RC Airplane and Helicopter Safety

When we read the news “Teen struck and killed by remote control helicopter in NY park,” our hearts sank.  We send our sympathy to this family in their time of loss.

Fly safe!

Flying a remote-controlled airplane or helicopter can be a very fun and exciting hobby. However, a great deal of caution must always be taken when operating a powerful RC aircraft. A sudden lack of concentration or mental lapse could have dangerous consequences. Even veteran enthusiasts need to take all the necessary safety precautions to protect themselves as well as any of the onlookers. Here are a few RC helicopter and airplane tips to ensure safety.

Start off with a less powerful version.
Like a child that is just learning to ride a bike, a newbie RC aircraft operator should begin their experience with a model that has a low risk of causing any damage. This will help the entry-level operator to learn all of the basic fundamentals of flying before moving on to a more powerful remote-controlled aircraft.

Check the environmental conditions prior to launching the aircraft.
Whether the hobbyist enjoys flying rc helicopters or rc airplanes, it is always advisable to keep tabs on the outdoor conditions. Strong winds drastically change the handling dynamics of the aircraft while it is in the air. Flying near power cables should always be avoided whenever possible. In some instances, the operator of the RC aircraft could even be arrested for flying near dangerous obstacles.

RC SafetyMaintain the aircraft
Both rc airplanes and rc helicopters need to be properly maintained after each day of flying. Failing to give the aircraft the required maintenance could lead to the airplane or helicopter becoming a lot less stable while making maneuvers. Although every crash may not leave any noticeable damage, the aircraft is still susceptible to wear and tear over time. Pay close attention for any fuel leaks or broken components.

Do not view a RC aircraft as a toy.
While remote-controlled aircraft are indeed a joy to own, it is important to remember that they are not a toy. Each airplane or helicopter deserves a certain degree of respect when flying it. Being negligent with the aircraft could lead to the operator or a bystander getting seriously injured. Furthermore, the operator is also liable for any damages caused by the aircraft.

Hopefully these tips will be able to help aspiring RC hobbyists to understand the importance of being safe at all times. With the proper training and careful attention, flying an RC airplane or helicopter can be just as safe as it is entertaining.

HobbyKing Doppler App

Ever wondered how fast your rc plane was flying? Using your iPhone or Android phone, you can now monitor the speed of your aircraft using the HobbyKing Doppler app. Using a complex algorithm, the app measures the sound wave variation, also known as the doppler shift, of a passing airplane to calculate a very accurate flight speed.  The speed will be announced so that you don’t have to divert your attention away from piloting your rc airplane and the results are able to be shared across many social media platforms.  This new tool is sure to be very useful to rc pilots everywhere.  To learn more about the app, visit their website.  To see the app in action, watch the video below.

How to Buy Your First RC Plane

Hobbyists who may be considering investing in an remote control airplane for the first time would do well to ensure they select a model that will be able to provide them with a more rewarding experience. Airplanes that lack the stability and ease of control that beginners and those without much experience will require may prove to be a very costly and unfortunate choice for those investing in their first aircraft. Beginner friendly aircraft that have more stable performance characteristics are more forgiving with regards to operator error and controller mistakes and they will be rugged enough to survive more than a few rough landings would be a far more suitable option for purchase.

Finding the Aircraft to Fit Any Skill Level

Aircraft models that provide beginners with the superior durability and ease of control they need to practice their skills can do much to improve the enjoyment and success of their initial experiences. Investing in any remote control airplane that will be less likely to survive a crash or mishap is a serious mistake that many novice flyers make. Having to replace your plane should it become damaged or suffering through the frustration of learning to master an aircraft that may be beyond your skill level is often enough to find many beginners in search of a new hobby.

The Importance of Durability and Ease of Control

MoneyWhile the more basic design and rugged construction of the remote control airplane models more suitable for beginners may not be as flashy as some of the other more advanced designs, they will be far more likely to provide novice flyers with a more successful and enjoyable experience. Enthusiasts who rush to purchase an aircraft that will exceed their level of skill at the controls may be doing little more than wasting their money. Adding more sophisticated and harder to control models to a collection should be done over time, as flyers begin to enjoy a better understanding of the controls.

Remote Control Airplanes That Will Be More Fun

In addition to finding a model that will provide novice flyers with greater success, selecting a plane that can offer the level of performance, battery life and other features needed to meet the needs and interests of an individual owner can also be an important concern. With beginner-friendly models to fit any interest, level of budget and type of flying, investing in the right one can be an important concern for any hobbyist. Knowing a little more about the available options, features and models that will provide superior enjoyment and value can be the first step towards making the right purchase.

How to Pilot a Remote Controlled Plane

Flying remote controlled aircraft has become a popular hobby for people of all ages. While the process may seem simple, planes can vary in size and behave very differently from one another while in the air, so flying them is tricky business. The instructions below will help pilots get the best flight experience out of remote control planes.

Choose Plane Type
Pilots can choose between plane models that are Ready to Fly (RTF) and those that require some degree of assembly and are Almost Ready to Fly (ARF). RTF planes come complete with a battery and a controller. Another type, called Plug-and-Fly (PNF) requires the pilot to obtain the controller and battery separately. One more consideration is whether the plane should run on gas or electric power.

Pre-Flight Check
Just like a real plane, an RTF aircraft requires a pre-flight check. The pilot should turn on the controller and then start the plane. Next comes a range check, which determines whether or not the transmitter is working properly. The direction of all flight surfaces should also be checked, preferably by an experienced person. The wind speed can be determined by attaching a ribbon to the controller antenna. The perfect angle is 30 degrees. The flight should not be conducted if the ribbon shows parallel to the ground. Tossing light materials into the air will indicate the direction of the wind.

Remote control planes should be launched by slowly increasing power while gaining ground speed. Planes that require hand-launching should be tossed into the air in a firm and level way at full power with the pilot quickly grabbing the controls immediately afterward. Beginners will require the assistance of another person to do the launching in order to focus on the controls. The plane’s throttle should be at 100 percent until the craft reaches altitude, which is between 150 and 200 feet. At that point, power may be cut in half.

Pilot RC PlaneDuring the Flight
A remote aircraft’s controls require a light touch. The right-side control stick will allow for turns by moving it in the desired direction. Pilots should use an oval pattern, using the same direction for all turns. Pulling back on the right stick will guide the plane safely through all turns, with the completion point being parallel to the ground. Caution should be taken to keep the nose level. If it is raised too much, the plane could go into a stall.

Pilots can bring the aircraft in for a landing by gradually reducing power and letting it glide. Once the plane is at the five-foot mark, the throttle can be cut completely. The nose should be raised slightly just before landing, as this will allow all the wheels to touch the ground simultaneously.

Following the above guidelines will ensure safe and fun flights with remote control planes.

The Top 3 Best RC Airplanes

When shopping for your ideal RC airplane, there’s a lot to consider. Are you a beginner to the hobby, or have you been flying RC toys for years? Are you looking for a plane with a lot of assembly required, or one that’s ready to fly right out of the box? How about a plane that can do a lot of high-flying stunts? A beginner will be much more at home with a simple, less expensive plane without all the additional bells and whistles, but everyone’s needs and preferences are different. Here are the top three RC airplanes that anyone can enjoy.

The HobbyZone Champ RTF
is a perfect beginner plane because it comes completely assembled, right out of the box. As implied by the RTF in its name, the plane is ready to fly and only requires that you charge and insert its 3.7V 150mAh LiPo battery. The plane itself is lightweight and durable, allowing you to learn how to fly it with ease without fear of it breaking.

Even for a more experienced RC pilot, this plane is affordable and fun, though its controls, while simple, are somewhat limiting compared to more hobbyist-oriented planes on the market, which might not be ideal for an enthusiast. It costs about $90.

The Stinger 64 EDF Sport Jet is a fun plane offering reasonable size without missing out on any core features. Technologically, the plane is a joy for its price while still being small enough that you can tote it with you to the park or the beach with little effort. It requires assembly, but comes pre-painted; this plane is designed to be durable once put together, so you shouldn’t be spending a bunch of money on repairs; but it offers little in the way of customization, opting instead for ease of use and durability.

It handles quite well while also remaining speedy for a plane of its size. It costs around $120, but you will have to purchase a receiver separately, which can be costly. Oftentimes buying a separate receiver allows you better control of your plane in the long run. For such a well-built plane for the price, this isn’t a bad thing.

For a plane that offers quality, size, performance, and a degree of customization, all for an affordable price, the Great Planes ElectriFly Edge 540T isn’t one to miss. It’s fairly large as far as RC airplanes go, coming in at 50 inches, but it’s extremely detailed and comes in a variety of colors. Some of the assembly is already done for you, but the plane is far from ready to fly out of the box. In fact, there are many steps to get this plane airworthy, but don’t let that intimidate you, as it comes together quite easily.

This plane is built for power, making flying it a lot of fun, though landings are somewhat difficult and require a degree of practice and finesse. At a little over $200, this is the pricier plane on this list, but if you enjoy a detailed plane of a larger size that sets itself apart from the rest, this is your plane.

Getting the biggest bang for your buck is a pretty important factor for budding RC airplane enthusiasts, who might not be willing to put a hefty amount of cash into a hobby until they know what they’re doing. Therefore, the three planes covered here should give you a good jumping off point whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your horizons. Happy flying!