Whether to purchase mode 1 vs mode 2 in a new radio transmitter is a big question for those new to RC.  Here we will explain the difference between mode 1 vs mode 2 rc radios.


To help with this explanation, we added a new video to Modelflight's YouTube channel, where Matt demonstrates the differences between Mode 1 vs. Mode 2 transmitters:



As Matt explained, "Mode 1” has the throttle located on the right transmitter stick, “Mode 2” has the throttle stock on the left. Australian pilots predominantly fly “Mode 1” while in the US, it is predominantly Mode 2.


The Mode 2 configuration is very similar to the layout in a full-size airplane. The “stick” controls the Aileron and Elevator functions. Rudder is controlled by the “rudder pedals” and the Throttle is controlled with the pilot’s left hand on the side of the cockpit. A Mode 2 RC transmitter controls the aileron (roll) and elevator (pitch) with the right hand, while the rudder (yaw) and throttle are controlled by the pilot’s left hand.


Mode 1 moves the throttle function to the right stick and the elevator control to the left stick. This separates the primary controls so that there is less accidental “mix” when moving one control or the other, as is common with Mode 2. The Mode 1 pilot will be controlling the throttle and aileron with his right hand. The rudder and elevator will be controlled by the left hand. This discussion of transmitter configurations has been going on since the first RC transmitter was equipped with “sticks” instead of “switches” (some time in the 1960s).


This is a personal preference and some advanced transmitters are even mode changeable!


At Modelflight, we stock a range of both mode 1 and mode 2 rc radios from leading brands like Spektrum, Jeti, Multiplex and Futaba.