If you have ever watched some fly a remote-controlled (RC) airplane before, the whole thing may seem easy and fun. While the fun part is certainly true, flying a RC airplane is not as easy as it might appear. In fact, the factors that can affect their ability to launch, fly and land a RC airplane successfully surprises most people. There are several tips to help you learn how to fly an RC airplane:
Attempting to fly an RC airplane on a calm, sunny day is not going to be the same as trying to fly on a rainy or windy day. Increase your odds of success by looking up the weather forecast in your local area before you head out with your RC airplane.
If the weather is very cold, note that the RC airplane may not fly well and the battery life may be shorter. Of course, rain, snow or any other precipitation will affect your odds of success as well. Wait to try another day when the weather is nicer.
In addition to whether or not the temperature is warm, wind is a very important factor when it comes to flying an RC airplane. Wind direction, gusts and speed can all affect the RC airplane and its ability to fly. Once your RC airplane has taken off, monitor your power and pitch settings to maintain a constant and safe airspeed and be aware that you will need to be even more aware of your settings on a windy day.
If you are flying into a tailwind, increase the speed and slow down the speed when entering a headwind. When you take off and land, do your best to bring the RC airplane right into the wind.
One of the biggest frustrations when it comes to beginner RC airplanes or learning how to fly an RC plane is the seemingly short life of the battery pack. Several things affect the overall battery life of an RC airplane.
When you are not flying your RC airplane, you need to charge the battery pack for many hours before flight. This will give you the longest battery life possible during flight. Not charging the battery for long enough is a common mistake for beginner RC airplane pilots.
If you happen to have battery power left after flying, it is important to discharge the battery properly before storage. Use the battery in the RC airplane either until the batteries are completely depleted, or use a battery discharge unit to discharge the battery.
Never leave your battery in the RC airplane itself, especially during very hot, humid or cold weather or for a long period of time or you risk corrosion and leaking. Instead, remove and discharge the batteries and store in a fireproof, leak proof container until you are ready to charge the batteries and fly again.
If you are learning how to fly an RC airplane, you might not know just how much room you need. However, just as a real airplane cannot simply lift up off the ground without a runway, your RC airplane needs extra room for take-off and landing. In addition, many localities have regulations about where (and when) you can fly your RC airplane.
Find a directory of RC-approved flying fields listed by state here or look for a field approximately 30 or 40 feet in size. Note that many of the flying fields are regulated or owned by an RC club, so check for regulations or restrictions.
Like it or not, when you are a beginner RC plane pilot, you will face your fair share of crashes, dings and other events that cause damage to your RC airplane. As such, it is a good idea to have a fair number of spare parts on hand so that you can repair your RC airplane without having to order or find parts each time.
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The RC airplane community is larger than you may think and is often a valuable source of information. Whether you are a relative beginner to RC electronic airplanes or RC airplanes in general or a skilled pilot, find other enthusiasts online or nearby to commiserate about the challenges of the hobby, ask questions, give advice and otherwise tap into the vast knowledge of others.