Helicopter RC Remote Control: A Beginner's Guide

Helicopter RC Remote Control: A Beginner’s Guide

Remote control (RC) helicopter flying has been a hobby for many enthusiasts for several decades. RC flying, in general, has grown leaps and bounds in terms of technology and popularity over the years, and helicopters are no exception. One of the most crucial aspects of an RC helicopter is its remote control, also known as a transmitter. The transmitter is the device that sends the signal to the receiver, which is connected to the RC helicopter. The receiver then decodes those signals and sends them to the servos that control the RC helicopter’s movements. Hence, a top-quality helicopter RC remote control is the foundation of an excellent flying experience. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide to the helicopter RC remote control, including its components, different types of remote controls available, how to choose the best one for you, and tips to get started with the hobby.


The helicopter RC remote control comprises four essential parts: transmitter, receiver, servos, and a power source. Here is a closer look at each component:


  • Device used to control the RC helicopter
  • Typically has two joysticks, which control the lift and movement of the helicopter
  • Also has switches and knobs that provide supplementary commands, such as changing the channel or throttle


  • Collects signals from the transmitter and sends them to the servos
  • Placed on the RC helicopter and powered by an onboard battery


  • Small devices that move the mechanical parts of the helicopter, such as the rotors and tail
  • Connected to the receiver via thin wires
  • Convert electrical signals from the transmitter into physical movement

Power Source:

  • Supplies electricity to the transmitter and receiver
  • Most commonly, helicopters use rechargeable batteries to power both the remote control and the helicopter

For those new to the hobby, a convenient option for purchasing a remote control, receiver, and servo set is to buy them as a bundle. Many RC hobby stores and online shops offer sets that are compatible with specific models and brands of helicopters. Additionally, there are websites that specialize in selling remote controls and other RC helicopter equipment, such as hobbyking.com, towerhobbies.com, and horizonhobby.com.

What are the controls of RC helicopter?

The controls of a remote-controlled (RC) helicopter are:

  • Throttle: This controls the altitude of the helicopter. It is usually controlled by the left stick of the transmitter.
  • Pitch: This controls the forward and backward movement of the helicopter. It is usually controlled by the right stick of the transmitter.
  • Yaw: This controls the left and right movement of the helicopter. It is also controlled by the right stick of the transmitter.
  • Collective: This controls the speed of the main rotor blades. It is usually controlled by the left stick of the transmitter.

Learning to control an RC helicopter can be challenging, but there are many resources available online to help beginners. Websites like RC Heli Guide offer tips and tutorials on flying and troubleshooting these machines. Additionally, products like the Blade Nano S2 and the S107G Phantom are popular beginner-friendly RC helicopters that are durable and easy to control.

Types of Helicopter RC Remote Control

There are two main types of helicopter RC remote control: fixed-pitched and collective-pitched. Here’s a closer look at each type:

Fixed-pitched helicopters:

  • Rotors are fixed at a specific angle and don’t change during flight
  • Generally less expensive and easier to fly than collective-pitched helicopters
  • Often used for beginners learning how to control an RC helicopter

Collective-pitched helicopters:

  • Rotors can change pitch during the flight
  • More maneuverable and can fly faster than fixed-pitched helicopters
  • More challenging to fly and require more precision in control inputs

Differences Between The Two Types:

Fixed-pitched Collective-pitched
Rotor Blades Fixed angle Adjustable pitch angle
Flight Characteristics Stable Agile
Flight Time Longer Shorter
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate Intermediate to Advanced

It’s worth noting that there are variations within each category, and some hybrid helicopters combine features of both collective-pitched and fixed-pitched models. Ultimately, the type of helicopter you choose depends on your skill level, preferred flying style, and intended use. Many online shops sell a variety of models, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.

What is the best RC helicopter for beginners?

When it comes to choosing the best RC helicopter for beginners, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Size: Look for a smaller helicopter that is easier to control.
  • Stability: Choose a helicopter with gyroscopic stabilization to help keep it steady in the air.
  • Price: Don’t spend too much money on your first helicopter. Look for a budget-friendly option.
  • Brand: Look for reputable brands that offer good customer support.

Some popular options for beginners include the Blade Nano CP S and the Syma S107G. Do some research to find what works best for you.

Getting Started

Getting started with helicopter RC remote control can seem overwhelming, but there are some simple steps you can take to make the process smoother:

Selecting a Helicopter:

Learning to Fly:

  • Start with a simulator to get a feel for how the helicopter will fly before taking it outside
  • Work on simple maneuvers, like hovering and descending, before moving on to more complex movements
  • Get advice and guidance from other RC enthusiasts, either online or in person

What to Avoid:

  • Don’t fly in limited spaces or areas with lots of obstacles
  • Avoid flying in bad weather or when it’s windy or rainy
  • Don’t rush to try to perform difficult stunts and maneuvers before feeling confident and comfortable

There are numerous resources available online for those looking to get into RC helicopter flying, including forums, instructional videos, and online stores. Many of these resources are free and can be accessed from the comfort of your own home. Popular websites include RCGroups, Heliguy, and Motion RC.

Are RC helicopters hard to fly?

RC helicopters can be challenging to fly, especially for beginners. However, with patience and practice, anyone can learn to fly an RC helicopter. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • RC helicopters require a degree of skill and finesse to fly effectively.
  • Small, lightweight helicopters can be more difficult to control and may be more susceptible to wind and other atmospheric conditions.
  • Some RC helicopters come equipped with gyroscopes or stabilization systems that make them easier to fly.

If you’re a beginner looking to get into RC helicopters, it may be helpful to start with a simpler, more beginner-friendly model. Many hobby stores and online retailers offer RC helicopters designed specifically for beginners with simplified controls and stabilizers.

One website that offers a range of RC helicopter options for beginners and experienced pilots alike is Horizon Hobby (https://www.horizonhobby.com/rc-helicopters). They offer a wide range of helicopters, including beginner-friendly models as well as high-end, advanced models for experienced pilots.


Flying an RC helicopter can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s important to prioritize safety when doing so. Here are some tips for flying your helicopter safely and responsibly:

Choose a Safe Flying Site:

  • Find a wide-open space free of people, animals, or obstacles
  • If possible, choose a designated area for flying RC aircrafts
  • Respect any local bylaws or regulations related to RC aircraft flying

Check Your Equipment:

  • Inspect all components of your helicopter RC remote control system before each flight
  • Ensure that all batteries are fully charged and that they are in good condition
  • Check your transmitter and receiver’s connection before each flight

Minimize Risk:

  • Keep a safe distance from the helicopter during flight
  • Avoid flying over crowds, moving vehicles or other hazards
  • If the helicopter appears to be out of control, immediately reduce the throttle to avoid accidents

Taking the necessary precautions when flying your helicopter RC remote control can help prevent accidents and injuries, and allow you to enjoy this hobby safely. It’s also recommended that you join a local RC club or find a community of enthusiasts who can offer support and guidance. Popular RC forums and communities include RCU Forums, RC Groups, and Helifreak.

How hard is it to fly a RC helicopter?

Flying a remote control (RC) helicopter requires skill and practice, especially for beginners. Here are some factors to consider that can impact the difficulty level of flying an RC helicopter:

  • The size and type of helicopter
  • The level of experience of the pilot
  • The conditions in which the helicopter is flown (e.g. wind, obstacles, indoor/outdoor)

Some tips for beginner pilots include starting with a small and simple helicopter, practicing in a wide and obstacle-free area, and taking advantage of resources such as instructional videos or classes.

If you’re interested in purchasing an RC helicopter, be sure to research different models and brands to find one that suits your skill level and interests. Websites like Horizon Hobby and HeliDirect offer a wide selection of RC helicopters and related accessories.


Here are answers to some common FAQs about helicopter RC remote control:

Can helicopter RC remote control be flown outdoors?

Yes, helicopter RC remote control can be flown outdoors. In fact, many enthusiasts prefer to fly outdoors to take advantage of the open space.

How long does a battery last?

The battery life of helicopter RC remote control varies depending on the type of battery, usage, and other factors. Typically, battery life lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes per charge. It’s a good idea to have spare batteries on hand to avoid interruptions in your flying time.

How difficult is it to learn to fly?

Learning to fly helicopter RC remote control can be a bit challenging, but with time, patience, and practice, anyone can do it. It’s recommended that beginners start with a simulator or a small, easy-to-control helicopter before moving on to more advanced models.

What are some common problems I might encounter when flying?

Some common problems include:

  • Crashes and damage to the helicopter
  • Loss of control due to low battery or radio interference
  • Difficulty in maintaining orientation

There are ways to prevent or mitigate these problems, such as ensuring you have spare batteries, choosing an interference-free space to fly, and practicing regularly to improve your skills.

How hard is it to fly a remote control helicopter?

Flying a remote control helicopter can be a challenging task, especially for beginners who have no prior experience in flying such aircraft. Here are some factors that make it hard to fly a remote control helicopter:

  • A remote control helicopter can be difficult to control due to its small size and weight.
  • The wind can easily knock off the helicopter’s balance, causing it to crash.
  • It requires focus, patience and practice to master the controls and maneuver the helicopter accurately.

However, with dedication and practice, anyone can learn to fly a remote control helicopter. There are also many online resources and tutorials available that can help beginners learn the basics of flying. Some websites, such as HobbyKing.com, sell beginner-friendly remote control helicopter models that offer stability and ease of use, making it easier for beginners to learn to fly.


In conclusion, helicopter RC remote control is an exciting hobby that offers many benefits, including the ability to experience the thrill of flying, the opportunity to learn new skills, and the chance to meet other enthusiasts. Getting started with helicopter RC remote control is easier than you might think, and there are resources available to help beginners get up to speed quickly.

Remember to prioritize safety when flying, choose appropriate spaces to fly, and be prepared for common challenges such as crashes and low battery life. With time and practice, you can become a skilled helicopter RC remote control pilot and enjoy hours of fun and excitement.

If you’re interested in trying helicopter RC remote control, consider checking out online forums and hobby shops to connect with other enthusiasts and learn more. Whether you want to fly for fun or enter competitions, there’s no better time to get started with this fascinating hobby!