- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
RC Gas Powered Helicopters
There is something fascinating about helicopters in general but have you ever considered flying rc gas powered helicopters as a hobby? They are difficult to learn to fly but the beauty of the radio control helicopter is that unlike the model plane (another fun hobby) you can hover and fly around without worrying about the helicopter flying out of range very quickly. Flying the plane you're in constant forward motion, or it wouldn't be in the air, and you have to concentrate on staying within range and avoiding obstacles, But this doesn't apply to rc gas powered helicopters and flying a helicopter is a highly rewarding experience.
There is a big range of rc gas powered helicopters, including very large models that will really fascinate onlookers, as well as yourself, once you have the skill to fly one. The advances in electric motors and batteries mean that there has been an increase in the popularity of electric rc helicopters in recent years, but there are still some very popular gas powered helicopters.
One of the most popular is the Thunder Tiger Raptor V2, an entry level model, but also capable of advanced aerobatics. Many enthusiasts progress from electric to gas power but if you want to fly gas helicopters without learning the basic skills on electric models, then make sure you buy an rc gas powered helicopter suitable for novices.
Another popular example is the JR Venture which is an "almost ready to fly" (ARF) model that requires some assembly prior to flight - probably five to eight hours depending on your skill level. It's not a bad idea to start with an ARF kit as it gives beginners a better understanding of how helicopters work, and the key elements of their construction. Radio gear and engine need buying separately for this gas powered helicopter, but your local hobby shop or online store will advise on which gear is suitable.
One thing about the rc model helicopter, however, is that it is undeniably complex to control and fly. The advanced models work just like the real thing giving you great satisfaction once you have acquired the skill needed, but you have to learn how to do a lot of things at once to keep an rc gas powered helicopter in the air.
Radio control gear for helicopters generally has six or even seven channels, more than for planes, which takes some getting used to and adds to the learning curve for flying. You can of course find electric helicopters that are
incredibly easy to fly, even indoors, but the lack of challenge means
that boredom can set in quickly with what are little more than toys.
Although some enthusiasts do start out this way to get used to the
helicopter concept and to fly without worrying about
crashing, in time everyone wants that adrenalin rush that
comes with learning how to fly complex rc gas powered helicopters.
You can get software simulators to learn how to fly gas powered helicopters in a safe environment. You can learn all the basics skills, such as a simple hover, as well as practice more advanced flight manoeuvres, all in a simulated world. The simulation is very realistic and gives you a great way to practice flying without crashing your helicopter at potentially great cost. Once you have mastered the simulation you can progress to flying the real model with much less risk of serious damage and consequently much greater enjoyment.
Typical prices to get started with rc helicopters are $250 and up for a reasonable model that should be tough enough to stand a few hard landings, and fairly stable in flight. Toy rc helicopters (electric) are available for much less, but should not be compared with sophisticated gas powered helicopters