Top ARF Airplane Kits: A Review of the Best Options on the Market

Top ARF Airplane Kits: A Review of the Best Options on the Market

Assembling an RC airplane from scratch can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Fortunately, ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) airplane kits offer a convenient and easy-to-use alternative. Rather than starting from the ground up, ARF kits come pre-built with all the major components already assembled. This means builders can focus on adding their personal touches to the aircraft instead of dealing with time-consuming tasks like painting, sanding, or gluing. Nowadays, ARF airplane kits are widely used in the RC airplane community, and for good reason. They offer hobbyists of all experience levels the opportunity to build their own planes without having to invest too much time or money. This article will explore the best ARF airplane kits on the market, factors to consider when choosing a kit, and the pros and cons of ARF kits to help readers make an informed purchase decision.

What to Consider When Choosing an ARF Airplane Kit

When it comes to choosing an ARF airplane kit, several factors come into play. This section will outline some of the most important considerations for buyers:

  • Skill level: Make sure to choose a kit that aligns with your existing skill level. Ideally, you’ll want a kit that is challenging but not impossible to build.
  • Equipment compatibility: Check the kit’s specifications to ensure it is compatible with your existing transmitter, batteries, and other equipment.
  • Design: The design of the plane can impact its flying characteristics, so make sure to choose a design that fits your needs (i.e., sport model versus a scale model).
  • Wingspan: The wingspan of the plane can affect its stability and maneuverability. Make sure to choose a wingspan that aligns with your flying goals.
  • Brand: Some ARF kit brands have better reputations than others, so it’s worth researching the brand before making a purchase.

Some popular websites to browse for ARF airplane kits include Horizon Hobby, HobbyKing, and Tower Hobbies. These websites offer a wide range of kits to choose from, and many have customer reviews to help guide your decision-making process.

Top ARF Airplane Kits on the Market

Now that we’ve covered what to consider when choosing an ARF airplane kit, let’s take a look at some of the best options available. Below is a table of our top recommendations:

Kit Name Skill Level Wingspan Price
E-flite Apprentice STS Beginner 59.0 in $279.99
HobbyZone Carbon Cub S+ 1.3M Intermediate 51.0 in $329.99
FMS Sky Trainer 182 Intermediate 55.1 in $249.99
Phoenix Model Sonic 25 Advanced 65.0 in $299.99

As you can see, there are options available for pilots of all skill levels. Here are some additional facts about each kit:

– The E-flite Apprentice STS is a great option for beginners, with its durable construction and SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology.
– The HobbyZone Carbon Cub S+ 1.3M is an intermediate option with advanced features like GPS-enabled Autoland technology and Panic Recovery mode.
– The FMS Sky Trainer 182 is another intermediate option, with a scale design that mimics a real airplane and a powerful brushless motor.
– The Phoenix Model Sonic 25 is an advanced option that boasts impressive speed and maneuverability. It features a lightweight balsa/plywood construction and a fiberglass cowl and wheel pants.

You can find these kits, as well as many others, on popular RC hobby websites like Horizon Hobby and Tower Hobbies.

What is the best starter RC airplane?

If you are new to the world of RC airplanes and looking for the best starter RC airplane, here are a few options to consider:

  • HobbyZone Champ: This airplane is easy to fly and comes with a controller that is easy to use. It is also durable and can withstand crashes.
  • Dromida Twin Explorer: This airplane is also easy to fly and comes with a sturdy frame that can handle rough landings. It also has a built-in camera for capturing videos and photos.
  • E-flite UMX Radian: This airplane is a bit more advanced but still great for beginners. It has a built-in gyro for stabilization and can fly in smaller spaces.

You can find these and other starter RC airplanes on websites such as Horizon Hobby, Tower Hobbies, and Amazon.

Pros and Cons of ARF Airplane Kits

Like any product, ARF airplane kits have both advantages and disadvantages. Below are some pros and cons to consider before making a purchase:


– ARF kits are quick and easy to assemble compared to building from scratch.
– They often come with all necessary components, such as the motor, servos, and speed controller.
– ARF kits have precise, laser-cut parts that ensure accurate construction.
– They can be less expensive than buying all components separately.


– ARF kits may not offer as much customization as building from scratch.
– The instructions may not always be clear, making the assembly process difficult.
– The parts may not fit together perfectly, requiring additional modifications.
– ARF kits may not be suitable for those with advanced building abilities.

Despite these potential drawbacks, many RC airplane enthusiasts enjoy ARF kits for their convenience and affordability. If you’re considering purchasing an ARF kit, be sure to research the specific product and read reviews from other buyers. This will help ensure that you select the best kit to meet your unique needs and preferences. Websites like Amazon, RC Planet, and Motion RC offer a wide variety of ARF airplane kits for sale, making it easy to find the right option for you.

What are the disadvantages of RC planes?

  • They can be expensive to buy and maintain
  • They require a lot of space to operate
  • Bad weather can prevent flying
  • Crashes can lead to costly repairs
  • Some models can be difficult to control, especially for beginners

If you’re interested in RC planes, check out websites like Horizon Hobby or Tower Hobbies for a variety of models and accessories.


In conclusion, ARF airplane kits are a convenient and cost-effective option for RC airplane enthusiasts who want to skip the hassle of building an airplane from scratch. They are easy to assemble and come with all components necessary for flight. However, it’s important to consider the skill level required for each kit, as well as potential customization limitations. By researching different products and reading customer reviews, you can make an informed decision on which ARF kit is best for you.

In this article, we’ve shown you some of the best ARF airplane kits on the market today and provided a guide on what to consider when making your purchase. We encourage you to explore these options or conduct your own research to find the perfect ARF airplane kit for your hobby. With their ease of use and affordability, ARF airplane kits are a great way to get started with RC airplane flying or add to your existing model collection.