This instructable is intended to familiarize you with the basic workings of Radio controlled aircraft. It is not a complete guide to everything about the subject, its intended to inform the reader on what is involved and help you choose the right aircraft for you.

I grew up around this hobby, my Dad built and sold them back then. Me and him fly them when we get the chance. His airplanes will be pictured here as well as mine. Together we have more than 35 years of tinker time with this hobby.

Its both a relaxing and exciting hobby.
I must also warn you its addictive and don't worry we all crash our aircraft, but if you start out with the right trainer and simulator you will repair and fly again.

First a crash course in what the types of aircraft have in common.

Step 1: Common to all types of RC airplanes-Radio

First before you choose the type of airplane you want to build and fly, lets go over what is common to most RC airplanes.

The radio transmitter and receiver: This is your link to the aircraft never scrimp when it comes to the radio, if it glitches you can crash or worse hurt someone. Radios come with two or more channels, the channels are also not what you think, they are not separate frequencies, instead they are each control. Most airplanes have 4 channels, rudder, ailerons, throttle and elevator. Sailplanes have just two or three. Radio transmitters are also on several radio frequencies and are set by the user by changing the matching crystals in the transmitter and receiver. 99.9% of the new radio's do not require you to change crystals, they "bind" to the receivers and use a much higher 2.4ghz radio frequency.

The radio receiver on gas powered aircraft is powered by a rechargeable battery, on an electric it can be powered by the same battery that powers the propeller threw a battery eliminator circuit.
The power is usually 4.6 to 6volts.

I have used several brands, most were good, as long as its a name brand one like Futaba, Airtronics, HiTec,Tower hobbies (made by Futaba) and Tactic

Its also a good idea if you plan on having more than one airplane you can get an extra receiver on the same frequency and use one radio with several airplanes. This is what I do, I have a programmable radio with six memories so I can switch between them. I simply bought a receiver for each airplane, much cheaper than another radio.

I have a rc plane but its controller is lost so how to duplicate the controller<br>
<p>need help plz any one can help me realize my project contact me i'll apreciate that :p</p>
<p>loooooove the plane man. did you buy it or make it. What engine is in the plane</p>
<p>Thanks! its a great planes slow poke, a balsa kit i built years ago.</p>
its a great guide for noobs.good effort. i am a total noob and the thing is that which powering system (engine or electronic) would u recommend for my first plane.
<p>thank you for both of your excellent rc airplane instructables. it' nice to see such quality, detailed instructables about this hobby, where the poster doesn't assume everyone wants to spend $600+ just to get started.</p>
which do you prefer gas or electric? I came across an old max os 60 cc motor and am thinking of building an airplane.
Here are some pics of my engine.
<p>you are working On Engine ? Dear </p>
<p>Great Instructable and lots of info. Today there's a growing move towards electrical flight using Multirotors etc. with the development of Li-Ion and LiPolys etc. Do you have any experience in this field (excuse the pun, intended) at all and if so could you pass on any of your expertise to help others who are just starting.</p><p>Thanks again for the great Instructable, very useful.</p>
<p>Hey, great stuff, but may I ask, what is your take on pulse jet engines?</p>
Thank you very very much. I love rc planes but I am still pretty new to the hobbie. Please make more instructables on the hobby. I would really appreciate it. I'm working on an rc fokker dr1 triplane. Do you have any tips
<p>Make sure your center of gravity is correct. Center of gravity is everything for a plane.</p>
<p>what's a trainer?</p><p>Pardon my ignorance of the topic, got a project to do and I wanna get into rc planes as a new experience.</p>
<p>Its a plane built for a novice, they are usually slow easy to control, cheap, docile and parts are easy to find. They also usually have their wings mounted on top so they self right a little better.</p>
<p>I was with you until I saw the video and realised you were a girl. Girls don't fly model planes.</p>
thanks alott nice inspiration.. appreciable efforts.
Hey!SO...I'm kinda new here and i wanted to build a (foam) delta wing in the holiday and i am sort of struggling with understanding everything like what connects to what...what it does...and what to buy...How to connect it...etc. ...So could you please help...I have viewed some vids of how to make rc planes (Delta Wings) and i dont know what controller to buy....Please help me....Anyone??? <br> <br> <br>PS...I live in Christchurch New Zealand And I cant find any clubs etc...(And I am thirteen. :b <br> <br>Thanks...
Hey!SO...I'm kinda new here and i wanted to build a delta wing in the weekend (foam) and i am sort of struggling with understanding everything like what connects to what...what it does...and what to buy...How to connect it...etc. ...So could you please help...I have viewed some vids of how to make rc planes (Delta Wings) and i dont know what controller to buy....Please help me....Anyone??? <br> <br> <br>PS...I live in Christchurch New Zealand And I cant find any clubs etc...(And I am thirteen. :b <br> <br>Thanks... <br> <br>
I love electric
There are also many groups of enthusiasts of the <a href="http://www.nitrotek.fr/avions-rc.html" rel="nofollow">RC airplane</a> and these groups are all over the country. Contact one of these groups or join one is the best way to learn about the hobby.
Oh thank you! :-)
Wow! Could you go into a little more detail about your Dads biplane. Thanks
Check out the weed wacker powered cub I built, its like it with two shorter wings, and a bigger motor....
There is also <a href="http://www.phoenix-sim.com/" rel="nofollow">Phoenix R/C</a>&nbsp; which is comparative to Real Flight.
Use spellcheck everyone.
Very informative instructable, I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the large amount of basic info, and the links are a great start.
Hey do we have to do any programing while conecting electronics to transmiter and reciever...??
as in changing trim settings? the remote has slider switches next to the controls you simple touch them to change the trim...
can you post an instructable that tells us how to make an airplane that drops a payload
you would need a five channel radio and reciever. Then you would hook up a servo to a payload container via controller rods that attach to the container. When you pressed the button on the radio the servo would release the payload. This is pretty simplified. you would have to do the rest of the thinking on your own.
Define &quot;Payload&quot;.
exercise that gray stuff...<br>just build the 8ft wingspan cub, but with more power, and 2 flaps in the bottom with servos.
hey im building a jet from bolsa wood (can never get the spelling right on that word) and i got 2 edfs that are 85mm wide quite powerful but i need 2 edfs in one servo slot also its going to be around the f22 design got any ideas?
just get a &quot;y&quot; cable to go from 1 open radio channel to two, it will work well for what you want to do, the same way you can hook two servo's up to do ailerons
ahhh man thats given me a blown mind i didnt think about the ailerons thx man big help
twin engine gas aircraft use the same control method. Their RPM matched by either control arm adjustment or needle valve...<br>
as i can see heli's are easier to fly but not as exiting as airplanes
I think you have that the wrong way around, airplanes fly themselves to a certain extent, and you just have to tell it where to go. Helicopters on the other hand don't want to fly, it's a constant struggle just to keep them in the air, let alon get them to do what you want !
What a great hobby!<br>Since you're a photographer, have you experimented with mounting a miniature camera on an aircraft?<br><br>It seems to me that something modeled on a P-38 would be a hot aircraft with it's 2 engines.
Thanks a lot man. It's nice to have someone go over Everything. I am a beginner. I went to an air show, visited a club twice, and went to the hobby shop maybe 3 times. I also have a small car and a few air hogs, along with my new syma s033g. It's a coaxial heli, but like it okay, except for the 27mhz. Lots of wrecks cause it just gives out. I think my neighbor is a ham radio guy. Anyway, i have ran out of ink trying to print out as much stuff as I can on my printer twice! And went through a ream of paper. I have spent weeks on the net searching all about rc stuff. Any more vids, hints, tips, tool diy stuff, all would be greatly appreciated. Love hearing about all of it. --Ray
hi, am floidzzy....am new here i hope to make new friends here so as to share ideals.... you can send me a mail on floidzzy@yahoo.com
Thermals or a good slope with a prevailing wind. <br> <br>Slope lift means you can keep going for as long as your batteries can. <br> <br>More reliable than thermals, easier to find too. :-) <br> <br>I have to admit, a glider is such a stress-busting way to start, no noise, no dirty exhaust to clean, no refueling, just pitch up and launch.

About This Instructable




Bio: Electronics engineer with allot of mechanical design expertise
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