How To Fly An RC Plane

Radio-controlled aircraft are small planes that are controlled by a person on the ground. They fly by remote control. RC aircraft are used for fun, but also for other purposes such as racing, photography, model building, military training, etc. 

Scientific, government and military organizations use RC aircraft for research, gathering weather readings, modelling and testing. For public services, drones are used for firefighting, disaster recovery and other uses. Military drone pilots must follow strict rules as well.

How To Fly An RC Plane

An RTF RC plane is easy and quick to get up in the sky. For beginners, it’s better to start with a simpler version of an RC plane. Don’t get overwhelmed by too many controls at once.

Start with a 4-channel RC plane. Then, as your skill level improves, move up to a 3-channel RC plane. How about combining it with learning how to fly a real plane? 

You could look at YouTube to learn about choosing an RC plane, assembling it, preflighting it, and finding a place to fly. You will learn about flying and trimming as well as the challenging task of landing a plane. 

RC flying has become massively  popular as a hobby over the past few years.  in 2001 the activity  saw a huge increase in popularity, mainly due to the invention of electric powered ready to fly aircraft (planes & helicopters). 

RC aircraft are now cheaper and easier than ever making them an attractive option for beginners. There’s  never been a better time to start this new hobby. People who get into this hobby often end up learning about aerodynamics, physics, engineering, etc.

You will also learn some important things such as the weight and balance of your plane as well as how to prepare your plane 

The Basics 

Before you invest in a controller you should decide which mode you want to use. A mode 2 controller tends to be more comfortable for you but it’s useful to try to put both.  

There are three types of airplanes you can fly. A single-channel plane has only one channel, the throttle. A dual-channel plane has two channels, the throttle and the rudder. A triple-channel plane has three channels, the throttle, rudder and elevator. 

By controlling the ruder only, new users have fewer things to learn and can become more delicate and careful before learning about 4 channel control. 

With an extra 4th channel, most RC planes can now fly in the same way as a real plane but require great care as the ailerons will roll the plane instantly if you are not accurate and doing that on a simulator is not a big deal.

Out in the field with your actual model, you do not really want to crash it during its first flight.


If you’re interested in learning how to fly planes and have your own RC plane it’s important to understand the basics of aerodynamics. 

In an RC plane, air passing over the top of the wing moves faster than the air passing under the wing. This causes lower pressure at the top of the wings, creating lift. Planes fly because the high-pressure air wants to go down, while the low-pressure air wants to rise up.

This creates an imbalance that causes planes to fly. 

Newton’s third law of motion states that every action has a reaction. Lift occurs when air flows upwards due to the rotation of the wings. Simple!



With the throttle, you control the speed of the plane.  The throttle doesn’t self-center when you let go of the stick. When we say “the more throttle you apply”, we mean increasing the amount of power applied to the engine. 

This causes the engine to produce more heat, which reduces its efficiency of the engine. As the temperature increases, the efficiency decreases. This means less power output.

This is a very simple example of how an engine works. In reality, there are many more variables involved such as air density, altitude, etc.


Ailerons are the wings’ movable sections. The left aileron controls up and the right aileron controls down.

Controlling the roll of the plane requires movement of the sticks in the opposite direction, so when the left stick is moved to the left (down), the right aileron moves up (up). This makes the plane roll to the left. 

When the stick is released, the plane returns to the center of the ailerons. This means that the plane is level with the wings. However, depending on how much time the roll was applied, it may be rolled to the side or even upside down.

To correct this, the pilot needs to move the control stick in the opposite direction to make the plane level.


Elevators are used to raise or lower an aircraft. A single control surface is located in the rear of the plane. Moving the right stick down lowers the elevators, increasing lift. This causes a downward force at the back of the aircraft, pulling the nose down.

This increases the amount of lift by causing more air to flow over the wings, thus creating greater pressure. 

When the stick is released, the plane moves to the center so that it is level again. However, this doesn’t mean that the plane will be flying horizontally. The plane may still gain altitude or even start losing altitude.

Pre-Flight Checks 

Before you start flying your RC plane, check if your batteries are fully charged. Make sure your battery isn’t damaged, too hot or puffed up, and make sure your motor and servo work properly. Also, check if your servos and motors are spinning freely

Do not fly without checking everything. Ensure that you don’t fly too near other planes and that there are no people or animals around. 

Buying An RC Plane 

There are many true beginner planes available, but most of them are expensive. Electric powered gliders, slow flyers, and park flyers are great options if you’re looking for something cheap. However, they aren’t very fast. You’ll need to spend more money to get a faster plane.

You should decide whether you want a plane that is easy to fly or a plane that requires lots of practice. 


Flying an RC plane on the ground is a great way to learn how to fly. When flying the plane on the ground, you should circle around a few times before doing figure-eight loops. 

Practice these maneuvers until you feel comfortable controlling the plane while moving forward and steering left and right. Then you can try flying the plane in the air you should ensure you do many flights before trying to fly in a crowded area.

Jacob Stern
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