When the term “RC” is heard, what comes to your mind? Most people say it’s all about cars, but it’s not always the case. RC stands for “remote control” and is usually a term to describe remote-controlled vehicles or toys, such as mini-helicopter, a mini-racecar and many others like it.
RC vehicles are great toys, not just for kids, but also especially for adults. One great example would be flying RC helicopters, which can be trickier to do. Therefore, if you’re interested in such a fun hobby, here are some of the best indoor & outdoor RC helicopter in 2018.
Top Best Indoor & Outdoor RC Helicopters
Without further ado, here are some of our top picks for the best indoor and outdoor RC helicopters:
Here are RC helicopters that would be useful for people who mostly spend time indoors:
E-flite Blade mCX2 RTF
Made with a completely factory-assembled body, the E-flite Blade mCX2 RTF is a good choice for those who want a nearly complete package containing a control unit, a receiver (2.4 GHz), servos with full proportion, a mixer, and the gyro. Because there are flashing LED lights, you will definitely find them useful when the room is too dark. Its transmitter is a 4-channel type so that you can control it from farther distances.
Because of its dual micro coreless motors, you get a lot of power in a small package of an RC helicopter. Its battery can also provide extended power due to its 3.7V lithium polymer battery pack. The stability is rather good, as tested by those who tried flying it, such that even younger kids around 4 to 7 years old can fly it easily. It is also worth noting that it doesn’t get damaged easily when you accidentally crash it.
GPTOYS G610 11″ Durant Helicopter
For those who want a 3.5-channel system for an RC helicopter, the GPTOYS G610 11″ Durant Helicopter looks like a great choice. It has the basic flight controls and movements and you can even select from 3 frequencies – helpful if you want to fly 3 RC helicopters simultaneously with your family or friends. Its average time is up to 8 minutes per charge, which can be sufficient time for most beginners and hobbyists.
You only need to charge it somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes, which is pretty normal for most RC helicopters anyway. In addition to that, you’re guaranteed of safety due to its RoHS, FCC, and CE certifications. Charging it is a breeze – just plug it into its included USB charger and charge through any power bank or laptop. This makes it great to take with you while traveling. Additionally, its controller only requires 6 AA batteries to run.
Best RC Helicopter for Beginners: Syma S111G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter
Are you a beginner with RC toys or do you want to give it as a gift to your child? The Syma S111G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter may be a great option for you. It is super stable and easy to fly around, which makes it perfect for beginners. It is also made with lithium polymer in its battery so it is a little cheaper, although not as longer-lasting as lithium-ion types.
The typical time of flight is about 5 to 8 minutes, which is almost like our previous pick, with a maximum distance of up to 8 meters when you control it. You only need to charge it within around 40 minutes, which is pretty good for most RC helicopters, anyway. There is also a spare tail blade, in case a certain crash didn’t look pretty.
Syma S107 3 Channel RC Helicopter
A slightly lower-priced unit than our previous Syma model, the Syma S107 3 Channel RC Helicopter is a good choice for those who are on a budget and are still beginners in the RC world. Its stability is just right for those who are not used to operating RCs yet while its battery is similar to the previous model, which is a lithium polymer battery.
Its range is up to 10 meters or 30 feet with its infrared control system. This may be helpful for larger living rooms and houses when you control the RC helicopter. It can have a flight time of 6 to 8 minutes, like the previous model, and has 3 selectable bands so you can simultaneously fly 3 helicopters of the same kind. It charges via USB with an included charger, so you can plug it into your power bank or computer.
Best RC Army Helicopter: Syma S109G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter
If you want an army-style helicopter, the Syma S109G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter could be a good pick for you. It is also beginner-friendly with a very stable flight program. Its clean design for the top propellers makes it easy to use for those who are not very used to RC copters. The additional LED lights can help you see the unit in the dark areas of your house.
Moreover, it can be easily plugged into any laptop or power bank due to its simple USB charging mechanism. If you or your child is an enthusiast with army-style designs, this RC helicopter looks really neat with its design and functionality, which can give you about 5 to 8 minutes of flight and a range of up to 8 meters. Compared to other Syma models, it might not be a quadcopter but it flies in a very stable way.
If you want to take the action of controlling an RC helicopter outdoors, here are the models you should check out:
Best RC Helicopter for Kid: Haktoys HAK303 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter
For those who want a longer range of flight and something for their little kid, the Haktoys HAK303 3.5 Channel 9” RC Helicopter may be a good choice for you, as it can fly up to 50 feet! Its LED lights can be great for lower-light conditions while its rechargeable lithium polymer battery allows a decent amount of 6 to 8 minutes of average flight time, while you can just charge it as fast as 30 minutes on any USB power source.
Its design is pretty clean and detailed that it will look attractive outdoors without easily deforming after crashes. It has also been certified by RoHS, CE, ASTM, FCC and is guaranteed to be lead-free, so it is definitely safe for children to use and play. Kids who are 8 and up may find this great RC toy very entertaining.
WL V911 4 CH Single Rotor Helicopter Version 2
If you want something that has a 4-channel system that is designed for the great outdoors, the WL V911 4 CH Single Rotor Helicopter Version 2 is a 2.4 GHz RC helicopter that you may find interesting. It has a red and white color scheme and it already comes with 2 built-in batteries so that you can use the unit right away. If you are a little more advanced with the RC hobby, a 4-channel model like this would be great.
Because of its durable body and frame design, it might withstand a couple of crashes. While it may not be the ideal RC copter for beginners, when flown properly with a great practice, it can be a hobbyist’s gift to himself/herself. There are also two modes that you can select so that you can choose depending on your control preferences for the radio transmitter.
WLtoys Large V912 4CH Single Blade RC Helicopter
A good RTF or ready-to-fly RC copter would be the WLtoys Large V912 4CH Single Blade RC Helicopter, which is also a 4-channel system at 2.4 GHz in its frequency. It has about 8 minutes of flight time, although its charge time can take about 60 minutes, which may be longer than other models. However, its distance can reach up to 150 meters, which is a big thing for most hobbyists!
Its rechargeable battery is a 7.4V 1500mAh unit, which may probably be a lithium-ion battery, so it won’t have a memory effect (and will make your battery last longer). Its transmitter only requires 4 AA batteries so it’s easy to power up. The build quality of the body is strong enough to take crash abuse while it also has a high and low rate for the controller to custom-tune your flight experience.
Blade 230s BNF Vehicle
Coming in fully assembled, another great beginner’s model would be the Blade 230s BNF Vehicle. It uses an 800mAh 3S Li-Po battery so it’s pretty good for its battery life. The frame is just the right weight for a stable flight with its ABS material blades, which can resist most crash damage. Its brushless motors can make the operation smoother without easily depleting the battery life during flight.
There are a total of 3 flight modes: 3D, agility, and stability. The 3D flight mode can help you to make aerobatic stunts like flipping over or rolling in mid-air. The agility mode is great for advanced users while the stability mode is ideal for beginners. Additionally, if you’re a great aerobatics enthusiast, the collective pitch rotor system will make your life easier for its maneuverability.
Protocol Predator SB Large Outdoor Helicopter
If you want a slightly bigger RC copter for outdoor use, the Protocol Predator SB Large Outdoor Helicopter may be a good choice for you. It has a 3.5-channel system and it has an incredible range of up to 100 feet! It also comes with an AC charger and an instruction manual so that you won’t get lost in assembling it. The LCD screen can be used on its transmitter so you can customize your flight experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in getting to know more about RC helicopters? Here are some frequently asked questions about them:
What to look for in an RC helicopter
To have a great experience when it comes down to buying and using an RC helicopter, usually for hobbyists and for kids alike, here are some criteria to look for:
- Durability – let’s face it – even professional hobbyists will most likely experience bad crashes in their flight time. Durability is very important when it comes down to choosing a great RC helicopter at hand. Durability is measured by how much it can withstand crashes without its parts, especially the propeller(s), going off, which can be potentially dangerous to the neighborhood (or indoors).
- Stability – this refers to how much easier it is to fly than other models. Stability is greatly important whether you are a beginner or advanced RC hobbyists, but it is more needed by the former. Beginners will feel frustrated if their RC helicopter is not going in the intended direction, and thus, may also cause it to either crash or potentially cause harm to others (hopefully not!).
- Level of hobbyist – RC helicopters can be generally used by both kids and adults. However, there are copters that are more ideal for beginners due to their stability and ease of flight. Much more advanced RC helicopters, on the other hand, usually have a 4-channel system, which makes the flight a lot more advanced. This may be used by people who enjoy doing aerobatics in their RC helicopter.
- Range – the range usually refers to the flight range, which is usually around 8 meters (for indoor models) or even up to 100 meters (for outdoor models). Picking the right range is important depending on where you intend to use the RC helicopter. Usually, the frequency has something to do with how far you can control the RC helicopter.
- Average flight time – you have to consider at least 5 to 8 minutes of flight time on the average for a single charge of the RC helicopter to get the most out of it.
- Average charge time – a good charge time for an RC helicopter would be somewhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Higher-priced and more powerful models may take longer times to charge, but if they have a lithium-ion battery then that means that their battery will be much more durable.
- Indoor or outdoor – you also have to consider whether the helicopter is ideal for indoor use only or for outdoor use only. This is usually determined by how much distance they can take (their range, as stated above).
RC Helicopters vs. Quadcopters
Most people get confused by these two types of RC flight units. Here are the major differences between the two:
|Ideal use||As a toy or hobbyist unit||For aerial photography or videography|
|Skill level||Beginner to intermediate – usually very stable||Intermediate to expert – stability may depend on how you fly the quad|
|Usual frequency||3 to 4 channels||4 to 5 channels|
|Price||Usually much cheaper||Usually more expensive|
|3D flight and aerobatics||Best – can do flips and rolls easier||Not ideal for 3D flight and aerobatics|
How to Fly a Radio-Controlled Helicopter
For beginners, here’s a brief step-by-step guide on how to fly a radio-controlled helicopter:
- Get acquainted with the controls. The most important thing first is to read the instructions on how each button and lever works in the transmitter, so you’ll know how to throttle and turn directions.
- Take it off, whether indoors or outdoors. If it’s an indoor unit, prepare the surroundings by putting away fragile items. For outdoors, you need to warn neighbors that you’re flying an RC copter.
- Try moving the copter right and left. Make use of the controls by getting it to move in different directions.
- Add throttle so that your copter can fly higher. This may take some practice to do, so do it slowly at first to avoid causing the copter to crash more often.
- Try making basic moves like circling. This can help you to navigate and fully take control of the RC copter, but it may also take a lot of practice to do so.
- Slowly push down the throttle for landing. To avoid crashes, take it slow with the throttle so that it will land nice and smooth.
- Never stop practicing! The key to improving on your RC copter flying skills is definitely practice – even short times of mastering the controls can help you to get used to flying your RC helicopter.
It is important to look into different criteria before you buy an indoor or outdoor RC helicopter since they can still cost some budget. Each RC copter has its own pros and cons and may be tailored to a specific demographic. Which of our picks above would be your favorite and why?