Anybody know about flying model aircraft?

It’s a hobby I wanted to pursue as a kid and never did.

They all seem to be in kits to assemble. Can you buy them whole and ready to fly? If so, where could I go in Milwaukee or Chicago to get one? On the other hand, perhaps I’m better off building it so I’ll know how to fix it after a crash.

Can you suggest a good “starter” plane? I don’t want one of those wired deals that goes in a circle, I want the whole radio-control deal. How much time to build? How pricey is this stuff? How often will I (the average flier) smash it up and have to buy a new one, or make extensive repairs?

Any enlightenment will be appreciated!

Hey yohimboguy,

Check out They have ready to fly kits with remote and everything for cheap, or at least as cheap as everyone else. If you are like me, you want to look at sail planes with an electric motor. If you aren’t like me you can get a starter gas motor plane.

Good Luck,

Thank you. The link is excellent, but some of the sailplanes are confusing me. There is no propellor shpwing on any pictures but the “Thunder Tiger”, yet they all talk about electric motors. Are these servo motors for the control surfaces? I definitely want propulsion. Are the airframes sturdy enough for acrobatics like loops?

They should. It might depend upon the design of the plane, but I know that a lot of them can. I spent a portion of my childhood with my dad and one of his employees flying model airplanes. There’s also software so you can simulate flying one on your PC (it even has a controller you hook up to your computer), handy that. It’ll let you get the hang of it before you ever put your real plane in the air. Better that than to take your shiny new plane out for its first test flight, only to have it auger in shortly after take off because you didn’t understand how the controls worked.

before spending $ on a new toy - find out if you will be able to play with it.

Some city noise odinances forbid the gas jobs - I don’t know if they also ban the electrics.

and… lool for a design with a wing held on with a rubber band - the wing will detach in a crash, thus avoiding its destruction.

My suggestion: Look into a new class of R/C planes called “Park Flyers”. They are an excellent way to get into the hobby. Cheap, electric powered, and you can fly them in your local schoolyard. And, they can usually be built in a night or two.

I have a GWS Cub (, and it’s great. I used to be heavily into RC, building scale planes, gliders, you name it. Gas powered and electric. I’ve never had as much fun as I have with this little GWS plane, mainly because I don’t have to go through a 1-hour packing, driving, unpacking, and setting up ordeal just to get in a few flights. Charge the battery, throw it in the back of the car, drive a couple of minutes to the local schoolyard, and I’m flying. And if it crashes, it’s easy to rebuild with a little glue. And if you crash it beyond repair, a replacement is only 40 bucks or so.