History of Remote Control Helicopters

The remote control helicopters are controlled remotely by a handheld transmitter and a receiver built into the craft. The receiver controls the motors/servos which in turn controls the movement of the plane. Ancient Chinese people were playing with a handmade toy that would rise up into the air when spun rapidly. Leonardo da-vinci then made the earliest drawings of a machine we now call a helicopter. The groundbreaking invention of the internal combustion engine just before the 20th century made it possible for pioneers to create full size models. And in 1924, the French pioneer Etienne Oehmichen, was the first person to ever fly a helicopter within a monitored closed circuit. After that advances in their technology became fast and furious. By 1936, most of the early problems had been overcome and the first practical chopper was a reality.


Dieter Schulte was the first person to create a remote control helicopter in 1968. It took another ten years for a semi scale model to be introduced to the mainstream. But they were not mass produced till Dave Grey came up with the Du-Bro Whirlybird. The Whirlybird and a majority of the early versions of remote control helicopters were difficult and dangerous to fly. Achieving height and maintaining flight for a long period of time were some of the problems encountered by early versions created. This was due to the fact that to gain lift required a bigger engine which in turn required more fuel and this meant a heavier aircraft. Maneuvering turns was also another problem as the helicopter would end up spinning uncontrollably.

Recently Wallis Auto gyro introduced gyroscope technology which helped resolve the problem of endless spinning of the device when trying to maneuver corners. Gyroscope technology has eliminated the constant circling of the toy-bird as it can detect any yaw movement and return itself to a more stable position. This means that it is now easier for novices to use remote controlled helicopters.


The increase in technology has seen remote control helicopters becoming smaller and smaller with some of them able to fit right in the palm of your hand. These days, they are available at your local drug store with the more complex ones readily available online. There is a wider variety to choose from for every type of enthusiast and they are now even used for military purposes as spy planes or for commercial purposes like low altitude photography. Designs have also greatly improved with the inclusion of remote control helicopters which are endowed with collective pitches (blades that rotate longitudinally to vary or reverse the body’s lift). Though these models have proven to be more difficult to fly, they are more maneuverable aerodynamically speaking. There are also several power sources to choose from including electric, gasoline and nitro.

Originally, these miniature engines used to be methanol powered two-stroke engines but it is now more common to find brushless motors combined with a lithium polymer battery which provides for more efficiency, performance and a longer lifespan.