By Evan Ackerman
We’ve been inundated with all different kinds of crappy two and three channel helicopters, which are kinda fun, but after you figure out how not to crash them it becomes evident that not crashing them is just about the extent of their capabilities. This is because of the limited number of ways in which you can control the helicopter… With three channels, you can make it go up and down, and sort of left and right and forwards and backwards. Sort of.
Really, you need 5 channels to properly fly a R/C helicopter: pitch, roll, yaw, throttle, and blade pitch. But you can tie the blade pitch to the throttle (both make the helicopter go up and down) and then you only need 4 channels to make everything work, which is what you get with the E-Flite Blade mCX helicopter. At $120, it’s significantly more expensive than the cheap 3 channel models, but it’s the least you’re paying for a real (i.e. fully controllable) R/C helicopter, and one that comes completely ready to fly, with the controller. And once you’ve mastered the mCX, E-Flite makes an entire lineup that you can continue to practice not crashing on.