The Best Remote Control Helicopter

best remote control helicopterUnless you really know what you’re looking for, picking the best remote control helicopter has become even more difficult recently with the last few years having seen a massive increase in the number of helicopters available at all prices in the market.

With a lot of eye catching packaging featuring claims long on superlatives but in many cases short on actual detail, it begins to feel a bit overwhelming trying to choose between different models! Indeed you also have similar problems these days when it comes to picking a new rc car or one of the latest remote control trucks or newly released planes due to the great number of new vehicles we’re also seeing being released in these categories.

But never fear, as I’ve put together for you some suggestions that should dramatically shorten your list of possibilities for choosing the best remote control helicopter for you.

Also just a couple of points I wanted to note. I haven’t covered here helicopters that also feature cameras BUT instead I’ve done a whole post all about the best RC helicopters out there today with cameras! The reason for this is that with the massive number of these types of models coming onto the market at the moment I thought they warranted their very own discussion.

Secondly I’ve also included in the below list quadcopters (to find out more about what a quadcopter is precisely check this out).

To the purists amongst us these might not be ‘helicopters’ but I think that given their fundamental similarity and ever increasing popularity at the moment too, the below wouldn’t be complete without considering them as well.

So here we go, my suggestions for the best remote control helicopter are:

1.Value for money.

It’s hard to go past the Hero RC H911.

This is a great all round machine but one that doesn’t come with a killer price tag.

While there are certainly more high end machines out there what I like about the Hero is that, for the price, it gives you a solid performance (particularly from the perspective of someone who is newer to remote control helicopters) across a number of key areas.

Its battery powered which for a lot of people, especially those newer to remote controlled vehicles, is a much better idea than a nitro powered model.  It also offers some limited ability to upgrade and replace parts which can be a great way to experiment with that side of things before you consider getting a much more customisable (and expensive!) model.

It’s also quite a forgiving machine to fly for the newbie but still has some good performance once you start to get more comfortable behind the controls.  Compared to some models out there it is also slightly more on the more robust side of things.

2. If you want a great helicopter for young kids.

There are a ton of helicopters and quadcopters out there these days that are obviously aimed at kids. The trouble with a lot of these is that some are perhaps a bit hard to fly for younger kids, some aren’t as robust as maybe they should be to put up with the beating kids can give them and some require too much adult supervision to really make them something kids can enjoy on their own terms.

All these aside, my pick for a great helicopter for young kids (potentially even under 10 years) is the Sky Viper Quadcopter.

Because it’s a quadcopter it straight away is a much more stable flying machine making it easier for younger kids to control than a straight helicopter and of course therefore more fun for them too. At 16 inches across it’s also a really good size and a lot bigger than some of the other kid orientated quadcopters on the market.

Another important point here is that with my kids I see the most opportunity for damage occurring when a helicopter or quadcopter has crashed and they are rushing to set it back up for its next flight.  This often means either they end up fighting over who gets to right the machine (which can mean the machine gets inadvertently damaged in the cross fire!) or they just set it back up in places which don’t make for great take off spots in terms of having furniture etc. nearby you can crash into – starting the process again.

I firmly believe with kids the more you can keep a helicopter or quadcopter in the air the much less the chances it’s going to be inadvertently damaged outside of flight.

The quadcopter set up of the Sky Viper with the detachable Styrofoam blade shields also means the blades are harder for kids to damage and it tends to be more robust when it does crash.

The battery life also isn’t bad and with the built in ability to do flips and barrel rolls at the press of a button it’s going to be a guaranteed hit with the kids!

3. If you want something cheap but which still an authentic experience.

If you want something to suit a tighter budget the hugely popular Syma S107/S107G R/C Helicopter is an awesome choice. Even if it was twice the price it will still be a great helicopter to have! I’ve had one of these myself for a while now and just love it. In fact Syma make a lot of very good helicopters at the lower priced end of the market.

Although it isn’t huge, it does look the part and isn’t too tricky for even an absolute beginner to fly. Even for the more experienced flyer it can still be some great fun (particularly for indoor or in office flying). And at the lower price point it is perhaps something you can push a bit harder and be a bit more adventurous with in your flying as it won’t necessarily break the bank if you have to replace it.

4. If you want an entry point helicopter you can improve over time.

If you already know you love remote control helicopters and are in it for the longer term but don’t’ have a lot of cash to blow on a highline model straight off, then the Align T-Rex 250 Pro DFC is an excellent choice.

Align make a large range of great RC helicopters and as the T-Rex 250 is a battery powered copter it’s easier for those just starting out compared to coming to terms with the maintenance, tuning and running requirements of a nitro engine. It does provide for amazing flying results though once you’ve mastered the basics.

The T-Rex 250 is however a smaller sized helicopter considering the power it holds which means it can be difficult to control for less experienced flyers especially outdoors – but it is the perfect place to start to learn these skills.

With the T-Rex 250 you can however pretty much upgrade and change in and out every important part of the copter for either different flying conditions or just better overall performance.  From blades, body shells and motors to even the battery mount, this is what makes this model such a great bet if you’re thinking you will likely want to customise and upgrade over time.

There are of course a lot of helicopters out there that are infinitely customisable like the T-Rex 250. However, the reason I’ve picked the T-Rex 250 here is that to me it is more suitable on all fronts for someone who is getting into owning a more sophisticated machine but doesn’t straight up have the level of technical expertise for maintenance and also flying experience that some of the other customisable and more powerful high end models really do need.

As the T-Rex 250 is not usually bundled for purchase with a transmitter (and receiver etc) then the great thing about this model is that it gives you the ability to either splurge on a more expensive transmitter or play it safe with a more reasonably priced transmitter that you can also upgrade along with the copter over time as your budget allows.

5. If you want something that is really hard to break.

Speed and height are always going to be a great starting recipe for damage when it comes to any remote controlled toy or vehicle.  If you are really looking for a helicopter or quadcopter that is hard to break then the Gyro Hercules Unbreakable Helicopter is definitely worth considering.

Just check out the AMAZING video below to see what I mean!

Although a lot of the models on the market today are in fact quite robust when used within their performance range the thing about the Hercules is that its makers have really tried to market it on the basis of how hard it is to break.  Let’s face it nothing is truly indestructible but when it comes to helicopters the designers here certainly seem to have made a good effort.

Of particular note is its claimed ability to withstand up to 200 pounds of direct force (as you’ll see in the video). Although it could be seen that the focus on sturdiness impacts on its overall performance most people don’t feel they’ve sacrificed a lot in terms of satisfying flight for the increased focus on durability.

So although the Hercules is not a top of the line high performance machine it is one that might stand up to a few more rough sessions that the kids want to throw at it!

BUT despite its amazing claims to sturdiness if you spend some time around the internet reading reviews you’ll see that it is a helicopter that polarises people!

There are those that feel it absolutely lives up to its claims but also a large number of people that seem to be disappointed. It appears that if you get a good unit, you get a great one! but if you get a unit that’s not up to task then you could be in for a lot of problems. With this in mind it could worth asking yourself if the risk of getting a bad unit is really worth the possible benefit of getting such a supposedly indestructible helicopter.

6. If you want something that is really easy to fly but still great performance.

Here I’m going to recommend the Syma X1.

As it’s a quadcopter its inherently more stable and easier to fly than a lot of the helicopters you’ll find on the market, but it also comes with a built in 3 axis gyro which enhances its stability and ease of use even further (check this out to find out more about what technically a gyro does) – but the effect of which can also be turned down for even greater performance as you get more comfortable and experienced with flying it.

The cool thing about the Syma X1 and a lot of quadcopters in general is that because of their set up they still offer really great performance and responsiveness despite their overall stability. This one will even do flips!

The Syma X1 is also one of the more powerful battery powered small quadcopters you can get these days at a reasonable price. That bit more power gives you more satisfying performance overall than some of the cheaper and less powerful quadcopters out there. It also means that as long as there is little or no breeze it can potentially be flown outside.

7. If you want something a bit different.

Although there are a few slightly more strange ones out there to choose from, if you’re really interested in getting something a bit different that is still tonnes of fun I think the Air Hogs – Battle Tracker is just great!

Although the helicopter by itself probably wouldn’t rank as one of the best flying machines out there it still looks great and this certainly gives it a few extra points in my book.  However what is really so cool about the Battle Tracker is the missile system/game it comes with.

Check out the video below it see it in action but basically it provides you a helicopter that fires missiles as well as a separate ground firing missile system that tracks and tries to shoot down your helicopter.  Hours of fun!

The ground system also comes with an auto or manual mode meaning that you can fly against the AI of the ground system or have a friend take control of it instead making for some fierce two player combat.

8. If you want something that is just awesome fun.

OK first up all helicopters and quadcopters are of course awesome fun!! But here if I had to pick I’d go with another Air Hogs model, this time the Air Hogs RC Helix X4 Stunt.

The cool thing about the X4 is that being a quadcopter and a smaller quadcopter you can thrash it a bit more without being so worried about destroying it.  You can also have it doing some pretty cool flying without a lot of expertise. It’s great for beginners too and literally with the push of a button you can have it performing back flips and barrel rolls!!

9. If you want something big that doesn’t break the bank.

Let’s face it size matters! And when it comes to remote control helicopters some of the larger are most definitely some of the more impressive.

However the trouble with these bigger models (apart from the HUGE prize tag!) is that they normally require a lot of expertise to fly properly and really need a fair amount of outside space if you want to get the most out of them as you can see in the below video.

However if you’re after something on the larger side that doesn’t break the bank, doesn’t need tonnes of outside space to comfortably use and is relatively easy to fly, then it’s hard to go past the Colossus Gyro METAL 3.5CH RC Helicopter.

Even though this is still a battery powered model it gives good fly time on each charge and with the 11.1V 1500mAh Rechargeable Battery you of course have the option (if your budget allows) of having spare batteries you can charge and rotate in to give you some decent flying sessions.  It comes with a good in built gyro too which makes it a lot easier and safer to fly and overall I think it also looks great.

10. If you want something really small.

There are a massive number of ‘micro’ copters and quadcopters on the market these days. However a lot of these lack any really ability to have a decent flying experience. But one great little quadcopter (at about a tiny 2.3” wide!!) that definitely doesn’t fall into this category and packs a heap of fun for its size is The New Hubsan X4 H107L.

As with most mini quadcopters its battery life isn’t great but it is remarkably powerful and manoeuvrable. There are not many quadcopters or helicopters of this size that you would even consider taking outside, but as long as its not blowing a gale the Hubsan can actually handle itself very well outside – and of course it just excels indoors too!

Considering what you get, the price tag on it is also very reasonable.  And if the Hubsan doesn’t get you hooked on RC flying then nothing will!

11. If money isn’t really an object.

If you’re lucky enough to fall into this category then my pick would be the Align T-Rex 450 Plus DFC.

The T-Rex 450 is a great all round machine that is more sympathetic to the less experienced flyer and requires less maintenance compared to similar sized nitro powered models. As its battery powered it makes for a quieter overall experience in a helicopter of this size which a lot of people prefer, but particularly those that will be flying in more urban environment.

But don’t worry, even though the Align T-rex 450 is definitely not cheap, you still get an amazing amount of machine for your money!

12. If you want something that looks like the real thing.

There are some amazing custom made replicas out there these days that are very big, very complicated and VERY expensive. However at a more reasonable price tag and also at a level that is easy to use there are still some great options available.

A lot of these great replicas are military focused and my personal favourite is the Syma Mini Chinook.

This is really just because it’s great to see an authentic looking two rotor machine you can control – particularly one as iconic as a Chinook!

I do also think there is something about the amazing job that has been done with the Syma Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter.  From a distance in flight these machines definitely look like mini versions of the real thing.

So there you have it, no matter what you’re looking for there is definitely a remote control helicopter or quadcopter out there that is just right for you!

What else


  1. Tom says

    Thanks for input. I am 56 yrs old and looking to buy a toy to play with. Very little prior experience with a $19 model. Money not an issue but do not want to do anything related to apps or downloads.

  2. says

    what would you consider to be the best large scale gasser on the market today. iam am wanting to up grade to a gasser after learning on a large size electric model. and have been looking at a align 800e with a helibus gas conversion, a century radikal g30 v2 or a tz-90-v2 I have seen others but don’t want to spend 8grand to do it through. any input would greatly be appreciated.

    • David says

      Hey Andy,

      That’s a pretty exciting change you’re looking at making!! Those gassers are a whole other world when it comes to flying. The weight makes them more balanced and realistic in most cases so it’s a really exciting flying experience. Those are probably the best models you’ve suggested below. I myself don’t own a gasser at the moment but from what I know I’d say they are all good copters. The Radikal is probably going to be the slightly cheaper option (but maybe only by a few hundred dollars) and the align and the TZ will be about the same price most likely. However my impression is that coupled with a Helibug conversion the align is probably the most popular option a lot of people take when they move up to the gasser. So that might have some persuasion for you too in terms of being able to get hold of good info and forums on them.

      Also like anything everyone has their favourites. I’d suggest trying to perhaps find your local heli club (if you’re not already a member somewhere) and see if you can head along to a flying day as chances are you’ll probably see all 3 or at least a couple of those models in action. Have a look at how they fly and see if you can talk to the owners as you’ll find they’ll be pretty straight up about what they think about each of them.

      Hope that helps a bit and sorry I couldn’t give a more direct recommendation. When you do make a decision would be great to hear what you decided to go with and what clinched it for you though! Such an exciting purchase to be making though – I’m very jealous! You’re going to have a great Xmas :-)

      David – Myrctopia

      • says

        the flying club in my area only fly airplanes and no one is flying a heli of any kind, only birds. iam about 90 miles from the mackinaw bridge and on lake Huron side. just not a lot going as far as clubs here, It really comes down to quality of the machine and if the company and replacement parts are going to be available , it seems that companies come and go quickly, the century is already set for gas were the others have to be changed over, I have searched the internet for weeks now and it is really hard to find straight forward info.i bough the first heli I own in 1995 and still have it.. I seen the first gasser a year latter and fell in love with it and been wanting one ever since so now is the time and I just want to do it right and I thank you for the input and will keep you posted on my progress..Thanks again dave.

        • David says

          Hi Andy,

          No problem at all! It sounds like you’re doing all the right research so I‘m sure you’ll make the best decision when you’re ready to. Good luck with the search and really look forward to hearing what you decide to go with. Will all be so worth it once you’ve got your own gasser!

          David – Myrctopia

          P.S. With the weather up your way at the moment probably not the best for flying I’m guessing anyway so lots of time to do some more research :-)

  3. says

    thanks Dave ,I do have one more question for you should I go fly bar type head or flybarless type head I have heard mixed reviews on both and if you could shed any light on the subject I would be very grateful. thanks again Dave.

    • David says

      Hi Andy,

      No problem at all. To some degree I think it’s a bit of personal preference but these days given the ever increasing quality of the technology behind the flybarless systems I’d definitely go flybarless.

      David – Myrctopia

  4. says

    thanks a lot dave for all the info , I was leaning towards the flybarless heli . I will keep you posted . thanks again and have a merry Christmas to.

  5. Adam says

    Hi Dave,

    This write up is great. I’m looking for a helicopter for kids aged 8-12. Do you think the Syma 107 is good for them? Or is that more geared toward adults?


    • David says

      Hi Adam,

      I think either the Hercules or the Syma 107 is a good starting point for kids. I would probably suggest the Syma as it is a bit cheaper especially for younger kids. I have a 7 year old who uses a Syma 107. He did find it a bit challenging to start with but it’s amazing how quickly they get the hang of it. And also having said that even when he was learning he still just loved it. My 12 year old flies the Syma with ease. The only thing you have to be aware of is that all these copters have short fly times (10-15 minutes depending on the model). This is all fairly standard but does mean it can be frustrating for younger kids who just want to play and play (it’s frustrating enough for adults, ha ha). You can look at buying extra battery packs so you can always have at least one charged and ready to go – but you might like to just buy the heli to start with and see how your kids take to it and then make a further investment from there.

      Hope that helps!

      David – My RCtopia

  6. joey says

    Just wanted to put it out there that the Coast Guard is part of the military, and gets deployed just like the other branches

  7. jon says

    My 12 year old son recieved a bladerunner triumph for xmas it worked well inside but didn’t seem to work well outside so he is looking to return it for the typhoon which is larger. We are new to this and I am wondering if its worth the extra $50 for the typhoon. What do you think

    • David says

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I understand the dilemma your facing! If you go for the Typhoon it will be all round a slightly better flying experience. Whenever you go for slightly more scale I personally find you do notice a more engaging flying experience. BUT the increased size of the Typhoon may still not be enough to give you a seamless outdoor flying experience depending on how turbulent the conditions you are looking to fly it in. There are very few if any copters than can really do inside and outside equally well. To get a decently powerful chopper for outside you’d probably end up with something that would be a bit aggressive and intimidating for inside flying. For $50 more you’ll definitely get a more exciting flying experience with the Typhoon and depending on how much that means to your son then it would absolutely be money well spent. But if you’re hoping the extra $50 will give you a helicopter that is ideal for outdoor flying then you may not see the same kind of ‘value for money’ with what you get. It will perform better outdoors than the Triumph but still will won’t be much less susceptible to strong winds and breezes compared with the Triumph.

      Personally if you can afford it I would always go for a bigger copter (unless you purely wanted something to fly inside or mainly inside in which case you always have to be mindful of the inside environment you will be wanting to fly in) I just think the flying experience gets more authentic the bigger you get – but you probably still won’t have a heli that flies seamless outdoors.

      Hope that helps!

      David – My RCtopia

      • jon says

        Thanks we did go with the typhoon. And he flew it today it does seem to drift to the right but way more fun than an indoor model. Its going to be like 15 below with wind chill so it will be a while before we get out again. We have $100 in it we will see how long it lasts. Again thank you

        • David says

          Hi Jon,

          Sounds likes a good move to me! Great to hear its looking good so far and yes I think you’re right that that the weather is going to be the biggest challenge for the next wee while :-) . Happy flying!

          David – My RCtopia

  8. edz says

    I love your website, I just have one question. Can I attach a micro camara, the y3000, on the WL toys v911.
    The micro camara is about 13 or 18 grams.

    • David says

      Hi Edz,

      Really pleased to hear you are enjoying the site! And yes you should be able to get a y3000 on to the WL toys v911 – although I’ve never actually tried myself. But the only thing with mounting a custom camera on a heli as opposed to a drone is that sometimes it can be tricky to get it mounted in such a way that you don’t upset the balance too much in flight. It can be done but just might take a bit of tweaking. The other thing to bear in mind too is that with a custom mount on a heli you’re going to be adding a lot more weight than the heli was originally designed to fly with this. This doesn’t mean it won’t still fly but just means that it will suck the power a lot quicker than it would without the camera meaning you can get quite reduced flight times on the same charge.

      Hope that Helps!

      David – My RCtopia

  9. Hunter Stansberry says

    Hi i’m looking for a helicopter that will fly for 10-20 minutes but be less then $200. i also want for it to be abke to carry a JVC addixxion it weighs 4.8oz (I’ll attach it myself). Idk if i need a different price range for what i want or a different amount of fly time. Just let me know what you think.

    • David says

      Hi Hunter,

      Thanks for getting in touch. There are a lot of great options out there under $200. In fact even for under $100 you can get some pretty decent copters that will definitely fly for 10-20 minutes. However when it comes to attaching something like the Addixxion you do start to enter some unknown territory as the added weight (even though the Addixxion is amazingly compact for what it does) can have a much bigger effect on the performance and flight time of some helis as opposed to others. However if you wanted to give it a try I’d say opt for a bigger model, perhaps try something like the WL Toys V912 ( and see how you go, as you’re more likely to have some added torque that will hopefully handle the addition of some excess weight better than some of the smaller helicopters out there. But just be warned it is a 4 channel copter so a bit harder to control until you get the hang of it – so I wouldn’t attach the adixxion until you felt really comfortable in flight as you don’t’ want to smash up the addixxion while you’re still getting to grips with the new heli :-) . And once again hard to know for sure how any heli will actually perform when you start adding new weight to it.

      There are some drones and helis out there with pretty good cameras built in and for under $200 you could pick up one of the great models in this category (like the Hubsan X4) BUT none of the cameras on these models will likely be as good as the quality and performance you get from the addixxion. Although having said that the Hubsan X4 does do a pretty decent job overall. The two big advantages I’d say of getting a heli with the camera already built in is that you obviously don’t’ have to attach the camera yourself and try and rebalance the heli to take account of that and also when you try and attach a camera yourself it is always going to be more exposed than an already built in model meaning it will be much more susceptible to damage from landings, crashes etc.

      There are some AMAZING quadcopters/drones out there with top of the line built in cameras but for one of these you’re unfortunately probably looking at well above $200 (e.g. like the DJI Phantom 2).

      Sorry I can’t give you a 100% for sure answer but hope that gives you a few things to think about and lets you work out the best way forward for you from here. Hope that helps!


      David – My RCtopia

  10. bryan says

    Hi everyone, What an awesome site. Ive gathered some serious insight just from my 20minutes on here. I am a newbie to the rc helo world but my feet are wet and Im hooked . I got a skyrover exploiter as a gift this year and its my first time . Not sure if you know of this one but basically the only problem I’m having is the flight time. ten minutes tops. Its a decent size but still works well indoors. My question is what is a good battery life ? what are your suggestions for a beginner who is decent at control already, flys mostly indoors around the house , but wants more flytime and is willing to spend say under 100 bucks? Thanks

    • David says

      Hi Bryan,

      Great to hear you’re hooked! That does sound like particularly short flight time. However the reality is that you’re probably still only normally looking at somewhere close to 15 minutes with most indoor copters these days.

      If you wanted something with a bit more flight time primarily for indoor use you could look at something like the Syma S107 mentioned in our post above as although the flight time isn’t massively longer it is easy to pick up replacement batteries relatively cheaply meaning that for well under $100 you can have a a new copter and some spare batteries charged up at any time so you get a decent flight session. Another option if you wanted to extended yourself a bit is to maybe look at moving up to a more solid 4 channel copter. We’ve got a post and some reviews on some of these over here The flight time varies with these as well but once again its relatively easy to get back up batteries for most of these too so you can extend your flight sessions.

      Hope that helps!

      David – My RCtopia

  11. David says

    Hi Ahmad,

    Great to hear you’re enjoying My RCtopia! Its hard to pick between the two. If you’re just starting out then their is not really a lot between the two models except that the S111G is a slightly more recent model and might have fractionally better battery life (but not much really). The S107 is generally a bit cheaper than the S111G by a few dollars so that is a positive in favour of the S107. Personally I really like the way the S111G looks so if I had to choose I’d probably end up going with the S111G but in all honesty they’re both pretty similar and both awesome helicopters particularly if you are just starting out or just want something that isn’t too pricey you can play around with.

    Hope that helps!

    David – My RCtopia

    • David says

      Hi Ahmad,

      The S102G is still a really good heli and very similar to both the S107 and S111G. It probably almost comes down to which one you think looks the best :-). My personal choice would still be the newer S111G – but that’s in part because I think it looks cool 😉

      David – My RCtopia

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