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A Practical Guide to RC Repair


RC Helicopters can become an endless source of fun and entertainment. Many hobbyists have chosen this pastime for many reasons. One of the most challenging aspects of RC Helicopter flying has to do with the birds themselves. Whatever the model, whatever the size, helicopters are material objects that are prone to accidents. Therefore, there will come a time when some kind of maintenance, repair work or part replacement will be needed. When this happens, you will have to get your heli fixed. Even when there are many professional repair people out there, there is a certain satisfaction in fixing your bird yourself. Here is a simple practical guide on the most common repairs needed in most models.


rc helicopter repair

rc helicopter repair

Most Common RC Helicopter Repairs

Your Heli is flying in Circles: If you are an RC fan, you already know that this is the most frequent issue you will have to deal with. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to tackle and diagnose. There are two alternative treatments, each of which will depend on the type of heli you have.

If you have a coaxial RC Helicopter you should know that they spin for three reasons:

  • Lose rotor: this is very evident when you compare the speed in the two rotors. Even if you can’t see the problem, you can test the rotor to see how it works. Hold on to the bottom gear to keep it from spinning and press lightly to spin the top rotor. This way you will be able to spot a loose screw or something. Repeat the procedure with the top gear and the bottom rotor to check if they move when they shouldn’t. If they do, you have a faulty connection. Search through the gear until you find the screw and tighten it or replace it accordingly.
  • Burnt Connection on PCB: This can be easily identified because you will see a black burn mark. The only solution for this unfortunately, is to buy a new PCB.
  • One of the Motors is dead: If you have checked the connections in search of a loose screw and find that everything is tight as it should, then the problem lies in one of the motors. This is harder to diagnose, but typically you can tell by removing both of the main motors and spinning the gear on the little rod coming out of the motor. If one motor is much more difficult to spin, then this probably means that motor is dead or dying. Replacement needed right away.


Motor Replacement: If you are the owner of a small electric RC chopper, you will find yourself replacing the motor quite often. This is one of the simplest repairs to learn. All you need to do is unplug the motor from the PCB, ESC or Receiver, depending on your helicopter; typically, coaxials and FP helis have their motor plugged into the PCB, while CP helis have it plugged into the ESC, and the Receiver via the ESC. For a CP heli, go ahead and unplug the one which is easier to get hold of. This should make the motor removable without any cutting of wires. Simply pull it out, gently, and put in your new motor. The type of motor or part number of the motor that you should use to replace should be specified in the instructions or online; if you have a very low quality heli, this is not an option. This is one of the main reasons why you should stick to top-class or well-known brands.


Overheating: This is also a very frequent issue with RC Helicopters. One way to solve this problem is to change your flying habits by using the bird for shorter periods of time. However, this may turn out to be very frustrating. So, the best alternative is to make some technical adjustments that will help prevent this difficulty in the near future. You can increase the size of heat sinks on your PCB / servos / etc, which doesn’t work on all helicopters. Additionally, you can also cut ventilation holes in the canopy or remove the canopy to help.


There are many more repairs or upgrades available for you to learn. The good news is that you can always find online help to deal with the issue yourself.

A Practical Guide to Different Types of RC Helicopters


RC helicopters are one of the most popular hobbies by far. Each year, hundreds of people flock to RC helis in search of fun and entertainment. One of the greatest attractions of this pastime is associated with the wide range of models and designs. Before purchasing your first RC helicopter, it is a good idea to take a deeper look into the possibilities. Here is a minute description of the alternatives.


RC Helicopters: What you should know:

The letters RC stand for Radio-controlled. This means that all the helicopters under this definition will be operated by means of external controls regardless of the model or fuel. The different types of controls work by means of small servo motors, usually just called “servos”. The tail rotor is generally equipped with a solid-state gyroscope sensor. The latest models have gyro-stabilization on the other 2 axes of rotation, too. This type of  3-axis gyro is typically known as a flybarless in the common RC jargon. In the past, the engines used to be ethanol-powered two-stroke motors, but electric brushless motors in combination with high-performance lithium polymer battery (or LiPo) are becoming more and more common these days. This new technology has certainly improved efficiency, performance and lifespan. There are also certain models which operate on gasoline and jet turbine engines.


Different Types of RC Helicopters

The different types of helis have a lot to do with the type of energy they operate on. Here are the different kinds:

  • Glow Fuel or Nitro (nitromethane-methanol)
  • Electric Batteries
  • Gasoline and turbine engines

At first, glow fuel was the most common type because it ensured a higher performance. However, these past decades has seen a technological development that has brought electric-powered helis to the same level of performance and durability as Nitro-operated ones. In addition, electric helis are much more affordable than their Glow or Gas Turbine engine counterparts.


Glow Fuel/Nitro

To begin with, you should not confuse these types of helicopters with gas or gasoline-powered ones. Hobbyists refer to these types of birds as “class” of helicopters. They include 1/2A class, 15 class, 30 class, 50 class, 60 class and 90 class. These class numbers originated from the size of engine used for the different models measured in cubic inches. For example, a helicopter with a 0.30 cu in (4.9 cm3) engine is a “30 class”. The size of the engine will determine the size of the rotor blade and the aircraft, as well. These helis can fly any time between 7 to 15 minutes on a single fuel charge, depending on model and size.

nitro rc helicopter

nitro rc helicopter



The pioneer helis for this type of energy came out in the 90s. They were the Kalt Whisper and the Kyosho EP Concept, flying on 7–8 × 1.2 Ah NiCad batteries with brushed motors. However, the 540-sized brushed-motors were on the limit of current draw, often 20–25 amps the more powerful motors. This is why brush and commutator problems were common at that point. Electric RC Helicopters have come a long way since these basic models appeared on the market. There have been significant improvements associated with flying time and durability. Even when these models were first limited to indoor use, nowadays they have become really popular for two main reasons: quietness and versatility. The fact that they are almost imperceptible to the ear has made them widely popular in many residential areas where loud noises are banned. This type of technology has made it possible for manufacturers to develop very small pieces known as “micro” RC Helicopters.


electric rc helicopter

electric rc helicopter


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One of the most recent innovations, coaxial RC helicopters is based on the system’s simple direction control. This simplicity, together with the freedom from torque induced yaw has made them widely sought-after. Since these models eliminate rotational torque, they have an extremely fast control response, thus making them a wonderful choice for aerobatics. The cheapest models do not have a swashplate, but instead use a third rotor on the tail to provide pitch control. These helicopters however, have no roll control and have limited mobility.


Multi-motor Model Helicopters

Multirotors are perhaps the latest development in the world of RC Helicopter flying. They have become highly popular these past years because they are way more affordable than ordinary RC models. In addition, they are less complex to construct and easier to operate. These vehicles use an electronic control system and electronic sensors to stabilize the aircraft.


General Guidelines for each Model

Now that you have been briefed on the different RC alternatives, you are able to make your pick. You should know however, that there are certain tips you should follow regardless of the model. All birds will need maintenance and care. In addition, even when the hobby is fairly safe, you should know that accidents do happen; consequently, being careful when operating your RC Heli is essential for you and your fellow beings. Also, your heli is a thing so it is likely to break down. In such cases, repair work will be needed. In all, being well-prepared for this hobby can make all the difference.

Flying RC Helicopters


If you have already taken up RC Helicopters as a pastime, you may find this guide a bit simple. If you are just starting though, you will be able to find useful information on how to operate your recently-purchased RC Heli. First off, you should develop a bit of self-confidence and never let anyone tell you this task is too challenging or too time-consuming. If you picked this hobby already, you probably have a love for aircraft and or modeling. Plus, the feeling that flying is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have. Once you have made up your mind, you are ready to start flying.


Flying RC Helicopters: Getting Started

Do Some Research: The first step is getting all the information you can on YOUR specific type of helicopter. This is so, mainly because not all helis are operated the same way. Moreover, you will soon find out that they all work differently. There are so many different types of helis that the task of choosing what the best one is for you may turn out to be somewhat overwhelming. Nevertheless, you should look for information (beware of info overload!). These days, finding technical data and specs is really easy and you should take some time to become familiar with the way you RC Helicopter flies. Once you are done with the research, you can start getting practical. Don’t let deception hit you at this point. You may feel a little frustrated at first, but managing it is an important aspect of overall success.


Get Acquainted: Now that you know more about your RC Helicopter, you should check all the parts: control, batteries, flight receiver and general gear. Make sure there are no lose parts and that batteries are working. If your heli is fuel-operated, make sure that there is enough fuel to get the piece in the air; running out of fuel is probably one of the silliest ways of messing up your hovering experience.


Start Hovering: Training should begin with a smooth surface, such as compact snow or pavement. This is not so much because of the heli, but because of you. You need to be able to walk around without tripping into anything. Determine wind direction and place your helicopter over the reference point with the sun behind you and whether there is some light wind have the nose pointing into the wind with you standing about 10 feet behind the RC Helicopter. Start the helicopter and slowly increase the throttle to get the heli light on the skids. Once you begin to feel comfortable, increase the throttle slowly while keeping the bird over the reference point. The first exercise consists in keeping the heli hovering over the reference point for as long as you can. If you feel that it flies away, cut back the throttle until it gets back on the ground. At first, it is natural for the heli to bounce around a bit. As you get more familiar with the gear and the control, you will be able to keep it up in the air for longer times. Keeping the heli only a few inches off the ground is probably the most useful tip you can use at this point.


Watch out with Tail Rotor Thrust: The tail rotor may act as an impelling force that will try to push your heli in the direction where it is placed. If you have a big bird, this tendency will be less evident. If the tail rotor is thrusting the heli leftward, you should apply a little bit of right cyclic just as you leave the ground. Once in the air, you don’t have to hold in any right cyclic since the bird can tilt slightly to the right once the skids leave the level ground surface. Keep practicing this maneuver for some hours (even days) until you have mastered it. Once you do, you are ready for more complex moves.


RC Helicopters: More than a Hobby?


There are probably as many hobbies as people out there. Some of the most popular pastimes include collecting pieces, such as cars, planes, bottles, teddy bears, you name it. RC (short for Radio-controlled) helicopters have become widely-chosen by many hobby-mongers who enjoy the pleasure of flying some kind of automated aircraft.


RC Helicopters v RC Airplanes

Many people think operating a RC helicopter is pretty much like flying a plane. It is not, for one thing there are great differences in construction, flight training and above all, aerodynamics. These differences offer RC helicopter fans a unique experience when it comes to performing aerobatics, for instance. There are so many different models and designs to choose from, that beginners usually feel overwhelmed in the presence of such diversity. RC airplanes are usually more affordable than helicopters, so if you are thinking about taking up the hobby, or are just starting, you should know that RC planes are usually cheaper than helicopters and can be fixed more easily. RC helicopters usually need part replacement that will cost a bit more. Now when it comes to fun and excitement the choice is definitely personal. Controlling helicopters may require a bit more dexterity than flying planes, but the overall enjoyment makes up for the extra challenge. Finally, unlike RC planes that need perfectly-mowed lawns or paved runways to take off, RC helis can be placed almost anywhere for take-off.


RC Helicopters: Extra Fun

A recent survey conducted in US and Canada revealed that RC Helicopters were on the top five in a list tagged as “Most Entertaining Hobbies”. This should come as no surprise. After all, the world of RC Helicopters is so vast and varied that just getting started will keep you busy for some while. Followers around the world explain their choice by saying that this pastime is definitely “fun and rewarding” and these qualities are what most of us look for in a hobby. As it turns out, RC Helicopters can really help a person get their minds off daily routine. On top of that, once you get started, this activity is so engaging that you will find yourself craving for more time to do it. In addition, there is a certain expertise you need to develop with practice and training. Bottom line: people who engage in this activity will have had fun while learning new abilities, like fixing your heli, choosing the right parts, taking care of and cleaning the pieces, plus learning flying techniques that will help you improve focus, coordination and manual dexterity. Few other hobbies can claim to provide so many benefits all in one.


Building your own RC Helicopters

If you are already engaged in this fascinating hobby, you may have found yourself fantasizing with taking part in the creation of your own pieces. Actually, most RC collectors end up doing this in the end. Creating and building your own RC Helicopters is the ultimate challenge for a collector. The good news is that it has never been easier to do so. In the past, collecting RC helis was an elitist hobby, reserved only for those who had a lot of money to spend on this. These days however, conditions have changed greatly. So much so, that you can easily repair or build your own piece at very affordable costs.


In conclusion, RC Helicopters can really become a fun and rewarding hobby for you. Forget about the stereotypes that say that only wealthy people can do this. Since the cost of these pieces has come down in these past decades, you can find all kinds of helis on the market to adjust to different budgets. Don’t miss out on the fun and entertainment: there is something out there waiting for you, too.