Best helicopter drones for sale reviews 2023 – find out which helicopter drones are best to buy. Popular brands of helicopter drones are reviewed in this article.
Before we start with this short but (hopefully!) useful list of RC helicopter drones, let’s explain a bit about the rationale behind our selection. According to our opinion, the following are some of the top drones in the helicopter drone category not by virtue of their being features-rich or for offering excellent flight time.
Since, let’s face it, RC helicopters are basically toys. You can indeed get some $100+ models that come with some fancy features and a built-in camera, etc. However, if you’re ready to spend more than 100 bucks on your drone, why go for a helicopter drone and not a quadcopter? (Recommended: check out our listing of the best quadcopter drones)
There are some devices in this category that do offer photography (some offer videos as well!), fancy acrobatics and so on. However, it is a given that you will crash your RC helicopter sooner or later (and multiple times at that!) because forget the features, these are basically toy-grade models used either by children or by complete beginners only looking to get their toes wet in the world of drone. And as such, we see little reason in spending anything in the upwards of $70 for a model of this category.
Due to these reasons, our selection has been primarily determined by two factors: the durability of the models and the availability of spare parts. And the next consideration was price. Several of our recommended helicopter drones come from the company Syma. The latter come in sturdy metal or plastic frames and are more durable than most other helicopter drones. The spare parts for Syma products again are available without much difficulty. And finally, the brand offers extremely competitive price for their models.
Well, now with the explanation out of the way, here’s our list of top helicopter drones all of which give you excellent value for money.
1. Syma S107
You can use this drone either for indoor or outdoor use. The drone comes with a 6-8 minutes flight time and a flight range of 10 meters. Thanks to its gyroscopic technology, beginners will find it easy enough to fly and control the drone. Don’t expect dazzling speed or amazing acrobatics, but considering its super cheap price (a mere $20), the model functions decently enough and is the perfect choice for those looking to get the hang of flying. There are blinking LED lights and a 32-level speed controller and the rotors of the drone will shut off by themselves when the copter crashes or lands heavily. The charge time is about 20 minutes and we will recommend that you keep some spare batteries on hand. The model runs on 6 AA batteries.
All in all, a great model for children and complete beginners.
Pros & Cons
• Compact and lightweight
• Extremely low price
• 3-channel transmitter
• Durable and sturdy frame for such a conveniently priced model
• A bit noisy for comfort
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2. Syma S39
Again, we will recommend this model primarily for its great resilience. Thanks to its anti-collision, sturdy metal alloy body, the drone will suffer little damage even after many crashes. So, ideal for beginners, for little kids and for indoor use. It is the priciest model on our list and most of those extra bucks you pay are responsible for making the model more durable than most RC helicopter drones available in the market. Otherwise, the flight time and the flight range are pretty much the same as what you get with the previous model.
Again, there is the gyro stabilizer that makes for an easy flying experience. Also, the infrared control lets you perform some basic but fun left-right, up-down and forward-backward movements. The model runs on lithium polymer batteries.
Pros & Cons
• Extremely durable
• Dual frequencies and a 3.5-channel transmitter
• Jammed function and reverse connect protection for added safety
• Considering the price, we might have expected slightly better flight range and/or time
3. Syma S109G
This traditional army green model is basically a slightly improved version of S107 and is another great option as a beginner helicopter drone. The model with brushed motors runs on lithium polymer batteries and comes with the same easy to fly and stable flight characteristics that are a hallmark of all Syma helicopter drones. Another great thing about the model is that it comes with a more than decent flight time (15 minutes) for a drone of this price point.
Pros & cons
• Durable, heavy metal body
• Simple controller layout
• Easy orientation
• Better flight time
• No landing skids which make it somewhat difficult to land the drone on smaller surfaces
4. S977 Metal Gyro
This model features 6 channels, steel body construction, high resolution built in camera, gyroscope for stability, and a sleek charcoal gray paint scheme. It also comes with wall charger, a lithium ion battery, and a micro SD card for recording. The length is 11 inches and the width is 6 inches. It features dual rotor blades and comes with a spare blade. It also features an LED light.
Price: $40 to $70
Pros: Comes with most accessories, is easy to set up and use. It’s priced right for entry level users and those with more experience. Comes with a spare set of rotor blades.
Cons: less suited for outdoor flight. Spare parts are not as easy to get as other models.
What buyers say: This drone helicopter can take bumps into objects without leaving any marks. It has a relatively long flight time of 7 to 10 minutes.back to menu ↑
5. Blade 130X BNF
This copter features a multi channel control, single rotor blade, controller, a lithium ion rechargeable battery, and several color schemes, like blue/yellow or red/black. While it’s an entry level drone, it features many aspects of more expensive and advanced models. It’s designed mostly as an indoor model.
Price: Just under $40
Pros: Can be used outdoors. It can withstand winds and withstands bumps into solid objects without hurting the paint or making a dent. It has an average battery life for a drone. It makes a great model for entry level users who want to get into flying a drone helicopter.
Cons: There is no video camera. The helicopter drone has no lights for night flying. The micro SD card must be purchased separately. Comes with the wall charger.
What buyers say: This model is a good value for the money. Some buyers feel the copter would be a better value if it came with the micro SD card.back to menu ↑
6. UDI U13A
This helicopter drone features aluminum body construction, dual rotor blades, charger, 6 channels for control, gyroscope, and LED light for night flying. It also comes with spare blades, a lithium ion battery, wall charger, and a built in high resolution camera. It comes in a gunmetal gray color with white and red emblems on both sides of the body. It has a small, sleek design when compared to other models. It is not recommended for beginners, as it comes with many advanced control options.
Price: just under $40
Pros: This model is solid and sturdy. It comes in a realistic paint scheme and design. A wall charger and micro SD card come in the package as well.
Cons: It can be flown outdoors, but is not specified solely for outdoor use. Most buyers use this model indoors.
What buyers say: Overall, buyers are satisfied with this model, including the nearly 10 minute flight time and the video quality. Parts are easy to find and reasonably priced. It is said to be one of the top models in its category and is highly ranked in several categories.back to menu ↑
7. Odyssey Flying Nighthawk
This copter features a single rotor blade, black with blue striping design, high quality metal body, built in gyroscope, SD card, and 3 channel operation. It’s also powered by 3 motors, including one located in the tail. It comes with an LED light and colored lights along the tail. It is 12 inches long, and a recording video camera that’s easy to use by novices.
Price: Just under $120
Pros: Sleek, professional looking design. Easy to set up and use. Take video clips at any height. The lights in the tail make the video seem brighter. Larger 1Gb SD card. This model is relatively quiet in operation. It can be used in indoor and outdoor settings.
Cons: Runs on 6 AA batteries. They may need to be changed frequently. Landing struts do not hold up, whether used indoors or outdoors. They tend to bend or break with somewhat harder landings. Buyers feel the struts are too weak, compared to the rest of the drone.
What buyers say: Buyers like the look and maneuverability of this drone. However, they don’t like the poor quality of the plastic landing struts. It is quick to set up and use out of the box.back to menu ↑
Selecting a Helicopter Drone
While helicopter drones come in all sizes and colors, the best models look realistic and maneuver like real helicopters. The key points to keep in mind when buying a helicopter drone are quality of the materials, price, and availability of spare parts. They are electronically operated items and as such, are prone to breakdown. There are drones in every price range, including models for the budget-minded or those who are new to drone operation. Some models come with additional tail lights or designs that mimic the real thing. Others come with higher resolution cameras, for cleaner, crisper video and images.
Regardless of which drone you choose, consider the build as well as the features, when comparing models in each price range. With so many models available, it should not be difficult to find a helicopter drone in the price range you’re looking at, while also getting most of the desired features. Realistic looking flyers tend to be gunmetal gray with color stripes on the side. Many of today’s copters mimic the streamlined, sleek newer models on the market today.
Drones come with a range of features, to satisfy nearly every enthusiast or hobby drone operated. Some uses, such as property or livestock surveillance, require a much longer run time from the battery and clearer video or images. If these features are important, you will want a model with a decent camera, which makes it easier to monitor and freeze the clips you want to investigate further. Many cameras come with the SD card, whether a full version or the mini version. With other drone models, the SD cards must be purchased separately.
When buying a drone helicopter, make sure to review a parts and accessories list. Another factor to consider is size. Some models are much smaller and more compact than others. As many these models are light, it may be a good idea to find one that can withstand high winds, if you plan on using the drone outdoors.
Reviews can help buyers decide which drone models are likely to be best suited for their needs. More features don’t necessarily make the drone easier to operate. However, when someone has been at the beginner level for a while, it may be time to move into a newer model with more features.back to menu ↑
What is a Helicopter Drone?
Helicopter drones are flying machines that look like conventional helicopters. They can have one or two rotors with blades and always have a smaller tail rotor. They can be remotely controlled like other flying machines and can often be maneuvered quite easily in several directions. Some can be controlled through apps on a tablet or mobile device.
There are many different sizes and models of helicopter drones available, so they can be flown by hobbyists and children. Professionals use them with mounted cameras for property or livestock surveillance. Many of the top models come with a variety of additional features. Some come with battery chargers as well as extra blades or rotors.
Helicopter drones should not be confused with RC copters, which are basically toys for children and hobbyists to enjoy. The drones come with a receiver, which is controlled with the remote or wireless through a mobile device. While many people fly helicopter drones for enjoyment, the most serious buyers likely want them for surveillance. It’s also fun to see the surrounding landscape from the air, for those why fly them for pleasure.
Some users take their drones to competitions to show off the navigation skills. There are many different reasons for buying and flying drones, whether for a hobby or for professional use. Many models come with LED lights, so they can be flown after dark. Some features multi-colored lights in the tail, to resemble the real models.
The price of helicopter drones varies greatly. Lower priced models for beginners start at around $40. There are glow in the dark models and models with LED lights to help users control the copters after dark. Many models come with wireless capabilities to work with mobile devices. Those models typically start at around $200 or slightly less. Some of the most advanced and most multi-functional copters are priced around $500 and can cost as much as $1,500 or more. Whether you’re a hobbyist or need a helicopter drone for business use, they are affordable and many are durable enough to sustain a crash with little to no damage. Some high end models used for business purposes can cost as much as $1,000 or more, depending on capabilities, design, and features.
When selecting the right helicopter drone, specific use and the age or experience of the user should be considered. Beginning users and children can start developing their skills with a lower priced machine. They will still be able to get a feel for how the controls work and how to capture video on the camera. Viewing while operating the copter drone is another challenge for beginners. A moderately priced copter with easy to use controls is suggested for beginners, at least until their skills develop or they require something with more features.
Those with experience will likely be more interested in advanced features. This means the models available with the desired features are likely to be priced higher than basic models. However, there are other issues many drone operators must consider as well. Some camera models don’t work with certain drones or won’t work with certain apps, particularly older camera models. This should be taken into account when selecting a drone specifically for surveillance. Some apps have greater capabilities of working with different camera models. If a buyer already has a camera, a model that will work with that specific camera is always a better option.
Difference between a helicopter drone and a quadcopter drone
A helicopter drone is what the name implies. It looks like a helicopter on a miniature scale. Many come with features that allow them to fly just as a real copter would. A quadcopter, on the other hand, looks nothing like a traditional helicopter. It tends to look more futuristic. Quadcopters are multi-directional and don’t have a nose or tail. The forward direction is usually the way the camera is pointing.
Helicopter drones have a distinct nose and a tail, just like real helicopters. Quadcopers have a center and four wings, each with its own bladed and rotor. Both take some practice to fly successfully. Quadcopters offer slightly more maneuverability than helicopters, but both can be flown with ease after gaining some experience with them in a variety of settings.