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What is a Remote Control Airplane?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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A remote control airplane, abbreviated as RC or R/C airplane, is an aircraft vehicle that is controlled remotely. Typically, a remote control airplane is a device reserved for hobbyists or toy enthusiasts, though there are larger scale, expensive models that may be used by aviation experts. Additionally, some organizations and the military use remote control airplanes for experimental purposes. However, most RC airplanes are designed for general hobby use or as toys.

A remote control airplane, like other remote controlled devices, consist of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is usually a handheld variety and the receiver is onboard the aircraft itself. The transmitter allows the flyer to control the aircraft from the ground. A remote control airplane has an electric motor that may be powered by batteries or by fuel. Early remote control planes used fuel, but technological advancements have made battery power both more convenient and less expensive.

The remote control airplane is available in a variety of designs from biplanes to helicopters and in a variety of price ranges. Parks and beaches are popular locations to fly a remote control airplane, but smaller toy models are designed for flying in the backyard and a few are so small, they can be flown indoors.

The composition of a remote control airplane may be metal, plastic, and even some lighter weight foam or cardboard pieces. A remote control airplane can be ordered or purchased as a complete model or can be built from kits as well as custom designed and built. The scale of RC aircraft varies and parts are readily available for most scale planes at hobby stores and from catalogs.

Flying remote control airplanes is a popular hobby amongst many people. Children also enjoy remote control airplanes as well as other vehicles. The potential damage that a remote control airplane can incur from flight and landing makes them more ideal for older children, rather than younger, but there are a wide variety of less expensive models to get young children started with the hobby of remote control flying.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Jul 09, 2014

I read an article recently about a company using remote control miniature airplanes and helicopters and small drones to deliver their products to customers. This isn't there common practice right now, but that's what they plan to do in the future. Wouldn't that be a cool way to receive a package?

By Feryll — On Jul 08, 2014

I do volunteer work with boys who live in poor neighborhoods in the city. They are considered "at risk". I don't like that term. After all, aren't we all at risk. But anyway, we meet with our group and find ways to get the boys involved in the community in positive ways. Of course, we have to find fun ways to teach them lessons and give them positive experiences.

We like to build things because when you see something come together from an assortment of lose parts and turn into something useful it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. I think putting together remote control airplane models would be a great way to teach the boys about mechanics and engineering and give them a sense of accomplishment.

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