Best RC Helicopter 2017: Buyers Guide
I hope you will agree with me when I say:
There is no hobby as fun as flying an rc helicopter
The only one problem. Finding a remote control helicopter isn't easy
That is why I have created a list of the best rc helicopters in 2017. After spending days testing and buying them I've come up with the ultimate list. Here are some of the top helicopters you can buy right now:
Best RC Helicopters 2017
|E-Flight Blade mCX2||6||2||$|
|E-Flight Blade 120 SR RTF ||3.5||1||$$|
|Hero RC H911||4||2||$|
|Lutema Large Helicopter||3.5||2||$|
Of course these aren't for everyone
That being said. You can be assured that each of these copters are good enough to make it into the top 10 list of the best remote control helicopters in 2017. So let's check out these reviews.
1. E-Flight Blade mCX2 RTF
The E-Flight Blade MCX2 is ready-to-fly that is a familiar name for most RC hobbyists. The Blade MCX2 offers some of the best features that are timeless and even though this model has been around for years, it's still one of the top-rated RC helicopters on the market.
The MCX2 features a sleek new body design by E-Flight as well as flashing LED lights that really contribute to the aesthetic aspect of the chopper. As far as the performance is concerned, it features a coaxial and counter-rotating rotor head design that makes it easier to make maneuvers and sharp turns with minimal control. It also features a precision-control swashplate with user-selectable control options.
The E-Flight MXC2 is powered by two coreless micro motors that deliver enough power to enable it to be able to withstand light wind in outdoor conditions. It is powered by a single-cell 3.7v LiPo battery pack that delivers 120mAh of current to ensure a smooth flight. Overall, it's a powerful and smooth-flying that will please newbies and professionals alike.
The 4-channel transmitter coupled with the Spektrum 2.4GHZ technology ensures that it flies over a large range of transmission and runs smoothly at heights. It is durable and lasting and features replacement parts that are easily available.
Another impressive feature that sets the MCX2 apart from the competition is its heading lock-like performance that ensures maximum control, even in difficult outdoor conditions. The customizable control settings featured are ideal for beginners as you can gradually move to higher speeds when you have become familiar with the controls.
- User-selectable swash sensitivity control and flashing LED lights for night flight.
- Dual coreless motors for smooth operation.
- User-customizable settings to suit your level of experience.
- Fast-forward flight and super stable hovering ability.
- Option tail with extra weight to give more maneuverability.
- Not much of an upgrade to the preceding MCX model.
- Flybar pops off at impact.
- Only seven to eight minutes of flight time.
The best thing about this helicopter is that you can fly it right out of the box and there's no need to purchase any extra parts or components. It's a tested and fully-assembled model that is ideal for beginners and newbies. It features a 5-in-1 control unit that is powered by the Spektrum 2.4GHz DSM2 compatible receiving unit. The control unit is extremely easy to use and understand and with a little tinkering, you will be able to master it fully. This heli by E-Flight also features fully-proportional servos, gyro, mixer and main motor ESCs. All these components combine to give a stable and fast flying experience.
Overall, it’s a beginner-friendly helicopter that offers stability, durability and incredible control. It’s powerful enough to fly outdoors and small enough to hover indoors.
2. MJX F45 Large Single Blade Helicopter For Kids
The MJX F45 is an amazing bird for those who are only just stepping up to the 4-channel fixed pitch from the 3-channel CO-AX build. It offers some quality features as well as good value for the price. Although it's made mostly of plastic, the material used is very sturdy and is able to withstand even the more serious crashes. The robust build of the MJX F45 is a great feature for those who want to experiment or simply learn with this bird.
Most people are unable to fly their helicopter with the ease and comfort that this bird offers. Knowing that it's a sturdy helicopter allows you to fly it with confidence without having to worry about it breaking into many little pieces with even the smallest of mistakes.
When flying the sturdy and durable MJX F45, you're less likely to panic, and that reduces the chances of a crash. As mentioned before, this bird is designed for those who want a long-term one that will last them for ages. It is not only durable and reliable, but it's also available at a very affordable price.
This is a perfect learning copter for those who want to get the most out of their helicopter without having to worry about wasting a large investment. Since it's easy to learn how to use it it's also one of the best remote control helicopter for kids.
What makes the MJX F45 a perfect candidate for learning is that not only is it sturdy and affordable, but you can also find the replacement parts very easily. They usually have parts that wear out very easily and that's a drawback that you have to deal with because you are purchasing an affordable, mid-priced heli, but the MJX F45 has parts that are easy to replace and easier to find.
You can find the inexpensive replacement parts for your MJX F45 on the internet as well as at the hobby stores. Even if you don't plan on using it much and couldn't be bothered for the replacement parts, this is something that almost every hobbyist has to face. Hence, it's important to buy an RC helicopter with replacement parts that are easily available.
- The MJX F645 delivers a very stable flight. It’s highly responsive that is ideal for newbies and pros alike.
- It features four channels which allow you to perform different and unique maneuvers and hone your chopper flying skills.
- The 2.4GHz radio offers an impressive range, which means you won’t have to chase after it.
- Sturdy plastic build designed for crashes with parts readily available.
- Very low battery timing as compared to others on the market.
- Rotor inertia overtakes the fuse weight for poor in-flight stability.
- Not the best helicopter when it comes to taking sharp turns.
It's an ideal purchase for pilots with limited to no experience if you take precautions. It's a durable and sturdy helicopter and although it's not packed with the best features, it's a still a great purchase for the affordable price.
3. E-Flight Blade 120 SR RTF
The E-Flight Blade SR 120 is an ideal transitional helicopter from using a CX2 to a standard. The Blade 120 SR offers a lot of great features, but let's start with its durable build. Some users even call it indestructible. Although it's not indestructible, it's very close to it, especially when compared to some unreliable RC helicopters that break apart after the first crash.
The Blade 120 features a unique design that ensures a stable flight. It's easy to fly and ideal for pilots with limited experience. It can hover even with minimal input. Although it's small, it still offers enough power to fly outdoors in the light wind. The Blade 120 isn't the cheapest out there and it will cost you more than some of the Air Hogs models, but it's every penny worth the price.
One of the most important factors that weigh in when selecting the best RC helicopter is the availability of replaceable parts. In that area, the Blade 120 is one of the best. You can find parts easily at local hobby stores and on the internet at low prices. If you're looking for an remote control helicopter that will last you for years with readily available parts, shortlist the Blade 120 right now. It's factory-assembled that you can use right out of the box which makes it an ideal candidate for gifts. The unique rotor head design allows it to deliver inherent stability of a coaxial chopper.
The Blade 120 comes with a 5-in-1 control unit powered by a Spektrum 2.4GHZ DSM2 compatible receiving unit.
- Single rotor and fixed pitch control give unmatched stability for outdoor as well as indoor use.
- 100% factory assembled and tested helicopter.
- Cheap and readily available replaceable parts.
- Compatible with the Phoenix RC Flight Simulator to help you learn better.
- The chopper is durable, but parts break easily.
- Low battery timing of around 7 minutes, so it’s better to have extra batteries on hand.
- Difficult to trim or hover.
Overall, the Blade 120 is a great addition to a hobbyist's collection, and it will last for ages thanks to its replaceable parts. However, it requires experience to fly it perfectly and the battery timing isn't the best available on the market. It does offer good value for its price range and is a durable and decent enough.
4. Blade 230s RTF
When it comes to learning sports aerobatics, the collective pitch mechanics are an essential element. Combined with the durability of a 230-sized, you get a practical airframe with a wow factor. Before the Blade 230S, learning to fly a collective pitch helicopter had an intimidation factor, but that's not the case anymore. With the Blade 230S, which is a collective pitch electric helicopter, you'll be able to meet all your flying needs, especially if you're a relatively new pilot.
The Blade 230S ready-to-fly is a highly-tuned chopper that features the innovative SAFE technology. This innovative technology makes it easier for pilots to learn how to achieve first flight success, prevent crashes, and progress into advanced flight. All of this can be done with just one on these, so just imagine the amount of investment you'll save with the Blade 230S.
It's a fully-assembled ready-to-fly , so all you have to do is take the chopper out of the box and start flying it. One of the most impressive features on this thing is the SAFE technology, which has made flying a collective pitch bird so much easier than it was before. It also features a stability mode that delivers the comfort of bank limits and self-leveling, which is an ideal feature for beginners.
It offers progressive flight modes to help you alleviate your aerobatic skills step by step and gradually master the arts of RC aerobatic flying. It is designed to make life easier for a pilot and regarding that, its Panic Recovery mode is a great help. It helps the pilot in recovering the helicopter to a level altitude.
- Features and flight modes for aerobatic training beginners.
- Collective pitch rotor with flybar-less mechanics.
- Brushless tail and main motors for sufficient power and control response.
- It features impact-resistant ABS main rotor blades.
- Lightweight yet tough airframe.
- Trim program required to level
- Flies better when you replace the frame, tail boom, and other smaller parts.
- Several out-of-control issues reported.
There's much to like about the Blade 230S and the best thing about it is that it's an ideal helicopter for those who want to practice and learn aerobatic skills. It's a durable and sturdy helicopter with several impressive and useful features and flight modes that will make flying a fun and easy experience for amateur pilots.
5. Blade 130X BNF
The Blade 130X is a bind-and-fly product which means that you'll have to couple it with a computerized Spektrum Radio. The good news is that you can choose from DX6i, DX7s, DX8 or other Spektrum models and it'll also connect with the JR DSM radios.
The helicopter comes with a 2S Celectra Li-Po charger as well as an AC adapter. It is powered by a 2S 300mAh Li-Po battery that is rated at 35C. The Blade 130X comes with a bag including spare ball links, canopy grommets, a set of umbrella gears for the rear tail drive, a set of non-weighted main rotor blades, a Phillips screwdriver and a couple of Allen keys. This is an impressive kit, but maybe the Blade 130X would do better to offer a basic kit that forgoes the charger and battery for those who already have them. Since it's a BNF helicopter, the importance of the instruction manual increases and the Blade 130X doesn't disappoint in that case as it offers basic setup suggestions for various Spektrum radios.
Thanks to the AS3X system, swash setup is extremely easy and while the travel adjustments are recommended to be set at 100%, the Blade 130X does better with alterations to rudder travel and pitch.
- Great tail performance; fun and engaging to pilot.
- Impressive stability and performance for a collective pitch helicopter.
- Overall flight performance is outstanding.
- Small and lightweight design but flies larger than it is.
- The micro design makes it resilient and crash-resistant.
- Tail vibrations need to be addressed.
- The grip balls in the main blade are susceptible to breakage.
- Expensive replacement parts.
Although it has a few minor issues, the good features and specifications of the 130X greatly outweigh the bad. It's an ideal helicopter for those who want to go out to the flying field and fly this baby and for those who just want to practice in their yard with an actual bird instead of a simulation.
The 130X offers great performance, a very small and lightweight design, crash-resistant build and great value for its price.
6. Syma S032G
Syma S032G is the brother to another popular Syma toy, which is the Syma S107. The Syma S032G is a 3.5-channel metal that is designed mainly for indoor flight. It features an alloy structure and a fairly new design. The alloy build of the helicopter is a nice surprise as compared to the common build materials that are found in this price range.
With the option of electronic fine-tuning, you can adjust the smoothness and stability of the bird easily and to perfection. The 3.5-channel control gives you total control over the bird and increases the maneuverability. It features an intelligent balance system that helps you fly the bird even in rough conditions.
Syma S032G also features a digital 3D remote control with a power-saving mode for longer operation. The control features are impressive as you can not only move up, down, forward and backward and make left and right turns but you can also perform fixed-point hovering to perfection.
Unlike other birds in this price range, it offers an impressive battery timing and an approximate flying time of 15 minutes. With a control range of up to 100m and a flying height of approximately 50m, it's a bird designed for indoors as well as outdoors. It's powered by a 3.7v, 500mAh Li-Po battery that charges in less than an hour. The Syma S032G supports multiple frequencies including 27MHz, 40MHz, and 49MHz. The bird comes with a micro screwdriver and a spare tail blade as well. This truly makes it one of the top helicopters under 100.
As far as flight performance is concerned, the Syma S032G is an amazing performer that flies superbly out of the box. You may have to do some trim control tuning, however.
- Remote runs on separate AA batteries.
- Features flex paint which is lasting.
- Offers a flight time of up to 15 minutes.
- Rounded blades ensure smoother flight.
- Large tail rotors make hovering and moving forward easier.
- No USB charging; it only charges directly from the wall charger.
- The battery takes longer to cool before the next charge can be initiated.
- Poorly written instruction manual.
While it's not the perfect one out there, it still has a lot of perks. The durable alloy body makes it a unique RC bird that is perfect for those who want to learn the art of flying by crashing regularly. The motor is small but still powerful enough to offer great speed and control.
It's a very powerful and sturdy with great controls, especially the hovering feature. Overall, it's a great purchase for those who have experienced Syma and want to keep doing so.
7. GT QS8006
The GT QS8006 is one of those birds that you can't go wrong with, especially if you plan on gifting it to an heli lover who wants to enjoy a powerful and agile that is extremely easy and fun to fly. Apart from all the impressive features that it offers, this bird is a stylish one and the remarkable blue color scheme is praiseworthy.
It's ready-to-fly, although you'll need to put batteries into the controller and then you're good to go. It's fine-tuned, so all you have to do is take it out and fly this blue beauty around in your backyard or a flying field.
The GT QS8006 features coaxial blades that are designed to give a smooth flight operation and stability like never before. The coaxial blades make the QS8006 an ideal purchase for those pilots who want to fly this bird around both indoors and outdoors.
Thanks to its powerful motors, easy-to-use remote control, and the coaxial blades, it's a bird that is well suited even for a novice flier who's flying for the first time. The bird offers an amazing control and a GYRO system that allows the users to fly it around in the house without bumping into things or in the backyard without the bird getting caught in trees.
The GYRO system featured in the helicopter ensures maximum stability and control, even when it is flying straight. This is a helpful feature for beginners as it helps them ensure stable flight with minimal flight. The same feature is also useful in take-offs and landings as it makes the process easy and effortless. Combined with the coaxial blade design, the smooth and easy flight of the helicopter is effortless and that is why this helicopter is rated so highly by novices and professionals alike. It's a huge helicopter making it perfect for outdoor use.
It also features a lighting system that is designed such that you can keep track of your helicopter and prevent crashes. The LED lights are bright and useful for when you want to fly it at night.
The helicopter comes with a drop-and-spill protection which is basically a two to three-year plan that will help you get it replaced or repaired without any issue in the case of damage or an accident. It's a lot like a warranty and helps you fly it without any fears.
- Designed for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Rechargeable 14.8v/1500mAh battery gives long battery life.
- 3.5 channels ensure better control and response.
- Remote control range of up to 100m.
- Lack of replaceable body parts.
- Prone to damage when crashed.
- Heavy weight leads to difficult flying in windy conditions.
The QS8006 is a bird which offers a lot of good features, but it's far from perfect. While the huge frame is impressive to look at, flying it is much more difficult than you can imagine. However, for intermediate and professional pilots, it won't be much of a problem.
8. Hero RC H911
Moving on from the QS8006 and its extra-large frame, the Hero RC H911 is the perfect helicopter for those who want a small-sized chopper to fly indoors. It has some impressive features to offer such as its 4-channel motor, 2.4GHz LCD remote control, and fixed pitch control. It's a lightweight and compact helicopter which lets you make sharp maneuvers with minimal control. It can be flown in two different modes and has flight features that make it ideal for beginners as well as for professionals.
It's powered by two 3.7v Li-Po batteries that deliver up to ten minutes of flight. Although it's not the best flight time that's available on the market, it's more than enough if you only plan on flying it indoors. Since it's an indoor helicopter, you don't have to worry about it running out of juice and crashing to the ground. However, it's a copter that's designed to take crashes and features a durable body that won't smash to pieces after a few crashes. Unlike the low-quality and cheap copters that are available on the market, this one is perfect for novices who aren't the smoothest of sailors. Moreover, it comes with several extra body parts that you can easily assemble in case you end up destroying the stock body parts.
Another great feature, although it's a small one, is that you can charge it via USB as well as the normal socket. It is heavy on accessories and includes extra batteries, a USB charger, main blades, balance bar, connect bar and a tail blade.
It is for those who don’t want to go through the ordeal of assembling their copter before they can fly it. It’s a ready-to-fly helicopter that doesn’t require any advanced RC knowledge or experience. All you have to do is take it out of the box and start flying it around by using the simple remote control.
- The device is a 4-channel RC which gives better response and control.
- Features dual batteries for maximum power and stability.
- Control range of up to 80m.
- 2.4GHz transmitter in control as well as an LCD screen.
- Easy-to-adjust trim settings.
- Not suitable for windy conditions, but the manufacturer has warned about it.
- Outdoor flight is poor, although the indoor flight makes up for it.
- Not the best one when it comes to taking sharp turns.
- More of a toy helicopter than a standard hobby one
The Hero RC H911 isn't for those who are looking for outdoor flying. It's strictly an indoor helicopter and in that class, it's one of the best. If you're looking for the best indoor helicopter with the smoothest controls and the most stable flight, no need to look further as you have found it.
9. MJX F646 F46 Single-Blade
While the Hero RC H911 isn't the best choice for hobby-grade pilots, the MJX F46 is one of the best hobby-grade helicopters on the market. It's stunning with a single blade design that delivers stability, ease of control and lots of power and speed. It's the perfect candidate for the best hobby-grade helicopter.
It packs some great flight features that will make you want to take it out and fly it every day. It features a 4-channel motor that gives you a complete range of controls and maneuvers. On the other hand, controlling and flying this is as easy as playing a video game. The remote control features a 2.4GHz transmitter that ensures that your helicopter won't fall out of the sky simply because it's out of range.
The build quality is impressive, and it's a sturdy and durable that is designed for both indoor and outdoor fun. You can be sure that it is is designed to take a few hits in every flight and still not fall apart like those cheap, low-quality copters do.
Although it can be flown indoors, that's not highly recommended because it simply offers too much power and indoor flight requires some prior RC experience. Due to its MEMS Gyro technology, it delivers stability and smooth flight every time it takes to the sky. The remote control features loads of power options and modes that you can pick from to modify your flying experience to best suit your needs.
- Powerful, smooth and stable flight even in windy outdoor conditions.
- MEMS Gyro technology ensures maximum stability.
- Full metal body delivers durability, sturdiness, and a crash-resistant operation.
- Comes with spare main blades and tail blades.
- 4-channel motor, 2.4GHz frequency, and LCD controller.
- Control range is less than 60m.
- Only charges with a wall charger.
- Tilts to the left when taking off.
It's an ideal purchase for those pilots who have some experience flying and are looking for an upgrade from a 2-channel helicopter. While it's not the most powerful rc heli, it still delivers enough to give a satisfying outdoor flight. Overall, it's worth a shot and it doesn't even set you back by a lot.
10. Lutema Large Remote Control Helicopter
Lutema promises unmatched control and stability and delivers on that promise with this large 28-inch helicopter. Featuring a 3.5-channel control that drives the motor, it's designed purely for the outdoor flying experience.
While the Lutema is a large scale RC helicopter, the weight and size don't hinder the speed and stability in any way. In fact, the large size adds momentum and size while flying and it also improves the stability of the flight due to the built-in GYRO sensors.
It's designed for photography and with its 2.4GHz sensor, the transmitter is capable of delivering flawless transmission in a radius of up to 30m. While its control range isn't the largest, that's a drawback that can be overlooked.
The Lutema also features LED lights that are very helpful if you're flying it at night. You can also turn the lights on and off mid-flight using the remote control. This unit is a ready-to-fly helicopter, so you don't have to worry about the hassles of assembling the helicopter. The package also includes extra blades and a wall charger. Thanks to its metal framing, it is capable of taking a few hits without falling apart. You can see our full lutema large helicopter review here.
- Fully-assembled, ready-to-fly RC helicopter.
- Flashing multi-colored LED lights for night flight.
- The metal frame makes it crash-resistant and durable.
- 3.5-channel control, 2.4GHz transmitter and rechargeable batteries.
- Gyro sensors for improved stability and smooth flight.
- Replacement parts easily available online.
- Limited control range of 30m.
- Expensive replacement parts.
- Slower than other models in the same price range.
- No USB charging option.
Overall, it's impressive but definitely not the best one available. The biggest flaw is its limited control range, while the LED lights and durable metal frame are its strong points.
Flying helicopters is one hobby that's gaining popularity very quickly. Buyers who want to purchase one need to do the necessary research before they spend on this hobby.
What To Consider Before Buying An RC Helicopter
There are several things worth considering before you purchase one. While you can find them at hobby stores, retail stores, and specialty RC stores, the smarter thing to do is look for bargains online at sites such as Amazon and eBay. You can also find used helicopters and get great deals with your limited budget. See our post on cheap rc helicopters under $100. Here a few things worth considering before you spend money:
Type of Helis
Toy helicopters are easy to use and inexpensive. However, this type offers limited controls, so they're only good for children and beginners.
Micro Coaxial Hobby Grade
The micro coaxial is larger than toy helicopters, and you can find parts for replacement as well. It features twin rotors which allow more movement and better control.
Micro Single Rotor Helicopter
These single rotor copters are more stable but also more difficult to fly. They are ideal for beginner hobbyists.
Collective Pitch Hobby Grade Helicopter
While this type features a more complex design and is more expensive, it also offers more control. Collective pitch types are one of my favorite.
They require a power source to run on and there are two types based on the power source. Glow fuel and electric batteries are the two common power sources, while some also feature turbine engines and gasoline. Glow fuel are more common. It's a combination of methanol and nitromethane which gives up to a few minutes of flight, depending on the engine type.
Batteries are more convenient and safer to use. Lithium polymer batteries can give up to twelve minutes of flight time. You will also need a battery charger. Check out our guide on lipo battery chargers. about Aside from saving fuel expenses, electric batteries also give a quieter operation. Learn how to find the best lipo battery here.
Number of Channels
They operate by receiving radio signals from the controller that are then translated into different movements. However, each type of action requires a different transmission channel, which is why the most sophisticated models have multiple channels.
Of course, fewer channels are more suited for beginners. Even the most basic models have at least two channels. Check out our page on the best rc transmitters to find one for your helicopter.
While one controls the turning, the other is used for speed. They are easier to control, but they can only fly forward which limits their movement. A three-channel helicopter gives reverse movements as well. Remote control helicopters that offer more than three channels can perform a variety of moments due to the collective pitch feature.
The users are able to tilt the rotor blades and as a result, they can perform complicated moves such as rolling, looping, climbing, swooping and even backward or upside-down flight.
Availability of Parts
While the toy ones are a good way to start, you'll have to go further if this is going to be your hobby. If you plan on devoting your resources and time to this hobby, then it's important to consider the availability of parts especially if you plan on building your own. They demand maintenance and care. Flying and regularly using them can generate wear and tear.
This is the reason you'll have to replace certain parts regularly to keep the units flying. You may even want to upgrade to high-quality skids, aluminum swash blades, or carbon fiber blades to help it fly higher and faster.
You can find them in plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber or glass-reinforced plastic. When it comes to the construction, you should look for lightweight and durable materials. Hard plastic polymer bodies are ideal for beginners since they are more durable.
On the other hand, the blades need to be lightweight, so materials such as fiberglass or wood are preferred. You can find assembled that are ready to fly and you can also find the ones that need to be put together before you can fly them. You can also buy parts of higher quality to improve the performance. To get further knowledge on how these rc toys work check this out.
Some also feature additional accessories that are either built-in or can be added later on. Most people like to fly them for recreation, but some also do it to increase their controlling skills. Photographers use them to take aerial pictures, which is why they should look for one which is camera-mount compatible.
Considering the features to look for that have been discussed here, these are the reviews of the top 10 RC helicopters available on the market. Hope you enjoyed our article!
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