Flying radio control model airplanes is a great hobby and a tremendous amount of fun. However, the perception oftentimes is that flying an RC model airplane is expensive. The newcomer sees a model aircraft remotely controlled from the ground, flying various maneuvers under full control, and the assumption is that a fair amount of money is needed to purchase and operate something this complex.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The advent of mass produced consumer electronics has found its way to the world of RC model flight. The key to cheap micro RC model aircraft lies in the revolution of very small, ready to fly RC airplanes made of foam or lightweight carbon fiber materials married to cheap electronics. The systems used to guide and control these micro model aircraft are optimized for short range flight – perfect for these smaller airplanes flown close in – using less expensive infrared control technology, much like your television remote control.
This new breed of ready to fly mass produced micro RC aircraft further saves money for the RC model pilot by allowing all the support equipment to be included in the handheld transmitter. Electric model airplanes need a charger for the in-flight battery. The charger for these micro models is contained in the transmitter itself. In short, everything needed to fly these new micro model aircraft comes “in the box.” This includes the airplane, charger, transmitter, and flight battery. You literally purchase the model, charge the battery, and go fly.
Another way these micro models save money for the hobbyist is by using a reduced set of airplane control channels. Full control of any RC model airplane requires four channels: rudder, elevator, throttle and ailerons. Many of these great flying micro models use as little as two channels for their flights, usually rudder for turns and throttle for altitude control. While not the optimum full control of a four channel RC model, the two channel control concept is a very practical way to get into the air with a simpler and much less expensive model, yet provide for a great deal of fun. In a way, learning to fly with two channels opens up a whole new world of model aviation that in turn helps your flying with a full four channel model.
These micro RC models are mass produced at a factory – not hand built – leading to further reductions in cost. You can often find these model airplanes for sale at your local Walmart or other consumer discount store.
The irony of these small ready to fly RC aircraft is that the absolute requirement for extreme light weight in these models has made it just about impossible for the average model aviator to actually build one in their home workshop. It is simply too difficult, using normal RC model airplane building methods and products, to construct the model light enough. The new breed of ready to fly micro RC model airplanes can take advantage of advanced factory production techniques, such as foam injection, to produce complex shapes that fly very well at a minimum cost. The benefits are clear to anyone looking for inexpensive entry to the world of RC model airplane flight. With the cost of a two channel ready to fly micro model typically under $30, you can easily purchase several of these remarkable aircraft for your flying fleet.
In summary, there are a wide range of radio control model airplanes, for every purpose and budget. The advent of micro, ready to fly RC model aircraft has very recently opened an entirely new segment of the hobby to any model airplane pilot. There is no need for a range of expensive ground support equipment, chargers or field boxes. Everything you need to fly comes with your purchase, and nothing needs to be built or added on. You simply open the box, charge the battery and go fly. There has never been a time when the model airplane pilot could take to the skies for less cost than today.