Yet another total noob!

Which option for a total newbie?

  • RTF Champ or Sport Cub S

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Separate radio and BNF Champ or Sport Cub S

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Separate radio and swappable build kit

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Quit while you're ahead and begone.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Junior Member
Hey y'all! I've been wanting to get into RC aircraft since I was a kid, but never found the time before. Also, RTF planes were out of my financial reach 20 some years ago when I was first ready to give it a go. Now I'm looking into it, and I can get a decent one like the HobbyZone Champ for less than $100! I think it's time to give it a go.

The thing is, I'm trying to decide the best way to go about this. Here's where you all come in. My options as I see them are thus:

A: buy a Champ (or perhaps a Sport Cub S) RTS, and learn to fly with the chinsy radio that comes with it.

B: Buy a Spektrum DXe or DX6i and receiver, then pick up a Champ or SCS in BNF configuration.

C: Buy a Spectrum DXe or DX6i and receiver, then a Speed Build kit plus power pack (the swappable 3 Pack seems like a good start).

C seems like the most expensive route to take, but it I pursue flying, it sets me up for a vast number of aircraft in the future.

What do you all think? Feel free to give me other options if none of these three match your thoughts.


New member
you are going to crash. A LOT. Get something that you wont be afraid to fly because it looks nice. Buying a speed build kit is going to teach you how to build other FT planes. They are very good planes (even if you dont build them 100% correctly), and in my experience feel just as good as manufactured planes.

The advantage of C is the parts you buy can be ripped out of any plane and easily used in the next. If this is going to be a long term hobby, plan for long term equiptment. The power packs are items that even if you did break them are very easily findable on amazon or ebay.


Well-known member
I say buy a radio and speed build kit. Maybe try scratch building too. I'd start with the FT Flyer or the FT Trainer. Probably the FT Flyer as it's SUPER easy to build and fly. Good early win. But don't limit yourself to spectrum. As it probably is the most popular, there are many other options out there, some that are quite a bit less $$. Turnigy makes some nice transmitters. I personally use Flysky and love it. Can't beat the $50 price tag for entry level gear. I plan to upgrade to a Taranis or something once I get more experience in this hobby. Lol Still a noob myself.

A RTF champ or the like with as3x and safe mode wouldnt be a bad option either but in my opinion, building what you fly is half the fun.

Good luck and enjoy the hobby. I sure do.


Posted a thousand or more times
I took route A and here's why.

I am an avid model builder (and did it for a living for a few years) and loved this part of the hobby that I was looking at. However, I didn't want to spend tons of time and energy building my first plane that I knew I was going to crash. I also wanted to be able to fly something that would help me out and that if I made a mistake, I knew was pilot error and not model building error.

For this, I purchased the Horizon Hobby Super Cub with SAFE. It came RTF with a DX4e transmitter and the SAFE mode gave me the confidence I needed to fly it without too much trepidation.

I've moved on to some of the speed build kits and scratch building and am still using the DX4e since it has 4 channels and that's all I need for now. I figure I can upgrade the radio as I become a better pilot and need more features but that it will serve me well for the first year or two.


Active member
I voted for the champ. Its a complete RTF. It's also small and light enough that it most likely won't break up during hard landings. I didn't start this way though. The tiny trainer speed build kit was my cherry popper. In retrospect I think it may be easier to start with an rtf just to learn about all the different components. Then you can start building your own. FT makes it super easy though. They have a complete tiny trainer speed build package with radio and electronics. This is a little more expensive than the champ but well worth it!!!


Get a radio, even a used one, and build an FT-Flyer. The 3-pack Swappable kit is a great deal, but to just get started I would print just the FT-Flyer and cut it yourself. It's stupid-easy to cut and build, and is quite forgiving in flight.

Look in RC Classifieds for used radios to get started, such as RC Groups Classifieds

Edit: there's a couple good deals in the RC Groups classifieds right now:
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It also depends on whether you have friends in the hobby who can help you. It can be quite frustrating at the beginning, and RTF can save you a lot of trouble. Having said that, I still voted for the swappable - yes, it is frustrating, but the difficulties are not insurmountable provided you are willing to spend a bit of time on it, and you can always post on the forum and get quick answers if you get into trouble.