The Best RC Airplane For Beginners

Do you remember 20+ years ago when RC meant basically a vehicle you control with controller that was wired on that vehicle? I remember, and back then it was awesome you know, you controlled this vehicle, a car, helicopter, airplane. But like I said- it was wired so whether you had a car, airplanes or any other vehicle, it couldn’t fly, all it did was just drive, and really slow, like a snail speed. But back then it was awesome. Now we have drones, helicopter, airplanes that can fly and you can control it with your phone. Its remarkable how technology is progressing. And with high speed progress in technology and development it has become overwhelming when it comes to picking your first or RC vehicle.

Picking your first RC airplane is crucial.There are a lot of varieties what kind of an airplane suits you, whether you have a lot of space to fly a RC airplane, what style of an airplane you would like to have. So you have to know a little something about airplanes before buying it.

What is an RC airplane? It’s an airplane controlled by an operator on ground using controller.

So in this article I will represent you best RC airplane for beginners and everything you should know and be aware before you get one yourself. Please read it and I believe I will clarify a lot of things you didn’t know and you should know.

Number Of Channels

First of all you should decide whether you would like to have 3 channel airplanes or a 4 channel airplane. What does that mean? It basically means how many controllers you would like to operate with when you are flying an airplane. OK it isn’t that simple, it’s not just an extra control to operate because if you operate with 3 channels it’s a lot easier than a four channels, at least for beginners. Below is described what is 3 channel airplanes and what is a 4 channel airplane:

3 Channel airplane:

  • Elevator – controls up and down
  • Throttle – controls motor speed
  • Rudder – controls left or right

4 Channel airplanes

  • Elevator – controls up and down
  • Throttle – controls motor speed
  • Rudder – controls left or right
  • Ailerons – controls roll ( left or right )

Now you may think rudder and ailerons is practically the same and would rather go for 4 channels, but here is disclaimer – rudder is like when you are driving an RC car and turning left or right, meanwhile ailerons is like you would turn with your RC car left or right on two wheels, see what I’m trying to tell you? I bought myself a four channel airplane – let me tell you, for a beginner it’s too hard to learn to control it and not break it. Yeah I broke it, and made me mad as hell because it cost me a lot ( about $150 ), and I was thinking “nah I want to have all included, how hard can it be”. It’s hard if you’re a newbie when it comes to RC airplanes.

My advice to you is that you go for a 3 channel. It’s a lot easier to learn how to fly, and then, when you mastered a 3 channel airplane go for a four channels, but only when you mastered a three one.

Power

Power source is important when you are picking your first RC airplane. Let me explain you why. There are two sources that power RC airplane – electrical power ( batteries ) or an engine ( fuel ). The best option for beginner is electrical power because it’s cheap to recharge and it’s easy to fly, Engine on the other hand isn’t good for beginners because airplane on engine are much bigger and they make a lot of noise and burn a lot of fuel  and they are quite expensive for a newbie. But for masters of RC planes an engine is much better because of smoother flights, beside that, flying is much longer and for masters that’s quite important.

Types Of Airplanes

There are a lot RC planes available now, and they are divided into categories. Here are most common types of RC airplanes:

Trainer airplanes

  • Designed for learning
  • Wing on top for max stability
  • Powered by electric power or engine
  • Different sizes and shapes
  • Most proper for the first RC airplane
  • Not that good in aerobatic performance

Sport airplanes

  • Upgrade of trainer airplanes
  • Better in aerobatic perform ave than trainer airplanes
  • Low or mid wing

Aerobatic airplanes

  • specified in more complex aerobatics’ performing and 3D flying
  • Upgrade of sport airplanes
  • Typically mid wing

Warbirds

  • One of the most popular RC airplanes
  • Nicest looking airplanes
  • Smooth flying characteristics
  • Wartime plane, particularly form second world war
  • Not the best for beginners

Vintage Airplanes

  • Common name is Oldtimer
  • Slow, gentle fliers

Gliders

  • Without a motor
  • glides through the air
  • Easy to control if you have wind

The Best RC Airplanes For Beginners

This is my list of the most “appropriate” RC airplanes for beginners – they are all trainer airplanes:

Top Race Remote Control Airplane

  • 3 channel airplane ( elevator, throttle, rudder )
  • Super easy to fly
  • Fully assembled ready to fly – RTF
  • 6-axis gyro ultra stable – self stabilization
  • Control distance to 320 feet
  • Flying time is up to 12 minutes on a single charge

HobbyZone Sport Cub

  • RTF – ready to fly
  • Everything you need to fly RC
  • Safe technology – remote has a panic button what means is that you loose a control over an airplane ( many times it does happen ) , you press a panic button and stabilizes so you can get control over airplane back
  • 4 channel airplane
  • 1st place ToyAward in Teenager and Family Category at the 2015 Nurnberg Toy Fair
  • Easy to teach yourself to fly
  • Electric motor

Crazepony RC Airplane C- 17 Transport

  • Lightweight material – safe from crashing
  • Easy to fly
  • Fly up to 15 minutes
  • DIY design – simple to assemble
  • Great price for what you get
  • 2 channels – for beginners and KIDS

HobbyZone Champ RTF Airplane

  • Ready to fly
  • Everything you need to teach yourself to fly in one box
  • Great price for what you get
  • Eye catching design
  • One of the best designers in RC aircraft

My Advice

So assuming you are a newbie in this hobby, and learning how to fly is your priority, please don’t go after really expensive planes. First you need to learn how to control an airplane, it seems that is very easy, but it could be overwhelming, so believe me you need as much help as possible to learn how to fly. Go after 3 channels, if you’ll go for 4 channels, tape ailerons button or just leave it alone, and learn first to fly with rudder, don’t go after a really big plane nor a really small one as well, and one of the best features of an airplane for beginners is safe technology – this is the far most important thing to have, if you want to keep your airplane not lost or broken.

If you have any questions, comments, please write me and I would be glad to reply.

Cheers,

Primoz P.

10 Comments

Add Yours →

My grandson is going to love this site Primoz

You have shared some really great information and my grandson wants to learn how to fly planes and I will be showing him this website today as he has wanted to do this for a while now and reading this post today has inspired me to look with him and help him get started with his flying machines 🙂

Thank you

Hi Primoz, I come across your post when I was searching for remote control plane on Google. Recently my daughter who is only 5 years old started to be interested with remote control planes. Is this what you meant by RC plane? If yes, will it be safe for a 5 year old to have this hobby. It would be good if you can give me some advice at the same time recommend me a suitable one for her.

Hi Florence! Yes rc is radio controlled plane. My opinion, based on my experience ( i have to children 4 And 6 to ) I dont believe a 5yo could fly airplane- i bought a drone, couple of days past by And my 6yo asked je to fly it.. she broke it. Another drone Got broken. Then I decided to buy rc car – first one Got broken, now second one she finally get it how to navigator it,but it’s quite slow And has good materials to prevent getting broke. My advice is Just go for a rc car at firsst, you dont need expensive one, so that she conquers a controlled And get the Feeling how to navigate joysticks. Then go for a plane,it’s easier than a drone, but still flying an aircraft isnt that innocent easy hobby, but it is better than a drone in my opinion. It you have any question- please reply i Will be really happy to help you out.

cheers

primoz

This post came at the right time because I’m about getting an expensive plane thinking that will be good for a start as I’m about to venture into this hobbies because my friends who are into this do explain how interesting and how they love doing it telling me to give it a try and I’m about to give it a try as I was told to get a plane. Reading this post has enlighten me on the next step to take.

I wish this post existed “back in the day”.  Of course, the internet didn’t back then so…

I so wanted an RC helicopter and Jet.  I used to subscribe to RC Modeler and would dream of an Air Wolf like helicopter with automatic BB guns and model rocket launcher.  Then I fell in love with Learjet and wanted an RC model of that.  We’re talking 7 foot in size.

OK, so I was 10 or so, but still, those dreams occupied most of my time.  Sadly, the budget only left room for model rockets, which I did enjoy a lot.

Fast forward to today and I’m all about drones.  I even have a site dedicated to them.  Just like you, I offer articles and recommendations for beginners and pro’s alike.

I love the options you’ve listed and the fact that you’ve included specifics for each.  Your advice on starting with a less expensive option is spot on.

Thanks for this post, even if it might be 30 years too late for me.  It brought me back to those days and put a smile on my face,

     Scott

Hi Scott! I dont believe that it is tok late- who are the Best aerobatic airplane pilots in the world? They are not Younger than 50 ! So for a hobby then nobody iz too old. They say fishing iz good for calming, i disagree, flying an airplane than iz nirvana, Just operating your plane And see how it flies- the best antistress pill there is.

cheers

primoz

Thank you for a great post with valuable information Primoz.  My son is really eager to get his first plane, he has been saving for months.  He is 9 years old.  He has had some experience flying the RC Helicopters but not planes, is it the same?  I have to say the times I’ve seen him fly one, he didn’t crash it. 

In your opinion which one would you recommend we get for him to start with? As I’ve mentioned he has very little experience, I have none. And he is young.  

Thank you for the information, although I am still unsure, and please keep me posted please. 

Ok helicopter is very hard to master it, esprcially a 9 yo, to be honest I don’t like helicopters, they are different than planes or drones…RC boat is the fastest one to master, airplane is the second in my opinion.. For start go for a two channel one with through it in the air and vertically landing – this should be the most proper one for start. I will look what should be the best for him and I’ll keep posted.

Cheers

Primoz

Leave a Reply