How to fly RC Airplanes (5)—take off/ Hand launch 2

The length of the take off run will vary from plane to plane, but generally speaking most rc airplanes take off in a short distance; just a few metres for many. If you want a more scale-like take off with a longer ground run, use very little elevator and let the plane take off naturally.

Once the plane is airborne, maintain full power and continue a smooth climb out (not too steep), and commence a turn before the plane gets too far away.

The hand launch

Hand launching your rc airplane is simple enough but it’s perfectly normal to feel uneasy the first few times you do it.

As for a take off, a hand launch needs to be done into wind to maximise the lift under the wings, as well as the airflow over the control surfaces.

Hold your airplane at head-height, in whichever hand you feel most comfortable with, and have the transmitter in your other hand with your thumb on whichever stick it naturally falls onto i.e. it’s going to be one stick or the other, depending on which hand the Tx is being held in.

With motor power at its maximum, take a step forward and at the same time give the airplane a firm push out of your hand. It’s important that you launch it firmly so that it’s above stalling speed when it leaves your hand. If you don’t push it enough, it could stall and crash before your feet!

It’s also important to try and keep the airplane level, and don’t point it upwards much. If you do launch it with a very nose-up attitude, the same thing is likely to happen – a stall and a crash.
As soon as the plane has left your hand, get that hand onto the transmitter as quickly as you can so that you’re immediately ready to initiate a climb (i.e. apply some up elevator) and make any necessary corrections to the plane’s flight path as it leaves your hand.

*NB: maximum power for a hand launch might result in ‘torque roll’ as the plane leaves your hand; this is when the plane typically rolls to the left, in reaction to the torque force of the motor. Depending on which plane you have, you might find that launching on, say, 3/4 power is more comfortable and less likely to produce the unwanted roll. It’s just a case of trial and error really.


How to fly RC Airplanes (5)—take off/ Hand launch 1

Having landing gear gives you the best of both worlds, because you can take off or hand launch. Up to you! A plane without landing gear, oddly enough, restricts you to just hand launching.

If you’re on concrete, tarmac, smooth gravel or very short grass then a take off is easy. If you’re on longer grass or a very rough surface then your airplane might struggle to get the speed it needs to to get airborne.

In the same context, the size of your airplane’s wheels is also another deciding factor. Larger diameter wheels can cope better with more difficult surfaces, whereas smaller diameter wheels are only good for smooth, harder surfaces.

Finally, you just might prefer to hand launch your plane, even though it’s got an undercarriage and you’re flying from a smooth surface. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you’re most comfortable with!

The Take off:

To perform a take off, smoothly increase motor power to full (take between one and two seconds to move the stick fully forward) and let the airplane accelerate along the ground. It’s probable that you’ll need to use rudder to keep the plane going in a straight line, don’t let it veer off to the left or right. Keep it straight all the time.

Once you’re at full power and the plane is accelerating along the ground, gently apply a small amount of up elevator to aid the plane off the ground. Don’t yank back on the stick, just pull back smoothly. If you apply too much too quickly, and the plane hasn’t yet reached flying speed, it can get airborne too early and with too steep a climb rate, and stall. Not good!


How to fly RC Airplanes (4)—Pre-flight Checks 2

The purpose of the range check is to make sure the Strong radio signal from transmitter to receiver , so that you can fly your rc airplane at a normal distance away from you without it going out of radio range. If your plane does go out of range, then you lose all control.

Perform a range check with a MHz radio system thus:
Switch on the transmitter then the receiver, and with the transmitter antenna fully collapsed (i.e. down), walk backwards away from the airplane for 30 paces or so. As you walk away from the plane, keep moving the control surface sticks of the Tx (not the motor!) and closely watch the respective control surfaces of the airplane.

If you only get a short distance away and the surfaces start ‘twitching’ or not responding properly to your stick movements, do not fly. Check the batteries of the radio gear, they may need replacing – low batteries in the transmitter drastically reduce the radio range. Also check for loose connections to the receiver etc., and also the condition of the antenna(s).

If the batteries and connections are OK but the control surfaces still don’t respond properly, then other people may be using your frequency nearby. Again, do not fly if this is the case. Interference is a big killer of rc airplanes, and you need to be sure that your frequency is clear before you get airborne.

An rc airplane range check with a 2.4GHz radio system is slightly different, in that the antenna cannot be collapsed. You will have to refer to your radio instruction manual to see the correct range check procedure for your exact radio, as different manufacturers use different methods of activating the range check mode in a 2.4GHz radio.
Whichever method is involved, a 2.4GHz radio in range check mode sends out the signals with a reduced voltage, thus producing a weaker signal.
The rest of the check is performed in the same way as explained above.

Regardless of whether you have a MHz or 2.4GHz system, do not fly your plane if you see that control surface response becomes unreliable before you reach 30 paces or so away from the plane. You need to identify and rectify before you fly!
If your plane isn’t behaving itself on the ground, then it’s not going to improve in the air!

Always take a few minutes to perform these rc airplane pre-flight checks before you commence your flying session. Get into the habit of pre-flighting your plane every time; the checks take just a couple of minutes to do and will save you the grief of a crashed airplane, if something is amiss.

How to fly RC Airplanes (4)—Pre-flight Checks 1

Fourth step: Pre-flight checks

The purpose of pre-flight checks is to ensure that your rc plane is in a fit condition to fly, and that everything is working as it should be. Exact pre-flight checks might differ from plane to plane, but there are some fundamental checks that all rc airplanes need to have done, immediately before flight.

If you neglect to carry out the pre-flight checks before you fly your rc airplane, and something is badly amiss, then an avoidable crash is very likely. Many rc pilots have lost their beloved aircraft seconds after take off, simply because they didn’t do the checks!  listed below (in no particular order) are the minimum checks that you need to carry out before you take off…

  • All servos are secure, and linkages to servo and control surfaces are secure.
  • Servo and control horns are secure and not loose.
  • Servo linkages are able to move freely and are not binding on anything.
  • All servo connections to the receiver, battery pack and ESC are secure and correct.
  • The receiver and motor battery pack are securely fixed and cannot move during flight.
  • Receiver antenna (aerial) is correctly positioned and not damaged.
  • The propeller nut is tight / spinner is secure.
  • The wing and tailplane (and fin) are secured properly, as per the instructions (i.e. with the correct method of fixing; rubber bands or wing nuts etc.)
  • All control surfaces move in the correct sense i.e. moving the rudder stick left moves the rudder to the left.
  • All control surface hinges are secure i.e. you can’t pull the control surface away from its respective flying surface.
  • The motor power works correctly, and stops when you want it to.
  • A range check

How to fly RC Airplanes (3)—Preparing your RC airplane

Third Step: Final Assembly of your RC Airplane

Depending on the size of your airplane and where your flying site is in relation to home, you might need to transport the wing unattached and fix it when you get to the field. This is quite normal; have a few practice runs fixing the wing at home so you don’t need to refer to the manual when you’re at the field.

Another thing you may or may not need to do is attach the propeller. This should also be a simple task, you just need to make sure you put it on the right way (if there are numbers on the prop, these usually face forwards) and make sure to do the securing nut up tightly. But be careful not to over tighten and strip the thread.

Use good quality disposable alkaline cells or rechargeable cells for Transmitter batteries. The reason you need good cells is simple – the signal from the transmitter to the receiver has to be as strong as possible, and this can only happen with good RC Battery in the transmitter. If the signal is weak, your airplane will quickly go out of radio range and you’ll lose control – crash!

How to fly RC Airplanes (2)—know your RC airplane

Second Step: Know your RC Airplane

Study the manual

Now we’re going to assume that you’ve either bought an RTF electric airplane or that you’ve built from a kit or an ARF.

The first thing you need to do is gather together all the parts and familiarise yourself with everything that’s reading the manual.

Don’t be tempted to think “OK, that all looks easy enough, where’s the nearest park….” and throw the manual back in the box. Take your time to study the manual carefully and get comfortable with everything; which transmitter sticks do what, how things should be connected, how the wing has to be secured, what to check for before flying…. If it’s in the manual, learn it!
And of course, many RTF electric rc airplanes these days include an instructional DVD or CD Rom – if there is one, watch it several times.

The real key to understanding an instruction manual/disc is to go through it once before doing anything with the plane, and then go through it again step-by-step, with the plane on the bench. The second (or third) time you read the manual, things won’t be so alien to you and you can easily relate the instructions to the plane as you work through them.

If the manual isn’t up to scratch, or there’s something – anything – about your airplane that you don’t understand, take some time to search this website or feel free to join the forum to ask for help. It’s one of the most beginner-friendly rc forums on the web, so you can ask as many stupid questions as you like without getting shot down!

Whether you use this website or join the forum, or just rely on the instructions that come with the plane, be comfortable and confident with knowing everything about your rc airplane as possible.

How to fly RC Airplanes (1)—buying your rc airplane

First Step: buying your RC airplane

The perfect airplane to learn to fly on is a high wing trainer. By ‘high wing’ we mean that the wing sits on top of the fuselage, and this configuration means lots of stability in the air – exactly what you need when learning to fly radio control.

Go with electric power type- you’ll have an easier, cheaper and cleaner introduction to the hobby of radio control flying.

A four channel rc plane will have control to motor power, ailerons, rudder and elevator – that extra channel (ailerons) does steepen the learning curve somewhat because of the extra co-ordination needed, that’s why self-teaching on such a plane isn’t as easy as on a three channel one.

Kit, ARF or RTF?

A kit involves building the plane from a box of (pre-cut) pieces over a plan. Very satisfying, but you need a fair knowledge of model building skills to do it well and you’ll need to buy the motor, ESC, battery pack and radio gear separately.

ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) rc airplane it will be about 90% finished. You just need to buy the motor, ESC, battery pack and radio gear separately and install it all yourself.

RTF (Ready To Fly) plane is your best option if you just want to get flying in the least amount of time. RTF rc airplanes come fully finished with all electronics (motor & radio) installed.




QR X350PRO VS Phantom Vision

Both DJI Phantom Vision and Walkera X350 are more advanced and can be quite complex to setup, both require compass calibration and Phantom needs to be connected to a PC to alter and adjust any settings and parameters. The phantom is probably the better choice as there are more options available re camera gimbals etc but has a reputation for ‘flyaways’ I.e. suddenly goes off on its own. Phantom 2 vision might have an updated version controller. Personally I would go with the Phantom.
As a beginner, get yourself a cheap machine like a Hubsan H107, to get some experience, very cheap and quite rugged, comes with spare props as well, then go for the larger more advanced one. Also find someone, like a local club to help you out with maybe some tuition.

450 Size Heli—Best RC Helicopter To Start With?

Most people will be impressed and somewhat biased towards 450 size electrics. This is due mainly to cost (both up front, for parts, & batteries) and the fact that the good ones work very well for beginner fliers right up to pros… In short, one heli will follow you from your first one inch hop off the ground to your first loop, roll, or even scale fuselage if scale is your ultimate goal. 450’s are big enough to see in the sky, but small enough not to be overly intimidating/dangerous to learn/start on.



Either Tarot 450 Pro or Tarot 450 Pro v2 are  for the most part give you the most rotor size per dollar ratio of all collective pitch RC helicopter sizes ranging from micro up to monster. 450’s also give fairly long flight times per battery pack/charge. These are all very important benefits and why should we consider 450’s the best RC helicopter to start with and learn on.


TAROT ZYX gyro firmware upgrade

Firmware upgrade instruction

  • 1.Connect the ZYX gyro to PC by ZYX USB adapter,click “Connect ZYX”,make sure it succeed.
  • 2.Open the Firmware in ZYX PC software.
  • 3.Keep the PC,USB adapter and ZYX gyro connecting.Power off ZYX gyro,press “SET” button of gyro and power on.
  • 4.The red lamp is flashing,click “Upgrade” button to start upgrade,the ZYX gyro will restart after successful upgrade.
  • 5.Please make sure your gyro is Tarot ZYX,otherwise the gyro will be damaged.The ZYX gyro does not need to be setup again.