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Find the Best RC Planes for Beginners at Modelflight

Are you ready to begin your journey flying remote control planes? RC planes are great fun. Seeing your model soar across the sky is a thrilling sight and, with the right training and practice, you will have the chance to progress from a beginner to a Top Gun like the pilots in the video below:

 

 

Would you like to join these pilots one day? If so, you are going to need a solid foundation in the form of a great beginner's remote control plane. This blog post is designed to help you find that plane. There are some excellent RC planes for beginners available. This post will compare and review six of these planes to help you find the one that is right for you.

 

The great thing is that once you have mastered the basics, there are so many paths you can take in the world of RC planes. You can start flying scale warbirds, ducted-fan jets or nitro-powered planes, just to name a few. Different types of planes have different purposes and specialities, and this is something you can explore as you progress as a pilot. Over time, you can work your way up to the giant-scale planes similar to the ones you saw in the video. But, first thing's first. Let's look at some of the things you may want to consider when purchasing your first remote control plane.

 

What to Look for in a Beginner's Remote Control Plane?

 

There are several things you should take into account when selecting your first RC plane. Firstly, have a look at specially-designed trainer planes. These models have been designed with the beginner in mind and are a great entry-point as you learn how to fly. Most of these trainer planes share another important characteristic - they come ready-to-fly (often abbreviated as "RTF"). Some model planes require you to supply your own transmitter, battery or motor. As a beginner, it would be advisable to select a plane that has everything you need included in the box, so you can get into the air and start practicing. Speaking of motors, it would also be good to select a plane that is not too powerful. You will find that trainer planes (and the planes that we will review in this post) have just the right amount of power to make them easier to control.

 

Some trainer planes now come with innovative technology to make flying easier. For example, Virtual Instructor technology can assist you when you are up in the air, turning and landing. Another example is Sensor-Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) Technology. SAFE helps to maintain a plane's stability in the air. This technology also features a "panic" option which can return your model to level flight if you lose orientation. Remote control planes that offer these features should definitely be considered.

 

Finally, it is important to remember that no one expects you to be a perfect pilot on day 1! The occasional accident can occur as you are finding your wings, so it would be best to look for a plane that is made from durable material, such as Carbon-Z Foam. It would also be wise to choose a plane with a high-wing design, similar to the HobbyZone Champ, pictured below:

 

HobbyZone Champ Beginner RC Plane, RTF Mode 1

 

With the wings positioned above the cockpit, the chance of them being damaged during a bad landing is reduced. Further to this point, it is also wise to choose planes that have spare wings (and other parts) available should this damage occur. Modelflight fully supports all our RC planes, so if some replacements are necessary, we will be able to assist you.

 

While not directly related to remote control planes, per se, you may also want to consider investing in a computer-based flight simulator. These software packages allow you to practice flying a variety of RC planes (using a real air radio) within the safety of a virtual world. In this regard, we highly recommend the Phoenix Flight Simulator. This simulator has over 175 models available, which you can fly in realistic 3D environments. It’s a great way for you to develop your flying skills and progress to more advanced models.

 

The Best RC Planes for Beginners at Modelflight

 

Now that we have established what to look for when buying your first remote control plane, let's look at some of the best planes in this category, beginning with the HobbyZone Duet.

 

HobbyZone Duet

 

The HobbyZone Duet has everything you need to teach yourself how to fly. This small trainer plane comes ready-to-fly with Virtual Instructor technology; making minor corrections and adjustments to help you maintain control as you master the basics. Once you start getting the hang of it, you can switch this Instructor technology off to develop your skills further. The Duet is constructed from durable foam and is a very affordable RC plane. To see more of the HobbyZone Duet, check out Matt's unboxing and action video below:

 

 

HobbyZone Firebird Stratos

 

The Firebird Stratos is similar to the Duet with its included Virtual Instructor technology. It is larger than the Duet (1070mm wingspan as opposed to the Duet's 523mm) and certainly cuts a bold appearance with its red and white trim scheme and modern design. There will be some assembly required with the Stratos, but this should take less than an hour. To assist you, Modelflight have prepared a video on how to build the Firebird Stratos. In another video on Modelflight's YouTube channel, Jason unboxes the Stratos:

 

 

We also have the below action video, where you can see how smooth the Stratos is in the air:

 

 

If you are looking for a great trainer plane, but are seeking something larger than the Duet, the Stratos is a great choice.

 

HobbyZone Delta Ray

 

The HobbyZone Delta Ray is a real gem in beginner model planes. Similar to the Stratos, it has a really striking design. Unlike the other RC planes we have discussed, though, the Delta Ray has a unique fly wing structure. What also sets it apart is the inclusion of SAFE Technology. As we mentioned previously, SAFE can assist beginner pilots by helping to maintain the Delta Ray's stability in the air. This remote control plane is made from durable Carbon-Z foam and comes ready-to-fly with a full-range Spektrum DX4e transmitter. To see more of this plane, check out Matt's unboxing and action video below:

 

 

If you are looking for a trainer plane that offers both style and substance, the HobbyZone Delta Ray is for you.

 

HobbyZone Champ

 

The HobbyZone Champ is a classic remote control trainer plane. It comes out of the box completely ready-to-fly. There is no assembly required with the Champ. All you have to do is plug in the batteries, bind the transmitter and then you can take to the skies. For your reference, we have prepared a video on how to bind your transmitter to an RC plane. What's great about the Champ is its small size, which makes it perfect for flying in the comfort of your own backyard. As we mentioned previously, this plane is a high-wing model, so you can approach your landings with more confidence. You will find, though, that the Champ is very easy to control and you will be able to master the art of flying in no time. If you would like to learn more, check out Matt's review video below:

 

 

The Champ was made for beginner pilots and you will find that, after some practice, you will be able to progress to the next stage of flying.

 

HobbyZone Super Cub

 

The HobbyZone Super Cub combines trainer technology with scale design. Modelled on the full-size Piper Super Cubs, this HobbyZone plane's high wing design makes it similar to the Cub, but larger in size (a 1200mm wingspan compared to the Champ's 517mm). One of the great features about the Super Cub is its Anti-Crash Technology. This technology is designed to help you learn the basics of steering, pitch control and throttle. What's more, the Spektrum DX4e transmitter included with the Cub comes with a trainer port at the back. This allows you to connect with a flight instructor to provide further guidance as you learn the ropes.  There are two versions of this RC Plane – the ready-to-fly Super Cub and the Super Cub Bind-N-Fly (BNF). The BNF version does not come with the Spektrum DX4e transmitter, but this gives you the chance to supply your own preferred transmitter. In both versions though, you will receive a "Learn to Fly" instructional DVD to provide you with additional tips for finding your wings. If you would like to see more, check out Jason's unboxing and review video below:

 

 

The Super Cub is a great RC plane for beginners who are looking for something a little bigger to fly in their local parks.

 

E-Flite Apprentice S

 

The last plane we wanted to look at is the E-Flite Apprentice S. In its appearance alone, it is very similar to the Super Cub. However, the key difference lies beneath the surface. Just like the Delta Ray, the Apprentice S comes with SAFE Technology. This innovative feature makes flying the Apprentice very easy, even in windy conditions. Similar to the Super Cub, there are two versions of this plane available - the ready-to-fly Apprentice S and the Apprentice S Bind-N-Fly (BNF). Irrespective of which version you choose, you will find that with its powerful 15-size motor, 3200mAh LiPo battery and 30A ESC, the Apprentice S is an excellent trainer plane.

 

Remote Control Plane Comparison

 

In order to summarise the beginner RC planes we have covered, we have compiled the table below which shows the key details for each model reviewed:

 

Duet

Stratos

Delta Ray

Champ

Super

Cub

Apprentice

Wingspan (mm)

523

1070

863

517

1200

1500

Completion

RTF

RTF

RTF

RTF

RTF/BNF

RTF/BNF

Assembly Time

N/A

1 Hour

1 Hour

N/A

1 Hour

1 Hour

Flight

Technology

N/A

Virtual Instructor

SAFE

N/A

Anti-Crash

SAFE

Motor Size

Micro

180

180

Micro

480

15

Price (AU$)

99.99

189.99

199.99

139.99

229.99

429.99

Radio Included

HobbyZone Transmitter

HobbyZone Transmitter

Spektrum DX4e

HobbyZone

Transmitter

Spektrum DX4e

Spektrum DX5e

 

Modelflight's Pick for the Best Remote Control Plane for Beginners

 

In our opinion, the title of "Best RC Plane for Beginners" is tied between the HobbyZone Champ and Super Cub RTF. Both planes are ideal for beginners, thanks to their durable material and beginner-friendly flight characteristics. While the Duet, Stratos and Delta Ray are all great beginner models, we believe that the traditional high-wing designs of the Champ and Super Cub are great platforms in a your initial stages as you learn the basics of flight. Once you get some more experience, we would encourage you to experiment with the more modern designs of the Duet, Stratos and Delta Ray. In the interim, though, the traditional planes would be the way to go.

 

If you had to decide between the Champ and the Super Cub, we would note that the Champ is perfect for flying in your own backyard or even inside a large room such as a hall or gymnasium (flying inside your own house may be risky with all the furniture around)! It is also more transportable. If you were looking for something larger, though, the Super Cub is a great way to go. As such, it would be more suited to a larger flying area such as your local park or oval. Regardless of your choice, if you are looking for your first remote control plane, the Champ and the Super Cub offer everything you need.

 

At this point, it is worth mentioning the E-Flite Apprentice S again. If you have a little more RC experience under your belt, you may want to consider investing in this model. Compared with the Champ and Super Cub, the Apprentice S offers more power and, with its SAFE Technology, is technologically more advanced. However, if you are an absolute beginner, the Champ or the Super Cub is definitely the way to go. Once you have mastered either one of these models, by all means consider the Apprentice S as your next step up. Its larger motor will give you a new challenge, yet with the SAFE Technology you will still benefit from beginner-friendly flight characteristics.

 

Click here to buy the HobbyZone Champ

 

Click here to buy the HobbyZone Super Cub RTF

 

Click here to buy the E-Flite Apprentice S

 

So, what are you waiting for? With the beautiful days of spring and summer approaching, now is a great time to start flying remote control planes. Modelflight supports all the models we stock, so if you have any questions about the beginner remote control planes we have discussed, or you are looking for spare parts, feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help you out. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and we wish you well on your journey to becoming a remote control plane Top Gun!

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