Updated May 30, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Model Helicopters

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you’re a die-hard aircraft enthusiast or just looking for a challenging new hobby, you’re sure to find something to delight you on this list of model helicopters. Many of the great choppers from history are represented here, suitable for a variety of ages and skill levels. We've ranked them by attention to detail, difficulty of assembly, and quality of the final product. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best model helicopter on Amazon.

10. Hasegawa UH-1H Iroquois

9. Pathfinders Premium Aerial Screw

8. Syma S107 3-Channel RC

7. New Ray Sky Pilot UH-60

6. Italeri V-22 Osprey

5. Aoshima Airwolf

4. Lego City Volcano Explorers Kit

3. Kitty Hawk UH-1Y Venom Kit

2. Fascinations Earth AH-64 Apache

1. Italeri 2779 Chinook CH-47D

Special Honors

Air Models Bell UH-1H Huey If you prefer working with metal to plastic, this kit provides you with as few non-metallic components as possible. Its included stand pitches the chopper forward, creating the sense that it's moving through space as it's on display. At 1:48 scale, its fine details have nowhere to hide, and the attention paid to them in the design and cutting of its pieces is top notch. airmodels.net

Editor's Notes

May 27, 2020:

The biggest dividing line in a category like this lies between models that are meant to replicate specific real world objects as faithfully as possible and those that are happy to exist in a broader category. For model building enthusiasts, options like the Italeri 2779 Chinook CH-47D or the Kitty Hawk UH-1Y Venom Kit are going to appear superior to the Fascinations Earth AH-64 Apache, even as the Fascinations model offers dimensions and details consistent with the real world Apache. That's because it doesn't go the extra mile as a model designed to be painted or decorated with decals that bring it in line with historical accuracy.

Of course, there are even less detailed models that are often geared toward very young children, but that might be just the thing to get them into the craft. The Lego City Volcano Explorers Kit is one such selection, and it comes with a number of other components that help contextualize the chopper in a way that might make them fall in love with this particular subset of aviation.

It should also be said that nearly none of the models on the market come with glue, cement, paint, or tools, but that there are some that require fewer tools and less paint to achieve fidelity to the originals they seek to emulate. And some, like the aforementioned Chinook and the Hasegawa UH-1H Iroquois, offer decal sets that let you decorate it to match the specifics of a certain country's military.


Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on May 30, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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