Unlock Your Inner Maverick with a Remote-Control Airplane

remote control airplanes

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

Remote-control airplanes are a great way to unlock a passion for aviation. And no matter whether you are a more advanced RC pilot, or you’re a new flyboy/girl on the scene and ready to get your pilot wings, remotely taking control of a plane always provides a buzz of fun and requires a good amount of skill, too. But what’s the best way to choose the right remote-controlled airplane for you? It can be especially difficult as there are a good number of remote-control airplanes to choose from. Luckily, we’re here to help with a handy overview and advice on the process. Below we cover:

  • RC Airplanes for Beginners
  • RC Airplanes for Adults
  • The Best Remote-Control Airplanes for Sale in 2021

Remote-Control Airplanes for Beginners

It’s natural to want the fastest airplane with the greatest capabilities, but for beginner pilots, that’s a quick way to have an unflyable, damaged plane on your hands. When looking for the best remote-control airplane for beginners, you’ll want a plane with a panic recovery feature, which can help stabilize your airplane with the push of a button. Also, larger planes deal with unpleasant elements better, which makes for smoother flights.

Another important element is having an airplane with one to three channels. Channels are elements on the remote control that help control the motor, elevator and rudder. Of course, more channels give you more control of your airplane, but this also complicates the flying process. As a general rule, three is the right number to provide room for beginners to learn the basics without feeling too overwhelmed.

Beginner pilots will also want an airplane that comes ready to fly out of the box, or very near to it. Easy installation will allow beginners to get the plane in the air faster and removes the chance of installing pieces incorrectly, which can lead to poor flight performance.

Remote-Control Airplanes for Adults

When you’re finally ready to call yourself Maverick thanks to your newly acquired flying skills, it may be time to invest in an advanced aircraft that is going to test your skills and has more impressive flying capabilities. More advanced users are going to want an airplane with more power, range and control. Having an airplane with four or more channels will give advanced pilots the control and the challenge they are craving.

Another upgrade advanced flyers may prefer is switching to an engine instead of an electric-powered motor. Of course, these planes are heavier, louder and more expensive, but they provide more power and control for experienced pilots.

Finally, more advanced users might want an RC airplane that requires them to do most of the assembly. This creates the opportunity to swap out parts for upgrades down the line and fully understand how your plane is put together. There’s nothing wrong with pre-assembled planes, but more advanced users might want to take a more hands-on approach.

The Best Remote-Control Airplanes for Sale in 2021

We’ve made things easy for anyone looking to get into flying remote-controlled airplanes. Even though more experienced pilots may already know what to look for, any beginners don’t want to unexpectedly purchase a remote-control airplane that is way too advanced. No matter your skillset, we have you covered. Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best remote-control airplanes.


1. HobbyZone Carbon Cub


The HobbyZone Carbon Cub S 2’s large, 51-inch wingspan helps beginners get their bearings as they learn how to fly. However, the controller features beginner, intermediate and experienced flight modes for when your skills progress. If a beginner starts to lose control, you can hit the panic recovery button to return the airplane to a safe altitude or use the auto-land feature to return the bird to the ground without harm. GPS and geo-fence also help ensure the plane doesn’t get out of range of the remote. This RC airplane offers something for every skill level.

remote control airplanes hobbyzone rc Image courtesy of Amazon


2. HobbyZone Sport Cub S RC Airplane


With a smaller wingspan than the Carbon Cub, the HobbyZone Sport Cub S 2 airplane sports a 24.3-inch wingspan that provides more skilled pilots the finite control they crave. There are beginner and intermediate modes for unseasoned pilots as well as a panic recovery mode similar to that found on the Carbon Cub. This remote-control airplane for adults is a plane for pilots who want to really spread their wings.

remote control airplanes hobbyzone sport club Image courtesy of Amazon


3. HANVON Go Go Bird Flying Toy


Is it a bird? Well, yes, it is. If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce young children into the world of remote-control devices, the HANVON Go Go Bird Flying Toy is a great place to start. It’s made for both indoor and outdoor use and includes a six-axis sensor and streamlined design for greater beginner friendliness. The bird-like toy is crafted from an environmentally friendly material that is durable and bounces when it falls, making it ideal for accident-prone kids learning to fly. In addition, it comes in four colors, including blue, green and pink.

remote control airplanes hanvon go go bird flying toy Image courtesy of Amazon


4. Behorse RC Plane Remote-Control Airplane


If you’re really looking for that Top Gun-inspired flying experience, you’re going to need a jet, just like this Behorse RC Plane Remote-Control Airplane. It incorporates a six-axis gyroscope and uses a 2.4 Ghz transmitter which adds to the user-friendliness of this eye-catching plane. It comes supplied with three rechargeable batteries, each of which offers approximately 20 minutes of flight time per full, 120-minute charge. Furthermore, the jet’s body is constructed from an EPP foam material which is lightweight, flexible and surprisingly durable, even if unexpected falls occur.

behorse remote control jet Image courtesy of Amazon


5. SYMA Remote-Control Helicopter


In the modern world, taking to the skies can take a number of different forms. Rather than a plane, why not choose a helicopter instead? This SYMA RemoteC-ontrol Helicopter comes with over 1,200 five-star ratings and a range of handy features which make it great for beginners and experienced fliers. For newcomers, the helicopter includes an altitude lock to maintain height, a one-key take-off function and a durable, crash-resistant alloy body that can withstand minor impacts. For more advanced pilots, the 3.5 channels offer greater control, while the selectable frequencies mean you can fly multiple helicopters in the same place at the same time.

syma helicopter remote control Image courtesy of Amazon


6. Landbow Remote-Control Airplane


The Landbow Remote-Control Airplane is made for anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a commercial airline pilot. While not exactly the same as taking control of the real-life thing, this scale model does put you in control and allows you to take to the skies. The beginner-friendly airplane includes three different channels of control and features a six-axis gyro, which provides better in-flight stability. The plane itself is made from an EPP foam, making it lightweight and able to take off via both ground and hand-thrown methods.

landbow remote control passenger airplane Image courtesy of Amazon


7. Top Race RC Plane Remote-Control Airplane


When you don’t want to spend a ton of money to get in the air, the Top Race RC Plane is a solid choice. It’s affordable, yet still has a 320 ft. range, and can be in-flight for 12 minutes before it’s time for a recharge. Even though this is an RC plane for adults, there are still three flight modes for beginner, intermediate and more skilled pilots. You don’t have to break the bank to fly.

remote control airplanes top race rc plane 3 Image courtesy of Amazon


8. VOLANTEXRC RC Glider Plane


Similar to real-life flying experiences, a glider, like this VOLANTEXRC RC Glider Plane, is a great way to get a feel for life in the clouds. This user-friendly aircraft incorporates an Xpilot stabilizer system which provides in-air stability, allowing for greater control as well as aerobatics. You can also choose between three levels of complexity, starting with full assist for beginners and working up to full manual for advanced fliers. The 2.4 Ghz technology delivers distances up to 656 feet, while the anti-interference technology lets you fly multiple craft without having to worry. Perhaps best of all, thanks to the glider’s true-to-life design, it can glide and move more slowly for longer flight times than the average airplane.

volantexrc rc glider plane Image courtesy of Amazon


9. Funtech RC Airplane Remote-Control Airplane


The Funtech RC Airplane Remote-Control Airplane is an easily assembled kit that can be enjoyed by every level of pilot. The three operating modes let you choose whichever is most suited to your skill level, while the six-axis gyroscope maintains stability during flight. This plane also includes three-channel remote control in the form of the elevator, the rudder and the throttle. It’s also constructed from lightweight and durable EPP, offers a radio control distance of up to 320 feet and allows for up to 15 minutes of flying time per full battery charge.

funtech rc airplane Image courtesy of Amazon


10. LEAMBE RC Plane Remote-Controlled Aircraft


If you’re looking to enjoy a stable flight mixed with performing a number of in-flight stunts, the LEAMBE RC Plane Remote-Controlled Aircraft could be the choice for you. This 14-inch long aircraft has a 15-inch wingspan and is constructed from a lightweight EPP foam that is crash-resistant. The aircraft offers three levels of flight control, comes with two, 15-minute flying duration batteries and features solid RC aircraft wheels which allow for confident ground taking off and landing in addition to the option of a hand-thrown take-off. Furthermore, this aircraft includes flight control assistance, making it a feasible option for newcomers to the hobby.

leambe rc plane Image courtesy of Amazon


11. LEAMBE Remote-Control Airplane


The LEAMBE Remote-Control Airplane is a great, all-in-one kit that can be gifted to beginners, intermediate and advanced fliers. It’s constructed from a light and flexible material and lets you choose from three different modes to suit your capability behind the controls. It also includes advanced new tech in the form of Propeller Saver Technology which prevents damage to the plane if things go wrong. For greater fun, the design features a one-touch button for performing roles mid-air and another for returning home when you’re done for the day. Furthermore, it’s supplied with two propellers and two batteries, each of which offers up to 21 minutes of flying time per full charge.

leambe remote control plane Image courtesy of Amazon


12. Top Race RC Plane


Thrill-seeking pilots who want more than to cruise around in the air should give the Top Race RC Plane 4 Channel plane a whirl. The plane has a working throttle, rudder, elevator and aileron, as well as a steerable tail for ground control. When it’s mid-flight, you can flip it upside-down and spiral around with a push of the Stunt button. And if things get a little out of control, the plane comes with three replaceable propellers, so you won’t be out of luck if the plane goes down.

remote control airplanes top race rc plane 4 channel Image courtesy of Amazon


13. E-Flite RC Airplane Apprentice STS


Although it is way more expensive than our pick for the best remote-control airplane for beginners, this is a higher-end model that has great features for future pilots. It’s large, which helps with in-flight control and overall visibility, and has a sensor-assisted flight to make flying easier for beginners. A steerable nose wheel makes taking off and landing much easier for beginners. When you’re ready to have a more professional airplane, but you’re still learning, this is a great choice.



14. E-Flite RC Extra 300 3D


An affordable option for kids looking to get their pilot wings, this remote-control airplane is made with durable foam to protect it in the event of a crash, which is bound to happen with beginners. The remote control is basic, and the easy take-off methods help first-time pilots get in the air quickly. If you’re looking for remote-control airplanes for beginners, this is one worth serious consideration.

remote control airplanes e-fligt rc extra Image courtesy of Amazon


15. E-flight RC Airplane Turbo Timber


This airplane is great when there isn’t much runway for take-offs or landings. Features such as drooped wingtips and functional slotted flats help this bird get up and off the ground quickly. Speaking of quick, this plane is a piece of cake to assemble, and there’s no need to glue any of the parts together. More advanced pilots will really appreciate all the flying capabilities of the E-flight RC airplane.

remote control airplanes e-flight Image courtesy of Amazon


The Best PS5 Headsets from Sony, Razer & SteelSeries