R/C (Remote Control) Helicopters are probably the hardest R/C model you could ever attempt to master. But the satisfaction which comes when you master one of these models has been well worth the time and effort that many of our club members have put into their models.
Just picture this; After its blades spool up to speed, the Bell 222 lifts into the air as its landing gear retracts into the fuselage, then it slowly climbs into the circuit pattern. Yes, these are scale helicopters. Then, if you want even more excitement you could own a full Pod and Boom 3D machine and try your hand at loops, stall turns and inverted flight. You name it these machines can do it. Whether Scale or Aerobatic, Electric or IC (internal combustion), you will find Inverurie and District Model Flying Club has an excellent facility where you can fly and enjoy your R/C Helicopter.
Without doing a lot of research or visiting your local club, choosing a model helicopter can be a difficult task and if you are new to the hobby it is very easy to purchase the wrong equipment. At Inverurie and District Model Flying Club we suggest that you visit the club before making your purchase and seek advice from some of the more experience members who will save you money in the long run.
There are two basic types; Pod and Boom or Scale. Essentially these have the same mechanics, the Scale Kits come supplied with a realistic fuselage. You will need to decide whether to purchase a Kit or an ARTF (Almost Ready To Fly). ARTF models are more or less 90% built and need only the installation of the Radio Equipment and basic setup. A Kit will arrive as a 'box or bits' requiring a full assembly. Additionally there is the choice of Glow, Petrol or Electric Power, or even Gas Turbine (not recommended for a beginner). Once again, you will can get advice from the club on which models are suitable for a novice.
The most popular Helicopter at Inverurie and District Model Flying Club is the Thunder Tiger Raptor, possibly the best value for money machine which has readily available and relatively inexpensive spares. Although any of the 30 Size helicopters are suitable for a novice, as in any hobby there are some makes to avoid.
Building a model helicopter is not really that hard. All you need is plenty time, patience and the correct tools. The supplied instructions are usually quite comprehensive and there are a wealth of informative websites available which specialise in this subject. Check out our links section for details of related websites and online forums.
The 'box of bits' approach
If you have bought a kit then you are going to find yourself confronted with a box of parts which in no way resembles a model helicopter.
Read the supplied instructions completely from cover to cover before starting the build. Make sure that none of the parts are missing, and most important do not start ripping open all the bags. There can be numerous different sizes of screws in these kits and if you mix them up you may find yourself dismantling the parts already assembled later in the build. The build is usually quite modular and the parts for each section will be in the same bag.
Make sure you have all the correct tools required, these are normally specified in the manual.
The ARTF (Almost Ready to Fly)
If you purchase an ARFT model then you will find that 90% of the model is pre-built. Usually the only building you will have is the fitting of the tail boom, and installation of the radio control equipment. It is quite possible for someone who has never built one of these to complete the model in a few evenings. Although if you decide to purchase the ARTF model then you will not have the same understanding of the mechanics that you would have gained by building it from a kit. As usual it is still important to read the instructions thoroughly.
If you join Inverurie and District Model Flying Club you gain access to a wealth of helicopter experience. Being part of the club means that a competent helicopter pilot will assist you with the basic setup and test fly the model. This reduces the risk to yourself and your expensive model.