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What do you recommend as a first airplane or helicopter?

Posted by Motion RC on |

  • Category: Beginner Help
  • When you are just starting out in the hobby usually one of the first questions you may have is wondering what first airplane or helicopter would be best for you.  The great news is that the hobby is loaded with trainer aircraft specifically designed to help out the beginner.  We carry a multitude of this type of aircraft so let's start with the basics and then we will offer some recommendations to help you be on your way to successful flying!

    For fixed wing aircraft high wing trainers are the way to go

    Even with the advancements in stability and training technology (we will discuss in a moment) we still prefer pointing beginners to high wing airplanes.  The reason for this is simple.  High wing airplanes are always going to be inherently more stable than low wing airplanes.  High wing trainer airplanes have a higher level of stability and exhibit generally slower flight characteristics that are essential ingredients when learning to fly.

    Avoid temptation, the jets and warbirds will come soon enough

    Most of us want to fly those beautiful scale warbirds and jets right off the bat.  But as is the case for most things in life, you need to learn to crawl before you can walk, and learn to walk before you can run.  This philosophy is vital in R/C flying.  Once you have mastered the basics of flight, you will be rewarded with those advanced models before you know it.

    SAFE™ and AS3X™ technology is your friend

    In recent years stabilization technology has revolutionized the hobby.  SAFE™ and AS3X™ are two primary versions of this technology commonly found in the E-flite brand of models.  This technology can help stabilize your model and even offer a "panic" button if your model gets turned upside down and headed for disaster.  Simply selecting this button will automatically place your aircraft back into a safe straight and level orientation.  There are several other beginner-friendly features.  Review our selection of E-flite BNF (Bind n' Fly) aircraft to learn more.  While taking advantage of this technology can be very helpful in the beginning, it's not mandatory.  Plenty of people have learned to fly without this technology.  The choice is there for you.


    In our trainer airplane and trainer helicopter sections these aircraft are all meant for the beginner so there are no wrong choices per se, but for the sake of this article we are going to offer some recommendations we consider some of the best.

    E-flite Apprentice S 15e with SAFE 1500mm (59") Wingspan - RTF

    If this is not out of your price budget the E-flite Apprentics S 15e is an exceptional high wing trainer aircraft.  

    HobbyZone Champ 515mm (20") Wingspan - RTF

    It's hard to find a more budget-friendly high wing trainer than the HobbyZone Champ.  Extremely light, slow and beginner friendly.

    Freewing Pandora 4-in-1 Blue 1400mm (55") Wingspan - PNP

    The Freewing Pandora is a fantastic trainer plane in the fact that it offers 4 different configurations (high wing, low wing, tri-gear, taildragger gear) so when you are ready you can completely switch the type of plane it is.  It does require your own radio, receiver and battery.

    Blade mCX2 Coaxial Fixed Pitch 190mm (7.5") Rotor Diameter - RTF

    The Blade mCX2 is a great beginner helicopter.  Small and light, the mCX2 offers a fixed pitch coaxial counter-rotating rotor head for stability.

    XK K100 with Gyro 244mm (9.6") Rotor Diameter - RTF

    The XK K100 comes with a gyro for added stability.  With 3D features you can grow into as you learn to fly.

    We hope you found this article helpful.  If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Support Team is happy to assist you with any of your questions.  Good luck and Happy Flying!

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