These trends to be expected in 2023
As we are aproaching to the end of 2022, the year of Tiger by Chinese Zodiac, it's time to guess what the year of Rabbit can bring to us. Of course this is not going to be a foretelling, we analysed the trends and the signs of 2022.
As we expect companies in general will try to simplify their model size range further to match customer demands. Conventional mid-size range is slowly reducing, models
Companies will strengthen in the small classes between 200 and 420 sizes. However,these models will be even more expensive due to fewer sales on the shrinking hobby market. It is expected, the quality models will reach the mid-síze reange with their prices. Of course these prices are affected by other circumstances, like the increasing energy and material prices, growing inflations worldwide and other negative economic trends.
Obviously there are exceptions, like the Lynx/Oxy, where both small models, the Oxy 2 and Oxy 3 stood down, the company kept the Oxy 4 and Oxy 5 models, and no sign to come back with something new among the small models.
Price gap will increase between 600-700 class models and small classes due to the very same reasons. These model classes will be focused on the competition and professional market, everyday pilots will be forced to switch to small models.
Motors, ESCs, FBLs and all other components will be slightly more expensive than this year, prices will follow the increasing costs, although we don't expect such significant price hikes, as at the models.
However LiPo batteries won't be cheaper than this year. The trend of LiPo batteries getting cheaper reached to the bottom, materials for these batteries will be ridiculously expensive, factories must compete with the automobile and other industries for the resources. It's expected, prices of LiPo batteries will go up sharp.
Petrol powered helicopters in the large classes will be more significant on the market, than ever. On one side the technology improved a lot, on the other side nitro is expensive and it's very difficult to operate these model in countries of the EU and some others due to the recent regulation changes on nitromethane products - if it's not impossible. Also increasing LiPo prices will be beneficial for "gas powered helicopters".
Hopefully the new model flood is already stopped on the market. The amount of new models wasn't beneficial and sustainable for the RC helicopter hobby. Some companies will abandon the large size models, instead, these companies will focus more on the small helicopters. Align won't be among these companies, and SAB or XLPower are not expected to be there either. Helicopter manufacturers producing only small models won't enter the large size market.
Speaking of SAB. We expect that the Kraken series will retire quietly in 2023, Raw models will be taking over entirely.
Among components, we don't expect too much next year. But we expect that the FBL world will start moving towards the drone-like controllers to make helicopters more friendly for common customers.