What's the best micro heli for a beginner? - RC Groups
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May 30, 2008, 06:06 PM
Registered User

What's the best micro heli for a beginner?

Hey all. I'm new here. I'm new to the rc helis...I have a lot of questions, so please bear with me. Maybe each person can answer a question or two, so that one person doesn't get stuck with all of my silly questions.

I've never owned an rc heli before, but I'm more than willing to learn to fly one. I don't know too much about them. So far from my research, I've learned that there are 2 to 7 channel models. The channels apparently refer to the control features supported between the transmitter and receiver. So...apparently on the two channels, one works the main throttle for up and down; and one works the rudder/yaw for turning the heli. It seems that going from 2 to 3 channel lets you adjust the pitch control - making the heli go forward and backward? 4 channels seems to add some kind of ability to go left and right. On up to the 6 and 7 channels seems to get into the stunt helis that have gyros and other stuff...most of which I can't afford right now. lol

Mainly I just want something to play around with, when I'm bored. I'm 25, but I don't think there's anything wrong with being a kid at heart, when you're at home relaxing. So...as opposed to what a 10 year old would do with it (spear it into a building after taking it outside and not paying attention)...I don't plan on having some major crash issue. We have a big, open yard with very few obstacles. I would be flying it indoors and outdoors...just depending on the day, the weather, etc. I've been looking at the micro helis here: http://www.raidentech.com/mirche.html (I have no idea if this is a good site to get them from, either...someone recommended it to me).

Some of them are 2 and 3 channels for like $20 to $30 starting out. Being so small, I'm sure they are probably very fragile, as well. After doing a little bit of reading in various places, it seems that only something like 50% or less of these cheap micro helis actually work properly (electronics-wise, many were broken or not working, right out of the box). Most of the 2 and 3 channel micro helis in videos that I have seen, seem to fly in a constant, out of control spin. Obviously, they don't have the channels for stability in keeping the spin under control and just staying straight in a hover. While I know that the amount I would pay won't buy me too great of a heli, I kind of want to find the best buy. Hopefully something a little more stable that can 'hover' better without spinning all of the time. I do like how little they are, though. However...that's not the most important thing to me, if they are horrible.

It looks like I wouldn't want to go below a 4 channel, however. All of the micro helis seem to max out at 3 channels...probably because they don't have any more space to put other features, and couldn't handle the weight anyway.

So that brings me to http://www.raidentech.com/rchelicopters.html

In the 4 channels...I see 'fixed pitch' helis for beginners. A good idea or a bad one? I've been looking at some similar to the Falcon 40.

I also see Co-Axial helis...I've seen a lot of videos of them on YouTube, and the ones that I have seen seem to be a lot more stable than regular or micro helis. Is Co-Axial good or bad, and what are the pros and cons of them?

I'm also looking for something that has at least a 7 to 10 minute flight time. That's kind of high...because I've seen where some of the micros only fly for 30 seconds. But I have seen some 7 to 10 minute flight times on the lower-end regular helis, as well.

Provided that no parts physically break, and the electronics hold up fine...how many charges will these batteries last for? If it's possible, one last request would be...a battery that I can change. I know that the super cheap ones are built-in (micros) and you just have to throw the whole heli away and buy a new one. Are any of the mid-range helis around $100 or less with accessible batteries that can be changed?
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May 30, 2008, 06:10 PM
Put a Quark in it!
nexgen's Avatar
As this is your firs post, I will say it is a rather lengthy one. I do GUARANTEE that if you do some looking around in thes posts on this forum, you will find the answer to all your questions. Your question has been asked MANY times recently and there are threads with alot of good responses to your same question. I would say to get involved with this community and read read read, and you will find that you can answer your questions. There really is no need to reinvent the wheel by starting another thread about the same thing again.
May 30, 2008, 06:19 PM
3D VFX Artist
tonyastro's Avatar
Start with a 4 channel. If your getting into rc helis there's no point in getting 3 or below. Coax would be easier to start learning. I wouldn't be able to suggest a heli as I started with a walkera 52 6-channel. And regretted it.
May 30, 2008, 06:23 PM
Genius or Madness?
Necron Xen's Avatar

You may find this new hobby rather addicting, any I'm happy to give advice to beginners.
2-channel helicopters are pretty much a waste of time and money, you won't learn anything from them.
The best 3-channel I've played with is the mosquito, but you probably don't want to waste your money on that either, unless you want something to fly around in the office that is virtually silent.
Most of those 2-3 channel helicopters on that site, I would guess, are suppose to withstand a lot of crashes, since they will be flown by novice pilots.
As for Coaxial-type helicopters, I probably wouldn't think about them if I were you. They're so stable, they basically fly themselves. They're fun for indoors, can't really fly outdoors in even the lightest of breezes. Perhaps the only thing you'll get from a coaxial is a build-up of confidence and one of the most important skills in piloting a heli: Orientation.

Anyone I know would reccomend the Honeybee FP. Though it is fixed-pitch, it is a single-rotor chopper, and you will learn much more from that heli than any coaxial. Coaxials simply can't compare to single-rotor helis, they're both very different birds to control and fly.
The Honeybee FP (by E-Sky) is fairly cheap (around $90). Great beginner's helicopter. It can withstand many crashes since its so durable, and if anything ever breaks (which almost never occurs), parts are extra cheap. Once you learn how to hover, and can try moving it in directions, and once you get the hang of it, it's really fun to fly. There's loads of information about this heli in this forum and many people who will be happy to answer any of your questions, for I am sure you will have lots.

I never got one, but I could imagine the benefits I could of gained if I started over. Learning on the HBFP will pay off later when you want to move up to something more serious, like the ESKY Belt-CP or TREX 450.
If you can, get a good flight simulator (and a USB helicopter transmitter controller for the computer). I guess you could give FMS a try, but that program is kinda crappy. ClearView is okay, but nothing can compare to high-end simulators like Phoenix RC or Realflight G4.

Good Luck with your new hobby.
May 30, 2008, 06:31 PM
innocent victim
Blade_Killer's Avatar
Originally Posted by Necron Xen
ClearView is okay, but nothing can compare to high-end simulators like Phoenix RC or Realflight G4.

Good Luck with your new hobby.
I have both and I think Clearview is better, to me it feels better then g3....
May 30, 2008, 06:40 PM
hover happy
spinup's Avatar
FWIW, I've tried Realflight, Reflex, Clearview, and FMS...and FMS seems to work fine for basic training. You don't need realistic smoke and water and crashing effects to get the training benefits of a simulator.

May 30, 2008, 06:46 PM
Google 'Blade 400 bible'
Slyster's Avatar

(buy HBFP but don't fly it yet)
1- Clearview FS with HBFP TX hooked to PC via USB connect.
2- Fly the real deal.. lean to hover, then side in and nose in.
3- Learn FF and FFF
4- Move up to a 450 sized CP heli!

(And learn a lot of abbreviations on the way!)
May 30, 2008, 06:47 PM
Registered User
Hi jmr1068204,

I'm a few months ahead of you. I started with my first real helicopter around April. Before that I tried out the toy 2/3 channel helis that you see in stores now a days. While fun they are toys and can't really do much except go up or down and break. The breaking is a big problem since the parts are not readily available and might cost half what you paid for the toy. I had a micro mosquito which was really didn't go forward or sideway much. A friend crashed it during a party and I had to replace the main shaft since a small tooth that powered the counter rotor broke. The repair part would have cost me $15-20. That's when I decided to spend the money on a real heli.

I thought about buying a coax like the lama ($90-120ish) or even better the Walkera 5G6 2.4G ($150ish) which looks really cool and nice for indoor flying. I decided against it since only a non-coax heli will really open you up to outdoor flight and the real helicopter feeling. (I was planning on getting the 5G6 as a second heli, but since it was so expensive and I was having a blast with my other heli I put off the purchase for good).

I ended up buying the Honey Bee fixed pitch (HBFP) also known as Mk3 from Hobby Lobby since it included a lipo battery and charger. With a discount coupon you can the heli around 80 bucks. Which is a bit more than double what you would pay for a toy heli.

The HBFP is a challenge to learn but managable. It is fun to fly but more importantly survives a lot of crashes and is cheap to repair. You can spend more for a Collective Pitch (or CP) heli but the learning curve and repair cost might turn you off on the hobby.

If a Fixed Pitch heli is too much for you go with any of the available Lama Coax helis.
Last edited by sfsilicon; May 30, 2008 at 08:13 PM.
May 30, 2008, 06:56 PM
Genius or Madness?
Necron Xen's Avatar
Also forgot to mention...

There will be times when you crash your Honeybee FP over and over again, but you will be glad. You would have much rather crashed the HBFP than the more fragile Collective Pitch (CP) Machines like the HBK2 or TREX 450. Reparing those birds can be quite costly, a fortune compared to reparing the HBFP. A simulator is highly recommended before you go and do the real thing, you can crash unlimited times and not have to pay for anything.
May 30, 2008, 06:58 PM
innocent victim
Blade_Killer's Avatar
Originally Posted by sfsilicon
You can spend more for a constant pitch (or CP) heli.....
sfsilicon, just FYI, CP stands for Collective Pitch....

Originally Posted by Necron Xen
Also forgot to mention...

There will be times when you crash your Honeybee FP over and over again, but you will be glad. You would have much rather crashed the HBFP than the more fragile Collective Pitch (CP) Machines like the HBK2 or TREX 450. Reparing those birds can be quite costly, a fortune compared to reparing the HBFP. A simulator is highly recommended before you go and do the real thing, you can crash unlimited times and not have to pay for anything.
not to mention all the set up required after each part repair which puts off a lot of newbies
May 30, 2008, 07:04 PM
Registered User
fretman's Avatar
co-axials - good for beginners, you can probably hover on your first try, good to get familiarized with controls and orientation. Cons would be that you may get bored with it quickly.

Fixed Pitch - good for beginners, not as easy as co-axials and will be challenge in the beginning to even do a simple hover. But are generally cheap to buy and cheap to repair due to their simplicity compared to CP helis. There are several choices here. Esky HBFP is a popular choice for its ease of maintenance and flight characteristics. There are several choices in this class. I'm not sure what you consider micro helis... the 2-3 channel foam toys you see would be sub-micros. micro helis are actually much larger(prob about a foot and a half in length). Smaller does not mean they break easier, actually other way around. sub-micros do not break as easy because they're so light. There is a 4ch sub-micro which is good for beginners, Walkera 4#3b. To fly primarily indoors, sub-micros would be a good idea. Micros can also be flown inside but would take much more skill to do that, beginners would barely be able to hover a micro indoors. They are more for outdoor flying when its calm outside. But you can probably practice hovering indoor with them.

CP Helis - some will say skip everything and go straight to CP, because in the end this is where you'll end up. and are not really harder to fly that a FP. Issue here is CP helis are much more complex and has lot more fragile parts to break. in my opinion a great way to frustrate a beginner enough into giving up the hobby even before getting started.

In my opinion a Walkera 4#3b, would be a great choice. Its a sub-micro(palm size), 4ch FP. It has a already gone through a couple versions and has been improved quite a bit. Due to its size you can fly it almost anywhere, even outdoors on calm days. And are very durable because of it being so light, around 50grams. simple design, easy to maintain(comparatively speaking), cheap parts. But if you have access to a flying area outdoors close by and plan on doing most flying there, the esky hbfp would be good choice. Bigger helis are usually much more stable and easier to learn and have fun on.
May 30, 2008, 07:44 PM
jasonjetski's Avatar
I think I may be backwards.
18 months ago I after I got hooked on the picoo z helis. I bought my first real heli...
Ummm,That was a Walkera 52. I had a ball learning and I was determined to keep smashing that until I could fly it.
Looking back now.I learned to be a R/C heli repairer faster than I could fly one.
I only had RC Groups for learning and support,But after 3 months trying and smashing blades every day,Something went click! inside me and I could hover!!!
Woo Hoo!!! Anyone who has hovered a heli knows the feeling Iam explaining.No drug could ever compare.
Anyway I loved my 52 and I bought a second one.
I bought a few other CP helis better than the 52,But I have recently bought the 4#3 early version and it flies great.
Now I have the 4#3B and lets just say I can hover that now while I drink a cup of coffee.
It looks great with all the bling on it.
It can be bought for $99.99US from ehirobo
Parts are only around $5.00 for comon parts,Some are $10.00
Because it is so small,it makes your flying area bigger
Batteries are swap over and go rechargable Lipos. (Buy Spares)
It is very quiet.
You can fly it straight into your head without the need for bandages.
I find it more stable in hover than the micro mosquito coax.
It will bring out your confidence because as you progress,you will take risks without expensive consequences.
I have noticed my flying is better after 2 days with the 4#3B
Now for the bad thing about it.
Nothing major,but you should keep one or 2 spare main and tail motors just for when the motors decide to die.They are a wearing part and only around $5 each.

I really can't coment on the hbfp,but I hear nothing but good things about it.
Hope this is some help
May 30, 2008, 08:01 PM
Test Pilot, Stand Clear
eatmydirt's Avatar
You won't learn anything with a coaxial heli. Except maybe that those are toys for little boys.

Get the Honey Bee FP, some training gear, and a sim.

May 30, 2008, 08:08 PM
Registered User
Vario3's Avatar
Originally Posted by eatmydirt
You won't learn anything with a coaxial heli. Except maybe that those are toys for little boys.

Get the Honey Bee FP, some training gear, and a sim.


You will learn to fly circuts around your room when the snow is 5' high at the door! It will give you a clue as to how to "work the thumbs" intuitively. (51 yr old boy). I like and still fly my Blade CX. Orientation too!!

Waadya think jmr? I Like your "smiley face". I use "big grin" for my signature!

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