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What you need
Radio System
Field Equipment

What do I need to get started?

Radio Control helicopters are complex little beasts. Just about everything on the helicopter is required to make it fly properly. Therefore you can find yourself needing to acquire quite a bit of equipment to support them. Luckily though, not all of this stuff needs to be brought right away. You can build it up as you go.

The following are a list of that you need, or will eventually need.

  • Helicopter
    Well that's pretty obvious isn't it? There are all manner of different makes of helicopter on the market. There's different sizes also.
  • Radio System
    You need some thing to control the helicopter. The radio system includes the transmitter, receiver, servos, and battery. Once again, there's different types of radio equipment.
  • Gyro
    These are little magic gadgets that help look after the tail of the helicopter. You need them to help keep the tail under control as they adjust to counteract the torque of the main rotors and wind conditions.
  • Engine
    If you brought your helicopter brand new, chances are you'll need to buy the engine as well. If you got your machine second hand, it may have an engine with it.
  • Exhaust
    That's right, you've gotta buy the exhaust as well. Likewise if you brought a second hand machine, it will probably have one already.

You'll also need to get some field equipment to support your machine when you're at the field. A typical set of field equipment is:

  • Starter motor
    Unless your machine has some kind of pull start mechanism (some do!), you're gonna need a starter motor to get the engine started.
  • Glow plug device
    Before a glow engine will start, it's glow plug needs to have an electrical current passed through it. These devices do that for you.
  • Fuel can and pump
    You'll need something to hold all your fuel and something to transfer it to your helicopter.

Now, you'll need some tools to support your machine for maintenance, repair or tuning purposes: Typical tools are:

  • Set of hex drivers
    Most helicopters are constructed using bolts that use a hexagonal head. You'll need some hexagonal drivers (or allen keys) to use these bolts.
  • Pitch gauge
    The pitch (angle of attack) on the rotor blades needs to be checked to set up the helicopter. You'll need this to set up the pitch curve during setup.
  • Glow plug wrench
    From time to time you'll need to remove the glow plug from the engine to check or replace it, you'll need one of these to help you.
  • Ball link pliers
    Helicopters use plastic ball links in their control systems. In order to remove these to adjust or replace them, you'll need a set of ball link pliers.
  • Small phillips screwdrivers
    Some of the fasteners on a helicopter are phillips screws.
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