Do you get really confused when you try to pick out the right RTF electric RC scale model aircraft? Well, you are in the right place. We have put together some useful tips, and cool models so you can get the right plane for you.
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Most of the time when buying Ready-to-Fly RC planes, you get everything you need in the package, and the plane is ready to fly, as the name states, nearly out of the box. Minimal build work is needed, and you’ll be flying the plane very quickly as all that is needed is to charge the batteries (more and less all RTF RC model planes are electric). All very good reasons to buy an RTF plane.
Getting an RTF RC plane is a great way to get flying the plane faster and cheaper. However, there are some factors that you should know when buying an RTF plane, as the different packages might be build-up differently.
Remote-controlled planes are becoming more and more ubiquitous markedly with the new features that keep developing the stableness during flight and the speed that is ever-expanding. One of the most prevalent planes is the RTF RC plane.
RTF means that when you get your remote control plane, it is Ready To Fly. This is great as it allows you to get flying right away and makes it very easy for the greenhorn RC pilot to get learning fast. Since you will not need to build your plane, just charge, or gas, it up and get out there!
Some packages come with quality parts and a good RC transmitter for example, but other packages (namely the cheapest ones) might now, so make sure you know what you’re getting when buying one and consider these pros and cons of RTF planes too…
What Is Great About RTF Model Aircraft? (+)
As a general guideline, look for models that are sold both as RTF and ARF (Almost-Ready-To-Fly). With some plane models like this, the RTF plane is a readily built ARF, built from parts you can reuse or replace easily. Great for a beginner and good out of the box, but if you like, you’ll always have the chance to modify or upgrade the plane = Perfect.
RTF Model Aircraft are quick and easy way to get flying (+)
- The price is right (RTF planes are the most cost-efficient way to get into RC airplanes hobby) (+)
- No time goes to building the plane (+)
- The package includes everything needed to fly, no shopping around needed making sure you have everything (+)
- For an advanced hobbyist, an RTF plane can be a good start for a customized, more powerful RC plane for a very good price (+)
- Good RTF plane will serve you a long time and enable you to do modifications you want to it (+)
RTF RC plane can always be improved by getting higher quality or more powerful parts, for example, adding a brushless motor and higher capacity batteries to replace the factory parts is coming popular among RC hobbyists.
With all the pros and cons, RTF RC model airplanes are a great choice for a beginner who is not interested in model building, and all things related to that or just want to get into flying as soon as possible.
The RTF plane is the most fitting plane to start with if you are a neophyte. Thanks to the lack of building needed and the relaxed use of the remote control, any novice will be flying their plane in quickly. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing an RTF plane is spare parts.
Be sure that you can obtain a solid accumulation of spare parts when needed to fix your plane. Crashes are going to happen, particularly in the beginning so being able to buy the extra parts needed for the plane is a must. No one wants to fly a plane one time and just crash and be done.
A few added RC plane tips would be to stick to the fundamental plane in the beginning. Read the manual to better comprehend the controls and elementary maneuvers. This will ensure ascendancy with the start of the inaugural flight all the way down to the flights you will have later on.
If you find yourself stuck on a situation with your RTF or just merely need to purchase substitute parts, you can either go back to the store in which you bought your RTF plane or look up online to find RC plane resources. There is a vast array of knowledge and kits available for the amateur all the way up to the wizard.
Why RTF RC Model Aircraft Might Not Be So Great? (-)
RTF scale airplanes are created to make it easy for anyone to get a plane and start flying, but of course, the sellers want the packages to be affordable, so they can’t and don’t want to use the top-notch parts in these planes.
Because of this, unless the RTF plane is specifically designed to include prime parts, there are some things you should know so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised later. Note that these “warnings” do not apply to every RTF plane out there, but it’s common that some corners are cut, especially with the cheaper RTF model airplanes…
- RC Transmitter included with the RTF model aircraft has 2 or 3 channels, which is not suitable for the more advanced plane in the future (requires at least 4 channels) (-)
- RC Transmitter might be configured differently in different countries, which might make learning the controls hard (-)
- The included transmitter might have a more limited range than usual (-)
- The transmitter comes/uses normal batteries, not rechargeable ones (So you’ll be buying and using your own rechargeable batteries) (-)
- The receiver batteries might have low capacity; they might be heavy and only good for couple of minutes of flight time (-)
- It can take 12-16 hours to charge the batteries with the standard charger coming in the RTF box (-)
- The parts on the RTF RC model aircraft cannot be reused in a different kind, e.g. bigger plane (although some plane models are more modifiable than others) (-)
- The spare parts must be bought from third-party vendors as the manufacturer might not offer or sell them (-)
Many RC manufacturers have started to improve their RTF scale model planes and services during the last years, but like said, know what you’re buying.
With the above, the default transmitter will be fine for flying the plane it comes with, but it’s very likely not suitable for any other plane. In addition to the rechargeable batteries for the transmitter, you’ll probably want to get a faster charger and spare batteries for the plane at some point.
Magazine ads and hobby shops and the Internet offer SO many choices – how do you know where to begin? Motors: brushed, brushless, or cobalt? Batteries: Lithium Polymer (LiPo) or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)? Airplane: balsa or foam?
Let’s make it a little easier: here is a guide suggesting a cost-effective starting place for your RTF electric remote control airplanes journey.
Starter: a complete RTF electric RC airplane package of foam or plastic airplane, brushed motor, nickel-metal hydride(NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (NiCad) battery and charger, and 2 or 3-channel radio.
Intermediate: again a complete package, with an aileron airplane and better, brushed or cobalt motor, 4-channel radio, battery, and charger for better maneuverability and speed.
Advanced: Sometimes a complete package, but often you select your own radio, etc. Typical is a 6+ channel radio, brushless motor and controller, NiMH or LiPo (Lithium Polymer) battery with aerobatic sport-type airplanes such as the electric Funtana. Cost $250-400+
Of course, everything with an electric RC airplane has trade-offs: the basic package trades a low price for sedate handling and almost guaranteed success. The intermediate package can also work well for a beginner, offering better flying capabilities, but a reduced ability to crash and be ready to fly again without some repairing at home. The advanced package offers much longer flight times (15-20 minutes!) and aerobatics but needs considerably more care in assembly and flying.