Getting started in RC Airplanes

So you want to get started flying RC airplanes, but you don’t know where to start. The good news is that there are some excellent choices on the market for your first RC airplane. Radio Control technology is better than ever, and it is easier than ever to get started.


Over several years of bringing new pilots into the hobby, we have tested several different aircraft. We recommend the HobbyZone Sport Cub S for new pilots. Everything you need to start flying is included – airplane, radio, battery, and charger for around $129. There are several reasons why we recommend this airplane:

  • No assembly required. Insert batteries in the transmitter, charge the flight battery, and you are ready to go.
  • Light weight, easy to repair.
  • SAFE technology. The electronics on the airplane help the pilot by limiting the angle that the airplane will climb, dive, and turn. As the pilot’s skills develop, the electronic assistance can be turned down or off to give greater control.
  • Panic mode. If the pilot gets into difficulty, a trigger button on the transmitter will immediately return the airplane to level flight.

These last features are what makes this such a great choice as a first airplane. The biggest difficulty most new pilots have is learning to orient their control movements to the direction the airplane is flying. For instance, if the plane is flying toward you and you want it turn toward your right, you must give left turn input. This can cause a new pilot to become confused, and continue to give incorrect inputs leading to a loss of control and a crash. SAFE mode prevents this because it limits the amount of climb, dive, and bank.

Later, as the pilot’s skills improve, the Sport Cub is capable of basic aerobatic tricks like loops, rolls, and inverted flight. And the panic button is still there to help with momentary loss of orientation.