Five Things Beginner RC Aircraft Pilots Should Consider

If your first RC aircraft isn’t up to snuff, it can ruin your enjoyment of the hobby as a whole. Therefore, choosing the right one is critical. While there is no perfect beginner RC aircraft, there are several key factors to consider that will help you make the right decision. These five factors are aircraft type, material, power type, kit level, and channels. In this blog, we will discuss each one.

The first factor to consider is aircraft type. Types of RC aircraft include civilian planes, warbirds, floatplanes, jets, and more. However, not all types are ideal for beginners. What you should be looking for is a trainer RC aircraft specifically designed for beginners. RC aircraft of this type will generally have high wing placement, meaning wings are mounted above the fuselage, with both wing panels arranged slightly dihedral (angled upward). This configuration provides greater lateral stability. If a disturbance, like a gust of wind, causes one of the wings to dip. The lower wing will produce more lift to force the aircraft back into level flight. This makes flight much easier, and even many full-size commercial aircraft are designed like this.

The second important choice is the aircraft material. There are two main options: foam or balsa. Balsa, a lightweight but robust wood, is pricier and more ideal for intermediate or advanced RC pilots because it requires more assembly and a certain level of craftsmanship. Foam aircraft required much less assembly, allowing users to get flying much quicker. Additionally, if you crash your RC aircraft, a balsa aircraft will likely be totaled. A foam aircraft in the same circumstances will absorb impact much better and keep damage to a minimum.

A third factor is the power type. 20 years ago, internal combustion planes were most common. Today, electric RC aircraft are the most common, especially for beginners, and have become much cheaper due to technological advances. In terms of the amount of time needed for maintenance, fuel, cleaning, and repairs, owning an internal combustion RC aircraft is actually somewhat similar to owning a real aircraft. It is both cheaper and easier to own an electric aircraft, as serious problems are often solved by simply getting a new battery or motor.

Your fourth consideration should be the aircraft’s kit or build level. When looking at RC aircraft, you may see different acronyms such as ARF, BNF, PNF, and so on. These acronyms represent two things: how much hardware is included and how much assembly is required. For beginners, RTF (Ready to Fly) and PNF (Plug and Fly) are the most ideal. An RTF aircraft will come with everything needed to fly, and a PNF aircraft will allow you to choose the different components, such as the transmitter, receiver, batteries, and charger, that go into your aircraft.

The fifth and final factor to consider is the aircraft’s channels. These refer to the number of control surfaces your aircraft can control. This can range from two all the way to twenty. For a beginner, a 4-channel RC aircraft is most ideal. This gives you control over the throttle, ailerons, rudder, and elevator, but still ensures you aren’t overwhelmed with added things to do when trying to get your aircraft off the ground.

If you carefully consider all five of the above factors, your first RC aircraft experience should be a positive one. For all types of RC aircraft parts and much more, look no further than NSN Components. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronics, industrial, and IT hardware markets. Our account managers are always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780. Let us show you why we consider ourselves the future of purchasing.


September 27, 2022

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