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RC Airplanes: Basics for Beginners

RC Airplanes: Basics for Beginners


Building and flying RC airplanes is an exciting and rewarding hobby. Here is what the absolute beginner needs to know in order to take up modeling as a hobby.

RC airplanes are all-time favorites for modelers around the world. Building and flying a model airplane is an entertaining and satisfying hobby, but it requires time and practice to perfect. Therefore, newbie modelers must be prepared for accidents and mishaps, and they should not be discouraged by them. As with any other hobby, it takes frequent involvement and constant effort to master it.

Many beginner modelers choose to experiment with cheap toy- models. These require little –if any- assembly and are made with low-quality materials. However, they are often hard to control and may respond unpredictably, which makes them unsuitable for training purposes. Some newbies are also eager to try those expensive models that they have always admired, but using one of these as a trainer may be a bad idea. Instead, several reasonably priced training models on the market made with the absolute beginner in mind.

Choosing an airplane to start with can be difficult, as it depends on many factors that the modeler needs to consider. Looks, airplane types, and brands aside, there are three main categories of model airplanes. Ready-to-fly airplanes come fully assembled and allow the hobbyist to focus on practicing his control skills. These present rather expensive options and deprive the modeler of the satisfaction of building his own airplane. Almost-ready-to-fly models (also known as ARTFs) come in big parts that need to be put together for the model to work. Finally, build-it-yourself kits involve building the model from scratch, which requires a basic toolkit.

Once the airplane is ready for takeoff, the modeler needs to familiarize himself with the controls. This may take some time, as the direction to which the model turns changes depending on the direction it is moving in. Because RC airplanes are controlled via radio frequencies, the hobbyist needs to make sure that no other devices in the vicinity can interfere with the frequency he is using, and that he, in turn, does not interfere with other modelers’ frequencies. Ensuring that there is ample space and that the wind is not too strong is also a good idea for first-time flyers.

RC airplanes can be fun to assemble and fly, which makes this type of modeling especially appealing. Experienced modelers often enter competitions in order to win prizes and show off their flying abilities. This makes the hobby even more competitive and worthwhile.

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