New To The Rotorcraft Hobby? Please Read This!
" We would like to welcome you to the exciting hobby of rotor-craft flying. You will find all sorts of crafts here to match your current skill level and to enable you to build more advanced skills." - :)
1) First and foremost: Unless you have an aptitude for repairing and troubleshooting this hobby is NOT for you. Especially during the learning curve, it is likely that you will be repairing or adjusting your craft more than you are actually flying it. This is a normal part of the hobby and, if you are like us, will probably crash your new 'toy' within the first 5 minutes of having it out of the box. That is the reason no returns are accepted once the product seal is broken.
2) Try to start small. Smaller is better for beginners - especially in the winter-time because you can practice indoors. Smaller is better because low mass (they down weigh much) means less damage when (not if) you crash. Smaller is better because parts are less expensive to replace when (not if) you damage them. If you want to take on a big rotor-craft or heli for your first craft, that is your decision. It is not, however, recommended. Even though you purchase a smaller craft right now to learn on, you will save money in the long run. Sure, we would love to sell you a huge expensive craft but that is not in the best interest of our new customers. Trust us on this one (because we sell parts, too!)
3) RTF or Ready-To-Fly craft come complete with everything you need to fly right in the box however some minimal assembly and transmitter tweaking may be required. This quote used by permission from rc-airplane-world.com:
But just how Ready To Fly are RTF rc helicopters?
- Ready To Fly radio control helicopters come in many shapes and sizes these days, and it is fair to say that some are more RTF than others. It's a very serious point, because a beginner pilot who is none the wiser could end up having a very nasty experience with a so-called RTF helicopter that in fact needs some degree of setting up before flight.
- Of course, the term Ready To Fly does refer to the fact that the aircraft, whether helicopter or airplane, doesn't require any major assembly work and the motor and radio gear is fully installed and set up at the factory. RTF by definition, therefore, is a very fair description.
- But the reality is that many rc aircraft are sold with the slogan "Flies straight out the box" attached to them, and this is rarely the case. It's not such a critical issue with RTF rc airplanes, but helicopters have spinning blades that can do a lot of damage in inexperienced hands - far more than an airplane propeller can (although these hurt too...).
- So, the letters RTF should never be interpreted as "Flies straight out the box" when it comes to rc helicopters. Maybe a new labeling of 'FSOTB' should be created, just to clarify things....
4) BNF or "Bind-And-Fly" aircraft are just what they imply. These models come with no transmitter. As long as the transmitter you currently have is compatible with your new BNF craft you may use your current transmitter without purchasing another. All of the products on our site are compatible (DEVO transmitters and DEVO controlled craft) with the exception of the small Syma training copters. Beware that very rarely transmitters and rotor-craft from different manufacturers compatible. As long as you stay with the line of products offered by your transmitter manufacturer you should not experience any compatibility issues.
5) Read and research before diving in. There are a lot of excellent user forums out there in which to learn. There are also some great books, a few of which are available from this site. Even though you might be reading information about another manufacturer's products keep in mind that the concepts are the same regardless of manufacturer. We choose the Walkera line because we thought they are the best built and most straightforward to fly of any of the machines out there and liked them enough to bring a supply of parts into the USA. Look at the e-Flight offerings, look at the ESky products. We are confident you will, as we did, find Walkera the best bet for the money. In summary, know what you are getting yourself into and tap into the vast pool of expertise on the web.
6) Remember, expect things to go wrong. Expect to crash and expect to learn how to repair your craft. It is all part of the hobby and part of the enjoyment of flight. If you are not willing to tinker or feel like you do not have the aptitude to learn this is probably not the right hobby for you.
The Staff of Walkera Helicopter Supply L.L.C.