Of the many types of RC aircraft available, only a select few are really any good for training a new RC pilot. Flying wings, large planes, fast planes, and multi-motor planes are exciting, but also can be difficult to fly.
As with learning any new skill, piloting RC aircraft will not come without its difficulties. Crashes are bound to happen, and by purchasing a low cost trainer model, money and time can be minimized in getting back up into the air.
Types of Control
To the new pilot, determining what to buy can be a daunting task. First there’s the transmitter. Transmitters take the control input from the pilot and transmit the signals to the receiver located on board the RC plane.
Many types of transmitters exist and they will be described in another post. For the beginner RC pilot, a simple four channel transmitter will work fine. Usually these transmitters come shipped with the ready-to-fly (RTF) plane kits.
A nice stand alone six channel transmitter is the FlySky FS-CT6B. The two extra channels will come in handy when additional controls such as navigation lights or a bomb-bay door are desired.
The four necessary channels are throttle, rudder, ailerons, and elevator. If desired, the trainer plane can be controlled using only three channels – throttle, rudder, and elevator. Be sure to get a receiver unit too. Some transmitters are not sold with receivers.
Ideal Trainer Plane Construction
The ideal trainer plane has several things in common. First it is light and made of foam. RC planes can be made of several types of materials, such as balsa wood, poster board, and a few categories of foam. Of the several categories of foam available, EPO foam is a good choice.
Many of the mass-produced hobby store type planes are crafted out of EPO foam. EPO stands for Expanded Polyolefin and the material is typically used in the housing business as a flame retardant. Although the foam is easily damaged by petroleum-based paints, it is inexpensive and has good structural stability.
An EPO plane will withstand minor crashes, and is easily repaired with cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) glue and duct tape.
RC Trainer Plane.
RC Trainer Plane Recommendations
In many message board postings and Youtube review videos, several planes are mentioned over and over again as excellent for beginner RC pilots. One of these models is the Sirius plane from BEVRC.
The Sirius plane has a 150 cm wingspan and requires a four channel radio, four servos, 2212-2218 motor, and 7060E propeller.
Additional specifications can be found on the manufacturer’s website. The outside servo design, large payload capacity, big rudder, and EPO construction make this an ideal plane for the beginner RC pilot.
Another favorite beginner RC plane is the Easy Star II by Multiplex. This aircraft is well made and constructed of a proprietary ELAPOR material that is quite durable. Multiplex also makes a pre-assembled trainer called the Sky Scout.
The Sky Scout is available in three variations and also as a do-it-yourself kit. This aircraft is smaller than the Sirius, with a 54.5 inch wingspan.