• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

New with mixed knowledge

Here recently I've been interested in getting into fixed wing RC plane building/flying. Whenever I jump into something new I always lean on forums to help get things straight. I use to fly RC Helos but that hobby never got very far off the ground (pun absolutely intended).

I've got a somewhat mid level range of knowledge when it comes to air frame construction and general aviation principals. My roommates in college were both pilots so through proximity to them I've picked up on some basic info (center of mass lift and thrust, wing types and tail configurations of aircraft, etc).

What is completely new to me is the new transmitter receiver setups on the market. I've still got a transmitter from my helo flying days but that's mixed for CMPP or whatever that acronym is so I don't think its usable for fixed wing stuff. I looked around online to see if it could be reconfigured to not mix the inputs but it isn't looking good.

Anyway, my goal is to start prototyping a few air frames as passive non controlled gliders then move my way up to a full on RC plane. That'll give me a chance to figure out some things before I have to worry about what transmitter and receiver I'll end up needing.


Elite member
There’s tons of sub $50 TX’s like the Flysky that are fine for foam planes, range is 1km or so, more than enough. You can build everything with just a servo tester and power supply , the RX etc is all put in right at the end.
Get the Tiny Trainer speedbuild kit, it’s modular and can be a glider, powered glider, three channel trainer and four channel trainer plus it does basic acrobatics. It has lots of community mods and removable wings for easy transport.
That's good to know. My other big question is if there is any benefit to the different protocols like DSMX/DSM2 or Futaba? Those are just the two common ones I've seen since I've been looking. I'm assuming that refers to the data type that the receiver is able to process and act on. I'd hate to buy a protocol specific transmitter/receiver set only to find out it's garabge for what I'm trying to do.

The protocol is more brand specific. Each brand utilizes their own protocol and some people just become "fans" of a particular brand and protocol. I've seen way too many transmitter brand debates that it makes me a little crazy sometimes lol. But anyways, you generally have to get a matching brand receiver/transmitter for it to all work. But also, some brands have modules that you can get to allow say a [Brand A] transmitter to connect to a [Brand B] receiver.
Yeah pretty much. I'm not sure what the general radio brand here is on the forum. Spektrums are pretty common. I sort of got into them as my first planes were Bind N Fly Spektrums, so been using it ever since. Flitetest does not seem to promote any certain brand either for that which is good. And I'm sure the other brands are good too. The only thing I would recommend is definitely get a computer based radio if you are gonna be serious about the hobby...something with a screen, model memory, etc.


Well-known member
Basslord is right, get something that can grow with you. There are a ton of decent priced radios out there now. I have a taranis QX7 and love it. It was right at $100. Spectrum makes good radios. I had a flysky at one point and it was just fine for a while, but grew out of it. There is another company called jumper that I've heard good things about. Any of these will work just fine, just how much $ do you want to spend, or in the case of taranis (open protocol) how much learning are you willing to do. Good luck!


Master member
I use Spectrum and Graupner, others I fly with use Taranis. I also have heard good things about the Jumper 12. If you have a buddy you might be flying with, do what they do.

Welcome to the forums.


Elite member
I second (or third?) the suggestion to get a computerized radio to start with. I also started with Spektrum and went cheap with a DXe to start with. It was fine at first but as my fleet grew it became a giant pain to keep having to reprogram and rebind every different plane when I wanted to fly it. As I didn't want to replace all of my receivers, I ended up getting a DX8e and am very happy with it.


Master member
Welcome pull up your smartphone or what ever you use there is a lot of good helpful people on here.

As I am out of the ordinary here I do not like to design, or the construction side I do it because I have to, I would rather just fly and not waste time on the rest.
For what it's worth I ended up getting a Turnigy 9X from Hobby King. Came with an 8 channel Rx and was on flash sale for 60 bucks. I figure if it's a turd I'm not out a catastrophic amount of money. I've heard it's hard to wrap your head around programming and there is no manual for it. Thanks for everyone's input.


Well-known member
Welcome to the forum. We recently wrapped up a pretty good discussion on good budget transmitters in another thread. The Turnigy 9x has been around for about 8-9 years now and sold under several brand names.

What made the 9x radios 'famous' was their ability to have the firmware re-flashed and OpenTX installed. This combined with a transmitter module made the 9x radio something that could compete for features with radios 2-3 times it's price.

For $60 I would agree with your sentiment that it's something you can try and if it doesn't work out you are not out big money. If you end up liking the 9x and you want to see what else you can do with it to increase it's functionality, there is a ton of information out there on how to mod them. I myself have a 9x transmitter I bought 8 years ago and modded with LCD backlight, a solderless firmware flashing board and a FrSky transmitter module.

As far the protocol question, @basslord1124 nailed it, it's more of a brand thing. As you gave the analogy, it's a Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate. Even protocol doesn't really matter much anymore as radios like the Jumper T8SG V2 can talk to almost every brand of receiver and their is a multi-protocol transmitter module you can get that will allow radios like the 9x or a Taranis to talk to pretty much every brand of receiver.