Micro Planes - Fly Right Out of the Box!
Technology provides complete, ready to fly radio control planes for under $50
Advanced electronics technology and manufacturing techniques have recently permitted the development of inexpensive ready to fly micro RC planes. These tiny airplanes, usually made of foam, are very impressive. They draw on a variety of motor and control arrangements for fun flights, ready to fly literally right out of the box.
For these lightweight planes there are usually two to three channels of control. Channels refer to functions on the radio set that move the model airplane controls.
A fully controlled model airplane would have four channels: rudder for turns, elevator for pitch, ailerons for bank, and throttle. Wing flaps are seldom used on these small aircraft.
The E-flite 4-Site is a great example of a four channel RTF micro model airplane. Using unique design approaches these planes can fly very well on as little as two channels. This keeps costs very low - under $30 for the Aero Ace - and the flying fun.
Properly implemented two channels can produce some interesting and fun flight characteristics such as with the Palm Z. Three channels provide very complete control and can be found in such models from the Havoc Razor helicopter to ParkZone's Cessna 210 and the Ember.
Advanced technology can offer some interesting variations on control.
For example, with the Aero Ace the transmitter provides differential thrust between the two motors for turns. There are no moveable flight controls.
Two channel aircraft are usually less expensive than three channel models. Note that most of these RTF micro planes can be flown outdoors under calm wind conditions.
This website will describe how to employ all these various types of two to four channel micro RC planes control methods, and help you understand their advantages and limitations. All of the planes reviewed on this site fly well. Our aim is to help you pick the right airplane and assist with your advance on the piloting "learning curve."
Once you get the hang of the individual smaller models - and each is a little different in its own way - there is no better way to have fun, especially with fellow flyers, on a moment's notice.
One huge advantage of these Ready to Fly (RTF) planes is that they truly are "ready to fly." There is virtually no preparation needed. Just insert the flight batteries into the transmitter (usually AA batteries), charge the built-in flight battery in the airplane (about 15-20 minutes) with the charger that is part of the transmitter, and you are literally ready for takeoff. It doesn't get any easier. Many of these models are available for under $50.00 - why not include several in your fleet!
The Ember is in the same series as the ParkZone Cessna 210. A great flying airplane, ready to go out of the box, with full proportional radio control on 2.4 GHz for interference free flying. The Ember has a slightly larger wing than the Cessna 210 thus flies a bit slower and at a more relaxing pace. Touch and goes are effortless.
The Piloto is one of the easiest to fly RC models I have experienced. Compact and very well built, the Piloto shows attention to detail with its cambered wing and tail surfaces.
The Piloto uses two channel control with throttle and proportional actuator rudder control. The power and weight are perfectly balanced in this exceptional model.
The top of the line RTF micro RC airplane is exemplified by the revolutionary E-flite 4-Site 3D aerobatic flyer. The 4-Site comes ready to fly out of the box. Through the use of long-throw servos the 4-Site provides full control deflection for true acrobatic flight.
Once you get comfortable flying these micro RC models, give a try to your own RC airplane design!
Author: Gordon McKay