RC Helicopters

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  • RC Helicopters
  • aracer
    Member

    Kind-of asked this one on the old forum, but that’s all gone. Thinking about getting a proper 4 channel RC heli to move on from the toy indoor ones I’ve used up to now. Recommendations?

    I presume as a relative beginner I should be looking at 4 channels rather than 6 (can’t actually get my head around what 6 channels do – any FAQs?) Budget – <£100 would be good, ~£50 would be better – ie as cheap as is realistic. Would be good to have something useable indoors as well as out in good conditions, so preferably something not too big.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    Get this:
    http://www.chinesejade.com/walkeraBL4M3_Heli.htm

    I have the non-brushless model, and its great.
    Buy lots of cheap bits (tail booms especially) when you order it.

    Flaperon
    Member

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=221431

    I have one of these – it’s awesome. Very robust, needs considerable effort to break and includes spare rotor blades in the box. £24 gets you the spares pack, which pretty much lets you build a new copter from scratch.

    pacemaker
    Member

    Fastlad

    I wouldnt recomend the maplin’s toys, have a look at the link, fastlad are a Heli only shop with a great reputation and any of the esky heli’s are well supported with spares.
    I have 2 3d ready esky’s as well as top of the range nitro heli’s and the cheap esky’s are great fun as well as great for beginners.
    Any help needed just ask.

    HTTP404
    Member

    I know of a “heliaddict” and any of the helicopters you could fly indoors would be too small to fly outdoors. It took him a few years to learn to fly the things – he learnt on a pc simulator weekdays and outdoors at the weekends with crashes pretty much every week.

    dave_aber
    Member

    Have a look here : http://www.heliaddict.com/

    I took the other approach. Spent the thick end of a grand on a Raptor 50, starter, 6 channel radio gear, tools, etc

    Surprisingly it was not too difficult to get to a hovering level. Bit more tricky when you start to fly at a bit of speed – these things can move FAST.

    At the quoted budget, you will probably struggle to get a heli that is man enough to fly outdoor unless there is absolutely no wind. The smaller battery powered outdoor ones are getting cheaper though.

    BTW, 6 channels – 1. Roll, 2. Pitch, 3. Yaw, 4. Throttle, 5. Collective (Main Blade Pitch), 6. ‘Spare’ – normally used for Gyro gain adjustment.

    johnhoo
    Member

    for well under £100 you can get the Twister Medevac or Twister Hawk. Both have good reputations and spares are easily available. They are small enough to fly in a good-sized room, but big enough to fly outdoors on a perfectly still day

    However, they have contra-rotating rotor blades and while this makes them super stable and easy to get going, it does mean that they will not teach you how to actually fly helicopters…
    For that you need something with a traditional layout (main rotor + tail rotor), and ideally collective pitch rather than fixed pitch.

    Look at Fast Lad (as mentioned above) – last time I looked you could get a Belt CP including basic 6ch radio for about £120 – bargain!

    The Belt CP is a true collective pitch helicopter – at almost 2ft rotor diameter it is too big for any indoor space smaller than a village hall, but on the other hand it is big enough to fly outdoors on a reasonably calm day.

    Have a look at http://www.flyingsites.co.uk and see if you can find a local club that does indoor flying. If you’re anywhere near Bradford then there’s an indoor meet every other Friday evening in Cullingworth, and a monthly one (usually) in Keighley

    Re what dave_aber said, with a helicopter “roll” = side to side, “pitch” = forwards/backwards, “yaw” = swivel/turn, “collective” = how much ‘pitch’ in the main rotor blades relative to ‘flat’ – simplistically speaking, collective = up/down.

    I won’t even mention 3D yet…

    aracer
    Member

    Thanks all – I understand the terms (I work with people who work on real helis), but could only get to 5 channels. It all makes sense if the 6th is spare! 4 channel models presumably are fixed pitch – does it really make that much difference having a collective unless you want to fly upside-down How much harder is it to fly a traditional layout than a co-axial rotor?

    Something that needs totally calm conditions to fly outside is fine – is very sheltered outside the front of the house, which is realistically where I’m likely to be. Any particular reason not to go for a Honey Bee at £70?

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Slight hi-jack; I’d like one of they tiny indoor ones, you know, the ones you can buzz around the living room. What’s a good ‘un?

    pacemaker
    Member

    No reason not to go for the honeybee, cracking heli, i have a honeybee king 2 and also a belt cp. Both cracking heli’s and as much fun as my raptor 90 or trex 600.!
    A simulator is also ok for the basic’s most people find but i couldnt get on with them.

    The picco-z’s are great little indoor heli’s and you can pick em up for about a tenner now.

    johnhoo
    Member

    picooZ is cr@p. no control at all.

    what you want is a Blade MCx at £80, or £60 if you already have a 2.4GHz radio that you can bind to it. Proper 4 channel co-ax helicopter that’ll land on the palm of your hand.

    co-ax are very stable – get it trimmed right and it’ll hover hands off – which is great if that’s what you want to do. But sooner or later you’ll want something more demanding, which is where the Collective Pitch traditional helis come in.

    I started on a PicooZ.

    I now have, in increasing size order:
    PicooZ
    Blade MCx
    Twister v2 FP
    Twister Medevac – now in a semi-scale Jet Ranger body
    Twister Storm – 450 size electric, similar to the Belt CP & Honeybee King
    Century Hawk Pro 30 – .30cu in nitro job for outside

    Have a look at my flickr page – http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhooper_drum/
    all sorts of interesting things in there

    RudeBoy
    Member

    what you want is a Blade MCx at £80

    No, what I want is something silly so’s I can have a laugh with it. I’ll probbly get bored with it after 10 minutes anyway.

    £80?? No, a tenner is more my mark!

    Sell me your Pico-Z!

    pacemaker
    Member

    Maplin were doing the better 3 channel picco for £15 the other week, for what you get (a bit of fun toy) it was pretty stable, the original picco z were ok for a bit of fun (its a toy, not a rc heli!)

    If you want to see some r/c heli’s (like john’s Hawk 30 and bigger) have a look at my website.
    rcmodelphotography.co.uk

    dave_aber
    Member

    I got a Pico Z tandem (chinook) in Maplins a few weeks ago, knock-down price, and flies really well inside. It’s even got a LED blue ‘searchlight’

    johnhoo
    Member

    I understand the Tandem one is vaguely flyable 😉

    johnhoo
    Member

    ah Stuart, I didn’t realise that was you 🙂

    dave_aber
    Member

    I understand the Tandem one is vaguely flyable [;-)]

    It’s surprisingly good – and quite robust too!

    RudeBoy
    Member

    I got a Pico Z tandem (chinook) in Maplins a few weeks ago, knock-down price, and flies really well inside. It’s even got a LED blue ‘searchlight’

    (Is suddenly very inertested…)

    Is this one?

    pacemaker
    Member

    yes John ’tis me.. 😀
    Seems someone had already registered with giantstu??!

    We are gonna have to get to together for a hover!

    My diary if filling up fast with fly in’s for the season, hopefully going to get to Florida jets this year .
    I also need to ride my bike a bit!! (been nearly 2 years!)

    dave_aber
    Member

    Is this one?

    Looks very much like it. Make sure it’s the Pico Z Tandem, not a cheapo copy.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Yes, it’s £40.

    It’s RudeBoy’s birthday coming up. RudeBoy’s mummy was asking what he wants for his birthday… 😀

    dave_aber
    Member

    Go for it. I think Maplins had them knocked down to £35 when I got one.

    johnhoo
    Member

    I’m up at Cullingworth every other Friday evening, and when I get the Hawk finished* I’ll be down at Marley fields, Keighley, of a Sunday morning, with the local BMFA affiliated club.

    I don’t think I can take it anywhere else until I’ve got my ‘A’ at least. Might be a while then 😉

    * need to finish centring the servos, loctite everything that needs it, and then finish the plumbing, charge up the Rx, Tx, Glow Start and flightbox batteries, and we’re away. Should be a half-day job at most but half-days are thin on the ground at the moment

    aracer
    Member

    My current one is a TandemZ – started with a 2 channel BlackGhost. Not actually that impressed as whilst it is easy to fly the controllability is compromised because the servo which varies the angle of the front rotor (and hence yaw) is rather notchy. Means you can’t trim it totally straight, or vary the yaw over a continuous range. Don’t know if mine is knackered but fairly sure it was like that from new even before my 2 year old (OK and also me) started crashing it. I think it’s now been too obviously crashed to try taking back (anyway it was a Xmas pressie), so might pull it apart to see what’s wrong if other people’s aren’t like that.

    Hence why I’d like something better.

    Anyway if you do want one, they’re a lot cheaper at Amazon

    aracer
    Member

    OK, so just to resurrect this one in case anybody is listening, I’ve pretty much decided on getting a co-ax heli, as I’m not sure I want to spend all the time learning how to fly a proper one (I suppose that might come later if I get properly hooked), and lots of money on replacing bits! So given that, has anybody used a Esky Co-Comanche? Looks good, and the presumably very similar Lamas seem to be liked – or should I just get a Lama?

    colnagokid
    Member

    Loved the reply about” its not a proper RC helicopter”, mate its not a proper helicopter! Scalectrix isnt proper F1, subbuteo isnt the premeier league, its just toys-for having fun!

    johnhoo
    Member

    E-sky are pretty good. Get a spare battery or two.

    Nowt worse than waiting an hour to recharge a battery that’ll be done in 10 minutes

    But do allow the motors to cool down in between flights

    dave_aber
    Member

    colnagokid – fair point. However there is a world of difference between flying the ‘toy’ level of RC Heli and the ‘proper’ ones.
    Basically it comes down to this –
    If you want something that can fly around in control, probably indoors, straight out of the box, then you need a ‘toy’ one. 2 channel, possibly co-axial rotors. These have limited abilities, but are fun – which is what it’s all about really.
    If you want to learn a new skill, fly something that’s big enough to use outdoors in a bit of a breeze, learn aerobatics of any sort, enter competitions, etc, then you need to get a ‘proper’ one.
    .
    I make no apology for the use of ‘toy’ and ‘proper’ – but I’m not saying that a ‘proper’ one is better than a ‘toy’ one. I have a couple of proper ones and quite a few toy ones. All good fun. The toy ones get more use than the proper ones if I’m honest!
    There is very little to be learned however flying a toy one which will help when you get a proper one.

    Horses for courses.

    Milkie
    Member

    I bought myself one of these, after having a PiccoZ for Christmas..

    It’s mainly an indoor flyer. I’ve flown it a couple of times outside, and it flew very well, when it wasnt windy.

    mogrim
    Member

    I bought (halves with a mate) one of the pursuit/attack 2 helicopter sets – great fun when you’re pissed, you get to shoot each other down. They’re only 2-channel indoor helicopters, so you can forget hovering etc, but they’re still great fun.

    Since then I’ve got a 4-channel coax helicopter, also good fun but considerably harder to fly. Get spares 🙁

    aracer
    Member

    What’s that Milkie? Not a co-ax by the looks of things, so how hard to fly coming from a toy?

    I really can’t make my mind up – am now deciding between a Blade MCX and a Medevac or Hawk!

    Milkie
    Member

    What’s that Milkie? Not a co-ax by the looks of things, so how hard to fly coming from a toy?

    No its not a Co-Ax, its a proper 4 channel RC Helicopter. I’ve only flown this one, and I thought it was pretty easy, once I had got my head around all the controls (hit something, it doesnt break, and neither does the heli…much). Apparently its very hard to fly this little one, they say if you can fly this, you should be able to fly bigger ones with ease.

    I’ve heard good things about the Esky Belt CP, but haven’t got one.

    I did an online tutorial with my heli, it was very good (can’t remember the site) but it wasn’t until the 10th lesson that you got it in the air. Very good lessons, and it meant that when i went to fly, I could fly, and I didnt crash… much! (I’ll post the site, if I can remember)

    aracer
    Member

    Not going to tell me what model it is then?

    johnhoo
    Member

    looks like it might be one of these twitchy little things

    colnagokid
    Member

    Guys I wasn’t taking the pee, enjoy your hobby!

    johnhoo
    Member

    I really can’t make my mind up – am now deciding between a Blade MCX and a Medevac or Hawk!

    depends on the size of your main flying room. Typical living room – MCx; village hall – Medevac, Hawk or the bigger Blade CX – take your pick. They’re all much of a muchness TBH, the major differences these days are (a) price and (b) 2.4GHz or 35MHz

    Milkie
    Member

    Not going to tell me what model it is then?

    I thought you might know, as the 2nd post in this thread is the same helicopter. 😉

    It’s a Walkera 4#3 (Or known as a BuzzFly in the UK), you can buy these pretty cheap, and the parts are cheap too.

    aracer
    Member

    In case anybody is interested I eventually got a Walkera 5g6 (actually calls itself a Micro-X, but is exactly the same thing). Got a good deal from somebody in work including loads of spares, and realised it did fit the bill very well as something which works inside, but due to the higher weight should cope slightly better outside than a MCX. Is essentially the co-ax version of the 4g3 a couple of people mention.

    johnhoo
    Member

    excellent – have fun 🙂

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Bugger. I was in ModelZone t’other day, visiting a mate who works there, and I forgot to ask him about tiny hekelopters.

    I just want a tiny one to fly around the living room, and annoy me mum when she comes to see me.

    Im not spending silly money, on a toy.

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