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The Best Trainer RC Planes

This page contains the Best RC Plane Beginner Advice I can offer someone looking to get into flying RC Planes safely and with the highest probably of success. While there are many different schools of thought on how to approach this, listed below are the planes and tips I offer folks asking questions in the comments sections of my YouTube videos, which have helped 100’s of people worldwide achieve success in this hobby.


Before you can rip at 100MPH with that cool looking EDF Jet that flies with a 6S brick for a battery, you need to develop the muscle memory to handle split second decision making. That often will make a difference between a pile of foam on the ground or getting your plane safely back on the ground in one piece.


I have found that the best way to get there is select what is best described as an RC Trainer Plane as your first plane. This is generally one that has a high wing placement on the body of the plane and some up angle called dihedral. What that does is make the plane more stable and easier to fly. They also tend to be less frill oriented meaning they do not have flaps or retracts. For the beginner, those are just an added layer of scale complication that is not needed at the beginning of your RC Journey.


A very common type of Beginner RC Plane is known as a Ready To Fly (RTF) RC Planes. I show and describe a few common offerings below that have helped people achieve success in the hobby. A number of them have even surpassed my skill level following my formula laid out on this website:

Arrows RC Pioneer RTF RC Trainer Plane

This is currently the best trainer plane for $160 or less IMHO. It comes ready to fly (RTF) with a battery, charger, and radio. The radio is simple and easy to use with two different flight modes (Beginner & Expert). The battery really only has one spot to go, so there is no mystery regarding the battery placement, which significantly impacts how likely you are to succeed at flying an RC Plane, any RC Plane. That is particularly important for true beginners starting out in the hobby. The flight times are great it is a loop making machine, and the Flight Batteries are very affordable.


If cost is not a consideration, the E-flite Apprentice noted below in the best route to go. For most people starting out however, they want to dip their toe into the water to see if the hobby is for them without breaking the bank. Budget considerations are why I have the Arrows Pioneer ranked first in my list of Beginner RC Planes.

Click here to get your Arrows Pioneer Beginner RC Plane

E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5M RTF RC Trainer Plane

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The E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5M is the Gold Standard for RTF RC Trainer Planes. I would have it at the very top of the list if it was not for the price at around $399 currently. Not every beginner can invest that much money without knowing if the hobby is a good fit for them, but that done not mean that is plane is not one of the best trainer planes dollar for dollar. It truly is the best what you get in return for your initial investment.

This model's large size makes it an ideal choice due to better visibility and the ability to handle more wind with its inherently stable design. That is just part of why it is the world's favorite club trainer. I do recommend that you avoid buying and using the GPS and landing assist sensors as they can complicate things unnecessarily.

Click here get your E-flite Apprentice STS

Durafly Prime Tundra 1200mm STOL Trainer

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The new Durafly Prime Tundra Trainer Plane is a VERY FUN RC Plane, even after you have already learned how to fly. For the beginner, it does not have bad habits found on most planes, even those designed for beginners. It does come RTF or in a PNP version to cater to complete noobs or those that want to enjoy the "Fun Factor' it brings to the table. Both versions come with a gyro system that has a beginner assist feature & another setting that helps smooth out turbulence on windy days. 

Hobbyzone Aeroscout S 2 1.1m RTF RC Trainer Plane

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This RC Trainer Plane is a nice balance between the E-flite Apprentice STS 1.5M and Arrows Pioneer when it comes to price and performance. It is currently around $230 and it comes ready to fly (RTF) with a 3S Smart Battery, Smart Charger, and Full Range Spektrum Radio. It has three different flight modes (Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert) and a Panic Button to help recover from an out of control RC Plane.

Click here to get your Hobbyzone Aeroscout S 2 1.1m RTF

Hobbyzone Sport Cub S 2 RTF with SAFE RC Trainer Plane

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The Hobbyzone Sport Cub S 2 RTF with SAFE & AS3X to help its tiny airframe handle wind better than it would be able to otherwise. It comes equipped with a 1S brushed power system that lacks power compared to a 2S brushless system like that one found on the Arrows Pioneer, which makes you less likely to be able to fly it in  comparably much wind. That fact is one of the only factors that slides this proven Beginner RC Trainer Plane this far down on the list. Currently, its price is the same as the Pioneer at $160 with three flight modes (Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert), similar to the Hobbyzone Aeroscout S 2 1.1m RTF without a Panic Button.

Click here get your Hobbyzone Sport Cub S 2 RTF

WLtoys Cessna 182 Micro RTF RC Trainer Plane

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I wanted to include a very budget friendly plane on this list to help round out this lineup, so that is how this little Cessna 182 made the list. The biggest things this plane have going for it are is $60 price, durability, and long flight times. I must caution that this one will be the most difficult to learn to fly on as compared to the planes on the list. It is the only 3-Channel RC Plane on the list, which has its Pros & Cons for complete beginners. However, I need to be clear that to have any kind of control with this plane, you need to have the radio set to high rates. Even for an experienced pilot, you must have the "H" show up on the radio display, not the "L". This is best suited for younger people with great reflexes, patience, and a very limited budget.

Once you have become proficient with your Trainer Plane, visit the Second Plane List

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