View Full Version : R/C mini 'copters

10th Dec 2007, 00:31
I want one! for Christmas. They're turning up all over the place and Mrs. Km is getting very confused as to which one to order for me. Anyone with any experience/knowledge of these things?



10th Dec 2007, 00:57
They're unflyable. Makes landing the Pitts look like a breeze. I bought one on impulse a few weeks back - its remains are still staring at me balefully in my office. Just when I thought I was starting to get the hang of it - I could at least get it to lift off without immediately falling on its side - it flew into the swimming pool. Despite careful drying and all the rest it has never worked since.

Don't buy one unless you can afford ten. Otherwise it'll end in tears.


10th Dec 2007, 01:01

Look here:


The multi rotor helis are easy to fly. Indoors only. I bought my 6-year old one for his birthday last summer:


I have 10 or 11 hours in a Pitts and I would put the coax r/c helos as way easier, though I was semi-competent in the pitts.


10th Dec 2007, 01:08
Last summer, there was a test of three of those ´copters in German tv. The price range was, i think up to 100€. The result was: thei´re only toys, almost unsteerable. So the cheapest one won, the picoo z, its the smallest one and you can fly it in your livingroom, as its too light to make damage and almost to be damaged. It is possible to make that small one so-so steerable(somehow), but it´s a lot of fiddling and fumbling (the picoo z)


10th Dec 2007, 01:47
I bought a visiting little boy one and he had loadsa fun in the car port, frightening the cat. It lasted two days and was covered in bodge tape and had sellotape trimmers all over the blades before it finally expired. (A bit like a real helicopter actually. :} )

Unsteerable is a charitable way to describe it. I reckon the promotional videos showing in all the toy shops are done with CGI... :rolleyes:

10th Dec 2007, 01:54
To be honest im toying with the idea of gettin one of these little gadgets just for the entertainment value of my hound chasing it round the room on xmas day jumping allover the inlaws and trashing the tree.. hours of fun.:}


10th Dec 2007, 02:02
My 4 year old, on the autistic spectrum, can sort of fly an air hogs helix. It's sort of like the Picco-Z:


Put a push pin in the nose, it translates forward, and with practice you can maneuver it. I like doing turns around the column in the basement.


Howard Hughes
10th Dec 2007, 02:47
I have a Walkera 36, 6 channel electric helicopter, cost a little more than a 100 euros, but still no easier to fly!:eek:

Apparently it is capable of aeros, NOT WITH ME AT THE CONTROLS IT AIN'T!:hmm:

Although I do seem to have mastered the 'death dive', otherwise known as the 'inverted autorotation'....;)

Mac the Knife
10th Dec 2007, 03:46
I bought a Pico-Z yesterday. After a couple of hours my son is starting to get the hang of it. Quite interesting really, he started by overcontrolling it wildly and then started to appreciate the importance of making smaller inputs and seeing what happens.

I can see that he'll soon get quite slick.

If he stays interested I'll buy him a Bell 47.....


10th Dec 2007, 04:33
IFMU, are you living in a squat? :}

Desert Diner
10th Dec 2007, 06:20
From this thread, I have now discovered that you have to be of a single digit age to be able to fly the damn things.:bored:

Howard Hughes
10th Dec 2007, 06:29
Or have a large store of spare parts!;)

10th Dec 2007, 08:11
Bought a "dragonfly" for gingerette from the local car booter for twenty quid, and it works well, but a lot of space is needed. It has control in up and down and side to side (is it still yaw in a chopper).

My manipulating these controls, and using the wind in your favour, you can get some degree of control, but it may be worth spending a little more on an extra channel to give you some forward and back motion.:)

I put a little r/c camera onto it this summer, which gave some interesting results.

I havn't let her have a go yet in case she breaks it:}

west lakes
10th Dec 2007, 09:30
A read of this


may or may not help, rotorheads were experimenting

10th Dec 2007, 09:42
Picco-z is the best micro 2 ch heli.

T-Rex is the best 6ch hardcore heli.

One will take you 10 minutes to learn to fly, the other will take months and many £'s of spares.

Also look at the Palm-z whilst your at it. A micro plane that fly's very nicely for £19.00, it's great fun.

10th Dec 2007, 12:41
Heres my baby...(note the tape)

On board camera in the Summer:)apologies for the quality, but I reckon you'll get the right idea. Think I've got the right stuff?


PS word of warning, little 'uns need supervising as the rotors are a bit powerful.

10th Dec 2007, 12:47
I've got a Picco-Z, it's great fun flying round the lounge annoying the cats. Does take a while to get profficient at it but there's no way i'd describe it as un-flyable. A little clockwise tweek of the tail gives it a bit more forward momentum as do the tiny stick-on weights on the nose. It does eat batteries though!!

10th Dec 2007, 13:52
"They're unflyable."
Pwned by a 6yo & a 4yo :)

10th Dec 2007, 14:01
I have 4 working models

For easy to fly indoor only fun the Picco-z machine is great fun . It needs a bit of bluetak or even the supplied weights on the nose to make it fly forwards . nb even in a flat calm strong light seems to interfere with the IR controls it wont even work in a sunny conservatory .
Next up would be anything with contrarotating rotors on the same axis . I dont have one but they are stable and not particularly difficult . Dont overcontrol .
Then it starts getting tricky there are a lot of single rotor small electric machines they vary in sophistication up to The T-Rex type with belt driven tail rotors CCPM cyclic brushless motors heading hold gyro lipo batteries proper radio gear etc . I have a Chineses clone which after numerous upgrades is flyable in the garden but it is twitchy and we are talking a lot more than £100 .
Next up I think are the IC models I have a 30 size Hirobo Shuttle which is very stable once in a hover if you take your fingers off the sticks it only drifts off slowly . It needs some experince to get one setup properly though .
Finally for next year I have a bigger 60size IC model which should be easier to fly than the shuttle .So the cheap little Chinese jobs are very difficult . If you really want to fly a R/C heli find a club get help and consider something like a S./H Shuttle and all the bits . often seen on ebay or a Picco-Z for the house .

10th Dec 2007, 14:13
Cheers for this thread!

Gave me an idea for Christmas :}

Mums going to get me and my bro one :} £22 off ebay each, not bad!

Just one question. How easy are they to break? Do they last a while?


10th Dec 2007, 15:16
I reckon I'll stick one of the Pico z ones on my list for christmas... (Quite fancy annoying the cat with it. :}) seem fun, even if they are a helicopter shaped piece of foam...
(If you can't fly them why not practice on an RC helicopter simulator... It does exist...)

10th Dec 2007, 15:34
If you are serious about flying model helicopters or planes then a simulator is an excellent and cheap way to get into the hobby.

Phoenix, is very good and excellent for helicopters

IPACS Aerofly pro Deluxe is better for planes

10th Dec 2007, 15:41
Bought a new Twister a couple of weeks ago - £75 off the internet. Indoor and outdoor when calm. Complete with a training U/C which is essential. Full 4 channel radio and very controllable (when you stop overcontrolling!). Comes with spare main and tail blades. Great fun.

10th Dec 2007, 15:47
video here http://www.brentfordrc.co.uk/scripts/VideoVault.asp?video=video_0014

10th Dec 2007, 18:20
Oooooh now this looks a larrrrf!


10th Dec 2007, 18:45
Can I ask a daft question? What do the 4 channels do?

My cheapo from the car booter goes up (no speed control the rotors are either on or off) and the chopper rotates around its vertical midline either left or right. (?Yaw)

So realistically, I can't make it go forward or back, without getting a grip on the wind direction.

Just up and down, and rotating from side to side.

10th Dec 2007, 22:52
Tell you what you don't want to do. You and a mate take one each into the canteen at work at lunchtime...hot drinks, food, people minding their own business, customers visiting the company.....

It looked really cool for about 10 seconds.

10th Dec 2007, 23:16
My cheapo from the car booter goes up (no speed control the rotors are either on or off) and the chopper rotates around its vertical midline either left or right. (?Yaw)
So realistically, I can't make it go forward or back, without getting a grip on the wind direction.
Just up and down, and rotating from side to side.
I think you'll find that if you apply a little weight (chewing gum or modelling clay - even tape a washer) to the front so that it flies nose-down (not much) then it will fly forwards under power. You can adjust the rate of travel by how much weight you add (and, of course, you can make it fly backwards too by adding the weight to the tail and sideways by weighting the side).
Having got it so that it will 'travel' you can manoeuvre by rotating to line-up with the directing of travel.

Works for me.

Howard Hughes
10th Dec 2007, 23:20
Can I ask a daft question? What do the 4 channels do?

Forward and backwards! 6 channels gives you collective (rotor angle) as well!:ok:
My advice, for the most fun stick with two or four, unless you can afford a decent helicopter!:ok:

11th Dec 2007, 03:16
IFMU, are you living in a squat?
I don't think so. But I'm not sure what a squat is, if you can rectify my linguistic shortcoming then I can tell you for sure.

What you see is my semi-finished basement. Semi-finished to better withstand the rigors that single digit aged helicopter pilots can wreak upon the structure. My wife can't see the perfect logic of flying in the living room with the vaulted ceiling.


kiwi chick
11th Dec 2007, 03:39
Apparently it is capable of aeros, NOT WITH ME AT THE CONTROLS IT AIN'T!

Tell you what you don't want to do. You and a mate take one each into the canteen at work at lunchtime...hot drinks, food, people minding their own business, customers visiting the company.....

It looked really cool for about 10 seconds.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :D :D Sums up pretty much what I can add.

I can fly a real helicopter. I cannot, however, get a R/C helicopter to leave the ground with either backing it into a wall, or rolling it over.

(Which, admittedly, is almost how I fly a real helicopter... :E ;) )

Sam-MAN... I think the answer to your question is "YES" ! :ok:

11th Dec 2007, 12:34
Gadget Show on Channel Five did a review of this set last night, looked like fun.


Might put it on my Santa list, along with Suzi Perry as instructor ;)

11th Dec 2007, 17:26
That video reminds me of my first lesson in a 300C - yellow, just like yours. Fortunately, of course, a more skilled pair of hands and feet was able to prevent a disaster.

13th Dec 2007, 08:13
Hey all, thought i'd share my 2cents,

i sold these for a number of months, various types from the small Pico-z style ones, the dual rotors and such, i'll grab some pics of them and give a quick description to help some of you out who are interested.


First off we start with the Pico-z style. Very simple, all internal, usually last for like 10 - 15mins battery wise and take about as long to recharge, generally will recharge straight from the remote via a wire that connects from the remote to the helicopter itself. These are 2 Channels, which means you are controlling the speed of the top rotor and the speed of the rear rotor. Basically you can direct one of these things but generally they are continuously flying forward at some speed. Lots of fun, great for kids and yes folks, YOU REALLY CAN FLY ONE WITH SOME PRACTICE!!! no cgi required ;)


Now this guy is generally known as the mosquito, i've seen a LOT of different versions but generally they come as a 3 channel helo. The rotors are controlled by seperate motors meaning they can be at different speeds which allows it to turn and then uses the rear rotor for forwards and backwards movement. Not the easiest to get used to but lots of fun, generally best about 1 to 2 feet off the ground and can be difficult to break. It is possible to hover these as well to give you some idea of the control available but not the best if your looking for accuracy.


Ok, next we have our bread and butter. If your looking to get into R/C Helis i cannot push this lil guy any more, this is what you want to get you started!! Its 3 channels and operates on the same principle as the mosquito but with far greater control and speed. It has a battery that typically operates for 30mins and recharges from a wall socket. Quite hardy, the blades fold back upon impacts to make them break resistant, you'll end up with a nick in the blade but that can be fixed very easily and does not effect the flyability by any large degree. parts are also quite cheap incase you do go and wreck anything. It also operates a good distance from the remote and with the power has the ability to carry small weights...things such as wireless cameras for example have been tested and work!!


Last but not least we have the dragonfly style helicopters. Generally petrol powered but variants are available which are electric. These can be difficult to learn to fly and costly to repair, remember they are higher powered so crashes are going to be worse, not to mention if it does have fuel on board. These can be anywhere from 4 to a typical 6 channel. You can fly these forwards, backwards, up, down, side to side and even upside down and hover it upside down.

Ok, so these are the most common types you find out there and the ones i've personally had experience with. But heres some basic information that is the same with most R/C Helicopters. BIGGER IS NOT BETTER NECESSARILY!! Some people have the common misconception that a larger R/C Helicopter is going to be easier to fly, this is not the case, infact it can be the opposite, larger ones require far more concentration to fly and as such can be easier to crash and far more costly to repair.

Ask how many channels it has, for a bit of fun 2 or 3 is acceptable but for any maneuverability your looking at 4 channels, anything above is becoming higher powered and being used for more aerobatics. There are lots of variants on the same helicopter designs, some are better in different ways eg, longer battery life, faster, more power, look around and weigh up your options.

When buying ask for a demonstration, 9/10 they won't let you fly it for obvious reasons but are more than happy to show you how it can fly, observe their hands at the controls and how much effort they have to put into flying it for a reasonable idea.

If your learning stick to electric, you can get them to run almost as long as petrol powered ones with the right battery and they are generally cheaper to repair and cheaper overall. And remember, the simpler it is the less that can go wrong.

Hope this helps some of you out there, any questions feel free to pm me, more than happy to help :P

13th Dec 2007, 19:27
Some great replies here - thanks everyone, and especially thanks, Ixixly, for a really detailed resume. :)

I'm not interested in the noble art of r/c heli flying per se, but I am intrigued by the thought of a tiny, cheap, indoor r/c heli!

Now to Ebay, Amazon or whatever.......:ok:

13th Dec 2007, 22:16
my son is 2 yrs old and gets bored easily but he can fly one. told him he can pay for his own ppl in the future tho.

13th Dec 2007, 23:02

What's he gonna do when he leaves school?

14th Dec 2007, 15:00
Just ordered this one (http://www.hobbytron.com/ElectricRCHelicopterRTR3CHHughes300AA71280.html)for Xmas...


17th Dec 2007, 03:20
Some video of my 6-year old's flying:


Gotta start somewhere!


18th Dec 2007, 02:29
So what can I glean from this thread??

I'm hearing 2 axis is too basic, and 3 (or 4) axis can be too tricky for most people.

Whats the most simple, cost effective, yet fun, 3-axis out there??

MSP Aviation
18th Dec 2007, 02:37
IFMU - you have one of the most adorable children I've ever seen! In that video, he was actually performing a very understated version of a true R/C aero maneuver someone's tried to describe to me before.

18th Dec 2007, 03:13
Thanks MSP. I think it was more of a whifferdill than a real maneuver, but to me it doesn't matter long as he is having fun. The nice thing about these r/c helos compared to r/c fixed wing is for that kind of hovering and yawing around there is less skill required.
You will likely tire of a 2-channel quickly, though they are amusing. With a 3-channel coax they will just about hover themselves, so you can treat them like a 2-channel until you get brave enough to add some pitch to get it going, then steer it around with yaw. With my 6-year old's saber strike I like to do circuits around the pole in the basement. There is a somewhat larger jump in skills to a 4-channel coax. I won't let my 6-year old fly the 4-channel yet. Not that I mind replacing the parts, but I'd rather have him build up his confidence and skills slowly. If you are serious about it I would start with a 4-channel coax and a simulator, master that then onto bigger things.


18th Dec 2007, 07:50
I thought all of the 'glow fuel' engine ones now were at least 5 channels:

2 for Cyclic
1 for collective
1 for throttle
1 for the tail [via gyro]

with radio mixing of all as required, esp collective and throttle

I used to flt the 30 engine ones years ago - once you have them setup they are very stable in the hover.

I've recently bought a little electric one - can't remember the name but it's a belt drive to the tail with a seperate tail servo etc. The set-up is wrong out of the box so I'll need to to tweak it [the controls are all over the place as well rather than the more usual rudder/throttle one side, cyclic the other].

Howard Hughes
18th Dec 2007, 09:19
You can fly these forwards, backwards, up, down, side to side and even upside down and hover it upside down.
Yeh, sure you can...:rolleyes:

I have a helicopter very similar to the one in your picture, I also have Carbon fibre blades, tail fin and tail rotor! Trouble is I am too scared to put them on, the fibreglass/plastic ones are cheaper to replace!;)

18th Dec 2007, 09:30
Typically (in the UK ) a model heli is flown with the right hand stick doing cyclic (backwards forwards and sideways ) ie 2 channels . The left stick does collective and rudder . Collective has 2 channels mixed together for throttle and pitch among serious flyers an additional gizmo is fitted to keep head speed constant . The rudder control is via a gyro normally with heading hold so the tail stays where you leave it . Other channels are controlled via switches to say alter gyro response .

18th Dec 2007, 11:30
Hoofie, hold it upside down and invert all the controls :D problem solvered!! lol.

No seriously...we've done this and it can actually work if your have a remote that allows you to invert controls! and yeah, i've never seen a glow fuel one with less than 6 channels personally, anything less and its easier just to make it electric...not to mention cheaper!!

Airscrew, your looking for 3 channels probably, That allows you to move it forwards, backwards, up, down and yaw left and right typically (Mind some are sold as 4 channels but are really 3 channel but do the same job!! they are sold like this cause they do the same thing as a 4 channel). For example the 9081 i pictured is actually 3 channel, there are 2 seperate motors that drive each blade so one channel each and then another channel for the rear rotor telling it to rotate either clockwise or counter clockwise. 6 Channels is where it gets tricky cause you introduce roll into the equation!!

Howard Huges, for your viewing pleasure and to prove my point!!
Halichopter Inversion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4eYXYTEG-I) and yes this is a similar helicopter to the one i pictured as well!!

18th Dec 2007, 12:09
How do you make the rotors suck instead of blow?

(Or blow from the top and not the bottom?)

18th Dec 2007, 12:58
change the pitch of the rotors i do believe.

18th Dec 2007, 13:10
A 3D capable heli is flown with a transmitter capable of switching in different flight modes . Move collective stick , rotor spins up around mid stick pitch inreases , lift off . Now the interesting bit switch to 3D mode and the bottom half of the stick travel gives negative pitch ideally head speed is constant at all stick positions .

24th Dec 2007, 19:47
Anyone know where to get a rotor head set for a cp-2 honey bee on Christmas Eve:{:{:{:{

(I was only testing it:})

Merry Christmas everyone- let's hope it's a peaceful one:)

25th Dec 2007, 08:08
Three cheers for the E-Flite Blade CX2.

Got one for Chrissy.

Hovered it a couple of times.

Pissed now.

Try again tomorrow.

Howard Hughes
25th Dec 2007, 08:41
Anyone know where to get a rotor head set for a cp-2 honey bee on Christmas Eve
You didn't did you?:eek:

25th Dec 2007, 09:51
'fraid so:uhoh:

It doesn't like wardrobes:)and drunk pilots.

Howard Hughes
25th Dec 2007, 09:55
You'll have more respect for those 'rotorheads' now won't you...;)

25th Dec 2007, 12:18
Got one this morning off 'Santa' and they are bloody good fun :}

Go through batteries tho...

25th Dec 2007, 13:21
Heh, if your electrically minded Sam Man, i highly suggest getting some rechargeable lithium ion batteries, last for ages, lightweight, just superb.

Or a pair of ordinary rechargeable batteries will do just fine as well :P

25th Dec 2007, 13:42
Yeah i'm going to get some of them soon.

Also got a remote control plane.... shall see how many minutes that lasts in the park before being shattered into 100 pieces :}

26th Dec 2007, 20:40
I have developed a sudden need for E-Flite Blade CX2 replacement rotor blades (E-Flite part EFLH1221 -- a set of four blades).

Presumably to protect the Australian replacement-plastic-helicopter-blade industry, these cost AUD 19.95 at the Hobbyco (http://hobbyco.com.au/), which is Sydney's top general-interest hobbyshop. They don't even bother to put much of anything on their Web site.

Half a dozen places elsewhere sell the same thing for USD 4.00 or so (about AUD 5). I ordered a dozen sets (!) from http://www.hobbyoutlets.com, which is pretty obviously some guy in his basement.

Be aware, fellow incompetent CX2 pilots!

27th Dec 2007, 11:29
They look like immense fun, and I realise how lucky I was to have doting parents who always shelled out for glow-plug, and later, diesel engines for my smashing machines. The ether starting fluid was a hoot, too :eek:

I would be indebted to any Ozmate who could perhaps PM me with the details of a reliable local retailer which sells Picos. It seems to me that the outlets back there haven't fully embraced the Web, and I have had a gutful of sending presents from Europe which do not arrive or are confiscated [0].


[0] The latest being an electric 'fly zapper' which was withheld because it 'may harm animals'. :ugh: Of course it will!

Jimmy Macintosh
27th Dec 2007, 23:30
I have the Hoverfly II still in it's box in the UK. That was a good laugh though bl**dy hard to fly. Get it into a hover and within minutes have the thing flying in uncontrolled circles. I went through a LOT of blades on that one, one time I landed it on my knee, scared the life out of me. My memory sees a masterpiece of flying involved, but reality was me probably screaming like a girl lifting my legs to protect myself and it happened to land on my knee after I did the power off control moves. :O

Just got myself 3 Palm-Z's for fun and dogfighting...hopefully they'll live upto expectations.