Selecting Your First RC Model Airplane

On the last blog post, I was talking about selecting your first radio controlled model airplane. I want to emphasize how it is to your advantage to find an experienced flier to help you through each step of radio controlled model flying.  By now, you may have had a chance to attend a R/C fly-in” or at least maybe you have visited the local club’s flying field and that is one of the first things you should do. At some of these events, you can meet and talk to some of the fliers and find someone that is interested in assisting beginners. There will undoubtedly be people there that are willing to answer questions and help you select the appropriate equipment to get started with.

    If you decide that you want to build your own kit, you will need several parts and accessories that are not always included in the kit.  The manufacturer usually includes a list of things you will need in addition to what comes with the kit.  Wheels, fuel tank, fuel line, push rods hinges,and several other components will need to be purchased separately.  It will take some time to assemble all the parts of the kit, so for some OT the items, you have a little time to decide exactly what you want/need.  One word of caution at this point, some components such as push rods may need to be installed before they become inaccessible inside the model.

     Building your aircraft from a kit can be a very rewarding experience and provide for a great feeling of accomplishment.  If you are the type of person that enjoys building things and working with your hands, kit building is probably okay for you.  If that is your choice, expect to spend a lot of time working with and assembling the intricate parts.  And don’t be afraid to ask for advice and help.  

    Otherwise, you are probably more likely to choose one of the many excellent ARF or RTF models that have become so popular.  There are several manufacturers that offer combination packages that already have the radio and engine installed.  Some claim that you can have them assembled and flight ready in about 15 minutes.   Once the airplane is all assembled you are ready for the next step.  Running the engine and “breaking” it in.   And doing the radio control functional test of the throttle and control surfaces.  There will be lots more on that in the upcoming blogs.  

    Please remember that this blog site is for the purpose of educating and assisting people (of all ages) that are interested in joining the thousands of R/C modelers in a very exciting, educational and fun hobby.  It is also for anyone with knowledge and experience that would like to comment on the posts and thereby take an active part in passing along the information that will help others enjoy the hobby. I just want you to know your comments are appreciated and be sure to check this site daily for new information.