Choosing the Right Servos for Your RC Plane

Choosing the Right Servos for Your RC Plane

When it comes to building and flying an RC plane, choosing the right servos is a critical step. Servos are devices that translate electrical impulses into mechanical motion, precisely controlling the airplane’s moving parts. Without the right servos, flight control can become difficult, even dangerous. In this guide, we will explore the factors that you need to consider when choosing servos for your RC plane, including torque, speed, size, weight, power consumption, and more. We will provide essential tips and practical advice that will help you make an informed decision and maximize your airplane’s performance. Whether you are a seasoned pilot or a newcomer to the hobby, this guide will help you choose servos for your RC plane that meet your needs and budget while providing a safe and enjoyable flying experience.

Understanding Servos for RC Planes

Servos are an essential part of an RC plane’s control system. Understanding how they work and what their specifications mean is crucial to choose the right ones for your airplane. Some important factors to consider are:

  • Torque: the force the servo can exert, measured in Newton-meters (Nm)
  • Speed: the time it takes the servo to move from one end to another, measured in seconds or degrees per second (°/s)
  • Size and weight: the physical dimensions and mass of the servo, which can impact the airplane’s weight and balance
  • Power consumption: the amount of electrical power the servo needs to operate, measured in milliamps (mA)

Not all servos are created equal, and different airplane designs and applications require different types and combinations of servos. Some great resources to help you understand servos better are RC forums, manufacturer data sheets, and model airplane magazines. Websites like Horizon Hobby and Tower Hobbies offer a wide variety of servos and accessories, and shopping guides you can use to find the right product for your needs.

Basic Factors to Consider When Choosing Servos

When choosing servos for your RC plane, you need to take into account several critical factors that can impact your airplane’s overall performance. Here are some essential factors to consider:

  • Torque: Choose a servo that can handle the load of your control surfaces, considering size, weight, and speed.
  • Speed: Faster servos can react quicker to your control inputs, but may also consume more power and generate more heat.
  • Size and weight: Your airplane’s size and weight limits the size and weight of the servos you can use, so choose accordingly.
  • Power consumption: High power consumption may require larger batteries or a higher amperage output from your ESC.

It is also essential to consider the type of material used to make the gears inside your servo. Some manufacturers use cheaper materials that wear out faster compared to high-quality metals or composites. Cheaper servos may seem like a bargain initially, but in the long run, they can end up costing you more money due to frequent replacements.

Factor Importance Typical Values
Torque High 2-20 Nm
Speed Medium 0.05-0.2 sec/60°
Size and Weight High 10-60g, 20-40mm long
Power Consumption Medium 50-350 mA

Some popular brands of servos are Futaba, Spektrum, HiTec, and Savox. Each brand has its own unique features and advantages, such as greater torque, faster speed, or more precise control. You can find these brands and more on websites like Amazon, RC Planet, and AMain Hobbies.

How do I choose the right servo for my plane?

When it comes to selecting a servo for your plane, here are some crucial factors you need to consider:

  • Torque: Choose a servo with enough torque to move the control surface of your plane at the desired speed.
  • Speed: Select a servo that moves the control surface at the appropriate speed, allowing your plane to respond quickly to your commands.
  • Size: Ensure the servo fits the designated space within the plane.
  • Compatibility: Confirm the servo is compatible with your plane’s specific model and brand.
  • Budget: Set a budget and try to stick to it. However, remember to prioritize performance over price to ensure your plane operates correctly.

Check out hobbyist websites such as RC Planet or Horizon Hobby for a variety of servos suitable for planes. It’s essential to choose a high-quality servo to ensure your plane operates correctly and safely.

Type of RC Plane and Application

Different types of RC planes have different requirements that you should consider when choosing servos. Here are some types and their appropriate servos:

Standard Planes:

  • Standard size airplane typically uses standard-sized analog servos
  • Servos with torque between 2-6 Nm are appropriate

3D Aerobatic Planes:

  • Require fast servos that can keep up with the airplane’s quick movements
  • Digital servos with high-speed rating (.05 sec/60°) are ideal

High-Speed Planes:

  • Require ultra-fast and precise servos due to their high speed and maneuverability
  • Digital servos with high-speed rating (.02 sec/60°) are ideal


  • Require lightweight and high-torque analog or digital servos for better control
  • Servos with torque between 6-10 Nm are appropriate

When choosing servos, make sure to look for products that are designed explicitly for your RC airplane type and application. You can search for appropriate servos based on your aircraft’s model or brand on RC forums, online shops, or manufacturer’s websites. Some online shops also offer comparison tools that can help you choose the best servo for your RC plane based on its specifications, features, and price.

How do I choose a servo for my RC plane?

When it comes to choosing a servo for your RC plane, here are some important points to consider:

  • Size: Choose a servo that fits the designated space on your plane.
  • Torque: The torque rating determines the strength of the servo. The heavier the plane, the higher the torque rating you’ll need.
  • Speed: The speed rating determines how quickly the servo moves. A faster servo is better for aerobatic planes, while a slower servo is better for stability.
  • Brand: Choose a reputable brand for a reliable and durable servo.

You can find a variety of servos for your RC plane online, such as from websites like HobbyKing and Tower Hobbies. Make sure to read reviews and specifications before making a purchase.

Budget Considerations

Choosing servos for your RC plane can be an expensive affair, especially if you go for high-end products. Here are some ways to determine the right budget for servos:

Determine how much you are willing to spend:

  • Set a realistic budget for servos, considering that you may need to buy multiple servos for an airplane
  • Quality servos tend to be pricier, but investing in them can save you money in the long run

Compare prices:

  • Compare prices from different online shops or physical stores to find the best deals
  • Check for stores or websites that offer discounts, sales or bundle deals

Budget-friendly Servos:

  • There are budget-friendly servos that offer reasonable performance at a lower price point
  • Research and compare affordable servos’ specifications and features to find one that fits your needs and budget

When it comes to choosing servos for your RC plane, don’t compromise on quality, especially if you have invested a lot of time and money into building it. However, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get the best servos. You can choose high-quality servos at a reasonable price if you do your research, compare prices, and set a realistic budget. Some online shops such as HobbyKing, Tower Hobbies, and AMain Hobbies offer different types of servos at varying prices, so you can find one that fits your budget and preference.

How many servos do you need for an RC plane?

The number of servos required for an RC plane depends on the size and complexity of the aircraft. However, as a general rule, you will need:

  • At least one servo for throttle control
  • One servo for each aileron
  • One servo for the elevator
  • One servo for the rudder

For larger or more complex planes, you may also need additional servos for flaps, retractable landing gears, or other features.

If you’re looking for high-quality servos for your RC plane, some popular options are:

Brand and Customer Support

The brand and customer support can make a big difference when choosing servos for your RC plane, especially if you encounter any problems or have questions during or after the purchase. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating brands and customer support:

Reputable Brands:

  • Choose a reputable brand that has been in the market for a long time and has good reviews from customers and experts
  • Examples of reputable servo brands include Savox, Futaba, Hitec, JR, and Spektrum

Customer Support:

  • Check the customer support options and response time of the brand, such as email, phone, chat, or forums
  • Ensure that the customer support team is knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive to your questions and concerns

Reviews and Recommendations:

  • Read reviews and recommendations from other RC enthusiasts, manufacturers, or experts to get insights on different servos brands’ performance and quality
  • Join RC online communities or forums to ask for advice and suggestions from other users and professionals

You can find a variety of servo brands and models on popular online RC stores such as Amazon, HobbyKing, or Tower Hobbies. Some of these stores offer customer reviews, ratings, and recommendations that you can use to evaluate brands and products. You may also want to visit the brand’s website to learn more about their servos’ features and specifications, as well as their customer support policies and warranty. By choosing a reputable brand with excellent customer support, you can ensure that you get the best value for your money and a hassle-free experience when buying and using servos for your RC plane.

Which Servo Motor is Best?

  • There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
  • The best servo motor will depend on your particular needs, application, and budget.
  • Some top-rated servo motor brands and products include:
    • Allen Bradley Servo Motors
    • Baldor Servo Motors
    • Kollmorgen Servo Motors
    • Parker Servo Motors
  • It is recommended that you research and compare different servo motors before making a decision.


Choosing the right servos for your RC plane is essential for its performance, stability, and safety. By understanding the different factors that determine the best servos for your needs and budget, you can select the right models for your RC airplane. Start by evaluating your RC plane’s type, application, size, and weight, and then consider the torque, speed, power usage, and budget when browsing servos. Opt for reputable brands and models with good customer support and reviews to ensure the best quality and reliability.

Once you have selected your servos, make sure to install and configure them properly, following the manufacturer’s instructions and best practices. Test the servos before you fly your plane and make adjustments if necessary to avoid any crashes or damages. With the right servos and setup, you can enjoy an exciting and safe RC plane flying experience.

In summary, choosing servos for RC planes requires careful consideration of different factors, such as type, application, torque, speed, size, budget, brand, and customer support. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you can make an informed decision when selecting the best servos for your RC plane. Happy flying!