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Fixed pitch vs Collective pitch RC Helicopters

When you are first starting out one of the common questions is what is a fixed pitch versus a collective pitch rc helicopter?

In RC helicopters, the pitch refers to angle of the blades. In a fixed pitch RC helicopter, the angle of the main rotor blades never change and are in a "fixed" position. In fixed pitch RC helicopters the amount of lift generated is only determined by the rotor speed since the angle of the blade is fixed. Fixed pitch helicopters are great for beginners because there is one less thing to worry about making them easier to fly.

For collective pitch helicopters, the rotor speed and angle of the blades determines the amount of lift generated. If the rotor is spinning at a constant speed the amount of lift generated can be changed by the angle of the blades. The collective pitch is controlled through the throttle by the automatic mixer.

So what does all this mean?
Fixed pitch helicopters are easier to fly and are much simpler to maintain and are perfect for beginners. Collective pitch helicopters have a higher learning curve but are much more agile and responsive. The collective pitch also allows things like flips and flying upside down since the pitch can go in both directions it can create lift when it is upside down also.

Summary of fixed pitch vs collective pitch
Fixed pitch
  • Easier to setup and maintain
  • Parts are less expensive
  • Easier to fly
  • Less agile and responsive
Collective pitch
  • Harder to setup and maintain
  • Parts are more expensive
  • Harder to fly
  • More agile and responsive.
  • Can do 3D aerobatics

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