What Is the Difference Between an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter?

RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter have some Difference in shape and design, the number of rotor blades, For hobby and leisure and the utmost in maneuverability, Price, and the RC pilot.It can help people to distinguish between them.

When one is new to the exciting world of RC flight, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types of RC vehicles available. Especially in the flying RC vehicles category, there are literally hundreds of aircraft to choose from including planes, helicopters, quadcopters and more. One of the first questions that seems to come up for beginners is: what is the difference between an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter? It’s a great question and an important one to answer before buying an RC vehicle.

If an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter are placed side by side, they will appear quite different. Namely, in shape and design. RC Helicopters have a familiar design to them, in fact they look almost exactly like full size helicopters; they have a similar narrow body shape, a single large rotor blade and a small tail rotor placed at the end of a long, thin tail spar. In some cases, certain RC Helicopters have slight design changes to eliminate the small tail rotor, but in general still retain the look and shape of a full size helicopter.

Quadcopters on the other hand, look totally different. They generally have a much wider square shape design which is necessary to correctly place the four small rotor blades that power it in each corner. In some cases these four small power rotors are surrounded by plastic rotor cowlings which can protect the rotor blades in case of a crash. Although they use multiple motors and rotors quadcopters are actually more mechanically simple than helicopters with their more complex angle systems for control of a single rotor.

So in short, the difference between an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopteris the number of rotor blades (one versus 4) and the overall design configuration that places the rotor blades in position. There are several ways in which these differences change the way an RC vehicles flies and by extension, how it is used.

For hobby and leisure and the utmost in maneuverability, including 3D flight, an RC helicopter is suitable. They are more responsive and have great flight abilities. However, for a hobby RC aircraft that could also carry cargo or a photography rig, the wider body design and greater stability of a quadcopter is desired. Beyond the application use, flight characteristics also play big role in the difference between an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter.

For an RC pilot, especially a beginner, stability of the aircraft is key to safe flying. Although the multi-motor design of a quadcopter necessitates extra electronic control when compared to a traditional helicopter, they make up for that difference with added electronic stabilizations that actually result in an RC vehicle that is much easier to fly and has greater stability. This is an obvious advantage to beginners. However, this stability comes at a trade off with responsiveness. A helicopter by contrast may have more flight instability but is far more responsive.

This responsiveness is due to the fact that a helicopter has one rotor that spins at a single speed and achieves maneuverability by making subtle changes to the rotor angle which can be done very quickly without having to affect engine and rotor speed. This results in a very efficient vehicle when compared to a quadcopter that must change the speed of all 4 of its fixed rotor engines to affect flight. This inefficiency and multiple motor setup uses extra power and time to make its flight changes.

Price is another difference between an RC Helicopter and an RC Quadcopter. Although budget RC helicopters exist, the popularity and availability of quadcopters is such that for the same money, users may be able to get a more advanced quadcopter than helicopter, always an important factor when considering a purchase.Knowing these important differences are important to make informed buying decisionswhen choosing the best RC vehicle for any particular need. 


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