What are RC planes?

Print anything with Printful

Remote control airplanes come in various types, from basic park flyers to expensive jets, and can be purchased as Ready to Fly kits or assembled by hobbyists. They are also used for scientific and military purposes.

Remote control airplanes are unmanned aircraft that are controlled via a remote device of some kind. Remote control aircraft are generally assumed to refer to model aircraft, used for recreation, as opposed to military-grade unmanned drones, although these can also be remote-controlled aircraft.

Model airplanes have been around as long as airplanes themselves, and in fact model airplanes predated them. In fact, the first remote-controlled airplanes weren’t even airplanes, but were actually hydrogen-filled remote-controlled boats in the late 1800s. These ships used a very simple radio signal to emit controls, and were flown around theaters as a form of entertainment.

There are many different types of remote control airplanes, for every skill level and price range. At the simplest level are the basic park flyers, which are simple electric remote control planes, that can really only move up and down and slightly from side to side. These are usually fairly cheap remote control planes, and are most often purchased for children or beginners in the hobby. They are known as park flyers because their size and speed make them suitable for flying around a small park, or even indoors in a large enough building. Because park travelers generally fly so slowly, they can’t really get blown up in high winds, which can cause them to be blown off course or onto the ground.

Jets are another class of remote control aircraft, and they tend to be substantially more expensive than park flyers. These remote control planes run on real jet fuel, and can go as fast as 200 MPH (320 km/h), making them quite dangerous for anyone except expert fliers. In fact, these remote control planes are regulated by the FAA, and only certified hob pilots can fly them in certain restricted areas. The jets generally cost upwards of $1,000 United States Dollars (USD), with some reaching upwards of $15,000 USD.

Remote control airplanes can also be separated into two classes based on their level of control: simple steering wheels and 3D steering wheels. Simple flywheels can usually only move up and down and slightly left and right, with limited variation in speed. 3D flyers, on the other hand, have a high thrust-to-weight ratio and advanced controls, allowing them to manage any number of impressive feats. 3D remote control airplanes can do many of the tricks associated with real jets, such as barreling, intentional stalling, and hovering.

Remote control airplanes can be purchased as finished kits, often called Ready to Fly (RTF), or as kits that need to be prepared. Most beginners buy simple RTF planes, which can cost less than $100 USD, to play on and off in a park or other large open space. However, more advanced hobbyists often choose to assemble their own plane, allowing them more control over everything from materials to fuel capacity to the stiffness of the controls.

In addition to hobbyist uses, remote control airplanes are used for various scientific and military purposes. Unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the World War I Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Aircraft or the modern MQ-1 Predator, are used for military reconnaissance or to deploy payloads in hostile territory. Others, like the Aerosonde, can be used for scientific research, such as traveling in the high-speed winds of hurricanes to learn more about hazardous environments.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content