Your Guide to Buying Radio Control Helicopter Accessories

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Your Guide to Buying Accessories for Your Radio Control Helicopter

Introduction

When looking for new accessories for a radio control helicopter on eBay be careful not to over invest in equipment that, whilst appearing to be interesting simply do not add any value to the flying experience. Furthermore make sure that the accessories are compatible with the helicopter and will not adversely affect the flying performance of the helicopter.

Accessories for Your Radio Controlled Helicopter

To change the look and feel of the helicopter is all about aesthetics; it will generally not change the flight performance in any way.

When buying accessories that do affect the flight, much depends upon the experience and ability of the operator. If the flier is not particularly experienced but wants to upgrade the performance of the helicopter then it is wise to do it gradually and not take steps that will be expensive and possibly reduce the overall enjoyment of flying the helicopter.

The basic components of a radio control helicopter are as follows:

The helicopter itself

  • The engine
  • Main blades
  • Tail blades (tail decorations)
  • Balance bar
  • Connect buckle
  • Inner shaft
  • Battery
  • Remote transmitter
  • Aerial

The term ‘accessories’ covers distinctive tapes and paints through to camera attachments and light fittings.

There are some accessories that are outside the performance and aesthetic categories like cameras and tool sets which will either give a different angle to the fun of the hobby or become part of the radio control enthusiasts collection as they up grade and change models.

Other accessories worth consideration are useful security and protective additions like padded boxes and safety components to protect the helicopter when a pilot is just starting out. There is a huge range of tools and tool kits that can also add to the enjoyment of preparing the helicopter for flight.

As a general rule buy accessories of the best possible quality and make sure they are really required. Cheap batteries for example can seem like a great deal until the model runs out after a short period of time and its time to pack up and go home. Buy good quality brands that have a reputation to protect. This applies to the helicopter itself as much as the parts and accessories..

Accessories on eBay

Researching the different offers available on eBay is worth investing some time in because there is always a deal to be struck and a good understanding of the market means money can be saved. The radio controlled helicopter community has a solid presence on eBay and expert advice on what parts and accessories to can be found from many of the sellers. The experiences of others are hugely valuable and there are a lot of enthusiasts worldwide who take great pleasure in sharing their knowledge and giving their point of view; talk to the sellers.

When buying accessories much depends on the size, make and model of the aircraft and so establish the brand and model of the helicopter. Take time finding the correct numbers for accessories and spare parts as this will help to quickly identify availability and the suitability of the accessory to the helicopter in question.

Brands to look out for that can generally be trusted and will have a good range of accessories are:

  • Buzz Fly
  • King
  • Lama
  • Blade
  • Walkera
  • Honey Bee
  • Dauphin
  • Micron
  • Cinestar
  • Hubson

These cover a large range of model sizes, types and flying systems. They also cover a huge range of prices.

Remote Control Helicopter Engines

Electric

Powered by Lithium batteries the electric option has all kinds of advantages. It is

  • clean
  • simple
  • arguably the most environmentally friendly of all the engine options

Furthermore it is extremely reliable, has no tuning or fuel distribution issues. The noise levels of the electric RC helicopters are generally much lower than any other options, which in certain flying areas is very important. The electric engines tend not to vibrate and so last much longer and do not suffer the stresses and strains of other engine types. For all this the batteries are very expensive and do not offer long flying time.

  • The batteries do need to be recharged and so to take a helicopter out for the day does require quite a few batteries and the charging gear.
  • The lithium batteries if not properly looked after can be quite liable to catch fire so great care has to be taken with them.

The Nitro

Nitro engines are the preferred choice of many more experienced RC fliers. The very simple mechanism is easy to work with, is relatively cheap and does really last. This type of engine is also extremely durable and strong and doesn’t seem to get damaged in crash situations as much as other engines genres.

Downside to Nitro

  • Very noisy
  • Gives of some very strong smells and
  • Quite messy and difficult to tune to the right level

The technical side of this engine type appeals to the more technically experienced radio control enthusiast as all the difficulties the engine throw up are actually part of the enjoyment. It is also much easier to up grade and add accessories to than many other sorts of engine so the enthusiast can really get stuck into the engine and get under the bonnet. The fuel tank can also be a small issue as it can affect the centre of gravity on the aircraft and so cause balancing problems and performance can be affected. The Nitro is relatively cheap compared to some of the electric models and can be easily and quickly refueled before embarking on another flight.

Petrol

Petrol engines are a generally cleaner and less dirty than Nitro engines but do pose more of a challenge than electric. Noise levels and resultant vibrations are lower as the engine runs more steadily at lower revs, which obviously reduces the vibrations. The fuel is petrol with 2 stroke oil which is simple to find and relatively cheap. The engine is generally easy to start and because it runs at a much less frantic RPM the flying time is much longer because of the fuel efficiency found with the engine.

Downsides to Petrol

As with all engines it does have its down sides. With Petrol engines:

  • One problem is that it has the lowest power to weight ratio of all the engine types.
  • Secondly, it is generally a harder engine to find in a wide range of model sizes.
  • It is more expensive and there are fewer engines to choose from.
  • Thirdly the models tend to be much heavier and do much more damage when they crash.

Turbine

This is a very expensive option and is as close to the real helicopter engine. Scientifically speaking they are actually relatively simple in mechanical terms but they are much more complex than the Nitro, petrol or electric models.

  • They are best in really big radio control models as they are far more powerful and are generally used by seasoned pilots with loads of experience.
  • They have virtually no vibration due to the fact that there is no exhaust pulse and as a result no reciprocating piston mass.
  • Parts and accessories are hard to find and very few companies specialise in them.

Other Accessories

Blades and Rotors

 Generally made of fibreglass these parts are quite delicate. As they are at the extremities of the helicopter they are often the easiest thing to break or bend.

Transporting and storing the helicopter is worth thinking about as they are often damaged when not being flown but being rattled about in a cupboard or the back of the car. There are a range of padded aluminum boxes at a large range of sizes that can be bought to fit the helicopter in question and this can be a very sensible accessory to buy.

  • Replacement parts and accessories to search if required are:
  • Starter shafts, undercarriages and starter adapters.
  • Rotor heads, blade holders, swash plates, main and rotor shafts
  • Main frames and bearings are crucial to the performance of the radio controlled helicopter so again it is worth buying the best possible quality to ensure a longer life and decent strength.
  • Pitch gauges and meters
  • Cameras and camera fittings
  • Colour tapes and quality acrylic paint.

Buying accessories is always great fun but spend the money on the important areas of the helicopter that will make it fly well and respond to the touch as required. Do not be tempted by expensive and irrelevant gizmos.

Buying Accessories for Your Radio Control Helicopter on eBay

Now that you've worked out which Accessories for your Radio Control Helicopter you want, find them quickly on eBay. To start shopping, go to the Toys & Games category, Radio-Controlled&  and click the Helicopters portal then Parts & Accessories..

Categories

The Categories list on the left side of each page will help narrow down the listings by item type. There are links for brands such as:  Align, SymaRaptor, KyoshoWalkera& and CNC..

Product Finder

Use the Radio Controlled Helicopter Accessories Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, model and condition (new or used).

Keyword Search

Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if looking to find new Radio Controlled Helicopter Accessories, type the keywords "Radio Controlled Helicopter Accessories new" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click, "Search title and description" to expand the results. Visit eBay's Search Tips ppage for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now,, or save a search oon My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy Accessories for Your Radio Controlled Helicopter with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know the Item

  • Read the details in the item listing carefully.
  • Remember to add delivery costs to the final price. If buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.
  • For more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.
  • Always complete a transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.
  • Never pay for an eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

Know the Seller

Research the seller to feel safe and positive about every transaction.

  • What is the seller’s Feedback rating? 
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • How many positive responses do they have?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? 
  • Are they positive about the seller?
  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.
  • Do they offer a money-back guarantee? 
  • What are their terms and conditions?

Buyer Protection

In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection covers your purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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