If you are just looking at getting into the exciting world of flying RC planes, you are in for a great time! This is a great hobby, and it is becoming more and more popular all the time.
To take advantage of this growing popularity, companies have been turning out a lot of planes “for beginners.” Some are good, and some are not so good. With large number of options, it can be difficult (especially for a true beginner) to figure out which one is a good choice.
Who has the time to dig through a hundred different planes (the whole time not knowing what half the terms mean) trying to find the right one? Even if you have a good bit of experience with other RC vehicles like cars and trucks or even helicopters, you will still have something to learn when it comes to planes.
Getting The Right Plane
So, it sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it? Don’t stress out! This is a hobby after all, it’s supposed to be fun!
Do not worry, I am going to do my best to help you get the right plane. Lets start off with some tips on what to look for, then we’ll look at some suggestions.
Obviously, you don’t want to start off with an advanced plane. You would be setting yourself up to hate your new hobby. The hatred would start about the time you smashed your new, very expensive plane nose first in the ground.
So what makes a good beginning plane besides price? Well, you will want a fairly slow plane (so it is easier to control), and you will want your plane to be stable, and high-winged. I know this sounds boring, but you need to start slow so that you can learn how to fly these planes bit by bit. If you start to fast, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Now, lets look at some of my favorite planes for new RC pilots.
Best Plane For Beginners Under $100: HobbyZone Champ RTF
The HobbyZone Champ RC plane is an entry level RTF that appeals to first timers and seasoned RTF pilots alike. It offers a lot of performance for its price and is very beginner-friendly. Most newcomers master the basics in the first fifteen minutes. Veteran fliers will want one in their fleets because they are plain ol’ fun to fly.
With a wingspan just under two feet, the Champ is a small plane. Though the body is made of styrofoam, it is surprisingly durable. Like any aircraft, you will want to avoid obstacles and crashes, but it holds up very well. Smoothly take off in less than twenty feet and safely land on grass without worry. If you always land on a tarmac, this plane will last until you are ready to upgrade and well beyond.
Consistently rated by veteran hobbyists as the best RC plane for beginners, the Champ is the wisest choice for the lone pilot beginning his solo career. The small size means you can learn to fly in your yard or at a park. However, please thoroughly research all safety precautions as well as local ordinances before getting started. Some municipalities restrict RC planes to designated areas.
Besides the safety rules, you will want to keep this plane’s limitations in mind. Though it is a durable plane, styrofoam does not handle a crash as well as wood, polymers or other materials common to higher end planes. You can glue a break, but it is best to prevent the damage. Styrofoam is also light weight, so it is not the best plane to fly in the wind. Fortunately, you can easily adapt to these minor limitations and expect hours of performance from this plane.
Experienced enthusiasts like The Champ because it has a big plane feel. It executes rolls and loops with aplomb. It is the perfect plane to take for a spontaneous flight. You can skip the hassle of transporting fuel: just grab the rechargeable batteries and go.
The only real drawback to The Champ is that it comes in a single color. The best thing is to embrace the cheery yellow and enjoy how easily you can spot your plane in the sky or find it on the grass. Its color is sure to attract attention, so you will make new friends and have plenty of student pilots waiting for lessons. Everybody likes The HobbyZone Champ RC. Order yours today!
A Bigger Option: The Wing Tiger V2.5
Flying remote control planes is a fun hobby to get involved in, but it can be difficult to choose a beginner plane. You don’t want to get something too complicated or expensive, but at the same time you don’t want something cheap and boring either. It’s a fine line between the two. There are so many planes to choose from, and there are a lot of good choices for a first plane. The Wing Tiger 2.5 Electric RC Plane is definitely one of those good choices.
There are a few features that make the Wing Tiger in particular a good choice. First, there is the way that it handles. It has a large wingspan, about 51 inches, making it very stable in the air. The larger size (it’s built to scale at 1/5 size) also makes it easy to see, so even the novice RC flyers who aren’t used to keeping sight of a smaller model can keep track of it in the air.
The wheels for the Wing Tiger are also larger than is typical for an RC plane, which is a definite advantage for beginners. The larger wheel size makes it much easier to take off and land in different kinds of conditions, including tall grass.
Another advantage of the Wing Tiger is the variable speed. It can be flown at slower speeds so that beginners can learn to fly and keep control of the plane, or it can be flown at full speed for more experienced RC pilots.
A third advantage is the battery time. You can fly the Wing Tiger continuously for about twenty minutes per charge thanks to the efficient brushless motor. This, combined with the radio’s range of 400 feet, means that the Wing Tiger can be flown farther and longer than many of its competitors.
One disadvantage of the Wing Tiger is the propeller, which can be a little bit delicate. It breaks easily if it touches the ground during take-off or landing, which can be a drawback. However, this problem is both avoidable, by not letting the propeller touch the ground, and easily fixed. The part is not very expensive and pretty simple to repair.
Overall, the Wing Tiger V2.5 Electric RC Plane is both easy to use and fun, and is a good purchase for a wide range of talents and abilities. If you are looking for a good beginner RC plane, the Wing Tiger V2.5 is an ideal choice, and it will remain interesting and fun as your skill level in the hobby increases.
Awesome All-In-One Flying Package: HobbyZone F4U Corsair
You send your radio controlled airplane into a barrel roll. While you are doing this, you are momentarily distracted by someone talking to you. When you look back to your plane, you have difficulty telling if it is inverted or not. Instead of panicking, you press the bailout button on your controller and watch as your plane rights itself into straight and level flight. Now you are ready to continue learning how to fly.
The reason that you were able to do this is that you are flying what might be the best beginner RC plane around. The Hobbyzone F4U Corsair S RTF is equipped with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology that is designed to help you learn how to fly your plane without worrying about destroying your aircraft. Its three modes of operation change as you progress through your training and they always offer the option to bailout back to a level starting position.
In the Beginner mode, the SAFE system restricts the acrobatics that you can perform and allows for assisted takeoffs and landings. You will not be able to climb too steeply or bank too sharply. As you progress, you will move to the intermediate mode that has looser controls. You will be able to get a better feel for the craft, but you will still not be able to do many maneuvers. In the advanced mode, all of the restrictions are gone. Loops, barrel rolls and inverted flight are just a few of the things that this acrobatic plane will be able to do.
Your Corsair is modeled after the WWII plane that impressed everyone that witnessed it in combat. It comes complete with everything you need to start flying. The beginner RC airplane reviews agree that this is the plane that beginners should be learning on. It has the simplicity of being ready to fly, but it is complex enough that even expert RC hobbyists have a blast flying it.
A minor drawback is the flight-time allowed by the battery. Because the SAFE technology is constantly adjusting the craft, you will only have about 20 minutes of flight per charge. The purchase of an additional battery and a quick charger will ensure that your plane is only on the ground for as long as it takes to swap the batteries.
The SAFE technology that Hobbyzone has come up with easily brings RC flight into the hands of almost everyone. You no longer have to worry about crashing your expensive plane or paying someone to give you lessons on how to work your own RC craft. Now is the time to spread your wings and fly.
Watch this video to see the SAFE technology in action on the F4U Corsair:
Check back often, as I intend to expand this list in the future.