Airplanes soaring in the skies, flying between 40,000 to 45,000 feet high, are a sight to behold. It’s fascinating to watch one taking off, with its gigantic body and large wings, before disappearing into the clouds.
RC model airplanes are smaller versions of these. They are of two types: flying and non-flying (or static). The static ones are kept on shelves for display purposes, while flying planes are used for various purposes, including remote-controlled flying.
Flying an RC airplane combines the elements of fun, adventure, and sheer delight. These come in various types, completion levels, and sizes. You can choose between military or civil aircraft, depending on your preferences. For instance, if you are an RC hobbyist passionate about military planes, you can choose to fly a wide variety of military-scale aircraft like the Thunderbirds, Mustang, Flacon, Eagle, or Focke-Wulf. And you don’t even have to be an experienced pilot to operate. There are several options for beginners, intermediates, and advanced hobbyists, giving you ample choices.
Here are some things you should know before buying one for yourself.
What are the various skill levels?
Radio-controlled aircraft are available in four skill levels (from 1 to 4) based on your experience flying these machines.
Skill Level 1
Most aircraft come under a convenient ready-to-fly (RTF) version. A basic RTF version includes all the essential components and accessories required for the machine’s operation (sometimes batteries are not included). Vehicles under this category are perfect for beginners without prior flying experience.
Some planes are available in a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version, allowing you to use the Spektrum transmitter, battery, and charger.
Almost all models in this category, including Carbon Cub, Habu STS, Duet RTF, and AeroScout S, run on Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology, giving you better control, and avoiding overcontrol, loss of orientation, and crashes.
Skill Level 2 (including Next-Step)
You can graduate to Skill Level 2, the Next Step, after learning the basics of flying with a trainer and having confidence in controlling a plane.
Models in this level are Turbo Timber Evolution, Valiant, T-28 Trojan, and Night Radian, run on SAFE technology, with pitch and bank angle limits and automatic self-leveling, making them easier to handle and maneuver.
Once you are comfortable with the Next Step, you can operate RC aircraft in Skill Level 2, including Maule M-7, F-15 Eagle, F4U-4 Corsair, and Draco and Habu SS.
Skill Level 3
Some vehicles require assembling and setting up based on the pilot’s specific flying requirements and are ideal for experienced pilots who have flown similar models. Some models that you can choose from are the F-16 Falcon, T-28 Trojan, Focke-Wulf, and Leader 480 ARF.
Skill Level 4
Products in this category are exclusively for advanced pilots familiar with the setting up and assembly experience. Most require additional parts to work, including transmitters, covering, and flight simulators.
You receive a detailed instructional manual, replacement parts, pit/field tools, and optional parts. Some components that come separately with planes in this level are receivers, chargers, batteries, radios, servos, and speed controls.
Sizes to choose from
These are pretty small and lightweight, with easily manageable speeds, making them suitable for indoor and backyard flying. You should choose these if you’re looking for relaxed and leisurely RC flying sessions.
These radio-controlled ones run primarily on electrical sources and are small, lightweight, and easily maneuverable. They are ideal for flying in parks and outdoor spaces, as their name suggests.
These are the big model aircraft with an average wingspan of 80 inches (for single-wing planes) and 60 inches (for multi-wing planes). It would be best if you considered operating these only after gaining sufficient experience with Ultra Micros and Park Flyers,
Model airplanes are available in various skill levels and sizes, allowing you to choose one depending on your expertise, experience, and maneuvering capability. Choosing one after thorough research will help you handle them efficiently while enjoying the flying experience.