing to consider is the power source. Most low-end RC helicopters are powered by electricity. There is a battery pack usually on board the helicopter. While it can provide some good power for shorter flights, they tend to consume energy very quickly. Most remote controlled electric helicopters will only get five to ten minutes per charge. Gasoline will provide more flying time, and faster refueling times, but the models that use gasoline are more expensive.

For those just getting into the hobby, the most common form of remote controlled helicopter is the coaxial machine. This machine will have will have two main rotors, which are the rotors above the helicopter and usually no tail rotor. The rotors actually spin in opposite directions from each other, leading to greater stability.

Other types of remote controlled helicopters include the fixed pitch, which have the traditional layout of the main rotor and tail rotor. The other main type of remote control helicopter also looks similar, the collective pitch models. The easiest model to learn on is the coaxial model. The collective pitch machines are the most difficult.

For those just starting out, or those with very young children, it may be best to buy one of the cheaper models available in toy stores and toy sections of major retailers. These machines will often provide a good background and experience to see how far you want to take the hobby. More sophisticated remote controlled helicopter models can always be purchased later on.

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