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What Is The Best Beginner Helicopter

  1. Tony
    Time and time again I get asked what the best helicopter is to start out with. And the answer may not be as easy as you think.

    If you have never flown anything before, including planes, then you need to start out with a coax helicopter. Why a coax? Because they are the most stable of all of the helicopter. The Blade mCX is a great helicopter to start out with. It's small, it's 4 channel, and you will be able to learn your orientation with it. The next best thing about the coax helicopters is they are not that intimidating. When I first started, I purchased a 3 channel coax and it was the biggest mistake I have made. You can't learn anything on a 3ch helicopter. But, it did get me into flying. A 4 channel coax like the mCX is what I should have gotten to start out with.

    EFLH2200-250.jpg

    The next step that you should take is into a fixed pitch single rotor helicopter such as the HoneyBee. These are still very stable, but allow for faster forward flight than coax helicopters. They also allow you to do banked turns once you learn how to fly them. These helicopter can be flown in the wind, but are pushed around pretty easy. If you are looking for a great indoor fixed pitch helicopter, then check out the Blade mSR. This was the best purchase that I made as a beginner pilot. Rain or wind couldn't hold me back from flying. They take crashes really well, and I proved that on every flight lol.

    HONEYBEE%20FIXEDPITCH%20V2a.jpg EFLH3000-GAL3.jpg

    The next and final step is the Collective Pitch helicopters. These are by far the hardest to fly. They are like trying to balance a marble on a sheet of glass. You can take your eye off of a fixed pitch helicopter, but if you do with a collective pitch heli, you will crash, and fast. These helicopters are made for one thing, performance! And if you are flying these, then you should have some experience under your belt.

    BLH3580-450.jpg

    But, some people are like me and just jump right into the CP world without a clue. Or, you just want to start at the top, and have the hardest time learning. Just for these people, I'm going to give my advice on what helicopters are good, and what helicopters are not so good.

    The first thing that people think when it comes to collective pitch helicopters, is the smaller they are, the easier they are to fly. Or the smaller they are, the less intimidating they are. This couldn't be farther from the truth. There are a bunch of people out there that are buying a 250 sized helicopter and just can't learn how to fly it. They purchased the 250 because it's one of the smallest collective pitch helicopters out there, but not realizing that it's also one of the hardest to fly.

    Because of it's size, and the lack of rotating weight, they are very unstable. The newer ones that are flybarless with the 3 axis gyros are a little easier, but not by much.

    If you must get into CP helis, and skip the fixed pitch helicopters, then I would suggest that you start out with a 450 sized helicopter. The helicopter that I started out on was the Dynam E-Razor 450. This was a decent helicopter, but it has one major flaw. You can only purchase parts from a couple of places. For this reason, I only had it for a couple of months when I purchased my HK450GT. The HK450GT is Align T-Rex compatible, meaning that parts are all over the place for it. If I crash, I can get the cheap knockoff parts, or I can go to just about any hobby shop and get Align parts.

    The 450 is a really stable platform for a CP heli. The rotating weight of the blades makes it a lot more stable than the 250, it's still not big enough to be intimidating (as much), and it will handle wind a lot better than the 250. It is also the most common size helicopter out there.

    So what are your other options... You could get into a 500 or 550 sized helicopter, but even though they are more stable then the 450's, they are also at least double the price. Then there is the 600 and bigger that can be 4x the price of the 450 or more.

    My suggestion is start with a 4ch coax, then move up to a 4ch fixed pitch single rotor, Then move up to a 450 CP heli. Once you master the 450, THEN you can look at getting into the 250 sized helis.

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  1. murankar
    Yes it is. In fact the helis referanced in this article dont exsist in retail anymore.
  2. Tony
    One thing to remember, this article was written back in 2011. Back when the 550 didn't exist. This thing is old and out dated. Severely.
  3. murankar
    I would add arguement towards going with a 550 class. thats size leads a pilot into the full spectrum of fly all the way down to auto rotations. Albeit autos can be done with any small helis ask Bobby Watts but lets face it we are not Bobby Watts. Yes there is the issue of cost and space to fly but in the end the new would be pilot would have a michine that would give them everything they need in a heli. Best part is that it is a one time buy upfront. Great thing about the 550 class is that you can use full sized (600-700) servoes on it. Why is this important you ask? Well if one decides to upgrade to a 600 or 700 you already have the gyro and servos. All one would need is a motor and ESC. BAtteries could be ran in series from the 550 privided the pilot has more than one pack.

    As of today if a pilot wanted to 700-800 class and not break the bank for the class then an MSH Protos Max V2 is the ticket. One could get all of the electronics seccond hand off the forums and get this build below $1500. This kit as a 700 NEEDS 710mm blades and a set of GOOD batteries.

    As for the 500 class, if one has more space than a baseball field but less than a football field then this is your ticket to ride. While auto rotations are a little more difficult the airframe can do it. I would not get the Goblin 500 sport at the moment, reason is the 570 shares a lot of the nparts which makes the 570 a better deal in the end. Back to the 500, its a small airframe servos are minis vs full size or micros and your power system will more thasn likely be under 100 amps. What is great about this is that most ESCs for this class have BECs in them. No need to worry about flight packs.