There are many different types of RC electric helicopters available on the market, ranging from small and simple models that are designed for indoor use or short flights, to larger and more complex models that are capable of longer flights and more advanced manoeuvres. Some popular brands of RC electric helicopters include Blade, Align, and Hirobo, among others.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing an RC electric helicopter is the battery life and charging time. Electric helicopters tend to have shorter flight times than gas-powered models, and may require more time to recharge between flights. It's important to consider these factors when choosing an electric helicopter and planning your flights.
How Do Electric Helicopters Work?
RC electric helicopters are radio-controlled helicopters that are powered by electric motors. These helicopters use rechargeable batteries to provide power to the motor, which in turn drives the rotor blades and enables the helicopter to fly.
They’re definitely the most environmentally-conscious choice amongst all the other types of remote controlled choppers. Furthermore, if you don’t have much prior experience with these types of vehicles, you’ll certainly have an easier time setting up and operating an electric helicopter as opposed to gas or nitro-powered ones.
However, electric models are still appealing to RC helicopter veterans, many of whom choose advanced battery-powered models over their counterparts primarily due to how quiet and easy to maintain they are.
Types of RC Electric Helicopter Kits
We can distinguish between three main types of electric RC helicopter models: collective pitch, coaxial, and fixed pitch. Below, we’ll outline some of the key characteristics of these choppers.
These RC helicopters are definitely among some of the most advanced electric helicopter kits you can get your hands on. The pitch (i.e. angle) of the collective pitch helicopter’s main rotor changes in order to achieve a higher degree of control over the lift, all the while keeping the engine speed at a constant level.
What does this mean in practice? Well, collective pitch helicopters generally lift up much faster than their fixed or coaxial counterparts, and allow for some very advanced manoeuvres, such as flying upside down, for example.
Some collective pitch models are advertised as ready-to-fly, and while that may be true in terms of the easy set-up process, it’s definitely not the case when it comes to how difficult-to-master these machines are.
Also known as contra-rotating or dual rotor RC helicopters, these electric RC kits have two rotors, one placed above the other. They spin in opposite directions, cancelling out the torque force that necessitates the existence of a tail rotor.
Due to this set-up, these electric helicopters are much easier to control for beginners. While incapable of performing banked turns, flying upside down, or rapid forward flight, they feel incredibly stable.
If you’re a complete newbie, you might want to consider buying a coaxial RC helicopter as your very first model precisely because of their stability in the air and gentle learning curve.
Fixed pitch (FP) electric helicopters fall somewhere between coaxial and collective pitch models in terms of flight difficulty. They used to be the most popular type of RC electric helicopters back in the day, but nowadays, they were somewhat pushed aside by the rise of coaxial and collective pitch choppers.
However, FP helicopters are still a decent option if you’re looking for a vehicle with an affordable price tag and plenty of flying time. As opposed to collective pitch choppers, FP models control the altitude by altering the speed of the machine’s main rotor. There is no way to change the pitch of the blades, which is why they’ve been aptly named “fixed pitch” helicopters.
A fixed pitch chopper is a great choice for you if you’re looking for more manoeuvrability than what’s offered by coaxial helicopters, but aren’t feeling up to the challenge of controlling a collective pitch vehicle.
How to Pick Out the Right RC Electric Helicopter?
Choosing between all of the available RC electric helicopter models is always a headache, especially when you’re presented with such a wealth of options as here, at AT Models. There are, however, some factors you might want to take into account in order to narrow down your search.
- Skill level:As a new RC helicopter pilot who wants to start their journey with an electric kit, coaxial helicopters definitely present the best value for money. These vehicles are a great introduction to the hobby, and won’t intimidate you with complex mechanics and set-up requirements.
- Expected flying time:If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on flying your RC helicopter, then getting an advanced, expensive collective pitch model might not be in your best interest. They require a lot of time and dedication to perfect all the controls and possible manoeuvers. A fixed pitch heli will allow you to get the most fun out of your limited downtime. On the flipside, if you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, we’d advise you to go for a collective pitch chopper to develop the skills of a truly professional RC helicopter pilot.
- Budget:Of course, budgetary constraints will inevitably play a role in your final decision. Keep in mind that some of the cheapest RC helicopter kits will not last you for a very long time, which may result in another expenditure a few months down the line. It might be better to get a more expensive, mid-range model that’ll last you for years, in order to avoid spending additional money in the future.