The Raging Rotors Father’s Day Aircraft Buyer’s Guide!
Father’s Day is right around the corner, and what better way to put a smile on their face than getting them that RC flying machine he’s been looking for. Better yet, get him a ‘drone’ and he’ll be part of the hottest RC craze this year. Either way, I thought that a nice list of fun flying gifts for the Dad (or Dad-like person) in your life would be the best way to save the hassle in finding the perfect gift! Read More to see what makes the list in this year’s guide!
Disclaimer: As much as I love TONS of RC aircraft, I really had to make this list SHORT. So I created 3 categories: $100 or Less, $101-200, and $201+, and in each category I chose 1 Helicopoter, 1 Multirotor, and 1 Airplane that would make a great gift. Feel free to add any other ideas to the comments; we always love to hear from you guys!
Group 1: $100 or less
Helicopter: As a way to get someone into the hobby while also providing a ‘Scale’ look, I recommend the Ares MD500 coaxial helicopter. While restricted to indoors (or VERY, VERY light or ZERO wind outdoors), it is a great starter with all the control of a higher skill fixed pitch helicopter. Pick one of these up at a local HobbyTown for $89.
Multirotor: Still the biggest seller at most LHS, the best budget multirotor out there is the Estes ProtoX. Perfect for personal flight or ‘cubicle warfare,’ this tiny quad packs quite the punch. The main gyroscope is so strong, this quad will right itself in air if tossed in the air before throttling up. Find this quadcopter on the shelf now for $40, and find our product spotlight Right Here.
Airplane: For a plane that is simple to start with but will expand with your skill set, I recommend the Ares Taylorcraft 130 airplane. Ready-to-Fly for $100, this plane starts as a brushed, no rolling plane. You can upgrade the wing to add ailerons (roll), and a brushless kit for more power. Many crashes will be easy fixes: lots of the parts are held together by strong magnets, getting you back into the air quickly. More details about the plane can be found Right Here.
Group 2: $101-200
Helicopter: For the pilot looking to start into stunt flying, there is nothing like the Blade Nano CPx to provide a light yet powerful platform to start with. Good for indoor or outdoor flight, the Nano CPx will give you the challenge of collective pitch flight in an impressive package. The Ready-To-Fly package is available for $120, and more specs can be found here.
Multirotor: LaTrax is a small fish in a big pond when it comes to aircraft, but this wouldn’t be a true Buyer’s Guide without the Alias quadcopter. This tank of a quadcopter has working lights on the arms, 3 flight modes, an auto-stunt button, as well as great flight times with the 650mah LiPo battery. Now that all parts are available (and a camera coming out by July), this is well worth the $150 and all the features can be seen by clicking the link.
Airplane: Ares RC offers a great plane platform for beginning and experienced pilots. The Gamma 370 series is a top-wing style trainer plane that comes in two flavors: a brushed, 3-channel (no ailerons, so no barrel-rolls) plane and a brushless, 4-channel plane. The 3-channel is available in a Ready-To-Fly for $130 and the 4-channel is $200. They can be found online and at local HobbyTown stores, and more of their features can be found right here.
Group 3: $201 and BEYOND!!
Helicopter: For that extra special person in your life, give them a great training helicopter: the Blade 200 SRx. Boosted with the power of SAFE gyroscopic technology, this fixed-pitch (non stunt) helicopter has a panic switch to save you from certain gravitational doom. Brushless and ready for flight, pick up this helicopter for $260 and see our article on the other great features Right Here.
Multirotor: Continuing the SAFE system pattern, I won’t go without touting my favorite quad: the Blade 350QX. Complete with multiple modes of flight, GPS Return-to-Home, Mounting hardware for a GoPro, as well as a Blade brand gimbal (camera stabilizer) coming towards the end of the month this quad is easy and fun to learn to fly, as well as a great camera platform. Hurry to the store now and pick this up for $470, and see the quad filming around my neighborhood earlier this month.
Airplane: For any scale flyer, I have found that FMS Planes show intricate details on all their warbirds. The larger scale planes (with wingspans over 900mm) also include full retract systems, running lights, and other features that make the plane much more realistic in flight and looks. Available in many plane types, these Plug-n-Play (need battery, receiver/radio system) planes are a great addition to any scale flyer’s collection with prices starting around $210. Stop by your LHS or visit Diamond Hobby’s website for more details.
As always, feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments. In the coming days I can’t wait to discuss FPV using the FatShark Predator System, my product spotlight on the FlyTrex telemetry system, and more! Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!