PROS / You can fly upside down, at multiple speeds and in pretty much any direction you like.
CONS / It's far from the easiest helicopter for a beginner to learn on.
VERDICT / With six channels and six degrees of freedom, the Walkera Super CP is the nimblest and most stunt-capable helicopter we reviewed.
Picking the best RC helicopter is all about knowing what you want out of your new toy. If you're looking for extraordinary stability, you'll value size over anything else. For ease of use, co-axial helicopters are often the simplest and cheapest options. But if you're interested in stunt flying, one of the best entry-level options is the Walkera Super CP. It's not very easy to fly, but if you can devote some time to learning its controls, it pays you back for your effort, which is why it earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Controlling the Walkera Super CP is a precise experience, and learning to do so without crashing isn't easy. Even though it's officially designed for indoor use, it's a big enough aircraft to be stable in light outdoor winds, and we recommend you start flying outside – the extra space the outdoors affords can help you get a handle on its maneuverability, and grass offers a nice cushion in the event of a crash.
Once you get the hang of the Super CP, you're in for a wild ride. The RC helicopter has a single 9.5-inch rotor that can tilt independently in any direction. This gives it tight control; you can fly laterally, duck around obstacles and angle away from potential crashes without having to reorient your direction.
That nimbleness can draw a lot of power out of the Super CP's battery. At 240 mAh, the battery is bigger than those found in many of the CP's competitors, but it depletes quicker because it's driving so much machinery – the tilting rotor, the electronic gyroscope and so on. You can expect to get about six and a half minutes of continuous flight time out of the Super CP. Since it takes about 45 minutes to recharge, you can have fun in short stints indoors all day long, but if you're planning on a day trip somewhere, it might be worth buying an extra battery or two online.
Unlike many other remote control helicopters, the Walkera Super CP doesn't have an external gyroscopic stabilizer. Instead, its gyroscope is the more advanced electronic variant, built into the helicopter like the ones you find in smartphones. The gyroscope helps maintain smooth flight but doesn't restrict the aircraft from performing tricks like a stabilizer bar would. As a result, Walkera's Super CP flies smooth, and once you get some practice in, you can flip it and fly it upside down.
The Super CP's radio transmitter is a beast. With power and precision befitting one of the best remote control helicopters you can buy, the Devo remote offers six-channel control, six degrees of freedom, an LCD screen and multiple speed settings. The six channels give you the ability to perform extreme stunts like flipping upside down and flying while inverted. The LCD screen, meanwhile, gives you great insight into your helicopter, letting you shift between speed modes and watch your current battery level, further staving off crashes.
The Devo remote runs on the 2.4GHz radio band, which is the same frequency that cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers use. It tends to be very stable and interference-free, with a longer range than other options such as infrared signals. You can, in fact, expect an operational range of at least 250 feet.
Despite operating with a plastic frame and hull, the Super CP remains rugged, able to handle impacts from failed tricks without taking damage. Its 9.5-inch rotor is sturdy enough to take some punishment, but the overall frame is, at just 1.6 ounces, light enough to bounce. We recommend taking practice flights over grass in calm weather or in a large room for your first few outings. Soon enough, you won't have any trouble tackling tight corners or navigating obstacle courses you set up for yourself.
The Walkera Super CP manages to be both a great beginner helicopter and a wonderful option for hobbyists. Our RC helicopter reviews run the gamut from hulking copters to deft drones, but the Super CP strikes a balance between maneuverability and good looks. It might not be as easy to fly out of the gate as other helicopters, but if you can put up with a bit of extra practice time, you're likely in for a great flying experience.