Written: 13 Jan 2013
Last updated: 3 Dec 2016
Update History (newest on top):
-3 Dec. 2016, updated dead link to micro heli (now linked to "v911" search results on eBay), and updated links to some other small parts too
-6 Oct. 2013, added links to micro quadrocopters
- Beginner RC Airplane Setup
- Thunder AC680/AC6 Charger & Computer Data-Logging Software
- Parallel Charging Your LiPo Batteries
So, which one to buy? Well, I have the HobbyKing FP100 ($29 + shipping) (also see the "v911" eBay links below) (shown to the right), and I love it! It flies very well, gives you those extra skills you need while providing more challenge and capability, and yet is still so light that it is durable and can take quite a few crashes without breaking. And if you break it? --you can buy spare parts!
How is this different from a 3-Channel Helicopter?
A 3-Channel helicopter has a left stick which controls throttle, and a right stick which controls pitch and yaw. There is no roll control, and pitch is extremely limited, since it is done simply via a tiny horizontal propeller near the tail which spins to create lift and slightly raise or lower the tail, thereby providing forward or aft movement. A 3-Channel heli, therefore, is very limited in control authority, and can rarely go faster than a walking speed. Another serious limitation is that they usually use infrared transmitters, which have a very short range, and are affected by sunlight. Therefore, they are usually only indoor helicopters due to their ultra limited control (inability to counter even the slightest wind gusts), and infrared antennas which are susceptible to interference from the sun. (Note: infrared transmitters are usually identifiable by a small, usually red, plastic cover near their top, instead of an antenna).
So, what is the extra channel on a 4-Channel helicopter?
A 4-Channel helicopter, on the other hand, is highly maneuverable in comparison