Need 1st Plane Suggestion


Junior Member
So I've never had a crazy interest in RC anything before but between watching a lot of Flite Test videos and a colleague of mine who's a fairly avid RC pilot I'm certain I want to get in on the action. I know I want something fairly easy, a plane 3 channel 4 at most, and nothing too crazy expensive possibly between $250 and $350. I would also need a radio unless it came in a kit with a plane.

Just some information about the areas I would be able to fly in. There is a minimal possibility of being able to fly in a place with soft landing areas, I'm talking asphalt or dirt roads as my airstrips. Most every day is a day I could fly although it can get a bit windy at times.

I'm not really sure what other information I should provide. If you have questions please ask them. Any tips about my post or in general would be appreciated and I'm sorry to any admins if this post is in the wrong location, I wasn't sure where to post it. Thanks again to everyone, I'm looking forward to any suggestions you may give.


New member
If you want something very easy and ready to fly, the hobbyzone Duet is great and will teach the basics. Although it's pretty small and you might find yourself wanting something bigger. If you want to scratch build I'd start with an Ft Flyer or the tiny trainer. Those will require more upfront costs, ie. transmitter, batteries, battery charger and the electronics for the plane.

Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
horizon hobbies super cub s with safe bind and fly (bnf) $99.00 then a dx6i tx $130.00
Horizon hobbies Delta Ray bnf $150 plus the dx6i
horizon hobbies umx Radian $99 plus the dx6i
If you get the dx4e or the dx5e you will want to upgrade in just a few months and on some of these if you get the ready to fly (rtf) they may come with the new tx that has a short range and you will want to up grade in just a few weeks some of the other brands of tx's won't bind to the spectrum rx's
With the budget that you posted the Delta Ray would be great. I got mine almost a year and a half ago and it's still holding together (in fact just the other day I was doing rolling dives with it). It took me from absolute beginner to where I am at today (learning to fly a small 3D airplane, building FT planes, etc...). The DX4e that the RTF model comes with is great and binds to Spektrum and Orange RX receivers. I used it on scratchbuilds for a while and now use it as a trainer system. For $200 (Delta Ray RTF + extra battery) it's a great deal. If you'd like to see some video of it here you go:

I was flying in advanced mode in this video. In beginner mode it handles super smooth and takeoffs/landings are a breeze (line it up, kill the throttle and control the pitch). I hope this helps!
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Posted a thousand or more times
The delta ray is on sale right now for $159 RTF. With your budget I would get it and a BNF Sport Cub S. The Sport Cub is a little friendlier for noobs. The weight of the Delta Ray makes it a little more challenging to handle but I have both and love them. The DX4e will bind with both planes, you will need to use the bind plug to re-bind to the Delta Ray but once you decide that you like the hobby, get a programmable TX and use the DX4e as a spare of a buddy system.;-technology-hbz7900;-technology-hbz4480

Another good option would be Phoenix RC with the DX6i and a Sport Cub S BNF but I really think that the DX4e is better when learning as it has a panic button and 3 pos switch. You will not hit the switch on time on a DX6i but you can switch back to beginner mode quickly.


Senior Member
I really like the Tiny Trainer. It is my first plane that I can actually fly. I scratch built mine but you could get the speed build kit.


Junior Member
A lot of great suggestions as well as a lot to consider. My colleague that I mentioned in the original post said I should get a Radian from Horizon Hobby and if I plan on staying in the hobby to get a dx7 or better tx. Any specific thoughts on that from anybody? I know that a transmitter of that type would run a lot more but he said I could look for used ones and save some money.


Posted a thousand or more times
A lot of great suggestions as well as a lot to consider. My colleague that I mentioned in the original post said I should get a Radian from Horizon Hobby and if I plan on staying in the hobby to get a dx7 or better tx. Any specific thoughts on that from anybody? I know that a transmitter of that type would run a lot more but he said I could look for used ones and save some money.

Put more money in the radio, less in the plane to start. Just my opinion from starting the other way. Radios are less likely to crash when you are learning but planes seem to get angry when you remove them from the earth and they always rush back to it. A good radio will keep a bad plane in the air but a bad radio can bring down the best plane.


Posted a thousand or more times
The full sized Radian? I would not want to learn on that. It is heavy, big and can land hard and do some damage to itself. The route your friend suggested isn't the route I would go. People in this hobby tend to be gear heads and like to spend more money than needed IMO. The SAFE planes I suggested add a level of protection that gives a better flight experience for learning. An easily repairable FT plane like the Tiny Trainer would also be a good choice but you are added complexity in building and tuning. I would rather put my time into flying. Debugging trim, CG or mechanical issues when you are learning is frustrating.

The full DX6 or a DX7 are better investments for the long term than the DX6i but when you get into those kinds of costs you are pushing your budget and the older used ones may not have the features of the new models. The DX4e and DX5e with 3 pos switches are cheap and simple. I have a programmable Tx but I still use the DX4e a lot.

I also agree with RAM about bad radios. Avoid the cheap RTFs - I lost a plane due to one.

The Tx is your choice though.


Junior Member
I am a firsttime flyer too and I got my self a Bixler 2. I was going to choose a Walrus from Hobbyking but the prop mounted backwards on the Bixler series stole the vote :p

I flew it for the first time the other day and managed to land and fly it was super easy with my expo set at 30%.

It was a nice easy build for me and been as you have a friend into RC he can buddy-box you to be safe :p

I would stress the matter of spending most of your money on a good TX/Rx set up. I got a Spektrum DX7s rather cheap £120 on ebay and updated the airware fine.

I then got myself a Spektrum AR400 Rx which was so small I was a little worried but after many reviews and actually doing the range test myself I was so surprised at the range it achieved.

Hope my input helps you here matey?


Junior Member
So I definitely am going to get a nicer tx, probably a dx7. I'm going to probably go the used route to save some money but if I absolutely have to I might buy one new. As for the plane I'm still undecided.

Is there anything you guys suggest I look for while perusing used txs or anything to be wary of that may indicate something not more easily perceived? Also, since I'm going to be buying a tx I don't really want to buy any RTF versions so is there any suggestions on LiPo chargers?

Thanks again to everyone for their input, everything helps Yakuza. I would be talking with my friend more but I believe he is currently out of state attending a big RC Event or something.


New member
Hey as another beginner, I started off with the HobbyZone Duet, I QUICKLY out grew it. It was a great starter, I may try teching my friends 8yrold how to fly on it. As I have now started scratch building and bought a tx/rx recently this is what i bought tx/rx . I got it in the mail last week I havent been able to use it with anything as i have no electronics. One thing I would strongly suggest is buying a simulator cord when you buy your TX this way you can plug it in a computer and downlaod something like rc desk pilot and get use to the controller, and fly if you dont currently have a plane.
I would go with the new DX6. It is a fantastic radio and 6 channels is all that is really needed. I just got mine and was blown away by the versatility of it (especially when it talks to you). The extra $50-$80 that you save can go towards extra receivers and electronics.


Crashing Ace
champ duet or delta ray and if you want to build tiny trainer that basically gives you 3 planes in 1 or you could get the 3 pack


My vote would be for a dx6 and then grab one of the BNF crafts available with SAFE. I have the Sport Cub S with SAFE, I upgraded it to the larger batteries and it's a great little plane. I bought my 10 year old the Super Cub 3 channel with SAFE and he is learning to fly it well. I take off and land for him but he handles all operations once airborne, it too is a nice little plane to lean on and short of running into something (tree, building, etc) in beginner mode it seems almost impossible to crash as does the Sport Cub S. I also have the Sport Cub with the AS3X and it is quite a plane with MUCH more power then the 2 aforementioned brushed planes. It's a great plane and a great performer, but probably not a real beginner plane.

Have Fun!



Junior Member
I woke up this morning feeling pretty good about a delta Ray. I really want to get the radian though as having 30+ minute flight times sounds amazing. I've thought of some of the scratch build stuff but I don't feel I have the experience or know how to get all the correct components or the skills to assemble it all in such a fashion that it won't just fall apart as soon as I set it down.

Any final thoughts by anyone? Also thanks again to everyone for helping out whether you've had years of experience or you were in my position not too long ago.


Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
The Radian is big and floats forever, so if you've got the field big enough to let her settle down she'll be as friendly a craft as any you can buy. The UMX radian, is all that and more since the small size reduces the flying area you need -- hard to go wrong with either.

One word of warning about motor gliders -- they're designed to glide. The motor up front can always be used for cruising around, but the design is to launch and climb *AS FAST* as you can, cut the motor and enjoy the ride down. Because of that, most are trimmed to nose up as the throttle is applied (and on launch, if you're going for as fast as you can, it's generally full throttle). To keep her pointed upward and not loop requires a little down-pressure on the elevator. Cut the motor and it goes away, but be ready for it as the motor kicks on. As she noses up, you'll have to hold the nose with the elevator from going too high -- a 30-45 degree climb should be more than enough.

Get past the pitch-up on the throttle and have enough room to land, and the Radian is an excellent plane to learn on.