Fun and games are something you and your kids can experience all year round, regardless of the weather. On rainy days, you get to break out the best family board games or take the afternoon (and maybe longer) building challenging but rewarding Marvel Lego sets. You can’t spend the whole year cooped up inside, though, and getting out and enjoying the sunshine with the best RC helicopters sounds to us like a sweet way to spend the summer.
Much like their ground-based cousins, a remote control helicopter can be fun for both you and your kids. They’re great for some bonding time and also to help you both get into a hobby you otherwise may have bypassed. While sports are cool and exciting, there’s more to life than a kick of a ball or swing of a bat.
Modern RC helicopters are not like the remote control vehicles of your youth, either. Now, they boast improved features such as built-in cameras and enhanced craftsmanship to help you get over any fears of flying and instead take to the skies like a pro.
So, as Arnie would say, Get to da Choppa, it’s time to take flight.
The Best RC Helicopter
The Syma 3 Channel RC Helicopter is our top pick for the best RC helicopter around today. It’s a great entry-level option because of its easy control and precise flight that will ensure you master the tricks of remote control flight with simplicity.
The brushed motor operation is durable and means less maintenance with longer lasting performance, while the metal frame protects it from most crashes and collisions. They’re great for indoor use, and even though they may be a little too lightweight for heavy winds, you can still get something out of them down at the park or just in the backyard.
Easy to fly
- Weight8 ounces
Great for beginners
3 channel infrared controls
For the best value RC helicopter around, look no further than the Syma 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter which brings something a little more to the skies than the S107G with bright and clear LED lights for easy visibility and an extra touch of authenticity on take off. Like all Syma products, it delivers an excellent and stable flight for assured comfort and the precise handling is perfect for beginners. This doesn’t mean more experienced pilots can’t get some joy from it, though, and it works great as a practice set, too.
The smooth flight makes it a joy to use, and you’ll have it whizzing through the air in no time after unpacking it from the box. You’ll also enjoy its durability, because newbies won’t have the hang of it immediately, but the solid and reliable construction makes it capable of withstanding crashes against walls, floors, faces, or other RC helicopters. Should it suffer any damage, there are extra parts included, and other parts are readily available to find in stores or online.
- Weight0.32 ounces
Spare parts included
Charges too slowly
If you want to combine the footage capture of a drone with the fun or RC helicopters, the UDI 3 Channel Metal RC Helicopter is the product for you. The built-in camera helps deliver expansive shots from the sky, capable of recording videos and taking pictures you and your kids will love. It can move in a variety of directions to give you some of the most realistic flights around, and the metal alloy frame keeps it safe from potential crashes with other helicopters, birds, or trees that jump out of nowhere.
For further safety, the overcharge protection prevents it getting too hot and causing internal parts damage and extends the battery life. It’s also suitable for flying both indoors and outdoors so you can get optimal use out of it whatever the weather. Despite this versatility, it will struggle with stronger winds, but on calm and breezeless days, there are few better options around for you to enjoy.
4-in-1 infrared receiver
Metal alloy frame
- Weight2.2 pounds
Easy to control
Transmitter supports 3 helicopters at once
Struggles in the wind
With a precision swashplate and a 5-in-1 control unit, the Blade E-Flite mCX2 RTF is one of the most substantial picks for both budding helicopter enthusiasts and those who know their way around a rotor or two. It comes with easy to use user-controllable settings, while the control unit delivers a variety of excellent features to make your time with the Blade E-Flite one of the most satisfying you’ll ever find. The flashing LED lights also provide a more real experience, while the sleek body design ensures comfortable, speedy and streamlined flying.
You’ll also find it’s one of the most remarkably resistant choppers around and can survive everything from expected crashes into the wall to taking a tumble into buckets full of water.It’s too light for outdoor flight, though, so try to keep in indoors as much as possible as we don’t want your brand new helicopter stuck in a tree. We’re not entirely sure the local fire department will come out to rescue that.
5-in-1 control unit
2.4GHz DSM2 compatible receiver
Flashing LED lights
Counter-rotating head design
User-selectable control settings
- Weight0.96 ounces
Sleek body design
Full line of replaceable parts online
Durable and resilient
Too light for outdoor flight
The VATOS RC Helicopter is a lightweight option available at a great price while still providing the high-performance of more expensive and more advanced models. It boasts a high grade metal frame to ensure durability and also adds a feeling of authenticity to your flight, giving it a sheen you don’t get with plastic casing, while the multicolored LED lights further push this feeling. With new gyroscope technology, it delivers one of the most stable flights around, and its crash resistant design ensures longevity even if you lose your concentration during the landing, so it’s a good job you’re not a helicopter pilot in real life.
It also arrives entirely assembled for immediate use straight out the box, and the 3 selectable frequencies and 6 directions give you an all-around superb experience in your own home, backyard, or the local park. With these frequencies, you can also fly up to 3 helicopters at once to master your skills and show off to everyone who’ll care to watch.
3 selectable frequencies
Multicolored LED lights
High grade metal frame
- Weight13.4 ounces
New gyroscope technology
Short battery life compared to charge time
Fully assembled for immediate flight, the Blade 230 BNF RC Helicopter is the best RC helicopter for those who know their stuff along with anyone looking to take the next step up in their hobby. The progressive flight mode system helps you hone your skills and practice a variety of cool and ambitious tricks including aerobics and inverted flight to wow your friends and family.
It’s also one of the few remote control helicopters that does everything it can to prevent crashes, so you’ll have no qualms about lending it to your little cousin or nephew to have a go. The panic button returns it to a stable and level flight with a single press, preventing a loss of signal and keeping everything in the air.
Teaches aerobatics and inverted flight
Progressive flight mode system
Panic recovery button
Robust main gear
- Weight1.26 pounds
Thick tail blade
Replacement parts easily available
Additional features sold separately
Our final pick of the day is the super cool Syma 3.5 Channel Apache RC Helicopter which gives you the chance to live out all your battlefield curiosities with none of the inherent danger.The performance is consistent with other Syma products, delivering stable flight and powered by a brushed motor for excellent, durable flight even for beginners. This makes it one of the easiest helicopters to fly, while the 8 meter range from the control gives you plenty of space to practice tricks, spins, and turns.
There are 2 available frequencies, and the gyro helps you move in a variety of directions for maximum maneuverability. It also recommends use inside because of infrared control, but we’re sure you might get away using it in the garden.
Stable and easy to fly
8 meter flight range
Multiple directional movement
2 available frequencies
- Weight7 ounces
Spare tail blade included
Tough and durable
No warranty included
RC Helicopter Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of RC Helicopters
To ensure we got our selection of the best RC helicopters spot on, we needed to think about these 2 essential factors.
Reviews - RC helicopter reviews were an essential means of helping us figure out which are the top products to pick. While product descriptions and a little practice can give us a decent sign of the quality of a product, we don’t have time to test for months on end. Instead, we use reviews to give us an idea of how well (or how not-so-well) these products perform months and even years down the line.
Price - It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or one who’s more experienced with RC helicopters. Our mission was to present the best options around, regardless of knowledge, skill, and especially budget. To ensure we made a selection that could appeal to all, we found a wide range of prices so whether you’re buying your 1st RC helicopter or your 101st, you will find something that will suit your needs.
Features To Look For In RC Helicopters
Before you make your final decision about which is the best RC helicopter for you and your household or friends, make sure you consider these key features that could sway your choice to something more suitable.
Battery Life and Charge Time - You’ll have noticed that the battery life of RC helicopters isn’t all that great, and they last somewhere between 6 and 15 minutes. There’s little you can do about that, though, so instead of complaining about it, consider where you; ’ll fly your helicopter and what you aim to achieve with it.
If you’re a novice, you may prefer a longer battery life so you have longer to master your skills, whereas experienced pilots may just want to scratch their flying itch for 6 or 7 minutes before packing it away to charge. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, and it will be down to your preference.
Some products come with overload protection to increase the battery life and ensure better and more consistent flight for longer.
As for the charge time, you’ll find the helicopters charge anywhere between 20 minutes and 40 minutes. For the impatient among us, 40 minutes sounds like a lot, but you also may not trust a 20-minute charge to give you sufficient flight time.
Range - A large transmission range will give you more freedom with your helicopter and allow you to soar higher and travel further. If you fly indoors, the range will be easier to determine as there’s less space for it to go, but if flying outside, be careful you don’t fly it too far that you’ll struggle to get in back.
Weight - It doesn’t take an aerospace genius to figure out that a helicopter that’s too heavy will struggle to get off the ground, however, more weight isn’t always a bad thing, and it can help you maintain a steady hover and stay in place if the wind picks up when using your RC helicopter outside.
Number of Channels - The number of channels affects the directions you can move in. dual channel helicopters can move up and down, whereas 3 channel products will move forward and backward. If you get your hands on a 4 channel helicopter, you’ll have complete control over where you go and which way you can move, giving you the most authentic experience possible.
Visibility - Both the color of the helicopter and any LED lights will improve the visibility when flying, especially at night or in areas where your vision could be hindered by surrounding trees. Excellent visibility will help you keep a close eye on your chopper to ensure it stays in range while also preventing it from getting caught against lampshades or stuck in trees.
Quality and Performance - Excellent build quality ensures better durability to provide a more enjoyable and successful flight with little risk of parts damage, and this can also impact the performance. The top-rated RC helicopters will boast lightweight metal construction to provide better reliability should you crash.
As for performance in the air, a decent transmitter is crucial, as is the ability to fly in a variety of conditions. All helicopters will fly indoors, but it’s when you get outdoors that problems begin, as if the motor isn’t powerful enough (and the helicopter is too light), you’ll struggle to battle against the wind and a strong gust can quickly throw you off course.
Parts - While you may have an expert eye and superb control, there’s always the chance you’ll suffer a crash at some point in your miniature aviation career. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your RC helicopter any longer, though, and just because you break it doesn’t mean it’s the end.
Top-quality helicopters have replacement parts easily available online, and some models come with spare parts in the package for the more delicate areas of the helicopter. Before buying, make sure you can find extra parts should your break. We hope you never need to use them, but it’s better to be safe and prepared.