Model RC Airplanes Hobbies
Model RC airplanes are increasing in popularity across the board. There are many reasons why radio controlled (RC) planes are popular. The concept of being able to master and fly these realistic reproductions offers untold hours of fun for RC powered hobbyists of all ages. It makes a great father-son hobby as well!
However, with the available selection of model RC airplane sizes, styles, and features increasing almost daily, choosing the best plane for you can be a little intimidating. For those that like a little variety in their radio controlled adventures, here is some good news. There are three basic powerplants currently available such as electric models, gas powered, and nitro-powered. The electric models are by far the best way for a new flyer to learn this great hobby. As your experience and ability increases you can move up to the more complex gas and nitro models.
Types of Model RC Airplanes
Model RC airplanes can be purchased as RTF (ready-to-fly), ARF (almost-ready-to-fly), BNF (bind-and-fly) or as kits that allow you to build your own plane from scratch. Materials may consist of foam, balsa, fiberglass, or as a composite. Most of your trainer planes are electric and come as an RTF plane. You just charge the battery and fly!
Sizes of Model RC Airplanes
The four general size categories of radio controlled airplanes include scale, semi-scale, mini and micro models. A scale model refers to an RC airplane that is an identical replica of a real plane, although significantly reduced in size. Some scale model RC airplanes have wingspans that exceed eight feet. And the attention to detail, even within the cockpit, is an exact replica of the full-sized plane.
Semi-scale entails a model that is smaller than a scale plane, but has some details that have been modified in the interest of saving space. For instance, a models scale is defined as a ratio or as a fraction; that is 1:15 or 1/15th scale is 15 times smaller than the original full-sized aircraft.
Mini and micro model RC airplanes have been reduced in size even further and can be flown in relatively small areas. Again, the same formula applies. For example, a plane that is 1:100 or 1/100th scale is 100 times smaller than the original. Some actually fit in the palm of your hand, but fly beautifully!
In terms of the specific types of model RC airplanes on the market, some of the main radio controlled categories are listed below.
Model RC Trainer Planes – For Beginners
As the name implies, these planes have been designed to introduce beginners to the fun-filled hobby of flying model rc airplanes. They are designed for ease of use and maneuverability. Their primary use is to teach you the basics of radio controlled flight, without putting a more expensive plane at risk.
New fans of model RC airplanes will certainly find trainer models to be not only necessary, but also much less expensive. If you don’t have someone to teach you the ropes, you should seriously consider purchasing an RC Flight Simulator for your computer. With these, you learn to operate your radio controller without running the risk of crashing your new plane!
Aerobatic Planes – For Experienced Flyers
These could be considered the inverse of a trainer plane since they are built for the more experienced flyer and hobbyist. These planes are crafted so that they are able to perform a wide variety of stunts and tricks which, in turn, adds tremendously to the enjoyment of both the users and the audience. Contests are held all across the country as RC pilots compete for top honors.
Model RC Float Planes – For Water Lovers
Not all real world airplanes need to land on solid ground. The same can be said of radio controlled planes as there are many that have been specifically designed for water-based take-offs and landings with the addition of a set of floats. There are several models currently in production; many are based on Cessna styled aircraft. It’s a great way to spend a few hours with your kids at the lake!
Military Warbirds – Ready for a Dogfight?
Military planes have long since captured the public’s imagination. As such, many radio controlled planes are brilliant reproductions of these incredible fighter planes. Models such as the P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, and British Spitfire are good examples. Bombers such as the B-52 and B-25 are also available. Or maybe you are a fan of the P-38 Lightning. Flyers that have a military background will find these model RC airplanes particularly appealing.
Vintage Planes – The Good Old Days
Nostalgia is always popular and in the realm of model RC airplanes the same applies. There are all manner and variety of radio controlled planes on the market that are replicas of models from the past. A good example of these would be bi-planes. There existence is a clear indication of the great demand for those things we remember from years gone-by.
In closing, whichever type of model RC airplanes you decide to enjoy, you have found a life-long hobby that will provide you with many hours of enjoyment for years to come.