Sunday, July 23, 2017

Introduction

Maybe one of the coolest hypes of this era of technology: a mini RC Helicopter; remotely controlled fun indoor! Because of a build-in gyro, they fly very stable and are easy to control. With a bit of practicing you can fly in your living room without scratching the wallpaper, paintings, furniture, plants or even televisions. There's different types of mini remote controlled helicopters. Below is described in which ways they differ.

Size

There are Micro RC Helicopters available starting with a length of 10 cm (4 inch). In general there are 4 sizes:

  • 10 cm (4 inch)
  • 23 cm (9 inch)
  • 36 cm (14 inch)
  • 50 cm (20 inch)

As to be expected, the price increases as the size does. And so does the charging time. However, bigger batteries also last a little longer. The Micro RC Helicopters are armed with an Li-Po battery pack with one or multiple cells. You can fly 5 to 15 minutes depending on the helicopter's design.

Also, smaller helicopters are more responsive and therefore easier to begin with. On the other hand smaller helicopters are more affected by wind, and therefore most of the time uncontrollable outdoor. If you want to fly outdoor begin with a size of at least 36 cm.

Channels

The most characterizing difference between remote controlled mini helicopters is their channel count. The more channels, the more it can do. For example: 1 channel is to control the altitude of the helicopter. With a 2nd you can rotate the helicopter. Then a 3rd will move the helicopter forwards or backwards. Yet with a 4th you can move the helicopter sideways. Finally there is a 5th and 6th channel for stunt pilots with which you can twist the helicopter over different angles. Sometimes there is a button added to remotely control the helicopter's lightning.

Most helicopters have 3 or 4 channels. More channels are harder to control, so if you are a beginner, start with 3. With 3 channels you can still move the helicopter everywhere around the room, without needing hours of flight experience. As soon as you get this trick, the easier it is to have a 4th channel added to your control.

Rotors

Another difference which has major effect on the way the Micro RC Helicopter is handled is the number of main rotors. As you change the speed of just one rotor to change the helicopter's altitude it will also rotate the whole helicopter. This makes it a lot more difficult to control the bird. Although it matches reality a lot less, it is a lot easier to start with a Micro RC Helicopter with two main rotors.

Pitch

Pitch means blade rotation, to go a little more advanced. Most helicopters have blades with "fixed pitch" but there are also helicopters with "variable pitch". The idea is to have a zero level, where the blades can spin at any speed without causing lift. When you stabilized a certain speed you change the pitch to cause lift and make the helicopter fly.

These are  also the helicopters that can fly up-side-down. At a certain point you have to change the pitch to a negative value causing a lift in the opposite direction.

A special, programmable remote control is need for these kind of helicopters and/or where you can switch your throttle from speed to pitch.

Remote Controller

There are two types of remotes; radio controlled (RF) and infra-red (IR). RF is available in two versions: one with a long antenna (400 MHz band) and one with a short antenna (2.3GHz band.) The benefit of an IR remote is the lack of an antenna, instead you have to point the remote somewhere in the direction of the helicopter.

Flight Modes

Some controllers can switch between flight mode 1 or 2. In flight mode 1 you have your throttle on your left hand and in flight mode 2 on your right hand. Note that the rudder is on your left hand in both modes. It is a personal matter which mode you want to fly with, but most controllers are just mode 1, so if you have to get used to controls anyway, get used to this.

Pricing

An indication of $30 USD is given for a 3 channel Micro RC Helicopter with a length of 23 cm. Please find below a list of online suppliers:

 

United States:

 

Asia:

 

Australia:

 

United Kingdom:

 

The Netherlands:

 

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