Remote Control Airplanes: Your Complete Guide

Remote Control Airplanes: Your Complete Guide

Remote control airplanes have been a beloved hobby for decades, captivating people of all ages with their ability to soar through the air with ease. From beginners learning to fly simple planes to more experienced pilots performing complex maneuvers and tricks, remote control airplanes provide endless entertainment and enjoyment. These miniature flying machines typically operate on a radio-controlled system that allows pilots to control the plane’s movements from the ground with a remote control. They come in a variety of types, including gliders, trainers, sport planes, and scale model replicas of real aircraft. Many enthusiasts compete in remote control airplane contests, showcasing their skills in speed, accuracy, and creativity. Aside from being a fun pastime, flying remote control airplanes can also be an educational experience, teaching pilots about aerodynamics, engineering, and physics. With the right plane, a bit of practice, and a passion for aviation, anyone can enjoy the thrill of the skies with remote control airplanes.

Getting Started with Remote Control Airplanes

If you’re new to remote control airplanes, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Choose the right plane for your skill level. If you’re a beginner, start with a basic, durable trainer model that’s easy to fly.
– Understand the controls. Familiarize yourself with the various knobs, switches, and buttons on the remote control before you start flying.
– Safety first. Always follow safety precautions, which may include wearing protective gear, flying in designated areas, and avoiding flying near people or animals.
– Start with basic flying techniques. Practice takeoff, flying straight and level, and landing before attempting any advanced maneuvers.

There are many websites and resources available that can help you get started with remote control airplanes. Some popular options include:, an online community of hobbyists with forums, classifieds, and resources for all types of remote control aircraft.
Horizon Hobby, a leading manufacturer and supplier of remote control planes and accessories, with a vast selection of beginner-friendly options., a website with tons of educational content, including videos and free plans for building your own planes from scratch.

How do you fly an RC plane for the first time?

  • Choose a safe location to fly, such as a large open field or park.
  • Make sure your RC plane is fully charged and the control batteries are in good condition.
  • Perform a range check to ensure your RC plane can receive signals from the remote controller.
  • Practice flying in a simulator or with a trainer before attempting to fly your RC plane for the first time.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to start the engine, take off, control altitude and speed, and land the RC plane.
  • Stay focused and alert while flying, and avoid distractions that could cause your RC plane to crash.

For more information, check out RC Planet’s beginner’s guide to flying RC planes.

Flying Your Remote Control Airplane

Now that you have your remote control airplane and are familiar with the basics, it’s time to take to the skies! Here are a few things to keep in mind when flying your plane:

– Finding the right location is key. Look for large, open areas with minimal obstructions and distractions.
– Do a pre-flight check to make sure everything is working properly, including the battery, controls, and overall stability of the plane.
– Takeoff and landing can be tricky. Practice these techniques in a safe and open area until you feel comfortable.
– Basic maneuvers such as turns, ascents, and descents can help you become more comfortable with flying and allow you to explore the capabilities of your plane.

Interesting fact: Remote control airplanes can reach impressive speeds of up to 300 miles per hour!

If you’re looking for more advanced techniques or want to join a community of remote control pilots, there are many groups and resources available online. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a governing body for the hobby with tons of resources, information, and sanctioned events. The International Radio Control Helicopter Association (IRCHA) is another popular organization for remote control enthusiasts.

Here is a table with some basic maneuvers that every remote control pilot should master:

Maneuver Description
Straight and Level Flight Flying the plane in a straight line, keeping altitude constant.
Banking Tilting the plane to the left or right, creating a turn.
Ascend and Descend Changing the altitude of the plane, either climbing or descending.
Rolls Dramatic barrel rolls or quick snap rolls, which can be challenging but impressive to watch.
Loops A full circle maneuver where the plane goes upside down at the top.

How do you fly a RC plane for the first time?

  • Choose a suitable location with no obstacles and minimal wind.
  • Read the instruction manual carefully before attempting to fly.
  • Practice on a flight simulator before flying the actual RC plane.
  • Start with a basic, easy-to-control model for beginners.
  • Ensure the battery is fully charged and check all equipment before flight.
  • Takeoff the plane gently and maintain a steady altitude.
  • Use small and precise movements to control the plane and avoid overcompensating.
  • Land the plane slowly and smoothly.

For those interested in purchasing an RC plane, websites such as Horizon Hobby ( and Tower Hobbies ( offer a wide selection of models for beginners and experienced flyers alike. Both websites also provide valuable resources and information for RC plane enthusiasts.

Maintaining Your Remote Control Airplane

Just like any other hobby, having a remote control airplane requires some maintenance to keep it in top condition. Here are a few tips to help ensure your plane stays in the best possible shape:

– Clean your airplane regularly to prevent dust and dirt buildup. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, and clean any moving parts with compressed air.
– Store your plane in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from heat, humidity, and sunlight. Cover it to protect against dust and other debris.
– Check and replace the battery regularly. A dead battery can damage the plane’s electronics or cause a crash during flight.
– Pay attention to any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks in the body or broken parts. Address these issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

If you’re having trouble finding replacement parts or just want to browse new models for your collection, there are several online retailers offering remote control planes and accessories. Some popular stores to check out include:

Horizon Hobby
Tower Hobbies
– HobbyKing
Motion RC

By following these tips and staying on top of your airplane’s maintenance, you can keep enjoying the hobby for many years to come.

How do you balance a remote control airplane?

Balancing a remote control airplane is vital for optimal performance during flight. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, ensure that the center of gravity (COG) is in the correct spot. Most manufacturers will specify this in the plane’s manual.
  • Balance the plane by placing your fingers under the wings, and adjust the position of the battery or other components until you achieve proper balance.
  • Use a bubble level to ensure the plane is level, and adjust the control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and rudder) to neutral positions.
  • Fine-tune the controls and test the airplane’s balance by taking it for a test flight. Make further adjustments as necessary.

For more tips on flying remote control airplanes, visit the websites of manufacturers such as Horizon Hobby or RC Groups.

Upgrades and Modifications for Remote Control Airplanes

Upgrades and modifications to a remote control airplane can help enhance performance, increase speed, and make the flying experience even more enjoyable. Here are a few modifications to consider:

Electric Power Conversion

– Converting your plane from gas to electric power can improve flight time and is more environmentally friendly.
– You will need a new motor and battery, as well as an ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) to safely regulate the power.

Lights and Sound

– Adding LED lights and sound effects to your plane can make it look and feel like the real thing.
– Some planes may have built-in sound effects, but for others, speakers and sound modules can be installed.

Camera Mounts

– Mounting a camera to your plane can create stunning aerial footage that you can share with others.
– Make sure to check local laws and regulations regarding drone use before flying with a camera.

When looking for parts and gear for upgrades, there are several online stores and forums to check out, such as: a large online community of radio control airplane enthusiasts discussing topics on planes, modifications, and more. an online store retailing various radio control parts, batteries, and accessories.
– a popular online marketplace carrying a wide variety of radio control airplanes, parts, and tools.

By customizing your remote control airplane with these modifications and upgrades, you can create a unique and personalized flying experience.

What are remote control airplanes used for?

Remote control airplanes, also known as RC planes, have become popular among hobbyists and enthusiasts for various purposes. The following are some of the most common reasons people use RC planes:

  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Stress relief
  • Educational purposes, especially for learning the basics of aerodynamics and aviation
  • Competitions and events for showcasing flying skills and the performance capabilities of different RC planes
  • Scientific research for studying the behavior of airplanes and drones in different environments and conditions

If you’re interested in getting started with remote control airplanes, there are many websites that offer a wide range of products, resources, and guides to help you get started. Some popular RC plane websites include Horizon Hobby, HobbyKing, and RC Planet.

Tips for Choosing and Buying Remote Control Airplanes

When choosing a remote control airplane, it’s important to consider your skill level, your goals for flying, and your budget. Here are a few tips to help you make the right decision:

Know Your Skill Level

– If you’re a beginner, start with a basic, easy-to-fly plane that is specially designed for beginners.
– As you improve your skills, you can move on to more advanced models.

Purpose for Flying

– Determine what kind of flying you want to do. Will you be flying for fun and relaxation or competitive racing?
– Some planes are better suited for racing, while others are designed for stunts or basic leisurely flying.


– Remote control airplanes can range from under $50 to thousands of dollars, depending on their features and capabilities.
– Determine your budget before making a purchase, and look for planes that offer the best value for your money.


Flying remote control airplanes is a fun and rewarding hobby that can bring you hours of enjoyment. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pilot, there is a remote control airplane out there for you. By following these tips and guidelines, you can choose the right plane, learn the basic and advanced flying techniques, and customize it to suit your flying needs. So, it’s time to get your remote control airplane and start exploring the limitless skies!