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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Are RC Helicopters going away??
11-25-2016 05:23 AM  24 months agoPost 21
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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pylon racing... but with requirements to go inverted though sections, backwards through others, backwards inverted through some... etc.

Might have something there.... do something drones cant do.... fly with style.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

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11-25-2016 12:14 PM  24 months agoPost 22
Heli_Splatter

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USA

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So... why not fpv helicopter racing?
I think it would be very cool.

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11-25-2016 03:17 PM  24 months agoPost 23
wc_wickedclown (RIP)

rrProfessor

long beach calif

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not in my house ill keep them alive aLL BY MYSELF

align rc is still down the street if they leave im not still have rr and ebay

rc planes cars and helicopters have been around for decades the hobby comes and goes.

Insha Allah made in america

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11-25-2016 03:35 PM  24 months agoPost 24
UK Helinut

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Gloucestershire

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Not in my club.

We are just as strong as ever, and have a few young members too.

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11-30-2016 05:11 AM  24 months agoPost 25
HeliOCD

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San Diego, CA

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I cant wait until some kid with a quad walks up to ask me what it is i am flying.. I like being one of the few who can master helis.

Its all earth!

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11-30-2016 05:35 AM  24 months agoPost 26
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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what the hell for?... ask him to do piro flips and his response will be: "PAAAALLLEEEASEEE.... I got an App for that."

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

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12-04-2016 01:56 AM  24 months agoPost 27
iyoy

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Bacolod City, Philippines

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I still have my flybarred nitro Hirobo EX2 last flown in the 2007 F3C World Champs at Wlocwaveck, Poland. I also have a Hirobo SDX Dominik Haegle. Both are on a Futaba 14MZ. Both fly great and no problem with support whatsoever.

Lately, I've taken a fancy for ALIGN helis and have a TREX 450, a 250 and two Dominator 500L s. ALIGN is supposed to be a survivor and the quality of the product looks good at first glance but I've had several material defects and failures and the after sales support is nowhere near what Hirobo had.

If this is what it takes to stay in business then it looks like RC helis might really be going away. Very sad.

iyoy

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12-08-2016 06:18 AM  24 months agoPost 28
flipmode

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Tuskegee, Alabama

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I have been around since 1989. I cant do Chaos, tic tocs, backwards rolls, cut grass or scrape my blades inverted unless a ball link pops off or my gyro fails!! But what I can do is fly. I fly during the day everyday I have fuel and at night I go to a high school parking lot and fly some more... When I have fuel, I never have a bad day.

I have seen guys flying drones and unless it is big...folks just look...Bring out a heli and you are almost guaranteed to have someone stop and say...wow....I didn't know a helicopter could do that.

NOW...I will say this and shut up....when was the last time you saw a drone do an autorotation????

LONG LIVE THE HELICOPTER!!!!!
Ken

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12-08-2016 01:05 PM  24 months agoPost 29
iyoy

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Bacolod City, Philippines

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Autorotations
I'm with you Ken!

iyoy

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12-08-2016 03:47 PM  24 months agoPost 30
flycatch

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Barstow, California

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Nothing lasts for ever and it in this case nitro powered helicopters are almost a thing of the past. We can thank the EPA for its demise and the rules and regulations they placed on manufacturing nitro methane. They are doing the same thing on lipo batteries and hazmat shipping costs.

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12-08-2016 03:56 PM  24 months agoPost 31
RM3

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Killeen, Texas - USA

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when was the last time you saw a drone do an autorotation????
yeah valid point... but we dont fly helis cause they auto...

so when was the last time you saw a hobby grade heli sold at a Walmart, the gas station, Best Buy, the Mall, EVERY hobby store, EVERY kids toy store, Sky Mall (yeah really), QVC...

When was the last time you ever saw a Heli make it to a sports channel like ESPN?

Helis are taking a distant back seat to drones... they are going back to what they used to be.... obscurity. wont die off, just a very very tiny niche market.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

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12-08-2016 03:57 PM  24 months agoPost 32
wc_wickedclown (RIP)

rrProfessor

long beach calif

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maybe your mines are here to stay.

Watch at YouTube

Insha Allah made in america

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12-12-2016 12:00 AM  24 months agoPost 33
paintermike

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Seattle, WA-United States

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I don't see helis going away. Not unless an equivalent comes out that is in some way superior. When I say superior I mean the way they fly as well as the ease of fixing and setting up and also the price of parts. Sure a person could easily argue drones are superior on parts counts and therefore cost and ease of fixing but they are in no way equal when it comes to the way they fly. Not even close, no comparison as far as I'm concerned. Same with planks. So that still leaves us with just helis.

People talk about the learning curve and costs as the downfall to helis but I'd argue those are the traits that will keep them around. For me the learning curve was what had me addicted. The fixing, the flying...the drama. Every moment of it I was having a blast. I didn't think there would ever be a time when I wouldn't make all my purchasing decisions based on the reality that I'd crash sooner than later. Thus I kept practicing. And low and behold next thing you know I'm crashing at a mere fraction of my flights. When I do crash it's usually due to a mechanical failure or not having the heli tuned properly (more so with nitro of cours). And no, it's not for lack of flying hard. Thus the hobby has in fact become very affordable. This is something I never foresaw coming.

And yet the irony of it is that it's just not as fun as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I still love flying and working on my skills but it's just that now things kind of feel rote and routine. It's lost a lot of the discovery and mystery that it once had. Despite this the flying aspect is still more challenging than anything else out there, hands down. Thus it will always provide me with the motivation needed to get back out onto the field.

But in the end there will always be people attracted to challenges and new discoveries and the the gratification hard work and diligence brings. At the same time there will also always be people attracted to convenience and the comfort of ease. This is why there will always be something like an rc heli that coexists with things like drones and rc land vehicles.

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12-12-2016 01:50 AM  24 months agoPost 34
Aileron

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Spring Grove, Illinois USA

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I think helicopters went through years with a small group of loyal enthusiasts. The heli boom began when Hirobo came out with the Shuttle, then the Shuttle Z and ZX. Molded plastic and modern helicopter engines made it possible for lots of RCer's who flew planes to get into helicopters without the need of a machine shop to make airframes and parts. That was the late 1980's.

In the early 1990's, Thunder Tiger perfected mass-produced plastic frame helicopters that were affordable, like the original Raptor 30-V1. Then, Thunder Tiger released the Raptor V2 and flying fields all over the country had guys that were flying their Raptor along with their airplane. Radios specifically for helicopters were made by JR and Futaba. Performance and reliability improved.

Electric powered helicopters appeared in the mid- 2000's. Their popularity lead to small, light, easy to fly fixed-pitch choppers and then full blown collective pitch helps that, using the new out runner motors and li-po batteries made electric practical.

Old heli pilots, like me who had my first helicopter in 1973, like the smoke, smells and lots of noise of nitro power. Electric is clean, powerful and precise. I have recent manufactured electric choppers, but I am finding it very difficult the find parts for my nitro's that are of the 2005-07 vintage. Hobby shops that specialize in helicopter kits and parts have gone out of business like HeliProz, Ron Lund and Al's Hobby Shop fighting the competition from the internet.

Yes, helicopters are decreasing in popularity. Thanks to manufacturers like Blade and Align, the hobby is alive, but not booming like it once was. We can all do our part to share our helicopter flying with people that don't. Help them to see that it does not take the same enormous investment it once did. Radios can program both planes and choppers these days. That's money saved. Blade can get you flying for around $270. Show your enthusiasm and hope it is contagious.

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12-12-2016 02:32 AM  24 months agoPost 35
wc_wickedclown (RIP)

rrProfessor

long beach calif

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i have more than 790 pilot friend on my Facebook page and growing

Insha Allah made in america

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12-12-2016 02:57 PM  24 months agoPost 36
DroneCapt

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fl

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I remember people saying that tail gyros were never going to be a thing either,they thought that was half the "fun" of flying the helicopter,and that AM radios will never go out of style.
Bottom line helicopters are going out of style and flying them is less a challenge than ever before.

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12-12-2016 04:20 PM  24 months agoPost 37
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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Are RC helicopters going away??
Depends on what you mean by going away.

They will always be here - just not in the way they were in the recent past. It might be more accurate to say they are returning to as they were in the more distant past. When I began flying helicopters they were an extremely niche market. I never flew my helicopter without at least someone saying they had never seen a model heli fly before. To my mind there was an unsustainable and possibly inexplicable boom beginning in the early 2000s. What I see now is just a return to normalcy.

Are RC helicopters going away? Consider this: People still fly gas/ignition Free Flight airplanes. At one point in history FF was the only form of modeling. 100+ years later it is not what it once was but there is still a devout and measurable number of modelers that fly FF. http://www.antiquemodeler.org/

The same could be said for Control Line models. When I started modeling, everyone got into the hobby with CL models. Everyone. If you had deep pockets you could start with a .19 or even a big block .36. Most of us had to settle for an .049. Today control line is less than it once was but it is far from gone. http://www.macasite.org/

The list of such examples is pretty long. Will building balsa models go away? Will Silk and dope go away? Will AMA pattern go away? Again, the list is long of areas of this hobby that have receded from their peak but are still here and well loved.

It would be extremely myopic to say, "Because we are seeing the influx of new modelers that entered the hobby in the last 10 years leave as quickly as they came, model helicopters are dying". I would say model helicopters are contracting to a more normal level.

Model helicopters may someday occupy the same space as Free Flight and Control Line models, but they will never die completely.

One man's opinion.

Bill

"Well, nothing bad can happen now."

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12-12-2016 04:26 PM  24 months agoPost 38
jharkin

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Holliston, MA - USA

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and I hate to say this but likely to levels akin to the ratio of helis and planks were in 2000 or even earlier.
That would be a good thing. There where MANY times more companies making kits in the late 90s, very early 00s than there are today. Especially on the plank side.

-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks

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12-12-2016 10:47 PM  24 months agoPost 39
PaulBowen

rrKey Veteran

Victoria, Australia.

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Good to read some very semsible posts.

At the end of the day we need to remember what attracted us to this hobby to begin with and continue to enjoy ourselves. I'm going to reduce my fleet to just my Hirobo Turbulence D3v2, Hirobo Freya Evo OPII and my JR Ergo 30. I may buy another electric at some point but it would have to be pretty interesting (Takumi) or maybe scale. Alternatively maybe not electric, perhaps a Whiplash-G II.

I would prefer to support the manufacturers who put in the hard yards and are devoted to developing reliable quality products.

I would like people to have another go flying a quality flybar heli again and see how good it feels. I was suprised. Humans love change for changes sake to the detriment of why we started in the first place. Developing the hobby to the point where we no longer have a role.

As a commercial helicopter pilot I am obsessed with helicopters. The way I see it most of those leaving the hobby are not really particularly interested in helicopters. We are returning to normality. I actually fly often with the RC aeroplane flyers because they are actual aero-sexuals like me. The heli flyers at our local field are the ultra awesome, super extreme 3d guys who wouldn't know an AS350 from a Bell 206. They can continue their smack and crash but I won't be joining them again. I can perfectly understand why the plank flyers can't stand them. (BTW, not sure about anywhere else but smack is heroin around here. Something not to be admitted to in public.) They came and they will eventually go, sooner or later.

I love the flybar. A mechanical system designed to both amplify control inputs and exert stability on a rotor system with no electronic interference.

I love glow engines. These are amazing miniature engines designed for the sole purpose of allowing miniature vehicles to be driven with "minimal" fuss. These are what I would marvel at as a child and could only dream of affording.

We are very luck to be able to afford to be a part of this and should therefore also support the manufacturers who deserve to be supported. I would argue that some do not.

Anyway thats my 2 cents worth for the moment. All just observation and opinion.

Futaba T18SZ, Hirobo fanatic!

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12-13-2016 11:08 AM  24 months agoPost 40
Four Stroker

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Atlanta

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I agree with what Paul. But then again the best times of my life were the space race and the cold war. I don't give a damn about 3D or drones. RC started as a build and maintain your own equipment hobby. Now it is buy it and fly it. The accomplishment is the buying. There is no appreciation or understanding of where stuff comes from.

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