Traditionally, model helicopters were powered by fuel engines, just like model airplanes, but as electric motors have increased in power and reduced in weight, they have become more popular. Electricity has many advantages, including the lower noise level, the lack of harmful emissions, and generally the cleanliness of the motors. Electric RC helicopters come in many forms. There is a model out there for almost everyone, from beginner to expert. In this article, we will discuss three variants, ranging from the sort of model you might start out with as a beginner to the elaborate scale models you might aspire to fly one day.
The easiest way to get into the electric RC helicopters hobby is to get one of the toys that are intended for kids. These plastic molded models are very easy to fly and nearly indestructible. They are also typically suitable for indoor use, and are small and light enough to avoid causing anyone any real harm should they get out of control. Although these models will not satisfy the avid enthusiast for long, they are a fine introduction and can be a useful stepping stone towards more elaborate models.
The most common sort of electric RC helicopters is the pre-made kit. Typically, these come almost fully assembled. They simply require a final setup or perhaps some minor assembly or painting. Some of these models are quite involving to fly, so you should certainly start out with a less expensive one when first learning. Be aware that helicopters can be squirrelly, unpredictable things, and it is not expected that you will excel right away. Instead, be prepared to crash inelegantly from time to time, and make good use of the sturdiness of these models before you graduate up to our final sort of helicopter.
Scale model electric RC helicopters are intended to be highly accurate recreations of real helicopters. Some people buy these in kits that come in varying degrees of assembly, and some people elect to built their own from scratch. Building your own model is a major undertaking, as it takes some skill and effort to get the power-to-weight ratio adequate for good flying characteristics. Plans are available both online and in print magazines which can greatly reduce the amount of guesswork involved and increase your chances of success. In any case, you do need to have plenty of experience with the easier sorts before you take on a project like this.
It is easy to have a lot of fun with electric RC helicopters. However, you do need to know what you are doing. It is always a good idea to start with something easy to fly and relatively indestructible. Then, when you are comfortable with the level of difficulty, you can move up to the next level. Eventually, you may want to pursue building your own models, sourcing the various mechanical components from suppliers and putting together an exact replica of your favorite civilian or military helicopter. With time and patience, you are sure to enjoy yourself.