Science Tech » Robotics & RC » Remote Control Airplanes Review
Airplane 1 of 10
 
 
Overall Rating
Airplane Features
Design
Hardware
Transmitter Features
Help & Support
 
9.57
9.10
8.32
8.13
8.07
7.95
7.88
7.82
7.70
7.28
9.57
9.10
8.32
8.13
8.07
7.95
7.88
7.82
7.70
7.28
9.38
8.75
9.38
8.75
7.50
8.75
8.75
7.50
7.50
7.50
10.00
8.75
7.50
8.75
8.13
7.50
7.50
8.75
7.50
7.50
8.75
10.00
6.25
7.50
7.50
6.25
7.50
6.25
6.25
6.25
10.00
10.00
8.75
6.25
10.00
7.50
8.75
7.50
10.00
6.25
10.00
9.38
10.00
5.00
10.00
10.00
2.50
10.00
10.00
9.38
Airplane Features
Category
RTF
ARF
RTF
RTF
RTF
RTF
ARF
RTF
RTF
RTF
 
Skill Level
Beginner
Advanced
Beginner
Intermediate
Beginner
Beginner
Beginner
Intermediate
Beginner
Intermediate
 
Assembly Required
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
 
Average Assembly Time (Hours)
3
8
1
1
N/A
1
4
N/A
N/A
N/A
 
Recommended Ages
14
16
14
16
14
14
14
14
14
14
 
Recommended Battery
7.4V 1300mAh
11.1V 2100mAh
7.4V 300mAh
11.1V 2200mAh
3.7V 30mAh
11.1V 1300mAh
11.1V 2000mAh
3.7V 150mAh
3.7V 150mAh
3.7V 130 & 150mAh
 
Average Battery Life (Minutes)
10 min
10 min
8 min
5 min
5 min
12 min
40 min
10 min
15 min
10 min
 
Battery
Included
Not Included
Included
Included
Included
Included
Not Included
Included
Included
Included
 
Charger
Included
Not Included
Included
Included
Included
Included
Not Included
Included
Included
Included
 
Outdoor
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Indoor
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Design
Appearance Rating (%)
100%
100%
80%
85%
95%
80%
85%
85%
70%
80%
 
Durability Rating (%)
95%
80%
90%
80%
80%
90%
90%
85%
95%
80%
 
Weight (oz.)
17
56
7
35.3
0.3
25.2
24.7
1.5
1.3
0.9
 
Wingspan (in.)
42
49.5
31.7
42.5
8.7
47.7
53.8
16.2
22.4
16.6
 
Length (in.)
30
48
21.5
39.2
11.7
32.5
38.5
14.1
14.3
14.3
 
Power
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
Electric
 
Replacement Parts
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
 
 
Hardware
Motor
Brushed
Brushless
Brushed
Brushless
Brushed
Brushed
Brushless
Brushed
Brushed
Brushed
 
Fuselage Material
Foam
Fiberglass
Foam
Foam
Plastic / Carbon
Foam
Foam
Foam
Foam
Carbon
 
Wing Material
Foam
Wood Composite
Foam
Foam
Mylar Film
Foam
Foam
Foam
Foam
Foam
 
Motor Included
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Transmitter Features
Ease of Use (%)
100
Varies
100
80
100
95
Varies
95
100
85
 
Remote Appearance (%)
95
Varies
90
75
90
75
Varies
90
90
75
 
Channel
3
4
3
4
3
4
3
4
3
3
 
Type
2.4GHz
Varies
2.4GHz
2.4GHz
2.4GHz
2.4GHz
Varies
2.4GHz
2.4GHz
2.4GHz
 
Battery Type
AA
Varies
AA
AA
AA
AA
Varies
AA
AA
AA
 
Help & Support
Warranty
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Phone Support
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Instruction Manual
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Troubleshooting Guide
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
 
 
2014 Best Remote Control Plane
From the durable materials to stabilization software, the HobbyZone Firebird Stratos is a remote control airplane designed to help beginner pilots achieve success in learning to fly. As a ready-to-fly (RTF) plane, the HobbyZone Firebird Stratos comes with all the necessary pieces and parts to start flying immediately, including a transmitter (remote control), a battery and a charger. The rechargeable 7.4V 1300mAh lithium polymer (LiPo) battery is included and comes with a DC charger. This fast charger plugs into your car, giving you the freedom to charge the battery on the go.
Read the full review
Purchase Airplane
 
The Top Reasons to get HobbyZone Firebird Stratos

Impact-resistant Z-Foam ™ construction for maximum durability.

Powerful twin, counter-rotating motors.

You have control over the rudder and the elevator.

Remote Control Airplanes Review

Mankind has dreamt of flight from time immemorial. From Icarus, whose wings were made of wax and feathers, to Chuck Yeager, whose wings were faster than sound, we have longed to find freedom in flight. What better gift than the gift of flight?

For beginners, the opportunity to fly remote control airplanes is thrilling, but before you can pilot a high-powered RC jet, you must learn the basics. If you're already an RC plane hobbyist, you know that flying a remote control plane is a thrilling way to take to the skies without having to check your luggage. The great thing about RC planes is that you can find a replica of almost any full-size plane that has been invented – just smaller and for a fraction of the cost. Whether you want nostalgia, a modern fighter jet or a simple flyer, you can find it. Through our research, we found that the best RC planes for beginner, intermediate and advanced pilots alike are the HobbyZone Firebird Stratos, the Great Planes EDGE 540T and the HobbyZone Mini Super Cub. Check out our articles on remote control airplanes to learn more about this exciting hobby.

Remote Control Planes: What to Look For

We’ve reviewed some of the best aircrafts in various styles, shapes and sizes, and at different difficulty levels. Use our list of planes to find a one that's right for your experience level and for the kind of flying you want to do.

Airplane Features
When choosing a remote control airplane, you want to look for the category the RC plane belongs to. You can choose from ready-to-fly (RTF) planes that have everything you need to fly included in the box and almost-ready-to-fly (ARF) planes that require other parts.

Just because a plane is listed as ready to fly does not mean that it does not require assembly. Most remote control airplanes will require some assembly, but many of the smaller planes are ready straight out of the box.

Look at the type of battery required and whether or not it is included. If the battery is included, then the best RC plane will come with a charger as well. Check the battery life so that you know how much time you have to fly.

Design
When you look at RC airplanes, pay attention to the appearance and durability of the plane. The best beginner plane will withstand rough use, but you want a plane that looks good while being able to handle the all-too-inevitable crash. Find a lightweight plane that can hold steady in a light breeze and that has a wingspan and full length that will be easy for you to handle.

Conveying an RC plane to and from a flying location can cause damage, your electric RC planes should be relatively easy to transport. Also check the materials the plane is made of – foam and carbon are fairly durable and will serve you well. RC model airplanes will inevitably crash, so you want to choose a plane that has replacement parts readily available.

Hardware
There are two types of motors for remote controlled airplanes: brushed and brushless. Brushed motors are more inefficient than brushless motors and wear down over time; however, they can be maintained and are also inexpensive to replace. Many manufacturers use brushed motors to help keep the cost down on smaller planes. Brushless motors, on the other hand, will last longer, do not require maintenance and offer extended battery life, but they are more expensive initially. If you choose a kit that includes a motor, check to see if the motor is brushed or brushless so that you have a better idea of what to expect.

You also want to know what type of material the manufacturers use for the wings. Each manufacturer of foam wings has a unique blend with varying levels of strength. Generally, expanded polystyrene is durable, but some cheaper foams can be brittle. RC planes made from balsa wood are durable, but they can be more difficult to repair, as there are smaller pieces.

The construction material also affects how you can customize your plane. With a foam model, you’ll want to be sure you’re using foam-safe glue and paint for repairs and customizations. Balsa wood planes have fewer limitations on paint and glue, but the small pieces make them harder to work with. Other planes, such as those consisting of fiberglass parts can be harder to customize. Be aware of the materials used in the construction of your RC plane so that you know what type of materials you will need for customization and repairs.

Transmitter Features
The remote control is more commonly known as a transmitter. If you're new to this hobby, you'll want to purchase a beginner plane that comes with a transmitter or find one to purchase separately that is easy to use and that you like. Beginning transmitters will have a basic three-channel setup that allows you to control throttle, the rudder and the elevator. On a basic level, this means you can control the plane’s movement left and right and up and down, as well as how much power you're using. While a four-channel transmitter is considered a complete setup, with the addition of ailerons, more advanced flyers will use a five- or six-channel transmitter. Most transmitters run on AA batteries.

Help & Support
A reputable manufacturer will have a warranty that states that the plane and all the parts will be free from defects when you purchase it. If not, you must contact the company before you attempt to modify or fly the plane. The best manufacturers will have an email address and phone number you can contact should you have any problems, as well as provide an electronic copy of the instruction manual on the company website.

Remote control planes are an incredibly popular hobby, and it doesn’t take much for you to join the crowd in taking to the skies.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

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