All RC planes are operated with some type of handheld transmitter or controller, but aside from that, there are many variations, styles, and models to choose from. The best RC planes also arrive in different levels of completion ranging from ready to fly straight out of the box to requiring extensive assembly. You can purchase one fully assembled, or purchase a kit and build you own, piece by piece. For some RC enthusiasts, the ability to customize their plane can be pretty exciting.
We’ve included an RC plane buying guide that will include some of the key features to look for, including battery life, ease of use, and maneuverability, so you can find a model that works for you and your budget. You’ll also find a list of the top three rated RC planes on the market, each of which has received plenty of positive consumer feedback, whether it’s due to the plane’s easy handling or its ability to travel longer distances or fly higher.
- 1 Top Remote Control Planes For Beginners Comparison Chart
- 2 1. Hobbyzone Sport Cub S RTF RC Airplane Review- Best Beginner RC Plane
- 3 2. Flyzone DHC2 Beaver Remote Controlled Airplane Review-Best Maneuverability
- 4 3. Dromida Twin Explorer RC Plane Review-Best Value
- 5 RC Plane Buyer’s Guide
Top Remote Control Planes For Beginners Comparison Chart
Hobbyzone Sport Club
This plane is a great choice for beginners due to its durable design, flight maneuverability and built-in SAFE technology. However, the lightweight design also prevents users from flying on windy days.
A plane that looks as good as it flies, this model is super fun to fly and can handle a wider range of weather conditions. The floats and traditional landing gear also increase this plane’s flying versatility.
Dromida Twin Explorer
A twin explorer remote controlled plane that is perfect for beginners.
1. Hobbyzone Sport Cub S RTF RC Airplane Review- Best Beginner RC Plane
The Hobbyzone Sport Cub is a ready to fly model. It features a panic recovery mode, a four channel control with working aileron, elevator, rudder, and throttle, and a steerable tail wheel that offers improved ground control. This is a fairly small plane, with a wingspan that measures only twenty-four inches. This allows you to fly the plane in much smaller areas, which is a huge plus for most consumers.
The plane itself is made from a durable foam and it features a flight weight of just a little over two ounces.
This is a plane that flies very well. It can actually get amazing altitude, however, you should be careful what sort of winds you’re flying the plane in, as any winds over five miles an hour can easily toss the plane around. The plane also handles tight turns like a pro and can easily maneuver around fences, trees, and other large structures. You can fly the plane high and fast or low and slow. It’s very versatile. Not only that, it’s also very stable, which is what makes it a great choice for beginners.
Charging this plane is simple. Just plug the battery pack into your PC for about forty-five minutes and you’ll be good to go. Per charge, you’ll get about eight minutes of flight time.
The length of charge time was disappointing for some users, considering it takes almost an hour to charge and only has an eight minute flight time. The weight of the plane is also a downside for some. Because the plane is so light, you’ll only be able to fly it on low-wind days.
This is one durable little plane and it’s the perfect model to learn on. It can take a crash like a champ and features controls that are easy to use and SAFE technology, a feature that allows you to ease into flying at a lower speed.
2. Flyzone DHC2 Beaver Remote Controlled Airplane Review-Best Maneuverability
The Beaver DHC2 remote controlled plane by Flyzone features an aerocell foam construction and comes with floats for water landings and takeoffs, in addition to the traditional landing gear. All of the onboard electronics have been installed, including the receiver.
We can easily say that this is one beautiful plane. This is a five channel plane with flaps, throttle, elevator, rudder, and ailerons. Just point this plane into the wind from a hard surface and it will take off at half throttle as long as you’re using a fully charged battery. Using full flaps when landing into the wind the plane can be stopped very quickly. You’ll have no trouble flying or landing this model on windy days. In the air, the Beaver is able to effortlessly handle tight and large loops.
Using the wheeled landing gear setup, this plane can also be easily flown by the beginner.
Weighing in at three pounds, this durable plane offers a fifteen minute flight time, which is almost twice the flight time compared to competing models. The plane also features a faster charge time of just thirty minutes.
The ability to choose between floats and the traditional landing gear is a big selling point for consumers, however, we don’t recommend starting off flying with floats if you have no previous flight experience because a crash in the water is harder on a plane than a crash on land.
A cool little plane that’s fun to fly, this model offers more versatility in terms of where it can fly and the type of weather it can handle. Highly maneuverable, you’ll enjoy taking the Beaver out for a little stunting, just be sure to take off using the wheeled landing gear and work your way up to the floats after some much-needed practice.
3. Dromida Twin Explorer RC Plane Review-Best Value
The Twin Explorer remote control plane by Dromida is a great choice for beginners and comes ready to fly, right out of the box. The plane is made from a durable foam material that offers the right type of resilience for beginners who are bound to crash their plane often as they learn to fly. This is the right plane for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the remote control plane pool. Since the plane arrives ready to fly, all you have to do is charge the battery and put them into the transmitter. This plane is also the most affordable model we reviewed and it offers many of the same features you’ll find on higher priced models.
This incredibly lightweight plane weighs in at just 1.4 ounces and features a flight time that ranges from eight to ten minutes, depending on wind conditions. Charge time is around thirty minutes.
With a slight toss at around half throttle, the Twin will fly right out of your hand. This small plane needs some space to fly, so your backyard will be too small. We recommend taking it to a field. Once the plane gains some altitude it handles very well.
This plane can also really take a hit. Even after a crash, you won’t notice any ill effects. The Twin Explorer is built super tough.
The control inputs only include throttle and left and right. The plane’s turning is handled by the twin motors. There’s no ailerons or rudder included. Hitting the throttle too hard can result in losing control of the plane. As long as you stay smooth you can easily move this plane around in the sky.
This isn’t a plane we’d recommend to the serious RC plane enthusiast, however, it’s perfect for beginners or children. Despite its lightweight frame, this plane is definitely designed to take a beating without slowing down. Due to the low price, you’ll definitely benefit by purchasing this model as a starter plane and using it for practice or short outings. Overall, the quality and easy handling make the Twin Explorer well worth a second look.
RC Plane Buyer’s Guide
For your very first RC plane, you need something that’s forgiving and stable. Most beginners are too tempted to buy a plane that can fly faster or looks cool, without giving much thought to how hard or easy the plane is to control. This can be a huge mistake.
Most pros often recommend a high wing trainer for beginners. By high wing, we mean that the wings rest directly on top of the fuselage. This type of design adds a ton of stability, which is exactly what you need when you’re learning to fly.
High wing models are very forgiving and stable because the weight of the fuselage below the wings works to stabilize the plane in flight. In the air, the plane always wants to naturally right itself after a turn, which is an action that will really help you as you learn.
When you’re buying your first plane, another thing to look for is a noticeable dihedral, which is the upward V angle of the wings when the plane is viewed from the front. The more dihedral the plane has the more stable it will be.
You may have already decided whether you want to fly a model with an engine or an electric motor. Models with an electric motor are more beginner friendly and they’re cheaper to buy and fly. They also require fewer accessories and fly quieter. A glow plug powered model will require more accessories to maintain the engine and they only generate higher noise levels and are more expensive. You’ll also need to factor in ongoing fuel costs.
Three channel planes are the most common, and they’re perfect for beginners. Single and two channel models are available, but these are more toys than anything else and aren’t really recommended for buyers who are serious about the hobby. A three channel plane is really what you’ll need because they offer more control for the rudder, elevator, and motor.
Ready to Fly or Assembly Required?
Whether to purchase a model that’s ready right out of the box, or a kit is totally up to you. Buying a kit will involve building the plane from scratch, using the included instructions and parts. This can be very satisfying, but you’ll need some model building skills to do it well. You’ll also need to purchase a motor, radio gear, battery pack, and ESC, separately. We recommend learning to fly first before you risk crashing a plane that’s taken several days or weeks to build.
A model that’s almost ready to fly will be about ninety percent finished. You’ll need to purchase radio gear, the battery pack, ESC, and the motor separately. To install these added components some modeling knowledge is required. An almost ready to fly plane can make an excellent introduction to model airplane construction if you intend to get involved in that side of the hobby as well.
Ready to fly planes will be your best option if you simply want to get flying right away. These planes come fully finished with all of the electronics installed. They’ll be nothing for you to do apart from installing the transmitter batteries and charging the battery pack.
Ready to fly planes that are electrically powered have attracted a large number of beginners to the hobby in the past few years. These planes are convenient, affordable, and simple to use. They’re also primarily made out of foam construction and are easily repairable.
Spare Parts for your RC Plane
It’s a known fact that if you take up RC flying, you’re going to crash your plane at some point, especially if you’re just learning to fly. Most RC enthusiasts keep a supply of spare parts that allows them to easily repair their plane and get it back in the air in no time. When you’re shopping around for your plane, take the time to check whether spare parts for a particular model are available. Major brands often carry all the parts you could wish for. If you purchase a model that doesn’t have good backup parts, then you’ll be in for some potentially dodgy repairs that can have a major impact on your plane’s safety and performance after a crash.
Read the User’s Manual Before you Fly
If your new plane just arrived in the mail, then you’re probably pretty eager to put it together and get your plane in the air as quickly as possible. But first, you’ll need to thoroughly read the user’s manual, before you begin the assembly process or attempt to fly your plane. Take your time to carefully study the manual and get comfortable and familiar with all of the plane’s components. The real key to understanding the instruction manual is to go through it before you do anything with the plane, then go through it step by step during the assembly process.
If the instructions simply don’t make sense or they’re too vague, do a little research and troubleshooting on your own. Join an RC forum and ask for help. Currently, the two biggest forums are RC Universe and RC Groups.