Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beginner rc airplanes

In the last post we discussed the beginner basics of an rc jet flying and today we will take a step further and get our hands on to selecting a beginner rc airplane. Remember that our level to achieve is an rc jet flying … I hear you say why…? The answer is simple. It is because we are up to an ultimate experience of remote control airplane flying, as till of today remote controlled jet is the fastest and the sleekest form of an rc aircraft. Yes you are right we are in this hobby for flying and flying fast. But then we should raise our level to rocket flying…. Well …yes! Rockets can be installed with radio controls and rockets have really fast speed, faster than remote controlled jets, but there is one thing which gets in between flying remote controlled rockets and that is the maneuverability. Speed of rockets is so fast that they vanish from the sight of our eyes in seconds. While seeing and controlling is the main aspect which contains all the fun and excitement of radio controlled flying machines. Well ….. If not today but if I am to be a little enthusiast and think of achieving a higher speed, tracking an rc rocket on a real time satellite map grid on the display of my laptop will be a real fun. For that we will have to install a satellite communication device in our rc rocket….. hey…… one minute installing a device which will control our rocket through a satellite will make it satellite controlled rocket, a superior kind in radio controls. What that will cost…???
But before we go wild any further, I should hold my horses and get back to the main topic of this post which is selecting a beginner rc airplane.
Okay, since you have made up your mind to get yourself into the ever thrilling hobby of rc airplane flying, this is the time that you decide to either make a purchase of your first beginner rc airplane, ready to fly RTF(ready to fly) or ARTF (almost ready to fly) or a Kit(requires constructing from scratch).
Ready to fly rc airplanes are like plug n play gadgets, just charge and fly, no hassle of getting into fabricating and assembling. Just buy the RTF airplane and get into the flying business. You will definitely clean your hands on this one as the speed is supposed to be a little slower so you can get the feel of it in true sense before you can step up and buy a little faster one. To see the types see beginner basics.
Almost ready to fly remote controlled airplane needs a little assembling of parts. There are few choices which are given for customization and practice on assembling the parts. This is a good way to know your machine; the more you know the better will be your understanding of flying. You will be able to add your own features in your future models. That is why ARTF is a better option when getting your hands into remote controlled airplane for the first time.
Here comes the kit. If you decide to go for a kit, you will have to start from scratch. I agree that building anything from a box full of parts, pieces of balsa and plywood with a plan can be a little discouraging, in addition to that for the first timers building remote controlled airplane from a kit will require some building material like adhesives and some tools as well. This will bring the cost of your project on a higher side. Considering that the good aspect is that you will have a tool kit prepared for your next project and these will help you in repairing your other remote controlled airplanes too.

First RC Airplane Types: The decision.

Now let’s compare all the three options we have. The deciding factor is your passion and the eagerness to learn for flying hobby as the finished cost of a ready to fly airplane is the same as of a kit built rather a kit built may go on the higher side. If you will go on your hunt of buying rc airplane, a good size kit will cost you in between USD 70 to USD 90, this price may lead you to the conclusion that a rc kit is more economical than buying an Almost or Ready to Fly kit, which may cost you around USD 120 to USD 130. But the point to consider is that with a kit you will still have to buy some building material like covering and adhesives, fuel tank and tubing, wheels and wheel collars and tools which are not included in your kit. Always look for the items which are not included in your rc airplane kit which you will have to purchase in order to finish building your first remote control airplane. This hassle of purchasing things separately and assembling them will make most of you steer towards a ready to fly ones.
So, why somebody would want to buy something which will take days to a week to build and will cost the same as of a ready to fly rc airplane?? The answer again is the same …. Your passion!! The feel of the building process, if you are a person who likes to do things with your hands then the option of buying a kit is a little easier for you. But for those of you who do not like to do things with their hands and can’t wait till the building process is finished, I would advise to take a chance and do it at least once so that you get to know the inner working of your rc airplane and come to know the basics which implies on almost all the types you will use in the future. To give you a little heart, all the building plans come with good beginner rc airplane kits are very well written and will take you by the hand in finishing your project, so a person with average skill level can do it easily. I can’t emphasize enough that how learning this experience of building your own aircraft is…. If you don’t go for building in the first place and instead get a ready to fly one, should consider building one by your own self a little later, it will definitely take you to the next level. Personally building one all by myself has taught me a great deal about the techniques, designs and aerodynamics of remote controlled airplanes in general. Once you are done building some with some kits, you will find yourself making modification on your own, getting ideas from other models and improving designs. How would that feel??
The propulsion of an remote controlled airplane is an important factor as well. Consider between electric airplane, gas propelled, nitro or nitro methane powered. Some are meant for indoors and some are for outdoors. Cheaper the rc airplane less features it will have. The basic features will always be the same but cheaper rc airplane may have only maneuvers of left, right, up and down; most of them come with forward and backwards controls as well. Also if you see a real cheap one, must check if it is not missing any key item like battery as purchasing a battery separately will cost you more than the one included with the kit or ready to fly rc airplane.

Now this has become a very long post.... before my fingers tear down I leave you till next time.

Happy flying!!



  1. how do u feel about flight simulators? it would seem the best way to learn since they come with a controller that plugs into a PC. but i dont understand why u can buy one as cheap as $20 or as expensive as $200. id rather spend the $20 but still want it to work as a trainer. suggestions?

  2. Well the basics of both cheap and expensive flight simulators is the same except for some advanced features. Like Real Flight G5 RC Airplane simulator comes with the feature of online competitions where you can fly with other pilots while learning the new maneuvers.
    However you can go for Real Flight Basic RC airplane simulator which comes in half the price of G5 (if you can live without the online competitions) :)
    Moreover there are some free flight simulators also available where you only have to buy the transmitter.

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  4. This is nice information that you have posted here. Thanks for this one. My friends will appreciate this.

  5. Really a inspiring post.This helps me as a guidance to play a RC plane.Thank you for sharing.