Beginners intro to rc airplanes and radio control model kits.

intro to rc airplanes


RC Airplanes - Beginners Guide To Radio Control Airplane Kits

Excited about having your own rc airplane? Well, let's get started by answering some frequently asked questions.

How fast do rc airplanes go?
Ready to fly trainer type radio control airplanes cruise around 30 mph, while landing speed is around 15 mph.

How much do rc airplanes cost?
Radio controlled airplanes are cheap. Depending on what you are looking for, cheap rc airplanes can be bought for less than $100. A good beginner set will cost around $250.

How far can rc airplanes fly?
Distance depends on the quality of the radio controller. Distance could reach 1 mile, but considering the size of airplanes, a distance of half a mile is already considered far.

Kits vs. Ready to Fly

Picture of a ready to fly rc airplane kit.RC airplane kits are what is usually called ARF, or Almost-Ready-To-Fly. Normal assembly time is 20 hrs.

RTR, or Ready-To-Fly radio control airplanes require less than half an hour from opening the box to flying the plane. Just open the box, charge the batteries, and fly!

Trainer Radio Control Airplane Kits

Picture of a trainer radio control airplane.

These radio controlled airplanes are best for first timers. These model kits are designed to be easy to control, and help beginners gain flying experience.

Radio Equipment

RC airplanes are controlled by are radio control system. This consists of a transmitter, receiver, frequency crystals, and servos.

The transmitter is the device that we hold in our hands to control the speed and steering of the rc airplane.

The receiver is a small rectangular device mounted inside the rc airplane. The receiver "receives" signals from the transmitter... and sends the signal to the servos.

The servos are also small rectangular devices that are mounted inside the rc airplane. In a simple setup, one servo controls the speed of the propeller, another to control the wings or rudder.

The transmitter and receiver each have a frequency crystal. This determines what frequency a radio control system is operating on. Never fly an airplane near another one using the same frequency... as signal interference will occur, causing you to lose control of your plane.

There are 2, 3, and 4-channel radio control systems. Channel basically refers to the number of servos that can be controlled by a transmitter. Example, a 2-channel systems can control up to 2 servos, while a 4-channel system can control up to 4 servos.

Trainers and rtr rc airplanes usually work with a 3-channel system. 

Engine Types

The propeller of an rc airplane can either be powered by an electric motor (electric rc airplanes) or gas engine (gas rc airplanes).

Electric motors need a battery located inside the airplane to run. Gas engines use specially blended fuel made for rc airplane engines. Gas engines are usually 2-stroke, but there are also 4-stroke engines. 

2-stroke engine technology can be found in older type real motorcycles, while real cars use 4-stroke engine technology. Main difference is that given the same size, 2-stroke engines are more powerful but are less efficient in using fuel.  

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