ABC's of RC Planes

A radio-controlled aircraft (often called RC aircraft or RC plane) is a small flying machine that is controlled remotely by an operator on the ground using a hand-held radio transmitter. The transmitter communicates with a receiver within the craft that sends signals to servomechanisms (servos) which move the control surfaces based on the position of joysticks on the transmitter. The control surfaces, in turn, affect the orientation of the plane.

To the newcomer to RC Planes, it can be very confusing and a bit fearful of how RC planes fly and what equipment you should purchase to get started. There are a wide range of planes and equipment and your initial purchase can limit your experience, or leave you with equipment that is not suitable as you grow in your abilities. The following information is an attempt to help you decide on what purchases will allow you to grow and reduce the stress associated with the sport. RC planes and the technology has advanced in leaps and bounds such as Safe Select and provides multi levels of help that will assist in keeping your plane from crashing into the ground. We will be covering some of this technology such as "Safe Select", which allows the plane to maintain level flight with little control on your end. And "Safe Select Advanced" can even allow you to tell the plane to land it's self. I have broken down each area as listed below and should be reviewed before your first purchase.

We also have instructors who have decades of experience, should you wish to talk to someone about our free flight training program. Our instructors are very experienced and capable of helping you learn to fly. You are welcome to visit our Field and see first hand, what a wide variety of plane options are available. Get an orientation from one of our experienced Instructors and pilots and talk to them about recommendations to get you started, before you buy.  One of the benefits of working with one of our instructors, is the "Buddy Box" system. They do not just hand you a Transmitter and tell you to give it a shot! With the "Buddy Box" system, the Instructor has a Master Transmitter and you have a Slave Transmitter. While you are flying the plane, the Instructor holds down a button on the Master Transmitter which gives you control of the plane, with your Slave Transmitter. If the Instructor sees you are heading for trouble or wants to demonstrate a maneuver, he will let go of the button giving him instant control of the plane. This ability helps reduce some of the stress you may experience when starting out.

Terminology Clarification:   The Radio Transmitter you use to control the plane, is commonly referred to as a "Radio". From this point on and throughout these pages, I will use the term "Radio" instead of Radio Transmitter. The information contained in these pages, is a guide only. Time changes technologies and as such, these pages are subject to change and carry no warranty or guarantees that this information is current.