A few people asked me what is the best quadcopter to start out for beginners. It’s a tricky question because there isn’t really a best quadcopter setup. The parts that put into the quadcopter would make the quadcopter feel differently in terms of performance and controlability so it’s very much down to personal preference and ability. For example if you use a lighter frame you might have a more agile quadcopter but harder to stabilize too.
Anyway I will share with you what a good route would be to take, to start out with quadcopters and what options you have. If you have no RC flying experience in the past, you might find this post useful.
Research and Study
When I first got interested in Quadcopter I spent weeks watching reviews and guides. Hearing from people’s flying and quad building experience really helped me to understand quadcopters better.
So you won’t go wrong with too much research and study, and asking tons of questions before you spend lots of money on the parts, and only find out your quad doesn’t fly. I put together a comprehensive guide explaining how each component works on a quadcopter you might also find useful.
See this post to learn about tips on flying for beginner.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or ask on this quadcopter message board.
The Best Quadcopter You Should Get To Start out
As a quadcopter or RC beginner, you are almost guaranteed to have countless crashes with your drone at the beginning. Even just once among those countless crashes is fatal, it will cost you money to replace broken parts! So practising with a cheap quadcopter became important.
If you have enough budget, I would personally recommend getting a small mini quadcopter, but it’s totally up to you. After you have mastered the flying skills with this mini quad you can move onto bigger ones, or start building your own quadcopter. It gives you an opportunity to understand how to control a quadcopter, and trains your eye-hands coordination. I got one of those and they are just so robust and still flying after many crashes.
Most of these mini quadcopters usually only have the most basic sensors (3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyro) which means it flies in a more manual mode. If you start with a super-stabilized platform, you may have trouble flying other quadcopters. The idea of your first quad is to get a couple hours of flight time in so that your brain and your muscle memory start knowing how to fly. It’s like driving cars really! Driving a cheap and shit car when you are just learning how to drive, isn’t always a bad idea :-)
How to Start with Flying Technique?
This is how I learned to fly. It’s important to start your practice by standing behind the quadcopter so you are facing the same direction as the quad. This will allow the movements on your transmitter to make the quadcopter go in the same direction as you push!
Here is another guide on flying tips and rules.
You’ll want to lift your quad off the ground almost instantly to around 1 meter (3 foot). Because when it’s too close to the ground you might get air disturbance from the motors (ground effect). Just try to hover around the same spot with the same height using throttle, pitch and roll.
If Hovering isn’t too difficult for you, you can now try mastering landing. It sounds easy but it’s one of the most important technique beginners seem to forget. The idea here is the throttle control, remember to loose it really slowly and smoothly. Do not cut the power instantly, your quad will free fall and might damage your frame or electronics.
Pitch and Roll Control
Pick a location you want to go to, use pitch and roll fly to that spot and land.
This one is a bit like those soccer player practicing ball-control around the poles. You will only use pitch to go forward and use Yaw to turn left and right. You can either practice flying in circle, or in the shape of “8”. This control technique is very useful when you start FPV, or taking videos in the sky.
Other Best First Quadcopter
A lot of people take the hard way and build large quadcopters as their first quad. If you don’t have spare budget for a mini quad, this seems to be the only way to go. But again, if you crash badly due to lack of control practice, it might cost you more eventually (speaking from personal experience). You might even hurt someone if you lost control.