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RC plane- Model airplanes- beginners tips

Updated on October 6, 2013

Rc plane Beginners

The best rc plane to start with Is a high wing as it will fly slower and don't worry about what it looks like as this is your practice model .

Top tip for flying model planes normally if the plane is on the ground and the wind moves it ,it normally means it is too windy to fly.

Especially for beginners .

The rc plane in the picture below is the ideal model to start with it is the champ rtf.

It is 3 channel which means you have elevator ,rudder ,throttle which is a good way to learn the basic skills quickly.

This rc plane will be able to with stand a few bumps and if you lose control just let the sticks go and it should correct its self flight times up to 10 mins can be expected from this model .

Radio control Airplane

Great beginner model

The best way to learn to start flying an Rc plane is to buy a simulator for your computer or buy your self a ready to fly model which comes with everything in the box to get you into the air fast.

This rc plane on the left is a rtf model ready to fly out of the box it is a popular rc plane it has 2 channels which means no elevator so you depend on throttle to give you your lift which is not a bad thing when you are starting to learn to fly.

Also parts are readily available and can be replaced quite easily.

It has the prop on the back so wont break on those get use to it crashes and also self correcting if you get into trouble .

When trying to decide what radio controlled airplane to buy There are a number of factors you have to consider.

How much have you got to spend. ?

What size area will I need to fly it in ?

How many channels 2,3,4,6 its up to you but the lower the amount of channels the easier it is to fly ?

Do you want to buy it ready built or do some of the assembly ?

What's is the best charger to buy ?

So lets start off with the first question cost, You can get started these days with a cheap Rtf type (ready to fly)

These come with minimum assembly and can cost from 70 -200 Dollars.

The most you might have to do is screw the wings on and charge the battery.

So with that in mind what type of plane is a good starter to learn on .

We all would love to rush out and by that spitfire or ducted fan mig 29 that looks so cool but most likely will end up coming home in a plastic bag and empty feeling of 200 dollars down the the drain.

Rc flight Simulators

If you want to learn to fly a RC plane or helicopter this simulator will help you. If you are on a budget this simulator is for you. You can learn to fly and crash thousands of dollars in planes and helicopter.

So when you go to the field to fly you are more confident .

My kids picked it up quick and are flying well with the simulator .

Remember to read the box and make sure it works with your operating system xp, vista or windows 7 which ever you have.

Volantex RC 6-CH Simulator USB RC Airplane R/C Helicopter Training Kit for windows XP/Vista/Win7
Volantex RC 6-CH Simulator USB RC Airplane R/C Helicopter Training Kit for windows XP/Vista/Win7

Learn to fly Rc without the worry of crashing.

Works best with windows xp

.Not great reports on working with vista or windows 7.


RC Guide Flying your plane for the first time

Flying tips.

When you get your first model there is normally a great rush to get it up in the air as quick as possible .

But it is worth stoppping for a few minutes and give your radio controlled Airplane a pre-flight look over.

Check your controller make sure everything is centered and your throttle is back or hold it back with your finger while you or a friend either switches on the plane or connects a battery as some don't have starter switch depends on the model.

A word of caution because these models are electric does not make them less dangerous then the engine type.

You could get a very nasty cut from the spinning propeller so follow safety guide lines as per models instructions.

Make sure your Aerial is fully extended and not near any thing that might cause interference.

This refers to 3 channel models as you don't have flaps to worry about.

So now your plane is switched on move your rudder control stick left and right and make sure it moves freely.

Then do the same with your elevator stick up and down movement.

And then your throttle holding the plane with hands away from the propeller. bring it up to full throttle for a second

make sure its not losing any power.

Now for beginners the best way to launch these models is out of your hand and it will save you battery power and you will have a better success rate.

So throttle up and walking at a fast pace let the plane leave you hand at a slight angle not too much or it will stall.

it should start to climb after a small drop .

Work gentle on the controls very small movements as to big a stick movement will result in crash or stall.

Good beginner Models

Balancing your model before flight.

Centre of gravity

The main point about the batteries is the weight these light weight electric models are very sensitive so if your battery is too far forward it will dive ,too far back it will stall one way to tell is to hold your rc airplane at its centre of gravity this means holding where it will balance .

Now there are special rigs you can buy for this but your fingers will do just fine..

centre of gravity is normally in the middle of the main wing when you hold the body for most models.

Ill show you in a picture of my poor battered Gws tigermoth .

When you hold your model loosely between your fingers in a similar position to the picture with the battery installed it should basically balance with the nose tilting very slightly down .

That applys to most model aircraft because if it wont balance there it wont balance in air when its flying.

Especially when you are a beginner.

When you have more experience you might be able to compensate for this with a bit of trim adjustment etc .

And most ready to fly models will come with this already sorted for you anyway but if you decide to start experimenting with different battery packs this knowledge will come in handy.

Rc Airplanes Flying conditions

Wind Meter Anemometer

This has been a terrible year for electric model plane flying conditions Sure hope weather improves .

One of the other basic rules of flying Rc airplanes is the wind factor especially for lightweight small electric rc airplanes.

The general rule of thumb is when you put the model down on the ground if the wings are moving in the wind that means its too windy to fly .so my advise is don't fly.

Another way is to buy a wind meter like the one here.

With electric Remote Control airplanes the wind speed is very important since the power is limited. This anemometer is great since it is small (about the size of a candy bar, fits in your hand) and fits in your flight box easily. The commands are menu driven on it's display and are easy to remember. Makes it easier to decide if the wind is too high for safe flying. Works great for me.

Wind meter

Wind meters are cheap to buy and can give a great indication of when it is a good time to fly.

Rc airplane rtf
Rc airplane rtf

Ready To Fly

Ready to fly micro Biplane

I just bought this Ready to fly Rc Airplane model to review.

It works on 2.4ghz with 3 channel control.

Comes with good instructions and list of spare parts should you need them.

Charging time seems to take around 40 minutes so ill update this if it improves over time.

Don't be fooled by its size this plane is quite fast but will fly best in a light breeze of 2 miles an hour or no breeze at all.

I thought after first crash it would be wrecked but was fine so fly over longish grass if you are beginner but not too long or you wont be able to find it.

On closer inspection the model needed slight upward trim on the elevator which it does explain how to do in the instructions

I had 4 crashes because i was trying to video and fly at the same time and on the fourth crash the botttom wing broke but the good news is it can be fixed in 2 minutes with tape .

This is an excellent precision micro Rc airplane .

You can adjust the trim in flight . But worth checking it is level before flying !!!

I am very impressed with the way it handles and flys if you just have a few minutes for a quick flight this is the way to go. i flew this early in the morning otherwise you will be surrounded by kids and it wont stand up to overenthusiastic hands trying to pick it up when it lands.

Unfortunately it didn't make the 5th flight so back on the repair table so fly this over longish grass about 7 or 8 inches it should last a lot longer.

the wing is now glued so should be taking it for it next flight and hope to upload the video .

Ar Drone

This is one cool flying machine

Battery Pack

Battery care help them last longer.

When it comes to electric radio controlled Airplanes your batteries are a vital part of your Airplane maintenance.

When you buy your first electric model plane some will come with intelligent chargers which know when your battery is fully charged.

Unfortunately on some of the cheaper models your instructuions will tell you to charge the battery for a certain length of time.

These are the chargers I will be talking about here.

Most of the batterys you get with your cheaper models are NiMh type .

What you want to watch out for here is when they are charging don't let them get too hot .

They will get warm which is fine but leave them plugged in and forget about them and you will cook them.

So one of my top tips is to get a plug in mains timer and plug you your charger into that and set it to the recommended time that's comes with your instructions.

Also buy yourself a spare battery as its worth having two or three so one is charging while you are flying.

Some models even come with car chargers so you can charge on the go.

As you can see from the above picture over time you will accumalate a collection of batteries and chargers this is a small sample of my collection . In this picture you can see lipo cells as well as NiMh type.

The lipo cells give you a better power to weight ratio when it comes to flying times but can be a lot more easy to damage in a crash.

And have to be monitored while charging due to the fact that they can in rare circumstances catch fire if over charged or damaged.


Cool jets on Amazon

These are not recommended for first time flyers but when you get more experience you will be hooked.


Rc airplane chargers

Battery safety

Rc Airplane chargers come in all shapes and form.

And can be priced as low or as high as you like.

If you are going to get into this hobby on a full time basis. most likely you will end up with a couple of chargers.

But be aware you have to use the right charger for the the right type of battery.

Only lipo chargers for lipo batteries and nimh chargers for NiMh Batteries as that it could damage your battery or worse it could also catch fire or burst which is very rare but as with everything safety first.

I remember lying in bed one night hearing a hissing sound on the landing that was coming and going.

When i went to investigate it was a AA battery cell that was hissing and giving of some gas that was inside which i had charged as normal.

So might be worth storing batterys in a safe manner or better still charging them out in your shed if you are lucky enough to have one.

Buy a rc airplane charger - Battery Charger

Buying a good charger will greatly extend life of your batteries .

The charger I have will identify the battery type, capacity, and how long to charge it.

But you will pay a

Rc cameras for your Aeroplane.

Now they have rc cameras you can atttach to your model for a birds eye view but always take in the weight factor especially if you are flying electric.

What you need to look for here is frames per second 30 is the normal standard. and the higher the pixel rate the better 640*480 or above should give good quality.

Rc cameras for mounting on your aeroplane

Rc Parts
Rc Parts

How does your rc plane work

Well inside your Rc plane you have a few electronic parts.

Basically you have a receiver to receive your joystick movements from your transmitter.

A battery pack for power.

And Plugged into your receiver is a speed controller for your throttle.

And a number of servos which are linked to your rudder,elevator and flaps with light metal or plastic rods.

Normally an electric rc plane will have 3 servos and a speed controller that would be for a 4 channel plane.

2 servos and receiver and speed controller for a 3 channel which is elevator,rudder,and throttle.

Rc or Infra red which is best.

One thing you should watch out for when buying Rc planes or helicopters is the type of rc .

Infra red does not work great outdoor and has a very limited range and does not like interference from sun light.

So when your buying your model unless you want to use it indoors make sure there is an aerial on or with the transmitter and not the the red,blue,yellow plastic infra red cover on top of the controller.

Flying tips for gws spitfire

Gws have been making models for years and their spitfire is an excellent flying model as your first spitfire.

But not good as a first plane to learn on !!!

If you bought it as a starter plane my advice is to put it a side and learn on something else like the gws tigermoth and when you are more confident take out the spitfire.

One thing to be careful about on this model is the centre of gravity if you get this wrong its crash time.

Just make sure you haven't balanced it too far back a piece of clay is in the kit for balance.

this is the most important tip for a successful flight.

If you have any questions or tips or stories of your own experience with Rc Airplanes feel free to write them here.

Say Hello or compare notes about Electric Rc Airplanes - Radio controlled feedback.

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    • EdwardPhelan LM profile image

      EdwardPhelan LM 5 years ago

      The parrot AR drone looks incredible! Thanks for this!

    • SquidooJeff profile image

      SquidooJeff 6 years ago

      I might be able to get into flying RC airplanes! This stuff looks fun!

    • glazberg profile image

      glazberg 6 years ago

      This is just a Great Hobby...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Any body know is there any rc plane model of the shuttle that flys that i can buy in the shops.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the information on balancing the airplane as i have crashed before over this exact problem.

    • SurveillanceGuy1 profile image

      SurveillanceGuy1 6 years ago

      @Surfbored: Thanks surfboard just trying to make this hobby more accessible to people who might thing it is more complicated then it is.

    • profile image

      Surfbored 6 years ago

      Great information .