Getting Started in Radio Control (RC)

Talk to us - FIRST!

We have a lot of experience and can help you make the best decision with regard to aircraft and equipment!!

Question: Can I try RC flying?

Answer: YES!, if you would like to get an introduction to flying a model, the Skyhawks RC Group will be happy to let you have a sample flight with the help of our club trainer and buddy box system. Please send us an email (link on HOME page) so we can agree on a place/time to meet.

Question: How much does it cost to get started? What beginner aircraft do you recommend?

Answer: The answer depends on your goals and budget. What is your budget? How committed are you to learning the skill to SOLO an RC aircraft. SOLO means you can take off and land unassisted and do so with reasonable assurance your flight will not result in a crash. We highly recommend (insist) that you start with a Ready To Fly (RTF) plane which includes all of your basic equipment (plane, transmitter, battery, charger).

Here some that we recommend and one of these "Horizon Flight School qualified aircraft:

  1. AeroScout S 2 1.1m RTF - BEST value. Budget friendly, cool looking aircraft with all the latest technology to make learning to fly easy and enjoyable. Uses the popular 2200 mAh battery size. Fully aerobatic in expert flight mode. Solid choice.

  2. Sport Cub S 2 RTF with SAFE FANTASTIC budget friendly choice. A terrific first aircraft to try out the hobby. 4-channel controls (throttle, elevator, rudder, ailerons). Small size/weight, easy to store/transport, inexpensive batteries, easy to repair, inexpensive replacement parts. Needs a relatively calm day (<5mph wind) for best flight experience. Buddy box flight instruction is not practical with this model however, this aircraft is ideal for folks who want limited assistance and aren't afraid to try flying on their own. Many folks self train with this aircraft.

  3. Apprentice S 2 1.2m RTF with SAFE - A great choice and smaller size makes this aircraft easy to store and transport. Classic lines. Uses the economical 1300 mAh size batteries. Fully aerobatic in the expert flight mode.

  4. Apprentice STS 1.5m RTF Smart Trainer with SAFE - The gold standard of trainer planes. Extremely stable and almost glider like flying characteristics. Fantastic flight control integration to assist beginner pilots. We use this aircraft as a club trainer and we LOVE it!

IMPORTANT: If you are planning to fly a model aircraft weighing more than 240 grams (items 1 - 3 above), then you are required by law to complete the following two steps prior to flying the aircraft:

  1. Register as a recreational pilot operator with the FAA: FAA Registration

  2. Complete a TRUST certification exam (simple, easy, online) and SAVE your certificate of proof of completion: TRUST - The Recreational UAS Safety Test

Question: Can I learn on my own or do I have to have someone teach me?

Answer: We strongly recommend you seek an instructor to provide at least one session of flight instruction. Depending on your skill level, with today’s technology, you can learn build confidence very quickly.

Question: What RC flight simulator do you recommend?

Answer: The only one we recommend is Horizon Hobby REAL Flight.

Flying an RC Aircraft REQUIRES recreational pilot registration with the FAA before you take off. It's the LAW. Visit FAA Drone Zone to learn more.