Blog Choosing Radio Controlled Model Aircraft for Beginners

Choosing Radio Controlled Model Aircraft for Beginners


Someone new to RC planes, looking for their first radio controlled aeroplane, can get confused because of the wide variety of choices available.

In this article, we’ll go through the three RC model aircraft motor types and look at them from a beginner’s point of view, looking for the best option for one’s first radio controlled aeroplane.

Three Kinds of Power Sources for Radio Controlled Model Planes

There are three kinds of power sources for radio controlled aeroplanes. The three kinds of RC engines available are nitro, gas and electric RC aeroplanes.

Firstly, the nitro RC engines run on nitro methane mixture, which makes the radio controlled aeroplane using a nitro RC engine fly faster and usually for a longer time too. However, nitro RC engines require more maintenance, can break up more easily and the fuel is more costly than the other two options.

Secondly, RC aeroplanes running on gas motors use a mix of gasoline and oil. Gas motored radio controlled aeroplanes are relatively reliable and moderately priced, though still considerably more expensive and higher maintenance than the electric RC planes.

Finally, the electric RC motors. Electric RC planes are the cheapest, yet most reliable RC motor type. Electric RC planes are easy to afford, easy to “fuel” (just charge the batteries) and electric RC motors don’t require the extensive maintenance that the two counterparts do. Thus, electric RC motor is the best, the safest and the smartest choice for a beginning radio controlled aeroplanes hobbyist.

Electric RC Plane, Great Value Radio Controlled Model Aeroplanes

rc model planes
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Electric RC plane is the best bet for a beginner because of the simpler structure and more reliable usage. Electric RC plane is also slow enough for a beginner to learn how to fly radio controlled aeroplanes before moving on to the more advanced models.Super Cub LP RTF Electric RC Plane

When you’re starting out, you should look for an easy flying RC model plane, instead of super-sonic speed RC jet plane. Why? Because faster RC plane is not necessarily more fun, especially for a beginner, because controlling a fast RC plane is a bit trickier and it takes some experience to control them properly.

One of the benefits of choosing an electric RC plane is that there is plenty of ready-to-fly, RTF RC planes available with electric RC motor, which is not the case with nitro- and gas-powered radio controlled aeroplanes. Choosing an RTF RC airplane as a first radio controlled plane, a new RC aviator doesn’t have to learn the secrets of model building, balancing the plane and other, more technical tasks of radio controlled aeroplanes hobby.

Yes, electric RC planes are slower than the gas- or nitro-powered RC model planes, but that doesn’t mean they’re slow, just that they are more suitable for beginners. Slower speed means more stability and more safety, which again, saves you money.

New to building scale aircraft models?
Read our essential guide to buying and building scale model aircraft .
Useful tips on building scale model aircraft.

The Right Kind of Radio Controlled Model Aircraft for Beginners

One thing is still certain, as a beginner, you will crash your radio controlled plane at some point. This means that you should look for a durable model that can take the beating. And in the case of breaking, the spare parts should be reasonably priced and repair should be simple. The electric RC motor itself doesn’t break easily, which is another benefit of going with electric RC plane.

To summarize, a beginner should look for an electric RC plane that is:

  • ready-to-fly, RTF RC airplane
  • easy to fly
  • durable
  • not too costly

This kind of setup enables a beginner to start training and learning to fly radio controlled planes right away, offering safer start-up, while keeping the costs at moderation. A beginning RC aircraft hobbyist most likely wants to concentrate on the fun and entertainment and learn how to fly RC model planes – and RTF, electric RC plane enables just that.

This is a slightly edited and updated version of an article originally published on “The Radio Controlled Aeroplanes Blog” –


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