For a beginner the selection of RC plane is crucial, because it will decide whether you will continue
this hobby or not? Here you will find the steps to select your first RC plane either for buying or building,
1. Start with ‘High wing’ planes
The high wing trainer airplanes will help you to build your confidence in flying. By high wing
we mean that the wing sits on top of the fuselage. High wing airplanes are stable because the
weight of the fuselage below the wing always acts to stabilise the airplane in flight, that means
they have a natural tendency to stabilise by itself. These planes will give you enough reaction
time if something went wrong, this is exactly what the beginner pilots want.
2. Select a wing with ‘Dihedral angle’
Dihedral is the gentle V shape to the main wing when viewed from the front. As the dihedral
angle increases the stability of the plane also will increase up to a certain point.
It will make a pendulum effect while flying, this is because the fuselage is hanging from the wings. The
more scientific reason for this is the dihedral wings will help the ‘airplanes with no ailerons’ to make a
smooth banking turn with only rudder. Like a thumb rule we can say “RC airplanes that do have ailerons
will have noticeably less dihedral than those without”.
3. Choose ‘3 or 4’ channels wisely
It is better to choose a 3-channel trainer plane at the beginning, because controlling a 4-
channel airplane is bit more difficult for the beginner pilots. A 3-channel plane usually consists
of thrust, rudder and elevator as shown in fig.3a.
You can add the fourth channel ‘the ailerons’(Fig.3b), once you are comfortable with the 3 channel airplanes.
4. Start with an Electric plane
It is a lot easier to setup and fly an electric RC plane than a nitro or gasser planes. Electric
planes are cheap and need little maintenance when compared to IC engine planes. It is awesome
to fly gasser or nitro planes but before that get some experience in flying, crashing and
rebuilding with an electric one.
5. Foam planes are your friend.
Foam planes are crash resistant, durable and very easy to repair. Do not start with a balsa
wood plane, instead use an inexpensive foam plane. Different types of foams available in the
market, for e.g. Styrofoam, Depron, Expanded Poly Propylene etc. It will help you to build
confidence in flying without loosing your money.
6. Push models will save monaey
Push model planes are better because all the electronics and engine will be safe after a
crash. Most of the RC pilots will crash while learning and If you use a front engine or pull model
airplane, there is a chance to get damaged the engine after a crash.
Push Model Pull Model
7. Select Slow flying configuration
You will be more comfortable with slow flyer because you will get enough time to
respond when something goes wrong, and this will help you to make muscle memory. For this
you can choose slow flying props and motor configuration
8. Size of the airplane
Choosing the airplane size is depending on the space availability for you. Small planes are
very sensitive to wind and big planes required a large space for flying, take-off and landing. So,
choose a medium size airplane for the flying practice.
Below you may find different RC plane packages;
A. Ready to Fly or RTF:
● Everything you will get in a single package,
● Need very little work to get in to air
● Usually expensive.
● No background knowledge required.
B. Bind and Fly (BNF)
● Here you can use own transmitter for flying
● Just need to bind with the receiver
● Only very little RC knowledge required
C. Almost Ready to Fly (ARF)
● Require some building experience
● Requires your own electronics, so require more knowledge on electronics and setup
● You have more selection options and wide performance envelope depending on
electronics and engine selection
● Require Strong knowledge in building
● Need more time to complete
● Performance is not guaranteed its depends on the building skill
● Require very good knowledge in electronics and engine selections
E. Building from Scratch
● Build planes in any shape or size you want
● Develop building skills
● It is cheap and get a lot of fun
● If you build you can fix it easily.
Wish you have a safe and happy flying…