RC planes for beginners

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No need to buy E-book we have covered most important issues you need to know.


Outlines to be covered: 


1:  Why is the beginner plane so important?

2:  What are the important features the beginner plane should have?

3: What type of plane should you buy between RTF and ARF plane?

4:  What are the successful learning paths for the new RC flyer?


1:  RC planes for beginners: Why is it so important?


This really is big thing among new RC flyers and they seem to be like losing in the space of information provided by the vendors.  I got a bad lesson for myself several years ago when I bought the trainer plane on my own justification.  It was High-wing Cessna with single motor I bought it because it looked so appealing to me.  As a new flyer I could fairly fly it with trembling hand worrying about crashing it through out the flight, and that was nervous flight as the plane was not stable at all. This plane did not give me a kind of relax feeling in any way, it needed tedious control and I believed it would surely go to pieces if I left my finger off the control stick it. Furthermore it always gave me bad landing that I hated to accept as it had tendency to tip stall when the plane came close to the ground.  At that time I used to think of my poor skill for not good at landing, and it was never improved for quite a long time. Just until I gave up flying with this plane so as to discover some interesting fact by myself.  That plane was poorly made and improper wing design. 


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That was a painful experience I learned because when I was flying other trainer plane offered by one of my friend who said to me as really relaxing control.  I admitted I was a dump flyer for not seeking enough information from people who got flying with good trainer plane before.  The lending plane I flew was astonishingly relax with self- recovered when making incorrect input and it was exceptionally stable flying particularly when attempted to land. It glided well, no stall at any hint, and smartly taught you what a smooth landing really looks like.  With some more flight with this plane I had so happy feeling with it and knowing that learning with good plane was lovely and truly a gem in successful flight training course.   


That was an unsuccessful story of a guy who went with wrong trainer plane. I am happy I am still flying the RC plane as I can impart the reason why choosing right trainer plane can greatly contribute to your successful learning.  So please do not buy any trainer plane without reading this post.  This is a heartfelt suggestion for everyone who is seeking for a new trainer plane for his hobby.


2:  What are the important features the beginner plane should have?


Many folks who start this hobby always wonder how to determine a good beginner plane?  The reason is there are so many RC planes out there that are called “beginner” but do you know which designs gives you the most value for money and also suitable for a newbie that exposes to numerous crashes.  For this reason you must understand the important features that should be built in a good beginner plane.


2.1: Landing gear / you may not need it at first.


As so many trainer planes have landing gear available but in reality it will always be thrown off or bending during the landing or, in a worst case, it may never be in use as the plane got heavy damage from head-on crash.  When I made earlier flight I took off the landing gear and got belly landing long until I felt confidence I could make a smooth landing that I resumed the installation for the landing gear.  Having landing gear may also cause more drag and deteriorate the flying performance of the airplane. Furthermore flying without landing gear has more opportunity to land such as high grass landing, uneven surface landing just for instances.


The trainer plane with landing gear is not my ideal plane at all.  You can buy this kind of plane later if you marvel with landing for sometimes.  There is no rule here whatsoever for this practicing if you love to have landing gear attached on the plane and this is your determination then go on with it causes happy attitude is always making good flying hobby anyway.


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2.2: Rear engine and propeller / it can survive most crash.


Among the vast selection of trainer plane there are noticeable choices between a nose motor installation and rear motor installation RC plane. The one with nose motor looks good and is quite a real model plane for you.  The other one with rear mounted motor may seems a bit off design but still looks nice however.


One good point for the plane with rear motor mounted is its incorporated glider design that surely marvels in the stable and gliding characteristics. Now think about the situation when having head-on crash, which contributes to great ratio of the mishaps, the plane with nose engine mounted will account for heavy damage than the one with rear engine mounted.  This is confirmed and I believe you know the reason why the designs were given differently in a safety concerned. So if you expect to fly the trainer plane with extensive flight hour why don’t you look for the trainer plane with rear engine mounted.



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2.3: EPO foam fuselage and wings / tough material and easy to repair.


The EPO construction plane is tough it can withstand many crashes that are in your capacity to fix and fly again. Most trainer plane in the market offer EPO foam – the advantage of the material that is value for money.  Crashes are common incident found around the new RC flyer and that is not a discouraged issue and a waste of time like the old day. The EPO foam is really good material against the crash, I have seen that kind of plane in many hits and crashes but it was able to launch and fly again with less fix incurred.


Please do not buy a balsa trainer plane.  Balsa plane is more expensive and is less crash withstanding in comparison to the EPO trainer plane. Sometimes you might see many people fly balsa trainer plane with nitro engine but it can conclude that they were a skillful flyer but seems to be appreciated and go on with the trainer plane that equipped with nitro engine instead of the electric motor.  Please be noted that trainer plane is designed for easy flying and whether it is electric or nitro engine it is most preferable for RC flyer who don’t want to fly many type of plane.  Second note is a balsa trainer seems to be price cheapest among other type of planes.



2.4: High-wing trainer plane is much easy to fly


Generally speaking the high-wing plane is easy to fly as it tends to neutralize to level flight by itself. One note for your understanding is the main wing angle which is called “dihedral” is the key contribution to the auto adjustment to the center line of plane’s stabilization.  Many High-wing plane such as Piper cub, Cessna L19 (Bird Dog) have some dihedral angle on their main wing. This angle can be used even in the Low-wing airplane.  Just take a close look at the airliner wing where you can simply understand the application of the dihedral.




RC plane is similar to that of the real plane as the high-wing trainer gives you more time to correct the control thus it is a forgivable wing that you need to look for in the earlier stage of learning. Technically speaking the high-wing plane usually applies some dihedral angle and whether it is identical or not it allow you more advantage to overcome panic and correction time you may need in most case.


3:  Choose RTF (ready to fly) trainer plane / a value for your money


Ready to fly means you will have all gadgets you need to get off and fly just inside a box.  What you need is the assembled airplane with motor mounted, servos mounted, with all electrical equipment installed and wired. Including in the kit you will find radio transmitter that features four channels in particular plus battery with the charger. If you get three channels radio it is also acceptable since the model you buy might not include aileron control – that is possible for some type of plane.  You can imagine there are so many stuffs you must purchase separately if you decide to buy ARF (almost ready to fly) airplane since it offers only the plane parts. This kind of kit usually made for the experienced flyer who love real scale model plane but they need to purchase all electrical gadgets and engine to fit in the plane.


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Some note for you:  As the standard radio transmitter like Futaba and JR are so versatile nowadays they generally provide built-in memory that can record more model plane inside the radio unit. This means you can have many radio control plane linked to the existing radio transmitter. Today many radio transmitter have the added on SD card to enhance the memory so a hundred of the RC plane can be linked to a single radio transmitter.


4:  What are the successful learning paths for the new RC flyer?


I have written an extensive article about the tool that really help RC flyer succeed in this hobby.  If I do not mention this topic here the RC planes for beginners is hardly completed by its meaning.  So if you are serious in the flying hobby there are many paths to get learned.  Buying RC planes for beginners will be fully enjoyable outdoor recreation for you only if you know how to fly the plane correctly. Have you every plan how to make success learning yet?  In case that you are already good at flying RC plane then you are welcome to skip the detail I am giving.  Let me make a clear cut to learning paths that you all need to practice with RC Flight Simulator.


4.1: Flight Simulator


There are many type of radio control flight simulator some manufacturers just give only CD and adapter cable – which expects that you already have radio transmitter.  New RC flyer must looks for the flight simulator that provides dummy radio transmitter working with the CD they give.  Reflex, Phoenix, Real Flight are some common name of RC Flight Simulator known among RC enthusiast. Personally I have tried all of the said products but Reflex is mostly close to the real control of the RC plane I have flown. Count on your feeling at first as you start learning from the flight simulator the main purpose is to understand how to fly it correctly and safely.  In fact I would love to ironically say that the best RC planes for beginner really are the Flight Simulator.


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4.2: Get helper / when you want to fly real RC plane


If you decide to go for the first aerial flight with the RC plane you definitely need the helper.  Ideally the person should be the experienced RC flyer who is willing to assist you through the first solo flight. Preferably you need a buddy cable” but this is not compulsory. Just in case you need help during the flight you can hand your transmitter to this person to save your plane, but if you have Buddy Cable it is more convenient to switch over the control from you to the helper please see the picture for more understanding.


Buddy cable


4.3: Join the flying club


Why don’t you belong to the place where all RC plane lovers are associated?  This is not a bad idea and there are many forms of flying club around the community ranging from small group of people that gather in the unofficial flying field to a standard flying club that have all facilities provided. I used to be part of the RC group which consisted of ten people which gathering on every weekend at the barren land that was big enough to fit four football fields.  In fact this group had no official club named but we were there long over three years until the landlord sold it to the land developer which was later transforming our flying field into luxury condominium.


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Later on I joined a club that required some yearly membership but this club welcome mainly electric RC because it located inside the town so I need one more club that is nitro friendly.  A good short distance is the reason I join the first club where I enjoy flying every weekend.  Another flying club where I visited once in a while is good for big nitro engine plane. They charged me around eight dollars for the one day fee which limited to one plane at time. Not a bad ride of one hour from my house cause the club has very good facilities such as plane set up desk, restaurant, rest room, safe area for the flyer, and a 500 meter asphalt runway.  Most weekends the group of jet flyers was there so everyone would love to see the awesome flight of the jet planes which were rarely seen in the ordinary flying club.


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My favorite outdoor hobby is flying radio control plane which I did it over fifteen year of experience.  The message I am sending out there is to assist the new comer to save time and money to make their dream come true. As the RC plane is much easy to buy and more kids are entering into this hobby nowadays. The love of aviation start of shine brighter as they start flying the RC plane and gradually induce the inspiration to a significant career in aviation which always offer great opportunity in their life.  If you are new to this, please do not skip learning the RC flight simulator it significantly helps you understand how to fly the RC plane. Everyone can do it and once you can master it there then flying real trainer plane will be much easy and full of exciting experience.

















12 thoughts on “RC planes for beginners

  1. Hi Tinnakon!

    What a great site you have here bro!

    I really loved this post about beginning with RF planes.
    In this era of drones, it is always nice and relaxing to go back to the old Bernoulli, and ride in the wings of these beauties 🙂

    I don’t live in USA, and here RF planes are not so popular, however I know there are some places to go if want to enjoy this hobby.

    I have a 4 year old boy, and Im always looking for cool stuff to do with him, and this is a great choice!

    Your post for beginners in RF planes is just what I needed to start with.

    Thanks and all the best for you!

    • Choosing right trainer plane is not easy as you might think. Like I said it was a terrible time I got and no success l was when flying with bad design trainer plane. Get a right trainer plane and you can make success learning with ease just follow all steps I gave in the article. Thank you for your comment.

  2. What a great article for people who are just looking to get started in RC Planes. I used to fly them a little bit as a kid, but haven’t done so for a couple of decades, so I am probably classed as a beginner now. I never used a flight simulator, but it sounds like that might be the best way to get the feeling of flying these things. they’re not as easy as people think…

    • Yes the flight simulator is so real and you can feel it as if you were flying real RC plane. Even the experienced flyer still get back to it to practice some maneuver they do not master the real one. I am one of the folk who like to use flight simulator even though I have been flying the RC plane over fifteen years.

  3. If you don’t have the landing gear or the expertise to use it properly, how do you best land your plane? Are there certain models that allow for this without causing damage upon a landing? I guess you’d have to land on water or grass instead of a hard runway. But I’m a beginner too and wouldn’t know.

    • Yes you have to practice landing every time you fly the RC plane but to avoid damage to the landing gear it is better to practice with belly landing first – this is easily done on grass runway. Once you own fairly skill on this practice you can now fit in the landing gear and make safety landing. Many trainer plane, as you see one on this post, does not have landing gear so the main purpose is to practice flying. Landing is something you need extensive time to make it smooth and correct. So save the landing gear in the earlier stage is not a bad idea. Don’t you think so?

  4. Hi Tinnakon, thanks for sharing your personal PC plane experience with beginners.

    Now that I know how to choose a trainer plane for a beginner and it is interesting to know that the landing gear could be added on at the later stage of learning.

    May I ask, Is it a must to use the flight simulator first before the actual flight?

    • Yes like you said the Flight simulator is a must for every beginner and all experienced RC flyer. I always come back to this tool to practice interesting maneuver until I can master it before making it with the real plane. So you will not regret doing the Flight sim.

  5. Hey! Great post you have created here.
    I love these planes, once you try to fly these things you’re hooked. I bought a small one years ago and I still have it today, must go fly sometimes!
    I’m sure many people will find this article useful and interesting as I did.
    Thanks for sharing this and have a great day!
    Cheers and good luck

    • Have a nice time here a long as you can my friend. Every RC flyer love this hobby and it brings him pleasure even the time reading RC magazine. I enjoy pretty much making this website at least I have owned something that could be the haven for many new RC flyer in term of useful information.

  6. Hello Tinnakon,

    To be honest I have the feeling I know everything about RC planes now, but that will be probably a big mistake of mine…
    It is a great article, full of tips and tricks from buying to crashing to …
    I am more a kite guy, but now I have read you article, when there is no wind, I think i will check out the flying club nearby…
    A very inspiring article!


    • Hello Bert nice to here from you the very best thing to have website is the social connection and interaction from the reader. Thank you so much for comment and with the suggestion the website will surely has more lively content added in.

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