There are many heated debates about which is more reliable, an RC helicopter or a drone. They both carry their own pros and cons. For instance, drones can be flown at very high altitudes and used for photography as well as rescue missions. On the other hand, an RC helicopter will generally fly much smoother and be quieter than a drone.
In this post, Dream Cheeky will compare about two devices: RC Helicopter vs Drone, which is better?
Drone vs RC Helicopter – General
As the name implies, an RC helicopter is a remote-controlled model aircraft. Drones, on the other hand, are unmanned aircraft that can be flown autonomously via software on their onboard computers. They differ in terms of their build, functionality, as well as the technology they use.
This type of device is great for photography because it can handle radio control commands in a very stable manner, unlike RC helicopters which can be a little wobbly. The pictures are clearer and more picturesque.
Capabilities RC helicopters are generally made just for the flying experience, competing, or racing, with a few exceptions to that rule. rather than provide photography elements. Even the most basic models require some flying skills.
This type of rotorcraft has rotors that provide thrust and lift. Each rotor is composed of a hub and mast, as well as rotor blades. The rotor system is the rotating component of the helicopter that generates lift. It can be mounted horizontally like main rotors, providing lift vertically, or vertically as a tail-rotor providing horizontal thrust to counteract the thrust from the main rotor.
The main rotor is classified by how they move relative to the hub and how their rotor blades attach to it. Modern rotor systems can be divided into three types: fully articulated, hingeless, and teetering. Low speed is the main drawback of the helicopter, which is due to its blades.
A drone is simply an umbrella term for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS), that can be controlled by a human pilot via remote control or pre-programmed computer software.
A drone is a compact aircraft that includes features like onboard GPS and waypoint navigation software that allows them to fly wherever you like using its remote control.
Drones can be described as flying robots, which are similar to drones used by the military and other industries (requiring aerial view) for research and observation, surveillance, search-and-rescue operations, and other purposes (like filming with a camera attached to it or delivering goods in the case of larger models). These are used when manned operations are too risky, difficult, or perhaps unnecessary.
Drones can be fixed-wing aircraft, quadcopters, and helicopters as well as tricopters, hexacopters, octocopters and other creative alternatively propelled hybrids. Drones are usually known more for their self-sufficiency, small payloads, computer/remote-controlled flights, their build-up is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than manned aircraft which expand the spectrum of their usefulness. Drones can be used for commercial purposes, such as photography drones, and in some recreational activities compared to other aerial vehicles which are used majorly by the military due to their complexities.
There are two main types of drones:
Remotely controlled or remotely piloted drones this pilot controls the operation of these drones, allowing the user to enjoy the best functionality possible.
Autonomous drones These drones are equipped with pre-programmed software to manage all their activities and ensure that they follow a prescribed flight path or fulfill a specific mission.
What Is The Real Difference Between Drones And RC Helicopters?
A drone is an uncrewed, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Technically, you can control the atmosphere from the ground to create one drone, the RC helicopter.
This is usually a quadcopter with four rotors, versus a helicopter with only one. There can be many similarities and differences depending on the model.
To make your life easier, we will be able to tell you more about the differences between drones & RC helicopters. We also will show you some similarities.
You can quickly identify the differences between them by evaluating their functions, design, capabilities, constraints, and then choose which one best suits your needs.
RC Helicopter vs Drone: All The Differences
First, you’ll notice that drones are often constructed differently from RC helicopters. RC helicopters are a replica of the real thing, with a single rotor at its top and a spheroid-shaped body.
There are many types of drones, but the most popular is the quadcopter. It has a square-shaped body and four rotors. These rotors provide a more stable flight experience for the drone.
HISTORY, PRICE, AND APPLICATIONS
Drones tend to be more expensive than RC helicopters. Even the most basic drones can be more expensive than RC helicopters of higher specs.
The RC helicopters are a well-known invention. Some sources claim that they were first introduced in the 1960s. RC helicopters have been used for over 50 years. These helicopters are still toys, and they can be flown as a hobby. The majority of RC helicopters we can purchase today are intended for fun flying.
Drones were developed much later. They were first used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA used an unmanned drone to target Osama Bin Laden’s death in 2002. Two years prior to the attack, the military had used drones in Afghanistan.
Drones have become less complicated and more useful over the years. The technology and parts used in drones are now more easily accessible to the average consumer.
Drones are now a common tool for aerial photography. Drones equipped with cameras can capture images that provide a bird’s-eye view of everything below.
Uber recently announced plans to use drones for the delivery of food.
These applications are not intended to be used in the Middle East as a means of capturing terrorists or delivering food.
RC helicopters are, however, still purely recreational. While hobbyists play with them, most people learn to fly RC helicopters. It is usually fun and you learn a new skill.
Drones are built with more robust technology and have higher levels of stability. According to the FAA website, drones were used for:
Utility companies inspect electrical towers and other facilities.
To manage resources and check on fires, both national and state parks are available
Government agencies can deliver medicines, communications tools, and other supplies to remote locations or relief goods to affected areas after disasters.
To restore coverage in disaster zones, governments will relay radio signals and wireless Internet hotspots to the government
Rescue and search services use drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras to locate lost persons in remote areas.
Drones can be taken to your backyard, park, or your living room. You can have fun flying them.
You may have to follow specific rules depending on where you live when flying a drone. The Federal Aviation Authority in the United States requires that you register your drone so that it can be flown only for recreational purposes.
You are also required to contact a community-based organization and request safety guidelines for flying your drone. Additional regulations can be found at the FAA Website.
The Federal Communications Commission has required remote pilots of RC helicopters that use amateur radio frequencies.
RC helicopters do not fall under the FAA’s jurisdiction. However, that could change if the FAA gets its way. They want radio-controlled helicopters and RC planes to be treated the same as drones.
Before you fly, make sure to check the laws in your state regarding drones and RC helicopters. Also, be sure to review the rules established by the National Park Service as well as the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
FLYING RANGE AND ALTITUDE
You could be fined a heavy penalty if you fail to comply. According to this Bloomberg report, David Zablidowsky was punished with a $2,200 fine for flying a drone recklessly in New York City.
Altitude and flying range RC helicopters are limited in range. They must be kept within your reach to operate. The GPS and other navigation software that drones include are very different. The GPS and other navigational software included in drones allow you to view the screen of your remote control throughout the flight, providing it with more range than a helicopter. To ensure that it can come back, you will need to check the battery. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can fly at 400 feet or less, but drones can go much higher.
Have you ever wondered why drones cost more than RC helicopters? The drones are equipped with the latest technology. Drones are more appealing than RC helicopters because they can accommodate a wide range of technologies.
One, drones are equipped with satellite-linked navigation systems like GPS and GLONASS. These systems allow the drone to know its exact location and are very useful for applications like landscape surveying, 3D mapping, search and rescue missions, and 3D mapping.
These navigational capabilities also allow your drone’s return to you. This safety feature is only available in higher-end products.
There are many sensors on drones that allow them to avoid collisions and detect obstacles. These sensors include:
- Vision sensor
- LIDAR is light detection and ranging.
LIDAR will give you an overview of the capabilities of these sensors. The sensor uses laser light to measure the distance between the drone’s target and the drone. This sensor allows the drone to determine how far an object is from its target and how long it takes before it reaches it. If necessary, it can avoid contact with it.
EASE OF FLYING
The four rotors make flying a drone easier for a beginner pilot. They can be controlled with the onboard software that comes with your drone.
Moving a remote control helicopter on your own is a difficult task. There’s no restricted software to help you, which many people find more rewarding.
A drone is balanced and stable. However, the quadcopter drone can also fly smoothly thanks to different technologies. One technology that helps stabilize your drone in the air is the embedded gyroscope stability technology. The gyroscope also transmits navigational information to the central controller.
Internal measurement units are also used by drones to detect acceleration rates using a variety of accelerometers. The IMU detects changes in pitch, roll, and yaw, and other rotational attributes. The IMU may also use a magnetometer to calibrate the drone and avoid orientation drift.
Many drones have cutting-edge technology that will tell you whether it is safe to fly in an area or not. Most drones will have an internal compass that allows them to pinpoint their exact location.
You can also attach a high-resolution camera to your drone so you can see what it sees. You can use a drone for videography and photography. There are even 4K video drones.
Gimbals allow the drone to take steady shots. Gimbals enable drones to tilt and take photos at unique angles.
Drones equipped with cameras can transmit live video to their receivers. Some drones can also work on Wi-Fi or LTE networks.
These are only a few of the technology options that drones can have. These technologies are not usually available on an RC helicopter.
How Else Are Drones Different From RC Helicopters?
Control. Drones can fly autonomously thanks to the technology found on them. An RC helicopter requires you to maneuver it.
Navigation. A controller can be used to control an RC helicopter. You can control drones using a tablet or smartphone, as well as remote controllers.
Programming. Programming drones is possible, but not RC helicopters.
Frequency of operation. The remote controller can communicate with RC helicopters on three frequencies: 40 megahertz 72 megahertz and 2.4 gigahertz. Drones operate on 2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz.
The difficulty of flying. The difficulty of flying RC helicopters is greater and can take longer to master. Drones on the other side have autonomous modes that allow even novice pilots to fly them with ease.
Where Are You Going To Fly Drones And RC Helicopters?
For many decades, RC helicopter pilots were able to fly their cars everywhere. But, that has changed as drones have become more common.
The laws became more restrictive with the introduction of GPS-enabled, automated drones and quadcopters. These aircraft could be flown with the Federal Aviation Administration trying to make a few adjustments.
If your RC plane weighs more than 250 g, RC amateurs will need to register it and provide private information.
There are also limitations on the height you can fly your aircraft at, with a maximum of 400 feet being the ceiling.
These laws and regulations are constantly being updated and maintained, so the pilot must keep up with the changes.
The legislation regarding drones is especially strict.
If you are flying a drone recreationally, and have enrolled your UAV with the FAA, then you should be able to fly to all areas.
You are responsible for adhering to local drone regulations, including weight limits and no-fly zones.
What Power And Ranges Are RC Helis And Drones Capable Of?
When you’re looking for a new drone or helicopter, one of the most important things to consider is its capabilities. This includes the transmission range and battery power.
The long-range drones on the market can fly approximately five miles before signs get in their way. RC helicopters are able to do the same if they have similar sensitive radio transmission technology.
These ranges are different because the RC pilot is trying to get complete control of their aircraft.
You don’t need to keep a UAV equipped with a camera and other automation software close at hand. Instead, you can opt for something more powerful.
If the battery life is included, the average amount of flying time that you’ll get on a full fee for an RC Helicopter will be about 10 minutes.
Depending on your version, you’ll receive between 10 and 20 minutes to get a drone.
On the other side, the difference between the two is that they both fly away so you need enough battery to ensure that they return.
What Is The Average Price For Each Of These Aircraft?
Drone and RC helicopters come in a variety of prices, so there is a wide range of pricing.
A minimal-range drone is generally more affordable than a low-range helicopter. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one will be adequate in quality.
For a basic version of the UAV, it costs around $100. But there are more expensive versions that could cost thousands.
Prices will vary depending on the use it is being used for, its ability level, and what information you require. Still, generally speaking, a fundamental drone is more affordable to buy.
You should also consider the cost of the purchase.
RC helicopters are more susceptible to crashes when flying outside. However, drones come with many accessories that will make the experience even more enjoyable.
It is up to you to decide which experience you want to make a profit from.