I recently went through this exact process. RC airplanes are something I wanted to try out since I was a kid and now I have done it. And I learned some things along the way that might be of help to you.
Maybe you have started looking into things. You are looking through the catalogs and checking out the websites and trying to figure out what your first plane will be. It's an exciting thing but it isn't where you should start! Well, all of that is a lot of fun but there is a lot to the whole hobby and you need to get some outside help with it all.
So, there are a couple of things you should do before you buy your first plane.
Find a local RC airplane club and join! This is the most important thing to do, and do it first. You will get a lot of help and advice on how to get into the hobby. What planes to buy, where to get them. What controllers to get - and most importantly you will have somebody to help you fly! It is a guarantee that you can't just take a plane out to a field and fly it. You will crash it. What you need is for somebody to fly it for you and give you some control while you are learning. You can search by zipcode for a local club on the website of the Academy of Model aeronautics right here: Search for a local club
Join the AMA - This is the Academy of Model Aeronautics. You will have to pay a fee and you will get a membership card. But chances are very good that you will need this membership in order to fly your plane at your local club. You should talk to members at your local club for specifics. But typically a membership in the AMA is needed. Here is their website with membership application and more (By joining the AMA you also get a subscription to their magazine which is pretty cool). And they have different memberships including a 3 month trial.
Once you have started going to club meetings and out to the airfield you have gathered some great information. You have seen other people fly and are getting a sense of what you want to do. Great. It's time to start buying! And do this based on your comfort level, finances and what you want to achieve.
You might start out with a simple foam flyer. That's a great way to get out on the field and do a little worry free flying. Or you might get an inexpensive Ready to fly plane and get out on the field with it connected to a buddy box. A buddy box is a cable that connects your controller with another controller.
What the buddy box does is allow a more seasoned flyer to take the plane up, fly it and land it yet give you control at certain points so you can do a little flying. This buddy box system is what I have done. And my plane is in this picture here. It is a lot of fun.
More: There is also the consideration of how much building you want to do! And this is an important thing for me. I really enjoy this whole aspect of the hobby. I like building and working on planes! But this does change your schedule. If you are going to build your whole plane from scratch it is going to take quite a while and you will not be flying it any time soon! Just something to think about!
The HobbyZone Sports Cub S RC Airplane
- Everything you need to fly RC today
- SAFE technology from Horizon Hobby
- Recovery with the pull of a trigger with Panic Recovery mode
- Proportional 4-channel control with working throttle, rudder, elevator and aileron
- Steerable tail wheel for easy ground control
Evolution Trainer Power System: A
This is the exact engine that I purchased and use in my plane, and in this tutorial. It is available on Amazon.
Getting Started in Radio Control Airplanes
The most comprehensive and up-to-date book answers all of the beginning hobbyist's questions about building and flying remote control airplanes. Step-by-step techniques and are illustrated with a wealth of photography and cover all the basics, from choosing and building a first model to covering and finishing it, understanding and installing glow engines, flight basics, and much more