Helicopter toys are very popular these days. They make a great choice for kids who are always on the lookout for adventures, teens looking for hours of fun, and adults who are searching for a new hobby. Making your miniature aircraft fly and navigate through the air is truly an enjoyable experience.
And with the vast selection of remote control helicopters, you are likely to find the type, model, and specifications you are looking for. If you are working on a bigger budget, there is absolutely something for you. If you’re looking for an RC helicopter suitable for younger kids, you’ll surely find one here. Or if you want something that satisfies a meticulous adult hobbyist, there’s something in store for you.
To make your search easy, we’ve made a list of the best remote control helicopters of the market today. So go ahead and check them out to make your search easy. There’s also a comprehensive buying guide in the bottom of this article for a stress-free shopping.
Top 9 Remote Control Helicopters of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 9 Remote Control Helicopters of 2018 Reviewed
- How to Choose a Remote Control Helicopter
1. E-flite Blade mCX2 RTFRemote Control Helicopter Overall
Ready to fly right from the box, E-flite Blade mCX2 RTF is on top of the game when it comes to quality, flight control, and battery life.
Great for both novice and professional operators, this RC helicopter is a winner. It combines the best of flight control, battery life, durability, and quality – making it worth the high price tag. It features a precision swashplate, 5-in-1 control unit, and a coaxial head design. This design eliminates the stability issue that comes with most models of RC helicopters. Meanwhile, the counter-rotating blades helps you achieve supreme flight control even with minimal intervention. You can change the control settings to increase the speed to a higher level from a beginner speed.
This RC helicopter uses a lithium battery that powers up the aircraft for eight minutes. Recharging it takes 90 minutes. Lastly, the manufacturer has a full line of replacement parts so just in case one part or two got broken, you still can have it run in no time without replacing your entire miniature aircraft. This model comes with flashing LED lights that make it more fun to fly.
- Precision swashplate
- Factory-installed 5-in-1 control unit
- coaxial design
2. Syma S111GBudget Remote Control Helicopter
It may be small, but it’s a great product for a low price. Ready to fly right from the box, the Syma S111G has six minutes of flight time and only needs 30 minutes to fully recharge.
Featuring a Coast Guard design, this RC helicopter features stable flight characteristics that every child or novice operator would definitely appreciate. One of the biggest advantages of the Syma S111G is the short charging time which gives you plenty of flying opportunities every day. It also features multi-directional flight controls that allow you to move it up and down, forward and backward, and even rotate both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Yes – that’s too much for a heli that only costs $20.
The heli has a durable metal frame that can withstand several crashes. And because it’s small and lightweight, it provides a good level of stability and agility. It features wide infrared control too. However the controller doesn’t come with batteries so you may need to purchase 6 AA batteries before getting started.
- Easy to Fly
- Battery is Lithium Polymer
- Not ideal for advanced operators
- Batteries for remote control not included in the package
3. Haktoys HAK303Remote Control Helicopter for Kids
Haktoys HAK303 is designed for children ages eight and up and features great control and flight stability.
With a 50-foot flight range, this heli is great enough to fly inside the house or any indoor area. Since it’s manufactured with kids in mind, this helicopter toy features a canopy design that enables it to withstand crashes. It flies continuously for six to eight minutes, and only takes half an hour to recharge. The heli comes with a built-in gyroscope that greatly helps with in-flight stability. This is an encouraging feature for children and beginners alike. What’s more, the ergonomic controls are comfortable to hold.
There are LED lights installed around the protective frame, which makes flying even at night fun and easy. It’s multi-directional too – capable of being controlled up or down, left or right, and forward or backward. Furthermore, the adjustable speed control allows parents to choose a safer speed level for their children as they still learn the proper takeoff and touchdown techniques. The package includes a spare buckle connect, USB Charger, and remote control which, unfortunately, doesn’t include batteries.
- Built-in gyroscope for greater stability
- Equipped with bright LED lights
- Ergonomic controls
- Does not do well in outdoor locations because of infrared frequency
4. Syma S109G 3.5 Channel RCRemote Control Helicopter for Beginners
Weighing just around 1.2 pounds, the Syma S109G 3.5 ready-to-fly heli features a heavy-duty metal body and a wonderful flight stabilizing system. The first thing you will notice on this heli is the durable frame that has high resistant to crashes. But you won’t have to worry about crashing it all the time. The product features a stabilizing system that enables a smooth flight all the time, along with the Gyroscope technology for better flight control.
This beginner-style heli has 3 channels that enables it to move in any directions. It also utilizes a Li-Poly battery which can be easily charged through a USB port or controller. What’s more, it has super cool lights that light up its travel path.
- No assembling is required
- 3-channel control system
- Comes with one spare tail rotor
- Too small and may not withstand flights in windy conditions
5. BLH4100 120 SRemote Control Helicopter for Outdoor Use
BLH4100 120 S is a six-channel helicopter featuring a single-rotor, fixed-pitch that can resist a little wind – making it a perfect choice for your outdoor heli flying adventure.
If you’re an experienced RC heli operator and prefers outdoor flights, this heli is the perfect choice. But then even if you’re new to RC helicopters, this product features a “beginner’s mode” that is self-leveling and has a slower flight speed. In case the heli is going to crash, simply press the panic button. The “intermediate mode”, on the other hand, lets you increase the angles of pitch and roll while still being self-leveling. With the “experienced mode” however, the pitch and roll features are turned off, giving you full control of your device.
The heli is powered by a 500mAh battery which allows for a 6-minute flight time. It takes some time to recharge, however, at one hour. Well, considering the many features of this robust RC helicopter, the charging time is very reasonable. Made of polymers and carbon-fiber components, the BLH4100 120 S delivers mechanical precision and is designed to deal with typical mishaps. Furthermore, it is equipped with a multi-function transmitter that makes operation smooth and easy.
- Panic recovery mode to prevent a crash
- Durable construction
- 6 channels
- Might be too much to handle for children and beginners
6. GPToys G610Remote Control Helicopter for Indoor Use
The GPToys G610 is an inexpensive heli that’s easy to operate and comes out of the box ready to fly. It is designed solely for indoor use.
If you or your children enjoy flying RC helis inside the house, the GPToys G610 is a wonderful option. It runs up to 8 minutes before it needs to be recharged (which could take anywhere from 30-50 minutes). The device features dual rotors that enhance the overall flight control, which makes it suitable for both beginners and intermediate levels who are up for more challenging flights while feeling comfortable about quickly leveling off in case of an emergency.
The heli is over 10 inches in length, which is just the right size for indoor flights. It is also equipped with LED lights for easy maneuvering even in the dark.
- Adjustable frequency
- 3.5 channels
- Multicolored LED lights
- Not suitable for very young users
7. Blade 230s BNFRemote Control Helicopter for Aerobatics
Perfect for hobbyists who are looking forward for more flips, inverted flights, loops and rolls, the Blade 230s BNF makes a top choice.
This remote control helicopter is a perfect choice for people looking for massive performance, great controls, and aerobatics. It has high-speed brushless motors, self-leveling property, impact-resistant main blades, and fiber-filled plastic design that makes it durable and strong enough to handle or even prevent a crash. Not to mention it’s innovative SAFE technology. And compared to wood blades, the ABS main blades of this heli holds up better in a crash.
This device is equipped with a progressive flight mode that helps you establish your aerobatic skills quickly. The 800mAh lithium battery allows for 5-6 minutes of flight time before the need to recharge. The highly-tuned machine of Blade 230s BNF with collective pitch mechanics that allow for sports aerobatics. It has a 3D mode too, which turns up the “flip and roll” rate of the heli for 3D capability.
- Collective pitch
- Panic Recovery mode
- Brushless main and tail rotors
- Definitely not for beginners
8. Iron3 Remote Control HelicopterRemote Control Helicopter for Teens
Despite being new in the market, the Iron3 Remote Control Helicopter is already getting rave reviews for its reliable performance and numerous features. A little too much for younger kids, the Iron3 heli makes a perfect choice for teens who are after some adventurous flights. It features 3 selectable frequencies, 4 channels, a built-in gyroscope for perfect hovering, and co-axial auto-stabilizing rotors designed to resist multiple crashes. This RC heli is constructed from strong and tough materials and its flashing multi-colored LED lights provide a fun and realistic flying experience.
- 4 channels
- Upgraded gyro system
- Economical price
- Some users report issues with the battery
9. UDI U13A HelicopterRemote Control Helicopter for Photography
If you’re looking for an RC copter that lets you capture clear, high-resolution pictures and videos, you will never go wrong with the UDI U13A Helicopter.
This high-quality heli has a built-in gyro to ensure greater flight stability. This allows you to take photos and record videos with ease and accuracy. It’s great for indoor purposes because of its sleek design and flexibility. It’s also built with flexible blades and metal alloy chassis to resist the device-damaging impact of a crash.
- High-resolution 640*480 video camera
- Six direction channels
- Records videos at any angle
- Video capabilities can drain the battery easily
How to Choose a Remote Control Helicopter
Operating a remote control helicopter is both fun and challenging. Many people, especially hobbyists take time and effort studying how to get the most of their toy aircrafts and maintaining them. Kids and teens who are after fun and entertainment may not need a complex, high-end RC helicopter, but a durable one that can withstand hours of use (and misuse). Thus, choosing a toy helicopter based on one’s age, experience, and skill level is crucial to finding the best product.
When shopping for the best remote control helicopters, there are several major factors to consider:
Remote control helicopters either use an electric or an internal combustion engine. Understanding the difference between the two is your first step towards choosing the right model for you or your kids.
Electric RC helicopters are powered by a rechargeable battery. Some batteries last longer than others do, having greater power. The size of the electrical engine also determines how quickly the batteries drain. It goes without saying that larger electric engines will drain the battery more quickly than smaller engines. Some remote control helicopters utilizing electric engines can run for 20 minutes while most low-end models will run for just 10 minutes before you need to recharge the batteries. Most remote control helicopters available in the market today make use of electric motors.
This is less common than electric toy helicopters but they also perform well. This type uses fuel and air to generate power. The amount of air that the engine displaces determines how powerful the helicopter is. Most models with internal combustion use a fuel containing nitromethane. A battery heats a glow plug. The heat then ignites the air-fuel mixture. A muffler then expels the fumes that such process generates.
Being familiar with the different build-type standards for RC helicopters will make the buying process much easier for you.
- Ready-to-Fly Helicopters – great for kids and beginners, this build type comes in a fully assembled mini aircraft with the motor already installed, along with a transmitter. If you don’t like assembling things before making them work, this is the best option for you.
- Almost-ready-to-fly Helicopters – models under this build type feature a mainframe and peripheral parts but do not contain all of the small parts necessary to fly and operate the RC helicopter. Sometimes, you have to purchase a receiver separately.
- Bind and Fly – just like the ready-to-fly models, this one is all set and assembled. However, it lacks a transmitter.
- Custom Built – many hobbyists prefer building their own mini aircraft by buying parts separately and assembling things on their own. Manufacturers of RC helicopters sell individual parts for those looking to have a custom-built machine.
RC helicopters have a varying number of channels, but the maximum is 6. These are the throttle, yaw, elevator, aileron, collective, and special feature channels.
- Throttle – the speed at which the main rotor blades spin
- Yaw – turning of the helicopter nose to the left and right
- Elevator – tilts the rotors so the helicopter forward and backward
- Aileron – tilts the rotors so the helicopter can move left or right
- Collective – adjusts the angle of the rotors to lift and lower the helicopter
The more channels the RC helicopter has, the harder it is to operate but the more things it can do. If it’s your first time using an RC helicopter, consider buying a model with 2-3 channels only.
You can choose between a fixed-pitch and collective-pitch. What’s the difference?
A fixed pitch RC does not change its angle. Adjusting the angle of the rotor blades helps users raise and lower their miniature aircrafts without having to change the rotational speed of the blades. Because they don’t change their angles, fixed pitch RC helicopters are raised and lowered by speeding them up or slowing them down. Although they respond less quickly than a collective-pitch model, helicopters with a fixed pitch are easier to control, making them ideal for novice hobbyists or users.
Collective-pitch RC helicopters can change their angles, allowing the user to lift and lower without adjusting the rotor speed. This minimized the lag between commands of the user and the performance of the helicopter. However, operating RC helicopters with a collective pitch design requires more skill. Thus, they are more suitable for experienced or advanced users.
Another point of consideration is the size of the RC helicopter.
Remote control helicopters fall into four size categories of main rotor diameter: micro, small, medium, and large. Micro helicopters have less than 15 inches of rotor diameter, small have 15 to 24 inches, medium have 24 to 30 inches, and the large ones have over 30 inches of main rotor diameter. If you’re looking to fly an RC helicopter indoors, micro models are best for you. Large models have longer flying range, sometimes reaching a mile away from the transmitter.
Availability of Parts
For buyers who want more than toy helicopters, the availability of spare parts is a crucial factor to consider. RC helicopters are prone to wear and tear, thus, they require much care and maintenance. Among the parts that may are likely to be replaced often are the batteries, swashplate, main shaft, canopy and landing skids. Most parts should be compatible with varying brands of RC helicopters but some are specialty parts which you can only purchase from the few select sellers or from the same manufacturer.
The body of remote control helicopters can be constructed from different materials, including plastic, aluminum, and carbon fiber while the blades are made from lightweight materials such as wood and fiberglass. The best remote control helicopters have a lightweight built that enables the device to utilize power efficiently. Nonetheless, they should be sturdy enough to resist crashes. Kids and beginners should go for durable models such as those made with plastic polymers as they are likely to have more crashes when learning to fly their helicopters. This material is not that heavy but it’s robust enough to withstand several crashes. Lightweight, sophisticated helicopters are more suitable for experienced users.
Accessories and Add-ons
Depending on how you’d like to use your RC helicopter, there are accessories and add-ons that are nice to have.
Most people fly RC helicopters purely for entertainment. But others use it for specific reasons, such as in photography. Some photographers buy an RC helicopter to be able to take aerial photos without having to rent a real helicopter. Thus, accessories like a helicopter camera mount can be helpful. Other models can come with wireless cameras which can be used for surveillance purposes.
Flying a remote control helicopter is truly a fun and exciting experience. But with so many choices out there, it’s hard to find the best product that suits you.
To summarize, consider the following important factors before purchasing an RC helicopter:
- Power Source: Electric vs. Internal Combustion
- Type: Ready-to-fly, almost-ready-to-fly, bind and fly, or custom built
- Channels: three vs. all 6
- Pitch: fixed-pitch vs. collective-pitch
- Size: micro, small, medium, or large
- Availability of Parts
Regardless of your skill level and how you want to use it, choose the brand and model that fits your lifestyle. Also, give high regard to quality. Choose the product which does not easily wear out and is durable and sturdy enough to withstand crashes.