Last updated: August 12, 2021
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Welcome to our big remote control helicopter test 2022. Here we present all the remote-controlled helicopters that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best remote control helicopter for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a remote control helicopter.

Contents




Summary

  • Remote-controlled helicopters can be fun for young and old. Depending on the individual experience, there are many different models.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between 3-channel, 4-channel, 6-channel RC helicopters and quadrocopters. Each model requires different know-how and is suitable for different applications.
  • For beginners, 3-channel coaxial helicopters and quadrocopters are particularly suitable. Advanced and professional users go for 4-channel or 6-channel RC helicopters.

The Best Remote Control Helicopter: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a remote-controlled helicopter

How much does a remote-controlled helicopter cost?

While you can get started with a simple model for 20 euros, the real professional helicopters quickly cost several hundred euros.

Type price
Beginner 3-channel approx. 20-50 euros
Advanced 4-channel approx. 50-200 euros
Professional 6-channel or scale helicopter from approx. 200-500 euros

The following criteria determine the price of a remote-controlled helicopter:

  • Equipment (technology)
  • Brand
  • Drive
  • Accessories
  • Workmanship
  • Size

Beginner helicopters start at a price of 20 euros. These helicopters are best suited for the first flight attempts, because you should first get a feeling for the handling of a remote-controlled helicopter.

The entry-level offers are often so-called RTF (ready to fly) offers. These model helicopters are, as the name suggests, ready to fly. The RC helicopter is completely built and a simple remote control is included in the accessories. Somewhat higher-quality entry-level models (with gyro) are available from about 50 euros.

Advanced models range from 100 to 200 euros. The functions of these RC helicopters are already somewhat more varied, but the controls are also more sophisticated.

If you already have some experience with a beginner's model, these are the models for you!

As soon as you feel really confident with the remote-controlled helicopter and the whole thing has established itself as a real hobby, the demands will increase. The professional helicopters can be used for aerobatics.

This is often referred to as 3D flight and involves many difficult manoeuvres. Of course, this requires some practice.

You will definitely spend several hundred euros on such professional RC helicopters. This class also includes the so-called scale helicopters. These are detailed replicas of real helicopters. They are also correspondingly large and heavy!

How does a remote-controlled helicopter with a petrol engine work and what are the advantages over an electronic drive?

A clear advantage of combustion engines is the better range. In addition, you can refill the tank at any time and do not need a power source to recharge the batteries as with e-helicopters. However, petrol-powered RC helicopters are being used less and less these days.

Advantages
  • Better range
  • tank can be refilled / you don't need an extra power source
Disadvantages
  • Noise
  • smoke
  • pollution

Great advances in today's rechargeable batteries and very powerful electric motors make the smoky and noisy petrol engines rather useless. Such drives are still used in the very large model helicopters, but otherwise manufacturers are increasingly relying on electric drives.

Which remote control should I use for my model helicopter?

The most common items are so-called 2.4-Ghz radio remote controls. The number of channels is particularly important for a good remote control.

The remote control should have at least 4 control channels (or proportional channels) to cover the basic functions. Many modern remote controls have 8 channels to cover additional functions. As a professional, you will eventually want to upgrade to a dedicated remote control for your RC helicopter.

Which remote control helicopter is particularly suitable for outdoor use?

In order to be able to use the remote-controlled helicopter outdoors, special attention should be paid to size and weight. To be able to venture outdoors with your RC helicopter, it should weigh at least 200-500 g and have a rotor diameter of approx. 40 cm.

Did you know that this model sport requires a lot of concentration?

This is definitely the case with the larger variants of an RC helicopter, as they are used outdoors and are subject to many influencing factors.

On the other hand, to be able to fly with the helicopter in light winds, a weight of about 1.5 kg and a rotor diameter of about 100 cm are recommended. It also matters whether the remote-controlled helicopter has a coaxial rotor. This makes for easier handling in the air, but more complex flight manoeuvres are not possible. Models with a single and tail rotor are better suited for this. Most remote-controlled helicopters also have a gyro, which also ensures stability in the air.

Whether you fly indoors or outdoors, it can be a great help to test a model that is difficult to control with the help of a flight simulator. This will save you a lot of money in the event of a crash.

Which remote-controlled helicopter is suitable for using a camera?

Basically, there are two ways to install a camera on your RC helicopter. Either you can attach a specially suitable camera afterwards, or you decide to buy a helicopter with an integrated camera.

In this area, quadrocopters or camera drones are also very strongly represented, with which impressive aerial shots can be realised, among other things.

No matter which option you choose, an HD camera should be used. To ensure that you have fun with the aerial shots, you should never skimp on quality.

If you decide to add a camera, you should of course check whether your remote-controlled helicopter has enough power to carry the additional weight. It is also important to remember that the helicopter is subject to constant movement and vibration. Therefore, it is important that retrofitted cameras are appropriately damped.

Finally, it is important that your camera has enough memory to store the footage, you don't want to miss the best shots because your memory is full.

Not content with watching your helicopter from the ground, you want to see the world for yourself from above? Then you should ask about drones. These are very much in the field of aerial photography. (Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels)

Decision: What types of remote-controlled helicopters are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, remote-controlled helicopters can be classified into 4 different groups:

  • 3-channel mostly "coaxial" helicopter
  • 4-channel "Fixed Pitch" helicopter
  • 6-channel "Collective Pitch" helicopter
  • Quadrocopter

For each of these, the requirements are different and therefore you should first ask yourself how much experience you already have with remote controlled helicopters.

What is a 3-channel coaxial helicopter and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you are a complete newcomer to the world of RC (Remote Controlled) helicopters, we recommend that you start with a simple 3-channel coaxial helicopter. Coax means that the helicopter has two counter-rotating rotors.

The advantage of these helicopters is that the torques cancel each other out and no separate compensation is needed.

3-channel stands for the three functions that this RC helicopter has - namely up/down, forward/back or left/right. To familiarise you with the technical terms right away: climb/descent, pitch, yaw. The 3.5-channel model helicopter also has a so-called "gyroscope".

This refers to a rapidly rotating gyroscope that stabilises the tail and thus prevents rotation around its own axis. This control is of course a great advantage when flying in confined spaces.

If you only want to fly your remote-controlled helicopter indoors, you should make sure that it is a coaxial helicopter. These RC helicopters are characterised in particular by their simple controls. This version is only suitable for outdoor use to a limited extent. There must be absolutely no wind to make a flight possible. These helicopters are not a great challenge for advanced pilots.

The Amewi "Firestorm Pro 25097″ scored best in our comparison - you can't go wrong with this helicopter if you are looking for the perfect gadget for beginners.

Advantages
  • Perfectly suited for beginners and also children
  • Easy control Stable flight
  • Fun from the first minute as not much practice is needed.
Disadvantages
  • Not good for outdoor use
  • Very simple controls - no challenge

What is a 4 channel fixed pitch helicopter and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Advanced helicopter pilots should get a 4-channel helicopter. These are often referred to as "fixed pitch" helicopters.

These model helicopters are speed controlled. This means that the control of the lift, i.e. the flight altitude, is done by increasing or decreasing the rotor speed. With these RC helicopters, another function is added, the so-called rolling (tilting to the left and right). Often, these models are also somewhat larger and heavier helicopters, so that they are better suited for outdoor use.

Advantages
  • Suitable for outdoor use as they are often larger and heavier
  • Suitable for advanced pilots
  • More control thanks to single rotor technology
  • Less expensive than real professional model helicopters
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Difficult to control

Since the 4-channel helicopters are mostly single rotor models, you have better control over these RC helicopters. However, as a pilot of such a helicopter, you need to have some experience, as it takes some practice to be able to control these helicopters. Due to the constantly changing torque, the helicopter can become somewhat unsteady when flying.

In our comparison, the s-idee "01140 | V911" performed best. You can't go wrong with this helicopter if you are looking for the perfect product for advanced pilots.

What is a 6-channel collective pitch helicopter and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As a professional, you will certainly go for a helicopter with 6 channels, the so-called pitch-controlled RC helicopter.

Pitch stands for the angle of attack of the rotor blades in relation to the incoming air. Collective pitch means that the lift is controlled by changing the collective angle of attack of the rotor blades. This technology involves quite complicated and elaborate mechanics. The Collective Pitch versions are made for real professionals.

Advantages
  • Easier to fly as there are no torque changes
  • 3D flight possible - impressive flight manoeuvres
Disadvantages
  • More complicated mechanics
  • more expensive model
  • more complex remote control

You have to invest a lot for such a model and you also need a complex remote control to operate these RC helicopters. An absolute advantage are the impressive flight manoeuvres that you can perform with such a helicopter.

What is a quadrocopter and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

In contrast to classic remote-controlled helicopters, quadrocopters (often referred to as drones) do not have mechanical and also vulnerable components such as swashplates, tail propellers or rudders. Due to their high crash insensitivity, quadrocopters in particular are also recommended for starting out in model flying.

Advantages
  • Very well suited for beginners
  • Good flight characteristics and easy handling even outdoors
  • Few mechanical components and therefore not so sensitive when it comes to a crash
  • Often equipped with camera
  • Perfectly suited for beautiful HD aerial shots
Disadvantages
  • Not a detailed replica of real helicopters
  • Not a real challenge for professionals

The quadrocopter is controlled by the speed of the four propellers. This means that when all 4 propellers are raised/lowered at the same time, the quadrocopter rises/sinks. For other control functions such as yaw, roll and pitch, the propellers are controlled at different speeds to achieve the desired control.

The flight characteristics can be adjusted in steps, so you can "tame" the power a bit. For beginners, they are very easy to fly and also have very good stability.

If you are looking for the perfect beginner's model with camera, then take a look at the AGETECH GmbH "Syma X5C Explorer". Here you get a great total package for aerial photography.

Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate remote-controlled helicopters

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate remote-controlled helicopters. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain toy is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Drive
  • Colour
  • Size & Weight
  • Spare parts
  • Battery charging time and maximum runtime
  • Useful accessories
  • Old

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Propulsion

In order to fly your remote-controlled helicopter, you need a drive. Basically, a distinction is made between petrol drive and electronic drive with the corresponding batteries.

As described above, most model helicopters on the market are equipped with an electric motor and this variant is ideal for every beginner. Which remote-controlled helicopter you choose depends on you. The RC helicopter with a petrol engine will ultimately have the longer flight time.

However, modern batteries are also getting better and better and with a second battery you can achieve the same result in the end. Factors such as flight time and performance are of great importance when you choose a remote control helicopter.

Colour

Everyone has their own taste when it comes to design and colour. Basically, we can tell you that there are a few choices.

You can choose whether you want your new remote control helicopter to be monochrome or multicoloured from the wide range of models available. Some models glow in the dark or have a military look in camouflage.

As a beginner, you'll be doing yourself a favour if you choose your RC helicopter in as eye-catching a colour as possible so that you can always keep an eye on it!

Size and weight of the remote control helicopter

If you look at the remote control helicopters on offer on the internet, you will quickly notice that there are many different sizes. From miniature to XXL helicopters, there is everything. Which size you should choose depends very much on the area of use.

You should ask yourself whether you want to fly indoors or outdoors, because in light winds your remote-controlled helicopter should be able to withstand some weight. The bigger and heavier the model, the more difficult it is to control.

Therefore, it is recommended to start with a smaller model. While small models have an overall length of 10-30 cm, the really "big" ones can be up to 1 m long.

The absolute top class are the so-called scale helicopters. These are true-to-detail replicas of the original models. There are several specialised manufacturers in this field. The largest model helicopters can weigh up to 20 kg and cost several thousand euros.

The weight of a typical remote-controlled helicopter is between 50 g (smallest helicopter with a rotor diameter of approx. 20 cm) and 5 kg (approx. 1.50 m rotor diameter). However, there are also smaller versions that weigh even less than 50g when ready to fly and have a rotor diameter of less than 15 cm.

Spare parts

To prolong the fun of flying your RC helicopter, make sure that it comes with spare parts. Make sure that the offers include a second pair of rotors and possibly also the necessary tools for replacement.

Especially as a beginner, you will have a few crashes with your remote-controlled helicopter. Initial uncertainty in the control and flight behaviour of the helicopter is totally normal. However, the housing and the rotors also suffer from the first accidents.

It is advisable to buy a remote-controlled helicopter with spare parts. Otherwise, you should at least check in advance whether you can buy spare parts for the model of your choice.

To repair your helicopter after a crash, you will of course need the appropriate tools. Some sets already contain the delicate tools you need to quickly change a few parts, because you won't get far with the classic Phillips head.

However, most shops offer a starter kit with the most important tools for little money. This way you can get your remote-controlled helicopter back into working order.

Battery charging time and maximum runtime

The flight time of a remote-controlled helicopter is limited by the capacity of the built-in battery. You have two options for extending the flight time. Either install a stronger battery, or make sure that the battery is replaceable. Both options have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Of course, it is best to install a stronger battery in your RC helicopter right from the start. However, you will quickly notice that maximum flight times of approx. 10 minutes are the rule, especially with small helicopters.

If you want to retrofit a stronger battery, you will theoretically be rewarded with longer battery performance. In practice, however, there may be some problems, because on the one hand, values such as the electrical voltage must be correct and on the other hand, the dimensions and weight of the battery must be suitable for your remote-controlled helicopter.

Advantages
  • Theoretically longer flight time
  • More power
Disadvantages
  • Problems with compatibility (electrical voltage)
  • battery and helicopter must match in terms of dimensions and weight

The second option makes more sense, because you can extend the flight time as much as you like. There is also the problem that batteries no longer have the same charging capacity after a certain number of charging cycles.

The disadvantage is, of course, that you have to buy several batteries depending on the desired flight time. On the one hand, this is a cost factor, but of course you also have to store the batteries somewhere.

Advantages
  • Flight time can be extended
  • batteries have a longer life
Disadvantages
  • Costs for several batteries
  • Many batteries have to be transported

Basically, you cannot expect a long flight time with the smaller beginner models. However, you should make sure that the charging time is not too long so that the battery is quickly ready for use again.

You will often read the term LiPo battery. These are so-called lithium polymer batteries that are characterised by their lightness and high power. Your new helicopter should definitely have such a battery.

Useful accessories

A good remote-controlled helicopter should be equipped with important spare parts, such as rotor blades (which unfortunately wear out after a while and after a few crashes), replaceable batteries and the remote control. The following accessories can be very useful:

  • remote control (incl. batteries)
  • Spare parts
  • an extra battery
  • Transport case
  • Location

Of course, the battery and remote control are essential for the first flight. You can find more information about the battery above. Basically, you can say that offers with an extra battery are very advantageous.

The 2.4Ghz transmission system has proven itself with remote controls. Therefore, you should make sure that your remote control transmits in this way. The advantage of this type of transmission is that you cannot be disturbed by other pilots because you happen to be flying on the same frequency.

Some offers include an additional carrying case. This can be particularly useful if you want to fly your remote-controlled helicopter outdoors at a certain particularly suitable location. You always have all the important parts with you and are well equipped for the next flight.

More specialised accessories are things like cameras or lights for retrofitting.

As described above, not all accessories can be retrofitted to every helicopter.

Age recommendation

If you are looking for a helicopter for your 8-year-old child, you will quickly realise that most offers are only aimed at children aged 14 and over. This means that there is not much choice for younger children. Basically, however, it can be said that children from the age of 8 are capable of flying a remote-controlled helicopter with 3 channels.

The advantage with these beginner models is clearly that flying is the main focus. Advanced manoeuvres and their control are left out. You should definitely make sure that there is as much space as possible for the first flight attempts.

If you are practising outdoors, the RC helicopter should be sufficiently heavy and large, as mentioned above. Finally, the range of the remote control is also important.

Especially when flying outdoors, it is important to know what the range is. As soon as the connection is lost, the remote-controlled helicopter quickly crashes.

Did you know that many flight schools also offer lessons for RC helicopters?

Many people go to flight schools to get started in operating large remote controlled helicopters.

Basically, you need to have some spatial awareness and also some dexterity to move the remote-controlled helicopter in the air. Children from the age of 8 can certainly handle the complexity of a beginner model.

From the age of 14, of course, there are even more possibilities with products for advanced users.

Place of use

If you want to use your remote-controlled helicopter outdoors, you should focus on the following features. The helicopter should be large and heavy enough. For beginners, the coaxial rotor is best.

If possible, this should only be used when there is no wind. If you want to buy an RC helicopter with a single rotor as an advanced pilot, make sure you practise the flight on a flight simulator to avoid high costs due to a fatal crash.

To ensure that your remote-controlled helicopter can withstand light winds, you should make sure that it weighs at least 400g. The lighter and smaller e-helicopters can also be flown outdoors. However, you should make sure that it is as windless as possible.

Facts worth knowing about remote-controlled helicopters

Where is the best place to fly my remote-controlled helicopter?

To answer this question, it is important to know whether you want to fly indoors or outdoors.

Indoors, it is definitely an advantage to have high ceilings and a room that is not too cluttered. A remote-controlled helicopter is also always a welcome change from the stress of everyday life in the office.

Outside, it is advantageous to look for a large and clear area with as few obstacles as possible. Meadows and fields are very suitable for the first flight attempts. Here you always have an overview and no big obstacles when flying.

Can I control the helicopter with my iPhone?

Some RC helicopters can now also be controlled from a smartphone via an app.

However, control via such apps is not particularly sophisticated. So if you want to pursue flying remote-controlled helicopters as a real hobby, it is better to use the right professional remote controls for steering.

What are the conditions for a perfect flight?

For a successful flight, windless and dry weather with the best possible visibility is optimal.

As soon as it gets a bit windier outside, you can't do much with the beginner's equipment. To keep the helicopter under control, it should be equipped for such weather conditions with weight, size and stabilisers.

Where is it allowed to fly with remote-controlled helicopters?

Basically, you can say that you have to fly on approved terrain from a take-off weight of more than 5kg.

With the lighter models, so-called wild flight is permitted under the following conditions:

  • Regardless of whether you are using a combustion engine or electric drive, you must maintain a distance of 1.5 km from the nearest airfield.
  • No airspace may be violated (for this reason, for example, you will find more and more signs prohibiting the flight of drones (quadrocopters).
  • Furthermore, remote-controlled helicopters with combustion engines must be flown 1.5 km away from the nearest residential area.
  • You need the owner's permission to take off and land on other people's property, but not to fly over it.

If you want to fly with a drone, slightly different rules apply. We have summarised the most important ones in the following table:

Law To be observed
Drones for recreational use Permitted without restriction
Commercial use Permitted after registration or permission
Flight altitude Maximum 100 metres in uncontrolled airspace
Drone insurance Required for private and commercial use
Marking obligation Fireproof sticker required from 250g take-off mass
Registration Not required for private use

Image source: pixabay.com / harztec

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