The Top 5 Remote Control Airplanes For Beginners Reviewed
The world of Remote Controlled (RC) plane piloting has a lot to offer the newcomer. Pilots of all ages can enjoy the exciting, relaxing and therapeutic hobby in virtually any surroundings and in most weathers. It’s fun to do on your own or while bonding with the kids. It can also provide a useful entry point into drone piloting if you want to get into a similar hobby such as drone photography. What’s more, when you enter into the world of RC piloting you join a thriving international community of hobbyists who will be only too happy to render help, advice and insight to help make you a better pilot and make your time spent flying more rewarding.
Over the years RC planes have grown more sophisticated and proliferate, with so many on the market right now that it can be a little intimidating for those new to this rewarding hobby. However, the decision of which plane you should buy as your first is extremely important and not one that should be made lightly. You may think that you have to choose between a plane which offers simplicity for a new pilot or one that offers performance but there are many planes on the market that offer both.
When browsing planes you’ll note that some planes will be 3 channel planes while others will be 4-channel. What’s the difference? A 3-channel plane gives you the ability to control the thrust, climbing and turning of your plane. A 4-channel plane on the other hand, allows you to control pitch, roll, yaw and thrust offering you more control but also more complexity.
Here we’ll take a look at 5 of the best RC planes for beginners. Are you ready? Chocks away!
Best RC Planes For Beginners
1. Top Race TR-C285 Remote Control Airplane
This is a wonderful plane that offers beginners the best of both worlds. It’s a 3-channel, electric powered plane that’s fairly easy to pilot yet offers a pleasing degree of control. The TR-C285 is designed fully assembled and ready to fly meaning that you can get it up in the air quickly and with a minimum of fuss. While it’s designed with ease of use for new pilots in mind it can still provide a challenge for even intermediate level pilots.
Piloting the TR-C285 is easy to learn but hard to master. This is owing at least in part to the 3 mode digital radio control system which allows users to choose between 3 subtly different modes of controlling the plane: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. On beginner mode, there’s even a safe stabilization system which allows the plane to be piloted with ease even when the weather is against you.
It’s lightweight and durable and able to fly at up to around 320 feet. Its battery will provide flight time of up to 15 minutes on a single charge of about 90 minutes.
All told, this is a fantastic starter plane that won’t become childsplay when you grow in proficiency and experience. The adjustable control modes will allow you to grow in dexterity as a pilot so that even when the time comes to move to a more challenging plane, you won’t feel like a novice all over again when you unbox it.
It’s no slouch in the looks department either with a simple yet elegant white and blue design with black wheels and propellers.
2. HobbyZone Sport Cub S RTF RC Airplane
The HobbyZone Sport Club S RTF RC Airplane is very similar in spec, size and weight to Top Race’s product but it has a somewhat more powerful brushless motor offering more raw power yet with the grace, finesse and simplicity to make it appealing and manageable for even a brand new pilot. Moreover, it has SAFE technology built in which its cheaper counterpart does not offer. SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology is a useful electronic flight protection system which allows for more stable flight in windy conditions. Feel like you’re losing control? A pull of the trigger on your transmitter will restore stability instantly.
While this is plane has 4-channel controls this does not make it any less beginner-friendly than a 3 channel plane as its controls also have 3 distinct control modes: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. It can climb to around 200 feet with ease and tops out at around 350 feet and the battery will provide you with around 8 minutes of flight time.
It’s a very good looking plane too, a perfect replica of the Cessna 172 rendered in exquisite blue and white with aerodynamic ridges on the wings. With a great combination of power, durability and ease of control it’s a plane that can be enjoyed by beginners for years before they feel that they need to change to something more challenging.
3. HobbyZone HBZ5700 Airplane
It’s sleek, it’s cool, it’s eminently affordable and incredibly user friendly making the HobbyZone HBZ5700 a fantastic choice for wannabe pilots whose budgets are limited but whose ambitions are not.
This plane is petite and compact making it easy to transport pretty much anywhere and like our previous two entries arrives in the box ready to fly with absolutely no assembly required. It even comes with AA batteries included for the transmitter. The 2.4 GHz transmitter allows for interference free flying and although this may be a diminutive plane it is also deceptively sturdy and more than able to handle the minor crashes that can come with getting to know an RC plane.
Fortunately, the plane is easy and intuitive to pilot with 3-channel controls ensuring that minor crashes will be kept to a minimum. What’s more, it incorporates Virtual Instructor technology. This helps to make RC piloting easier and more enjoyable by providing control assistance when you need it and and countering the effects of wind resistance and turbulence.
It also has a sleek, curvaceous design and dual propellers meaning that it looks as good as it handles in the air.
4. FUNTECH 3 Channel Remote Control Airplane
Funtech’s entry into this list is designed to (as you might expect) put the fun back into RC piloting and have clearly given a lot of thought to creating the ultimate starter experience with this 3-channel plane that’s as easy and intuitive to handle as it is affordable and affable with its cheerful red, black and white design.
Small and size but light in weight, this little plane is surprisingly durable with a chassis made from very light and durable expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam. That means that the plane as a consistency that’s almost like rubber and is hard to break when bent or crashed making it great for pilots with kids who, despite their best intentions can be heavy handed with new toys. Despite its durability it’s lightweight weighing in at just 1.5 pounds. This allows for longer flight duration and better control so that nascent pilots get more pleasure out of their flight.
The combination of 3-channel controls and 6 axis gyro system make for a smooth and pleasurable flight experience giving pilots superior control while its brushless motor provides surprising power. Like many similar planes it has a 3 mode digital radio control system, allowing pilots to choose between Beginner, Intermediate and Expert as they grow in confidence and proficiency. In beginner mode the gyro system will self-stabilize so that of you ever feel like the plane is getting out of your control you need only to shift down into beginner mode for superior stability.
It has impressive battery life too, ranging from between 15 and 25 minutes from a single charge (2 to 3 hours).
5. E-flite UMX Timber RC Airplane
Our final entry is one of the smallest of the bunch but as Shakespeare once wrote “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”. Its compact chassis makes it perfect for piloting in confined spaces both indoors and outdoors while its propensity for short takeoff and landing make it an extremely agile plane that offers great performance yet is tame enough for beginners to handle with confidence. The included leading edge slats allow for slower and more graceful landings as well as faster and shorter takeoffs.
The plane comes fully assembled although please note that this plane does not come with the transmitter, battery and charger supplied.
This plane offers an abundance of power thanks to its combination of lightweight construction and powerful 3000Kv brushless motor. Fortunately, that power does not come at the expense of control as the companion AS3X receiver has an optional SAFE Select Flight Mode enabling you to activate artificial stabilization when conditions get a little too rough for your liking.
Finally, one small but really cool touch on this plane is the use of LED NAV lights, landing lights, wing-tip strobes and beacons which not only allow the plane to look more realistic, it also makes flying in dark or dusky conditions easier.
Kids and adults alike can enjoy a fun, exciting and therapeutic experience when piloting an RC plane. By choosing the right plane for you from these great options you can get your career as an RC pilot off to a flying start!
RC Airplane Beginner Tips Video
Here is a good YouTube video showing tips on how to fly a remote control airplane: