8 Best RC RTF (Ready to Fly) Helicopters

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RC pilots love to fly more than anything. This guide looks at the growing demand for the RC helicopter RTF (ready to fly) models. The popularity of drones has also soared in recent years. The widespread appeal for drones, though, is aerial filming and photography. An RC helicopter is more about flying than it is filming. This guide reviews 8 RC whirlybirds for all budgets and skill levels.

Keep reading this short introduction if you’re new to RC helis. It only takes a few minutes and is sure to help you make a better buying decision. Or, jump to the reviews if you’re a skilled pilot who only wants to check out the latest models.

Budget
best-budget-rc-helicopter-rtf
Syma S109G RTF Heli
4.4/5.0
Heli Type: Coaxial
Flight Time: 8 minutes
Shatter-proof design, front-facing LEDs, fast USB charging time.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-rc-helicopter-rtf
Blade 70 S RTF Heli
4.5/5.0
Heli Type: Fixed-pitch
Flight Time: 5 minutes
Small and lightweight, sturdy composite frame, self-leveling.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-rc-helicopter-rtf
Blade 230 S V2 RTF Heli
4.7/5.0
Heli Type: Collective-pitch
Flight Time: 7 minutes
Panic button, impact resistant, brushless motors.
Check Amazon

Understanding RC Aircraft Jargon

The RC world uses a lot of acronyms and abbreviations. It’s important to know at least what the most used ones mean. They make reading descriptions quicker and save shoppers from making buying blunders. The one we’re using here is RTF which stands for Ready-to-Fly. That means the heli comes with everything you need to fly it right out of the box. RTF models are ideal for novice pilots.

ARF, BNF, and PNP

ARF means Almost Ready to Fly. These models need some extra things to complete. What other parts the craft needs depends on the model. All ARF helis arrive with a pre-built airframe. The components required to fly the bird can include things like servos, electronics, transmitter, and receiver. Always check the “Needed to Complete” list for parts and accessories with AFR helicopters.

BNF means the model is Bind-N-Fly. The only thing missing in the box is a transmitter (Tx). Users get to pick a Tx of their choosing and then bind it to the receiver.

PNP stands for Plug-N-Play. PNP model helicopters need transmitters, receivers, batteries, and chargers to complete.

All models on this page are Ready to Fly (RTF). Knowing the other terms is useful should you want to search for RC helicopters different to the ones here.

RC RTF Helicopter Buying Considerations

Ready to fly choppers are not equal. They can vary in price, type, features, and ease-of-use. Radio-controlled whirlybirds are harder to operate than drones and fixed-wing aircraft. That’s half the fun for Heli fans. Learning to control a fixed-pitch model is an excellent way to develop one’s piloting skills.

Here are the 3 categories of RC helicopters. I explain what they mean below the list:

  1. Beginner Pilots | toy-grade: coaxial system with 3–3.5 channels
  2. Intermediate Pilots | hobby-grade: fixed pitch arrangement with 4–6+ channels
  3. Advanced Pilots | hobby-grade: 6 channels, advanced heli kits

There is one product from the third category at the end of this guide.

#1 Coaxial (double-bladed) RC helicopters

Ready to Fly RC coaxial helicopters are double-bladed crafts—one above the other. The two rotors spin in opposite directions. This arrangement makes them far more stable and easier to fly than single-bladed choppers. That’s a huge attraction for novice pilots. The downside to coaxial helis are the flight restrictions. They can soon become tedious as new users develop skills and demand more challenge.

#2 Single rotor (fixed pitch) RC helicopters

Single rotor choppers have only one layer of blades and sport a more conventional look. They’re harder to control than coaxial models, but they provide more of everything. Fixed pitch helis have a weighted fly-bar and a built-in gyro. Despite that, they’re still more volatile than the coaxial options. They cost more too, but the rewards are worth the extra once pilots get good at flying them.

RC Heli Buying Considerations

Make a quick list of RC helicopter buying considerations based on the following points:

  • Age, skill level, and budget
  • Type of RC copter, i.e., coaxial, fixed pitch, collective pitch
  • Flight features and functions that matter to you
  • Maximum flying time on a single charge
  • Battery charging time
  • Cost of extra batteries and other spare parts
  • Maximum flight range

Add anything else you can think of that matters to you. You’re sure to come up with a few wants and preferences as you read the reviews.

About My ‘RC Helicopter RTF’ Guide

There are 8 short yet informative RC helicopter reviews on this page. I chose these models based on personal views, the opinions of industry experts, and real user feedback. My first three are by editor’s choice for Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The remainder is in price order from lowest to high. Our table below shows these superb models as they appear on the page.

RC Helicopters RTF Comparison Table

Make and ModelHeli TypeFlight TimePrice
Syma S109G 3.5CH Ready to Fly RTF RC HeliCoaxial8 minutesCheck Price
Blade 70 S Ready to Fly (RTF) HelicopterFixed-pitch5 minutesCheck Price
Blade 230 S V2 Ready to Fly RTF RC HelicopterCollective-pitch7 minutesCheck Price
KOOWHEEL RC Helicopter Ready to Fly (RTF)Coaxial8 minutesCheck Price
JJRC Crash Resistant JX01 RTF RC HelicopterCoaxial6 minutesCheck Price
WLtoys V911Ready to Fly (RTF) Mini RC HeliFixed-pitch5 minutesCheck Price
Blade E-flite mCX2 Ready to Fly (RTF) RC HeliCoaxial6 minutesCheck Price
Walkera V450D03 6CH RTF Heli w/ Devo7Collective-pitch10 minutesCheck Price

1. Syma S109G Ready to Fly RTF RC Heli | Best Budget

Syma S109G Ready to Fly RTF RC HeliView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The first RTF helicopter is the Syma S109G. This Best Budget pick is a coaxial type chopper with a military-style design. It’s an excellent first choice for younger pilots.

  • Best feature 1: Ready to fly (RTF) 3.5 channel beginner heli
  • Best feature 2: Suitable for outdoor/indoor flying
  • Plus points: Shatter-proof design, front-facing LEDs, fast USB charging time
  • Minus points: Short flight time, infrared (IR) controller

What We Like About the Syma S109G

Syma’s S109G heli is a ready to fly (RTF) model that gives novice pilots stable flying experiences. It flies inside and outdoors, but only on windless overcast days (see below). The S109G comes with a couple of bright, front-facing LEDs. Its body is shatterproof and the blades (props) are flexible. That’s the kind of build you want for a toy-grade model—one that stands up to those learner crashes.

The battery charges in one hour or less with the USB charger, and that’s quite decent. It’s also possible to cut the charging time down by around half using an AC wall charger (not included).

The Not So Good

The flight time on a single charge is around 8 minutes at best. That’s typical for a model in this class but still disappointing. It’s possible to swap the batteries to continue the fun, though. Note that flying in bright sunlight is not an option. That’s because the sun’s rays can interfere with the infrared transmitter. Also, don’t try to fly the heli in windy conditions as it’s far too light to control.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Coaxial (double-bladed)
Dimensions: 8.7 x 2.8 x 3.7”
Heli Weight: 14 oz.
Range: 30+ ft. (9+ meters)
Battery: 3.7V 150mAH Li-poly
Charging Time: 1 hour or less
Max Flight Time: 8 minutes
Radio Controller: Syma 3.5CH transmitter
The Pros
Ready to Fly 3.5CH
Beginner-friendly features
Suitable indoor flying
Shatter-proof design
Front-facing LEDs
Fast USB charging time
The Cons
Short flight time
Infrared (IR) controller

2. Blade 70 S Ready to Fly (RTF) Helicopter | Best Value

Blade 70 S Ready to Fly (RTF) HelicopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Blade’s 70 S is an ultra-micro nano ready to fly (RTF) copter and the Best Value pick. It’s an ideal craft for beginners of fixed-pitch rotors. The model uses flybarless technology, and that’s a good thing.

  • Best feature 1: Flybarless technology
  • Best feature 2: Fixed-pitch rotor head heli for beginners
  • Plus points: Small and lightweight, sturdy composite frame, self-leveling, high/low rate modes
  • Minus points: Not wind resistant, short flying time

What We Like About the Blade 70 S

Blade’s 70 S is an affordable whirlybird and a capable little flier. It’s a smooth step up for anyone ready to upgrade from a coaxial (double-bladed) RC helicopter. Flying without a fly bar may sound difficult, but it’s the opposite. Plus, there’s no drag from a flybar or paddles. Miniaturization and advanced technology have made flybar-less models more powerful yet more manageable.

Stability, safe technology, self-leveling, and high/low rate modes add to its beginner’s appeal. Combined, they give new pilots confidence to work with orientation and practice new maneuvers. The model weighs less than 9 ounces and fits into the micro size category. It’s also robust. The durable composite frame does an excellent job at protecting the delicate electronics.

The Not So Good

The Blade 70 S is the ideal indoor learning heli. It can fly outdoors too, but it’s not wind-resistant due to its lightweight and size. Don’t try to fly it outdoors in anything above a light breeze either. The flight time is disappointing but typical for a small model. It can fly for around 5 minutes on a single charge in ideal conditions. The short 30 minute charging time makes the brief flight time less of an issue.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Fixed-pitch flybarless
Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 4”
Heli Weight: 8.6 oz.
Range: Not specified (short)
Battery: 1S 3.7V 150mAh 40C Li-Po
Charging Time: 30+ minutes
Max Flight Time: 5 minutes
Radio Controller: 2.4GHz Transmitter
The Pros
Ideal beginner heli
Flybarless technology
Fixed-pitch rotor head
Small and lightweight
Sturdy composite frame
Self-leveling
High/low rate modes
Fast charging time
The Cons
Not wind resistant
Short playing time

3. Blade 230 S V2 RTF RC Helicopter | Top Pick

Blade 230 S V2 RTF RC HelicopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Blade 230 S V2 makes the Top pick. It’s a ready-to-fly (RTF) RC collective pitch helicopter. This model is an excellent choice for experienced beginners ready to move on to the next level.

  • Best feature 1: SAFE technology
  • Best feature 2: Quality build
  • Plus points: Panic button, impact resistant, brushless motors, metal components, high-visibility
  • Minus points: Short flight time, too light for winds

What We Like About the Blade 230 S V2

There’s a lot to appreciate with the Blade 230 S V2. It’s a collective pitch heli but much easier to fly than earlier models. It’s a cracking little bird that allows pilots to progress through the ranks. That means it caters to advanced-beginners through to intermediate and advanced-level users. SAFE technology gives new owners plenty of protection while they get familiar with the model.

The most valuable feature for newbies is the Panic Recovery button. It returns the copter to level flight in an instant when pressed. Anyone who’s flown model helis before will know what a lifesaver this feature is. The craft is also impact-resistant thanks to the ABS blades and reinforced parts.

Progressive Flight Modes

This copter has 3 progressive flight modes: stability, agility, and 3D. The stability mode restricts the flight envelope by using bank angle limits and self-leveling. Agility mode is there for when users become more skilled and confident. There are no bank angle limits in this setting. That means pilots have full control to be as sporty as they like. And the 3D mode is for performing fancy flips and rolls.

Other standout features are the powerful brushless motors, metal components, and high visibility. The vivid, bright orange canopy and blades make it easier to see and maintain orientation.

The Not So Good

The short flight time is a given with models like these. Even so, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The Blade 230 S V2 provides just 7 minutes on a full battery. Charging time is average at around 1–1.5 hours. This whirlybird handles better outdoors than many of its rivals. It’s still not advisable to fly outside in anything above a gentle breeze.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Collective Pitch Flybarless
Dimensions: 22.7 x 9.7 x 7.6”
Heli Weight: 11.96 oz.
Range: Not specified
Battery: 11.1V 800mAh 3S 30C LiPo
Charging Time: 1.5 hours
Max Flight Time: 7 minutes
Radio Controller: Spektrum 2.4GHz DXe
The Pros
Ready to Fly (RTF)
SAFE technology
Quality build
Panic button
Impact resistant
Brushless motors
Metal components
High-visibility canopy
The Cons
Short flight time
Too light for winds

4. KOOWHEEL S810 RC Helicopter Ready to Fly (RTF)

KOOWHEEL S810 RC Helicopter Ready to Fly (RTF)View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Meet the KOOWHEEL RC copter. It’s the chopper to consider if you’re a complete heli novice. It comes ready to run (RTR) right out of the box packed with many beginner-friendly features.

  • Best feature 1: Ready to Run beginner helicopter
  • Best feature 2: Semi-clad alloy
  • Plus points: Crash-resistant, double protection, safe for indoors, built-in gyro, fast charging
  • Minus points: Short flight time, infrared (IR) controller

What We Like About the S810 RC Helicopter

Novice pilots can’t avoid those inevitable learner bangs and collisions. It’s all part of the learning experience. Not all affordable helis stand up well to accidents, but the KOOWHEEL S810 does. Its build contains impact-resistant ABS and semi-clad alloy to protect against crashes.

The model also boasts a double protection system. One is the auto jam protection that stops the blades from spinning if they hit an obstacle. The other is the auto-power-off function. Combined, they prevent the model from flying away or hacking itself to bits. It’s an easy-to-fly craft, though, and it’sstable thanks to the built-in gyro. Even newbie pilots shouldn’t have too many bumps.

The Not So Good

The S810 RC Helicopter can fly for about 8 minutes max on a fully-charged battery. Better news is the fast 40 minute charging time, so it’s only a short wait. It’s always wise to allow at least 10 minutes for the motors to cool down between flights anyway. This heli uses an infrared (IR) controller. The problem with IR technology is that you can’t use it outdoors in direct sunlight.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Mini IR Coaxial
Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.8 x 4.6”
Shipping Weight: 1.08 lbs.
Range: 49.2 ft. (15 meters)
Battery: 3.7V 250mah Li-Po
Charging Time: 40+ minutes
Max Flight Time: 8 minutes
Radio Controller: IR controller
The Pros
Ready to Fly (RTF) beginner heli
Semi-clad alloy & ABS build
Crash-resistant
Double safety protection
Safe to fly indoors
Built-in gyro
Fast charging time
The Cons
Short flight time
Infrared (IR) control

5. JJRC Crash Resistant JX01 RTF RC Helicopter

JJRC Crash Resistant JX01 RTF RC HelicopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

This model is the JJRC JX01 Helicopter. It’s another affordable, ready-to-fly (RTF) beginner-friendly craft. It’s best suited for indoors and comes with a bunch of vital safety features.

  • Best feature 1: Affordable, ready to fly (RTF) first-time heli
  • Best feature 2: One-key takeoff/landing
  • Plus points: Aluminum alloy, altitude hold, emergency stop, bonus battery, fast charging
  • Minus points: Infrared (IR) controller, short flight time

What We Like About the JJRC JX01

There are some impressive features with the JJRC JX01 considering its affordable price tag. It’s so easy to fly that beginner crashes are rare happenings. The model comes with one-key takeoff and landing and an altitude hold function. The altitude hold stabilizes the heli mid-flight which gives pilots more control and therefore confidence.

There are two dependable Emergency Stop functions with the JX01. The blades automatically stop rotating if they hit something. That saves the copter from damage otherwise caused by spinning blades upon impact. And the Emergency Stop button brings the bird down if the pilot needs to ground it suddenly. Examples could be if it starts to behave erratically or flies out of the line of sight (LOS).

The Not So Good

It’s typical for affordable helis like this to use infrared (IR) controllers. Unfortunately, IR doesn’t work outside on sunny days. The problem is that the UV rays from direct sunlight interfere with the signal. Because of this, the JJRC JX01 is better for indoor flying or outdoors on dull, overcast days.

The flight time is average at just 6 minutes, but charging is fast at only 40 minutes. The bonus battery is something else that makes the short playing time more tolerable. It effectively doubles the flying fun to 12 minutes. Remember to allow some time for the motors to cool down between flights, though.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: IR coaxial trainer
Dimensions: 9.45 x 2.05 x 4.53”
Heli Weight: 14.4 oz.
Range: 65.6 ft. (20 meters)
Battery: 3.7V 260 mAh
Charging Time: 40 minutes
Max Flight Time: 6 minutes
Radio Controller: IR controller
The Pros
Affordable training helicopter
Ready to fly (RTF) model
1-key takeoff/landing
Altitude Hold function
Aluminum alloy build
Emergency Stop functions
Bonus battery
Fast charging time
The Cons
Infrared control
Short flight time

6. WLtoys V911 Ready to Fly (RTF) Mini RC Heli

WLtoys V911 Ready to Fly (RTF) Mini RC HeliView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The WLtoys V911 is a Ready to Fly (RTF) mini-sized RC helicopter. It’s easy to control for advanced beginner level (not raw novice) and above. It has some exciting features to boot.

  • Best feature 1: Ready to fly (RTF) mini helicopter
  • Best feature 2: LCD flight data display on the controller
  • Plus points: 4 channel controller, crash-resistant build, bonus battery, fast charging time
  • Minus points: Short flight time, infrared controller, vague manual

What We Like About WLtoys V911

Most helicopters in this price category come with 3 channel (CH) or 3.5CH controllers. They have flight restrictions and are therefore ideal for entry-level users. This puppy has a 4CH controller and is therefore more suited to advanced-beginners. It has the extra functions of sideways movements and spin. The controller also has a handy HD LCD screen that displays various flight status data.

This model chopper is small and lightweight, but it’s also incredibly sturdy and crash-resistant. That’s good to know since the bird can fly fast—for a mini—and there are plenty of obstacles indoors. The WL V911 comes with a bonus battery (2 total) and boasts a fast 30 minute charging time.

The Not So Good

Flight time is only around 5+ minutes or 10 if you add the bonus battery into the equation. It’s a small copter and needs a few minutes for the motor to cool down between battery swaps. The model uses infrared (IR) control so can’t fly safely outdoors under bright sunlight. The final con is that the instruction guide is vague. Scant guides are not uncommon and frustrating for less experienced pilots.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Fixed-pitch
Dimensions: 8.9 x 2 x 3.3”
Heli Weight: 1.45 lbs.
Range: 164 ft. (50 meters)
Battery: 3.7V 130mah LiPo (x2)
Charging Time: 30 minutes
Max Flight Time: 5+ minutes
Radio Controller: 4CH infrared
The Pros
Ready to fly (RTF) mini heli
LCD flight data display
4 channel controller
Crash-resistant build
Bonus battery
Fast charging time
Short flight time
The Cons
Infrared controller
Vague manual

7. Blade E-flite mCX2 Ready to Fly (RTF) RC Heli

Blade E-flite mCX2 Ready to Fly (RTF) RC HeliView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Blade E-flite mCX2 is a ready-to-fly (RTF) nano micro-sized helicopter for beginners. It’s a favorite model among new pilots because of its good looks and easy control.

  • Best feature 1: 100% ready-to-fly (RTF) coaxial helicopter
  • Best feature 2: Precision swashplate w/ selectable settings
  • Plus points: Beginner-friendly, small and lightweight, sleek design, flashing LEDs, fast charging
  • Minus points: Short flight time, fragile parts

What We Like About the Blade E-flite mCX2

This model heli is at the higher end of coaxial crafts. It’s small, lightweight, and incredibly easy to fly at the entry-level. It has a sleek design with bright flashing LEDs built into the body. The E-flite mCX2 has a precision swashplate with pilot-selectable settings. Changing control settings let pilots fly faster than the restricted default beginner speeds.

Blade’s E-flite mCX2 is a stable bird that’s easy to launch and control right out of the box. The 5-in-1 control unit and heading lock function add further to its ease of use. Another of the mCX2’s significant selling points is the fast 30 minute charging time.

The Not So Good

Expect 5–6 minutes flying time on a full battery. That’s slightly below average for a copter in its class. Fast charging and affordable batteries make the short play time less of an issue. A more serious downside is that it’s not quite as sturdy as some ultra-micro helis. There are numerous reports about damaging fragile parts. At least there’s a full line of replacements available if something does break.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Ultra-micro coaxial
Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.7”
Heli Weight: 0.96 oz.
Range: Not specified
Battery: 3.7V 20mAh lithium polymer
Charging Time: 30 minutes
Max Flight Time: 6 minutes
Radio Controller: 5-in-1 control unit with Spektrum 2.4GHz DSM2
The Pros
Ready-to-fly (RTF)
Pre-flown, factory tested
Beginner-friendly heli
Precision swashplate w/ selectable settings
mall and lightweight
Sleek design
Bright, flashing LEDs
Fast charging time
The Cons
Short flight time
Fragile parts

8. Walkera V450D03 6CH RTF Heli W/ Devo7

Walkera V450D03 6CH RTF Heli W/ Devo7View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The last of our RTF RC helicopter reviews is the 6 channel Walkera V450D03. It’s a ready-to-fly (RTF) 450 size hobby-grade collective pitch chopper with a lot to offer.

  • Best feature 1: 100% pre-assembled, ready-to-fly (RTF) flybarless copter
  • Best feature 2: High-quality hobby-grade heli
  • Plus points: Brushless outrunner motor, stable, indoor/outdoor capable, Devo7 transmitter
  • Minus points: Short flight time, price

What We Like About the Walkera V450D03

It’s a 450 size heli which is perfect for advanced beginners ready for a collective pitch heli. The V450D03 flybarless copter is not cheap, and it is small. It uses high-quality carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the build. The size and non-metal parts keep any crash damage costs to a minimum, and that’s always a good thing. The D03 can fly safely indoors or at outdoor public spaces like parks.

The 6-axis gyro keeps the craft rock steady in the sky. It’s something that gives pilots confidence when performing 3D aerobatics. The brushless outrunner motor has decent output power and seems highly efficient. The maximum flight time can reach 10 minutes with ideal conditions and in normal mode. That’s a lot more than some of the rival helis offer.

Walkera Devention 7 (DEVO 7)

This tiny craft comes with the Walkera Devention 7 (DEVO7), 2.4Ghz digital transmitter. It’s a high-end 7 channel entry-level DEVO. The product has all the features you could need to fly and control this 6-Channel heli. It can also store 15 model memories which are invaluable for serious RC’ers.

The Not So Good

The 8–10 minute flight time is a lot better than many rival copters, but it’s still short. It also goes down to around 6 minutes when flown to the max. Additional batteries are must-have extras to continue the flying fun. The cost is quite high when compared to other models on this page. It’s an excellent value 450 flybarless copter, but it’s $400+ price tag is not small change.

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Tech Specs
Heli Type: Collective pitch flybarless
Dimensions: 29.1 x 8.4 x 4.5”
Heli Weight: 28.7 oz.
Range: Not specified
Battery: 11.1V 2600mAh Li-Po
Charging Time: Not specified
Max Flight Time: 8–10 minutes
Radio Controller: Walkera Devention 7
The Pros
100% Pre-Assembled RTF
Flybarless design
High-quality hobby-grade build
Brushless outrunner motor
Safely flies indoors/outdoors
6 axis gyro
3D aerobics
Devo7 transmitter
The Cons
Short flight time
Price tag
0/50 ratings