Radio-controlled helicopters are great fun to play with outside, but even in the most experienced hands; breaks, bumps and wear damage will materialise. This guide will help you, the buyer; find parts and accessories for your radio-controlled helicopter on eBay,, the site with the widest market available.
Buying Parts and Accessories
Before looking for parts and accessories for the radio-controlled helicopter, the buyer should consider:
- Price – prices will vary depending on brand, item, and condition. The buyer should consider how much they are happy to spend on repairs or accessorising the aircraft.
- Condition – items are available new, used, or even refurbished, and prices will vary in accordance with these.
- Parts – specifically, which ones? If buying to fix a problem then buyers should identify the problem and what parts will fix it before searching.
- Accessories – there are many accessories available for radio control helicopters, and the buyers should consider which items they need.
Radio Control Helicopter Parts
There are many radio control helicopter parts for sale, and depending on the problem with the helicopter, many small parts may be needed to conduct repairs. This is a brief overview of the parts available on eBay, and their function.
- Remote Control – including a transmitter (i.e. a handheld control box) and a receiver (a chip that goes inside the helicopter), the remote control is used to issue commands to the helicopter through the receiver.
- Motor – the item that drives the helicopter rotary blades, the brushless motor used by most remote control helicopters are prone to wear out quickly due to design, despite being more efficient than older motors.
- Rotor Blades – the rotating blades used to actually move the helicopter, these are most frequently damaged by crash landings. There are different shape blades for the top (called the main blades) and tail of the helicopter.
- Servo – servos (short for servomotor) convert commands from the receiver into movement, commanding movement in the motor and blades. The movement in proportion (meaning that the helicopter will only move as much as it is commanded to) and the use of a servo allows for precise control over the helicopter. Servos tend to be damaged from everyday wear or after crashes.
- Gears and Gear Boxes – gears control the movements of the rotary blades, and often come inside the servos, however buyers are able to buy separate gears, gear boxes and shafts to replace other small parts. Gears tend to wear if they are made of plastic due to the heat that the driving engine of a helicopter can reach, buyers should try to buy metal gears.
- Bearings – used as part of the rotating parts to allow for smooth, frictionless movement. Bearings frequently need to be replaced due to wear, with the ball bearings suffering from overheating damage due to friction.
- Undercarriage – the frame the helicopter sits on when at rest; undercarriages are easy to replace and are often damaged in crashes or bad landings.
- Balance Bar – resting on top of the rotating blades, the balance bar provides exactly that – balance and stability to the motor and reducing the effects of wind and turbulence. These, like many of the more delicate parts of a helicopter, are frequently broken during crashes.
- Canopy – the ‘body’ of the helicopter, canopies often contain weights in the noses to provide the correct balance of weight for flying correctly. Canopies are usually plastic and may crack or break completely during crash landings.
- Batteries – the power source for most remote control helicopters, alkali batteries, need to be replaced frequently after use. The quality of the batteries and their materials affects their life span. NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries are rechargeable, and are favoured by radio control helicopter pilots due to long-term savings in battery costs.
- Fuel – some radio control helicopters, however, are actually powered by burning fuel much like a car. The nitro fuel, which by most helicopter enthusiasts is called ‘Glow Fuel’ (nitromethane ethanol), is used by most fuel-burning helicopters. It burns much hotter than regular petrol, and also means that helicopters must be allowed to cool down between flights for much longer than battery-powered helicopters.
- Gyro – or a gyroscope to give it its proper name, is a small black box within the engine of the helicopter that will detect yaw (left or right swinging). The sensor will then send an electric command to the tail rotor’s servo to adjust and stop the movement. Gyros make flying much easier, and may be damaged during crashes.
Radio Control Helicopter Accessories
Accessories are an ideal way to personalise your helicopters, with various items available not only to make your helicopter look great but also to help its owner. Buyers should note that a large amount of accessories may alter the weight of the helicopter or unbalance its centre of gravity, so tread with caution. This will make flying harder, or shorten the flight time due to power consumption. The following is a list of accessories that can be purchased for a radio control helicopter:
- Decals – also known as transfers, decals are available already on canopies or individually in sheets.
- Lights – most frequently LEDs, these lights can be attached to the power source with wires not only to accessorise the helicopter but also to allow for flying during low light.
- Battery Charger – NiCd batteries are rechargeable, and if buying them the buyer will also need to purchase a charger for them. Battery chargers plug straight into the mains power, and then into the box the batteries are contained in.
Remote Control Helicopter Parts Sets
Remote control helicopter sets are an ideal way to get all the parts required at the minimum cost, with various sets covering most aspects of radio control helicopter repair. The following explains some helicopter parts sets:
- Blade Sets – often including several blades, including main and tail. These are the best way to get replacement blades as well as spares that complement each other.
- Battery Sets – available as a ready alkali battery pack, or with rechargeable NiCd batteries and a charger.
- Servo Sets – the best way to get a servo along with the accompanying parts, e.g. servo, crimp tool, and cables. All the parts needed to rebuild a working servo are generally included.
- Gear Sets – with several gears as well as shafts, rebuilding a working rotary system is easy with these sets.
When buying sets, it is advisable that the buyer checks what is included in the set from the photograph and accompanying description in the listing. If they have any questions about what the set includes, they should check with the seller and ask for further details if necessary.
Radio Control Helicopter Brands
There are many different brands in the radio control helicopter industry, and certain brand helicopters may not fit parts from other brands. When buying replacement parts the buyer should check the brand of the owned helicopter, and then the brand of the part listed.
The most popular and widely-represented brands on eBay are Align and Syma, and there are many parts available for these brands as well as brand-new helicopters. While the smaller parts such as gears and bearings will likely fit inside all brands of helicopter, when buying blades and motors the buyer should make sure that the parts will not only match the rest of the items but also that parts will fit inside their helicopter.
If they have any questions, it is advisable to ask the seller,, or check with radio control helicopter fan forums, which may be able to provide more advice.
Buying Radio Control Helicopter Parts and Accessories on eBay
With the huge range of parts and accessories available for every brand of radio control helicopter, eBay is the best place to ensure a purchase at a competitive price. When searching for parts and accessories on eBay, the buyer should consider:
- Price – prices will change from part to part and brand to brand, and buyers can adjust the search results to match their budget in search preferences. There are many parts and accessories available at both Auction and Buy It Now.
- Brand – search results can also be altered to reflect the brand desired, and this can assist the buyer in finding the part that exactly suits the helicopter.
- Condition – parts are available in a variety of conditions, including new, used and refurbished and prices will change to reflect the condition the part comes in.
- Local Sellers – local sellers are an ideal way to keep prices down, especially when buying large or a multitude of parts that will require expensive shipping.
If the buyer is in need of further advice on how to search eBay, then they should consult the Search Tips page for guidance. If they have any questions about the parts or accessories they see listed, they should not hesitate to Ask the Seller..
Radio Control Helicopters are only fun when working, and with all the different parts available it can be tough to identify what parts are actually needed. This guide will help buyers in their search for replacement parts as well as for the perfect accessory for their helicopter on eBay, the site with the best range and competitive pricing.
When searching for parts on eBay, it is advisable that buyers keep in mind that paying with PayPal is eBay’s recommended way to shop, with added security benefits as well as included eBay Buyer Protection..