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Choosing a Plane Questions

I am looking for a 2nd RC plane to purchase, anyone have suggestions? I am flying the Champ and not sure where to go next. One suggestion I got was the Twisted Hobbies CrackYak, and I was also considering the FT Cruiser or FT 3D. I have almost no RC flight experience so I am not sure what to do with the FT kits when it comes to electronics. If you have any tips or suggestions feel free to tell me.



If you are not comfortable with building a kit and matching electronics, you should probably go with a ready to fly or almost ready to fly plane. First questions - Are you looking to move up to 4 channel? What is your budget? Do you have a radio to use other than the Champ's?

Grounded Gremlin

The guy that doesn't fly
I wouldn't recommend the FT3D or Cruiser as a second plane. If you have only flown the champ and still don't consider yourself a confident flyer then you really don't want to try flying a 3D as your second plane. If you want to get into aerobatics then the 3D is fantastic, but I would wait a bit longer until you are comfortable on a 4 ch. Watch the FT Beginner series is my best advice.

If you want to build something and understand the electronics, then I would pick up a Flyer/Nutball/Delta Speed Build Kit from the Store, and get used to building on those. You will be able to switch the electronics out into a 3D or Bloody Wonder to get used to 4ch once you are comfortable with the Delta. The FT Old Fogey is also fantastic.

It really does depend on your budget. Hope all goes well!!
Thanks for the comments and advice! To answer some of your questions, I am looking to move up into a 4ch, and while I haven't been flying RC planes for long I've been flying RC helis for about 5 years. I also have flown some RC simulators. I do not have another transmitter, other then the one that came with the champ. When it comes to my budget, I am fine spending a few hundred, plus my birthday is fairly close. The FT Swappables seem like a good way to go with the power pods, and I would like to scratch build my own plane sometime.


Biplane Guy
One word. Storch. It is probably the easiest plane to fly under 100$. If you build it as per Josh's beginner setup you could probably think of it as a big champ with an extra channel. Stalls are VERY docile and it is hard to get into too much trouble with it. I would not recommend the Crack Yak as even a third or fourth plane if you want it too last. The ft 3D is easier to fly, but it is very floppy (has poor directional stability) and was designed to be that way, so virtually no setup is going to make it easy enough to learn basic four channel flight. The cruiser would be a relatively relaxing flying experience compared to the 3D or the Crack Yak, however the build is kinda complex and it requires lots of rudder to fly coordinated, something a lot of pilots struggle with. I agree with gremlin on the old fogey or the old speedster, but they don't handle wind well. The spitfire also makes a pretty decent four channel trainer because of how much wing area it has, but I will always go back to the Storch as a four channel trainer. Just build it with the smaller ailerons and with out flaps and slats. Good luck and I hope you have fun building/flying in this portion of RC flying as much as you do with helis.


Senior Member
Build a Versa wing, pretty easy to build, easy to fly and can be many different things. Spend the extra money on a good radio, it will make everything that much easier!
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Ebil Filleh Pega-Bat ^.^
I think the Storch would be the best option really, nice and docile in the air, easy to build, and the electronics can be used for other planes in the swappable series later on


Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
I dunno about the storch . . . easy to fly, sure.

Build? Not for a first build.

Pretty much any of the planes you've listed (crackyak, cruiser, FT3D), I'd hesitate to recommend to a novice fixed wing pilot. Your heli experience will help with orentation but you'll want somethign fairly friendly . . . and more importantly easy to build to get familiar with all the details involved in that. Of the three, the Cruiser will be the best behaved, but it's by far the hardest of the three to build.

Piloting wise, it's probably below your skill, but waste a sheet or two of foam and scratch build an FT flyer. It's not that hard - one evening, two tops! -- but you'll get a feel for the material and how it handles before you start cutting something bigger. Not good enough for your taste? Put together a Bloody Wonder. It's a bit more complex build, but hard to mess up and yields a far more nimble plane.

After that, I'd point you toward an FT Spitfire. Simpler build than the cruiser, and a very forgiving airframe. It can be flown bank-n-yank, but flies better with the rudder, giving you a chance to work in that 4th channel without fear of botching it.


Helicopter addict
I was in helis 4 years before I started planes, and the first plane I could build, fly and enjoy was the bloody wonder. At first I was hesitiating to get a plane without rudder, because coming from helis I can't fly without, but it was a great experience! (btw, I always move my rudder stick - even if there isn't a rudder. I just can't help it :p )

Now I have a BW with symmetrical wing and rudder, and I'm enjoying the sukhoi 29MM as well! But I advice to go for a regular BW, and practice touch-n-go's with that. Very, very helpful. Landing is the part that is most different between helis and planes. And stalling as well, the BW has good stall characteristics.
Thanks for your suggestions...... I hope to get a new plane as soon as I master the champ, if the rain here in FL ever stops. I've had my champ for 4 weeks now and haven't been able to fly it once. :| Also on that subject, what is a good indoor plane......maybe the size of a basketball court in flying space?