Looking to get started in RC helis? A bit worried about the complexity and difficulty of flight? Not ready to invest a lot of money? No problem - we have the perfect fit for you, and even better, helicopters are no longer the niche based aircraft they once were, with all types of beginner friendly machines that are easy to fly, cheap to fix, and best of all, ultra low in cost to get your foot into the door when it comes to the pure bliss of helicopter flight.
Let's face it - drones have been done to death. They're everywhere, everyone flies them, and they have become commonplace when it comes to the RC world. When it comes to helicopters, these wondrous flying machines offer an amazing line of sight experience that does away with all the camera, video and computer wizardry in place of a pure RC experience that you can see and enjoy in real time, right before your eyes - no FPV goggles required. And before any drone / FPV pilots revolt over such words, this is nothing against drones - it's just a "getting back to basics" of RC flight with the purity of a true line of sight experience paired with the unique challenges and rewards that helicopters love to give.
If you're in the market for your first RC helicopter, you're in a good place. The market has matured massively over the years, and even though the heli scene isn't as hot as the drone craze, there are multiple user friendly beginner models that are ready & waiting to get you in the air and having some serious RC fun.
Best of all, these helis are cheap. We're talking nearly every model being $100.00 cheap, with just one model in this mix that crests the $200.00 mark - not a bad deal when we're talking about every aircraft (minus one) being fully assembled, ready to fly aircraft with everything you need - battery & charger included.
So, whether you're brand new to the heli scene or looking at an ultra minimal investment to get in the game, these low cost palm sized helis can get you in the air and having fun, and best of all, they can stair step you to the helis of your dreams, allowing you to step up to the big leagues, if you so desire.
Simply put, the sky is literally the limit, and here are the (5) machines that will get you where you need to go in the world of RC helicopter flight.
XK Sky Leader Single Rotor 4 Channel RTF Helicopter - $109.00
Yup, you're eyes aren't deceiving you - that's a flybar. What's a flybar, you ask? A flybar is a mechanical stability device situated at the top of the main rotor, and once the rotor spools up, this mechanical stability device does just that - makes the heli stable. Most modern helis depend upon an electronic stability device to keep the heli in the air, but a traditional flybar does the job nicely, and this heli is designed to get in the air with the stability a new pilot is desperate for, allowing confidence to grow when it comes to learning the basics of RC helicopter flight.
Low in cost and ultra basic, this heli brings a simple solution to the mix, offering around 10 minutes of flight time per charge. Utilizing a brushless main motor with plenty of power with a motor driven tail for the ultimate in simplicity, the fixed pitch rotor blade setup is the perfect recipe for beginners that need nothing more than the utter basics of heli control.
With a very low parts count that consists of blades, a few linkages and a main drive gear, there is little to go wrong with this machine, which is absolutely ideal when learning to fly. Simple & straightforward, the Sky Leader is a great beginning step into the realm of helis, and once mastered, you can easily step up into the collective pitch world with full 3D aerobatic flight, ready & waiting.
Blade 70 S RTF - $59.99.
To be honest, an RTF (ready to fly) heli at a price like this is simply hard to believe. Don't let the size fool you - this pint sized heli is packed with some seriously clever electronics, offering a flybarless fixed pitch main rotor with a "SAFE" stabilized electronic package to keep this heli upright and flying the way it was designed to do - including auto level capability for the perfect beginner mode. In essence, it's the perfect beginners machine at a budget level price that is just too good to pass up. Did we mention this helicopter comes with everything?
With an ultra low parts count and an overall weight that rivals a gnat, the Blade 70 S RTF will be difficult to damage, as it just has so little mass. If you can close the throttle when things go wrong, 9 times out of 10 this little heli will be ready for another go, as there are just so few moving parts, with so very little weight to make a dent. Can it be broken? No doubt about it, but you're going to have to try, which makes this micro machine an epic heli to learn the basics - all without fear or worry when a crash takes place.
Designed for indoor flight (or dead calm conditions outdoors), the Blade 70 S uses a 1S 3.7V 150mAh LiPo battery that will provide 4 to 5 minutes of flight. And since batteries are so cheap at this size, having some spare batteries on hand will keep the fun going and the learning going strong. And since this heli uses a super simple motor driven tail with a fixed pitch main rotor system, any repairs will be cheap and easy, and in all reality, the heli will be hard to break, although we wouldn't consider that a dare.
XK EC-145 6 Channel RTF 3D Helicopter - $139.00
Simply put - this helicopter is just plain cool. There are few well designed scale helicopters out there, and scarce are the scale type helis like this, with a true (4) bladed rotor system to add that finishing scale touch when compared to the real life Eurocopter EC-145. And at a price point of $139.00 with a for real RTF (ready to fly) setup, the XK EC-145 is a true treat for someone wanting to jump into the heli scene with some scale realism to boot.
Mirroring the true life Eurocopter EC-145 that is a favorite in the medical life flight industry, XK steps up the scale realism with a (4) bladed collective pitch rotor system that will allow some aggressive 3D maneuvers that even the true life EC-145 will lack. Then again, we doubt it would be conducive to patient health if the full scale EC-145 were able to hover inverted, but we'll leave that argument for another day. However, if you're a beginner, the 3D mode isn't ideal, as the aircraft will be difficult to control. This is where the "6G" mode comes to save the day, offering ultra stable flight characteristics that perpetually keep the helicopter level, allowing learning to be fun & simple without the worry of a crash.
Fully built with a programmable and adjustable computerized transmitter that features multiple mode selections, this palm sized micro heli is exceptionally priced and perfectly suited for the beginner pilot that wants to take a step into the scale direction. And at a price point of $139.00 ready to fly, it's a package that simply cannot be beat when it comes to some serious bang for your buck fun.
XK K110 Blast 6 Channel Brushless RTF 3D Helicopter - $99.00
Shockingly priced at $99.00, I just don't know where to start with this heli, as it has a litany of features that are simply too good to be true at this ultra low price point. You would be hard pressed to find any competitor helicopter priced even close to this model with even fewer features, so when it comes to overall value, the K110 Blast is a game changer - literally the perfect heli for any beginner that wants an awesome palm sized heli that is super stable with true 3D potential.
With a sleek 3D look, the K110 Blast features a true brushless powered main motor, which again is just shocking at a price of $99.00. Offering much more power & longevity than a traditional brushed motor, the K110 shows that it's truly capable of some aggressive maneuvers with this power plant on board. Even better is the multi mode capability that is the perfect fit for new pilots. In "6G" mode, the Blast is ultra stable & smooth, with the aircraft auto leveling once the cyclic stick is released. This is absolutely ideal for new pilots that are still coming to grips with control and coordination, saving you from many crashes, and lots of frustrations to boot. And when 6G mode becomes a bit too tame, 3D mode awaits, allowing full aerobatic capability with the brushless power to back it up.
Simple & small with an ultra low parts count flybarless rotor, the Blast is simple in design with a powerful coreless tail motor that keeps things basic while optimizing the overall performance at hand. And when a crash occurs, the damage will be minimal due to this simplified design, with a very fair chance of the heli surviving the shunt. And if you're quick to flip the "throttle hold" switch before impact, there's an even greater chance that this heli will brush off the affront and be ready for another go, making this heli an excellent way to learn with very little pain. Add 6 to 7 minutes of flight time per charge, you can enjoy some serious fun with a heli that actually flies as good as it looks, if not even better.
Blade 230 S V2 BNF Basic - $214.99
At double the cost and not being an RTF (ready to fly) package, the Blade 230 S V2 makes it up in size, performance and true beginner friendliness. If you're the type that likes to invest into a higher end setup with some future proofing from the start, the Blade 230 S V2 may be the bird for you, allowing you to pick up a transmitter & charger that will not only be perfect for this machine, but be ready & able to adapt to bigger birds down the road.
Featuring a brushless main motor and brushless tail rotor, the Blade 230 S V2 does away with lower power brushed motor designs and invests in the power, performance and longevity that brushless technology brings to the mix. Tie in the built in AR636 flybarless flight controller with built in SAFE mode, the Blade 230 S V2 is the perfect heli for brand new pilots that need the ultimate stability to learn the basics of heli flight. SAFE mode makes it easy by always returning to level flight when the cyclic is released, making learning easier than ever in this ultra stable mode of flight. And once you learn the ropes, full 3D capability awaits, allowing the aerobatic awesomeness of the Blade 230 S V2 to be unlocked, transforming this heli from Jekyll to Hyde.
Requiring a 6+ channel Spektrum transmitter, LiPo battery and LiPo battery charger, these (3) items can be picked up at reasonable costs without waylaying your bank account. And considering a transmitter and charger are required for any future heli kits waiting in the wings, it's a great time to make an up front investment and begin to learn the ropes, and also benefit from some higher tech capability these devices offer over basic RTF tech.
Simply put, the Blade 230 S V2 is a high quality beginner friendly heli with excellent future potential. With its simplified flybarless system paired with upgrades like metal gear servos and high strength ABS parts, the 230 S V2 is a beginners dream that continues the training into aerobatic flight with technology like "Panic Recovery," which will bail you out at a flip of the switch. With this built in technology and the ability to invest into some quality components for the future, this package is the perfect setup for the pilot in search of a true high tech machine.