I started flying Helicopter models in the 95. The summer before I had seen a guy flying some models. Before that i saw helymodels only on pictures. He told me it was very difficult but not impossible and gave me some good hints. That december a friend of mine showed me a hely, a Shuttle ZXX, and told me he wanted to sell it because he didn't have time to learn. He saw my eyes and gave it to me saying: take it. You will pay it when you have the money. Well, it was almost Christmas and I thought it could have been a nice gift for myself. I purchased a radio set, some second hand servos and gyro, and started the thing. Is it difficult? Well, if you can balance a stick on your left hand finger, another on the right hand finger, and another on your nose, and at the same time have a chat with your mate, well, it's not. Takes you a while, let's say two to six month to learn a decent hovering. What's hovering? No, ain't vacuum cleaning, it's flying the model in a fixed position. When can you do that and have a chat with your mates, well, you are at the beginning. I fly the thing three years now and I'm still a bloody beginner. I'll be a beginner probably for the rest of my life. Is it expensive? A basic model, radio and accessories can cost you about 1000$. But once you buy it, flying it is very cheap. Helicopter models are designed fo long lasting and reliability. Not quite as model cars. So flying them is cheap, crashing them quite expensive. If you do things carefully and with common sense, you can limit crashes to one or two at year. An average crash can cost 100$, so it's not that bad. It's a big challenge. Model cars are easy, helys are very difficult. But they are addictive. You can fly the hely on your own, to race cars you need more nutters like you. There are different sizes of helys, 30 size, about 5 lbs of weight and 5.5 cc engine, 60 size, about 10 lbs and 100 cc engine, 45 size, about half way, and big machines with gas engine. Usually beginners start with 30 size, like my first machine. I own a 60 size too, a Hirobo Eagle, a very nice machine all made out of metal. A bit scary to fly, because a crash would cost like a new 30 size. There are also electric helys, but if there is something you don't need, is making things even tougher. They are quite critical to fly. On the other side, you can fly them in your garage he he.
Another coupla things, choppers can be dangerous, expecially the bigger sizes. They can be even lethal, so be careful when you hover it above your head to check the fuel!!
Anyway remember, helicopter don't fly, they beat the air into submission. Some pics and mpg's.