RC planes have indeed taken the world by storm as people of all age groups tend to enjoy working with these devices. This led to the production of different types and models like indoor planes, glider airplanes, park flyers, large planes and the likes. However, most of these are ready-to-fly models and you don’t really get to enjoy the engineering part with them.
Well, for this kind of people, who enjoy tinkering, there are RC plane kits. These usually contain the necessary equipment and instructions required for the construction.
Putting together an RC plane from scratch will give and engineer passionate the satisfaction of having built the whole device. Besides, he/she would be familiar with the individual functioning of the plane. This is acactually one of the reasons why RC plane kits have become so popular these days.
But enough about their popularity! Let’s have a look at some of the best products in the market.
Top 5 kits to consider
Dumas Taylorcraft Electric Airplane Kit RC Airplane
First up is this rather exciting product from the house of Dumas. This is a stylish RC plane colored in blue and yellow measuring 26 x 6.4 x 3.2 inches, with a total weight of 1.1 pounds. This product is electrically powered and has proven to be a very efficient remote controlled device.
First and foremost, let us look into what this package actually brings to its users. There are:
- 2 x 45mm foam main wheels which are extremely lightweight in structure,
- one plastic tail wheel,
- tail wire skid,
- covering tissue,
- 2 plan sheets,
- acetate sheets to complete the windows and cowl,
- hinges and other hardware that you might require for completing the kit
- one instruction manual to guide you in the same.
This covers pretty much everything you would need to make the RC plane.
The wingspan is about 40 inches long, covering an area of 272 square inches, giving you sufficient stability for flights. According to users, this is one of the easiest equipment to handle, with very convenient instructions.
This device might not reach the highest ranges or altitudes in its flight, but can work well for a full 20 minutes at least, which is pretty impressive. This is all due to the 800 mAh 2 celled LiPo battery.
Overall, this plane is very sturdy and resistant to minor crashes and collisions. It might sustain some damage on ground handling, but spare parts are easily available and the repairs can be made easily.
Like this amazing product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
Great Planes PT-40 MKII Trainer Plane Kit
Great Planes is a name well-known in the field of RC planes and here, they bring us a product that caters to beginner flyers. It is an extremely stable device with the most attractive feature being the self-correcting flight characteristics that help the amateurs.
What does this kit really include? It comes with:
- an adjustable engine mount,
- 3/16 landing gear which proves to be very sturdy,
- rolled plans
- the assembly instructions.
All components have strictly balsa or plywood make for best results. One of the features that backs the model’s claim of being user-friendly is its set of precision cut interlocking parts. This not only makes the assembly easy but also ensures that the device is durable.
Next, in case the pilot loses control of the device, it can very easily prevent damage by a self-recovery program. All thanks to the appropriate wing dihedral and washouts. This ensures that the new pilots can learn flying with ease, without having to worry about the state of the plane.
The wings are built from an interlocking I-Beam construction that makes them straight and strong giving flight stability and durability. Built with ailerons, the wings can be used for a 4-channel operation or a 3-channel operation.
More importantly, the assembly and construction instructions are very clearly indicated to help the users. However, apart from the contents of the package, you would need to get the fuel tank, wheels and wheel collars to complete the model.
If you like this product you can find and check its price on Amazon.
VolantexRC 757-V2-kit FPVraptor V2 Specific RC Airplane
The next product on our list comes from the house of Volantex R/C and is one of the most crash resistant models in the market. This can be attributed to the PVC fuselage which is extremely durable.
The design is simple and has been made in such a way that there is a lot of open space in the aircraft. This especially helps in mounting the components and fitting the electronics inside the model and keeping a neat structure.
One of the best features of this device is its ability to carry an extra payload or extra weight on flight. This only ensures that you can accommodate larger batteries on the device that in turn translates to longer flight times.
Talking about the flight performance, the wingspan is 2 meters long which give the aircraft the necessary lift that is required to carry the heavy equipment. Also, the device comes with a lot more power owing to the 10” propellers. The sleek design has a total weight of 4.7 pounds.
The only issue with the kit is that you would need to purchase the controller, receiver and the motor separately in order to make the device work. This means more expenditure over the actual price. But what makes this kit really attractive is its ability to carry a camera, which enables the users to opt for a First Person View during flight.
Like this product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
SIG – HERR Rally XP Breezy Day Park Flyer Unassembled RC Glider Kit
Next up is a kit that has become quite the hit amongst users. This is actually an unassembled kit that can be built according to user’s requirements. Coming in colors of white and red, this pretty much resembles the real-life aircraft with its precise designing.
This device has a high level of performance with stability and resistance that allows the device to go on even in disturbing weather conditions. It will give you some of the best and the most stable flight performances giving you the experience of a real pilot.
In terms of durability, the balsa material ensures that the device is durable and can run smoothly. The individual components are accu-cut, hand-selected and 3-D CAD engineered in order to blend in with the rest of the aircraft and look like the real machines.
The next aspect to look into while considering this particular RC aircraft kit is the content of the box. This includes all the necessary hardware pieces like:
- propellers for providing a good lift,
- landing gear to facilitate landing,
- wheels for smooth ground motion,
- wires and the likes.
It also contains the computer drawn plans that will help the users assemble the whole set and also a step-by-step instruction set to aid the assembly process.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can buy it here.
Easy Star II Airplane Kit
Multiplex ModelSport USA brings us the final product on our list. This is a complete kit, easy to build and easy to fly. The model itself is a very durable one, with stable flight characteristics.
One of the key features and advantages of this airplane is its set of propellers. These are very efficiently designed to form foldable parts to improve the stability of the device. These especially help reduce the drag during movement. This ensures that there are fewer obstructions for the flight and helps providing better flight performance.
The next most important aspect of this aircraft is its large internal space. Because you would be building the device right from scratch, using components from the kit, it is always better when you have more space to work around with. This not only helps you add more electronics to the structure but helps your hands work around freely in that space.
Another advantage of the large internal space on the plane is the fact that you can fit in a large-sized battery which would lead to longer flight times. This can also be attributed to the larger payload capacity which can carry heavier objects.
Let’s now look into the contents of the package- this includes:
- foldable propellers,
- spinner holder,
- GPR wing spar,
- decal sheet,
- ELAPOR components
- other required plastic parts.
Overall, this plane does not only suit the needs of the advanced pilots but also caters to the amateur ones.
If you think that this product could be useful for you, then you can purchase it on Amazon.
Pointers to help you choose the kit
For a lot of people, flying RC planes is a hobby. For others, it is more like passion. While some people prefer to buy a ready-to-fly a plane that can be flown taking it out of the box, others will want to add a personal touch to their devices and make them from scratch.
Still, putting together an RC plane is not a very easy job. However, if you manage to do it, you will gain extra knowledge which will come in handy during reparations. So, if you are set on buying a kit, let’s see the characteristics you need to follow.
Choosing a kit
The first step involved in building a plane is choosing a suitable kit. This choice can actually determine the condition of your aircraft.
For instance, some kits have very clear and detailed instructions and it is always better to opt for such a product. Of course, there are more complex models on the market, but if you are a beginner, choosing a kit with simple wiring and constructions would prove beneficial for you.
Taking a product which has more internal space could also work in your favor. This is because the extra space gives you the chance to move your hands around without hassles. Also, you need to focus on the purpose of your aircraft.
If it is just for flying, a simple design would do. In other cases, if you want to add a camera mount for some aerial photographic experiences, you would need to choose a product which can accommodate the camera.
This is the next most important part of building your own RC plane.
The first step here would include picking out the right motor and battery. These should be such that you get enough thrust from the components as well as a long flight time. While choosing the battery, there is a very important point to note. Ideally, the plane should not discharge more than 80% of the battery in mid-air. Else, it becomes difficult to control.
Abiding by the following formula, you can select the right battery without any extra help:
Flight Time(min)=Battery Capacity(Ah)/Motor Amp Draw(Amperes)*48
Getting a flight time of about 8-10 minutes is pretty standard for a plane these days.
Once you have decided on these two parts, you can then focus on the Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) depending upon the chosen battery capacity.
Next comes the receiver. The choice of the receiver will depend solely on your needs. You have to decide what type of controls you want on your plane and decide accordingly. Some of the most common controls include elevator, ailerons, rudder, flaps, throttle and the likes. If you are using a 5 channel product, you would need a 5 channel receiver to operate on the device.
Then, if you are building a large plane, you will need to make use of large servos.
Weight of the aircraft
It is imperative to have a strict idea about the weight of the product you are building. This would include the weight of the electronics as well as the weight of the model itself. Ideally, the total weight of the product can be 2 to 4 times the weight of all the electronics you wish to include.
The first step included here is calculating the total wing area by making use of the weight estimate of the plane. From these values, you can arrive at the wingspan and the wing chord. If it comes with a high aspect ratio, the plane would more likely have its use in trainer aircraft and gliders. On the other hand, the ones with lower aspect ratio would translate to a more acrobatic device.
Fuselage and tail
The size of the tail can basically be set from the dimensions of the plane you are building.
On the other hand, the fuselage will be determined on keeping the center of gravity right and intact.
Transporting the aircraft
If you want to fly a remote controlled device, you should be able to move it around. So having removable wings becomes important here. You could make use of rubber bands to hold on to the wings which can be taken off when desired.
Building your RC Plane from the kit
Finally, it is time to construct the plane and put in all the components together on the board to assemble them.
Once the fuselage has been built, you could work on attaching the different electronics mentioned above and the vertical stabilizer. It is better to attach the ESCs on the outer rim such that they do not get too heated up with prolonged usage.
Then comes the horizontal stabilizer and the motor mount. The latter should be made tight enough such that it doesn’t come out when the motor is started and put into action. This is also true for the wings.
These should be capable enough to hold themselves strong against the strong forces against the direction of motion. The next point to consider here is the presence of landing gear. This is an optional part. If you want to have landing gear for your device, it is best to opt for the design which includes 2 wheels in front and a small tailing wheel at the back.
Once the construction stage is completed, you have the all-important task of testing the device. This would include testing each of the different controls on the remote you use. It is a good exercise to make the plane move around in circles to check the features of the device.
Finally, it is time for the maiden flight for the device you constructed. This would focus on checking the flight time, range and durability. Once that is done, you are all set to fly the aircraft!
Before getting the best RC plane kit for yourself, here are some features you could consider:
The first aspect to consider here is the design. An aircraft with the wings sitting atop the fuselage will give you maximum flight stability and should be your top choice. Thus, you could choose a kit likewise. A simple design with simple instructions can help you with the building.
Some kits have very interesting designs, but due to the lack of assembly instructions, it becomes difficult to manage.
While purchasing a plane kit, you must ensure that the materials are durable and well-suited to the framework. Materials like balsa make have the best records of durability.
Besides, they should be precisely cut in order to fit into the plane you are making.
This is one feature to consider very carefully when you are looking for a good RC plane kit. Usually, one would expect the kit to provide most of the electronic components required for the construction of the device.
However, there are situations when you will have to purchase the individual components apart from the kit. So, try to get a product that includes most of the necessary components.
When you have more space in the framework, it not only allows you to incorporate newer components into the device but also gives you the chance to work around more freely. Choosing a kit with more space could help you out in the process.
If your kit is capable of carrying more weight, it can only prove to be beneficial for you. You could add more electronics onto the framework based on your requirements.
Some users prefer to use the RC plane for a First Person View from a height. In this case, you would need to look for a kit that allows the attachment of a camera mount.
Spare parts availability
Since you would be making the plane from scratch, any repairs in the future can be handled by you. But, there has to be a sufficient availability of spare parts for this purpose. If these components are not easily available, or if they prove to be more expensive than the kit itself, it becomes difficult. So, it is best to look for a kit that can comply with the available spare parts.
Making an RC plane from scratch can have many advantages. But most importantly, it gives the user the satisfaction of having constructed the entire device himself. This is why a lot of people opt to build the aircraft instead of purchasing a Ready To Fly product.
You can also add a number of other features or electronics to the device according to your needs. For instance, adding a camera mount would give you the option of enjoying a First Person View from the plane. These devices prove to be extremely durable these days with longer flight times.
Now, let us look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of using RC plane kits.
- You can construct the device from scratch, based on your own requirements
- You could add additional features or devices on the aircraft
- As the user, you would be well acquainted with the construction of the plane
- Repair work becomes easy because of the familiarity with the device assembly
- Building an RC plane from the kit would take a lot of time
- The kits sometimes do not have all the required electronics and they need to be purchased separately.
In conclusion, an RC plane kit may actually be quite fun to handle. Not only you get to learn a lot, but you also have the possibility to customize and create a uniqe device. Have you ever put together an RC plane from a kit? Which kit did you use?