Beginner's Guide to Foam RC Planes: Tips and Advice for Smooth Takeoffs

Beginner’s Guide to Foam RC Planes: Tips and Advice for Smooth Takeoffs

Remote control (RC) planes are a fun and exciting hobby for enthusiasts around the world. Flying a foam RC plane is a popular option among beginners due to the material’s unique properties. Foam planes have become increasingly popular over the years due to their durability, light-weight structure, and easy repairability. This makes them an ideal choice for new pilots who might make mistakes or crash their planes while learning. Unlike wood or metal planes, foam planes are affordable and easy to build, two features that make them a practical choice for beginners who are still learning the ins and outs of the hobby. Additionally, foam planes have progressed significantly in terms of design and technology, making them easier to fly and more stable compared to older models. All these factors make foam RC planes an attractive choice for beginners who want to get started on their journey to becoming great pilots.

Foam RC planes offer several benefits for beginners, including durability, ease of building, repair and low cost. Foam planes are designed to withstand crashes better than traditional planes made from wood or metal, making them ideal for beginners who are still learning how to fly. They are also easy to build, with many models coming in ready-to-fly kits, and are more affordable than other types of models.

Because foam planes are lightweight and have a simple structure, they are easy to repair after a crash. This is a significant advantage for beginners, who are more likely to make mistakes. Modern foam planes use advanced technology to improve their stability and flight characteristics, providing beginner pilots with a more controlled, stable flight experience.

Several websites offer a variety of foam RC planes for beginners, including HobbyKing, Horizon Hobby, and Motion RC, among others. It is essential to select a high-quality plane that is designed specifically for beginners. Additionally, a good plane should have scaled-down controls that are easy for beginners to handle.

Are foam RC planes durable?

Foam RC planes are generally durable. Different types of foam can be used in the manufacture of planes, with various applications. No specific website or product was mentioned to provide further information.

Choosing the Right Foam RC Plane

When selecting a foam RC plane for beginners, there are several things to keep in mind. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Type of Plane: Foam RC planes come in different types such as gliders, sport planes, and warbirds. Each type has unique features and specifications, making it important for beginners to choose a type that suits their needs and interests.
  • Size and Weight: Select a foam plane that is small and lightweight. This makes it easier to transport and fly in smaller spaces.
  • Stable Flight Characteristics: Choose a foam plane that has stable flight characteristics and can fly slowly, making it easier for beginners to control.
  • Beginner-friendly controls: The plane should have simplified controls that make it easier for beginners to handle, such as a three-channel system, which controls the rudder, elevator, and throttle.

It’s also important to look for planes with a good customer service reputation and availability of parts. Some popular websites offer pre-built foam RC planes and kits for beginners, such as:

Website Types of Planes Price Range
HobbyKing Sport planes, gliders, warbirds $50-$250
Motion RC Trainers, sport planes, jets $80-$300
Horizon Hobby Trainers, sport planes, warbirds $100-$300

Finally, it’s essential to read reviews from other beginner pilots and consider their experiences before purchasing a foam RC plane.

What is the best RC plane for a beginner?

The best RC plane option for a beginner is the E-flite RC Airplane Turbo Timber 1.5m BNF. This option is specifically built for beginners, with easy-to-use controls and an ultra-stable design. Other great beginner options include the EFL Valiant 1.3M BNF Basic and the VOLANTEXRC Sport Cub 500 Parkflyer. The VOLANTEXRC 4-CH RC Airplane P51 Mustang is another great option, with a sleek design and good beginner controls. The E-flite UMX Turbo Timber BNF Basic, while a bit more advanced, also makes a great beginner option. Check out these options and more at

Building and Flying a Foam RC Plane

Building and flying a foam RC plane can be a fun and rewarding experience for beginners. Here are some basic steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Follow the instructions carefully when building the plane. This includes assembling the foam pieces and attaching the electronics.
  • Step 2: Balance the plane correctly by adjusting the position of the battery and other components. A poorly balanced plane can be more difficult to control in flight.
  • Step 3: Fly the plane in a large, open area with minimal wind and no obstacles or people around. This allows beginners to gain confidence and avoid accidents.
  • Step 4: Start with simple flights such as takeoff, straight and level flights, and landing. Then gradually progress to more complex maneuvers such as turns, loops, and rolls.

Beginners can also find useful resources and products online to help with building and flying foam RC planes, including:

  • Flight Simulator Software: These software programs allow beginners to practice flying RC planes on their computer before transitioning to real planes. One such software is RealFlight.
  • YouTube Tutorials: Numerous YouTube channels provide step-by-step tutorials and tips on building, maintaining, and flying foam RC planes.
  • Community Forums: Many online forums dedicated to RC planes provide a platform for beginners to ask questions and seek advice from experienced pilots. One such forum is Flite Test.

With time and practice, beginners can hone their skills and enjoy the exciting hobby of flying foam RC planes.

What is the best foam for building RC planes?

Depron and EPP foam are popular choices for building RC planes. Depron is a thin insulation foam that can be formed into curved shapes for smaller models. EPP foam is a flexible variant used for many ready-to-fly indoor RC aircraft. For slightly heavier electric-powered RC aircraft, solid foam options like foam board and Blucor Fanfold foam are preferred. Check out websites such as for more information on foam options for RC plane building.

Tips for Foam RC Plane Beginners

Flying foam RC planes can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s important for beginners to follow safety precautions and learn the basics before taking flight. Here are some tips for beginners to keep in mind:

  • Choose the right location: Beginners should fly their planes in a large, open area with minimal wind and no obstacles or people around. Avoid flying near homes, public parks, or other crowded areas.
  • Wear protective gear: Wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a helmet can help prevent injuries in case of accidents.
  • Join a local RC plane club: Joining a club allows beginners to connect with experienced pilots who can offer advice and support, as well as access to group flying sessions and events.
  • Practice on a simulator: Practicing on a simulator before flying a real plane can help beginners get a feel for the controls and build confidence.
  • Take breaks: Flying a foam RC plane can be tiring, so it’s important for beginners to take breaks to avoid fatigue and mistakes.

Beginners can also find helpful resources and products online to aid in their journey with foam RC planes, including:

  • RC Plane Starter Kits: These kits come with everything beginners need to build and fly their first foam RC plane, including the plane itself, a radio transmitter, and other necessary components.
  • Online Tutorials: Many online tutorials provide step-by-step guidance on building, maintaining, and flying foam RC planes.
  • Flight Simulators: Flight simulator software can help beginners practice flying on their computer before transitioning to real planes.

By following safety precautions and practicing regularly, beginners can enjoy the exciting hobby of flying foam RC planes and even progress to more advanced planes and maneuvers.

What foam is best for RC planes?

Depron and EPP foam are popular choices for RC planes. Depron is best for smaller models that require curved shapes. EPP foam is flexible and commonly used in ready-to-fly indoor RC planes. For slightly heavier electric-powered models, foam board and Blucor Fanfold foam are solid foam options. Visit relevant websites like or for more information about these foam options.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As with any new hobby, there are common mistakes that beginners make when flying foam RC planes. Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Over-controlling the plane: Beginners may tend to overcorrect when their plane starts to drift off course, which can cause the plane to lose control. It’s important to make small adjustments and not overreact to every movement of the plane.
  • Unbalanced plane: An unbalanced plane can cause unstable flights and even accidents. It’s important to balance the plane correctly before each flight.
  • Flying in risky locations: Flying in crowded or risky locations can increase the chance of accidents and cause damage to the plane or other property.
  • Not practicing enough: Consistent practice is key to improving flying skills and reducing mistakes.
  • Ignoring weather conditions: Extreme weather conditions such as high winds, rain or strong sun can make flying conditions uncomfortable or even dangerous.

To avoid these mistakes, beginners can use flight simulators to practice their flying skills, get help from more experienced pilots in clubs or online forums, and learn from tutorials that focus on common errors made when flying foam RC planes. Products like Phoenix Flight Simulator can help beginners practice their skills and become more confident pilots. Joining a local RC plane club, such as the Model Aviation Association, can also provide valuable support and education for beginners.

How can I get better at flying RC planes?

If you want to get better at flying RC planes, there are few tips that you should keep in mind. The first one is to “fly to crash” as it will help you learn from your mistakes. Keeping spare airframes is also essential in case your plane needs a quick repair. Landing practice is another underrated tip that can help you improve your flying skills tremendously. Additionally, you should fly a wide variety of airplanes to hone your piloting abilities. Buying more batteries and taking multiple planes to the field are other effective ways to improve. Finally, make sure to learn about aerodynamics, as it is a crucial aspect of flying RC planes.


Foam RC planes are an accessible and affordable way for beginners to enter the world of RC planes. They offer durability, easy handling, and a wide range of customization options, making them a popular choice among pilots of all skill levels. While there may be challenges and common mistakes to avoid, there are many resources available to help beginners improve their skills and enjoy the hobby safely. Joining an RC plane club, using flight simulators, and learning from tutorials are all valuable ways to learn the ropes. Whether flying as a hobby or competing in competitions, foam RC planes provide endless hours of excitement and enjoyment. So why not take the plunge and start flying today?