My name is John Brighton. I'm an engineer by profession and a pilot of tiny helicopters in my free time. I
have to admit, I am also a cheapskate. With R/C helicopters, it is possible to spend thousands of dollars. Because of my natural
cheapness, I'll show you how to get by spending much, much less. I love this hobby! It is so much fun! I'll show you
how to get started in this exciting hobby too.
First of all... you need to know if this hobby is right for you. It isn't right for everybody. In fact, it
is inherently dangerous. At the club where I used to fly there was a loner who would show up with a shiny new helicopter from
time to time. We'd all watch as he would first refuse anyones help, and predictably crash the helicopter into pieces. As cool
as this hobby may be... if it isn't right for you, you'll end up wasting a lot of time and money. Do you like to do your research?
Are you patient? Do you like to learn new skills? Do you enjoy fixing things? For you, is complex trouble shooting and problem
solving actually fun? Are you really captivated by flight? If you answered yes to all of these questions... we may
have found a hobby for you!
It has been said that helicopters don't really fly... they just beat the air into submission. This is very
true. When the motor quits the helicopter is earthward bound. To fly, helicopters must have a lot of power. It is this power
that makes them dangerous too. I've seen the damage one can do.
With this hobby, it is all about progressing from one stage to the next. It would be very difficult to start
out with a 450 sized 6 channel 3-D helicopter. Many have tried, many have decided to quit this hobby out of frustration. We
are doing this for fun to relax, so why not start out easy?
Just starting out... I'd recommend a small co-axial 4 channel helicopter. This will let you learn orientation
and that is very important. The tail rotor on a co-axial heli is merely for show.
The next step is a 4 channel fixed pitch helicopter. This kind of helicopter is more complicated and harder
to fly. With one you can do beautiful, banked turns and even stall turns. With a fixed-pitch, you have learn to
"fly the tail" too.
Finally, the next step is a full 6 channel, collective pitch helicopter. It is an amazing little
machine. It can fly in all directions and even inverted. A 6 channel CCPM heli isn't cheap to buy, or easy to fly,
set-up, or repair. That's why we like 'em. They are a real challenge!