Looking for a review of the best remote control helicopter for kids? Look no further! There are no two words about it – a remote control helicopter would be an excellent gift to a child of any age. But then there’s a distinction you would want to know about ….
There are essentially two main categories of model helicopters …
- Toy RC Helicopters
- Hobby Grade RC Helicopters
If you are looking to gift a RC helicopter to a very young child – less than say 5 years old, you might want to choose a toy helicopter. A very young child is unlikely to use a toy for a long while. Young children have very short attention spans and they are highly unlikely to retain interest in any particular toy for long. And when they lose interest, they throw the toy away.
You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on gifting a hobby grade helicopter to a very young child, and good toy helicopters are available for less than $25.
Even for slightly older kids who have never flown a RC helicopter before, toys would be a good choice. They do not require much maintenance, and very affordable and are a breeze to fly.
While all of the above are good reasons why you would want to start out flying toys first, there’s an even bigger reason – these allows a child to test the water, so to speak. You can easily see whether a childreally likes flying RC helicopters or not.
If they enjoy the experience immensely and take to it like fish to water, then you know upgrading to a more expensive hobby grade helicopter would be a good choice.
But if on the other hand they show no liking to RC helicopters, you would not have wasted a lot of money to find that out.
You would want to know that toy helicopters are very unlikely to last long. They typically are made of cheap plastic – and that’s the main reason why they are so inexpensive. They do break and you cannot expect them to last for more than a few weeks …
But that does not mean they do not work. They work, and work pretty well while they are good. They are more than good enough for a child to get to know whether they like flying RC helicopters or not.
Just that you would to get your expectations right, here’s something you would want to consider before you decide to buy a toy helicopter.
- Toy helicopters typically have 2 or 3 channels – which means the range of movements is fairly limited. You definitely cannot expect them to perform any kind of aerial acrobatics 🙂
- The batteries are very inexpensive – which also means they do not pack a lot of power and the flight time will be extremely limited.
- They break easily, and you most likely will have to throw them then because finding replacement parts for these is not easy and you will not be able to repair them. Your only option would be to buy another one.
- That said, there’s one advantage toys have over hobby grade models – they are very inexpensive. They are ideal for a small children and adults who are just starting to explore the hobby as well. And you canalways upgrade to better models later – once you discover the child likes the hobby. They are the best choice when you want to introduce someone to the joy of flying RC helicopters – and do it as inexpensivelyas possible. This, perhaps, is their biggest strength.
Hobby Grade RC Helicopters
These models are for those who are more serious about RC helicopters and want to see whether they want to pursue this as a hobby. These are built much better and last a lot longer compared to toys; they also fly better, is more fun to operate. They allow for a lot more precise control.
In general, the more precisely you can control a helicopter, the more fun it is to fly. And as you would expect, they do cost more. And unlike toys which you cannot mend when they break, you can get replacement parts for these easily.
What’s more – there are online communities for hobby grade helicopters and you can get just about any question you might have about them answered by other enthusiasts who might have years of experience flying RC helicopters. So getting support will not be an issue.
Here are a few advantages of hobby grade models over toys that you sure would want to know about …
- Hobby grade models have between 3 to 6 channels. They have a much wider range of movements – up and down, forward and backward, rotate to the left or right, lean right or left. So these fly a lot better and area lot, lot more enjoyable to fly. The experience can’t be compared to that of flying a toy helicopter.
- The batteries are of a higher quality. They last longer and pack more punch. So the flight time can last for up to 15 minutes – which is pretty good considering that toys can fly barely for a few minutes.
- Since they are easier to control, you would not expect these to crash as much as a toy would. And they are more sturdy so they do not tend to break as much as toys. But the real good thing is, even if they do break. it’s easy to buy replacement parts and you can have them up in the air pretty soon.
Tips From The Pros ...
Here are some facts about RC helicopters that come straight from the pros who have had years of experience with them. Knowing these can save you a lot of frustration and help you make much better buying decisions …
#1 Small micro helicopters with more channels are actually a lot harder to fly
This may seem counter intuitive, but this is true. Small helicopters are harder to control, tend to fly faster and have a very limited range of movements. Strangely, some folks who are just starting out tend to choose smaller, 4 or 6 channel helicopters to hone their flying skills.
Since they are so much harder to control and beginners have limited or non-existent skills, crashes are bound to occur very frequently.
Those micro helicopters with 4 and 6 channels are notoriously hard to fly. They require a lot of skill to fly, and unless you have quite a bit of flying experience under your belt, you should not be starting out with these models.
Larger helicopters on the other hand are actually easier to fly. They do not move quite as fast, and are more graceful in flight. They are easier to get off the ground, fly and land.
If you really want to buy a micro helicopter, buy one that has fewer channels. If you want to buy one with more channels, make sure it’s bigger.
One good way to progressively develop skills for a beginner would be to start with a 3 channel helicopter, then upgrade to a four channel model after they are completely comfortable with the 3 channel model and so on. The worst possible way would be to start with a 6 channel micro helicopter. That would be pretty much impossible for a novice to even get off the ground, let alone fly or hover.
This stuff is something you most certainly should know if you are buying a helicopter for someone who has very limited skills at controlling these.
#2 Four channel RC helicopters : Look for coaxial models with a 3 axis gyroscope
If you are going to upgrade to a 4 channel model, make sure you buy a coaxial model that has a 3 axis gyroscope. Controlling these is a lot easier and for someone who is still honing their skills, the added stability the gyro provides will be invaluable.
Here’s what each channel of a 4 channel helicopter allows you to do …
- 1st channel – upward and downward movement
- 2nd channel – left and right spin
- 3rd channel – forward and backward movement
- 4th channel – slant left and right
#3 You would want to buy at least two sets of spare batteries, 2 sets of rotor blades and a training kit for the model as well
Batteries last for maybe 15 minutes, and charging them usually takes a long time. You would be very frustrated if you run out of batteries just when you think you are starting to get a hang of flying a helicopter.
And rotor blades tend to be one of the first pieces of equipment to break in the event of a crash so you would want to always have a replacement set on hand.
Buying an expensive model RC helicopter without a training kit – or better, a simulator software would be a mistake. A simulator will allow you to get pretty good at handling the model without running the risk of crashing it because you lack the skills.
#4 Six channel, small helicopters are not for kids
While these may seem like excellent gifts, these are not toys that a kid should be playing around with. They are pretty hard to fly even for someone with intermediate level skills, let alone someone who’s just starting out now. A child most likely will not be able to control it and is likely to get frustrated and develop an aversion to helicopters.
#5 Always buy new models and not second hand
If you think you can save money by opting for a used helicopter instead of a brand new one, you might be very mistaken.
Used models most likely have crashed a few times and have cheap replacement parts. There’s no telling the condition it is in, and it may not last long for all you know. And buying replacement parts would possibly cost as much as a new helicopter anyway.
5 Of The Best Remote Control RC Helicopters For Kids
Finding a remote-controlled helicopter for kids is certainly no easy task. Now, radio controlled helicopters have been on the market for several decades - but none of them were suitable for use by small kids.
Nitro or gas RC helicopters can cost several hundred or even a few thousand dollars - and a eight-year-old child most certainly will crash it on their maiden flight. So no one would ever give a child a RC helicopter for this reason.
But things have changed-a-lot-since-then ate it and it. Well built helicopters are now available for as low as $ 50 - and these have a lot of the electronics inside of them that keep them stable making these are great choice for kids.
That said, you would not want to buy just about any helicopter. Some of these are designed to be flown only by advanced pilots and will prove of no interest to small children.
If you buy the wrong model, you could end up spending hours and hours in repairers, reading manuals and reviews and wasting hundreds of dollars. Which is why you need to select the right model that is designed for kids and beginners.
Which is why we have prepared this list of the best RC helicopters on the market today that are designed specifically for beginners and kids.
#1 Air Hogs Battle Tracker
It isn't just flying a helicopter that kids love. They allow fighting robotic alien invaders and being able to shoot discs at them. Air Hogs, a company that manufactures RC helicopters and has been around for a while knows exactly how to capture the imagination of small children and has designed this model based on the sound understanding of children's psychology.
Your child gets to pilot this stealth RC helicopter, and gets to fire missiles at a automated robotic turret (ART) that tracks the helicopter's every movement and fires missiles at it.
It also has a two player mode where one child can control the robotic turret and fire missiles at the helicopter, while the second child pilots the helicopter and has to evade the missiles and shoot discs at the robotic turret.
The automated robotic turret also comes with a controller that's only used in the two player mode. The ART can swivel to the right and left or turn up and down. And it can track the helicopter and fire missiles at it.
You do not have to worry about your child getting hurt by these though - they are soft, foam bullets and can not cause injury on impact. Even then, your child would want to wear protective goggles while operating this toy.
The helicopter can shoot discs at the ART - and if one of the discs hits the radar, the ART shuts down and you will need to restart it. On the other hand, if one of the missiles from the ART hits the helicopter's rotors, the helicopter crashes. But it will not get damaged.
How much better can a toy get? This is essentially two great toys in one pack.
This way, not only will your child get to learn how to fly in RC helicopter - but they also get to do something that really interests and excites them - battling robots from outer space!
This hands down ease the best model you can gift your child.
What we like ...
- Very innovative design
- Helicopter is easy to fly
- Single player or two player mode
What we don't like ...
- Can't think of anything - this one is so very good 🙂
#2 Syma S107/S107G RC Helicopter
The Syma S107 RC helicopter is one of the hottest selling RC helicopters. It's a breeze to fly and very durable - two qualities you'd want to look for when buying a helicopter for children.
Its three channel radio is simple to use and easy to learn. In fact, something like this is ideal for any beginner getting started with the world of RC helicopters.
The body is made from metal - unlike many other helicopters on the market. The body can withstand crashes and take a lot of punishment.
The model also uses a gyroscope and this makes it extremely easy to control. It does take a little while to learn how to fly. But then that's to be expected.
Currently, this is one of the smallest and lightest RC helicopter - which also means kids who cannot handle larger aircraft can be able to easily handle this. The flying time is about 5 to 6 minutes.
What we like ...
- This is very inexpensive
- It's super stable
- It has a all metal body and is very durable
- It is small - so a child can easily handle it
What we don't like ...
- This is too light to be flown outdoors
#3 Hercules Unbreakable RC Helicopter
Whenever you're selecting a RC helicopter for use by kids, one of the main features you'd want to look for is durability. While helicopters are a lot more stable than quad copters and other multi-rotors, crashes are inevitable. Even experienced pilots crash their copters - so it's only natural that crashes are frequent when a child is piloting.
This helicopter is designed to take a lot of punishment. It has a very strong polymer frame that can easily withstand the impact of crashes. The frame is so tough that it can actually take up to 200 pounds of weight - you can step on it and it will not break.
And like the Syma, this too has a gyroscope which makes it very easy to control the helicopter and makes it extremely stable. This is so stable that it inside the transmitter down mid-flight and it will not crash.
What we like ...
- Extremely durable and tough
- Extremely stable
- Very easy to fly
What we don't like ...
- Not suitable for flying outside in windy conditions
#4 Air Hogs RC Helix X4 Stunt Quadcopter
The air hogs Helix X4 has four rotors - ducted fans actually, so this is technically a quad copter and not a helicopter.
It's extremely well designed and robustly built. The rotors are protected so it is unlikely they will ever break if you were to crash the craft.
In most other helicopters and quad copters, the propellers are completely exposed. But with the air hogs Helix X4, the propellers are completely protected. And they are highly unlikely to hit your fingers - so a small child handling this will not get hurt.
This is also a very unique design - it is refreshingly different. Which is quite important because the quad copter market is very crowded today and the majority of the models all look very similar to each other.
The flying time is around 6 to 8 min. This comes with a 2.4 GHz transmitter that uses 8 AA batteries. It has a couple of blinking LEDs in the front that keeps an indication of the charge left in the batteries.
This can perform three different stunts - flips, barrel rolls and 180° flips.
It is also extremely stable because it has gyro stabilization.
What we like ...
- Unique, excellent design
- Ducted fans for rotors
- Very stable in flight
- Performs stunts
- Gyro stabilisation
What we don't like ...
- Nothing 🙂
#5 Syma S34 Chinook RC Army Green Helicopter
The package includes a 2.4 GHz transmitter with a LCD display, a charger, a screw driver and a instruction manual.
The S34 has a built in gyro stabilizer and two co-axial rotors which make this extremely stable to fly and easy to take off and land. It's easy to maneuver which makes it ideal for those just getting started with the hobby.
It uses spread spectrum technology to control the craft and the control range is pretty good.
What we like ...
- Spread spectrum instead of infrared for communication
- 2.4 GHZ with LCD display
- Gyro stabiliser
What we don't like ...
- Does not come with batteries