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Hand Launching


Staff member

Have you ever thrown your plane straight into the ground, or wished you had an extra hand on your transmitter when launching? Well in this episode, Josh and Josh talk a little about the different ways to hand launch planes that don't have landing gear. David Windestal also demonstrates how to hand launch a wing! Tune in to learn how to properly hand launch YOUR plane!

I have a very hard time hand-launching the Hobby King AXN Floater Jet, the Hobby King ParkJet (extremely hard to hand launch) and the Hobby King SkyFun. I got tired of crashing and fixing so I made a PVC bungee launcher. It works GREAT!! I used to use about 100 feet of surgical tubing staked to the ground about 100 yards out but I found I could do better with just 10 feet of surgical tubing wrapped underneath the bungee/catapult. It's quicker, doesn't require stakes and a hammer, keeps your hands on the controls and it's SOOO MUCH BETTER. That's my alternative to hand launching hard-to-launch planes
I don't have a photo. Only thing I have is this video I posted on YouTube a few months ago.
It's basically 2 PVC 1-inch diameter tubes (actually 4 for stiffness) with a pedal and some rollers. I'll take a photo of it and post it tomorrow (it's hanging up in my garage).
I've started with rc planes for a few days ago, launching my AXN floater jet was'nt that hard for me. I hold my radio in my left hand and give half a throttle and launch my plane and quickly give a little bit elevator if the plane are diving.


Junior Member
I agree that a reasonably high angle of attack works if you are launching a warbird or parkflyer, but if you are launching a EDF jet or any plane that has a lot of power I would strongly recommend launching it straight and level. The first time I hand launched an EDF I didn't launch it level so it did a loop right over my head and I almost crashed. :p


Junior Member
Hand Launching Small Aircraft

I sometimes launch my home made plane by hand, but usually just do a ground takeoff. A good tip is to not try to pull up to fast, or you will stall. Just fly out straight for a bit, to gain some speed, and then gain altitude.
I just gently toss my pretty much straight out in front of me at about 70% throttle, or at 100% throttle if I have my camera on it.

And always launch it into the wind! (I don't always, because I'm a bit limited to the area I fly in, but try to keep it into the wind.)


Site Moderator
This video was really helpful for Thomas my son. The place we fly at isn't really a park but rather a reserve which I believe will eventually end up being houses. In any case the grass is really high and the ground very rough hence all of our flying requires hand launching.

Tom O'Connell

Bixler FPV Mods Fantastic
hand launching has always been one of those things that has annoyed me to death, but if you practice you will get good at it.
I'd say what you need to do with say, the AXN, is you need to hold the radio in your left hand (if your using mode 2) and the plane in your right. Use your mouth (i know it sounds crazy but people have done it for years) to apply around 40-60% power. Then just launch it about 10 degrees up. If it starts to dive or pitch up too much you will still have elavator control to keep it level.
hope this helps :)


Senior Member
Hmmm.... Hand launching wasn't really a problem for me, I would just toss the plane with pretty much full throttle and it would fly away. However this might be due to that I'm using Mode 1 transmitter (Throttle on right). This way I launch my plane with left hand (Well I don't really have to throw it it just flies out by itself) while keeping my hands on the throttle and ailerons. Though I don't have any control over elevator.... I just don't need it for those few seconds on which my hand goes from plane to transmitter :)


Crazy flyer/crasher :D
I do it the way Tom just discribed. The good thing about that is that your finger are at the elevator stick straight away so you can quickly stabilize the plane. Otherwise your other hand (depending on the mode you´re flying) will take some time to get to the Tx and then do the correct stuff which might take that much time that you didn´t get the chance to correct the plane in its position.

With my small wing I do it the same way.

Onyl with my brothers bigger wing I throw it from holding it right at the motor, which I actually don´t really prefer but I don´t want to do it any other way and crash it. In that case my brother holds the Tx and 2 people are required for launching always.

Kinda bad but we do go flying together all the time anyway so it is easier as well.
For me hand launching is really easy. I don't know if other people have realized this but I launch my AXN at about a 40 degree angle. This gives plenty of time for me to get to the controls and the aircraft won't go any were other than up. I do this because I not comfortable with a low altitude take off unless it is a ROG take off.
Hand launching an AXN Floater Jet, a Bixler, or any high-mount pusher can be a little tricky because increasing the throttle, especially at slow speeds, can cause the nose to dip. You get this little surprise usually about a second after releasing it. All great advice on this thread... aim a little high, 50%+ throttle, and the only tip I would add would be to quickly get your thumb back on the elevator and pull back an instant before increasing the throttle. Kinda like a gas pedal and clutch relationship on a car. Add a little throttle and ease back on the elevator... in unison. It's so easy, you'll very quickly get the hang of it, probably the first attempt. My floater jet is pretty nose heavy anyways and hand launching by myself is still easy doing it this way.

(Great... now I've jinxed myself. Do I have a nose-dive launch in my future??)