Buying a beginner remote control airplane isn’t like buying your first guitar or your first bike. With something like a bike or a guitar, you want to buy as good a model as you can afford. A fancier guitar will have better action, a better sound and superior construction. A fancier bike will be lighter, have faster bearings and more dependable components. With your first RC airplane, however, you don’t want to start above your comfort level. Buying an advanced model for your first kit could lead to disaster. You will be more than likely have difficulty assembling it and the changes are good that you will crash it the first time you try to fly it. You may end up spending two or even three times money on buying planes just to wreck them before you can manage to fly them.
You see, beginner RC airplanes are different from advanced planes. First of all, they have more stable body shapes. High-performance radio controlled aircraft have low wings which makes them fast, manoeuvrable and capable of performing advanced stunts. Beginner RC planes, by contrast, have high wings which are usually angled up towards the tips. These wings make the radio controlled airplane more stable. If the pilot lets go of the control, the plane will automatically level out. Planes for beginners are also slower fliers, giving the pilot more time to react and adjust. If they come in kits, they are often simpler to assemble, making them suitable for people without a lot of model making skills.
An even more important difference between a beginner RC airplane and an advanced craft is the control setup. Beginner airplanes typically have just three channels: one to control the motor speed, one to turn the plane left and right and one to angle it up and down. Advanced RC aircraft however, may have separate controls for the rudder, ailerons, elevators, engine, flaps and landing gear. It can be extremely difficult for a beginner RC pilot to learn all of these controls at once, and the result is often a crash.
Of course, if you have no experience flying flight simulators, you may want to get some practice before you take out your remote control airplane for its maiden flight. RC airplane flight simulators allow you to experience the flight characteristics of a real radio controlled plane without risking a crash. Many RC aircraft pilots spend hours and hours training so that, by the time they actually take out their prize model planes, they know what they are doing well enough to avoid a crash.