Before you fly
What's important in a beginner RC plane or Heli
First and foremost, the design of the airplane is very important for beginners; when learning to fly a radio control airplane you need a plane with stable and forgiving flight characteristics - a high-wing 'trainer' type configuration is best for this although there are other options available, such as the powered glider.
Power type is also an important thing to consider and these days the majority of beginner rc airplanes are electric powered as opposed to glow plug ('gas'). EP (Electric Power) means convenience and lower costs - always good news for a beginner to any hobby.
Something else to consider when choosing a beginner rc airplane is the availability of spare parts, as well as the construction of the plane i.e. how robust and durable it is. For example, a foam rc airplane can take more knocks than a traditional balsa wood constructed one and suffer less damage and, generally speaking, is much easier to repair.
Spare parts availability is important because your airplane will suffer some degree of damage sooner or later, and being able to replace a part that's broken beyond reasonable repair is important to safe flying. So when shopping around do check the supply of spares
A two channel electric powered rc airplane, although easier to master and fly (such planes typically have motor and rudder control), does have greater limitations in terms of flight performance capabilities; you will quickly learn the basics with such a plane.
If you are new to the radio control flying hobby, choosing an airplane or heli that is designed for beginners can make a big difference to your initial enjoyment of and success in the hobby. Buying and trying to fly an advanced model will almost certainly end in disaster, putting you off rc flying for life!
Maybe your first rc plane or Heli won't look exactly how you'd like it to but learning to fly safely is the prime factor to think about.
Learning to fly an rc airplane, helicopter or other type of radio controlled aircraft is a hobby that appeals to many people around the world, but for those who don't know where to start, trying to get off the ground can be a nightmare in more ways than one.
The radio control flying hobby has rocketed in popularity in recent years with electric powered airplanes and helicopters becoming cheaper, more widely available and easier to fly than ever before. It's these electric power (EP) aircraft that have drawn so many newcomers to the hobby lately, but of course internal combustion (IC) models are still widely available and still have the huge following.
There's a massive selection of beginner rc airplanes to choose from these days which is great news for the newcomer to the hobby, but the large choice can be a bit overwhelming to begin with.
RC Helicopters and planes are sold in 4 ways, RTF, BNF, PNF and ARF. The package that is right for you will come down to your level of experience and your budget.
RTF stands for "Ready To Fly". These packages come ready to fly straight of the box! all you need to do is charge the battery and your ready to go.
BNF stands for "Bind And Fly". BNF kits come with everything (99% of the time) except the transmitter. With these kits you are required to bind your own transmitter to the supplied receiver, so when your purchasing a BNF kit you need to ensure the transmitter you have will work with the supplied receiver.
PNF stands for "Plug And Fly". PNF kits come with everything except the transmitter, receiver and the battery. These kits tend to be cheaper then BNF kits and they will require a little more knowledge to assemble.
ARF stands for "Almost Ready To Fly". ARF kits require almost 100% assembly and often don't come with everything required to fly.
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