| The following is a list of the items will be required to get started with radio controlled helicopters:
When you choose your first helicopter you will have to decide which type of helicopter you wish to buy, one with collective pitch, or one with out collective pitch. If you are starting in radio control for the first time we would recommend a helicopter with collective pitch. You will also find the learning process easier with a collective pitch helicopter. You will only find helicopters in the second hand market without collective pitch, and we strongly recommend that you stay away from them!
Unlike aircraft where there are specific trainer models geared solely for the first time kit, the differences between helicopters is more subtle with the biggest difference being size and precision. The larger and more precise a machine, the better it will fly. These machines would make great training helicopters but they are usually more expensive with high precision parts, and in the case of a crash they would be costly to repair. They are better suited for the more experienced modeller where accidents happen less often.
Bare in mind, when learning to fly a helicopter you are going to have a crash or two and parts are going to have to be replaced. Replacing parts on a precision machine could really need you to pay a large amount of money! A good place to start would be a helicopter designed for a .30 size engine, a stable flyer with collective pitch, and one with a good availability of parts.
As mentioned earlier, a proper helicopter radio differs from a standard aircraft radio. There are certain functions that must be mixed electronically and these are found only in radios designed for this purpose. More and more often, one is able to find radio systems that have functions suitable to both aircraft and helicopters. If you think you may be involved in both sides of the hobby, you may want to choose one of these for your system.
On the other hand what to need to be consider are are the servos and the battery pack when purchasing a helicopter system. It is best to choose servos that have output shafts supported by ball bearings. The pressure and vibration on the servos in a helicopter is much greater than in a aeroplane, bushed servos tend to wear out very quickly and lose their precision which is extremely important in the controlling of a helicopter. Because you will be using a minimum of five servos and a gyro (to be discussed later) in a helicopter, and the higher frequency of control input, it is very necessary to have a larger battery pack than the standard 600 maH pack that comes with most aircraft radios. A battery pack of 1200 maH is a minimum requirement but 1800 to 2000maH is a much better option to consider. Many helicopter radios come packaged with five BB servos and a large battery pack. Also ensure that the radio is on the 35Mhz waveband and not anything else. This frequency band is specially designated to model aircraft in the UK. Please read ' Getting To Know R/C Radio Systems' for more information on the right radio to buy.
A gyroscope, or gyro, is an electromechanical device used in a helicopter to help semi-automate the response of the tail rotor. In the case of an R/C helicopterr, the device is fitted electrically between the receiver and the servo that controls the pitch of the tail rotor blades. A sensor measures any change in yaw of the aircraft and will correct the situation by increasing or decreasing the tail rotor pitch to stabilise the movement.
We would say that a gyro is essential as the beginner will have enough to do with all the other controls without trying to stop the model from spinning around all the time and with gyros available from around ￡39 it is money well spent. Gyros are made by most radio manufacturers for operation compatible with their systems.
The helicopter engine is similar to a 2-cycle aircraft glow engine except that it has a larger heat sink head for better cooling, and a carburettor with improved midrange adjustment. When purchasing the helicopter engine, the muffler is not included. Usually the muffler comes with the helicopter kit.
Different motors use different starting methods. Some come with a pull start system for very simple starting. Others use a cone start where an electric starter is used in a similar way as starting an aircraft. Others use an electric starter and a belt for starting. Please read 'Getting To Know R/C Engines'.
Because the helicopter is purely a mechanical device, tools for assembly usually include items such as screw drivers, ball drivers, nut drivers, wrenches, pliers, etc. In addition to these there are a couple of speciality tools that come in handy when assembling and setting up the mechanics of your helicopter.
One tool you may want to assist you in assembly is a set of ball link pliers. The ball link is the most popular linkage piece on a helicopter and virtually all helicopterss use them. The ball link pliers greatly help in the removing and adjusting of these links. A second tool that is extremely useful during set-up is the rotor blade pitch gauge. This device can help you line up your rotor blades so that your pitch is correct. A blade pitch gauge can go along way to helping avoid costly crashes and frustration down the road as so much of your chopper's well being depends on how well it is set up initially and maintained throughout its lifetime.