What you need to Consider before Purchasing an RC Helicopter
Although I did not pursue a career in aviation, I have been an avid aviation enthusiast since my childhood. Using the internet as an interactive medium, I have managed to hook up with other like-minded individuals and together we have formed a sort of aviation club where we discuss, share, and vent our aviation issues.
As you can expect, one of the main requirements in joining our club is to have an aviation licence. When remote controlled (RC) planes and helicopters came about, we all took the required flight training and we can all fly the new aviation marvels. Several years ago, we decided to buy a RC helicopter to add to our collection of aviation toys. However, we realised that we did not have enough knowledge regarding this sort of transaction. As is the current norm, we turned to the internet to find out the important things that we had to consider when making the buy.
After extensive research, we compiled several factors of consideration, which proved very useful when we went shopping. The following narrative contains some of the most important considerations that came in handy when we bought our first RC helicopter.
Selecting the Right Type or Class of Your Copter
Apparently, there are several types or classes of RC helicopters on offer in the market. When we embarked on our shopping trip, we identified five major classes of helicopters. Remember that in this case we were not considering the manufacturer but the class based on features, functionality, and motors among other things.
When buying an RC chopper, you should decide whether you want a toy chopper for children or whether to choose from the four other different classes based on the rotors. There are two Hobby Grade helicopter classes; the Microaxial Hobby which has two rotors but is very much like the toy chopper and the Collective Pitch Hobby which has one rotor and is the best the market has to offer. You can also consider the quadrotor RC with four propellers or the Micro Single Rotor for beginners.
Power Source for good Copter Operation
RC helicopters are further classified depending on their power source. The four most common classes in this respect are those that use electric batteries, gasoline, glow fuel, and turbine engines. The two most attractive choices are the glow fuel powered and the electric battery powered. During our shopping endeavour, we discovered that the best choice is the electric battery powered RC helicopter.
Glow fuel, which combines nitromethane and methanol to create nitro fuel, matches or even exceeds the flight time provided by electric batteries and supports high altitude flying. However, electric batteries are safer, cheaper, and quieter.
Construction Design and Materials Required
Depending on your level of pragmatism, you can choose fully assembled RC helicopters or buy kits and assemble for yourself. The important thing to consider here is the materials used for constructing the chopper. RC helicopters are constructed from a variety of materials including aluminium, carbon fibre. and plastic. Beginners should choose choppers constructed from strong materials to avoid damage on cashing, although this inhibits performance.
Maintenance for the RC Copter
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned RC pilot, you must consider the maintenance of your RC helicopter before making a purchase decision. These choppers require constant checkups and maintenance to ensure optimum performance. In this light, you must consider the availability of replacement parts especially for those parts that are highly susceptible to wear and tear. Some parts are easily interchangeable and compatible among different RC choppers. However, some parts might give you a headache to find and you might curse this marvellous aviation creation for this. To avoid this, choose a chopper that has readily available parts.
After considering all these factors, I believe you will go home with a befitting RC helicopter just like we did.