Buying an RC plane can be a very hectic task. There are lots of things you will need to bring into consideration. As for beginner flyers who are buying an RC plane for the first time, their main consideration is which plane is easier to fly. And, if you are one, you might find yourself asking “Smaller RC plane or bigger, which one is easier to fly?”
Bigger RC planes are easy to control. Although experts might beg to differ as they live and breathe RC planes, bigger planes are easy to fly and land for general people. They have better visibility and stability, paired with resistance wind gusts; makes them less intimidating to avid flyers.
In this article, I will further discuss what makes bigger RC planes easier to operate. I am also going to add a guide about the size of different types of RC planes so you can choose the easier variety.
Lastly, I will add some tips about RC flying to make the experience a lot smoother for newcomers. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Why Are Bigger RC Planes Are Easy to Fly?
There isn’t any rocket science behind the reason why a bigger RC plane is easier to fly. It’s all about basic physics. I will explain in layman’s terms so that you can easily understand. Let’s dig into it:
You can’t control something that you can’t see. RC planes can fly long distances. With RC cars or trucks, you can trail behind the vehicles so visibility isn’t much of an issue.
RC planes can fly as far as 30 miles, a distance which humans are not able to see in the naked eye. Plus, you can’t go around following the plane traversing forests, rivers, rough terrains, etc.
Bigger planes are easy to see for obvious reasons. By bigger, it actually means larger wing-span which makes the visibility better. Better visibility means better control.
If there is any mishap, you can detect it easily with your bare eyes and adjust accordingly. These are the reasons why bigger planes are easy to fly and popular among beginners.
Stability is one of the most vital issues when flying RC planes. They must fly stable and withstand minor errors. Stability in larger sized RC aircraft is built in. You can fly them without any issue and have a lot of time to react to any trouble you might face. If you are a newbie, the control won’t be at your fingertips.
A Stable RC plane gives you enough time to input controls. To sum it all up, bigger sized RC planes have more inertia, which is elementary physics.
Any adversities take kindly to these gentle giants. This makes them safe to fly in inept hands.
Bigger RC Planes Can Withstand Turbulence
Wind turbulence has been a headache for pilots since the invention of aircraft. It remains the same for RC planes as well.
When flying RC planes, you have less control over the aircraft compared to real pilots flying monstrous real-life aircraft. So withstanding turbulence comes down to the size of the planes.
Large planes can withstand more than smaller ones. Also, bigger planes are easy to control. You can easily navigate around the turbulence, which is the only way to fight it.
Controlling the altitude in bigger planes is more convenient. You can easily fly below the wind to save your plane.
Bigger RC planes are sluggish which is a good thing. A faster plane will fly past everything and might crash in a blink of an eye. Large planes are slow, so you can see better and control better.
The slow speed gives you more time to react and make amends. In case of crashing against birds or something, their slow-moving nature comes to the rescue.
Different Types of RC Plane and Their Sizes
RC aircraft are not categorized according to their size. But each type has a specific measurement. I am going to mention some popular types of RC planes and their size, so you can tell what size you are getting just by looking at the name:
Sailplane: Sailplanes are popular among new flyers. They used to be unpowered and use aerodynamics to remain airborne. But now powered sailplanes are also available. They can fly up to 20 minutes and sometimes even longer. The smallest sailplanes have a wingspan of 4-5 feet. Standard sailplanes have a wingspan of 6.3 feet.
Standard-class Sailplanes: Another variety of sailplane is standard class sailplanes. They have a wingspan of 9 feet.
Open Class Glider: Sailplanes with a bigger than 9-foot wingspan are termed open class gliders.
Pylon: Pylons are race-class RC planes and have a wingspan of 3-4 feet.
Sport: Sport planes are used for acrobatic purposes. Many flyers opt for this class of RC airplanes after learning the basics of flying. Their wingspan ranges from 3-9 feet.
Jet: These are the fastest and most expensive RC planes. The wingspan depends on the model of the airplane.
Tips on Flying Bigger RC Planes
A bigger size makes it easier to fly RC planes. Other than size, some other key factors make flying an RC plane a lot easier. Let’s take a closer look:
Channels: More channels mean more control you have over your aircraft. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can be a nightmare for new flyers. Advance RC planes have up to 6 channels but you better leave that to the experts.
For beginners, a 3 channel or 4 channel plane is recommened.
Until you get a grip on flying, I recommend sticking to 3 channel planes.
Build Material: RC planes are made from polystyrene foam or Styrofoam. The reason behind this is to keep them light and stable. But after adding motors, propellers, and other parts, their weight increases and sometimes, beyond the sweet spot. Before buying, make sure you are getting the lightest of the bunch and also, the sturdier one.
RTF: RTF means ready to fly, meaning your aircraft shall require no assembly after unpacking. This feature is a must for beginner flyers. Because assembling the planes is pretty difficult and this feature is only for enthusiasts. Ready to fly units are more convenient for any flyers, let alone new ones.
A fact about RTF planes is that they are usually more stable and robust than those that require assembly. They can withstand more adversities and make a great beginner RC aircraft.
Low Velocity: Bigger planes are already slow. And I suggest you go for slower models. Low speed ensures better control. You can also react quickly to anything troubling like a bird crash, wind turbulence, bad weather, etc.
Landing becomes a lot easier if you are flying slowly. So, make sure two things; you get the slower models and fly slowly.
Extra Parts: Larger models are generally well-built so they do not require any spare parts. Sometimes, finding the parts can be difficult.
Make sure before buying, that spare parts are available for the model you are purchasing. Also, check if the vendor provides a service warranty because you can’t replace the parts by yourself.
Consulting expert mechanics will cost you some bucks. If your manufacturer is providing a service warranty, you can save some from the repairs.
Flying RC planes are indeed a great way to spend some quality leisure time. But it will take some time to master the art of flying such a device.
Bigger planes are a great way to start as a beginner flyer. These planes will help you get very stable flights. It will help you a lot to gather some flying experience and improve your flying skills.
If you are sceptical about the ease of bigger planes, I have discussed why bigger planes are easy to control without bothering you with a mouthful of physics terms. I mentioned the size of some popular models and gave some tips for easier flights.
I hope this article was able to answer all of your queries. Thanks for reading till the end. Best of luck with your new hobby.