My name is Rob Smith and I run an Ebay store called Robs R/C Heli Spares. Robs Helis R/C Heli Spares . I have been building, restoring and dealing in radio controlled helicopters for a number of years. I have stripped and put back together more helis than most people will see in a lifetime. The purpose of my store is to keep the old helicopters flying and give a back up service with advice, if needed. I am a helicopter enthusiast myself, and speak from personal experience.
A great deal of rubbish is written and passed around about the perils of buying second hand helicopters on Ebay. I am writing this guide to put the myths to bed, and spread the real truth about the subject.
If you are new to the hobby, don't be afraid to buy a second hand heli on Ebay. Ask plenty of questions before you buy. Check the feedback rating of the selller. When the heli arrives make sure to get it checked out by your local model club, flying club, or someone who is experienced enough to know what they are doing. These helicopters are not toys. They are dangerous and must be treated with respect. More information on safey and insurance can be found from the British Model Flying Association website.
When you are looking to buy your first heli, you need to be able to distinguish between Collectors helis and just plain old models. The collectors helicopter is a bit like a vintage or classic car. Lovely to look at, but you wouldn't want to drive ont to work every day. Parts are harder to come by and can be on the expensive side because of it. Avoid Morleys and Kalts.
There is nothing wrong with buying an older model, whether you are a newcomer or experienced flyer. Models I would definately recommend for the beginner would be the Nexus, Concept, Shuttle and Raptor. Go for 30 size. You can always go for bigger more expensive models as you progress. Get yourself a good set of carbon fibre training legs, as they will absorb the landing if you come down hard. Expect a few crashes, but don't be disheartened. It's all part of the learning process.
THE MYTHS -
Popular myth number one is that you can't get parts for Concept or Nexus models. NOT TRUE. Check out my shop and see the reality. I specialise in these helicopter spares, and there's certainly no shortage in my shop.
Myth number two. You can't get main gears for the Nexus. NOT TRUE. Kyosho are now re-manufacturing the main gears. They are in the shops now, and if you don't want new, there are plenty of second hand in my shop.
Myth number three. You can't get the shafts for Concept and Nexus. NOT TRUE. Robs R/C Heli Spares has commissioned a British engineering company to manufacture equivalent shafts. They are in stock now.
The benefits of the older model is that they are less expensive to buy, and you can buy cheap second hand parts on Ebay. If you want to go to a model shop and spend hundreds of pounds on a new model and all the kit, that's fine, but most newcomers won't.
And finally..............There are some great old models out there. Just remember that whatever model you go for, wherever you buy it from, do your homework first, be safe, and have fun!!!