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Newbies: Tips and Information Section of HF, specifically for Passing along info to newcomers to the hobby. Setup, tweaking, orientation practice, etc.


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Old 03-07-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
mpackio1970
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Default Best rc heli for 6 year old starting out?

Hi all,

I'm new to the hobby and wanted to see if you have any recommendations on make/models for my son who is 6.

My main criteria are probably similar to what you'd expect:
  • Since I'm new to flying and he's young the heli has to be able to take a beating.
  • Less than 100 bucks
  • Relatively easy to maintain
  • Easy to fly
I've spent some time reading some beginner guides that are linked to from the forum and I appreciate the information.

Thanks,
Manny
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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I think the E-Flite Blade mCX2 would be a perfect fit for you and your son. It's super easy to fly and will teach you orientations and flying simple circuits. It's $119 for the Ready to Fly version, which comes with a radio, batteries, and charger. To be honest, you're not really going to find something "hobby-grade" for cheaper than that!

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
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If you need to save a few bucks, the Blade mCX is $100 RTF.
http://www.bladehelis.com/Helis/
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Yup, there isn't much to choose from with the criteria you've outlined. The mCX is pretty well your only option.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Having a 6 year old and a 16 year old in the family myself, I would honestly recommend a walmart toy heli. They are coaxial, have small controls for little hands, and are very durable. The only thing you really lose over an MCX2 is the ability to swap in another battery and keep flying continuously, but it will charge in about 20 minutes.

Then if he enjoys the hobby, and as he gets older, move him into a hobby grade heli.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:09 AM   #6
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The other big thing you lose with a walmart heli over a hobby grade heli is the ability to replace broken parts. You can spend $50 on the walmart heli, and throw it in the trash when it breaks, or you can spend $100 on a hobby grade heli, and fix it when it breaks.

It'll also fly better and have the ability to strafe left and right, and the controls will be in the same place as the larger more complicated helis. Many of the toyish helis like lighthawks and such you'll find at walmart have the rudder control on the left stick which is very counter-intuitive for anybody that flies helis. If you plan to eventually advance beyond the small ones, it'll be something else to re-learn.

In my opinion - it's worth the extra $50 if you're really serious about the hobby at all.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotormonkey View Post
The other big thing you lose with a walmart heli over a hobby grade heli is the ability to replace broken parts. You can spend $50 on the walmart heli, and throw it in the trash when it breaks, or you can spend $100 on a hobby grade heli, and fix it when it breaks.

It'll also fly better and have the ability to strafe left and right, and the controls will be in the same place as the larger more complicated helis. Many of the toyish helis like lighthawks and such you'll find at walmart have the rudder control on the left stick which is very counter-intuitive for anybody that flies helis. If you plan to eventually advance beyond the small ones, it'll be something else to re-learn.

In my opinion - it's worth the extra $50 if you're really serious about the hobby at all.

Actually they are $30 each, you could buy two complete sets if you are concerned about spares for $60, and then fly the two together in the living room.

Spare parts are also available on ebay or Amazon, which can be inconvenient when you have a LHS that stocks all the MCX2 parts required. I have found the air hogs to be more durable in the hands of a 6 year old than an MCX2. MCX2 needed new skids after a few high altitude cut throttle flights, the air hog didn't need anything.

Very good point on the control system differences as well, my 6 year old has been able to transition back and forth without an issue. Much different story when you are 40 trying to teach this old dog new tricks.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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I was speaking from personal experience on that point. I can piroflip a 5 foot flying death machine, but when I pick up one of those sedate little lighthawks they have at the LHS I end up pinging 'em off the walls!
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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Get the Syma S107. It is completely stable, made mostly of metal, and only $30. Don't get any of the air hogs or air hogs clone junk or anything you find at Walmart or Target. If you haven't seen these things, they hold a rock steady gyro hover.

My 5 year old son was able to fly the Syma S107 out of the box no problem. I'm talking taking off from a 2'x2' table, fly all around the room, and landing back on the table softly. Technically he is an Aerospace Engineer's son, but that might actually be a hindrance to his pilot skills.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:14 AM   #10
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STAY AWAY FROM WALMART !!!!!! JUNK JUNK JUNK !!!


if you want a great "toy" heli get the syma or any other type of 3ch http://www.xheli.com/3gyro.html
it's fun, can handle millions of crashes ,and is only about 30-40 bucks.

for a more realistic feel and controll get a 4ch coaxil or fixed pitch heli
http://www.xheli.com/coaxial.html
http://www.readyheli.com/EFLH2400-E-...F_p_37016.html

good luck
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:08 PM   #11
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Thanks to kevinbattista, dahacker, rotormonkey, apexx, AverageJoe and ChrisH for your advice, experience and the welcome! I've got to look at each option and then make my purchase.

In return, here's the story about how I arrived here for your light reading enjoyment. I wonder if it is familiar to anybody else

Last week I was away on a business trip and wanted to pickup a toy for my son. I was thinking maybe a video game, but nah he's already got plenty of cool ones. So I walked around the mall to brainstorm and ended up at this toy heli kiosk. This was the perfect surprise, or so I thought. I had the guy show me the different models and then asked him which one is best for a 6 year old. He showed me a thirty dollar heli and then demonstrated it. I ended up buying it and taking it home the next day.

My son was sooooooo excited when he saw it - man that was awesome!!! truly happy. We charged the thing per the instructions and then started to fly it. Neither one of us could get the thing to fly straight up and down or even sideways a little bit. It would basically spin out of control and then crash. We took it outside and tried our luck there too. The damn thing wouldn't even get off the ground anymore. It was frustrating and I promised my son i would buy him one that actually works. This thing is made of very cheap material and is entirely plastic. I guess I should have paid more attention to that at the mall.

So there you have it. Now you know a little about me and what brought me here

I'll let you know which one I buy and my experience with it for your continued enjoyment
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:34 PM   #12
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I just looked at the mCX2 and I like it.

What do you think of this one?
http://www.xheli.com/9006-apacheheli-grey.html
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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That one would be better than the mall buy, but parts will be either hard to find or long wait time.

I don't know you budget, maybe you stated that earlier but I think you should go to the local hobby store and see what they have. Make sure if you get an off brand they carry parts.

I know the first investment might be more than you really want to do, but what you don't want is after just a few min. he crashes it and it takes weeks to get parts or it ends up never being flown again.

You can even look at the for sale forum here on HF, you can get a good deal on some Blade helis for under $100 a lot of the time.

I have probably 5 or 6 helis like the one you have the link above, and they are all much harder to fly than my mSR or mCX.

Hope this helped some,

Craig
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #14
kevinbattista
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Mpackio,
the heli in the link you're talking about it a 3ch coaxil, good for beginners but it's over a foot long , in turn it will be to big to fly indoors and wont handle the wind well out side. a few things to consider are :
1- are you looking for indoor flight or out door flight ?
2- are you looking for a fun EZ "no brainer" toy or hobby grade semi skill to fly ?
3- is this for you or your child ?

if you want a real ez , fun little indoor toy for you and your child , that will hold up to crashes .. i recomend the syma 107 . i have one , my dad has one , and my 9yr old has one . this is a small VERY stable heli with basic up,down,forward, backward , spin right ,spin left movement.

if you want a fun indoor first step hobby grade heli for you, i would recomend a coaxil 4ch heli like the blade mCX2 .. this is a VERY stable small heli that moves a bit slow and has all the direction movements of a real heli. up,down,forward,backward,spin right , spin left and "slide" right, "slide" left movement

if you want a indoor ,outdoor beginer hobby grade for you that may take some small skill and time to learn then i would recomend the blade mSR . this has the same movement as the mCX2 but is a bit more "twitchy" and faster. this will also handle a bit of outdoor wind ( calm day )

the syma 107 will need little or no repair and no skill or x~tra equipment ( x~tra batteries or spare parts ) if it does need repair , some basic parts are available and is simple to fix . i've had mine with no problems for over a year now.also it charges from a usb cable or the controller and has an optional wall charger adapter.

the mCX2 and mSR are more of a hobby grade/ beginner level that may require some repair over time and will need (come with ) a charger and multiply batteries.

honestly , i fly bigger helis and have sold my mSR , it became more work then worth to me and started to cost more $ then i wanted to spend on a toy .. i prefer a larger hobby heli for the adult in me and enjoy some relaxing , indoor toy time with my syma 107 , for the kid in me.

based on what you said you're looking for i would HIGHLY recomend the SYMA 107. it's the perfect indoor , kid friendly heli ( and it's only about 30-40 bucks )
if ordered from here , it should reach you in about a week .

http://www.xheli.com/newsy3chs1mi.html

hope this helps.
if you have ANY questions , feel free to pm me
Good luck


* keep in mind , any heli you get may take a bit to get used to . be gentle with the throttle ( dont crash into the ceiling ) and helis fly better once they are in the air ( they all "slide around" a bit when to close to the ground.. 8" is to low for any heli to be stable )
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:12 AM   #15
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I have two of the AirHogs and one mCX. The mCX2 was not yet available. I cannot control the Airhogs and they are no longer flown. Perhaps that could be due to the layout of the controls or that tiny tail motor. I purchased the mCX for practicing reverse circuits in the winter months. I learned a lot with that heli. Time for me to move on to the mCPx.

As for durability of the mCX, the only things I have had to replace are a few blades and the landing gear once. The o-rings that hold the body on get lost easily. No big deal though. A little spit on the finger and you can pop a new one on. Any local hobby shop has the parts in stock.

So since I got my use out of it, my mCX now visits hospitals. It has been flown by hundreds of kids of all ages. They all learn the tail-in flying quickly. It really is a treat for them. My LHS donated extra batteries so everyone can have their turn without waiting for a recharge.

One of these days, I am going to have to stop by the LHS and talk him into an mCX2 for the kids. Maybe I could get the old store demo.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:38 AM   #16
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I also bought an air hog a few years back.. was my first heli and realized it was crap from the start. it's all in the design. they're made to just hover and spin with no real direction control, the havock and stingers just spin around .. and the bigger one's use a "push forward" fan for flight instead of a "tilt" tail ( like the syma). the difference is with the tilt , you're changing the angle of the main rotor for forward or backward flight and with the "push" method you're just tryin to "push" the hover .


p.s. i picked one of these up not long ago..
http://www.xheli.com/yd-818-heli-gray.html
lotta fun too, a bit bigger then the syma but still an indoor heli. again , these are NOT hobby style heli's, more likr REAL fun toy heli's
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #17
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<TIC>
Too many guys here regret their first cheap helicopter purchase. Learn from them. Jump your 6 year old straight to a T-Rex 500. Anything else is a waste of money in the long run.
</TIC>

IMHO.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:05 AM   #18
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I would go with a Syma 3 channel.....
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