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RC Planes A Beginner s Introduction

Many aspiring modelers would like to get into using RC planes. Radio-controlled model aircraft are a rich source of enjoyment and inspiration. People make everything from highly-accurate models of historic and existing civilian and military aircraft to high-performance racers designed primarily for going as fast as possible around circuits. There are many different aspects to RC planes, and if you have no previous experience with them then you may be overwhelmed by all that you do not understand about them. In this article we will cover a few basic things about radio-controlled aircraft. Hopefully, this information will encourage you to start modeling yourself.

Flying Model Aircraft

One of the first things to understand about flying RC planes is that it is nowhere near as easy as it looks. These days, many cheap toys are available which can give you a taste for it, and a primary feature of many of these is their relative indestructibility. You can crash them all day long and not pay for it. However, a highly detailed scale model of a World War II Supermarine Spitfire will not stand up to the same abuse. Flying large models takes a great deal of practice, and even experts will still find their prized possessions lying in pieces from time to time.

Different Construction Methods

The cheaper toys are made from nearly indestructible plastic, but most self-built models are built using either polystyrene foam or something like balsa wood. Occasionally, a few parts will be made from spruce for extra strength. Foam has the advantage of being relatively easy to shape while also being nice and light. However, if you want the ultimate in light weight, the usual method of constructing RC planes involves building a fragile wooden skeleton before covering it in a thin plastic skin. This takes far more work, but many modelers take pride in the subtlety involved.

Power Sources

Larger models of RC planes are often powered by fuel engines. Smaller models typically use electric motors. However, some small models are fuel-powered and some larger models can be electric too. Electricity has the advantage of being cleaner and in many ways simpler. You do not need to worry about fires or fumes. However, carrying large numbers of batteries can be difficult due to their weight. This is why the larger models usually use fuel engines; their power-to-weight ratio becomes superior beyond a certain size. Beginners usually start with electric RC planes, but some people progress to fuel later on in their hobby when they have more experience.


RC Planes can be great fun, but as you get more serious about the art, you also face greater responsibility. A large model can not only destroy itself very easily, but it can also endanger other people and property. It is vital that you get in plenty of practice with the simpler designs before attempting something very difficult and complex. If you ramp up the difficulty gradually, you are sure to succeed in building ever more elaborate models and have a great time doing so.
About Author Errol cady :

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Article Added on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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