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RC Plane Kits


There are lots of different types of rc plane kits and many different ways to build them. Obviously there's a wide range of kits that vary depending on cost, amount of assembly, and varying skill and even experience required to assemble them. Kits vary from plastic or foam to balsa wood. Whatever type you're thinking about building, you can find the information here that you need in order to get off to a good start.

I'll be focusing mainly on four or five main types of rc plane kits. Namely; ready to fly, almost ready to fly, balso wood kits, and from plans or scratch. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to learn about the many options available to you in the exciting world of rc plane kit building!

Balsa Wood Kit: These usually come with all the raw material you need as well as detailed instructions on how to put the thing together. Expect a few spare parts as well for when you make a mistake (and you probably will, it's ok!). Expect to spend a heck of a lot of time putting one of these together. It can be tricky getting the alignment right on the frame surfaces. One small mistake could cause your plane to crash quickly! Often these kits are built to be models and have to be converted to actually fly them with an engine.

Ready To Fly: or RTF as they are commonly referred to come already assembled. These pre-assembled kits basically only require you to stick the wings on (or sometimes some other very basic type things). Usually all the stuff you'll need will come with the kit itself, so you don't have to purchase anything extra. These may be the easiest to get started with, but the tradeoff is that you have very little configuration options. You basically have to take whatever the plane comes with. Most people think that putting the plane together yourself is the main part of the hobby and therefore tend to look at RTF's as cheating.

Almost Ready to Fly: or ARF's or ARTF's as they are often called are much like ready to fly kits but they tend to just require a little more assembly on your part. Sometimes you also have to do some basic construction. Expect to spend an average of four hours or so putting one of these together. Of course, a traditional kit might run you twenty to sixty hours of build time depending on the level of detail required. With an ARF the appendages and fuselage are usually already built. You usually have to buy servos, the type of motor you want to use, sometimes control rods, and also speed controllers separately.

From Scratch or Plans: To start from scratch or plans, that is the question! This is by far the hardest course and not recommended for the novice. Plans often come as full sized drawings and include instructions. You'll usually cut your parts from sheet wood using templates that come with the plan. Once you build all the parts yourself, putting the thing together is a lot like any kit. Doing it this way clearly gives you more options and tighter control over the finished plane. Of course the tradeoff is the massive amount of time and work that you must invest.

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